Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

Open Educational Resource – MIT’s OpenCourseWare

April 19, 2007

You can accomplish anything in the life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit”. – Harry S. Truman

What is MIT OCW?

MIT OCW :

  • Is a publication of MIT course materials
  • Does not require any registration
  • Is not a degree-granting or certificate-granting activity
  • Does not provide access to MIT faculty

Learn more about MIT OCW… 

MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to put all of the educational materials from MIT’s undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online, free and openly available to anyone, anywhere, by the year 2007. MIT OpenCourseWare can be considered a large-scale, web-based publication of MIT course materials.

MIT OCW is a large-scale, Web-based electronic publishing initiative funded jointly by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon FoundationMIT, and generous support of the Ab Initio software company.

MIT OCW’s goals are to:

  • Provide free, searchable access to MIT’s course materials for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.
  • Extend the reach and impact of MIT OCW and the “opencourseware” concept.

Curriculum Guide – In the interest of improving the MIT OCW user experience, we offer a guide to MIT’s undergraduate and graduate curriculum.

Video Guide – MIT OCW offers access to a small selection of complete video and audio lectures. Read more about our approach to video and audio and see the entire list of complete video or audio series.

Supplementary Resources – MIT OCW offers a collection of additional resources that apply to more than one MIT course, or in some cases, entire MIT departments. Various MIT faculty are openly sharing these resources as a service to MIT OCW users.

Learn More at …. MIT OCW at Wiki. 

Reference: http://ocw.mit.edu 

“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child”. – Gearge Bernard Shaw

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—-||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker||||||—-

Gearge Bernard ShawMahatma Gandhi Swami Vivekananda

 Effective Artciles . Kindly link and share your expereince.

 

[Question] Thinking vs. Learning – What’s the difference?

March 31, 2007

“There cannot be a Dance without a Dancer,There cannot be a Dancer without a Dance,The Dance is in the Dancer,The Creation is in the Creator,The Dancer is in the Dance,The Creator is in the Creation”.

The platform of thinking is our Brain (Mind) but the platform of learning is our Body, Brain (Mind), heart.  

Thinking is a part of Learning.  Thinking is a “part” concept but Learning is a “whole” concept.  

Thinking is a process for learning. This process is continuous but it is not necessary that we are achieving end goal of Learning.

Basically both are very interconnected & interdependent. We can understand these complex processes through self observation [when you are learning or when you are thinking or both simultaneously].

For more understanding: 

1.      Compare: You & a kid & an old man [thinking & learning]

2.      Compare: Mind [ Thinking ] vs Mind-Body-Heart [ learning ] 

Thinking:https://greathumancapital.wordpress.com/tag/thinking/ 

Learning:https://greathumancapital.wordpress.com/tag/learning/ 

I am thankful to Dennis & Balakrishna for sharing this question & answer with friends. 

~ Ajay Singh Niranjan                   

Thinking vs. Learning – What’s the difference?

 I am looking for help understanding the difference between Thinking and Learning.   NOBODY seems to know, including University Professors. When I ask people, the most common response I get is: “When you learn you think … and when you think you learn”. 

While that is absolutely true, it seems to imply there is no difference Even the Britannica dictionary seems to lack clarity (particularly for THINK). 

Think: To have in mind or call to mind; To reflect on; To exercise the power of judgment, inference or conception; To form a mental picture; To consider something.

Learn: To gain knowledge or understanding, to come to know; to fix in the mind or memory; memorize … Here is what I think the difference is: Learning: Is about acquiring a critical mental mass of raw material (data, information, knowledge and wisdom) that is required for effective thinking to occur.

Thinking: Is about applying cognitive tools (questions, thought processes, mental triggers) upon learning to produce ideas, solutions, understandings and new ways of thinking.

Thank you for responses.

Dennis J. Heindl

www.nthdegreesoft.com

Answer & example by Balakrishna Jayasimha.(BK)

There is this wonderful example of a child which spends a lot of time with the mother, before he or she goes to this place called school. The child is with the mother while the mother is mixing atta for the rotis. A piece of that atta is given to the child so that it keeps quiet, and the child in its wonderful innocence goes on making different shapes out of that piece of atta and generally keeps itself occupied and also enjoys itself.in the process thus helping the mother complete her task.

Change of scene: This same child on the  first day in school, encounters this new entity (teacher) who, walks-in to class hands over a  piece of clay which very much looks like the atta which the mother had given in the kitchen. But here is the difference, while the mother had just let the child be with that piece of atta, this teacher says “Children make that piece round” and shows them how to do it. This sets the first thought into the child which can be very traumatic, it begins to wonder, “hey, I was never told to make it round at home, how come this new twist?” From that day everything that the child has learnt is contradicted with a forced thinking that this is how it should be done. Then there are various justifications given in terms of discipline, order, education, facts and what not.

