Thursday, December 28, 2006

Did you know?

Did you know that there was a foundation for revitalization of local health traditions (FRLHT) in Bangalore? Wow! It has Sam Pitroda, among others, on its Governing Council.

How did I get to know? Saw their office bus going past mine a few days ago and noticed the name of the foundation printed on the bus and actually gaped at it as I really did not imagine we had such interesting initiatives to preserve our good old knowledge of medicines! Would be interesting to know what else this foundation does apart from research on ancient Indian medicine theories. Their mission talks about medicinal theory, practice and yes - perhaps the most important – lasting social impact. But well the truth is that it is yet to impact a laywoman like me…! I hadn’t even heard about the existence of such a foundation till I saw their office bus but I am to be blamed for that. If not for my poor newspaper reading habits…

But on scanning some press releases linked to the FRLHT website, it appears that there was one initiative that tried to touch laymen - An effort to get some cities in TN to grow medicinal plants. BTW, many homes in South India do grow Neem and Tulsi both of which are well-known for their medicinal values.

FRLHT Mission

To demonstrate the contemporary relevance of Indian Medical Heritage by designing and implementing innovative programmes related to
A. exposition of the theory & practice of traditional systems of medicine,
B. conservation of the natural resources used by Indian systems of medicine
C. revitalisation of social processes for transmission of the heritage, on a size and scale that will have societal impact.

Height of Pessimism!

"Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at." - Carlos A. Urbizo

To this I'd like to add....

"Sit and you'll grow fat, Sleep and you'll be buried" :-D

The quality of the Question determines the quality of the Answer

Shawn refers to a few really smart questions (that could be used to elicit some useful knowledge in the form of stories) in a book that he recommends. For me, the keywords that make the questions really valuable are....

dilemma, turning point, crisis, proud, risk, inspired, obstacle, values, working really well and positive changes....

Dr. Blog

How many doctors you know blog? How many bloggers you know are doctors? (and hey, are you a doctor who blogs? :-))

How are they benefiting out of it? Are they able to connect with other doctors and learn from them or teach them? Are they able to connect with existing and potential patients through their blogs and ergo do a better job? I came across a doctor who blogs, but I have no clue how much he is able to get out of it in terms of connecting with other doctors and patients. There seem to be few comments and little interaction on his blog... :-()

The issues that doctors could have with blogging would be patient privacy and, obviously, lack of time....

What next 2.0?

There seems to be absolutely no dearth of new terms in this era of mind-boggling focus on social networking and blogs which themselves were terms that became popular post year 2000. One of the oft-discussed terms, Web 2.0 has been proclaimed by some to be something that organizations better pay humble attention to; While some others have dismissed it as pure hype.

It is the turn of KM 2.0 now! Is this nothing but weakly disguised personal knowledge management that attaches social bookmarking, blogging, shared RSS and the like to its costume? I've always believed that personal KM means huge participation and that it comes close to perfect answers in response to the "What's in it for me?" question. The downside being chaos and confusion in the absence of organizational standards and governance to make it easy to identify, filter, control and manage information.

Related article #1 (KM 2.0)
Related article #2 (Web 2.0)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Saw this outside a hotel near the Bangalore Airport.

"Chainese, North Indian and South Indian food available" :D

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Patent Search!

Learning to Love to Learn!

I'd written this article for the Global Knowledge Review (KM Magazine published by David Gurteen) a couple of years ago. Reproducing it here for you...


Learning to Love to Learn!

Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge…and applying it. While in school, learning most of the subjects, for me, was a bitter pill that had to be swallowed for the panic of being punished by stern teachers and the apprehension of disappointing expectant parents. Was the attitude so because I did not understand the practical applications of subjects ‘learned’? Most probably, but, fortunately, life is a great teacher! It soon brought me to a stage where the importance of continuous learning and learning to learn emerged. The learning process has since then turned out to be appealing and exciting rather than obligatory! A process that has resulted in amazing discoveries and startling ideas; supported existence and accomplishment; ultimately, connecting me to life! Maybe the sudden allure was to do with the increased visibility of the value of learning - the fact that more of the learning arose from experience and then came back a full circle for re-application. I have, consequently, endeavored to learn and to learn to learn, continuously. Here are some associated thoughts, experiences, and suggestions that I’d like to share.

