The “Comparison pandemic”.

We all have been at the receiving end and also at the origin of this comparison fallacy and needless to say, no matter how you or try to do something about it, we almost always end up creating another case for comparisons and comparative approaches! Join me here as we take a quick look into this space of what I call as “the comparison pandemic” and decipher when it is ok and when does it begin to slip away from being helpful to being outright harmful! So here we go!

Right from childhood, what individuals normally experience is the ongoing onslaught of comparisons! Irrespective of the fact whether those are valid or not – that is not the primary concern (though a concern, for sure!), the more compelling issue is, why do we do it, encourage it or even allow this bit to propagate- even as each one of us who has lived the life of a child despised it so much. The other aspect around this “comparison pandemic” is that it doesn’t stop with our childhood and this runs deep- at times subtly and at times loudly through our college days, professional lives and even to the moment right upto our graves- because even in that fleeting moment (perhaps a little short of it)- as a human- if you are able to communicate- you still will strive to make that comment which just wants to reinforce the space that you lived a better life than “abc” or “pqr”! Even as comical and harmless it may seem. this “comparison pandemic” plays havoc and has caused perhaps the greatest damage to humanity by stiffing away young innovator’s and humanists even before they could embark on their journey to make humanity a shade better! But why has this been allowed, how did this space of comparing take on these pandemic proportions? Well read on!

Human societies since the bygone ages have been an effort to make the life experienced by the society member better- better in the sense of ease of life- starting right from the primitive goals of being alive (not getting eaten by other predators), then moving on to a life of shifting settlers and further on to eventually be permanent settlers and then go on to develop rapidly into settlements, villages, kingdoms, empires and in today’s contest the nations that we know them as today! Through this journey of the ages- every inflection point (where something meaningful and great would have been achieved) has always been when the normal ways and practises have been reset, improvised or changed completely- at times this has world and yet few other times this has been detrimental for humanity and it is from these spaces of compelling change and transformation and the creativity and destruction that goes along with these period that a vast majority of the social set- felt the urge and need to stick to what was momentarily comfortable rather then wanting to dwell into the risk prone attitude and approach (especially when things didn’t work in the societies favour!) This is the space and context from where the baby steps of the art of “comparing ” perhaps have emerged- as a survival guide more than anything else!

You see, I see you clap your hands, and you are unharmed, I too will want to do that bit and experiment, I see you cut the vegetables and accidentally cut one of your fingers a bit, well, I sure will venture ahead to chop them, but with some caution- it is these kind of everyday observed and indoctrinated ways of life that go a long way to reinforce the comparative approach and once you have become comfortable around this, you have automatically enrolled for a life of mediocre pursuits for yourself and all those who rally around you- simply because you will not move beyond a set range and the reality of life is that all great and iconic stuff happens much beyond the threshold of comfortable range! This is why when you promote the comparative approach- you end up creating intellectual clones who are as smart or as worse as the next one around and then add to this the intrinsic incompetence (which only grows with time) you set up the individual and societies with such individuals for a downward journey and a mediocre approach for eternity!

As Individuals get compared and kind of get calibrated to what is acceptable and what is not, people around often tend to overlook the intrinsic construct of the Individuality of the person and thereby anything of value that can be there is simply walked over and done away with- so once you have someone’s core intrinsic value taken away- by suggesting that what they behold is not needed in the world- instead “be like that person” who does “this or that and there and how” well, you just end up creating a templated robot who is cloned as much as possible to the so called role model! You see, being Inspired or Motivated by people who have been successful or icons is not the problem, it is when these people and their achievements are presented as the only way and approach that an Individual should pursue as their life path, is where problems begin to manifest, simply because, no matter what you do or not, this person can simply be the Master for a thousand reasons- the most fundamental among them being the “contextual settings and truth of the time in which the people lived and worked!

You may want to argue, whatever happens to the whole space around Being Inspired and Being an Inspiration for someone, well, no one is discounting that bit, but if you begin to sell Inspiration with an intent to change a crow into an eagle- you will most probably end up having a very dumb crow which just gets beaten up by the other crows! What the whole “comparison pandemic” ends up doing, is just this, creating asymmetric and unqualified ways of relativity and expectations and when these strike a cord at the fundamental beliefs of individuals- either they become more rebellious to go ahead and assert their Individuality more strongly – a kind of statement which says, “You know what, this is who I am, live with it! or at times they simply crumble and accept a life that is being thrust upon them – like a never ending role play- and with every passing moment- ending up being more fake and disconnected from within and from who they really are- could be and aspired to be!

Well, you may but what about being ambitious, what about trying to be innovative- how can we do that without comparison? Well, no one is asking you, to give up your innovative spark and neither is anyone asking you not to be inspired or learn or observe from what is unfolding around you- what is important is that you don’t end up fooling yourself, thinking that you are being innovative even as you possibly end up copying or cloning some original idea! You see, the whole premise that innovation or iconic stuff needs some comparison is absurd and wrong! If that was the case- we would have all cars similar in design and all what you see around in the world- would have ended up being just copies of some or the other things around and we would have embraced a templated world! That is not the case, isn’t it?

You see, as long as we are able to have clarity about inspiration, contextual truths of the examples around us and are fundamentally aware about who we ourselves are as Individuals, we will be able to keep in check this innocent looking yet dangerous pandemic of comparison! The Human mind is fickle by the very construct of it and what it appreciates at one point in time will be easily junked away as something better comes to it’s purview- this is- believe it or not- the evolutionary safety valve of human thinking- thousands of years back- who would not want to run into an orchard of apples or some wild fruits which could promise an abundant supply to the group, than having to risk every day in and day out their own lives as they went out for a hunting spree!

Comparisons, aren’t all bad, but how they are done, for what and the contexts more often than not make them a nuisance holistically! Not going too back into human history, the recent Covdi19 pandemic was and is a glaring example- how governments after governments went on to copy what the others did and how that ended up screwing up one nation after the another in their won unique ways simply because all similarity with human kind ends with the fact that we are humans and beyond that point each one of is differentiated or levelled to the society that we have got to live around in and as diverse societies try to strike a common line of similarity- almost always the outcome will be disastrous!

Meaningful comparisons stand true in the test of science. The big corporate world- though having its own set of challenges has fared a shade better when it comes to do meaningful comparisons- You see when the corporate world is able to make meaningful comparisons based not on the intrinsic individuality of the people, but rather on the Authority, Position, Span of Control and Sphere of Influence, that is when magic happens and you are able to find it much earlier when teams and people are performing or perishing and the possible why around it becomes easy- as long as the study is on the process and not on the Individuality and Personalities of the Individuals!

Well, to put it simply, comparisons to work, they need to be meaningful and they need identical (not similar) contexts of time and space- everything done without this fundamental attribute under the garb of comparison is plain stupid and is actually meant to drive some or the other human agenda based on what the content of study is and what is being compared and why!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to shun the space around the “comparison pandemic” in your lives and around you and embrace Individuality of people around you, as much you would like them to reciprocate the same! Just remember- there is a reason why nature is asymmetric and why each one of us is unique- even if you happen to be that Identical Twin- that is how far your similarity will go- rest all is about the matter that the mind beholds within! The next time someone tells you, “You are not like , B or C”, just tell them who you are and possibly reintroduce yourself! Their feeble minds should start working from that point!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and yes- compare what is meaningful enough to compare; everything else, is best the way it is!

The oncoming Leadership pandemic!

Among many lessons that 2020 has brought ti us, one important one is about the fragility of leadership even as establishing the point why it is so scared and important! It is between these spaces the seeds of the next pandemic can be found and this one relates to the leadership pandemic and how well we are able to steer through this one will largely decide- as individuals or societies whether we progress or regress and whatever we choose to do- how fast or slow will that onset be! Join me here as we take a quick look through this concept and see what this is all about and what is that we can do about it- of we can do something about it!

Needless to say there is a whole lot of art and science to leadership, but what is equally important is the fact that neither can leadership be enacted in vacuum and nor can leadership be made available on demand! The whole of 2020 has seen the world over inter-personal engagement dynamics change- some of these may be welcome and few others may have been not that so welcoming but irrespective whichever one you have witnessed or have been part of there certainly would have been one certain casualty of all this disruption and that would have been the Leadership aspect!

Leadership was and never will be about recorded video logs of company CEOs, PR generated perfected newsletters and “From the CEO’s desk” communication”, simply because no one really gives a damn to any of that and none of that really matters! What alone matters to every soul on the team is the simple pointed question-what is my role in this changing space and how long am I needed here and for what! This is yet a very smaller instance around just the communication disasters that leaders worldwide have engaged with their colleagues and team members over the last few months! There are far more graver ramifications which perhaps have already been unleashed and the results of these will be needless to say more impactful, visible and played out in the open- through failing products, services, and organisations in the days and months that follow us in 2021! The primary reason for all that to set in, is not only the failure of the existing leadership mechanisms within organisations, but also because there are more than required number of organisations which stand out as brilliant examples of colossal organisational incompetence especially related to the critical space of Leadership and this in turn sets off a chain reaction- driving the firm and the people therein into a never ending death spiral of fading and failing leadership across levels- one level at a time!

What the pandemic has done is, that it has effectively stripped away the whole corporate world of all the necessary and unnecessary camouflage in one go! Needless to say, like a chameleon who has lost it’s colors, every element in that corporate set up lies exposed like a striking contrast to the chosen background- which makes it all the easier for the the other chameleons (read competitions) and the enticed viewers (read clients/ customers) all the more aware and clear of what really lies beneath the hood and thereby taking away all that built your charm, energy and warmth that would have ever been there in that ongoing engagement! Not only that even within the set ups of the myriad departments and organisational hierarchies, it has been now then ever before (thanks to the pandemic) that reality has set in and for once people know- who really works hard, smart or not at all and all those time-sheets have been begun to offer productive data which is far more meaningful now then ever it was earlier! In all this churn, there are casualties, many simply because they happened to be at the right place at the wrong time and few whose luck had eventually ran out- again the Pandemic to the rescue! Either ways what has now eventually evolved is a scenario where there are a few leaders left at the top, few people at the bottom and a middle level surge- where everyone seems to be herded together- with very few among them having the competence, knack or the finesse to lead that flock as the time moves ahead! But you may ask why should this happen? Well let me explain with a simple example!

For all those of you, who have spent some time being alert in the corporate world- a few things would have been absolutely clear- there are groups, group-isms, favorites and teams that work and teams that don’t work, leaders who work and who don’t so on and so forth! Before the pandemic hit, each organisation no matter how large or small it was, had the space within to navigate and allow a certain permissible and width of non-performances simply because it would be too costly, difficult and tenacious to monitor and track that- the effort wold have been more costly than the result of that observation! Hence earlier when colleagues said they had “Lunch meeting” you were never sure how much of that was Lunch and how much of that was a meeting! You never knew how much of meeting time was really required and how much was taken up! Before the pandemic you always needed the large conference room – full of people with additional chairs drawn in and tea and coffee raining all over the conference tables within the maze of wires and cables- only for everyone to come out of that conference room- agreeing on one thing that had to meet again! It is in instances like these that pandemic had eventually ended up being a blessing in disguise!

As soon as organisations, got their act together and established process and policies for the new world standard of the “WFH” (Work from Home) they began to realise and see their folly! Vendor expenses started to go down- no more travel, no more endless headache of tea/coffee, canteens, food orders so on and so forth, worrying about the light’s been left on, that AC left on – noting of all that at all! Furthermore if that was not enough, now you had a perfect chance to track and trim performance to the minute! No tea breaks, smoke breaks, no saying , “I was there”, “I was in a meeting”, all those long meaningless and conclusion-less meetings suddenly started to get productive under 30 minutes- simply because now you had to write the agenda in the subject line with the expected outcomes by the end of the meet (God alone knows why people had to wait for a pandemic to just get this bit done!)! Another fallout of this, unwitting expose of performance and competence/incompetence needless to say would be the head rolls, doing away with people and processes that do not matter anymore simply because there is nothing forthcoming from those areas in the Now or in the times ahead! This is the space from where the real onset of the Leadership pandemic starts!

Now that there are a handful of “resourceful leaders” having done away with “the ones’ not needed” and with middle layers of the organisation being told decisively that they hold the key to the future (not sure whose- theirs or the organisations) and not many junior level positions being retained or replenished (so that the mid level takes upon the incompetence of the higher ups and makes up for the loss of productivity due to the lack of resources at the lower levels!) the game is all set to usher in failing and fatalistic Leadership Incompetence! Why! Well, simply because organisations, as we speak right now are replete with doers’ they may be great no doubt but if you don’t have the visionaries who behold the vision of the future to lead and the support of the enthusiastic and curios generations that er to follow, every attempt to try and do something different or do the same thing better will fail- always and each time! This is how the leadership pandemic will manifest and play out as severe and un-treatable incompetence- simply because the real leaders are no longer steering the ship and with amateurs at the wheels who think it is easy to swim by reading a book, well the outcomes are almost always predictable and far way from the desired ones’ that an organisation would ever want to have!

