Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I have always been intrigued by the promotion of India as Incredible India. Being a regular traveller across different places (contrary to popular belief that Travel expands your knowledge horizons, I personally think that it actually makes you realize that all people are the same-emotionally and underlying culturally. We meet about 1% bad people (on unlucky days..this concentration varies by continents), 1% extremely nice people but 98% normal people who want to be undisturbed but don't disturb others too) I dare to compare.(sorry again for making a long sentence...but this time I have the right punctuations hopefully).
Culturally diverse, plenty of languages, noisy, less concern for privacy etc make India a unique place. But they all cling to a Nationhood which is a concept than a reality. The concept will live long as it is from a free mind as regional, local aspirations are never given up when taking this concept as part of life. This makes India incredible. When I was young I was almost converted to communism by a good friend of mine. One day I saw him dejected and when probed he told me that Communism does not promote free expressions and he cannot imagine how he can cope with this. Strange but true-freedom of expression is a right which when curbed can never survive as a philosophy in India. The fact that there have been several religions, cultures imported into India but still the originality of Indian culture remains despite so much disparities of wealth is an indication that this freedom is the lifeline of Indian thinking. Bollywood will continue to the biggest Industry in world despite the best efforts as India is Incredible. I remember reading a statement by Taliban" Democracy is Anti islamic". This is a sufficient reason why a true Indian will not accept Taliban or any other extreme right parties. If freedom of expression(in its extremes sometimes) is curbed then Indianness is touched in a wrong way and people will conspire to make it fail. There can be several reasons why the seemingly lazy, socially less conscious majority citizens will take a long time to change-but it is the diversity that gives the lessons to modern democracies. Maybe it is not a necessary condition that equality should be there to having thriving democracies. There should be the mind set of society that wants to be heard with full freedom. Freedom is the foundation of democracy and we have that in India though in varying scales. Maoists and other terrorist organizations can strive hard but they cannot take this DNA out of the Indians. That is India is Incredible and no other country is. May sound bombastic but most facts sound this way initially.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Emailing-boon or bane!!

Everyday I receive about 90 emails...10 addressed to me, 20 generally addressed to a lot of people, rest copy marked to me (for information etc).
By default most of the people "Reply to all" to avoid being called less communicative or it is easier to press this button than pick the phone to clarify. Whatever be the case the quantity of communication is much more than it was some years ago. Escalations happen without giving an opportunity for the person concerned to clarify or rectify building pressures on support functions in particular. There is no doubt this positive pressure helps to increase the response time but it also creates a sense of overlap as several e savvy bosses who cannot resist to comment on every email enter the scenario mostly quite early liquidating their powers.
Let us look at types of emails that arrive in a day. Some of them are fire fighting tones, some of them are factual tones but most of them are pushing the responsibility to someone else with a cautionary clauses etc. Ownership is clearly thought to be shifted with emails but in several cases this is just a feeling. I know very good hands on people who deliver results don't respond to emails promptly but always deliver as they are glued to ground level and are there for people who matter showing full commitment and support. At the sametime there are floaters/survivors who ensure whatever be the outcome they act like consultants with their emailing skills and get credit which they don't deserve, get away from ownership when it is a debit. This is a short term paradox most organizations face as it takes time to understand that it is inaction which is covered by emails. If someone is passionate about something then he moves with hands on approach is a fact. But if someone is passionate about commenting intending to escape responsibility then he does manage this with emails but stands exposed at ground level. He can never be a people's person and he can never have a team which stands for him. He may please bosses with a pleasing "everything is possible" slogan but very soon the bitter truths stands exposed. The options the person has is to change jobs at short intervals or hopes his bosses change jobs frequently.
Emails like several other tools are fantastic tools but does not replace inability to stay glued to the operations and ground level realities. It creates temporary satisfaction in minds of people of people who get immense satisfaction of over communication and exemplify their working by prompt responses to every email. Actions matter the most and if a email is a mask for inaction's you can be sure that it will stand exposed by your own conscience sooner than later. Therefore if you choose to reply all or reply to a email in defensive think twice as it is maybe the start of a bane which you are building unconsciously.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pollination-a way to spread Knowledge!

Global organizations always find it extremely difficult to manage a natural way to spread Knowledge-or connecting knowledge as it is more popularly known.
Older people in developed economies know a lot by experience, by being part of evolution or by being the concept originators. They are an asset to the organization and there is no question about the value they bring in. How willing are they wanting to spread this knowledge to newer economies, how much they want to hand hold is another topic-usually it is very little willingness to part with knowledge. There can be several reasons-insecurity, let them learn the hard way or the standard reason used is "there is no willingness to learn and adapt to our standards". This last one is true to some extent as most new economies have young people who are faced with aggressive managers with a zeal to deliver quick results-make it work somehow is the mandate they have. This makes them focus on day to day more than trying to extract knowledge lying elsewhere-primarily driving out standardization.
The byproduct of this when there are initiatives like training or competence building there is not many people from these emerging economies representing as they see little value. This is a real challenge as it proves the theory of the experts for not dissipating knowledge. An approach leaders can take is what I call as "Pollination" approach. When I walk in the roads last 2 months in Sweden-there is so much of pollens in air. Some land inside noses making us sneeze or even worse creates allergies. Bottomline is a lot go waste but some land in right places and germinate to sustain next generation of their life. If a plant thinks that 98% of its pollens are a waste so stop this activity then the next generation is gone. Similarly a leader should accept that a lot of knowledge connecting activities will be not well received by most but will impact a few in a very positive way. These positive spirals will re-inforce more positive spirals creating a good knowledge base for future generations. This will break the myth that people do not want to learn as they are comfortable with local ways of working. This will create a platform which everyone will colloborate. Not easy but I see no other way. If we worry about the waste we stop pollinating knowledge which will make us worser.

About Me

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