Monthly Archives: April 2007

The PS3 Song – a Web 2.0 rant

Interesting Web 2.0 approach to telling a brand that it sucks. Check it out!

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Filed under Networked Marketplace

Pearls before breakfast

Read this.

Go ahead, everything else can wait.

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Filed under Uncategorized

A school of government

Sometime back I engaged in this thought experiment. And now I read this – a school of government. Things are moving in the right direction.

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The Bakshali Inheritance – IIMC convocation

Convocation Speech by Ajit Balakrishnan: IIM Calcutta, 1stApril 2007

An excellent read

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Filed under B-school

A Ghazal

Having been immersed in a Ghalib biography over several days, I summoned the courage to attempt a ghazal in tribute. It follows the broad conventions of a Ghazal in terms of rhyme, refrain and meter (radeef and kaafiya). I present this humble attempt, dear reader.

In awe begins this ode venerable Ghalib,
For your tavern’s drunk men are still rampant, Ghalib.

Your love for Persian, his Urdu devotion,
How could you be that emperor’s servant Ghalib?

You owe Delhi a debt, and your emperor too,
For drinking your verse even when flippant, Ghalib.

Think not our regard for you is diminished, for
Your reed wasn’t pliant for an instant Ghalib.

Time has awarded you that, which you desired,
Your words blaze even today, though distant Ghalib.

Hurriedly ends this lazy scrawl, this puerile verse
This dismal offering from an infant, Ghalib.

Notes:
Emperor refers to Bahadur Shah Zafar, who incidentally (as was the custom of the age) preferred Urdu over Ghalib’s preferred medium of Persian for prose and poetry. Ghalib was known to be irreverant towards religion, customs, as well as the great poets of the past whom he praised sparingly only if he felt that they deserved it.

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Filed under Poetic Mutterings

Emergence

I read about this interesting concept today.

Emergence is one of the founding principles of agility, and is the closest one to pure magic. Emergent properties aren’t designed or built in, they simply happen as a dynamic result of the rest of the system. “Emergence” comes from middle 17th century Latin in the sense of an “unforeseen occurrence.” You can’t plan for it or schedule it, but you can cultivate an environment where you can let it happen and benefit from it.

A classic example of emergence lies in the flocking behavior of birds. A computer simulation can use as few as three simple rules (along the lines of “don’t run into each other”) and suddenly you get very complex behavior as the flock wends and wafts its way gracefully through the sky, reforming around obstacles, and so on. None of this advanced behavior (such as reforming the same shape around an obstacle) is specified by the rules; it emerges from the dynamics of the system.

Link via 37signals. Source: Andrew Hunt – The pragmatic programmers.

Sometimes the best ways to create complex outcomes is to create simple mantras to be followed religiously by all stakeholders.

The concept can be extended to organizations as a whole. If an organization has 3-5 pithy mantras that it will abide by in all its decisions, it can lead to complex positive outcomes. On the other hand if one were to start from the complex outcome and work backwards, failure is guaranteed. I believe that great vision statements perform this function in aligning the actions of organizational stakeholders.

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Filed under Organizational Behaviour