Monday, December 01, 2008

Human Rights

Friend and fellow blogger, K*, reminds us of a very interesting quote from Eleanor Roosevelt.

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to
home, so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world.
Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighbourhood he lives in;
the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.
Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal
opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have
meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen
action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the
larger world. "

Friday, November 14, 2008

We want change....

That statement moved Barak Obama into becoming the 44th president of the United States. Given Americas fantastic white supremist history, this would be a mark of a true democracy and a mature society. Alternatively, it could also mean that the number of white people are dwindling around the world! J

The worlds as we know it today, is waking up to a very different drum beat. Perhaps this time, we would see jazz at its finest. Everyone wants to try out the syncopated scores produced by Obama.

We want change… we want change… I want change….

It occurred to me, that every body both strive for and fear change. Our greatest desire is to do things differently, be different, feel different. We spend hundreds of dollars anything that makes us feel good. Be it a new car, new paint job, addition to the landscape to the garden, our hair styles… you name it.. we want change. I reckon that the most constant element of our lives is our propensity to desire change.

However, on the flip side, the human kind at most times display a deep-rooted inertia towards acting on our desire to change. Driven by fear, this inertia drives us to remain status quo. We accept the very thing that we desire to change the most. We secretly tell ourselves that the consequence of failing in attempting change is too great. We remind ourselves that “at this moment” we need to remain perfectly still for else change can some how… mysteriously... hurt you…

We blame a real or imagined economic crisis. We cite financial commitments… we site personal relationships… we point to a million other reasons why we should not change. Of course, this fear to change acts on different people at widely varying degrees. Some fear as if it was from the dark side, while some seek out the exhilarating experience that the thrill of change produces.

As I sit down a busy food court pondering my own imminent change I realize that change is the single most powerful human asset. Self directed change empowers us. To make decisions for oneself is feel like a bungee free fall in the dark. The fear that you are probably going to crack your skull open while accelerating towards that big fat mass called earth, and knowing that the calculated risk would lead to a new level of experience cannot be substituted to discussions of change.

Obama dared take that plunge and it is that very boldness and absolute resolve to live life out loud that got so many Americans who secretly desired change plunge in with him. Now together, he paints the white house black! Yay ‘bama!

In my own life, I have stated at change every now and then. If you had read prior posts, you would know about the stories of my many many change experiences that took place early on in my life. But, then somewhere between growing a few greys and finding the love of my life (that’s for another post) I lost my “change” plot. It took a great guy like Obama and a little bit of reckless brutish behavior to put change into full throttle.

I am acting on change. Once again, I find my self a nice little cross road. I am reminded of the book “the road less traveled”. But, unlike the plot in the book, this time I am knocking on the toll gates to a very different road… this time, I know what road I don’t want to be though.

The coffee tastes great again!

Heres to a beautiful life!

I roar… I AM CHANGE! *grrrrr* :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Malaysian Artists for Unity

Here's why Malaysian artists rock!

Friends, I present to you: Malaysian artists for unity – Here in my home

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

To corporate… or not to…

It has been awhile since I last posted here: I make no excuse for it. I was simply not able to put the ideas onto the white area on my screen. Not due to the lack of ideas, but the due to the lack of energy to think though ideas, and explain them in a clear, concise, and meaningful manner.

I made an assumption about the corporate world some time ago, and that I can now prove wrong. This assumption that the being a corporate citizen would be an opportunity to do all things that’s imaginative, creative, and extra-ordinary. While this may be true to an extent that you are crating all things business, it does not hold true at the realm of personal life. Reality however is that mundane is the call for the day – and most times especially when you are at a junior level. Cognitive excellence or the perusal of tasks that challenge the psyche, in my opinion, is sidelined. The result is the slow and steady erosion of the energy required to churn out great ideas.

Here are 7 insights that can help you lead a more meaningful working environment

1. Teach the business: This is a great way to keep people stimulated (legally). Allow people to take time to understanding the business model, its strategies, its people, its clients, customers, and competition. This process helps gain vital insights that most people have no access to. Get to know what happens behind the scenes and become an expert of the business.

2. Contributing ideas: Corporate organizations are most often guilty of failing to listen to junior employees. Junior employees are sometimes blatantly ignored and are told to concentrate on the assigned task while the more “senior” staff focuses on strategy. That kind of process only goes as far as to maintain the status of those higher up in the ladder and does absolutely nothing to develop and engage junior talent.

3. Direct involvement of functional managers in training, mentoring, and encouraging employees: This should be happen at all levels. Managers must make it a point to personally see that junior employees link functional activities with the organizations goals in meaningful ways.

4. Spot top talent early and move them rapidly: A complacent manager will wait until their top-talent resigns to offer a promotion or position. Teams must learn how to promote a fast-raiser fast. Meritocracy is important here – waiting in line would only mean that those in the back (top-talents) would find alternate organizations who are willing to give them the fast pace recognition.

5. Invest in their talents: Statements such as “head-office does not approve”; “we are cost-cutting” (that’s grammatically incorrect though); or “we have no budget” should never be used. Investing in the development of talent should never be compromised or substituted.

6. When you say “9 to 5”, mean it: While organizations boast of a work life balance (or work life integration), they rarely do enough to actively push for a meaningful agenda that supports either of those initiatives. Teams need to pay attention to employees who tend to work late – that behavior should never be condoned nor encouraged but frowned upon. The reason being that silence breeds an environment that encourages a 9-10 work culture.

7. Realistic stretch assignments: While stretch assignments are becoming a buzz work in the workplace, there is a thin line between what is stretch and what is overwork. The word “stretch” is more often being defined though the idiosyncratic perceptions of various team leads. Define “Stretch” that is mutually agreed upon. Make stretch fun.

I still struggle to answer the original question: to corporate or not to corporate. While research and training can be real fun, perhaps I can find a middle ground.