This mindless rejig of organisations, by doing away with people and process without applying detailed thought and process and furthermore trying to expect the mid level to rise to the occasion ( at the same expense/cost and provide an output of the higher level!) and deliver what the seniors couldn’t with ever diminishing support from below and around, well it’s anyone’s’ guess what we are setting ourselves up for and what kind of leaders will emerge- if they ever do from these scary shadows of corporate dumbness! You may still want to present you case citing, why should thins be a problem- if there able people at the mid-level then why shouldn’t they rise and deliver! Well, I am sure there are and there will be- the problem is not about they being able to deliver- the problem will arise in the space of “how the deliver” well you can bake a cake as long as you learn how bake one, but to come up with the finest of them, you need to know the intricacies of the process and those magic moments where things begin to happen for taking that bread from the ordinary league to the premium league and this is what is missing at the mid – level- simply because the earlier masters would have forgotten to handover that secret key- either intentionally or unintentionally and without that no matter how many time you bake- your cake will yet remain ordinary! The story of Leadership pandemic is the story of rise of incompetence to further complicate things simply because the original masters are no longer on the scene!

If you look around you, you would have by now experienced some fall in the level and professionalism in the services that you seek, may be that engagement centre, the communication tonality, it could be the lacking warmth or simply renewed alignments on the agreed way of engagement- whichever way you are able to perceive what you do- the fact is that all of this is emerging out of the ever increasing leadership deficit, which is doing nothing but accelerating the onset of the leadership pandemic! If you thought this was limited only to the corporate world, think again! Just take a moment to pause and reflect on what can and will happen when this leadership pandemic sets in powerful offices which lead nations and societies! That is when the real ramifications will be felt and hit hard and fast and needless to say they will not be even an ounce pleasing to anyone for that matter! You would end up societies and nations having dumb rules and even dumber ways to manage that ever increasing dumbness within and around! Want proof?- I am sure, wherever you live, you would have heard about night curfews to manage the virus! There are many such subtle examples of dumb decisions coming up from powerful offices, for only one reason- the leaders (who are supposedly advising) are the ones’ who are part of the leadership pandemic and even as they are failing fast, they are preparing a whole new nightmare of even dumber people coming into succeed! So what’s the way ahead, can anything be done!

If you ask me, the only way to fix a systemic problem is either to set up a completely new system sans the garbage of the old ones’ or start rectifying existing systems at multiple fracture points and repairing them in tandem and ensuring that the right people are always at the right places ( no matter what their price tag) for quality has a prices and unless that is paid, rest assured all of us are on a one way ticket to a hellish dumb future! perhaps the only saving grace about Leadership is that it has a core intrinsic value- something that can’t be wiped off or taken away and if you are a leader in the real essence of that word then the chances are that you would be among the few people standing between complete chaos and method to the madness scenarios that we collectively look forward to face in the future!

I leave you with these thoughts for now, urging you to stay ever vigilant and practice what you can by being the Leader that you can be for yourself and the others around you so that we are able to stall the onset of the forthcoming leadership pandemic at an individual and a collective levels alike! Feel like you have already experienced instances of failing leadership- have heart- if you have noticed it and have been able to discern it- chances are you have the way around or over it to stall and overpower it!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay vigilant about this leadership pandemic!

Are you fooled by numbers?

I am not too sure, but perhaps there was a wise person who one fine day decided that humanity must pursue all and only those things that can be measured and all that is been pursued must be measured, this self-defeating thought has led us to a point where that even the amount of happiness that we seem to experience in our lives has got reduced to the digital world of likes, comments and shares! Join me here as we try to understand why numbers are not everything- always and why the context and totality of the circumstances too matter!

Walk into any high performing sales organization, and yes, the only things that will ever matter are going to be number, well nothing wrong with that- whether those numbers are for the sales achieved or for the earnings and incentives made- either ways it works for everyone who is part of that system- but if you were to start evaluating the How and Why of the sale and When and Where of the sale, things will suddenly start to seem much more different then they are! Let me explain! Consider this, you have a young person who has joined the organization in the last quarter and has been able to win back three lost clients but the sale values are less then 50% of his target for the quarter- so has he performed or not? Did he do it the wrong way by investing more time to win clients back, rather than going for the easy kills and hitting that 100% target achieved tag? Well this is just one of those many examples that we come across the corporate world where in all the time people are talking about % achieved, “x” numbers instead of “y” a year back, 125% over the target (ask a puritan mathematician and they will tell you why anything over 100% looks outright stupid! The essence of % is to record what is within the 100% not ever above it!). In all these crazy and at times dumb and outrageous measurements what we forget to factor in is the most important aspect of everything around us- the human aspect associated with numbers!

Consider the pandemic that is being played out, apart from the real health issues that we have to fight and deal with as a society, what is also baffling is the amount of statistical junk and unwanted data that gets thrown out on our face day in and day out! More often then not all these numbers are data that are thrown are pure junk, let me tell you why! When what should be communicated is actual number of active cases (that is real people infected as of in that moment of reporting), often what is shared is the total number of cases since the onset of the pandemic- needless to say higher numbers are shared, more fear mongering and more chaos! If you thought the way we are dealing with the pandemic was bad, just see what’s happening around with the vaccines! The sample size of volunteers for the vaccines is not in the millions or the thousands (at least- what should be when it comes to clinical trials- across morbidity and medical health spectrum),but what we have as 100% success and promise about vaccines is limited to a few hundreds of people undergoing accelerated trials! So when these vaccines tested and cleared on the fast route hit the market shelves- I am not pretty sure if you want to be the first ones to go ahead and take that intriguing shot!

So why have societies taken a sudden liking to play around with numbers and represent only what the numbers say (which often is not the whole picture!)? What is playing out here? Well …read on!

You see, whether you like it or not, numbers have this power which is intrinsic to them (as they are absolute), it is only when metrics are added and when they are added the way it suits the person who is recording it- rather the way the big bosses want it to be- even a healthy number begins to look bad- let me clear this for you- the earlier example of that sales person- who won back three old clients- well so if you were to measure his success on the measurement of old clients won- keeping the target 0- he would have outperformed! but when you measure his performance only against his target- well he will look bad enough at 50%- possibly hanging on to his dear job! So what is the truth? Before I answer that, consider the vaccines’ that are likely to come up- they are 100% safe among how many- 100, 200, 300 and what are the population numbers that are going to get the shots- around 2 billion! Think about that- a trail done on a few hundreds is going to decide the fate of 2 billion people world over- let that sink in! Numbers are never the whole truth or the entire truth- like nothing is- I don’t want to sound philosophical here, but that is what it is- absoluteness is a mirage when it comes to applying that principle to the worldly things around us! So how do we go about this and make sense of the junk that we face day in and day out?

Well, first things first, if you are that sales guy and if you in that spot where you have not been appreciated or even had a mention of your efforts to win back lost clients, you should know right away- you are in a wrong place! You are basically in poker yard- where only sleight of hands matter and if you were to loose a few hands too often, you will be actually thrown out of that arena! As far as the other things that are concerned, the magical % and numbers and averages and fractions, the GDP’s, the Growth and Decline graphs everything that you see, think before you consume it! Practice the pause, and try to see what the numbers aren’t communicating enoughthere has to be a contextual set around what has been presented and the first step is to see whether that is the right lens or frame to see and evaluate things through to begin with even before you want to decide what is the right thing to measure! In the case of a pandemic, measuring deaths is perhaps the only definitive metric to gauge the aggressiveness and severity of the infection and the spread of the virus among the vulnerable- everything else is just a statistical model- because eventually all of the other sets/ sub sets of data will live to tell the tale!

So, the next time you come across a hotshot, telling you details about stats and numbers, ask that person to pay a visit to the section of human studies, social construct and public policy, perhaps the person will have a changed mind- if not a changed heart- to revisit the numbers that they have- because they will too realise that- numbers are not the whole truth but a part of the whole truth and the whole truth can never be complete unless the human story is aligned and is part of that narrative! If numbers were truly supreme, the world would have been lead by all the people who had high scores across all the IQ and MENSA tests ever designed and administered- We all know for a fact that- we live in a world where fools have opinions louder than their wisdom and the knowledgeable are at times far too silent to even realsie that it’s not the noise around that they hear but their beating heart- which seems to be racing up and down as it witnesses dumb rule and the wise fail!

I leave you here with these thoughts, urging you to reflect upon how was your relation with numbers, how did you manage to extract completeness from them? Were you able to create value by adding relevant contexts and how did you stay away from adding ambiguity and ensuring that you did not measure what did not serve any purpose!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until than stay wise and yes, do read the text that comes with the numbers- always!

Avoid the pandemic of errors.

As the world begins to open up once again, we will be served front row seats to the ingenuity and dumbness of humanity is equal measure! The only worrisome part being that dumbness looks funny as long as it does not hit you hard and where it hurts the most! Join me here as we take a look at what is this pandemic of errors all about and can we do something about it and yes, what is it that we can do?

Irrespective of where you are in the world the chances are that you would by now completed around 150+ days either working from the dis-comfort of your home or you would have been waging a war with the limited resources available at your work place (you included) and to all of this add a top layer of diminishing intelligence on an hourly basis!– Well we have just got setting up ourselves for untold misery- and whether this misery translates into 2$ getting debited form your bank or a few millions wiped off– really depends on bad is your karmic debt! So what is really unfolding here? Why would suddenly a functional and orchestrated society falter and run into a myriad of errors and operations take a beating? Well read on!

As trainers, managers, practitioners of human resource management, behaviorist we have all heard about the theories about habits been formed and destroyed over a period of 21 days (some agree and few disagree), the placebo effect and so on and so forth. The whole Covid19 onset and the unwitting response mechanism has virtually ended up playing havoc with our brains (leave the mind out for now!) causing physiological alteration leading to health issues which extrapolate into behavioral problems with time and few of them could manifest like loosing the span of attention, hyper anxiety and so on and so forth! Not to forget these broad generic indications are further amplifies or subdued based on intrinsic traits of individuals and when you end up having a bunch of wrong individuals with a developing problem- it within no time will blow up into a society wide degeneration and read to all that one doesn’t want to see unfold in any neighborhood! Yes, those dark alleys from where normally we never wish to pass by- talk about crimes pertaining to physical harm, scams and allied manifestations which are nothing but an indication that the society has got consumed by the problem and rather then finding the path ahead or a solution, resigns itself to ways that serve the Now rather than the Tomorrow! Let me explain!

The chances are that by now, you too would have felt the change coming into your patterns of approaching people and issues that come your way. You would have perhaps noticed that you don’t speak that much now, your choice of words has reduced, perhaps your answers are more crisp, more in one liners and possibly also as single words, chances are that we you do speak- you seem like you are never going to stop! By now you would have also started to think about whatever happened to those two hour long meetings, why and how are the meetings for the same cause been wrapped in under 30 minutes! If these evolving patterns within your work areas were not enough just reflect on the experience that you are getting as you walk into restaurants, stores, dial into call centre agents, across the board you will see a common pattern emerging- the pattern of falling and failing quality of conversations, commitments and engagement! This seems fine as long as it deals with these vocations that I mentioned, but think about like in the case of the banks, aviation, armed services, political class, bureaucracy- these are the sections of societies for any nation that alter and direct policy and if these sectors begin to witness rampant failure and collapse of systems – people and process- you can imagine the outcomes! Already the world has seen multiple incidents of industrial fire accidents– like in India, in Beirut, the recent Oil spill near MauritiusSomewhere this failing engagement of people is certainly a contributory factor in these and many other such incidents and that’s why it becomes very crucial to correct and stem this issue right now! So how do we go about this before this behavioral trait assumes some chronic proportions and suddenly we start to live in a society where erring becomes the new normal (like living with the Virus has become one!)? Read on!

When societies are hit hard by, what I call this a Sledge-Hammer event or episode- say like a building collapse, a terror attack or a war- the initial reaction of the society as a whole is to freeze and individuals within the society race to secure what they can as they can based on who and where they are in the social scheme of things! Next, as the initial shock is absorbed, people start to emerge and check what can be salvaged and what can be re-started and operated and what can’t be-In case of the pandemic of this virus- this empowerment unfortunately went into the hands of the governments- and needless to say- based on their acquired level of incompetence- many of them ended up complicating an already fragile situation and the whole world ended up being plunged into an economic melt down from a health crisis and the best part- none of them were solved! It is against this backdrop that as people begin to gain their connections back through work with other people- they are greerted by surprise- albeit an unwanted one- the same people who seemed to be compassionate and warm are now suddenly cold and blunt (if not rude) as yet! Speaking about compassion well that’s on thin ice right now, across the world!

