Recently, during one of those divine moments, I felt like giving something back to the society in which I lived almost half a century. In another words, the guilty feeling of concentrating only on me and my ‘kith and kin’ acted as a positive driver, to give something back to the society. Even though my finances were not so bright, I dared to pull out some money from the ATM and went to the local church to entrust my donation to a a pair of trustworthy hands, who will ensure that it reaches the needy. I met the priest, and he explained to me some very complicated procedures, one for giving it to the sick, another for helping people to build their homes, another for education of the poor…for each intent, there was a different procedure, which made even the donors life miserable. All that was required was to keep a box to accept the money along with the intent. Then I met the senior priest and asked for an opportunity to give a formal talk to the young parish community on career planning. The priest made a phone call to the nearby school and nothing happened. I gave him my phone numbers, hoping him to contact me, and i am not very optimistic about it now. There is no money involved. The intent is only giving back to the society, yet it is so difficult. Our backyard is all green, and is home to many seasonal birds. I want to preserve the greenery, and I am not getting the local labour to maintain it. So, with great hesitation and pain, I may have to either sell it to the real estate mafia to convert that place into a concrete garden, not because I take delight in it, but I do not have any other choices right now. I always feel bad about my bothers and sisters in Africa who are suffering due to famine. How can I help them?. I really do not know. I am not talking about huge amounts. I am talking about a few dollars every month from a middle class citizen of India. May be, I could collect some used clothes as well for them. Who to give it…is the biggest question I am facing. Whenever I walk on through the local streets here, every where I see ‘no litter’ and ‘stick no bills’ signs. I am yet to see ‘throw waste here’ or ‘stick bills here’ to help those who do not want to litter or make public property dirty by sticking bills. Always i struggle when it comes to paying my bills at the airtel site. Every month, when i go there, they keep asking me the password to my account, and i do not remember them. i always wonder why they are asking for password to make a payment against my mobile number. i do not mind if others credit my account with some money. I am living, or we are living in a restrictive world, which keeps telling me, what not to do, rather than what to do. Despite these, my quest for what to do continues…have a wonderful day, Ab.
One of the key values to be successful at project management, especially agile is mutual respect. Team comprises of people with various cultures and styles, and we must respect the cultural and style differences. Another value is commitment, commitment to work. During my workshops, when I stress on commitment as an entry criteria, to be successful in agile projects, majority of the participants get cynical about it. When I think about the opposite of the commitment to work, I get disillusioned about the bleak future of uninspired engineers working on uninspiring projects and wasting their lives.
How can a person I with self respect go to work for the money part alone, without any commitment to work?.
How can a person with self respect, just hang around in the office to 10 to 12 hours in the office, when the salaries are worked out for just eight hours per day, and the work allocation/volunteering is for lesser than eight hours per day?
How can a manager expect the team to sit and slog it out every week end and holidays?
How can the manager try implementing agile on an evaluation mode, without any conviction to it?. What will happen to such implementations?
I always believed in the team work of individually capable, professionals with self respect and mutual respect. Not the other way. A beggar is more ethical than a person who goes to work without any commitment to work, because a beggar do not promise anything back while asking for money, where as all others promise lot of things while joining for work, and then do not deliver.
There is tremendous joy in going to work fully committed. In ancient India, people prayed before they started work, because work was considered as sacred. You are lucky to have work today, and there is no room for error in it, because the product is the signature of your capability.
Wish you another fruitful day at work and after work. Ab.
Yesterday I went to a local bookstall (penguin) for window shopping and ended up buying the book titled ‘Simplicity’ by Edward Debono. At the billing counter, I gave my credit card , sorry, I meant debit card, because I have decided to start living with my debit card than the credit card due to some valuable life lessons.. The immediate response by the lady at the billing counter was ” Sir, there is no power, so the card swiping machine is not working”. But I could hear the sound of the fans of her desktop computer. I requested her to try switching on the swiping machine, and with great reluctance she switched it on, and it worked. She was just trying to simplify her work by avoiding bending down to switch it on. I would have walked out of the shop without buying that book, which I liked after a long time, as I did not have enough money in my purse at that point of time. These days generally I walk out of the book stalls without buying any books, because most of them are the same good old wine in a new bottle, and the number of pages in these books frightens me as it adds to my pending tasks, which is already full. I liked the format of this book titled ‘Simplicity’ by Edward Debono. It would have been a great disappointment for me, if I had to walk out of the store without that book which I liked after a long time, becuase I did not have enough money in my purse and the faulty power supply to their swipe card system. If you are buying it, be careful not to pick up the wrong book because I could see another book with the same title by another author at Amazon. A word of caution, I have not read this book yet. So far, I have seen only the index page. On my way back, I decided to pay my data card bills, and went to the airtel outlet at the Marine drive. That is closed for ever. Then I went to another outlet and that is also closed. Considering the difficulty in finding a place to park my car, this is not at all a simple task. I tried to pay online, and then I could not recollect my password. I tried the password recovery, and that also does not work properly. Airtel tried to simplify the payment system by closing all outlets in the city, which worked out to be very complex for the customer, that is me. Someone’s simplicity turns out to be complexity for others.