Take another example: Tell a five year old to draw a line and it draws anything but a straight line, where as tell the same to a supposedly educated thinking individual, he/she will draw only a straight line!. See how  patterns  have set in  because of our conditioning of thinking and thinking in a particular way! So what the child has learnt through self-discovery, is changed in our education system by wrote memory. While this path of self-discovery is purely intuitive, intellect drives our thinking.Learning is something that is experienced, it is something that happens in the ‘NOW’ and gives the ‘WOW’ feeling, while thinking is mainly driven by our past and the unknown future.

Is there some Learning?

Warm regards

Balakrishna Jayasimha.(BK) http://sva-vikaari-beekay.blogspot.com

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—-||||||Effective Quotations by Great Thinker||||||—-

Gearge Bernard ShawMahatma Gandhi Swami Vivekananda

 Effective Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

Learning from INDIA vs. Learning from West-Narayan Murthy

February 7, 2007

Learning from INDIA:

Dear Friends,

Sharing timeless wisdom of India for learning from my side……

1. Vasudhaiva kutumbakam: Five thousand years ago, when nationalism did not even exist as a concept, Indian Thought talked of Universalism that transcended all boundaries:

Ayam nijah paroveti ganana laghuchetasam
Udaracharitanam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam”

“This is my countryman; that is a foreigner—such a view is entertained only by small-minded people; but to the broad, noble-minded, the whole world is one family”. 

2. Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina: 

“Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina ,Sarve Santu NiramayaSarve Bhadrani Pashyantu , Maa Kaschit Dukha Bhagh Bhavet” 

May all be happy; May all be without disease;May all have well-being; May none have misery of any sort.  

 3. Kindly download this audio speech of Swami Vivekananda at Chicago 1893 from following link.    Sisters and Brothers of America, It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. l thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world ……    Download Audio Speech: Swami Vivekananda’s Welcome Address
 

 ….Sharing this nice Speech by Narayana Murthy for focusing our attention [why India has less Innovation] at targeted space of changes [our mental models].

Learning From the WestN R Narayana Murthy

We are living in the past. No other society gloats so much about the past as we do, with as little current accomplishment.

Download pdf file: web.iitd.ac.in/~mamidala/HTMLobj-142/LearningFromTheWest.pdf

N.R. Narayana Murthy

Ladies and gentlemen:

It is a pleasure to be here at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. Lal Bahadur Shastri was a man of strong values and he epitomized simple living. He was a freedom fighter and innovative administrator who contributed to nation building in full measure. It is indeed a matter of pride for me to be chosen for the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for Public Administration and Management Sciences. I thank the jury for this honor.

When I got the invitation to speak here, I decided to speak on an important topic on which I have pondered for years – the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society. Coming from a company that is built on strong values, the topic is close to my heart. Moreover, an organization is representative of society, and some of the lessons that I have learnt are applicable in the national context. In fact, values drive progress and define quality of life in society.

The word community joins two Latin words com (“together” or “with”) and unus (“one”). A community, then, is both one and many. It is a unified multitude and not a mere group of people. As it is said in the Vedas: Man can live individually, but can survive only collectively. Hence, the challenge is to form a progressive community by balancing the interests of the individual and that of the society. To meet this, we need to develop a value system where people accept modest sacrifices for the common good.

What is a value system? It is the protocol for behavior that enhances the trust, confidence and commitment of members of the community. It goes beyond the domain of legality – it is about decent and desirable behavior. Further, it includes putting the community interests ahead of your own. Thus, our collective survival and progress is predicated on sound values.

There are two pillars of the cultural value system – loyalty to family and loyalty to community. One should not be in isolation to the other, because, successful societies are those which combine both harmoniously. It is in this context that I will discuss the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society.

Some of you here might say that most of what I am going to discuss are actually Indian values in old ages, and not Western values. I live in the present, not in the bygone era. Therefore, I have seen these values practiced primarily in the West and not in India. Hence, the title of the topic.

 I am happy as long as we practice these values – whether we call it Western or old Indian values. As an Indian, I am proud to be part of a culture, which has deep-rooted family values. We have tremendous loyalty to the family. For instance, parents make enormous sacrifices for their children. They support them until they can stand on their own feet. On the other side, children consider it their duty to take care of aged parents.

 We believe: Mathru devo bhava – mother is God, and pithru devo bhava – father is God. Further, brothers and sisters sacrifice for each other. In fact, the eldest brother or sister is respected by all the other siblings. As for marriage, it is held to be a sacred union – husband and wife are bonded, most often, for life. In joint families, the entire family works towards the welfare of the family. There is so much love and affection in our family life.

This is the essence of Indian values and one of our key strengths. Our families act as a critical support mechanism for us. In fact, the credit to the success of Infosys goes, as much to the founders as to their families, for supporting them through the tough times. Unfortunately, our attitude towards family life is not reflected in our attitude towards community behavior. From littering the streets to corruption to breaking of contractual obligations, we are apathetic to the common good. In the West – the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand – individuals understand that they have to be responsible towards their community.

The primary difference between the West and us is that, there, people have a much better societal orientation. They care more for the society than we do. Further, they generally sacrifice more for the society than us. Quality of life is enhanced because of this. This is where we need to learn from the West.

I will talk about some of the lessons that we, Indians, can learn from the West.