So as people begin to re-connect with an already compromised social setting coupled with rapidly diminishing competence (as in many cases the way of working would have altered and the new way may not be suiting everyone equally!), as a society we are yet again setting up for another disaster on the making! Poor listening, poorer cognition and analytical ability and a colored contextual setting will only create more forced errors than anything else and that will translate into losses of unimaginable magnitude putting at times even nations at risk, not to forget people and their lives! Solution to stop this?

Well, start at the start go back to the basics! As it is a human problem, trust the specialists who deal or have been at the helm of dealing with human behavior. These folks and the HR specialists are the ones’ who can make a difference between an organisation thriving or diving as things begin to heat up! For their intervention and sensing of the state of mind of their employees alone will ensure that their organisation is as error free as humanly possible and when this approach is replicated across the board, a society is safeguarded and trust is put back into the whole space (earlier then one would have thought)! If there was ever a time when HR was vital and critical for organisations, it is now! Perhaps there has been no better time across the globe for people to seek People specialist to safeguard individual sanity and protect business interest which cumulatively run into billions of dollars the world over and that is what keeps the world moving, apart form astronomical factors! So how does one go about it?

Start at an individual level, perform an HR audit of yourself- seek what has improved and what has lost its shine- see what you need to get it back and then stay around that focus area and keep walking ahead. When teams come into picture, it is vital to know what each member of the team has been through- the personal cost- and how that may alter re-engagement patterns within the team knowing the construct of the team and the individual temperaments in the team, solutions like re-shuffling of teams, re-jig, breaking down, disbanding, or creating anew- all and any of these strategies could be deployed to ensure that personal hues don’t end up coloring a team intent and goal which in these times of hard to come business is that last thing that any organisation will need! Finally once the Individuals are aligned and the team is, its all about refining the top of the pyramid- the people- the process- the goals and the paraphernalia associated with that space. This whole exercise then goes a long way to eject errors- both people and process related, stem them across levels and ensure that as the re-engagement continues to build within the organisation and externally- the trust element is reached at earlier levels quickly and then the pandemic discussions really are left restricted only to that up of tea and all other engagements and conversations get aligned to business challenges and solutions therein!

Although this “pandemic of errors” statement looks comical and innocent, don’t be fooled by the grave risk that it brings along to each one of us and societies across the world- irrespective how progressed we are! It just takes the grave error of misjudgment of one person to bring an airliner down or one piece of miscommunication to start a brisk war between nations or just one misunderstanding to turn tables of a political tide and thats how errors can end up doing some serious damage! These forced errors, sure enough arise from different challenges that individuals face- and there are certain ways and means to address those and people have been doing that all the time- so I will not get into the details of those aspects here, the only flag that I wanted to raise through this piece was that, All is not well in the Human Fairyland and all of us need to be looking over the shoulder of the next person around us – not because you don’t trust that person- but simply because that person is probably too self-consumed and fatigued to even know what’s unfolding and his intentional or unintentional act will end up having consequences for you- at times they may end up being more damaging for you than the person who sets it off! You may call this a prophecy or call it an anxious rant, but the truth is that the current hard stop that the world got sold into, will cause more damage over the next 18 months, unless we are genuinely looking over each other!

I leave your here, for now, take some time to reflect and sieve through the errors that you think are lurking around and within you and get into the proactive pest control mode now to have a peaceful time ahead!

Ciao for now! Stay wise and stay connected! Guys subscribe here and to my page on FB so that you don’t miss any article!

Masked smiles & Altered lives.

As ironical it may see, but we live in the age that we have no other choice but to wear that smile of ours, albeit masked, but we need to wear it anyways! The challenge- to be sure to smile at the right time by knowing the smiles behind the other masks! As organisations and societies emerge from the shadows of the pandemic, what is going to be very important is the re-connect that we bring about, person to person, how that re-connect happens will go a long way to decode how societies emerge- whether they are more cohesive then ever before- with an overdose of empathy or whether they deteriorate further and the society continues to be masked not only to keep the virus away, but also to keep humans away form each other! Join me here as we explore what’s unfolding and what is that we can and cannot, do about it!

All of us know this very archaic statement about “humans being social animals”- I guess this age old statement has all the words in the right order! The last one is perhaps the most crucial one that we keep on ignoring, that as humans we too are “animals”. Needless to say when the social fabric of societies undergoes unintended or at times crafted stretch beyond an allowable limit; we see the animal manifest within the societies that we move about. This animal element then could be the individual, the community as a whole or the leadership that directs and builds a pathway to that effect! How this helps or harms the construct of the evolving society is really another story, what I really want to discuss is what perhaps is evolving behind the masks and why that space is so very critical to manage and measure the altered lives that we will encounter as we move ahead!

Even as a layman, if you think about how we tend to connect and communicate, perhaps even before the spoken words- it’s often the smile that either welcomes us, keeps us at a distance or ensures we don’t waste our time in the place that we have found ourselves in! That is the power of the smile- a crooked thing which apparently sets everything straight! Now with that formidable (and in some cases even infectious) smile staying hidden behind the veil of the mask- it’s going to be anyone’s guess what the encounters of the future are going to end up like! In all probability people will resign themselves to the virtual smiles through the digital connect of video calls, rather than the earlier in-person warmth! Sure enough, the smile is but a component of human interaction and not the complete interaction so why bother if that’s masked? Well if you want to learn more, do get in touch with an expert for Non-Verbal Communication or someone who excels at Body Language and they will be better equipped to tell you the art and science of what happens when people cloak themselves up and we are unable to read the vital cues- sure, no one will possibly get killed- but given the diminishing intelligence that people have- you never know!

Go back to your normal working day, perhaps some time last year, before all this nonsense of the pandemic crept up- what do you see, rush hour hustle to reach your office or business headquarters, that pooled cab, those conversations, those jokes, that stiff upper lip- which was possibly cracked opened by another smile from a perfect stranger on the subway, that laughter and those moments of stress through the meetings- which were well read and relaxed by a ill times joke- all these and many such instances were only possible because all the cues were given away by the presence or absence of a smile! Certainly wearing a mask, in the given context is vital to ensure you still remain in the present and don’t figure as a number in some morbid list, but with the masks on, and the decoding becoming tougher by the day, as people get more and more tough business situations to deal with- what’s going to manifest is primarily more and more curtailed, truncated conversations- limited engagements- which are just to the point of meeting business objectives and that’s about it! This will leave out the human completely and knowingly or unknowingly each one of us will become a part of this- cyborg kind of setting wherein our conversations increasingly become limited, referring to spread sheet column numbers, diagrams, percentages, etc. etc. and no one seems to be bothered about what’s happening within the person with whom they are engaging- good or bad- intentional or unintentional- well contexts can be many and reasons too could be valid or invalid- but what is certain is that, these engagements will end up stamping out the smile and remain focused on the masks rather then the smile behind will leave and this will eventually leave an unalterable mark on the development and engagement of human collaboration in the times ahead! For some sectors it may help, yet for other it may harm progressively stalling the spirit of collaboration, trust, interdependence which are vital for a few things, no matter how much automated we are or aspire ton be! So how do we go about this? Can this be stopped? How do we cope with this?

To begin with the earlier we realise, as Individuals, Societies,Communities that the whole essence of being a human is about being together and for each other- is when this menace can be altered and we can rescue humanity from being turned into a primitive level of cyborgs wherein all of us just end up being extensions of our digital presence by work, position or influence! For this to happen, we need to see what seems to be cloaked away in plain sight! We have been told about wearing the mask- sure enough do it- but no one asked you not to smile- no one asked you to become curt- no one asked you to loose that warmth in your voice- so re-create that- so what if its all coming from the filter of the mask- so be it- put that extra pep in the effort and ensure that your personality and it’s vibrancy is able to come out shining through the physical mask and that physical mask doesn’t end up becoming a psychological mask that subdues your brain, your power to assert, communicate and express yourself- don’t ever allow that to happen because no one is asking you to do that and no one will ever nor can anyone ever! This clarity of knowing that physicality of the mask to cover and protect you has and cannot have any bearing on your ability to express and assert yourself is of fundamental importance! The human brain is a little funny, the moment you create imagery and demonstrative influences around it- the mind games begin and then the whole response or reactive mechanism is nothing but how strong you rationalization, scientific approach and common-sense is! The moment you unwittingly add even the smallest element of emotion to this unfolding drama, all hell will break loose and you will end up not only masking your face, but also your mind and your ability to think!, playing straight into the hands of those who are possibly directing your society right now!

So, to keep it simple, remember your faces is masked not you! The more you succumb to the emotional melodrama through the forced down narratives chances are that you will end up thinking or rather begin to direct your ability to think in the direction which serves the interest of everyone else but yourself and you will just go on to prove the points like a few of the social influencers are trying to right now- like you know, “work form home” is awesome, “sabbatical is a great time” and so on and so forth! Remember, we are in midst of not only a pandemic, but a global reset and all the unfolding narratives that you see near and far- are all competing for only one thing- no not the cure for the pandemic- but for deciding the direction of the altered society as it emerges out of this pandemic! Think about it- do you really think that it would have taken a pandemic for global MNCs to spare a few dollars on home furniture and ask employees to work from home? Wouldn’t it have saved them millions of dollars by not having to pay rents or build those awesome buildings with great infrastructure to begin with (which they sold so often & so brashly as they attracted youngsters at campuses and in the competing firms to come and work from them)? Think! So what’s the plan? Read on!

Being a blog, I wouldn’t want to get into the intricate details about what the social directors aim to do and why, whether thats right or wrong, that’s not the point! The whole point is to tell you all just one thing, guard your face but unleash your smile! Even if you are masked, when you smile, the mask will give away that vital cue and that is the essence of being human and being connected with each other- to look after each others’ back and collaborate as we navigate the uncertain times! If you ask me, this time that we are witnessing is the modern equivalent of the ice age, unless we stay connected, communicative and wise, our individual weaknesses will end up empowering the greed of a few to stall our creative abilities and take away the very freedom that we cherish so much to be who we are by exercising the choices that we have- in the society that we live about!

Altered behaviors, will sure enough be there and we may alter our behaviors as we go along, nothing to complain about that bit, but what is essential and fundamental is that any and all altered behaviour must be a result of our human connect and the empathy that we hold within and not because of some social dictate that has been pushed down our throats! Take a moment and read again, if you need to, but this is the most fundamental difference and this alone will decide if societies will progress or regress they come out of this pandemic! Our choices and ability to choose have to remain intact as they weer before, as I keep saying our face is masked not our mind- as long as you remember this one thin- rest assured all your actions will be aligned to the right path of individual progress and when many of us do this, society will move ins a directions which serves the greater good to many rather then ending up serving a few and short changing ourselves in the bargain!

So, if you ask me, what are my final words here, keep that warmth glowing behind that mask- your face may be covered but nor are your eyes and neither is your mind- let that smile flow as it normally does, let the eyes express and the voice radiate the warmth and genuineness that you have for your fellow humans! Unless we make a resolve to stay connected even as we adorn the masks, re-connecting anytime in the future will be too little too late- because by then we risk ending up becoming a complete digital extension of that video meeting room ID number and everything human about us will be at a grave risk!

I leave you here, with these thoughts, urging you to wear your smile (albeit behind your mask) and always remember: That human connect is vital and no matter who says what, don’t let anyone mask your thinking and your mind- for there resides the power to change your today and your tomorrow!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one! Until then stay safe, and smile! ūüôā

The Work From Home pandemic!

I know you may think, I am out of my mind, but trust me, when I say the next challenges pertaining to human creativity , collaboration and trust are all going to arise from this so -called magic bullet of work-from-home! Join me here as we try to gauge what is perhaps greatly amiss and why what’s missing here will eventually end up causing the next pandemic with connotations spanning the mental health, financial health and work health of individuals and corporations world over! So here we go!

As the virus came calling, governments did what humans are great at doing- imitation- yes imitate what’s happening with the other nation; so as one nation locked down, so did others- well not to blame anyone for so much little was even known as things started to go from bad to worse and by the time people knew what had to be done and there was too much of cheese all over the place to avoid people from tripping, falling and breaking their bones- so the holy answer to all problems became the lock down and with that piece of unwarranted medical harakiri came the second unintended consequence of “work from home”!