These days, after reading the news papers in India, I get depressed because of the prominence of negative news. Today’s headlines in the news papers of my home state are about the resignation of a minister who was tortured by his wife. On the other side, it is the wife’s version of the story or reality. Another major news is the murder of a catholic priest in Bangalore. Then some rapes and murders…plus the regular obituaries and the sports page, the news paper is complete. I am paying money and buying this negativity. Is our world that bad?. Or is it just that the negative news only reaches us, because it is what sells. I would love to believe that there are lot of good things happening around us, and unfortunately they are not getting reported by the media. As an exception there was this news about a village lady in Tamilnadu state of India, who planted and nurtured more than hundred trees on the road side, which gives shade to the passengers in the scorching summer. In my village, there are heroes who voluntarily conducts volley ball camps for the kids, absolutely free of cost. There are thousands of others who does positive things for the betterment of the environment, society and for the upliftment of the underdogs. Unfortunately they are not brought into the public’s eye, and the people who do these positive acts never complain because they are not motivated by the worldly things, but of divine providence. This is where Gandhiji’s quote ‘Be the change you want to see in this world” has it’s significance. Whom are we waiting for?. Let us shut ourselves to negativity and do whatever positive deeds we can which will impact someone, somewhere positively. That could be the need of the hour, and that is modern day prayer and spiritualiy.
You must appreciate me for my struggles against a very cold wind on top of a twenty four floors building, and a battery which was running out and using an inappropriate prime lens which is not meant for wide angle photography. Moments when I longed for my tokina wide angle lens which i left at home.
Many used the cross to explain many things. The cross always creates quadrants. In other words it cuts the medium on which it is drawn into four squares. Stephen covey in his seven habits of highly effective people uses it to explain time management. He divides our activities into quadrants like urgent and not important, urgent and important, not urgent and not important, not urgent and important, in order to drive the point that it is the not urgent and important stuff in our lives produces the maximum benefits.
The Boston consulting groups quadrants of the product life cycle; question mark, star, cash cow and dog explains the product life cycle very effectively. This can explain the stages of human life as well. When a child is born, she is the question mark. Everyone is anxious of her future. When the child starts performing well at school, a star is born. Once employed, all of us become cash cow, followed by end of life, which is the dog state. When in dog stage, we take care of the house, when all others go out. The book crossing the chasm, uses the cross to explain product launch strategies. If my memory is right, either Kotler or Drucker used the cross to explain marketing strategies like known product to known market, known product to new market, new product to known market, new product to new markets. Then I saw Robert Kayasaki using the four quadrants to explain the ESBI concept. He says that all of us are either employees, self employed, business men or investors, or we are all of these. He states that if eighty percent of our income is coming from employment and self employment, and if only twenty percent is coming from business and investment, then we will remain as poor, and when we reverse the equation, we get richer.
I use the cross or the four quadrants to explain career planning. The skill set which make you and me employable is the cash cow. Before the cash cow become a dog or end of life, we must groom newer skill sets through the question mark and the star categories to the cash cow quadrant. This calls for lot of proactive planning and commitment from our side.
The last but not the least is the cross as demonstrated by Jesus Christ, which is explaining love thy neighbor as the sole strategy to be successful. I am fascinated by the magical power of it, and still an apprentice in my understanding of the tremendous possibilities and the hidden power of it. When I feel that I have understood it to a level where I can explain it without diluting it, I will attempt to write about it. Wish me good luck. Have a wonderful day.