Thursday, March 27, 2008

The King of Music....(and the Queen of Love)

Someone left a comment on my previous post. He said he arrived at my blog by following a link in the Favourite Music section in his Blogger Profile. (Profile tags connect bloggers with the same tastes/interests). BTW, what he followed in this case was Favourite Music - Ilayaraaja....and obviously, I had to be there somewhere in the first few pages. (Meanwhile, I visited his blog and found it to be cool! Loved his post on growing daughters... :D LoL)

And then, I decided to follow suit and check out some more Raaja fans myself. Found many...of course. But I had the time to run through a few and one of bloggers I discovered during the search had a recent post on Raaja which I noticed and read. He has something to say about Raaja's genius. Sigh! I couldn't have put it better. Reading this gave me goosebumps....a great fan of Ilayaraaja that I am.....

"Think of S.D. Burman's incredible capacity for creating melodies, add the musical genius and range of R.D. Burman. Top that off with a knowledge of Indian (Carnatic) classical music that was the envy of professional classical singers, and an understanding of western classical music and orchestration that has invited comparisons with Bach, and you get some idea of where Ilayaraaja stands."

And, on the same blog, I found another post that quite moved me. One on Audrey. Wow. I knew nothing about her other than her lovely performance in Roman Holiday. This post makes me a fan of her personality in real life as well.

Choose What to Fear....

Frances Moore Lappe - "Even the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear of not having lived authentically and fully."
Mmmmmm. MMmmmm. MMMmmm.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tipping Point of KM...The 3Cs

If you're a must leave your comments against this post. I really want to know whether others have tried it....thought about it this way....or have something to add....whatever....

I've honestly believed in and used all the three concepts mentioned above, outside of the Tipping Point influence.....and saw this link between the three Tipping Point concepts and KM implementation only in retrospect. Nevertheless, I decided to spend the time to articulate it quickly for two reasons....beginners may find it useful to remember and use and this will perhaps be an easy way to 'sell' KM Implementation Strategy to the management in your organization. I hope the mind map above conveys my thoughts effectively. If you want me to weave some text around it for better understanding, do let me know. Now, out with your thoughts and comments on this one, please. I am looking for some good conversations on this one....

PS: The whole thing can be labelled as the 3Cs of KM- Champions, Communication, Context.

Update: Apologies if you've not read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell....I guess this post will not make sense if you haven't. And I am afraid I can't make it easier for you to understand this post if so - It would be difficult to summarize the book here....but ,anyways, the book digs into the reasons why some ideas and concepts are very popular and when and why exactly they take, given that KM is something that a lot of KMers struggle to introduce and popularize in organizations, I felt that it would be good to learn from the Tipping Point concepts.... :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A KMer's Life...

Becoming a KMer - Thinking aloud on how the story unfolds or perhaps should ideally unfold?....

- Understand the KM philosophy, concepts, big picture....the essence of knowledge.... (Core Competence)

- Understand it's association and relationship with the entity where/for which it needs to be leveraged upon - Business (What business, which domain, what stage, what circumstances?), Non-profit, Country, Family, Individual, Other entities/events? (Additional Competence and Application of Competence)

- Understand the various objectives that KM can satisfy in the cumulative context of the previous points and what is required (focus area) therein (What do we want?)

- Understand what comprises knowledge (i.e. what needs to be managed) in the cumulative context of the above-mentioned points. (What are the smallest units that comprises what we want?)

- Understand the dynamics given the above - people, politics, processes, tools, applications, systems, dependencies, thoughts, feelings, ideas, previous attempts at such a thing, inputs from inside and outside, future plans (How will this work? Dos and Donts)

- Plan: Objective - Culture - Method - Approaches - Outcome. Why, Who, What, When, Where, How. (How exactly do we make it happen?)

- Implement - Communication, Processes, Systems, People, Technology, Management (Following it through)

- Check. Change. Accomplish. Publish. Learn. Evolve. Teach. Publish. Learn. Evolve. (We can't stop now!)

What say??? Thank you or Go get some sleep? :-)

Monday, March 24, 2008

'Collective' Thinking....Collective Thinking....

Thinking about knowledge, multiple perspectives, wisdom and the like....