In the West, there is respect for the public good. For instance, parks free of litter, clean streets, public toilets free of graffiti – all these are instances of care for the public good. On the contrary, in India, we keep our houses clean and water our gardens everyday – but, when we go to a park, we do not think twice before littering the place.

Corruption, as we see in India, is another example of putting the interest of oneself, and at best that of one’s family, above that of the society. Society is relatively corruption free in the West. For instance, it is very difficult to bribe a police officer into avoiding a speeding ticket.

This is because of the individual’s responsible behavior towards the community as a whole On the contrary, in India, corruption, tax evasion, cheating and bribery have eaten into our vitals. For instance, contractors bribe officials, and construct low-quality roads and bridges. The result is that society loses in the form of substandard defence equipment and infrastructure, and low-quality recruitment, just to name a few impediments. Unfortunately, this behavior is condoned by almost everyone.

Apathy in solving community matters has held us back from making progress, which is otherwise within our reach. We see serious problems around us but do not try to solve them. We behave as if the problems do not exist or is somebody else’s. On the other hand, in the West, people solve societal problems proactively. There are several examples of our apathetic attitude. For instance, all of us are aware of the problem of drought in India.

More than 40 years ago, Dr. K. L. Rao – an irrigation expert, suggested creation of a water grid connecting all the rivers in North and South India, to solve this problem. Unfortunately, nothing has been done about this. The story of power shortage in Bangalore is another instance. In 1983, it was decided to build a thermal power plant to meet Bangalore‘s power requirements. Unfortunately, we have still not started it. Further, the Milan subway in Bombay is in a deplorable state for the last 40 years, and no action has been taken.

To quote another example, considering the constant travel required in the software industry; five years ago, I had suggested a 240-page passport. This would eliminate frequent visits to the passport office. In fact, we are ready to pay for it. However, I am yet to hear from the Ministry of External Affairs on this.

We, Indians, would do well to remember Thomas Hunter’s words: Idleness travels very slowly, and poverty soon overtakes it. What could be the reason for all this? We were ruled by foreigners for over thousand years. Thus, we have always believed that public issues belonged to some foreign ruler and that we have no role in solving them.

Moreover, we have lost the will to proactively solve our own problems. Thus, we have got used to just executing someone else’s orders. Borrowing Aristotle’s words: We are what we repeatedly do. Thus, having done this over the years, the decision-makers in our society are not trained for solving problems. Our decision-makers look to somebody else to take decisions. Unfortunately, there is nobody to look up to, and this is the tragedy.

Our intellectual arrogance has also not helped our society. I have traveled extensively, and in my experience, have not come across another society where people are as contemptuous of better societies as we are, with as little progress as we have achieved. Remember that arrogance breeds hypocrisy. No other society gloats so much about the past as we do, with as little current accomplishment.

Friends, this is not a new phenomenon, but at least a thousand years old. For instance, Al Barouni, the famous Arabic logician and traveler of the 10th century, who spent about 30 years in India from 997 AD to around 1027 AD, referred to this trait of Indians. According to him, during his visit, most Indian pundits considered it below their dignity even to hold arguments with him. In fact, on a few occasions when a pundit was willing to listen to hm, and found his arguments to be very sound, he invariably asked Barouni: which Indian pundit taught these smart things!

The most important attribute of a progressive society is respect for others who have accomplished more than they themselves have, and learn from them. Contrary to this, our leaders make us believe that other societies do not know anything! At the same time, everyday, in the newspapers, you will find numerous claims from our leaders that ours is the greatest nation. These people would do well to remember Thomas Carlyle’s words: The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.

If we have to progress, we have to change this attitude, listen to people who have performed better than us, learn from them and perform better than them. Infosys is a good example of such an attitude. We continue to rationalize our failures. No other society has mastered this part as well as we have. Obviously, this is an excuse to justify our incompetence, corruption, and apathy. This attitude has to change. As Sir Josiah Stamp has said: It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.

Another interesting attribute, which we Indians can learn from the West, is their accountability. Irrespective of your position, in the West, you are held accountable for what you do. However, in India, the more ‘important’ you are, the less answerable you are. For instance, a senior politician once declared that he ‘forgot’ to file his tax returns for 10 consecutive years – and he got away with it. To quote another instance, there are over 100 loss making public sector units (central) in India. Nevertheless, I have not seen action taken for bad performance against top managers in these organizations.

Dignity of labor is an integral part of the Western value system. In the West, each person is proud about his or her labor that raises honest sweat. On the other hand, in India, we tend to overlook the significance of those who are not in professional jobs. We have a mind set that reveres only supposedly intellectual work.

For instance, I have seen many engineers, fresh from college, who only want to do cutting-edge work and not work that is of relevance to business and the country. However, be it an organization or society, there are different people performing different roles. For success, all these people are required to discharge their duties. This includes everyone from the CEO to the person who serves tea – every role is important. Hence, we need a mind set that reveres everyone who puts in honest work.