People forgot in no time,even their ability to think and see how suddenly, just because the law of the land said so,working from home became fine! It is the same company perhaps, which would have made you move houses so that you could cut the traffic and reach on time, perhaps it is the very same firm which said, the offer letter could be given only if you stayed within a 10 mile radius and can make it ot the office on time, these are the very same offices which cut your leaves, salaries because you clocked in ten minutes late , three times over in a month just as recently as a few months back, now they all seemed to be just fine- for them- even as your privacy and peace at home has been plundered, looted and laid threadbare- whether it is that pet calling for you attention, that maid coming in at the critical moment through you presentation or the small kid who simply doesn’t understand what the parent is doing toying around with an electronic gadget- all and many such more minute scenarios are laying the foundation for your next disaster in the making and if you are not careful, the next one will even shame the virus- because the next challenge coming your way will be more personal- created by you and can only be solved by you!

To begin with, let’s try to understand what has actually happened! One fine day, your organisation was informed it’s not business as usual- like many others you too rejoiced with the thought of being able to work in your pyjamas and seem cool- to post snaps from your kitchen and show your superhuman skills of being able to work at home and for office at the same time- well this was the first checkmate- you just proved to your firm that the work given by your firm- and the price at which it was given to you doesn’t seem to make any sense- so as a consequence- your work-from-home hours suddenly started to stretch beyond your levels of comfort and sanity- so that now forget the kitchen you also find it a challenge to relieve yourself! Add to this the next layer of complication that gets added when you have more number of family members “working from home”- conversations overlap, conversations are overheard, jokes become a pain point and tonality becomes a point of debate- next any remaining confidentiality- whether its that email to your colleague., vendor or boss- doesn’t miss the attention of the other members and often your emails will be spell checked and langage refined- finally at some point your people from office will know- you have got a communication expert sitting by you helping you counter your one more incompetence which now lies more exposed than ever!

Likewise there will be countless odditties that will come to the forefront and few of them will many a times not what you had been saying all the while to the people with whom you worked at the workplace and now that they have intruded your private space- well the sad fact is there is no place to go further and create ambiguity- so what does this to the trust between people? Well as colleagues you have mental images and comfort evolved dealing with specific individuals- not everyone you know makes you equally comfortable hence- you tell what you think is the level of comfort for both of you- but with this private space intrusion there is a new level of problem- a lot of people come to know what you have perhaps not told- because it may not have been necessary- or required or because you didn’t want to- in any case what that ends up doing (which again is unwarranted) is erodes a small amount of trust and once this process starts, trust me there is no going back and it’s just a matter of time that you will see so-called team re-alignments and working dynamics change and in extreme cases people shuffled across the board and in a few other case ejected from the system! All simply because your privacy got intruded and you really had not planned for this shit coming your way!

To all this drama when you add multiple stakeholders and also add the other work-from-home members from your residence (now which resembles kind of a public arena-because of the kind of activities that seem to start at 8am and end only around midnight!) the chaos and confusion only adds up and in some cases is bad enough to drive you crazy enough to either share some unpleasant exchanges with the people in the zone or simply hang up your boots and say a hasty goodbye to what would have otherwise been a smooth career pathway- the one that you had aspired for and set out to achieve right from your college days! So what’s really happening here? Is there a way out of this and way to manage this? How long will this go on and what’s really the matter- the work or you?

Let’s start from the beginning! Do you remember few of the conversations that you had when you took up this job (which has now intruded into your privacy)? Yes, topics like- work-life-balance, respect for private time, no calls or emails on holidays and weekends, why you must move closer so that you can commute and be in the office! Why the office discourages working from home- because they respect your privacy! and now this very office is advocating the very opposite of all that was said and agreed upon- why? The Virus- not at all- you see, global businesses, whether you are selling donuts or some high end jwellery have been under stress even before the pandemic broke out and globally the capitalists led- world of corporate blue collared elites have been waiting for an opportunity to correct the systemic wrongs and the pandemic just happened to be the blessing in disguise that they were ecer waiting for! This once in a lifetime opportunity gave them the reason to dishonour their corporate lease agreements, defer payments to vendors and staff indefinitely (unless in few nations where in the governments intervened and set the rules of engagement – to salvage some sanity), get even with the governments of the day to extract deep discounting for the next few years so on and so forth, not to forget the reset of their banking terms and conditions (the corporate ones- even as at an individual levels you still get hounded by debt collection calls!) So you see, the real thing about asking you to work from home is the least interest of your safety- but in the larger interest of corporate finance and the compulsions that go around with the nexus of business and politics the world over- nothing to say good about and nothing to whine- because neither I am the business nor the government! and you ended up thinking the work-from-home- intrusion to your privacy was a sacrifice that you are doing for upholding your company! Well keep thinking that way- and wait for the next nightmare!

The other serious level problem that has happened is that as individuals begin working connected through distributed spaces- human brain the way it is- trust erodes rapidly and you add a personality angle to it, this differentiating rate of trust erosion for all the right and wrong reasons helps accelerate the fall of teams and bring in the “new order”- read creating lean teams as the new need of the day- thereby kicking in pay cuts and job losses- each and every aspect of this is linked to the innocent looking solution of “work-from-home”! The things that help this, are the ability to track meticulously- time everything to the nth second and no more- lobby meetings, board room chats and walk around the office so the sudden addition of a 60-80 minutes of additional time through the day- ironically enough ends up making you look more non-productive than ever before and you too begin to loose a grip as the normal way of planning does not help as work seems to get over sooner than you think and as the battle to prove efficiency amongst colleagues takes centre stage- each one send sup undoing the other one and eventually create enough fluidity so that when the time comes- all are swept away in one masterstroke of team realignment! The only way that individuals hope that the organization still holds interest in them is by understanding if their home-office furniture ordered is coming in or not! I mean really! So is there anything that we can do, if this is all a game cast at the upper crest of societies and nations, do we stand a chance?

Well, as history says, when the war is with the system, you need to be in the system to beat the system or develop and evolve it, never has anyone been able to alter the course of history by staying aloof, unaffected or away from it! The fact remains that even as we engage and present ourselves to work with corporates or business houses- irrespective how experienced or inexperienced you are- you need to have your own intrinsic non-negotiable terms and conditions! Like all offices have a office rule book or a manual or better still a code of work , you too need to come up with a code book for your life- I mean, after all isn’t that the most important thing that you should ever be bothered about? Something that core and intrinsic, because when all else and everyone leaves you at some point in time- which they will certainly do- what stands with you apart from your shadow will be the core values systems and the intrinsic systems that construct and make you who you are! This, my friend is the essence of being able to stand firmly and face all the storms and high waves that may ever come your way- by harnessing the strength of who you are and for that to happen you need to be connected within and know yourself as well as you know the vocation that you pursue nor the people who matter you! Once you have cracked this essential adb vital code, rest assured, there could be a hundred more vurusses coming your way, the next time an organization asks you to work-from- home,you will know what is coming your way and chances are you’ll either insist to work form office or politely ask them to get in touch with you once the offices reopen! Exposing your private life for the capitalist greed of businesses and politicians is the last thing that you should ever do- this is similar to a soldier allowing spies into the nation! Think about it! Is anything really worth it -at the cost of peace, harmony and the wellbeing of the core unit that you represent in the society- the family that you have!

The work-from-home pandemic is the greatest illusion and perhaps even more dangerous than the virus, the virus will eventually will be tamed- there be vaccines and solutions through medical interventions, but the pandemic of work-from-home if allowed to get a foothold- will end up eroding the basic functional units of the societies the world over- these units could be families- small or large, could be partners living together, could be friends, or good people working on something bigger and better together! All of it will be lost to be enslaved to the greed of the growing capitalist clut with or without collusion of the political class of the day! The only way through this and to stem this, is by knowing who you are, what your value systems are and very importantly having the courage to say No- when enough is enough and guarding your private zone with every ounce of courage that you have!

I leave you here with these thoughts, for you to reflect, what your experiences have been and possibly urging you to create a blueprint for yourself and the unit that you hold close to you- so that you guard yourself from the next attack that may come your way disguised as yet another some new way of living or working!

Ciao for now, grab that coffee and I will be back soon with another article!

The “expert”syndrome.

Frankly speaking, I never thought life would be so exciting! We live in times when facts are stranger than fiction! Even the best fiction writers would not have been able to imagine the way we see intelligence and dumbness been played out every now and then! Join me, as we explore a funny, innocent looking and possibly the most damaging trait that lurks amongst all of us, nope, not the virus, this story is about the “expert” syndrome. We have a look into how this possibly originated, how it has evolved (or kind of devolved); so here we go!

As much as I wish to avoid, but I helplessly gravitate towards the topic of the “pandemic” ( not that I am obsessed by it), right now perhaps there is no other topic around the world that unites humanity the way the pandemic has! Either you are suffering more or suffering less, but the fact is you have earned yourself a ticket to this global show! Importantly this is a live study about how “experts” just ended up screwing the fate of millions of people the world over- by punching the right buttons at the wrong time and how the birth of overnight “experts” has possibly added to the chaos, creating more drama rather then providing solutions!

To begin with the pandemic is not a health issue, to begin with! Yes, sure enough a virus has crossed over from an animal to humans and this has in fact more to do with understanding the Virus, its behaviour, its potency, its vulnerabilities and ways to block, inhibit and restrict it form creating dis-ease or illness that can lead to fatality!Now just look who all are responsible in formulating strategies around the pandemic, no it’s not the virologists, neither are the immunologist , it is the doctors (who are supposed to pull those log tubes and ensure you live your life, even as they try to treat you with whatever they “think” works because “someone” told them so!). Sure enough, doctors will alone be able to save your life and keep you on this side of the world, no one is discrediting them, but the problem is that unless the “real experts” don’t give real solutions, all that doctors are left to do is struggle by trying out options and facing the never ending wrath of the patient’s families even as they are hanging on to their own dear lives with each passing moment! Other times, if it’s not doctors then depending on which country you reside in, it could be the head of the major religion that is followed in a country, or leaders in clinical research, bio-statisticians- yes, those gifted people who crunch numbers, extrapolate graphs and show the grim scenarios- straight out of a Hollywood movie- so that everyone is happy with any number less than that- this is the same shit like what you used to when you explained your maths scores to your parents- The conversation goes something like this-“Hey Dad, you see I got a C, and you should be grateful its not a F, something like that”! When all of these fail; you always have those invincible politicians becoming overnight Virologists and Health experts- who come on television and ask you to do everything and anything- from clapping, to banging your utensils to asking you for helping those who are more affected then yourself- so basically you burn down your house to provide warmth to the community! Hold your thoughts, with this pandemic here and let us visit another set of “experts”!

Alongside this pandemic, the world is also witnessing an increasing period of military tension and aggression whether it is encroachment of Indian land by China, the fragile nerves around the middle-east, the uneasy clam around the South China sea, The newly defined US- China Cold War ( I think a better term could “American Chop Suey” War!) Importantly, the war theaters of the world for some strange reason seem to be immune to the virus- making me wonder does the virus really exist! (well, don’t bother- it does!). Now with regards to this military flare up, if you are lucky to be in India or the USA, just switch on your Idiot- Box (yes the good old television) and flip to any of the news channels- you will be left dumb founded at the variety and diversity of suggestions/solutions and action plans thrown every few minutes, guess by whom? Yes, “the experts”! These experts have the answers, solutions, action points for all problems that the world is witnessing in real time and in few cases there are also animated VFX enabled decks which can play out scenarios with complete end-to-end detail and remember this- For every challenge that the world is facing- by evening all TV News channels the world over- have managed to get the experts (even before the nation or the government can lay their hands on their grey matter!). These experts then spell out strategies, action plans and hidden motives about the subject with great accuracy and convincing tenacity (putting even Nostradamus and other modern day fortune tellers to shame) the entire topic is laid open- all thread bare- often you are left wondering to which side do they belong- or are they the aliens from Mars who want to see humanity fight and finish off each other! Thankfully, the only commonality with these “experts” is that, no one is listening to them- no not even their audience! So what’s really happening- what is this phenomenon all about- why do we end up wasting prime satellite broadcast time what is this all about? Read on!

Since time in memorial, as civilizations have advanced, there has been the urge to dominate society with knowledge, information or power, the days we live today are no different, the only slight change perhaps, has been that we are also plagued by the space of mis-information, pseudo- knowledge and “self-proclaimed experts” more than ever before! The real problem accelerates because , even as the “real experts” are busy chipping away the challenge one step at a time- away form public glare- you have this abundance of “so-called experts” who seize the moment and occupy the void space of the real experts and convert the it into a glorified entertainment zone with no real sense or substance! Now, you may want to argue, why is that even allowed in the first place? Well, sadly that is how social engineering works to further what is called as “building narratives” and “getting social acceptance on opinions that are being sold” (irrespective whether they make sense or not)!