In retrospect, I think most of the times that I've been able to come up with a very simplified version of why something is the way it is, or what something is all about or how something works, that simplified conclusion has more often than not, been preceded by excessive rambling and collection and consolidation of information and knowledge from all over the place. Sometimes it seems like just a little bit of introspection but something tells me that introspection is a mysterious process in which the subconscious refers to all the stuff that it knows and somehow manages to quickly see through the piles of information, pull out what's most relevant and connect everything that matters to arrive at a simple explanation. Of course, this isn't a radically new discovery that I need to be awarded for but something that many people out there may have already spoken/written about. But it occurred to me this morning.....and reminded me of one of the prominent innovation methods which recommends that we adopt divergent thinking and follow it with convergent thinking to find a solution to a problem.

So, what am I getting at finally?

Point #1: More often than not, simplifying something requires accepting and absorbing and filling ourselves with loads of information and perspectives.

Point #2: With relevance to KM and Collaboration, point #1 is perhaps one of the key processes and reasons why it (KM and Collaboration) makes all the difference. When people are sincere and serious about collecting information from various nodes and encourage the bringing forth of multiple perspectives, someone in the group/community begins to see the connections, the relevance, the irrelevance etc. Someone else may pitch in at this point and discover something through such a connection. One more person then joins in and so forth. Then, somewhere down the line, it suddenly hits the entire group or maybe just one passionate person or some involved people in the group that the whole damn thing can be simplified to mean XYZ....!

Thus, a group of people who are keen to gain knowledge and not reluctant to voice their thoughts and opinions and not waiting to gain credit for themselves for things that are discovered are bound to have fun and achieve a lot. Of course, the biggest problem is that this doesn't seem to happen in organizations most of the time.....whereas it may quite happen in Internet-based communites....where there are no organizational politics, deadlines, pressures and incentives to worry about.

PS: Now I know why we use the term Collective Thinking....collect....reflect.....simplify....
;-) I heard you say..."collective means....many heads together...dudhead"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ideas on Leadership...

Check out Stan's wonderful collection of slides on Authentic Leadership.

I loved the PICKLES idea in particular....

P - Passion
I - Integrity
C - Communication
K - Knowledge
L - Love
E - Empowerment
S - Service

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Networking the 80/20 Way?

Posted this at Patti's. Occurred to me that I could put it up here as well.....for some insights and responses from you. Especially if you're a good networker. PS: This has become an area that derives questions from me perpetually....the many conversations I've had on this topic don't seem to be really sealing things in my mind.


Hello Patti! :-)

My comment isn't quite relevant to this particular post but a generic one on social networks. I'd love to know your views on what I am about to share with you - I've been reading the book, "Living the 80/20 Way" by Richard Koch. Koch says that we're good at creating strong relationships only with a finite number of people (which maybe something like 10 or so for most of us) and that we ought to focus on spending more time with these top 20% of our friends and relatives for a happier and more fulfilling life. I tend to agree with this view. To be honest with you, I must admit that I am not a natural networker and I tend to keep in touch only with really close people or people who've had a significant impact on me. I find it somewhat draining and tiring to spread my arms and get to know more and more people and then keep in touch with them. Random connections and exchange of ideas are OK at times. (Because) For me, it is not sufficient to just know people - if I really want to keep that connection going, I need to keep in constant touch with them...else the relationship is not a relationship at all. And this is not possible if my network is too large. But I very well understand the importance of networking and knowing more people....for purposes of learning, getting things done etc. Do you think technology can really come to the rescue to help people like me? I do believe that once you become popular and famous, you don't really have to network. People then follow you wherever you go....your network follows you and keeps in touch with you without you having to put in a lot of effort.

Basically, I am thinking aloud and don't even know if I've made myself clear....nevertheless, if you can see through my rambling and share your thoughts and suggestions on this confusing question of mine, I'd be thrilled.

:-) Nimmy


I'll come back and post Patti's response to my 'question' if she decides to take it. :-) Meanwhile, let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

0 or 1? Leading a Digital Life....

"Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot." - D.H Lawrence

I like this quote....maybe because I have found myself doing this more often than not, especially at the start of my career. And then, warnings about politics and people dynamics and this and that threw a spanner in the wheel and made me pause every now and then and sometimes prevented me from being myself.........maybe there's no right or wrong to this...........but I guess the tendency is to follow one's heart or head depending on what kind of person one happens to be! ramble....ramble....ramble.......blah.

