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

Innovation, Now!

The continuing financial Tsunami has ceased to make waves. We ought to have seen it coming but were too scared to open our eyes. Like we’ve done in the past – all we’ve ever learnt to do is to solve problems based on ‘fitting historical patterns’ – we believe that we’re at the bottom of the economic downturn and things will look up from here on. Anybody noticed that the slide has been going on since September 11, 2001? And we’re satisfied waiting. The time for innovation is here and is urging us to do something – differently.

Talk to technology and business people and they will tell you that innovation is a tool. Therefore researching a need and then developing a solution to address it is called innovation. Then why call it innovation, why not keep calling it R&D? Are we simply using the word because it sounds nicer? Continue reading “Innovation, Now!”

Innovation 101 – The Jugaad phenomenon

This post is meant for those of you who have set up automated alerts for the new magic word ‘Jugaad’, the most fashionable innovation thread about India these days. Several innovation ‘gurus’, management experts, authors have latched on. The common thread – they’re mostly based in the US and are of Indian origin. The more equal of us. Keith Sawyer calls it a ‘fad from India’ and that’s exactly what  it is.

Business Week* reports on a management fad from India, that goes by a Hindi slang word, jugaad (say joo-gaardh). It means “an improvisational style of innovation”. It’s “inexpensive invention on the fly”. It sometimes has negative connotations, like cutting corners. The idea is that it doesn’t have to be perfect or fancy; it’s just good enough to satisfy immediate needs.

>>*See the comments at the end of the article.

Don’t be fooled – Jugaad is jugaad and innovation is innovation. Jugaad is a dangerous mindset – you heard right, a mindset. You ‘fix’ things by simply putting together bits and pieces, never mind that they don’t fit or that the final product is unreliable, unsafe, whatever. When something goes wrong, you can always use the excuse of not having time, resources, skills, etc. After all you did achieve ‘cheap’, didn’t you.

Maruti Gypsy 2020?

Continue reading “Innovation 101 – The Jugaad phenomenon”

Innovation 101 – “Enjoy life while you can”

James Lovelock doesn’t think we will need innovation 10 years on.  Not because the business world will find a new jazzword to hang their marketing spiels on but ‘scarily’ because planet earth wouldn’t exist. According to Lovelock, by the end of the century, 80% of the world’s population will disappear and half of Britain will be under water. And to prove his point, the octagenarian is buying a ticket to outer space.

James Lovelock - Gaia Theory

Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam.’Therefore’, he says, ‘Enjoy life while you can’ via ‘Enjoy life while you can’ | Environment | The Guardian.

This is one scary take on climate change and sustainable development. Continue reading “Innovation 101 – “Enjoy life while you can””