Creating Heart Capital

This post was first published in January 2009 but has gained renewed relevance in today’s crisis ridden world. It reminds us that too much focus on quantitative metrics can go only one way viz. downwards. (Incidentally, Knowledgeboard has since shut down.)

–Sunil Malhotra

 When I coined the phrase “Heart Capital” a few years ago, I didn’t recognise it’s prophetic undertones. And for those who might want to read my article, here’s the pdf Heart Capital.

The ideas and views regain relevance with today’s ‘communities’ on the collaborative web. (2.0)

Here’s John Moore’s comment on the article I wrote in 2003.

“I love these lines in particular :

To humanise is to recognise that technology cannot replace the charm of personal contact. To humanise is to disrupt current business thinking and methods. To humanise is to add emotion. To humanise is to add fun to work and work systems.

I think the discussion about emotional environment is important; a lot of money goes into trying to create great physical spaces for work (and that’s no bad thing) but the manners and subleties of human contact deserve equal attention.

I would add that as well as being fun, the creation of real “heart capital” requires taking risks and being vulnerable. Acknowledging our true feelings feels risky in many enviroments; yet in my experience it is often a touchstone for deeper and more satisfying human engagement.”

Thanks John! Continue reading “Creating Heart Capital”

“Oh, so you think rape is okay …”

Pics from DNA

Incredibly lucid views by Ranjeev Dubey, summing up the goings-on in Delhi in response to the horrific gang-rape of a 23-year old physiotherapist on 16th December, 2012.

“Sunil, I think I said this on Twitter.

ONE, The violence against women on the street is only an extension of the violence in our homes. You can’t fix one without fixing the other.

TWO, in the specific case, these were criminals. To call them rapists is to mislead those responsible for dealing with the law and order challenge of an understaffed overworked police force permanantly subject to political pressures to say nothing of their obligation to provide security to these same politicians.

THREE, between the bizarre nature of popular reaction, our lumpen polity and our perverse political classes, existent or aspiring Kejriwal and Ramdev, every genuine protest will get hijacked unless we manage it very well which requires urban elites to be leaders, not those reeling under anger management issues.

FOUR, popular anger does start revolutions but careful analysis and the moulding of solutions creates new societies. It’s absurd that our urban elites should lead street protests. Who will now mould the solutions and drive change: the illitrates?

FIVE, the extreme inequities in our society encourges disempowered men one of them to do terrible things to women sometimes, it is one of us which is when we react, otherwise we let it go with the usual sympathetic noises and platitudes. Of course when one of us does terrible things to one of them, then it’s only some women trying to make money from one of us. We cannot create a new society without introspection and a fundamental change in our own attitude.

SIX, all this said and done, what has happened to this girl is terrible and unforgivable. Indians being a bit emotionally fragile as we are, the general reaction to anyone asking for a more nuanced and intellectually refined approach to public issues is then accused of promoting the opposite. In this case, it would be: “oh so you think it was okay for her to be raped, etc etc”.”

A reminder for us to exercise restraint and keep our animal instincts in check, whether in perpetrating crime or protesting against it. Moderation is what we need as we step into the New Year.

Ranjeev is an old friend and a good one at that. He’s also the guy that recently rocked the boat with his second (maybe third) book, Bullshit Quotient. A must read!

I cannot emphasize enough that “popular anger does start revolutions but careful analysis and the moulding of solutions creates new societies.”

It’s such a shame to see the age of unreason gripping the educated intelligentsia. Your helplessness is manifesting in your call for instant justice. The anger is justified but the means are not. Restraint doesn’t mean we’re giving up … by all means keep the intensity of emotion alive. An eye for an eye is not the Indian way.

Reminder that is the land where Buddha attained enlightenment and Gandhi won freedom. Ahimsa in thought, word and action. Happy 2013!

1. Stop Rape NOW – sign this petition by Namita Bhandare

Of Godmen & GUIs

The ‘Fast-unto-death’ theatrics of the past few weeks, allegedly (sic.) in a fight against corruption in India, have urged me to finally bring this article out of my closet. I wrote it fifteen years ago, almost to the day, for frogdesign‘s rana#3, a brilliant in-house publication that they shelved inexplicably. 

Godmen were around those days too, (their business model hasn’t changed) snaring people into their spiritual concoctions and exploiting India’s superstitious side. GUI was a term almost nobody had heard then. We in India still speak out the letters, not ‘gooey’ like the rest of the world does. Read it, like it, hate it, keep it, share it. Here goes …

India, at the end of History …

… is mystical and hi-tech.  Impoverished and affluent. A billion-strong society in a pulsating state of chaotic equilibrium. Cows and cars share city streets.  Superstitions abound and Godmen flourish.  We will show our palms to people who promise a peek at our destiny, or say they can chant away a terminal disease. We have much to learn, but the world can learn a great deal from us …  Continue reading “Of Godmen & GUIs”

Quiet is the New Loud

Knowledge work is not about theory, tools, methodologies, training or any such thing. It is about attitudes of individuals forming teams. Read the post Quiet is the New Loud.

Riitta Raesmaa | Startup Entrepreneur from Helsinki, Finland | I blog about both personal and professional topics: Entrepreneurship, Technology, Social Business/Enterprise 2.0, Social Media, Cloud, SaaS, Books, Design. Or refer to what my wise friends have written.

Always in Beta. And passionately so.

1/ We have unforeseen number of software tools and technologies available to support these flows. Still it is primarily not about the tools and processes. Most of all it is about an attitude – an attitude of the individuals forming a team, working group, or an organization.

2/ “Systems Intelligence (SI) involves the ability to use the human sensibilities of systems and reasoning about systems in order to adaptively carry out productive actions within and with respect to systems.”

Twitter is digital Marijuana – Wasted Time or Lost Opportunity

Twitter is a place to tell the world something in all of 140 characters. I’m not about to explain that the underlying sms technology is what creates this limit and it is not a number based on user research or any fancy stuff of the sort. So it’s a great way to waste company time for personal gratification. After all, how can anybody say something in just 140 characters (including spaces). How’s 20-odd words going to convey anything meaningfully?

imageOkay, so you want to be the first to tell the world what’s happening around you. You want to get your thoughts out of your system so new ones can be born. You want to keep checking how many people are following you. And you want your employer to pay for all this. Shame on you. What a waste of time! And some of you even try to convince your marketing guys get a company account for some ‘brand building and preservation’. The world is about ‘conversations’ you say.

Sorry, but I just don’t get it. Okay, the Dalai Lama tweets his spirituality. And Continue reading “Twitter is digital Marijuana – Wasted Time or Lost Opportunity”