Monday, June 30, 2008

Fighting the 'right' battle...?

Umm!! Makes me think....

"Ideas within companies are like people within companies. It doesn't matter how good thy are, there has to be a cultural fit or else it's a complete waste of time; you're just fighting a losing battle." - Hugh Macleod

Note: From here

No point wasting energy fighting a battle that we know we are most probably going to lose sooner or later....because we are flowing against the current! On the other hand, if we are someone blessed with an enormous sense of purpose, determination, courage, intelligence and so forth, we could most certainly continue without batting an eyelid and by deriving energy from within ourselves, for sooner or later the one who wins is the one who perseveres! (Hehheee! :-)). So, what the hell am I trying to say here? We adopt the latter approach...this is the crux.....only if the consequences are worth it, or in other words, the sense of purpose referred to is something to be proud of.....or perhaps worth dying for!

This one's a related previous post of mine....

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thoughts on Thoughts

Every moment, you have a create a thought or destroy a thought in you. - Swami Chinmayananda

I suspect it's hard to be 'thoughtless'. There's always something that our minds must be feeding on. But there are certain situations when we just experience the moment (spiritually) and do not think (analyse, judge, understand, compare) about it - maybe, when we are with a loved one, amidst nature, playing with a child and so on. Are these the moments when we feel one with everything in the world and fall in love with life? Are these the moments when we feel true joy? I'd, ironically, think so. Which means I am not dismissing thoughts. Experiences (as referred to here) make us forget we are mortals...they take us to a much higher level of consciousness. But thoughts take us through everyday life and cater to our fundamental human nature. And, it looks like we do need thoughts, or perhaps a higher version of thoughts, to tell us the difference between things we experience spiritually and things we only think about.

Thoughts can create. Thoughts can destroy. Powerful thoughts can hinder default experience. E.g: People who don't feel one with nature are probably thinking overtime. But like most spiritual leaders tell us, we can learn to master our thoughts and create or destroy them by beckoning our higher self. We can shape our thoughts to be constructive and creative rather than destructive. We can determine them and in turn see positive results flow through our life rather than let the thoughts take over and shrug as if we are helpless. Making that choice to entertain the right kind of thoughts though is quite challenging and requires us to work really hard at the spiritual level.

Talking of thoughts, I must bring up something that's been on my mind for your consideration. However primitive, naive and unintelligent this may sound, I think there is some merit in what I am about to mention. I think even unexpressed thoughts of people around us (apart from our own thoughts) influence our life - I believe thoughts have so much power that they affect us even if they've not been directed at us with the intention of influencing us. Thoughts perhaps result in vibrations around their owners and probably 'interact' with the thoughts of other people and tend to build on or modify or destroy each other depending on which of the thoughts are dominant/stronger. I read somewhere that the Universe knows not what is good or just takes in all the thoughts that come to it and processes it without any bias whatsoever. Which is why you have all sorts of things happening in the world. And as popularized by Paulo Coelho, the universe simply conspires to help you achieve whatever you want - wherein I'd like to add - irrespective of whether it is 'good' or 'bad' for you. It just means your thoughts have to be the strongest if you want to achieve what you want. Nothing else should be able to penetrate your thought vibrations!

Apart from the strength of our thoughts, what I've expressed above also makes me believe in the importance of the company we keep, the discussions and debates we indulge in, what we read and react to, how much we help others and want others' happiness (which in turn determines their thoughts towards us) and so on and forth. The world moves on the wheels of thoughts (except those that are too weak to survive)......sooner or later, I am sure a thought is either converted into action or modified/changed, or merged with another thought or destroyed. What thoughts enter our mind may not be completely controlled by us. But the choice of what we do with it and how we treat it is ours...! The good news maybe that, progressively, the way we treat the thoughts that come to us will then allow us to determine which new thoughts will be allowed to enter and be processed and which will be shooed away right at the doorstep of our minds?

How might we strengthen our thoughts and entertain the right kind of thought? Perhaps through deep introspection and reading (and listening to) people who help us introspect by provoking us in a positive way.

KM is not for all organizations....

If you're passionate about Knowledge Management, I think one of the most important things that you need to find out before joining an organization is whether they are really serious about KM and whether they believe KM is as important as selling what they produce. (Why? Because KM helps make better products, sell more products more convincingly and serve customers better once the products are sold).