Indians become intimate even without being friendly. They ask favors of strangers without any hesitation. For instance, the other day, while I was traveling from Bangalore to Mantralaya, I met a fellow traveler on the train. Hardly 5 minutes into the conversation, he requested me to speak to his MD about removing him from the bottom 10% list in his company, earmarked for disciplinary action. I was reminded of what Rudyard Kipling once said: A westerner can be friendly without being intimate while an easterner tends to be intimate without being friendly.

Yet another lesson to be learnt from the West, is about their professionalism in dealings. The common good being more important than personal equations, people do not let personal relations interfere with their professional dealings. For instance, they don’t hesitate to chastise a colleague, even if he is a personal friend, for incompetent work.

In India, I have seen that we tend to view even work interactions from a personal perspective. Further, we are the most ‘thin-skinned’ society in the world – we see insults where none is meant. This may be because we were not free for most of the last thousand years. Further, we seem to extend this lack of professionalism to our sense of punctuality. We do not seem to respect the other person’s time.

The Indian Standard Time somehow seems to be always running late. Moreover, deadlines are typically not met. How many public projects are completed on time? The disheartening aspect is that we have accepted this as the norm rather than the exception. In the West, they show professionalism by embracing meritocracy. Meritocracy by definition means that we cannot let personal prejudices affect our evaluation of an individual’s performance. As we increasingly start to benchmark ourselves with global standards, we have to embrace meritocracy.

In the West, right from a very young age, parents teach their children to be independent in thinking. Thus, they grow up to be strong, confident individuals. In India, we still suffer from feudal thinking. I have seen people, who are otherwise bright, refusing to show independence and preferring to be told what to do by their boss. We need to overcome this attitude if we have to succeed globally.

The Western value system teaches respect to contractual obligation. In the West, contractual obligations are seldom dishonored. This is important – enforceability of legal rights and contracts is the most important factor in the enhancement of credibility of our people and nation.

In India, we consider our marriage vows as sacred. We are willing to sacrifice in order to respect our marriage vows. However, we do not extend this to the public domain. For instance, India had an unfavorable contract with Enron. Instead of punishing the people responsible for negotiating this, we reneged on the contract – this was much before we came to know about the illegal activities at Enron.

To quote another instance, I had given recommendations to several students for the national scholarship for higher studies in US universities. Most of them did not return to India even though contractually they were obliged to spend five years after their degree in India.

In fact, according to a professor at a reputed US university, the maximum default rate for student loans is among Indians – all of these students pass out in flying colors and land lucrative jobs, yet they refuse to pay back their loans. Thus, their action has made it difficult for the students after them, from India, to obtain loans. We have to change this attitude.

Further, we Indians do not display intellectual honesty. For example, our political leaders use mobile phones to tell journalists on the other side that they do not believe in technology! If we want our youngsters to progress, such hypocrisy must be stopped. We are all aware of our rights as citizens. Nevertheless, we often fail to acknowledge the duty that accompanies every right. To borrow Dwight Eisenhower’s words: People that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Our duty is towards the community as a whole, as much as it is towards our families.

We have to remember that fundamental social problems grow out of a lack of commitment to the common good. To quote Henry Beecher: Culture is that which helps us to work for the betterment of all. Hence, friends, I do believe that we can make our society even better by assimilating these Western values into our own culture – we will be stronger for it.

Most of our behavior comes from greed, lack of self-confidence, lack of confidence in the nation, and lack of respect for the society. To borrow Gandhi’s words: There is enough in this world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. Let us work towards a society where we would do unto others what we would have others do unto us. Let us all be responsible citizens who make our country a great place to live. In the words of Churchill: Responsibility is the price of greatness. We have to extend our family values beyond the boundaries of our home.

Finally, let us work towards maximum welfare of the maximum people – Samasta janaanaam sukhino bhavantu. Thus, let us – people of this generation, conduct ourselves as great citizens rather than just good people so that we can serve as good examples for our younger generation. –  Speaker : N R Narayana Murthy

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“That is perfect;This is perfect;Perfect comes from perfect;Take perfect from perfect, the remainder is perfect.Peace. Peace. Peace”– Upanishasd

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Dear Friends,Link for understanding:

– Ajay Singh Niranjan

11 Lessons on Change Management: Azim Premji

February 1, 2007

It’s not the strongest nor most intelligent of the species that survive; it is the one most adaptable to CHANGE” – Charles Darwin

11 Lessons on Change Management: Azim Premji

         download  :www.gowrikumar.com/insp/pdfs/Azim_Premji_on_Change1.pdf

“While change and uncertainty have always been a part of life, what has been shocking over the last year has been both the quantum and suddenness of change. For many people who were cruising along on placid waters, the wind was knocked out of their sails. The entire logic of doing business was turned on its head. Not only business, but also every aspect of human life has been impacted by the change. What lies ahead is even more dynamic and uncertain. I would like to use this opportunity to share with you some of our own guiding principles of staying afloat in a changing world. This is based on our experience in Wipro. Hope you find them useful.