Consider the case of the pandemic, experts all along have debated, discussed and emphasized on cutting off people to people contact- well nations did it- what happened- did the situation improve? Well no if you are talking about absolute numbers, but yes, if you want to consider delaying a problem as a solution! If you are still wondering why this would have happened, well the answer is simple- remember I mentioned about “Immunologist” well yes, who were the centre piece to provide a solution- were all but ignored and not paid heed to as the world should have- you want to ask why? Well, you see creating economic adjustments and narratives and the promise of a new drug in the market makes vibrant economic sense and irrespective whether how accurate it is or not- the fact remains it serves the purpose of the few who drive and direct the societies the world over and once this is supplemented by the entertainment over media- you have a water tight case and everyone now believes that lock-downs are good! Wait until they realise that the cure has been worst than the disease and that by itself will be another story of social chaos!

Likewise, do you really think, armies across the world would decipher their strategy, potency and abilities over news channels and TV shows, well certainly not, than why the circus- this is called as opinion building- I mean you want citizens of a nation to support a decision of your’s to go to war- how would you get it done? Well, yes the classic way- ignite the patriotic lamp, create an enemy- communicate the over exaggerated threat and inform that this is the only way and you are the only one who can do it! That’s it! The nation is ready to go to war! Now, if you are wondering why would anyone do this, well, it plays well to the audience in the one countries who have just rudely awakened to their patriotic nerve and secondly helps to create a new order by bringing in distraction, chaos and uncertainty, not for one, but many countries around the world! In the connected times that we live in today, if USA catches cold, India will sneeze and the converse is also equally true!

So even as multitudes of ” so called experts” burn the midnight oil, fry our brains and occupy TV shows at prime times and keep throwing off solutions by the minute, the real experts are busy doing what really matters and the way it should be done- with focus and direction to create solutions to the problems at hand! You see these “overnight experts” have advise for everyone; whether it is the President of the USA or the Director General of WHO; they always have a suggestion for everyone, but for themselves! We should be thanking our stars, that The White House or The UN is as yet not taking these stunts seriously, if that happens, it will be the last sign of overall annihilation of intelligence form the face of the earth!

The only reason why this “expert” syndrome exists is because we are now kind of attuned to some “breaking news”, “some development”, “some news”, which may be good or bad, to make us feel our lives contextually better or worse each time that we switch on the TV and we are always left saying, “Great it was not me” and then moving on as if noting happened to the next circus! You see the real geniuses of the world don’t have time for TV shows and ranting off strategy on prime time! They are serious about what they do and they know what is at stake, likewise real politicians, statesman and business houses, they never waste time ranting off their next moves, secrets as a prime time event! Often,the ones’ who hardly have a figment of understanding of what’s really unfolding end up occupying the void places left by the real experts and since public memory is short, they are always forgotten and at times they themselves forget what is that they had said about a problem and often end up contradicting themselves as time flows!

The easiest way to note and steer clear of the “expert syndrome” is by knowing who is speaking about what! If the people who are speaking are not the ones’ who are solving the problem at hand, then no matter what, you can be rest assured they are just occupying the void and creating an entertainment quotient! Think about it! Had they really been experts and there is a criss at hand, where would they really have been? In a TV studio or at the place – Ground Zero- where the solution have to be found and implemented?!

Before I begin to sound like another “expert”, I will leave you here, urging you to reflect and check for yourself, how many “experts” you really know and if you too are an “expert” which one are you- the real one or the pseudo one!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another article, until then stay wise, stay safe and enjoy your expertise at what you really do!

Practice Mindful Hiring to avoid Mindless Firing.

Yes! I know folks, you may want to start with a negative thought about this article, but trust me, it’s gonna be more fun than you think, remember my last article? about the layoff thingy, Well this is to put the context more clearly and possibly help people at both ends of the table to formulate their own strategies to avoid unwanted miseries in their life- given the times that we live in! So here we go!

Well, to begin with,let me make one point clear- Let’s stop blaming a microbe for everything and anything around us! Well, admit it, the world economy was stalling, faltering and failing it across nations around late 2019, even as the pandemic was manifesting itself- whether that was intentional or not, is a different story altogether, we will leave that for some other time, the point here is that the world was already on it’s way to a meltdown and there was just one trigger that was needed which could accelerate the fall- the pandemic came in as a surprise- although like always war would have been a favorite candidate to precipitate the economic slow down that we are witnessing today! So why did businesses fail because of a Virus? read on…

We need to understand, how geopolitics and collusion of business with politics and politicians runs deep behind the scenes and scrutiny of the public eye! All that the Virus was scientifically was asking one to do was – keep social distancing and stay away from vulnerable people (ill/aged/those who have weakened immunity) and avoid public places (basically places where it becomes difficult to stay away and trace who came from where , when, for how much time and why!) Given. this fact- see how nations reacted- Lockdown! Well, most of them did it and as this was unleashed- it ensured that business obituaries started to get written one sector after the other, one regions after the other and this whole event created a chain reaction which has now plunged the whole world into a severe economic crisis even as nations continue to battle out with the health emergency! You may now want to ask, what has all this got to do with hiring and firing of people? You may want to present a case, “Why should business continue to pay employees, if there is no business activity?” Well actually that is far from what the real problem is!

You see, when all was smooth sailing, businesses, their favorite bankers, their lovely political friends all of them came together to ensure that each and every business is magnified with an intention that every business seems to be bigger, better than the next competitor and so much so that, even the “I am Number 1” parameters begin to come up with different metrics and business bodies end up with “Award functions” all through the year, where every organisation gets awarded for the same reason by a different awarding agency! Well anyways- nothing to say bout this right or wrong- each person’s nectar is divine for that person! This is the point where the problem starts!

You see, humans all have egos, even I have a much earned one- where I refuse to speak with people with lower intelligence than myself!- The point here is the Business egos are far more dangerous and destructive especially when they collude with politics, the whole market place becomes one big rigged casino- no matter which machine you want to play at- you are already defeated even before the game starts!

Companies have been traditionally into the space of what I call Myopic resource management- whether that is people or other things. Myopic People Management is by far the most fatal of all the flaws that businesses can come up with and when these get operational, slow and painful death of an organisation is all but certain! Business always have had a tendency to keep hiring- at times for no real reason-Sometimes to fill up a large office space, do the cheap multiplier- get more for less dollars, just let there be a buzz, anticipating clients coming in- which is nothing but hallucination provided by the “close inner circle” who themselves have often no fucking clue of what they are upto! All these myopic dealings eventually end up being a case of ,”Too many cooks and nothing to cook”, situation for organisations every year – every few years; and you will notice, some companies do this with striking predictability- they will fire- than after a few months they will re-hire- and the cycle goes on and on! In all this happening place- big names get thrown around- some picked up, some left out and there will be multitudes on unnamed workers who will be left wondering- what did they do deserve what they are been given?! They worked the shifts, they took no leaves, they put in long hours- Why did the company not make any profits if they were working day in and day out? Who kept an eye out of the watch tower? Who was charting the course to ride the waves of business turbulence?

These firings that happen on account of business not doing well, are actually seeded into the very business plan when the business starts off in the first place! When not enough thought is applied and when no real projections and honest discussions happen in those long, polished boardrooms, this is how shot happens! Boardrooms when are not transparent and are hidden away- almost always translate into becoming the secret chambers where lotteries are picked up to name and shame the fall guys for the organization from time to time, season to season! So what can we do about this? is there anything that can be done?Well surely there is something that can be done, as long as we have the intent, the “we” here implies those blue eyed boys and girls who “own” the businesses. I mean “own” in the literal sense of “owning it” not “working to slog” because some investor has pumped billions from an Atlantic Ocean Island which happens to be a tax haven!

People have been and will always continue to be at the centre of all that we do, automation yes, but even to manage and drive that automation, people will be required! Once businesses and companies make an intent to pursue, “Mindful Hiring” and stop being reckless about themselves as firms and about the people that they cross paths with through their professional journey, the problem will start to solve itself even before it reached menacing proportions!

Mindful Hiring is not about, not making mistakes, it is more about learning on the way as mistakes happen and fixing them on an ongoing basis rather than ignoring them and allowing them to become eventually unmanageable! Once businesses hire people with an aim to provide livelihoods for a decent future timeline which could be anywhere from a 12 months period to a 60 months period depending upon the nature of the business, the planned growth strategies and than plotting the projected growth story for the individual through that time within the organisation, half the battle is won!The remaining half is achieved as the newcomer starts to get the value to the table and keeps growing and moving ahead along the plotted trajectory of growth for that individual within the organisation! Mindful hiring is more detailed, it is about knowing “who” you are hiring, “why” and “what” is the value that you are seeking from that individual and “how” all of that fits in and magnifies the business outcome in the given context of time and space during which the person is supposed to be working. It is as simple as this and doesn’t get any simpler than this!

So now you may want to ask, if this is so simple, why don’t organisations do it? Well two reasons, one because we deal with “people” and a lot of unplanned shit happens to them and keeps happening all the time- even if the business environments get sanitized and completely mindful- an individuals approach and the self-destruct button (which all of us have) is good enough to screw up everything either by accident or by design! Secondly because of this very reason”people being a little weird” having that kind of extensive team to simply keep track and measure attitudes and behavioral manifestations of individuals as they work on an ongoing basis becomes more difficult- easier said than done -as they say! So business do what they always have been doing- where they need 100, hire 160- they know eventually only 25-30 will remain- sure enough not all businesses thrive this way- you certainly don’t want the hospital you visit to have doctors being hired and fired this way! Don’t you? So what’ the way ahead?

Well, simple- Once businesses start “Mindful Hiring” with an intent and focus to provide growth and plotted trajectory for limited times for people- they will find even the people that approach are clear about what they can offer and what is that they wish for in return- so no baggage burned or carried and as the value exchange is done, each of them can shake hands and part ways without any bad blood! This step also automatically does away with the need of “Mindless Firing” because once you have the right nuts and bolts working the way they should, rest assured you have developed some formidable immunity to deal with business emergencies and financial challenge- because your machine is lean and mean and knows exactly what to do and how to ride over the turbulence – because you always knew “Who you hired” and “What value they bring”!

I will stop myself here, and urge you to make an effort to embrace “Mindful Hiring”, Whether you are hiring someone or you are the one who is being hired- take a pause and think about the plotted growth trajectory and the value exchange- if none of this is clear-walk away now and don’t do it- because a flight with no flight plan is surely not coming down easy! Embrace Mindful Hiring to avoid Mindless Firing!

Ciao for now, have your coffee, think! I will be back soon with another piece!

When the cure is worst than the disease.

Continuing with our rant on how stupid, dumb and mind-numbing decisions are being taken on a routine basis- all around us, this short piece is an attempt to see how we may eventually end up harming ourselves more by deploying half -measures, knee jerk reaction and imitation strategies, even as we try to do away with responsibility, accountability and ownership and use of meaningful scientifically validated rational actions! This is a journey to explore what it looks like from within in a typical case of “When the cure is worst than the disease”! So let’s roll!

To make it simple, we will see the different scenarios with increasing level of complexities which go show you how hurried diagnosis can actually make the cure worst than the illness! So here they are,

Anxiety Driven Disasters

Conformity Seeking Disasters

Information Led Disasters

“Always Agreeing” Disasters

Anxiety Driven Disasters: As the Coronovirus decided to embark on a world tour, educational institutions were caught off guard, the ones’ that were not technologically ready, needless to say suffered the most and this is where from where we get our first learning lesson! A few schools in India faced this, even as the different state governments urged schools not to ask for fees until the sessions for the next year began sometime in June/July; schools required to pay their staff so that they are able to retain their talent (which by itself is another subject altogether!). So when some parents (who yet refuse to believe that we are living in a cornered space) who had paid the fees and yet others who showed willingness to pay the fees, were told that you can pay later as schools will take time, they cam back with a boom to the schools saying, “Why can’t you go online and start, we can throw that money at your face, this is not done, we work in IT companies, we work from home, students can study from home”, so on and so forth… This trigger sets us up to the point from where everything now starts to rapidly go downhill! Well, the schools being who they are, ramped up fiercely, put extra time, teachers worked extra hard to get the content into the online format to ensure it stays meaningful and relevant for the students on this new medium and the parents were informed that, the schools were ready to start online sessions on time and that we can move ahead! This is that golden moment when the same parents who were ranting all through for their child’s loss of education etc etc, came back to the schools and started to say,” How do you expect a child in Grade I to have a laptop and use it?”, “I can’t lend my laptop for such a long time, I have office work!” So this is how shit manifests!¬†

If only, the¬† parents had not decided in haste, caving¬† in to their anxiety of¬† “What do I do with my child, who is free and I don’t know how I can add value to the Child’, and¬† completely outsourced their kids to schools and institutes, this episode would not have manifested, likewise only if schools had the conviction and authority to let the parent’s know that, “They know more about Education” and would have not heeded and given in to the parent’s anxiety, all this colossal waste of human manpower and ingenuity would not have gone to waste! Well there is certainly a lot of good stuff which will come through all this mayhem, but if you ask me this is a very elementary¬† level or rather a limited damage scenario emanating form a mismanaged crisis! If you are wondering what are do more damaging scenarios look like, we have our next type..waiting for us..and probably playing out near you even as you read this article!