Entry into Entrepreneurship...

I like the way this post captures everything that's important in entrepreneurship.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Shake Up & Wake Up

Discovery time. Awesome. Simply awesome.
What? This.

And it comes to me at a time when I have seen quite a few similar (new and not so new) ideas emerging from many other things - books I've been reading, things I've been doing....etc. I am not sure whether this is the famous game that the human subconscious is known to play or just a 'coincidence' or a superior power at work.......but right now, I am not really bothered about getting behind the scene and discovering the hidden mechanisms. Just want to welcome the experience and soak in it.

The two common ideas that have been coming to me from various directions are these. Who knows, you too may need them now....

- Capitalize on your strengths. Do more stuff that leverages on your strengths and makes you feel better. Don't focus too much on your weaknesses. (In case some of you are wondering, this is not really 'running away from things' but 'accepting things'. End of the day, it most certainly is true that we are all naturally good at certain things). Now, I want to add that this is not just something for people who are focusing on their weaknesses more than they should but also for people who are not perhaps capitalizing on their strengths as much as they ought to. (This is an idea that has also come to me from Living the 80/20 Way and Warrior of Light)

- Stop being busy. Haah. Something I had a lot to say about in the recent past. I will not say anymore. The video says it a lot better. (Another thought advocated - directly or indirectly - by both the books I've mentioned above)

And, this is definitely not a replacement for the video, but I just want to list down the eight principles of fun so I can use it for recalling the contents of the video very quickly. And, btw, I think these are not just the eight principles of fun but also of achievement, success and happiness. If there's a single video that I'd have to recommend you to watch to shake up a dull and monotonous life, then this is undoubtedly the video I'd suggest. Here are the principles....

1. Find out who you are. What's your DNA? Know yourself.
2. Find out what's important to you and do that.
3. Stop following the rules.
4. Start scaring yourself.
5. Stop taking it all so damn seriously.
6. Start getting rid of the crap and the clutter.
7. Stop being busy. (Related to #2)
8. Start something. Take action.

Fabulous stuff!! And the genius who created this video also created this other thing that I think is almost equally thought-provoking. Here's to happy shaking-up and waking-up, then! ;-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Beautiful Vision

I recently attended a conference on "Women 2.0" (revolving around Women in the Technology Industry) on the occasion of Woman's Day - March 8th. Missed a few sessions in the first part of the day but caught up with some sessions in the afternoon. Quite a few interesting topics like Entrepreneurship, Juggling Professional & Personal Life, Feminine Leadership, Skill Building for Women, and Innovation were on the agenda in the afternoon.

To be honest, I guess I was not fully engaged all the time as the presence of a friend forced me to indulge in some chatting and giggling as well. But what I want to share here is something on innovation (a topic that gets me enormously excited, all the time, every time).

The session on Innovation was a panel discussion involving 3 women with many patents to their credit, a HR head, and a facilitator from an Innovation Consulting firm. As I sat listening to them, the facilitator revived my interest in the Aravind Eye Hospital (I've heard and read about it many a time and also got to read a really huge case study/story on this a year or so ago). She spoke about how Dr. Venkataswamy (the key person behind Aravind Eye Hospital) got innovative and learned from an industry nowhere related to the medical field** and succeeded in making a difference to many poor people across the country. She also mentioned about the availability of a video of the story on YouTube, that I'd not heard about before. (In case you're interested, I found it to be here). The video is nicely done and worth your time.

Two things about the story that strike me as fascinating and wonderful are that one can be inspired by something that is seemingly ridiculously irrelevant (the process of conducting surgical operations a la McDonald's business operations :-)) and Dr. Venkataswamy's thought at the end of the video - "Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must be the joy of doing something beautiful". Now, I am going to take the liberty of adding that "beautiful" here means something that touches people/society....something related to the welfare of people/world at large....something that one will feel proud of....something that makes life better, for many people!

** As I've reflected before on this blog, we should not underestimate the power of analogies in the area of innovation.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adhoc (pronounce like Haddock, please) Inspiration!