First, be alert for the first signs of change. Change descends on every one equally; it is just that some realize it faster. Some changes are sudden but many others are gradual. While sudden changes get attention because they are dramatic, it is the gradual changes that are ignored till it is too late. You must have all heard of story of the frog in boiling water. If the Temperature of the water is suddenly increased, the frog realizes it and jumps out of the water. But if the temperature is very slowly increased, one degree at a time, the frog does not realize it till it boils to death. You must develop your own early warning system, which warns you of changes and calls your attention to it. In the case of change, being forewarned is being forearmed.

Second, anticipate change even when things are going right. Most people wait for something to go wrong before they think of change. It is like going to the doctor for a check up only when you are seriously sick or thinking of maintaining your vehicle only when it breaks down. The biggest enemy of future success is past success. When you succeed, you feel that you must be doing something right for it to happen. But when the parameters for success changes, doing the same things may or may not continue to lead to success. Guard against complacency all the time. Complacency makes you blind to the early signals from the environment that something is going wrong.

Third, always look at the opportunities that change represents. Managing change has a lot to go with our own attitude towards it. It is proverbial half-full or half-empty glass approach. For every problem that change represents, there is an opportunity lurking in disguise somewhere. It is up to you to spot it before someone else does

Fourth, do not allow routines to become chains. For many of us the routine we have got accustomed to obstruct change. Routines represent our own zones of comfort. There is a sense of predictability about them. They have structured our time and even our thought in a certain way. While routines are useful, do not let them enslave you. Deliberately break out of them from time to time.

Fifth, realize that fear of the unknown is natural. With change comes a feeling of insecurity. Many people believe that brave people are not afflicted by this malady. The truth is different. Every one feels the fear of unknown. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to manage fear without getting paralyzed. Feel the fear, but move on regardless.

Sixth, keep renewing yourself. This prepares you to anticipate change and be ready for it when it comes. Constantly ask yourself what new skills and competencies will be needed. Begin working on them before it becomes necessary and you will have a natural advantage. The greatest benefit of your education lies not only in what you have learnt, but also in working how to learn. Formal education is the beginning of the journey of learning. Yet I do meet youngsters who feel that they have already learnt all there is to learn. You have to constantly learn about people and how to interact effectively with them. In the world of tomorrow, only those individuals and organizations will succeed who have mastered the art of rapid and on-going learning.

Seventh, surround yourself with people who are open to change. If you are always in the company of cynics, you will soon find yourself becoming like them. A cynic knows all the reasons why something cannot be done. Instead, spend time with people who have a “can-do” approach. Choose your advisors and mentors correctly. Pessimism is contagious, but then so is enthusiasm. In fact, reasonable optimism can be an amazing force multiplier.

Eighth, play to win. I have said this many times in the past. Playing to win is not the same as cutting corners. When you play to win, you stretch yourself to your maximum and use all your potential. It also helps you to concentrate your energy on what you can influence instead of getting bogged down with the worry of what you cannot change. Do your best and leave the rest.

Ninth, respect yourself. The world will reward you on your successes. Success requires no explanation and failure permits none. But you need to respect yourself enough so that your self-confidence remains intact whether you succeed or fail. If you succeed 90 percent of the time, you are doing fine. If you are succeeding all the time, you should ask yourself if you are taking enough risks. If you do not take enough risks, you may also be losing out on many opportunities. Think through but take the plunge. If some things do go wrong, learn from them. I came across this interesting story some time ago: One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and begin to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that fell on his back, the donkey was doing some thing amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and totted off! Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick is to not to get bogged down by it. We can get out of the deepest wells by not stopping. And by never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Tenth, 1n spite of all the change around you, decide upon what you will never change – your core values. Take you time to decide what they are but once you do, do not compromise on them for any reason. Integrity is one such value.

Finally, we must remember that succeeding in a changing world is beyond just surviving. It is our responsibility to create and contribute something to the world that has given us so much.

We must remember that many have contributed to our success, including our parents and others from our society. All of us have a responsibility to utilize our potential for making our nation a better place for others, who may not be as well endowed as us, or as fortunate in having the opportunities that we have got.

Let us do our bit, because doing one good deed can have multiple benefits not only for us but also for many others. Let me end my talk with a small story I came across some time back, which illustrates this very well.

This is a story of a poor Scottish farmer whose name was Fleming. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the boy from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the scotsman’s sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy farmer Fleming had saved. “I want to repay you, “said the nobleman. “Yes,” the farmer replied proudly. “I’ll make you a deal. Let me take your son and give him a good education. If he’s anything like his father, he’ll grow to be a man you can be proud of.” And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming’s son graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. This is not the end.

The nobleman’s son also made a great contribution to society. For the nobleman was none other than Lord Randolph Churchill and his son’s name was Winston Churchill.

Let us use all our talent, competence and energy for creating peace and happiness for the world.”

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Top 10 Artciles which align to above article. Kindly link and share your expereince.

– Ajay Singh Niranjan

Learning for a Change

January 30, 2007

What is the meaning of learning ? 

How learning is must for Innovation ?

Are we are active learner ?

How we can learn the menaing of change and execute change in the system ?

What is the corelation between learning & system thiking ?

what is the real challenges of change ? There are lots of questions which we are facing all the time about learning.

Lets read this nice article : Learning for a change at fastcomany.com.