Conformity Seeking Disasters: This is by far, one of my favorites because it is possibly the simplest to explain! The pandemic is a live example- The brash, blatant and unwarranted lock downs, shut downs, and whatever you may be calling them around the world have just ended up playing to the people who would have wanted the things to manifest the way they did! If you step back for a moment and maybe rise high- and take a bird’s eye view – you will understand- what we are dealing with is a virus attack- which has spread across different regions, nations, cities which are different demographically and socioeconomically as well, the one size fits all solution (read Lock down- which was in all probability planted into the minds of a few to be replicated by others!) has been needless to say a more bigger disaster then the virus- wiping away livelihoods, incomes, businesses and all chances of revival and hope in an unprecedented global meltdown much worse then the disease! You can pick and choose a nation of your choice, check the average number of daily deaths ( before Covid19- say for same time last year) and check them now- you will have your answers! If you are wondering why nations and leaders can get way laid- well the simple truth is – we all have evolved from Chimps and as the saying go, when uncertainty hits, it’s but natural to imitate and do what someone else has done- because if that has not harmed the other chimp, I too will be safe, hence as the first nation marketed “Lock down” as the holy potion for victory, others blindly followed, getting into a traps- which for some nations has been far far worse then the actual impact of the virus spread by itself! These episodes set off another set of economic disasters- which will run parallel to the primary challenge and will end up exhausting further the rapidly depleting and diminishing intelligence within societies to recover from the mayhem of a health emergency and financial emergency!

Information Led Disasters: I have touched this topic in my last article, this is played out more in the arena of businesses, because they thrive on their decisions both strategic and operational through important cues and visible indicators coming out through governments and regulatory agencies- so when the governments are all caught up in their own shit of “Conformity Seeking Disasters” any and all direction coming from them to businesses will be at the best confusing and contradictory- which in turn becomes a fatal blow that takes away even the remote chance of businesses surviving by trying to innovate and suggest alternative course of actions to revive and stay relevant! Businesses soon start to imitate each other, “what’s happening within my sector?” they ask, “What did they do?” in hushed whispers everyone is asking each other and then the conversations start, OK, “They have a turn over of xxx, they laid off abc, so I have a turn over of yyy so I will layoff pqr!”..Well this madness really has no sense because in this climate of Information (read Mis-Information), different contextual realities and race to Confirm and facilitate Capitalist greed, there never seems to be another way to get things done and so the death spiral among businesses starts, the result, well unemployment yes, but more importantly loss of Human Talent which comes biting back as a fierce competitor in a few short years and by then the people who have taken the decisions today are all but irrelevant and there is a new set of people grappling with this new unwanted competition for no fault of theirs! So well yes, this is one more aspect when impulsive, short sighted, best described myopic, unwarranted and unchecked haste creates a long term problem which is greater then managing a few businesses or sectors and ends up being a larger socioeconomic societal or national level problem!¬†¬†

Always Agreeing Disasters: When crisis hits, even battle hardened, officers will tell you, they need on their team people who can speak their mind – to anyone – certainly respectfully- but one must say what they intend to- they must speak- courageously enough even when authority seems to be faltering and making decisions either in haste, impulse or on facts which are unverifiable and lack credibility- either because of the content quality or the source! When nations are run by people who lack courage, conviction, vision and simply don’t dare suggest or question authority on the scientific rationale behind decisions being taken- it is all but certain that the future is doomed because it will always continue to hand around over the horizon which never is reached and which can never be touched! Whether you have been part of a corporate that had called for a meeting of all your unit/ SBU CEO’s and all “agreed” (read “YES” people)¬† to cut costs and have people thrown out and calculated mathematically, myopically without understanding “Who” was being ejected out (the person- the experience- the competency angle) – it’s just a matter of time before the people who acted in such haste and impulse get the taste of their own medicine! Very often within the corporate corridors- the so called “CEO’s” (many of which I have found to be struggling with the true essence of that designation label and are nothing more then glorified managers at the very best!) act in haste and then later regret for what unfolds in due time- rarely do they get time and space to do damage control and many of them fade away into corporate obscurity with no future reference or direction like a satellite turned off and set on an endless revolution around the Earth for no joy! If you think this is bad, well when you amplify these kind of mishaps pertaining to “YES” people at governmental level especially if they are part of the strongest nation on the Earth or part of the largest democracy- just imagine how horribly wrong things can go when you have “YES” clan advising every critical aspect of¬† national security, financial wisdom, healthcare, social justice, growth, business environments, environment, think of an area and then just imagine how horribly wrong things can go! and yes when do go wrong, as they usually will go with a decent predictable timeline- the events that unfold make national and international headlines!

Well, I will leave you here, giving back your solitude, think and feel what you are witnessing, wherever you are, whatever¬† you may be doing, perhaps you are a national leader or a school teacher or a doctor or a pilot or a business leader or the average person who works for a living, take a step back, see the kind of decisions that are coming your way¬† or your are obliged execute;¬† try to decipher their source and the coded messages within the narratives; that alone is the way to salvage your today and safeguard your tomorrow to ensure that no matter who says¬† what, “The Cure mustn’t¬†be allowed be worst than the disease!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another piece!

The dangers of misplaced narratives.

If you think or rather want to continue to think that “We’re in this together” and “Together we will prevail”, are great things that seem to inspire each one of us- Well, think again, these statements look great, the only problem that I have with them is, dude, I did not sign up for any of this shit! I would have rather joined a UN coalition force to rain down a barrage of bullets on the bad people or signed up for the olive green uniform for my country but to get drawn into a global narrative that is being literally shoved down my throat and placed in front of my face by trying to tell me that I need to contribute and be a part on this- so called war against a virus! I mean, wait a minute, have we really lost it!? A war against a virus, I mean really?! Take a pause and think about it (since you would be either in a quarantine or a lock down), how come one¬† gets coerced¬† to contribute to¬† alter something about which neither anyone has complete¬† facts- the How, Why and What of it and neither the solution to it!- neither you are a biologist, chemist or a molecular scientist- so what’s really going on with all these forceful patriotic narratives, the clapping, banging, singing all over the world- what’s really happening! Well this is what is called as the “War of the narratives” and this is something that every nation wages at some or the other time, the only difference being this time, all of them are doing it, at one go for one singular narrative- The Pandemic!

History is replete with examples wherein narratives have been created to drive select agendas of individuals who have been able to harness power, position or both and lead societies, nations to the gates of hell! So why is it that even when people, who are generally well educated, aware and have a thinking mind fall into the trap of these gimmicks and symbolism of false narratives? The answer lies in the qualities that I enlisted! Literacy, Awareness and Mind never help when literacy is not equated and filtered through education, awareness is built on prejudice and pre-preemptive assumptions and people even after having a mind, decide to lock and kept it away!

Misplaced narratives are perhaps the greatest invention of human mind! It is no surprise that most of the times they have been used to push through agendas which normally would have not gone through! So why do have them in the first place? Well, go back to history! Each time global communities- whether they be nations or regions have stalled and the governing agencies (elected governments, dictators and whatever fits into this systems that rules over the masses!) have hit a trim level with regards to any vital metric of the society that they govern, it has almost always ended up giving birth to powerful narratives- which essentially were a distraction created for the masses more then anything else! What these narratives almost always did was to lead people in a directed way of seeing at problems or thinking in a particular manner which reinforces the decisions made by the governing agencies! If we go back to the times when the great world wars were fought- you will notice a singular trend- every action that was taken even from the beginning of each of the wars was to do something with a powerful narrative by an individual or group of individuals who had come up with a clever strategy to communicate what served their purpose- to an extent that millions of people- whether soldiers or otherwise felt it a patriotic obligation to get in harms way (especially when a few of those countries were least impacted directly at a time when limited escalation broke out!) Consider Vietnam- the much famed theater of war from where US had to move back and was also the reason why powerful counter narratives were made in way of movies and films to keep sending the positive messages around the war to the general public! Truth certainly comes out, but if it gets mistimed- it looses its essence! This fact is being used and abused by people who govern and believe in creating false narratives!

In our current case, no government sounded off alarms about the deadly contagion that the virus is in the beginning, but as they realized that mistakes were costly- the narrative changed from the governments accepting accountability and responsibility- to telling citizens what to do and enforce a lock down. The lock down in nations where the virus was more aggressive ensured that those who were sick were more or less written off and had no chance of waging a come back as the system was reduced to choose between people when it comes to who lives and who doesn’t- Inhuman it seems and it certainly is- the worry here though is not that world wide health systems can’t cope with this kind of deluge of¬† sick people- The fact here remains that governments watched every our and every day as the things began to spiral off and decided to get active only when it started to suit their objectives- again not by- being honest and truthful of the omissions and mistakes, but rather by creating false narratives and putting the onus on people for their own life- The over all feeling across the world based on what governments are telling their citizens is “Well, we have a problem and you can alone ensure you are safe if you do a, b, c and If you don’t do this, well I cant guarantee you anything!”

Misplaced narratives work extremely well to serve political and strategic points for governments but in the long run they ruin and completely break down the communication and trust within the social frameworks and end of the day, more often then not end up reducing citizens to some crazy “Citizen ID no XXX”. That’s about it- eventually this is where we all will be heading to and this is what will remain as the reflection of the nation that we belong to . This one number will define how high and farther we get within the context of the society we live in. So you may want to ask me now, if “misplaced narratives” are so bad and dangerous why are they allowed and how do they get a foothold in the first place?

You will be surprised to learn, that individually each one of us and collectively as a society we ourselves are to blame for the extent of false/misplaced narratives we are ready to buy into and agree to! Yes, this is very similar to herd mentality and the overbearing need to comply with “social conformity bias” to be accepted as part of society and not be seen as an outlier or oddity who can be taken out/ ejected depending on what type of society you are going about in! The reason why these things get a foothold is surprisingly our “intellectual inertia” a behavioral attribute wherein we perhaps know what we are witnessing is against established logic and normal universal principles of humanity, yet we decide to do nothing about it- nor say, nor act and well this inaction serves as acceptance in the scheme of things¬† and misplaced narratives start to rule! Remember Hitler- one person who made millions believe that killing innocent people from a specific community was their greatest duty of service to their nation” well, yes- this is what it is and this is how it can get played out from a worst case scenario¬†point of view- An Individuals delusional thinking and intellectual hallucination and fixation of an idea- brought the whole world to the edge and resulted in sufferings and deaths of millions and millions to an extent that the effects of those are felt even today when you visit towns and places tucked away on the quiet corners of Europe, Japan or other theaters where all hell had broken loose! A simple act of not using intelligence, cognition and displaying inertia at individual levels when reinforced by societies leads to a deafening silence which fuels the development of “misplaced narratives” which eventually end up harming the society which has surrendered and outsourced its ability to think to the whims and fancies of an individual or a group of individuals! So is there no hope around this? What’s the way ahead, are we kind of really doomed?

Well the fact remains, if there’s a problem, there is a solution always and this applies to the ability to ward off misplaced narratives as well! The first and possibly the only step is to use individual intelligence and wisdom before you agree to disagree to anything that is coming your way- e.g. If I were to tell you clap for five minutes everyday at 12 pm to become a millionaire in one year- well I am sure giving some kind of marketing twist I will be able to tempt you to try that dumb thing! But if you have a mind which starts to weigh my statement against principles of science, philosophy and common-sense , you will know this is rubbish and nonsense and¬† you will ask me to shut up! When one voice turns against a misplaced narrative- it by itself is powerful and when you amplify that using the power of social media and create a compelling counter narrative which is based on facts and science- which can be verified and explained in plain speak- this powerful counter narratives are what revolutions and pressure groups are made up of! Remember the Jasmine Revolution, – well that and many such were the result of powerful counter narratives when individual members of society came together and decided to stop misplaced narratives by confronting it collectively in unison with facts and more acceptable solutions!