If they don't find the time to think and discuss what needs to be done to manage knowledge and if they don't mind dragging it along in whatever pathetic shape it is in because they think selling per se is more important (And this philosphy simply means KM will go nowhere because selling per se will always be considered more important than KM) and if they don't want to utilize their intelligence to set up a smart KM system (people, process and technology) and if they don't want to motivate their knowledgeable employees to share, collaborate, learn and reuse as much as they motivate them to perform as individuals and make money for the organization, KMers are bound to be bugged at the end of the day.

Find an organization that believes in KM (at least understands the why if not the what and the how), packs a solid punch into the role, is ready to put a team behind the face of KM, associates KM with its core business activities and tracks KM activities as much as it tracks its Profit and Loss report or its Assets and Liabilities report. Which is why reporting knowledge assets as part of the A&L report may be a good way to get started....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

World Song

Zeph pointed me to this wonderful video on YouTube. It is oh so adorable! Brimming with happiness and enthusiasm for life....! :-) How I wish I'd had an opportunity to join them when they danced (ok, if you like accuracy, moved a leg or two in a haphazard manner) in India. How could Matt miss out Bangalore? :-(

Monday, June 23, 2008

More on Mistakes...

Here we, what are the other thoughts I want to share with ya folks on the theme of Mistakes?

- All of us have made mistakes and will make mistakes in future as well. There's no escaping it. However, how we and others around us react/respond to the mistakes we make determines how much we learn, enjoy and experience life as we move on. Sometimes, we forgive ourselves for our mistakes but people around us don't. Handling such a situation could be tricky as it is less under our control and more about others' perceptions and attitudes. Sometimes, it may even result in a loss of trust in us, and that means we must work doubly hard to set things right. Succumbing to the pressure when in such situations can only make things worse. (Having an understanding and encouraging family (friends, colleagues) therefore may make a world of difference) In this context, I must share some verses I came across in an old Tamil song that touched my heart - When you do something inappropriate, if you do it unknowingly, it is a mistake. But if you do it knowingly, it is 'wrong'. When you make a mistake, you must look back and learn from it. And when you do something 'wrong', you must correct yourself and learn from it. In Tamil, these verses are an alliteration and rhyme as well - so, it sounds a lot more awesome when narrated in Tamil than in English. And I think one of the most unfortunate things about how others react to our mistakes is based on their interpretation of whether we made a mistake or did something 'wrong' and also about how much it affects them at a personal level. When it affects someone at a personal level, emotions take over and logic or understanding take a lower seat.

- Here's the KM angle to it - if a 'Mistakes' graph were to be plotted - with the number of mistakes that one makes on the Y axis and Time/Learning on the X axis - the area and the shape/direction of the graph would depend, among other things, on the balance that one draws between learning on one's trial and error....and learning from others. Learning from others and through observation certainly helps the graph move in the downward direction with progress on the X axis. But sometimes making a mistake becomes essential to learn something in totality - and a lesson learnt thus is more effective and closer to one's heart as it comes through personal experience and not a belief in something outside of our own experience. The self-learning approach may also lead to a surprise discovery.

- Not letting mistakes scare one, or make one feel ashamed, ignorant, or insecure I guess is critical if one wants to move on with life and achieve something in the long run. In the past, I have let mistakes I made dictate and prevent me from moving forward and that has been a greater regret than anything else. But, ironically, making the mistake of letting a mistake dictate has itself been a realization that I have learned from and have been able to work on in certain cases.

- I have nothing much to say about mistakes that are tragical in heart weeps for such situations and people involved in them. Sadly, many a time, I believe the situation ends up on a tragic note, not because of the mistake itself but in fact because of the reaction of the people involved. I wish people (including myself) were more sensible, tolerant, patient and forgiving in such circumstances. This is where a spiritual orientation helps.

- Controlled enthusiasm and passion for the activity may, I suspect, reduce the chances of one making mistakes. The right kind of guidance and encouragement will, of course, prevent mistakes from being made and moreover facilitate easy recovery from mistakes. Absence of an Ego in people around you will prevent them from pointing out mistakes repeatedly and saying "I told you so!". Count yourself lucky if you have such a family/friends!

