- Every team member strives to achieve the same goal – an agreed upon unit of predictable time off each week.
- The team meets weekly to discuss how each member is achieving the goal and to discuss the team's work process more generally.'
Friday, August 31, 2012
‘Sleeping With Your Smartphone: How to break the 24/7 habit and change the way you work’ by Leslie A. Perlow
‘Just Start: Take action, embrace uncertainty, create the future’ by Leonard A. Schlesinger and Charles F. Kiefer
‘Undercover Boss: Inside the TV phenomenon that is changing bosses and employees everywhere’ by Stephen Lambert and Eli Holzman
Thursday, August 30, 2012
‘China Fast Forward: The technologies, green industries and innovations driving the mainland's future’ by Bill Dodson
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
‘101 Myths & Realities @ the Office: How to get the best out of yourself and your team’ by Utkarsh Rai
‘The New Emerging Market Multinationals: Four strategies for disrupting markets and building brands’ by Amitava Chattopadhyay and Rajeev Batra
‘Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What it takes to be an entrepreneur and build a great business’ by Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington, and Tsun-Yan Hsieh
Monday, August 27, 2012
‘The Transforming Leader: New approaches to leadership for the twenty-first century’ – Ed: Carol S. Pearson
‘Great Game East: India, China and the struggle for Asia’s most volatile frontier’ by Bertil Lintner
Sunday, August 26, 2012
"When the first deep tube-well for drinking purpose was bored in the
24 Parganas district (what is now North 24 Parganas) in 1962, the
villagers protested, 'It's the devil water coming.' The scientific
communities laughed at their stupidity, but later on discovered that
the groundwater in the district was contaminated with arsenic. Arsenic
is a heavy toxic material. It gets deposited in nails, hair, urine and
skin. Medical records show that people affected by continuous and
protracted drinking of the arsenic contaminated water suffer from skin
irruption, lesions, swelling of palms and soles, pigmentation and
liver disorders. The first case of arsenic contamination was detected
in the School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata in 1983. The initial
response from the State of West Bengal was that of denial of the
problem, blaming those, who were trying to bring the issue into public
domain as 'agents of mineral water.''
"West Bengal, in the decade of the 80s of the last century, recorded
the highest agricultural growth among all the states of the country.
Single cropped areas were transformed into multiple cropped. New crops
introduced were water intensive, dependent on groundwater. In the
process, the overexploitation of groundwater has been the prime reason
of arsenic in groundwater. The political party in power attributed
this agriculture growth to the land reforms in the state. Land reform
was their agenda for building a mass electoral base in rural Bengal.
Possibly, this was the reason for denial by the state power. The first
official reaction from the state was from the Chief Minister of West
Bengal after 14 long years of detecting the first case of arsenic
poisoning. According to The Statesman of February 6, 1997, the West
Bengal Chief Minister admitted that about 4.5 million people of the
state spread over 8 districts were exposed to arsenic poisoning and
200,000 people were suffering from arsenic induced diseases."
(p. 97, 'Disaster Science and Management' by Tushar Bhattacharya – TMH)
"I had a bad feeling that Vijay would end up getting the new job. He
had always been very different from the regular
hardcore-corporate-types, and had a passion for do-gooding that
somehow struck me as highly suitable for a slightly
off-the-beaten-track initiative such as the rural project.'
"But every fibre of my being was resistant to the idea of leaving
Bangalore. I sat alone moodily on the chair in the balcony that
evening, looking out to the view I loved – including even that
unsightly yellow eyesore of a building that I decided had actually
been growing on me of late. I didn't want to move to unknown bustling
"I reflected upon how Bangalore had been a great place to be a young,
slightly asinine couple getting to know each other. Although we had
plenty of impetuous weekend trips out of the city, we had also, over
the last year, enjoyed pottering about the various parks, pubs, malls
and busy streets of Bangalore. On the rare occasions that we were not
slaving away at our desks, we could be found eating bhutta, chaat, and
other street food, idly exploiting second-hand book stores – or
watching the Govinda movies that Vijay would drag me to kicking and
(p. 101, 'Just Married, Please Excuse' by Yashodhara Lal – Harper)
"By the beginning of the twentieth century, America's traditional
agrarian life was being challenged by a new dominant force – the
"Compared with life in the growing metropolises, life on the farm was
only a stone's throw from the spot outside of Eden where Adam and Eve
made their homestead after that little misstep in the garden. The
scenario included a father who toiled on the land, ruling over his
small dominion, and his wife as his helpmate. To a society based on
this way of living, Genesis 3:16 provided reasonable story,
explanation, and meaning. Everyone was familiar with it and almost
everyone was living it.'
"But as women found independence from the old order and gained access
to the educational and work opportunities that cities offered, 'thy
desire shall be to thy husband' was no longer a necessity for
survival. In fact, to some of these women, it had stopped making sense
at all. One culture-rocking outcome of this emerging rejection of
Genesis 3:16 was the notion that women should have the right to vote.