Seven learning disabilities which are often responsible for organizational failure: – Prof. Peter Senge (MIT)

January 26, 2007

1 – I am my position

 2 – The enemy is out there

3 – The illusion of taking charge

 4 – The fixation on events

5 – The parable of the boiled frog

6 – The delusion of learning from experience

7 – The myth of the management team  

[1]-I am my own position is when people focus only on their position within the organization and have little sense of responsibility for the results produced -when all positions interact.  

[2]-The enemy is out there syndrome is when we focus only on our position; we do not see how our own actions extend beyond the boundary of that position. 

[3]-The illusion of taking charge is that we should face up to difficult issues, stop waiting for someone else to do something, and solve problems before they grow into crises but proactiveness is really reactive ness in disguise.

[4]-The fixation on events leads to “event” explanations that are true for now but distract us from seeing the longer-tenri patterns of change behind the events and understanding the causes of the patterns to events.

[5]-The parable of the boiled frog is in relation to the maladaptation of organizations to recognize gradually building threats to survival; just as the frog placed in a pot of water brought to boiling temperature will not attempt to jump out of the pot but adjusts to the temperature and slowly dies.

[6]-The delusion of learning from experience is when our actions have consequences in the distant future or part of the larger operating system, which makes it impossible to learn from direct experience.

[7]-The myth of the management team
because teams in business tend to spend their time fighting for turf, avoiding anything that will make them look bad personally, and pretending that everyone is behind the team’s collective strategy.

Learning from The Toyota way: 14 Great Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer

January 25, 2007

Dear Friends, 

These are 14 principles which are outcome of great research work by Prof Jeffrey K. Liker’s at Toyota production system. Simply, these principles are the philosophy of Japanese Culture which interconnects to whole system very effective manner for sustainable Performance. I think that when Principles become practice in the organization culture then automatically every Strategy can execute at the Bottom. 

1.  Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expensive of short-term financial goals.

2. Become a learning organization through relentless reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement (kaizen).

3.  Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement decisions rapidly.

4. Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy.

5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.

6. Standardized tasks are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.

7. Grow leaders who thoroughly understand the work, live the philosophy, and teach it to others.

8. Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.

9. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.

10.  Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)

11. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.

12. Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.

13.  Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them improve.

14.  Go and see for yourself to thoroughly understand the situation (genchi genbutsu).  

“To produce the right product at the right time in the right quantity for the customer and to produce exactly what you need and nothing more…” Taiichi Ono, creator of the Toyota Production System/lean manufacturing

Learning From the West – N R Narayana Murthy

January 25, 2007

Dear Friends,

West is searching some solutions from east. East is searching some solutions from west. But The complete solution exists at confluence of east & west.

In a very simple equation, East understands heart & soul of the system very well and West understands body & mind of the system very well.

Sharing this nice Speech by Narayana Murthy for focusing our attention [ why india has less Innovation ] at targeted space of change [ our mental models ]

Learning From the West – N R Narayana Murthy

We are living in the past. No other society gloats so much about the past as we do, with as little current accomplishment.

Download pdf file: web.iitd.ac.in/~mamidala/HTMLobj-142/LearningFromTheWest.pdf

N.R. Narayana Murthy

Ladies and gentlemen:

It is a pleasure to be here at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. Lal Bahadur Shastri was a man of strong values and he epitomized simple living. He was a freedom fighter and innovative administrator who contributed to nation building in full measure. It is indeed a matter of pride for me to be chosen for the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for Public Administration and Management Sciences. I thank the jury for this honor.

When I got the invitation to speak here, I decided to speak on an important topic on which I have pondered for years – the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society. Coming from a company that is built on strong values, the topic is close to my heart. Moreover, an organization is representative of society, and some of the lessons that I have learnt are applicable in the national context. In fact, values drive progress and define quality of life in society.

The word community joins two Latin words com (“together” or “with”) and unus (“one”). A community, then, is both one and many. It is a unified multitude and not a mere group of people. As it is said in the Vedas: Man can live individually, but can survive only collectively. Hence, the challenge is to form a progressive community by balancing the interests of the individual and that of the society. To meet this, we need to develop a value system where people accept modest sacrifices for the common good.

What is a value system? It is the protocol for behavior that enhances the trust, confidence and commitment of members of the community. It goes beyond the domain of legality – it is about decent and desirable behavior. Further, it includes putting the community interests ahead of your own. Thus, our collective survival and progress is predicated on sound values.

There are two pillars of the cultural value system – loyalty to family and loyalty to community. One should not be in isolation to the other, because, successful societies are those which combine both harmoniously. It is in this context that I will discuss the role of Western values in contemporary Indian society.

Some of you here might say that most of what I am going to discuss are actually Indian values in old ages, and not Western values. I live in the present, not in the bygone era. Therefore, I have seen these values practiced primarily in the West and not in India. Hence, the title of the topic.

 I am happy as long as we practice these values – whether we call it Western or old Indian values. As an Indian, I am proud to be part of a culture, which has deep-rooted family values. We have tremendous loyalty to the family. For instance, parents make enormous sacrifices for their children. They support them until they can stand on their own feet. On the other side, children consider it their duty to take care of aged parents.