Hey, where am I going with this? No idea, actually. Random ramblings. Let me stop here before I make the mistake of "Paralysis through Analysis!" but let me end with something positive ;-)

- End of the day, let's not be afraid of mistakes, making mistakes, and the consequences of making mistakes. Let's have the confidence and the attitude to learn from our mistakes and move on with even more enthusiasm and a determination to conquer those mistakes! Let's neither defend our mistakes nor glorify them! Let's share our mistakes with others so it helps them as much as possible! :-) We perhaps need the maximum strength when we go through the initial phases of learning, which is where we tend to make the most number of mistakes and the most horrible of mistakes! :-)

Friday, June 20, 2008


Aaaahhh! I said this (ref: first line) a bit too early. The swing has moved again. But this time, it's not "my work". This introspective post is from Jack's blog....I like it and can relate to it quite a lot because I have been working towards overcoming my fear of traffic (India's traffic, I must specify) for the past few weeks. And I must say, I can see quite a lot of improvement only because I first decided to take the plunge and drive through it and subsequently kept at it despite making mistakes. Though Jack mentions only the name of the book and not the author, I was happy with myself for recognizing that it was Eknath's writing immediately after reading through the excerpt in the post. And not the least because Eknath shares a large number of stories that reflect his grandmother's teachings.

PS: I think I'll come back and share some personal thoughts on mistakes in the next post...worth thinking and considering if one wants to improve one's quality of life....and well, there is quite a bit of association between mistakes and knowledge management! :-)

PS2: Just noticed that Bill has also linked to Jack's post and added something really awesome to it - about developing the habit of learning something new and not being ashamed of ignorance if one intends to get rid of it. Go read this one as well! :-)

Changing Gears

I'm going high on humorous posts of late! And, I love it! Especially after the heavy dose of philosophy and idealism over the past few weeks. Akin to changing the blogging gears?! Meanwhile, read about the little brat who wanted to change gears for her father, literally. :-D

A cousin's daughter (3-year old) who is reputed to be capable of destroying galaxies with her fearless retorts and even physical prowess (biting and lashing out at people who got in her way) was home for a day and I nervously kept an eye on the fragile and delicate things in my room lest they be reduced to their atoms. But, very soon, I forgot about preserving my things and started enjoying her antics. She made faces at herself in the mirror, walked in a style that was a strange combination of a gymnast's and a stylish Indian movie hero's, moved with the speed of a cheetah and so on. But what really amused me no end was her dad's narration of something that happened when he was learning to drive. He was apparently having a difficult time trying to coordinate everything amidst the ruthless traffic and our little friend silently observed her dad for a while and then said something that would have never ever occurred to any of us. She looked at him and confidently suggested that he concentrate on just keeping his legs on the pedals (clutch, brake and acc) and holding the steering wheel and that she could take care of changing the gears. After a pause, she went on to assure her dad that she already knew how the gear had to be moved..."Like this and like this, right?"

I rolled around and bumped into a few objects as I laughed. Children....!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I thought I thaw a cockroath!!

Yesterday morning, I woke up to see a dying cockroach (on second thoughts, was it just intoxication or perhaps a new form of insect dance?) . (S)he was on her/his back - rotating, partially revolving and generally vibrating in multiple directions at the rate of ~32 shakes per minute. Doesn't sound particularly pleasing, I know....but well, honestly, I have to admit that the sight did make me sigh in relief. Hold on, please, before you report me to the Blue Cross. I have some good reasons why, apart from the fact that I do perhaps tend to talk about such things in a light manner due to my being a cartoon & animation freak.

The aforementioned cockroach had been troubling me quite a bit for some days now. No idea from where (s)he came and no idea how (s)he grew into such Goliath proportions. That reminds me, I need to check my food supplies and maybe my wardrobe supplies as well!! I first spotted him (sorry, don't feel like making life difficult for myself and say him/her every time....let's assume it's a him from now on) on the curtains just behind my iPod dock....and was terrified he may decide to dock himself there forever. Then, I spotted him scampering across the room many a time, running under the bed, dancing around the chair, hiding near the washing bag and so on and forth. The story was, you could say, akin to Looney Tunes' Tweety (the bird) spotting Sylvester (the evil cat) every now and then (the latter intending to gobble up the former on every occasion) and saying "I thought I thaw a Puthy Cath!!". Any more such cockroach spotting and I would have certainly started waking up in the middle of the night to say "I thought I thaw a cockroath!"