Why is it so important to learn continuously? On a different note, are we cheating ourselves by believing that we are always learning and the need to learn need not be overemphasized? Let’s examine this from close quarters for answers. Change is the only constant. When things change, we need to adapt to the changing circumstances to survive and grow. And, to adapt to changing circumstances, we need to…learn! Given the fact that the most difficult of things for us is to change, we aren’t far away from understanding that, in effect, this means it is difficult for us to learn! So, is it really uncalled for to talk about the importance of learning? Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young”. If we don’t learn and change, we could be sitting ducks or even dead ducks. Ergo, we ought not to duck learning opportunities!

So, how do we learn and learn to learn? One obvious fact follows. If we’ve discovered our passion, we’re on the way to learning (and earning) for sure. We go wherever our passion leads. For example, I’d jump up and grab anything on KM because I want to learn more but might not pocket a book on politics even if it were distributed for free. Simply because the latter isn’t an area I am inherently passionate about. A problem arises if our passion dies. But if we’ve followed its evolution, and are detached enough to move into our passion’s newer form, we are safe. We can still keep it alive, even if only in another form. The paradox is that if we are so emotionally attached to our passion that we refuse to acknowledge its natural death if such a thing happens, we are not learning. To describe activities that help us learn, I need not go any further than the principles of KM itself. To ensure that we learn continuously, we need to be involved in obvious activities like reading, interaction, reflection and documentation. Getting food for thought is now an easy task with high-quality books, the Internet and search engines like Google. Recluses beware! Interaction & networking are now inescapable if we want to gain knowledge and be in the know. Interaction also has the potential to shake us out of our shells and follow new thoughts and ideas provided we have the attitude - that of letting in opposing views and innovative ideas and being open to voices that challenge! Teaching is considered as one of the best ways to learn as it exposes one to innumerable questions and compels us to be extremely sure of what we know. Finally, reflection, introspection and documentation help us learn. They help us draw upon our intuition and creative abilities, question ourselves, and analyze/consolidate our thoughts. After all, answers also come from within – our mental and spiritual resources. Keeping a book of ideas & thoughts, writing and blogging are great ways to call upon these resources. Here is to blissful learning! :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pravs - Persistent, Rocking, Amazing, Very Good, Superb....

Apologies! This post is late in the making. I’ve been enjoying the regular inspirational mail-packets from this amazing guy here for almost a year now and have certainly benefited out of some of the posters/quotes/poems that popped into my inbox just when I needed it. It’s taken me so long to talk about it on my blog for some strange reason. If you’re looking for some wonderful thoughts smiling out at you from an equally enthralling background image, do subscribe to the Pravs World mailers - energy packets actually!

Finally, ‘The Pravs guy’ is doing a wonderful job! Goes a long way to prove that you don’t need to be big to be big. …You know what I mean...You don't need to be the king of the world to make a difference to lives around you! :-)

Christmas Gifts...A Couple of Wonderful Blogs

Craig Harper left a comment on one of my blog posts and I followed it to his website. And look what I found.... :-). (He's got some wonderful stuff on his site if you're looking for inspiration and motivation in life....)

Don't let life happen to you....

I can't imagine getting to read such good stuff from across the world without the wonderful platform that blogs offer...

Talking of inspiration and motivation, one of my friends (who's recently been pumping me with some real good stuff) has led me to another wonderful blog whose author calls himself a Chief Happiness Officer :-). That's cute! :) He also is offering a free book - Christmas gift - on How to be happy at work!

Yoho!!! Merry Christmas everyone !!!! :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Human Network

If you've not been away from blogs, discussions and news for the past few months unlike may already be in the know - I am talking about The Human Network!

Hold on to see an exhaustive post on this in Aa-ha! [Thinking Inside The Blog]....

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I receive quotes from many friends and acquaintances and this one popped in today….

“Always ask to give you what you deserve, not what you desire...
Your desires may be a few, but you deserve a lot!!” – Anon

Immediately after I read this, the first thing (actually, the second thing I guess) that occurred to me was that what one prays for speaks volumes about what kind of a person one is…!