The idea that Eve might not agree with Adam on matters of public life
was an 18-kiloton assault on a myth that had gone largely unchallenged
for almost two millennia."
(p. 67, 'Winning the Story Wars: Why those who tell – and live – the
best stories will rule the future' by Jonah Sachs – Harvard)
"Although boards may discuss their strategy in their annual board
retreats, the quarterly board meetings often focus mostly on
short-term financial results. As a result, boards often fail to
monitor the vital intermediate steps – capability creation and
delivering the customer proposition – on a routine basis. This failure
can have serious consequences. Boards may make resource allocation
decisions – including major acquisitions – without a deep connection
to the overall strategy; they can put pressure on management to
deliver short-term financial results, rather than focus on long-term
strategic success; and they may not ensure that the company's
financial performance is communicated to investors in the context of
the company's strategy, leading investors to focus on short-term
"One way to make sure that a company's board integrates strategy into
its monitoring function is to (1) use the annual board retreat to set
the year's strategic agenda, (2) use a board strategic information
system to get regular information on the progress on this agenda, and
(3) design a quarterly meeting agenda to monitor and discuss it."
(p. 49, 'The Future of Boards: Meeting the governance challenges of
the twenty-first century' by Jay W. Lorsch – Harvard)
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
‘Creative Evolution: A physicist’s resolution between Darwinism and Intelligent Design’ by Amit Goswami
"Neurophysiologists earlier had discovered that our brain waves show specific signatures of our three major states of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. In materialist neurophysiology, this fact was already hard to explain because no distinction is possible between the conscious and the unconscious. Then came the discovery that the brain wave signature of meditative states is also quite unique, quite distinguishable from the three common states of consciousness (Wallace and Benson 1972). This discovery raised the question, In addition to meditation, are there other distinct states of consciousness aside from the usual three?'
"In spiritual traditions, there is mention of 'higher' states of consciousness called samadhi in Sanskrit. In the Hindu tradition, it is said there are two kinds of samadhi. A transient state of experiencing the 'oneness of everything' is called savikalpa samadhi, samadhi with subject-object split. In Japanese, this state, a state of subject-object split experience, is called satori. More recently, Abraham Maslow called this state the 'peak experience.' Because of its highly transient nature, measuring a brain wave signature for it may be quite challenging.'
"However, Hindus also talk about a second kind of samadhi, called nirvikalpa samadhi, that is, samadhi without subject-object split. This state is therefore more akin to sleep, which also lacks the subject-object split. I call this state 'creative sleep' because in this state consciousness unawarely processes new possibilities, not the old ones of memory processed in regular sleep (Goswami 2008). I suspect that there may very well be a specific neurophysiological signature for creative sleep that can empirically differentiate it from regular deep sleep.'
"The experimental investigation of the higher states of consciousness will open neurophysiology to a broader worldview. The beauty of the new view is, of course, that it does not leave out anything, not even cognitive science."
(pp. 257-8, 'Creative Evolution: A physicist's resolution between Darwinism and Intelligent Design' by Amit Goswami - Wisdom Tree)
How can terror bring freedom?
"'Stop, monk, stop,' he shouted. 'Don't leave me behind.''
"'I have stopped, Angulimala,' the Buddha replied. 'I stopped ages ago, but have you? And will you?''
"'While you are walking faster than me, you say you have stopped. What do you mean? How have you stopped when you are still moving?''
"'I stopped a long time ago,' Buddha said. 'It is you who have not stopped. I stopped trampling over other people, I stopped desiring to control and dominate people, but you think freedom lies in killing and overpowering others. True stopping is to stop interfering in other people's lives for your own ends. You are rebelling against the oppression of others, but you yourself are oppressive – you are frightening and terrorising towns and villages. How can terror bring freedom?'"
(p. 34, 'The Buddha and the Terrorist' by Satish Kumar - Wisdom Tree)
The City of the Dead
"'You know that we Sumerians refer to your lands, as a whole, as Melukkha – the High Country,' said the merchant. 'But why have you named this new city 'The City of the Dead'? Forgive me, but it sounds inauspicious.''
"'Yes, a question many have asked,' Manis said slowly. 'We all know how the living fade with time. But these buildings, coins and artefacts will remain as a lasting testimony to how we once flourished. And I hope that, some day in the future, our descendants will think of us with awe and pride, that the world will know how great our civilisation was. I want this city to be remembered thousands of years from now, like the great cities of Sumer, Babylon, or Egypt.' He paused, then continued: 'I am a realist too – I know our people will vanish one day. They may die out, and other cities, other civilisations may take their place. After all, human life is so fragile. But there is no death where there is history, where there are memories. Death is not to be feared in such a place.' Manis smiled. 'And that's why I named this city 'Mohenjo-Daro'.'"
(p. 9, 'Back to the BCs' by Pavithra Srinivasan – Helios)