Tech things for granted.

I met a classmate a couple of weeks ago after 20-odd years. He’s doing stuff at the leading edges of – you guessed it  – IPTV. The passion with which he explained the potential of the technology, and what it could do, sucked me into a discussion of fancy features; about how we could provide seamless interactivity with the back ends of Amazon, Walmart, Nike, D&G, etc. and how people could order pizzas from the comfort of their TV couches without as much as lifting a finger (after all, you’d only have to press a couple of buttons on the remote handset to achieve the impossible).

Whoa! Not so fast folks. The next time you are relaxing and watching your favorite TV program — think!

Continue reading “Tech things for granted.”

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Leadership innovation – The beginning and the end of history

Wow, what an amazing Valentine’s weekend! Thankfully “The Consortium of Red-faced, Jobless and Retrograde Men of India” ( male counter to the Facebook group “The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”) was kept in check to allow India’s youth to celebrate Valentine’s day.

 
Vikram Kirloskar launching the new TOYOTA INNOVA
Vikram Kirloskar (left) – Launch of the new TOYOTA INNOVA.

But that aside, I had a blast. My friend Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, invited us to the most memorable evening with Jagjit Singh, the Ghazal Maestro. His satin voice had everybody spellbound for a riveting two hours. In Vikram San’s words – “It is Toyota India’s heartfelt gesture of gratitude to our customer ‘family'”. The event was fraught with simplicity and genuine warmth. I wish some people would take lessons from Toyota and especially from Vikram on humility and the natural way to live and work.

In concert with Jagjit Singh
In concert with Jagjit Singh

 How business can ‘flow along’ with such warmth. And to top it, to be immersed in such soul-stirring music. What more could I have asked for. My take away was that the “Toyota way” goes far beyond shopfloor efficiencies and product quality. It is a statement of life and living.

Then came Spiritual Sunday at the Chinmaya Mission precincts on Lodhi Road in New Delhi. Before you start imagining yoga mats and a saffron-robed Godman, I must tell you that the event had to do with the launching of Anil Sachdev’s SOIL – School of Inspired Leadership. Continue reading “Leadership innovation – The beginning and the end of history”

Innovation 101: Throw money at the financial crisis?

Get your heads out of the sand
Get your heads out of the sand

I’m pushing 50 and I always thought my general knowledge was passable. Until I watched Slumdog Millionaire and found out that it wasn’t George Washington’s mug on a $100 bill but Benjamin Franklin’s. Strange coincidence and somewhat evangelistic that he was the one who said

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money. – Benjamin Franklin

So what’s America trying to do to quell the current storm that doesn’t want to go away. Allegation or not, the only course that seemed to come to you was to throw money at the crisis. How smart is that? Doesn’t surprise anyone outside the US but you are taken by surprise when the bailout money gets generously distributed against ‘bonuses payable’ among the very people that caused the crisis to happen. Continue reading “Innovation 101: Throw money at the financial crisis?”

An India welcome for Barack H Obama!

Begin Obama

I have a confession to make. I never generated enough interest in watching an American President being sworn in to office. Even yesterday, for me it was an event meant for American Nationals and so I hadn’t planned on watching the inaugural ceremony. It must have been some kind of collective consciousness at work because I found myself sitting in front of the TV tuned into CNN at exactly the time the ceremony was to start. Scenes from Bruce Almighty and Oh God! flashed across my mind as I found myself watching the whole inauguration of the 44th President of the United Sates of America, Barack H Obama. Now I know that it was probably meant to be and I also know that he was meant to be. For the first time in my life, the TV was not playing a digital image. Mr. Obama was right there in my living room just a few yards away whom I could have chosen to meet or shake hands with had I wanted to. Such was the power I witnessed of the ‘human’ Continue reading “An India welcome for Barack H Obama!”

Sustainable Corruption

There has been a conversation on at LinkedIn about the top 3 priorities for India today. I have noticed that there are many who have sought to ‘remove corruption’. My statement might sound like a very radical approach bordering on impropriety; it will definitely destroy our moral stand: nevertheless here’s what –

IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO REMOVE CORRUPTION FROM ANY SOCIETY.

Let’s accept that nature’s best creation is imperfect and we live in an ‘imperfect’ world of which every society is a subset. What becomes very interesting therefore is the concept of “SUSTAINABLE CORRUPTION”.

While we are busy blaming the ‘system’ and the powers that be – Continue reading “Sustainable Corruption”