What do you normally pray for?

-All your desires to be fulfilled?

-Your near and dear one’s desires to be fulfilled?

-Happiness in particular?

-Money in particular?

-Health in particular?

-Power/Fame in particular?

-Long Life?

-The well-being of the World at large?

-A ‘great’ job?



-Devotion to God Himself?

-Peace of mind?

-Faith in life/self?

-A perfect partner?

-Death? (I did not want to initially put this on the list….but, well, it is a possibility)

-A combination of the above?

-Anything that He knows to be good for you? or

-Is there’s so much to ask for that you never known where to start ;) or you ask for nothing at all?

And what if you are an atheist? What do you ‘ask’ for if at all you do?

I suppose that (for the believers at least) with growth in character and spirituality, what one prays for will undergo changes that are striking. And come to think of it, it may work the other way round as well - consciously thinking about and changing what one prays for may contribute to one’s spiritual growth…! What do you think?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Collective Thinking

Whenever I’ve attended training programmes that make the audience aware of various thinking styles, behavioural differences etc I’ve often found people wonder and question what the whole thing leads to. Because changing thinking styles, attitudes etc is not as easy as attending training programmes on the topic. I’ve rarely found trainers who can articulate exactly what the benefits are. I myself have never been able to go beyond pointing out that knowing such things can help one understand others better. An article I read recently brings it out brilliantly in the context of collective thinking leading to innovation.

The single most valuable contribution that understanding different thinking and communication styles brings to the process of innovation is taking the sting out of intellectual disagreements that turn personal”. – Putting your company’s whole brain to work – HBR. Authors – Dorothy Leonard and Susaan Straus.

Twin Quotes

Tao says "Your biggest strength is your biggest weakness" and "Your biggest weakness is your biggest strength"

Someone sent me a quote today which reads "Your biggest strength is the (your) weakness that you know"

The Baghavad Gita says "Knowledge is Action"

So, here's the conclusion :) - One must know what one's weaknesses are and then do something about it....or simply be prepared for situations that test one's strength (read knowledge of weakness)...think about it.... :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

The SKY is the limit...

Read the (below the dotted line) stuff from Steve Goodier (LifeSupport). Awesome. I couldn't agree with him more. (And not just because the core of the message is from Calvin) :-)

Whenever your mind wanders into the dark caves of materialistic desires, just do this....look up at the sky and smile! Irrespective of whether you are in the middle of a road with thousands of vehicles or in a forest full of trees....this simple act of looking up at the sky makes a lot of difference. It leaves you with the feeling that the natural world is oh so one needs anything else to enjoy's all in the mind...


Calvin, of the "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip fame, once imparted some timeless wisdom: "If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night," he observed, "I'll bet they'd live a lot differently."

I believe he's right. Year by bewildering year, our world grows more complex. We crave peace within our souls. We long for simplicity in lives that too easily become inexplicably tangled in complicated webs.

David enjoyed the simple things of life. He sometimes took jobs at dude ranches, national parks and seasonal resorts. His brother, however, wanted to entice him to get a "real" job and live in a world surrounded by things that only money can buy. David's brother often sent him photos of himself enjoying the so-called "good life." He labeled his snapshots "My new sound system" or "My new car."

But the photos stopped arriving after David responded with a picture of his own. He sent his brother a large poster with a breathtaking view of Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. On the back was David's message: "My back yard."

I believe I understand how David feels. "The Good Life" is not defined by possessions, but by pure and utter enjoyment of simplicity.

John Burroughs (1837-1921) put it like this: "To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring -- these are some of the rewards of the simple life."

Those who take time to find pleasure in the ordinary DO live differently. The simple difference is this: because they have learned to live simply, they have learned to live.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

'Puzzling' Paradox

One of my office friends forwarded a write-up that he discovered on broken ming vase puzzles (in a blog) and I almost hit myself real hard wondering why it did not occur to me before that puzzles are a great example of paradox thinking. After all, I claim to love paradox thinking.