 We believe: Mathru devo bhava – mother is God, and pithru devo bhava – father is God. Further, brothers and sisters sacrifice for each other. In fact, the eldest brother or sister is respected by all the other siblings. As for marriage, it is held to be a sacred union – husband and wife are bonded, most often, for life. In joint families, the entire family works towards the welfare of the family. There is so much love and affection in our family life.

This is the essence of Indian values and one of our key strengths. Our families act as a critical support mechanism for us. In fact, the credit to the success of Infosys goes, as much to the founders as to their families, for supporting them through the tough times. Unfortunately, our attitude towards family life is not reflected in our attitude towards community behavior. From littering the streets to corruption to breaking of contractual obligations, we are apathetic to the common good. In the West – the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand – individuals understand that they have to be responsible towards their community.

The primary difference between the West and us is that, there, people have a much better societal orientation. They care more for the society than we do. Further, they generally sacrifice more for the society than us. Quality of life is enhanced because of this. This is where we need to learn from the West.

I will talk about some of the lessons that we, Indians, can learn from the West.

In the West, there is respect for the public good. For instance, parks free of litter, clean streets, public toilets free of graffiti – all these are instances of care for the public good. On the contrary, in India, we keep our houses clean and water our gardens everyday – but, when we go to a park, we do not think twice before littering the place.

Corruption, as we see in India, is another example of putting the interest of oneself, and at best that of one’s family, above that of the society. Society is relatively corruption free in the West. For instance, it is very difficult to bribe a police officer into avoiding a speeding ticket.

This is because of the individual’s responsible behavior towards the community as a whole On the contrary, in India, corruption, tax evasion, cheating and bribery have eaten into our vitals. For instance, contractors bribe officials, and construct low-quality roads and bridges. The result is that society loses in the form of substandard defence equipment and infrastructure, and low-quality recruitment, just to name a few impediments. Unfortunately, this behavior is condoned by almost everyone.

Apathy in solving community matters has held us back from making progress, which is otherwise within our reach. We see serious problems around us but do not try to solve them. We behave as if the problems do not exist or is somebody else’s. On the other hand, in the West, people solve societal problems proactively. There are several examples of our apathetic attitude. For instance, all of us are aware of the problem of drought in India.

More than 40 years ago, Dr. K. L. Rao – an irrigation expert, suggested creation of a water grid connecting all the rivers in North and South India, to solve this problem. Unfortunately, nothing has been done about this. The story of power shortage in Bangalore is another instance. In 1983, it was decided to build a thermal power plant to meet Bangalore‘s power requirements. Unfortunately, we have still not started it. Further, the Milan subway in Bombay is in a deplorable state for the last 40 years, and no action has been taken.

To quote another example, considering the constant travel required in the software industry; five years ago, I had suggested a 240-page passport. This would eliminate frequent visits to the passport office. In fact, we are ready to pay for it. However, I am yet to hear from the Ministry of External Affairs on this.

We, Indians, would do well to remember Thomas Hunter’s words: Idleness travels very slowly, and poverty soon overtakes it. What could be the reason for all this? We were ruled by foreigners for over thousand years. Thus, we have always believed that public issues belonged to some foreign ruler and that we have no role in solving them.

Moreover, we have lost the will to proactively solve our own problems. Thus, we have got used to just executing someone else’s orders. Borrowing Aristotle’s words: We are what we repeatedly do. Thus, having done this over the years, the decision-makers in our society are not trained for solving problems. Our decision-makers look to somebody else to take decisions. Unfortunately, there is nobody to look up to, and this is the tragedy.

Our intellectual arrogance has also not helped our society. I have traveled extensively, and in my experience, have not come across another society where people are as contemptuous of better societies as we are, with as little progress as we have achieved. Remember that arrogance breeds hypocrisy. No other society gloats so much about the past as we do, with as little current accomplishment.

Friends, this is not a new phenomenon, but at least a thousand years old. For instance, Al Barouni, the famous Arabic logician and traveler of the 10th century, who spent about 30 years in India from 997 AD to around 1027 AD, referred to this trait of Indians. According to him, during his visit, most Indian pundits considered it below their dignity even to hold arguments with him. In fact, on a few occasions when a pundit was willing to listen to hm, and found his arguments to be very sound, he invariably asked Barouni: which Indian pundit taught these smart things!

The most important attribute of a progressive society is respect for others who have accomplished more than they themselves have, and learn from them. Contrary to this, our leaders make us believe that other societies do not know anything! At the same time, everyday, in the newspapers, you will find numerous claims from our leaders that ours is the greatest nation. These people would do well to remember Thomas Carlyle’s words: The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.

If we have to progress, we have to change this attitude, listen to people who have performed better than us, learn from them and perform better than them. Infosys is a good example of such an attitude. We continue to rationalize our failures. No other society has mastered this part as well as we have. Obviously, this is an excuse to justify our incompetence, corruption, and apathy. This attitude has to change. As Sir Josiah Stamp has said: It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.