Misplaced narratives are often the first steps before a nation is planing to change their political framework and these are more often then not tests run with tact and strategy and regular intervals to gauge the mood of the citizens so that any dissent can be stifled- using appropriate force as needed to ensure that the governance agenda- whatever that is- can be met! If you happen to be in any nation wherein you are seeing the political class becoming more and more in your face and in your app or in your life- Well, welcome you are now officially part of a society where a powerful misplaced narrative is completely hiding away from you what is really happening behind the scenes! If you think-all world leader woke up to a pandemic late- well think about it! If they have so many resources and time to mitigate and control the things now- why couldn’t they stop that from ever reaching to those levels in the first place!? No, I don’t need you to answer now, but keep thinking, maybe the “Pandemic is a Misplaced Narrative” and there is something bigger unfolding- which is hidden in plain sight!

I will leave you here with a cup of strong, very strong coffee and wake up¬† your mind, and try to sieve through the narratives that you have been a witness to and allow your intelligence and wisdom to guide you to unravel which one of those are indeed, “Misplaced narratives and who fast are they racing to impact you!

Ciao for now, will be back soon with another piece soon!

The complete circle!-A journey from Lockdown to Meltdown to Rising of the Phoenix.

Even as I muster enough courage to share with you; as I see the things- as they unfold- by the time I complete this article, there will be more hundreds of positive cases across the world- most of these people will survive and few of them will not be able to make it through it! This senseless loss of lives, coupled with an economic crisis unlike ever before- is in a way preparing humanity for something, that we have never been ready for and in all probability, every few years these instances may come back haunting with different scales and intensities as the world tries to re-adjust to a new order- An economic and geo-political order! This quick piece is to try and imagine how the next few months will unfold and possibly provide an anchor hold so that we know which way to steer the ship of our lives as we begin to move!– So let’s go!

By the time I am writing this article, China from where all this began, is already more or less back to normal- which implies that production lines are buzzing, people are working and it is a normal day in the nation! Well, I don’t have anything personal against them (apart from the tense diplomatic connect that India and China have always had), but being an Indian we need to take care and watch our neighbors! This pandemic is a classic case wherein a neighbor decided to do “pest” control which has gone horribly wrong and who these “pests” are; perhaps only time will tell- or may be the world may never know!¬† So as the instance moved ahead- the global community saw the initial stages as an internal matter of China and felt relaxed –To an extent that even WHO took time to go through the processes of definition – whether it should be an epidemic or a pandemic and by the time all these great leaders and wise people with all the cutting edge resources at their disposal realized what was unfolding- it was too late and eventually every member state of the UN finally has been hit by this pandemic! 194 nations have confirmed cases on their territories! This scale has never been the case earlier ever in recorded human history! This brings us to the next stage- The Lock Down

The concept of lock down is not new, during wars this is the first step that every nation will initiate so that all available national  resources of a nation are used for the defence or for attacking the other nation as the case may be! Makes sense- but with this pandemic Рthis decision- kept getting delayed- we may never know why!- and even as people were aware Рto a reasonable extent that the virus was very aggressive and contagious with a greater affinity to the older or medically compromised populationРnothing was done to flag it off- just imagine- with the first cases coming to light somewhere as early as December- even until March second week- international flights were operating! I mean which world leading organisation in the right frame of mind would not have instructed the IATA and ICAO to ground all airlines worldwide in February 2020 itself? Why drag it to such a point. To add to this- This initial delay also cascaded into allowing communities within nations to roam around their land- with no concern and  it was these two basic acts of neglect and disregard that have brought the world order to the stage where we are today! The lock downs also as matter of scientific validation  are effective only when they are done with some reason- like cases being reported from an area may be a borough, town or a city- in those cases lock down makes sense- but when you have not been able to manage a planned approach- panic sets in (even if you are a government) and you will take irrational steps which translate into nation wide lock downs! These in turn end up doing more damage economically Рwhich far outweigh what the Virus could have done even in a worst case scenario! Especially when the Virus has a mortality rate less then 3%! Stage is set for the next step- The Meltdown!

Even before the pandemic set in the world all across- was jittery with massive trade wars compromising and threatening billions of dollars in the global market, with workers being laid off on an ongoing basis in developing worlds and with this getting more and more unpredictable , it was perhaps time that the world was racing ahead towards an economic re-boot! The whole promise of digital economy, again a core element of the global narrative (don’t forget digital money is no real money- it is just an electronic interface which is showing you a number which is being honored as long as the state is allows it!)and its aggressive push was always looking out for a big and bad excuse and this instance happens to be a perfect alibi! Confused- well, let me keep it simple- right now- if all citizens of any nation were to Q up and decide to withdraw all their money at one go , same time- any and every nation will simply fail as it will never have those many paper bills to provide everyone with what is being withdrawn! It is as simple and complicated as this! So what we can now expect in the days and months ahead? well read on…

The Meltdown stage will see many rapid developments, based on the laws of each nation- one common thread that you will eventually see coming out after this carnage will be that every sector (any sector for that matter) will be left with lesser then 5 or maximum 10 global players for those sectors. These will be the ones’ who will decide how they will shape their products and services from their respective zones and align them to the new ways that already have been planned by respective governments- most of them will wear a cloak of opaque transparency- you will be able to see only if you know what to look for! These business arrangements will then be the foundational step of humankind as a global community starts to play role to the larger conformity bias of the new developed and evolving societal order and those who will be found to be outliers will either be ejected or eliminated and that’s for sure- the people running these systems will want to run the way they have planned it and irrespective of the government’s will have and have always had the power to over-ride and manipulate governments the world over!These large scale behavioral changes brought about in human societies across will tend to shift focus of people from being the careless consumers that we have been for some time now to more mindful and responsible consumers- so as the dip in consumption happens- we will move into a space of rising costs of services and products- to meet custom needs and infrequent purchases! How this gets played out will depend on the type of government that each¬† nation has-more importantly in the garb of the pandemic- almost all nations have executed their own acts which in turn have given immense powers to the government of the day and power- is a double edged sword! During this stage of Meltdown- Human behavior will see alterations like never before- remember these lockdowns have been closer to 21 days and 21 days is the magic number to alter human habits- people will end up being more anxious- stress prone- resilient- calmer- aggressive- confident- depressed- all of these and many more such hues will emerge depending on how an individual is placed within a start of the society and what is the intrinsic strength that one has to deal with these global showdowns! Towards the end of the meltdown- when the conqueror and the vanquished become clear on the horizon- the remnants of this episode will begin to piece together the path ahead and it will be the proverbial Rising on the Phoenix that will follow next…¬†

The proverbial rising of the Phoenix will be slow, planned and designed to ensure that only those who qualify to be within the scheme of the things will be held on to- others who have not been able to conform to certain standards will be left out to defend for themselves ( In this will lie the seeds of the¬† next great global crisis!). In the following months, people will want to naturally break free and travel (because that will be the natural psychological trigger – which will help people again believe that they gain have regained control- there will be surging rush to travel (but all these travels will be majorly restricted to domestic arenas) and even as airlines companies merge and continue to be on borrowed time- as it were- the initial three- six months will see this- the really challenge will start after that as few sectors will be buyout- globally- which will be finance, travel, wellness,¬† healing, spiritual tourism,tourism and hospitality- leaving these aside practically everything to do around the consumer side- whether it is the FMCG or the FMCD or even the Automobile sectors will all see a downward spiral with an apparent no end to their crisis- A criss which has on a way of their own making!¬† Workers will have to make a choice to either seek monetary security and give up on aspirational attributes and agree to live life in a prescribed manner or create affluence by being a disruptor and challenge the establishment on an ongoing basis. Apart from this self-employed and¬† the business class will have toe sure they remain agile and nimble for overcoming all and any challenges that may come up¬† (which will indeed) with unpredictable speed and timing– this will be vital as businesses will be then necessitated to comply to fall and align with specific groups and sub-groups of the new business order (which will be sold to them as the the concept of “ease of business”) Altered behaviors will create a further rift between the affluent elements and class of the society and the deprived and the so- called middle income group will have to take call to either move upwards or decide to stay low! The whole world will seemingly move to a two class society based on economic affluence! Compound this with growing digitisation through digital currency and digital surveillance (which will be told is necessary because of what has happened) will be the final nail in the coffin of individual liberties world-wide and whether the governments of the day say it or not- Big Brother will always be watching you! I won’t dig deeper into this aspect because it will take us to another topic – which we will discuss some other day or other time!

I will cut my thoughts here for now, but the key takeaways, are somewhere mentioned above and hidden away in plain sight for you to think further and reflect upon; based on who you are what is that you want to alter, how and why and ensure that you will be able to stay relevant for the times ahead! This pandemic was the excuse that the member states were waiting for a re-boot- a re-boot to set new rules of engagements with each other and flex muscles at that level. Needless to say, we will be impacted at the levels where we are and we will need to choose how we flex and make the most of the emerging stations without breaking or exhausting ourselves- intellectually, emotionally and physically!

Given the limitations of a blog; I will leave you here with these thoughts for now, grab a drink and see how you lived through the Lockdown- how the Meltdown is impacting you and How you are preparing for the phase when the Phoenix begins to rise over your horizon and what you will do about it to ensure you ride the right wave and stay afloat for long times to come and prepare yourself for the next crisis- which at this very moment is being developed! More on that some other time!

Ciao for now, Stay at Home, Stay Safe, Always keep Social Distancing and importantly stay wise and don’t get killed by dumbness! Will catch up soon with another piece!

 

The aftermath of a pandemic- The way global communities will change!

Whether you in self imposed isolation or into an isolation because someone unwittingly gifted you the virus- whatever the case is- the fact remains this is perhaps the biggest opportunity in your life- where you have your employers paying you to think further and beyond for your own life! (unless you are working for yourself or you have got those gifted employers who are tracking you by those sinister cameras on your laptop- to check if you are indeed working!). This article is not about checking what could have been done or not and what is being done- it is about trying to unravel the scenarios that will come to play when all this dust settles in the next month or two and the new world order will have reset priorities – for almost everything- how businesses are conducted with whom, how people travel and how they stay connected, where the opportunities are and who will eventually benefit from all this mayhem until the next big episode which will dawn upon us! – Which certainly will- but of course – no predictions here on the timelines for the moment! So here we go!

To begin with, take a moment to reflect how the world was just before this pandemic started to become one. In terms of the health of the world economy- Majority of the top economies across the world were in dire straits for one or the other reasons with each nation slipping away into ever-increasing fiscal deficit (this is one way of simply telling you that each nation has been living beyond it’s capacity to create and spend wealth- either through internal or external borrowings!). Next, what are the major events that happened as this was breaking out- withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan- Trade deal with China and Brexit. Now with global economies under pressure and still scratching their heads individually as nations and as collective groups of the G7, G20, ASEAN, You pick a block and you will see a trend that there have been meeting of each large trading or business block during the period preceding this pandemic. Well I am certainly not trying to suggest anything here, but these are facts and these meetings did happen and they did happen before this “pandemic”went live! Now hold your thoughts on this right here and let’s move into another space for the same timeline- just before the pandemic!

Travel and tourism- This sector too had been struggling for long for some or the other reason- whether it was the plane manufacturers, hotel chains or the average traveler- who again have been shifting and changing their travel patterns for the last two years because of economic indicators (which in turn have been equally shifting and dodgy on an ongoing basis). This complete lock down and a clamp down of sorts again has come as a blessing in disguise (whether by accident or by design- perhaps we will never know). To this add a slew of other sectors which have suddenly announced to produce chemical compounds, instruments, equipment’s- all aimed to fight this “pandemic”(some of these companies have never had their core competency in the longest time in history- for what they propose to manufacture and offer!). Now all these business will use their respective laws of their land to rejuvenate, re-boot (read- government write off’s on loans, waivers and job losses). Now hold this thought and try to think and see what your intelligence is saying to you! (I may be wrong- well the whole point is to make you think!)

More importantly, this is going to alter the hardwired approach that people have always had towards dealing with each other as societies! Ironically densely populated societies will emerge as more isolated and even more disconnected after this all ends and will end up being more self-centered (read selfish and self-serving) then before. However, the communities and societies across the developed world will find a new reason to practice heightened care for other members of their societies and emerge as more connected and and more empathetic then before! This will partly be because the way communication around the “pandemic” has been propagated and dished out! Human brain too, being what it is, will trick people form one segment of societies (which have high densities) to follow the norm that distance is good and will factor this into everything going ahead (anyways much of the human societal interaction and engagement has been shallow and self-serving for the longest times of history). When it comes to societies with lesser population density- the human mind¬† will play the other way around- it will reach out on the note of empathy and care (as few number to a sparse society) will trigger the part of the brain where duty of care, respect and mutual affection (with now available access to medication) will ensure that health and wellness emerge as the top most priorities of those societies and will go on to reflect in every choice that they make- whether be food, travel, fashion or whatever element you want to choose!

