My Wordle..

•June 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment



Everybody Nobody Somebody Anybody.. & Projects..

•May 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is a story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

That is the story of projects – All and any of the types below

1. Projects without a vision
2. Projects with a vision that has not been developed into goals and outcomes
3. Projects with a vision but no resource/time commitments from stakeholders
4. Projects within a program where there are multiple projects laying stake over similar outcomes
5. Projects in large corporations run by leaders high on vision and low on execution skills
6. Projects in Matrix organizations that have a performance management system that creates divergent strategies
7. Projects that try to merge ‘High Maturity’ process implementations with ‘Low Maturity/Early Stage ‘ innovative changes.
8. Programs attempted under the banner of a ‘Project'( and thus limited in their visibility and resource capacity)
9. Programs initiated to ‘let’s us just put-together’ pet projects across departments that started at varied points of time in the past to fulfill each groups desire to ‘innovate’.

Add on to this… The comments space is all yours!!

What should I do with my life ?

•May 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It had been years since I read a non-fiction book from cover page to the end – Part of it has been the the story of my life and part of it is the fact that nothing ever touched my thought process so deeply as to demand undivided attention for 24 long hours. Reading ,to me, is both catharsis and endogenous; it makes the process of learning and unlearning , a journey where every ending spawns new beginnings. Po Bronson’s ” What Should I Do With My Life? ” , is a book that does this with journalistic finesse. The book never falls into the prescriptive trap of self-help books. The journey of what you want to be in your life, is a lot like a voyage into the unknown that has to planned ad infinitum. Bronson’s story tellers are not those screaming out or intending to be the next big self-help author and their stories are intimate enough for us to learn from them,yet never enough to achieve closure. Every story almost ends like an incomplete thread.

” What Should I Do With My Life? ” – That is a question that reverberates in my mind. It is a question that leads to more questions than it answers.. It leads you to question your values, morals, means and methods. It forces you to wonder if the occurrence of such a question is an indication of some arrogant seed of narcissism or a beacon to indicate that your life’s gotten derailed from the purpose you sought. I know some of the big picture and some of the changes have been triggered, It would be interesting to see what I end up doing with my life, three, five and ten years from now…

Looking for ideas on approaches to changing career path…

•March 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

What does one do when their personal aspiration no longer fits the map of strategies in the organisation they have been with? How do people deal with the the process of weaning away the cultural attributes and perspectives that get built in when you spend a long period of time within an organisation ? What is the best way to make the career path change – Quick and Swift Shift OR a Gentle Migration away ?…

These are tough days.. Tough because I am asking myself ‘ What is my purpose in life? ‘…I know there are some who’d say that it is arrogant to believe that there is such a thing as ‘purpose to life’..But that’s some arrogance I’d rather have!

Mass Market of professional education

•December 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

We had an elderly gentleman come over yesterday to till and sow in the garden outside our home. I wanted to ensure that we paid him as per the norms and started reviewing the Karnataka government gazettes for minimum wages. What surprised me is that the systematic grading of work has not led to a varied wage level. Though the gazette has classified work into ‘Dry’, ‘Wet’ and ‘Garden’ land , it has not actually differentiated the prescribed minimum wage. What’s the point in classifying work if you wont modify the pay as per the complexity of work? Another funny thing I noted was that the wage classification includes regions within the state but the actual prescribed wage does not vary at all! Instead the institution has taken an academic approach to determining the payable wage by providing a Cost of Living index and deciding that the final calculations be made by the employer. Most of the unskilled workers cannot even read/ what’s the point in asking for such complex procedures to be followed! Anyways, we finally paid the gentleman 200 rupees for the work he had done ; as per the rules we’d have to pay him 130 rupees and some 20 rupees as allowance.

These events set me to think about the mass market of professional education in India – The market for what often gets classified as ‘professional’ labor. Acquiring a professional education is rarely the same as acquiring the capability to use corresponding professional skills. Historically professional education required people to ‘pay the dues’ and entrance to the professional community was a slow and structured process. Mass Market approach to professional education in India has simply meant a sprawl of professional education institutes that have nothing professional about their approach and their capabilities.