Have you read any of the famous Tintin comics (I think there are about 22 books...)? If you're out of your teens, I probably should not ask you if you enjoy reading Tintin, for in most cases, people seem to lose their fascination for comics once they come out of college. But I still love the Tintin comics and, some years ago, I invested a princely sum in getting the whole set.

pic from

If you're familiar with Tintin, you know there is a character called Captain Haddock (Tintin's best friend) who is quite entertaining. He gets angry pretty quickly and is known for his innovative curses. Two very famous and interesting expressions that Haddock uses whenever he gets emotional are "Ten thousand thundering typhoons" and "Billions of blue blistering barnacles". Inspired by these, I was trying to get my creative juices to flow and ended up inventing something "in between"(Between thousand and billion ;-)).

Here is what I came up with. Copyrights reserved! OK? Millions of mad, muddled, merry, mischievous and mesmerized monkeys. Probably many more Ms than what Captain Haddock might care for....but I believe in going the extra mile in everything I do (hey, the Ms in this statement are not intentional....just a mild coincidence). So, I patted myself on a job well done and made a note to use it whenever and wherever appropriate. I did use it 'on' a close friend (people gotta be quite close to me take such nonsense and not want to kill me) who fortunately lapped up the story of the monkeys and we even enjoyed a silly chat revolving around the expression.

Then, when I caught up with a nephew who has just stepped into his teens, I recalled that he is a big fan of Tintin and shared my expression with him. He nonchalantly accepted it as food for thought but went on to teach me to be better. I should have known not to try my nonsensically smart ideas with tomorrow's generation (Gen Z?). I am bound to be beaten to death. Anyways, the nephew taught me how the expression could be improved. He made it Millions of mad, muddled, merry, mischievous, mesmerized, mean, marvellous, and menacing monkeys on a mission from Mesopotamia. Want to join the game and try harder? Mind the Ms.

PS: I hope your expression right now isn't similar to that of Haddock's in the pic above.

Be Yourself

"Be who you are and say what you feel because people who mind don't matter and people who matter don't mind."- Zenyasi

Apart from this being sound advice for life in general, it also sounds like great advice on blogging to me. What? :-)

Friday, March 07, 2008


A few days ago, I rambled about how we (most of us) lead our we cram as much as possible into our lives and run like we are chased by pack of wolves and at the same time pulled by a team of wild horses. (How is that for helping you imagine the speed?) I opined that we'd probably lead fuller lives if we were to take life at a natural pace rather than pretend to be Mike Schumacher all the time (unless we were competing in a F1 race). But I wanted to hear from others on their own experiences as well....

Now, I am not claiming that what I said has a direct connection with the concept of achieving more by doing less. But I believe that digging a bit deeper and examining my subconscious thoughts very much suggests that. Anyways, here's the story that inspired this post. Yesterday, as I read the last page of the book 'Being Digital' by Nicholas Negroponte and subsequently peered into my bookshelf to decide which book to read next, the book I finally ended up opening was not quite what I had in my mind prior to finishing Being Digital. I'd earlier decided to pick up one of 5 books that were extremely beckoning. But I finally ended up pulling out the book "Living the 80/20 way" by Richard Koch. It was only after I flipped through the book did I realize that it had a connection with my recent post on the modern lifestyle. My grip on the book tightened and the corners of my mouth twitched as I began to think that I was being presented with answers to some of the questions I'd posed. I got quite excited about reading the book and am wondering if it'll indeed help me take off from where I left (in my post) and provide me with some valuable food for thought. I'll let you know. And I'll be honest; I'll not claim that the book is just what I needed now in order to defend what seems like terrific intuition at this point of time. :-)

PS: If you happen to have read this book, I guess you might want to say something to clear my mind. :-)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Google Sites

I wondered.....many a time......
And, well, I just heard about this....the Google KM ball has begun to roll..........wonder what else it will gather around it as it moves along....and wonder how fast it is going to roll....and wonder what it will destroy on the forth...

PS: I'd said "one year from now" in March last year and check out the timing of the Google Sites't fall at my feet.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Gallop? Sprint? Trot? Jog? Walk?