Another interesting attribute, which we Indians can learn from the West, is their accountability. Irrespective of your position, in the West, you are held accountable for what you do. However, in India, the more ‘important’ you are, the less answerable you are. For instance, a senior politician once declared that he ‘forgot’ to file his tax returns for 10 consecutive years – and he got away with it. To quote another instance, there are over 100 loss making public sector units (central) in India. Nevertheless, I have not seen action taken for bad performance against top managers in these organizations.

Dignity of labor is an integral part of the Western value system. In the West, each person is proud about his or her labor that raises honest sweat. On the other hand, in India, we tend to overlook the significance of those who are not in professional jobs. We have a mind set that reveres only supposedly intellectual work.

For instance, I have seen many engineers, fresh from college, who only want to do cutting-edge work and not work that is of relevance to business and the country. However, be it an organization or society, there are different people performing different roles. For success, all these people are required to discharge their duties. This includes everyone from the CEO to the person who serves tea – every role is important. Hence, we need a mind set that reveres everyone who puts in honest work.

Indians become intimate even without being friendly. They ask favors of strangers without any hesitation. For instance, the other day, while I was traveling from Bangalore to Mantralaya, I met a fellow traveler on the train. Hardly 5 minutes into the conversation, he requested me to speak to his MD about removing him from the bottom 10% list in his company, earmarked for disciplinary action. I was reminded of what Rudyard Kipling once said: A westerner can be friendly without being intimate while an easterner tends to be intimate without being friendly.

Yet another lesson to be learnt from the West, is about their professionalism in dealings. The common good being more important than personal equations, people do not let personal relations interfere with their professional dealings. For instance, they don’t hesitate to chastise a colleague, even if he is a personal friend, for incompetent work.

In India, I have seen that we tend to view even work interactions from a personal perspective. Further, we are the most ‘thin-skinned’ society in the world – we see insults where none is meant. This may be because we were not free for most of the last thousand years. Further, we seem to extend this lack of professionalism to our sense of punctuality. We do not seem to respect the other person’s time.

The Indian Standard Time somehow seems to be always running late. Moreover, deadlines are typically not met. How many public projects are completed on time? The disheartening aspect is that we have accepted this as the norm rather than the exception. In the West, they show professionalism by embracing meritocracy. Meritocracy by definition means that we cannot let personal prejudices affect our evaluation of an individual’s performance. As we increasingly start to benchmark ourselves with global standards, we have to embrace meritocracy.

In the West, right from a very young age, parents teach their children to be independent in thinking. Thus, they grow up to be strong, confident individuals. In India, we still suffer from feudal thinking. I have seen people, who are otherwise bright, refusing to show independence and preferring to be told what to do by their boss. We need to overcome this attitude if we have to succeed globally.

The Western value system teaches respect to contractual obligation. In the West, contractual obligations are seldom dishonored. This is important – enforceability of legal rights and contracts is the most important factor in the enhancement of credibility of our people and nation.

In India, we consider our marriage vows as sacred. We are willing to sacrifice in order to respect our marriage vows. However, we do not extend this to the public domain. For instance, India had an unfavorable contract with Enron. Instead of punishing the people responsible for negotiating this, we reneged on the contract – this was much before we came to know about the illegal activities at Enron.

To quote another instance, I had given recommendations to several students for the national scholarship for higher studies in US universities. Most of them did not return to India even though contractually they were obliged to spend five years after their degree in India.

In fact, according to a professor at a reputed US university, the maximum default rate for student loans is among Indians – all of these students pass out in flying colors and land lucrative jobs, yet they refuse to pay back their loans. Thus, their action has made it difficult for the students after them, from India, to obtain loans. We have to change this attitude.

Further, we Indians do not display intellectual honesty. For example, our political leaders use mobile phones to tell journalists on the other side that they do not believe in technology! If we want our youngsters to progress, such hypocrisy must be stopped. We are all aware of our rights as citizens. Nevertheless, we often fail to acknowledge the duty that accompanies every right. To borrow Dwight Eisenhower’s words: People that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Our duty is towards the community as a whole, as much as it is towards our families.

We have to remember that fundamental social problems grow out of a lack of commitment to the common good. To quote Henry Beecher: Culture is that which helps us to work for the betterment of all. Hence, friends, I do believe that we can make our society even better by assimilating these Western values into our own culture – we will be stronger for it.

Most of our behavior comes from greed, lack of self-confidence, lack of confidence in the nation, and lack of respect for the society. To borrow Gandhi’s words: There is enough in this world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. Let us work towards a society where we would do unto others what we would have others do unto us. Let us all be responsible citizens who make our country a great place to live. In the words of Churchill: Responsibility is the price of greatness. We have to extend our family values beyond the boundaries of our home.

Finally, let us work towards maximum welfare of the maximum people – Samasta janaanaam sukhino bhavantu. Thus, let us – people of this generation, conduct ourselves as great citizens rather than just good people so that we can serve as good examples for our younger generation. –  Speaker : N R Narayana Murthy

 “It is Holistic universe where everything is fundamentally interconnected by common background”- Bhagvat Gita