Friday, September 30, 2011

Success or Joy

A young and budding singer gets contradictory advice from established singers in the same forum. While one e.s stresses that he must not focus on showing (or tapping into) his talent but understand what constitutes winning (=mass acceptance), another e.s says the mark of a 'true musician' is to sing for 'himself' (my interpretation: do what is 'right' and do something simply for its challenging experience). This is likely to be a never-ending dilemma for some of us, irrespective of our professions.


Great article on Daily OM -

Because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Just because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. However, part of the way that something becomes popular is that many of us don’t take the time to determine what’s right for us; we simply do what most of the people we know are doing. In this way, our decisions about life are made by default, which means they aren’t what we call conscious decisions. There may be many other options available, but we don’t always take the time to explore them. This may be the result of feeling overwhelmed or pressured by family, peers, and humanity at large, to do things their way, the way things have always been done. Regardless of the cause, it is important that, as often as we can, we decide for ourselves what to do with our lives rather than just drift along on the current of popular opinion.

It is not always easy to make decisions that go against the grain. Many people feel threatened when those close to them make choices divergent from the ones they are making. Parents and grandparents may be confused and defensive when we choose to raise our children differently from the way they raised us. Friends may feel abandoned if we decide to change our habits or behavior. Meanwhile, on our side of the fence, it’s easy to feel frustrated and defensive when we feel unsupported and misunderstood simply because we are thinking for ourselves. It can be exhausting to have to explain and re-explain our points of view and our reasons.

This is where gentleness, openness, and tolerance come into play. It helps if we are calmly persistent, consistent, and clear as we communicate to those around us why we are making the choices we are making. At the same time, we have the right to say that we are tired of talking about it and simply need our choices to be respected. Our lives belong to us and so do our decisions. Those who truly love us will stand by us and support our choices, never mind what’s popular. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Management Theory, Anyone?

Absolutely loved this article. Feast for thought...! (Link and extracts below)

The Management Myth - Magazine - The Atlantic
    • One of the distinguishing features of anything that aspires to the name of science is the reproducibility of experimental results
      • Another, even more fundamental feature of science—here I invoke the ghost of Karl Popper—is that it must produce falsifiable propositions
        • Over the past century Taylor’s successors have developed a powerful battery of statistical methods and analytical approaches to business problems. And yet the world of management remains deeply Taylorist in its foundations.
          • Much of management theory today is in fact the consecration of class interest—not of the capitalist class, nor of labor, but of a new social group: the management class.
            • Each new fad calls attention to one virtue or another—first it’s efficiency, then quality, next it’s customer satisfaction, then supplier satisfaction, then self-satisfaction, and finally, at some point, it’s efficiency all over again
              • But what happened to such stalwarts as McKinsey, which generated millions in fees from Enron and supplied it with its CEO?
                • Our firm wasn’t about bureaucratic control and robotic efficiency in the pursuit of profit. It was about love
                  • “R-I-P. Rip, shred, tear, mutilate, destroy that hierarchy,” said ├╝ber-guru Tom Peters, with characteristic understatement
                    • The lessons Mayo drew from the experiment are in fact indistinguishable from those championed by the gurus of the nineties: vertical hierarchies based on concepts of rationality and control are bad; flat organizations based on freedom, teamwork, and fluid job definitions are good.
                      • On further scrutiny, however, it turned out that two workers who were deemed early on to be “uncooperative” had been replaced with friendlier women
                        • It was a way of harnessing the workers’ sense of identity and well-being to the goals of the organization, an effort to get each worker to participate in an ever more refined form of her own enslavement.
                          • The Taylorite rationalist says: Be efficient! The Mayo-ist humanist replies: Hey, these are people we’re talking about! And the debate goes on
                            • In most managerial jobs, almost everything you need to know to succeed must be learned on the job
                              • No,” he said, shaking his head with feigned chagrin. “There are only three forces in this case. And two of them are in the Finance Ministry.”
                                • but the point is rather lost if students come away imagining that you can go home once you’ve put all of your eggs into a two-by-two growth-share matrix.
                                  • Taylor’s pig iron case was not a description of some aspect of physical reality—how many tons can a worker lift? It was a prescription—how many tons should a worker lift? The real issue at stake in Mayo’s telephone factory was not factual—how can we best establish a sense of teamwork? It was moral—how much of a worker’s sense of identity and well-being does a business have a right to harness for its purposes?

                                  Friday, September 16, 2011

                                  Death of Deprivation

                                  Deprivation of Love is death of the Soul
                                  Deprivation of Knowledge is death of the Mind
                                  Deprivation of Trust is death of the Heart

                                  Deprivation of air, water and food is death of the Body
                                  Deprivation of Freedom is death of Individuality 
                                  Deprivation of Conversations is death of Relationships

                                  Death of Deprivation is all we need.

                                  Give your Children all you've got. Because you're all they've got. Happy Families are the foundation of a happy world. 

                                  PS: Update: (Optional ;-))

                                  Deprivation of Encouragement is death of Confidence
                                  Deprivation of Travel is death of Wonder
                                  Deprivation of Financial Assistance is death of Choice

                                  Tuesday, September 06, 2011

                                  Misfits - Umair Haque


                                  Inspiring article from one of my current favorite writers, Umair Haque. 


                                  It's not that every misfit accomplishes something fundamentally unexpectedly awesome (for example, yours truly). And it certainly is the case that misfits have also been some of history's greatest villains. But it's also probable that most things unexpected, radical, and breathtakingly awesome take just a little bit of nonconformity; just a little bit of dissatisfaction with "the way things are.

                                  Hence, I'd say: the biggest and most unforgivable crime industrial age institutions commit againstour humanity is to deny us the freedom of our own singular humanity. They stifle us at every turn, fitting us into neat boxes, relentlessly and brutally pressuring us — when they're not pulverizing us — to conform, obey, fit in, toe the party line.

                                   If we had more freedom of individualism in organization, we'd have less politics, bureaucracy, jargon, time-wasting, wheel-spinning, and an almost embarrassing level of hubris that would have put Icarus to shame — and veritable monsoons more humility, imagination, creativity, empathy, trust, respect, wisdom.

                                  We need those free thinkers. In fact, in a world where perma-crisis seems to be the status quo, by which our so called leaders seem paralyzed and hopelessly confused, we've never needed the misfits more.