People generally sell objects that are intact….objects that are in one piece. But somebody thought in the opposite direction…and conceived of puzzles. He/she decided to break something into pieces and sell it for people to put it together! And voila, puzzles were a rage amongst kids and adults alike! :D

...The wonders of paradox thinking!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What you may not know about me...

I just realized that Gautam's tagged me...

So, here goes....

1. I am a cartoon freak. I love watching cartoons (T&J, Looney Tunes and the like) and would prefer that (apart from music-based programmes) to any other stuff on TV. This may explain my being too weird for an adult at times ;)
2. I have changed a lot (fundamental changes in my attitude and philosophies) over the past few years and I'd like to believe that it is for the better ;), But I believe in being a child at heart irrespective of philosophical thoughts that may cross a mature adult's mind
3. I don't do justice to the books I buy. I don't read them at the same rate at which I buy them (understatement). I simply love gloating over the books I own and perhaps spend more time admiring them rather than reading them
4. I have a fleeting mind. I want to learn too many things at the same time and this makes me pick up some hobbies that I don't do justice to. Palmistry was the last hobby that I picked up and dropped before you could have said 'show me your palm'
5. I am scared of traffic :D

I tag the first five people who read this post. Let me know if you're one of them. Ha Ha :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Networking for the Introverts

I have this word document on my desktop where I make quick notes on some topics that interest me enough to be blogged. Long long ago...when Cindrella...oops...Snow White actually...(I guess you'll forgive me in case Cindrella and Snow White were contemporaries ;)) and the seven dwarfs were having their adventure, I made a note (see picture on the left) of the fact that networking for women...and networking for introverts were topics that needed some 'thinking inside the blog'... :). But I never got to progress on this one. I've not been able to maintain my blog-reading habits for a few months now. But I stole some time off from regular work and browsed through Gautam's blog for he is one guy who is a storehouse of information and was not dissapointed. I found that someone has already thought and written about networking for introverts. I jumped into the article and found it to be neat! :) If you're an introvert and want to network, do give this a dekko. As mentioned in the article, don’t waste time fighting the inevitable :)

The Case for KM! :)


Organizations add to the revenue they earn,

When they provide an environment for their employees to learn!

Decisions which have the greatest edge,

Are those that are made with the backing of collective knowledge!

Learning from the organization’s past…

Makes progress a lot more easy and fast!

Capturing those seemingly simple thoughts,

Sows the seed for many idea pots!

Circulation of knowledge in the organization…

Is a key factor in new knowledge creation!

Working together to pool all perspectives is cool!

Because what else could be a better innovation tool?

The simple practices of documentation, mentoring and teaching,

For spreading the light of knowledge, can be far-reaching!

The obvious practice of best practice transfer…

Can make organizational performance look simpler!

The routine act of knowledge sharing,

Can be made fascinating through storytelling!

Well-designed portals and workspaces are a great melting pot of knowledge…

For the challenge of information-glut, there is perhaps no better hedge!

But the bedrock of KM lies in listening, questioning and learning,

And people practices that promote an attitude of win-win!

In summary, knowledge-oriented business management is KM,

And, in the long-run, the lack of a knowledge perspective is asking for mayhem!

This is the long and short of the case for KM!

- Nirmala

PS: If you find this poem helpful go ahead and use it but please do make sure you quote the source :-)

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Jean Kerr said, "Hope is the feeling you have, that the feeling you have, isn't permanent."

It is what you have when you know that you WILL eventually get through the agony and pain and feel sunshine once again. It does not deny the present darkness, but it reminds you that the dawn is coming.


Extracted from LifeSupport Quotes...

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Good set of resources if you're the kind of person who hits the roof often. Relax....chill out with these tips....

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Oh My! This poem I ought to sing....but with a slight change....

Books to the ceiling,/ Books to the sky,/ My pile of books is a mile high./ How I love them! How I need them!/ I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. - Arnold Lobel (Google Quotes)

With due apologies to Arnold....

Books to the ceiling,/ Books to the sky,/ My pile of books is a mile high./ How I love them! How I need them!/ But...I guess I'll be dead before I read them.

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KM Thoughts

Interesting article and perspective on KM....revolving around connecting people, finding explicit knowledge and going a step further into refining knowledge so as to be able to make decisions.