Well, since there is a limitation to a blog, I can’t go on picking every space and zone of human lives and possibly discuss how I think those will be altered- but wherever you are and whichever society class you are a part of – you will see all this playing out right in front of you! In the times ahead- based on which society you are specific aspects will become costlier- say you belong to societies with high population density- travel, medical costs will go up and since this societies will get hard wired to social distancing and start becoming withdrawn even data costs will start to rise! Before anyone realizes access to transport, travel, data and healthcare will end up being costlier at least by 40% then what it is today- by 2022. This will further make the society withdrawn and fragmented within- and based on what type of a government you have- it will just help the people in power to gain complete control, which¬† will finally rest with few people who will have a greater advantage to influence and navigate a fragmented society to a point¬† that they want to! As far as societies that have fewer number of people- well they will be more resilient and will give away a lot of baggage and make the governments feel lighter- once these people start to take more care of their individual health- recurring health costs will start to come down and as these societies already have ongoing capped prices for utilities and services- there will be a flattening of the service costs to societies and people in these societies will be in a more advantageous position then the ones’ those have higher densities!

Eventually, in the smoke of the settling dust, from this episode; billions and billions of dollars worth of money and resources will change hands and ownership, simply to ensure that the world order remains sane (the way “they” want it) and to disallow “anarchy” (as “they” see it). This is just a step away and anarchy sets in¬† once world leaders start to believe that they will not talk to each other! (which thankfully doesn’t seem to be happening at least for now!). If you are wondering who these “they” are- Well I leave it to your wisdom- possibly you are working for one of them in one way or the other at this very moment- as have generation before you and possibly after you will!

I leave you here, and hope you use this time to reflect on how you are changing and what are the changes that you will allow and not allow so that when the freeze is over, you emerge as a better version of yourself- that is the only hope that the world has for now- that each one of us emerges as a stronger and better human being from this ongoing war!

Ciao for now and have your coffee- if nothing else- it will keep you warm and alert! I will be back soon with another piece and that will be on discussing the probable mental health challenges that we face in times ahead!

 

 

The unavoidable outcome of a Pandemic-WFH to AAH!

Hello there, yes we are at war- with something that we can’t even see with our naked eyes! Well call it rule of nature or whatever you may like to- The fact always has been that wars and enemies emerge from unseen blind quarters within or outside! Today, I want you to think around what is developing behind the smoke screen of the pandemic- sure enough- the pandemic is real people have risked themselves and have become history- but there is more in store and for what is in store- not everyone needs to die necessarily- but the changes over the horizon will be no less then having a rebirth! This piece is about what the unseen and unavoidable fall out of this chaos will be for the next 12 months at least- beyond that- well let your wisdom guide you!

So wherever you are on the world map right now- If you have been one of those lucky one’s to get a reprieve from travelling to work and are soaking in the windfall time with your family or pursuing your hobby or plain speak- something that you like to do (rarely that is possible when you are at work!); be wise and stay cautious! If you have not got that call from your boss, that client of your’s and if you did not get a chance to wear that mask and do a quick trip to your office like a super-hero to save the day- well you know what chances are your Work From Home (WFH) will eventually plateau out to a Always At Home (AAH) scenario pretty earlier then you would have thought! Yes! you read it right- you don’t trust me- well, no problem- drop me a mail around September 2020, then we will have a chat! Now don’t get scared- here’s what you need to understand and take charge of to ensure you stay relevant through your absence!

People tend to forget the age old maxim- “Your absence must be just enough so that your value (if any at all) must be realized- but your absence must be not so long that people learn to live without you and move ahead!” This is the space where the risky WFH is treading on- We live in times where interpersonal skills among people in work environments are already substantially screwed and messed up- if there is anything important that we talk with co-workers even as we work- it is about the third person- whether that third person in the context and content is a team member, your client or the classical corporate bitching session that has no end! I read somewhere- what people have started to realize is how shallow the entire corporate experience has been- once everyone has been packed to their homes-for their WFH- the realization has dawned that- the only thing that always mattered was the responses to the mails, the quick chats of under 3 minutes with clients and action planning and getting work done for that day! Everything else suddenly has started to seem to unwise- dumb and completely useless! Well, realization of all this is good for you as a worker- the problem here is even your employers now have started to realise- how dumb they have been to get sold to your personal charisma- your high value degrees and much hyped and eternally eroding experience(of course- there are a few exceptions- and this is not about them!)

Yes, folks, even as you think you have been smart to convince your employer for a WFH waiver and you are possibly working as you binge on a some movies and web series even as you work! Employers world wide right now are unleashing the complete available power of AI (Artificial Intelligence) – something that you, would have contributed to- knowingly and unknowingly (knowingly if you have bee a software and systems developer and unknowingly- if you have left a great digital imprint of your existence on the planet to provide ample data points to study behavioral and capability patterns)- and this is what can possibly make you technically redundant!

Well, there is nothing wrong and right about this – It is about knowing what we have done to ourselves as human beings!First, we built capabilities through enveloping our intelligence- next we misuse and abuse them to sub-serve ourselves and for those who we work for – whether employers or society and finally we play dumb and under the garb of automation end up making ourselves redundant!¬†What is happening to the service sector today- is what had happened to the manufacturing sector thirty years ago with the advent of robotics and CNC (Computer and¬† Numerically Controlled) programmable machinery, and as humans guess what- We failed to remember what we should have learnt from that instance- We should have could have set a limit to our levels of procrastination and laziness which have in a way led to the need and urge to seek more and more automation! Automation from an innovator’s point was always designed to make things easier for difficult situations- now that has been extended to manage dumb and repetitive tasks (that’s what I asked in a previous article- Does your designation define your incompetence!)

So what next, well as humans we can do only one thing what we are best suited to do- turn the circumstances to our advantage- understand and differentiate from what is meaningful and what is meaningless!– I will tell you what- here’s simple test- If what you can do- can be done by anyone else- Well then you are in trouble and you need to course correct your life and skill sets now- to stay relevant and stay alive! another step you can think around this is – Can anyone do what I do the Way I do It- here if you have answered NO- Well, then Congratulations- No matter how much automated the world becomes- You are and will always remain to be one of those human beings who have been and continue to be “Human” in the essence of the word by simply being “Who You Are” and that is how it is supposed to be and this is what each one of us should aspire for ourselves to be! Always remember, every time that stepped back and gave away the control to technology- technology has come back seeking more and more and there will be really no end to it- The only way to subvert this, is to ensure we are smart enough to limit and know what we should, can and need to automate and to what extent!

I leave you at this point- Take a pause and reflect- What is the essence of being an human mean to You and more importantly Being You – whats is that helps and harms you! Importantly also Know what is the relationship that you share with automation- Who is the Master and who is the Slave and what are you going to do about it- so that in times to come that equilibrium stays the way You want it to be and that’s how it should be!

Stay wise, have an awakened weekend ahead and stay who You are and stay Relevant!

 

The isolation advantage!

Well, in the context of what’s happening around the world, for now, “isolation”, may be the only word that is so respected¬† and feared at the same time! So even as nations battle it out there using all the tricks that they have in their book- one common thread on all this happens to be “keeping distance” and “isolation” as much as possible- well certainly that’s the way and perhaps the only way to fight contagious diseases from spreading (we learnt this as students of grade four, I guess), until we have the vaccines in place. But still what’s important to observe and study is how the human mind is coping up with or loosing it, as social interactions are restricted and at times when Isolation becomes the norm! This is about knowing how amazingly we the see the best and hope even in the darkest and most trying times! So here we go!

We all know about humans being “social animals” and have learned this at school (and even if we have not been to any), through the mere fact that we are related and would have a dozen of first cousins and over two dozens of second level relations, merely reflects how human society has evolved through the last three centuries! As the promise of resources (read food, water, shelter and safety) grew over the last three centuries, humans have resigned themselves to the comfort of community support for all situations good and bad– whether it is a community fun fare, marriages in the little town tucked away far from the city, political representation (unless you are yet being ruled by kings/ autocrats) or it is about saving lives in face of natural calamities and being there for one another when disaster strikes! This is more or less how we have always been and this is how it is supposed to be – irrespective of all the differences of ideologies and pressures acquired by a society by virtue of the urge to control and dictate- this fundamental thread of being able to look out for one another for good and bad and expecting nothing in return ( and you always thought only animals are wired like this!).It has always been so and it is again, we humans who have from time to time either ignored this or played even this to our advantages!

Looping back to the times that we are experiencing right now, the induced isolation, through self-quarantines and medical quarantine worldwide to protect ourselves and the ones around is throwing up some strange strategies to cope with this new dictate of the ruling governments! There are some communities which even under lock-down situations have managed to connect through human voice and music (even as they stay isolated), there are yet who have possibly sought refuge to engage and interact online, so that they feel and stay connected, yet others roam about as if nothing happened ( and these are the gifted ones’ who have always remained in self- imposed quarantine either because of their lengthened intelligence or completely extinguished cognitive ability- either ways it’s helping the world for now! More strange have been those instances where few- really handful few- who have mustered the courage to escape and run away form quarantined zones! So what are all these behavioral attributes saying about us and the human mind! What are we now evolving into as we face and overcome this global menace which is requiring us to manage social distance and be unto ourselves- how will this help or harm the future of our societies?

Human brain seeks companionship and that’s how it is hard-wired – you may be the most eclectic of yogi’s or saint’s seeking divine bliss- but even for you to tell the world that you have attained it- you will still need someone to speak to about it! So when you put people in completely unnatural situations- the first involuntary reaction is of disbelief- “No this can’t be happening- not to me- the medical guys have made a mistake- they are idiots- It can’t be”, this is followed by a quick realization of the next point- “well what if they are right and I am not taken care of – I may not exist and I may be well on my way out of the planet and the end up being a statistical number!- This powerful thought then overcomes the initial disbelief and shock making co-operation possible and then resigning oneself to the orders from perfect strangers who call themselves whoever they are-doctors, paramedics, you name it – The simple promise that you will be fine and safe by doing what we say- is such a powerful statement that almost 99% people will comply and pay heed to what these strangers are saying(In different context of history though- read dictators- it is exactly a similar response that has ended up having more people killed then cured!).The remaining 1%, well yes they do exit and these are the one’s who will end up doing eccentric stuff- running away, not following rules, not taking medicines, playing dumb- intentionally and unintentionally- they do this not because they want to – but simply the situation has become so overwhelming to their minds that they no longer can cope with it and hence neither have a trusting bias or a doubting bias (if you have one of these biases you can be managed and cured by developing an alternative narrative- but when you keep switching fast between the narratives- you end up becoming a living nightmare for the world – far worse then the battles against a virus! So what’s the way ahead and how do we make most of a situation which gets labelled as “Isolation”

One way, is to change the narrative from the word itself-instead of calling it Isolation- Call it “Time for personal investment”- a time to invest into yourself – to develop your personal strengths, learn to do away with your fears (demons in your head) and your weaknesses, a time to pursue something your daily routine and rush of life kept you away from (as long as it can be pursued within the confines of being isolated- I am not suggesting someone to pick up a guitar and arrange for live concert- rather pick it up and upload a video online!). This “Me time” can be used to assess your priorities in light of the new vulnerabilities that the world is bring to you- maybe you need to move to a new place- maybe you need to reassess the job you do – maybe you need to learn how to be strong and focused by yourself to keep you safe and maybe its time for you to realize that “Life cant and should not be taken for granted”! Once we flip our view of isolation and start to fill it with the books we needed to read, the films that we wanted to watch, the chats that we wanted to have with our friends, the peace that we would have wanted to hold within or as simple as the afternoon nap that you wanted to have in so many years- just seek what was amiss from your busy life and let this curse of isolation be turned into a blessing in disguise and use it to your advantage so that we the crisis is finally over and you emerge- you emerge as a person changed for good – who now values each moment of life in a more meaningful and mindful way- and possibly by then you know what wise issues you should engage with and when you should walk way from what doesn’t make you feel enriched and a better person!

I leave you with these thoughts on a Monday, wherever you are reading this, no matter how isolated you are, now you know how to make isolation work for you! Remember it is not the Isolation that hurts, it is the fear of missed opportunities and lack of connect that troubles us- because we tend to have a fear of missing out the social beacons (which we normally  use as our glide path as we navigate around society!). Once you have reached deep within yourself and re-assessed your priorities- thanks to the available time through isolation- you will no longer be in search of beacons and will most probably end up being a light house for others in the society to follow!

Ciao for now, grab that drink and stay wise! Run wild  with your thoughts and imagination and pursue your dreams- for this is the time to build upon your strengths, dreams and ideas and these will come alive eventually as you sustain and their time arrives!