Seeking dissent

There’s a great short story about how Alfred Sloane, legendary CEO of General Motors, sought dissent. In a meeting where his entire executive team were in agreement on an important decision, Sloane interrupted everyone and said – “Gentlemen, it appears we are in complete agreement on the decision here.” When he saw everyone nodding, he […]

Viktor Frankl and Crabbing – The 200 words project

Here’s this week’s 200 word idea thanks to Viktor Frankl’s video on man’s search for meaning (HT to Vikram’s Learning Antenna). The great holocaust survivor and logotherapist Viktor Frankl spoke of a flying lesson where his instructor taught him a concept pilots called “Crabbing.” His flying instructor had said – “If you are starting east wishing to […]

Teachers and salesmanship

A great salesperson is always aware of the fact that buyers have one question in mind – “why should I bother?” His expertise in answering this question is what set Steve Jobs apart. Jobs didn’t just answer the question with “what” made Apple’s products special, he explained the “why” behind them and explained why you should care. The challenges […]

For them or for us

Stakeholder update meetings are necessary in any project. If you’re running an event for a school, the administration would love to understand what you are up to. In companies, it is a mix of senior management, steering committees and clients. One way to approach these meetings is for teams to take the “for them” approach. The default reasoning […]

Noise and prayer

I was at a cultural heritage museum showcasing South Indian culture yesterday that had an interesting sign next to a collection of preserved musical instruments. It explained that it was common for temples in Tamil Nadu to have loud (live) background music during prayer to drown out noises of people talking. I thought this was fascinating. […]

Lee Kuan Yew

There’s one word that comes to mind when I think of the Singapore government – smart. There aren’t many governments that anyone would describe as smart. The person who made that possible, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, passed away today. He was the architect of the modern day Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew’s regime was what many termed […]