Anyway, I am not sure if he (the cockroach, I mean....I have introduced so many characters in here that you may have forgotten the original story and its hero) was trying to explore every bit of my room in order to decide how many of his relatives and friends he could possibly invite into the room. So, after having seen too much of him and feared the growth of his community, I was beginning to hope that I would see the last of him and his long and frantically inquisitive antennae. Which brings me back to the episode yesterday morning. As the cockroach shook from antennae to tail (insect-tail), I looked on, unable to believe what I was seeing (sturdy creatures like cockroaches are not so easily vanquished, you know). It finally dawned upon me that this was a golden opportunity to send him packing. So, I advertised and beckoned to brave family members to help transport the cockroach to the outside world. As one family member who volunteered to do the job, however, took her own sweet time to finish the task at hand and begin the proceedings, I politely informed her that I did not believe that the situation was one wherein she was a doctor and the cockroach a patient that had an appointment with her and would therefore willingly wait till her arrival. She dismissed my wonderful analogy with a wave of the hand and then armed the same hand with a mean-looking broom from somewhere and entered my room, ready for the battle. To her credit, she won the battle but in the process, applied the broom over quite a few things in the room, much to my controlled dismay. As I saw the last portion of the giant cockroach disappear into the world outside, I returned from where I was hiding and went about my routine with a smile and a song on the lips. Though, I did not continue singing through the day as the victory was soon forgotten. But, if destiny had been kinder to me, I believe I would have woken up today and started singing the same or maybe a more melodious song if I'd recalled the fact that there would be no more intrusions from the cockroach. Destiny, however, had other plans. It imitated the recently ousted cockroach's behaviour. Things turned upside down. This is how. When I opened the bathroom door this morning, a cockroach, very similar to the one described above, was menacingly poised near the sink. Needless to say, it will take a while before the situation sinks in. And hey, just a minute, I thought I thaw a cockroath!!.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Importance of Chicken! ;-)

Hilarious! :-) Hahahhahahaaaaa!!!

Powerpoint makes Chicken (in)famous!!


A friend shared some humorous quotes recently. Thought I'd pass on those that made me laugh out loud! :D

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized that The Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole one and asked himto forgive me. "Erno Philips (This isn't definitely an approach that should be advocated...but honestly, the first time I read it, I found it quite funny..!)

" We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up." Phyllis Diller (God! ROFL)

" I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens. " Woody Allen (Trust Woody to come up with such things)

" Have you noticed that all the people in favor of birth control are already born ? "Benny Hill (Hilarious!!)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No answers....

When you're leading a corporate life, the goal of the bigger entity is to obviously make money. And, most of the smaller entities (read employees, partners etc) have their own vested interests (either financial or otherwise) and are likely to attempt to get everything to be aligned with their own interests. Damn the bigger entity. There is no real bigger entity, many a time. So, people don't respect something that does not 'exist'. Efficiency and effectiveness, under such circumstances, is like reaching for the stars. There are just too many things outside your control, difficult to perceive or understand, difficult to direct etc. The only vision is to make money. If one wants to do something noble and awesome in order to improve the bigger entity, one can only attempt and hope that the rest of the system falls in place gradually if not immediately. What's more, trying to be ideal and perfect does not always have a positive impact on the organization. It is like adding milk to water. And sometimes, the milk spills. Doesn't make the fluid any better. Just moves from being colourless to whiteish in colour.

But when one pursues a goal that's non-financial or let's say spiritually-oriented (as opposed to companies existing to make a profit), the story is different. What you does touches people is not about material benefits that don't deliver in the long run or brainwashing people to buy things they don't really need. (There are exceptions though....e.g: pharmaceuticals, construction etc). The bigger entity itself is milk...not water. Adding milk to milk is good. You find it worthwhile to be a part of such an entity. Increases the quantity of milk, at least. Even if there's a little bit of water in such an entity, it fortunately does not do much damage to the liquid as a whole. And it's much easier to prevent the water from being added to the milk than converting water into milk. So, isn't it better for people wishing to do something good, to stay away from corporates and join social organizations that aim to make a difference to people's lives rather than just increase the creation and distribution of money? On a related note, was life during barter better? :-)

PS: I haven't attempted to refine this post. I think I could have written it much better....but I am not in a mood to take the rawness out of it. Also, there's more material that needs to be added to this post...some points that I've left untouched. If you can relate to the gist of what I am saying, I am sure you'll add a comment... ;-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Back in BanGALORE....

I am back! :-) But there's so much to catch up with!! Hoping that I will be able to get back into the necessary, but not so appreciated, routine's funny, but, I am thinking that there seems to be a categorical need to re-establish one's regular routine when one comes back from a break (of any sort) before thinking of doing something fresh and new....routine seems to be the foundation on which new walls are built....lack of routine makes one feel like one's building castles in the air....true or what?

PS: I have some interesting material that I should be converting into a blog post....but will need some time to shape that into a sensible, hold on...! :)