Higher levels of education should limit access to those who have atleast the aptitude or the passion essential for furthering the profession. Unfortunately, what we have today is a system that simply elevates people to their highest level of incompetence. Professional education does not translate into professional aptitude, so what happens when someone gets an M.Tech in Semiconductor technology but lacks the aptitude and intellect required to function efficiently in a related role ?? He pursues an MBA from a ‘free-laptop’ institute!! This is the story of mass-market higher education.

As a kid, I remember people making the assumption that anyone who pursued a Masters in India or abroad was probably more intelligent or capable in that profession. Going to the US for an MS was often considered a sign of higher levels of interest and capability in the profession. Nowadays , if anyone tells me he’s got an MS from US or a Post Graduate degree from UK, I do not even care to consider that as any sign of capability. I know enough about most of these institutions and their approaches to ‘selecting’ their students.

What is the point in having numerous M.Tech holders or for that matter even MBAs in a country where we dont have enough people with professional skills in the vocational areas ? In the past 10 years of my professional life,I have met many MBAs and MTech holders in India who fail the basic test of professional aptitude in their professions. As a nation, I’d rather have 5000 gardeners who know their profession thoroughly well and can execute to perfection , than have 5000 MBAs who are out on the street selling soap, frothing meaningless jargon and fundamentally lacking the attitude and aptitude essential to define and deliver creative cleaning solutions for the nation. The critical chain of professional skills is getting buried under the dynamics of mass market professional education.

There is a saying in India amongst those in their 50s today.. ‘Matriculation of yesteryears was worth more than the Bachelor’s degree today “.. I think that’s quite true because we, as a nation, are addressing the concept of ‘education’ .. But a nation is not built on ‘education ‘ , it is built on capabilities. This is the economics of education – When you flood the market with diluted versions of professional education and sell the professional tags at a discount, sooner or later a higher version of the professional tag will arrive at a premium and provide the same capabilities at a higher price. The eventual result is that we’ll have a nation full of degree holders and ‘true capability building higher education’ that is completely out of bounds for the masses!

Airfares and Socialist Proclivities…

•December 7, 2010 • 1 Comment

On the issue of the so-called disinterest from Government on non-airfare items, I disagree with the author on this blog – Well written but flawed nonetheless. The issue was not higher air fares, rather it was the sudden rise that cannot be explained by any change in economic drivers as well as the clearly visible cartelisation. There is also some faulty economic analysis in the blog – That associated with Price Elasticity and Supply Elasticity. Managing or controlling high volume low price items non homogenous class of items, especially perishables like food, through government intervention ,is not practical. However, cartelization is a common risk for homogenous items like Airline tickets -Government intervention is needed and helpful.For certain classes of food items, the government anyways intervenes through support price mechanisms as well as PDS. I know these are flawed mechanisms. I have no sympathy for Jet , Kingfisher or even Air India -They chose to be in the business and spent millions on aircraft purchasing sprees.. How can they keep complaining about their economics and decide to make the customer pay for their poor decisions. If they cannot survive at the current prices, let them fall.I know , that may push prices..But I’d rather pay for real demand-supply driven costs than to whining billionaires who made poor business decisions.

Now for a non-perishable item like Land, prices should be allowed to float.If demand and supply equations are allowed to continue, an equilibrium can be reached. The government cannot intervene on price. Instead it must intervene through standards and regulatory requirements,something sorely missing in the Indian context. A point that is made well in the Livemint article here.

I dont think the topic is worth a debate on moralistic grounds – The state is accountable to all of its citizens and it is unfair and incorrect to paint a ‘class-centric’ picture of the issue.This is not an issue that merits the ‘ If you cant have bread, get cake’ debate. I dont want to take away from the fact that the government needs to do a lot more for people from other classes, but should that have to be with a disregard to the richer classes?? I dont think so.

On the dynamics of language and Bias

•December 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Bias is a human trait.. The need to find uniqueness and distinction is bred into our genes.. We use the term ‘differentiation’ quite often…
Continue reading ‘On the dynamics of language and Bias’