One particular story in the Warrior of Light makes me introspect about my work life so far. Actually, I am just thinking aloud here. Helps one realize things at times. There was a five-year time period (when I was with my previous employer) when I simply buzzed my way through every single day. I behaved like an ant out to collect a dozen years' ration in one short summer. I behaved like I had to achieve everything possible in those five years. I read, I wrote, I acted upon quite a lot of what I read, I evangelized, I overloaded myself, I worked in office, I worked at home, I worked during the weekends, I volunteered for almost everything, I cooked up ideas one after another....both mundane and magnificent (or so I thought ;-)), I tried everything possible, I invented something (that was definitely a pleasure), I churned out hundreds of power point presentations for the interested, amused, indifferent, and irritated audiences alike, wrote a few verbose white papers, presented at conferences and what not. In short, I ate, drank, and breathed KM. There was little else in my life. I don't know about tangible rewards I received as a result of all the obsession I had with work (and anyways, that was truly not what was on my mind when I ate, drank and breathed KM) but I did enjoy the journey and felt like I did something really significant for those 5 years. At times, there were those little voices (mainly friends' voices) which were telling me to not make my life so KM-centric but I guess I did not bother. Because I was enjoying myself. And honestly, I even felt guilty when I took short breaks away from KM unless those breaks were intended to help me come back to KM with a bang!

And then things unexpectedly changed. I put everything I had into one consulting assignment and then ended up in a state where I badly needed a break lest I suffer terribly for lack of mental and physical rest. So, I went ahead and took the longest 'break' ever and de-focused from KM for a long while. I think it was needed though initially I felt guilty about it. I wasn't in touch with all the KM feeds and articles and blogs that were screaming at the top of their voices....I ignored them to my own surprise. Somewhere inside, I felt that I would be able to bounce back and did not have to worry. The Warrior of Light calls it "Resting between battles". True. Every Warrior needs it. There are so many contradictory messages in modern times....people today - especially in the world of business - believe that life is one big race with minimal pit stops and breaks. 'Don't stop; you shall be run down if you do' is the mantra. I am not so sure. I think this is not the approach to take if we want to experience a fuller life. If we don't stop we don't even have the time and the wisdom to think about whether we are going in the right direction....whether we are doing the right thing and whether we are doing it right...whether we are doing everything that our heart wants us to do or just heading towards one goal that may not really matter at the end of the day. It may be true sometimes that we are doing the right things and doing it right, but despite it being so....we ought not to let ourselves make it too long a run. There needs to be a REAL break that consciously takes us away from the path we were pursuing for a while. Also, when we come back, assured that we are indeed doing what we want to really do, the breaks and a slower, more gradual approach gives, I believe, greater joy.

I think modern life has conditioned us too much towards accomplishing everything in 1/10 th of a lifetime. I don't think that's good. Savouring the journey rather than galloping like mad, thinking through things, rejoicing achievements (small and big), rewarding oneself....these are probably better ways of enjoying not just the run towards the goal but also life in general. We need to draw a line between laziness and a gradual and thoughtful approach towards our goals. The world around us may run like a mad it makes things tougher for the people who want to think about life and enjoy the 'little' joys it provides....but it is just a matter of confidence, conviction and faith before we learn to not let the rest of the world condition us.

End of rambling a.k.a introspection. I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts on this one. I really want to hear more stories that weigh the pros and cons of a fast life versus 'natural' (rather than slow) life. Will you please share some of your stories? :-)

Warrior of Light

I can't forgive myself for not getting my hands on this book earlier than this. Been reading Paulo Coelho's Manual of the Warrior of Light and can't stop wondering why I wasn't alert enough to pick up this book when I first heard about (and read) The Alchemist many years ago. Anyways, I guess sometimes books come to you when you're 'good' for them. This isn't a silly and convenient explanation for what has happened but I really believe this is so. A simple example of this, in retrospective, is the order in which I get to read my own book-collection. I have such a huge collection of books that I need to spend some time to even choose one of the books from my own bookshelf - as I consume them lazily one after another. As a consequence, sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised by a book that I happen to read two years (shameful, eh?) after I've purchased the book! Anyways, the Warrior of Light is a gem. Full of wisdom. Perhaps inspired by the Bhagavad Gita apart from other conventional spiritual wisdom from across the globe. I am enjoying it. :-)