Saturday, May 30, 2009

Knowledge convergence-a spiritual maturity!

Convergence of Technologies is a much hyped subject. There can be no doubt that the convergence of communication and Information Technology changed the world through Internet. I remember when I looked at amazement the "Two In One" (Radio and tape recorder) when I was young. But today's mobile phones are no doubt remaining to be mobiles but less of phones. The concept of having one equipment to be a camera, radio, music system, internet etc is such a powerful convergence that is changing the landscape of the world. On its way like computers overran typewriters ( and a brief life of electronic typewriters) SMS capabilities of mobile phones overran an interim invention called Pagers (I don't know how many remember them. I do remember as I got this in 1996 and had it for a year..I also remember my boss who will call sales people with a one hour notice to be in a particular place to check if indeed people are in field...a doubting boss is pain in every part as most will agree).
When reflect the technology convergence, I also think of convergence of Knowledge. There has been a gradual build of knowledge among not so very connected civilizations-from Indus Valley, Sumerian, Egyptian etc. Each civilization has acquired knowledge and passed on to next generation. Maybe it was not as easy as cut/paste technology of today but indeed a lot of hard work where some knowledge was lost but a lot of knowledge was polished and enhanced. Be it Astronomy, mathematics, science, engineering or medicine-each field of knowledge grew either independently or closely twined. The close twining was driven by philosophers who were looking at similarities between not so similar fields. So it is safe to assume that most of the greatest minds that gave knowledge breakthroughs for humanity are philosophers (that is one extra reason I have great interest in this field).
Philosophy without religion is very difficult to imagine as in most civilizations they were and are interlinked. For sure this is not exactly linked to definition of God as several mature philosophers recognized that a non believer of God belongs to the religion of Non Believers but is still a philosopher if he tries to find himself or find truth which helps mankind. Most great Philosophers were not great advocates of a particular religion. So several scientists who are actively involved in unlocking the puzzle of life or the power of mind are indeed philosophers in their own right.
Convergence of knowledge is a path to spiritual maturity is my firm belief. For example Case studies became an effective way to prove a particular course of treatment is working in medical field. They were emulated by Management courses as indeed even if the conclusions can be different there is a learning in each case study.This business cycle will provide enough fodder for case studies I am sure as most companies are loosing balance as they are too late to react.
Looking at similarity between radically different situations and getting a flash is the ability of great minds. This is the first clear sign of spirituality as it goes even above the Maslow's hierarchy as a crown. If someone wants to gain maturity in spirituality-there is just one thing they need to practice...convergence of knowledge. Don't oversimplify but Simplify as there is a common denominator for all life. Inventing something is important but inventing self is even more important.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Motivate this complete?

People orientation is a lot discussed subject.Though there can be different opinions by researchers, this one aspect has an unanimous agreement-a great leader should be a people's person. To inspire people and to lead them is part of a leaders role. When there is an issue on hand, a crisis, a situation wanting a clear leadership role-then leaders emerge to guide and set the group on track. However in business as usual situation this need is less felt by the group as there is a strong belief that nothing can go wrong. This sense of security provides room for high inertia which will include a situation "Nothing seems to motivate people". Leaders have a tougher job to drive changes if this becomes an organization culture. The longer a company has survived and lesser crisis faced the more likely this culture will develop.
First let us address the subject " Motivate people" this really required is a question. For sure a leader has to create the right environment, clear objectives and backed with right resources..but if people are not motivated to deliver because of no explicit reasons then it is time to act. Usually HR will tell-apart from above we need Rewards and recognition programs which is very critical to drive changes. Yes..but R&R programs should be used with care as it sure motivates certain types of employees but not all. When motivation is a explicit question then usually work attitudes are also implicit question. Times like this are real opportunities to challenge work attitudes to create positive change. To look it from sustaining motivation using R&R is treating the symptoms and not holistic enough. For it takes years to change attitudes of people, especially when it is ingrained as an organization culture. But unless we make an effort it will remain as an Achilles Heal for the organization.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Survival of the fittest-continued!!

The logic of give and take is clearly the key to survival and strength which is underlined in my last post. However while the natural forces work with a clear logic of prioritization in the path of evolution this is not necessarily true in organizational settings. There are several extraneous factors and politics which create imbalances in favor or against give and take. The central control factor or leadership plays a very key role here. It is good that most times leadership takes an ambiguous stand allowing the concerned to resolve issues(reflecting true spirit of decentralized management)-this does not result in step changes as the process is very painful with each trying to justify and protect their own turf. The current economic slowdown for example can be taken as a situation similar to environment changes (sudden like a volcanic eruption) forcing evolution at a quick pace. This forces organizations to review the internal setups and come with some radical changes. In some companies even the pre-study shows very small opportunities as the people involved in pre-study are themselves concerned parties. Most of them describe that the opportunities are similar to Cheese slicing...and this is complete nonsense as per me. The opportunities exist and it is for people to have an open mind to see it. Even if pre-studies come with opportunities the implementation takes for ever and by the time implementation starts probably there is some positive signals in environment further slowing the evolution. This is a situation which is both dangerous for the organization's long term survival and a challenge to the leadership to drive positive changes. For sure a change is always painful especially when it is quick. But not to make changes is even more painful..imagine if we continue to walk with tails and someone stamping on your tail as you walk or you get tripped by another tail. Quite amusing to think but it makes sense that we don't have tail in hindsight. If it was given to individual choices then maybe the evolution will still be happening(and we may have longest tail competitions etc).
Therefore it is important to accelerate evolution which is possible with a strong directional leadership which fosters collaboration. The collaboration should negate all the "Passive resistance"(everyone agrees but none move-happy meetings,same agenda every time) syndrome which is the most dangerous pandemic in organizations. This creates stagnation as people live in their comfort zones (with tails for example) and never look at each problem as an opportunity as they are very much in their own little world. There will also be a tendency to push for over optimization in areas which are easy by the same people but create long term disadvantages. This should be noticed early and even at the cost of being called dictatorial there should be loud and clear mandates with time lines. Nothing works better than "Act the talk"...leaders should review those who are in their immediate teams and show the door to people who are actively or passively championing the slow progress by being defensive or justifying status quo in organization changes. To make a change is a matter of attitude, to drive a change is a matter of follow up and to be the change is a matter of passion.

About Me

My photo
Gothenburg, Sweden
Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!