Think out of the Box

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Every company has a performance appraisal system in place to measure the effectiveness of its employees.
Employees are normally rated in most of the companies in the above categories. Apart from the above non performance category is also there, which is not depicted here ) . Needless to say everyone wants to be rated Outstanding.
What is the yard stick and how do you measure these aspects?

  • Employee “A” in a company walked up to his manager and asked what my job is for the day?
  • The manager took “A” to the bank of a river and asked him to cross the river and reach the other side of the bank.
  • “A” completed this task successfully and reported back to the manager about the completion of the task assigned. The manager smiled and said “GOOD JOB”

Next day Employee “B” reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task as above to this person also.

  • The Employee “B’ before starting the task saw Employee “C” struggling in the river to reach the other side of the bank. He realized “C” has the same task.
  • Now “B” not only crossed the river but also helped “C” to cross the river.
  • “B” reported back to the manager and the manager smiled and said “VERY GOOD JOB

The following day Employee “Q” reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.

  • Employee “Q” before starting the work did some home work and realized “A”, “B” & “C” all has done this task before. He met them and understood how they performed.
  • He realized that there is a need for a guide and training for doing this task.
  • He sat first and wrote down the procedure for crossing the river, he documented the common mistakes people made, and tricks to do the task efficiently and effortlessly.
  • Using the methodology he had written down he crossed the river and reported back to the manager along with documented procedure and training material.
  • The manger said “Q” you have done an “EXCELLENT JOB”.

The following day Employee “O’ reported to the manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.

“O” studied the procedure written down by “Q” and sat and thought about the whole task.
He realized company is spending lot of money in getting this task completed. He decided not to cross the river, but sat and designed and implemented a bridge across the river and went back to his manager and said, “You no longer need to assign this task to any one”.
The manager smiled and said “Outstanding job ‘O’. I am very proud of you.”

What is the difference between A, B, Q & O????????
Many a times in life we get tasks to be done at home, at office, at play….,
Most of us end up doing what is expected out of us. Do we feel happy? Most probably yes. We would be often disappointed when the recognition is not meeting our expectation.

Let us compare ourselves with “B”. Helping some one else the problem often improves our own skills. There is an old proverb (I do not know the author) “learn to teach and teach to learn”. From a company point of view “B” has demonstrated much better skills than “A” since one more task for the company is completed.

“Q” created knowledge base for the team. More often than not, we do the task assigned to us without checking history. Learning from other’s mistake is the best way to improve efficiency. This knowledge creation for the team is of immense help. Re-usability reduces cost there by increases productivity of the team. “Q” demonstrated good “team-player” skills,

Now to the outstanding person, “O” made the task irrelevant; he created a Permanent Asset to the team.
If you notice B, Q and O all have demonstrated “team performance” over an above individual performance; also they have demonstrated a very invaluable characteristic known as “INITIATIVE”.

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Initiative pays of every where whether at work or at personal life. If you put initiative you will succeed. Initiative is a continual process and it never ends. This is because this year’s achievement is next year’s task. You cannot use the same success story every year.
The story provides an instance of performance, where as measurement needs to be spread across at least 6-12 months. Consequently performance should be consistent and evenly spread.
Out-of-Box thinkers are always premium and that is what every one constantly looks out for. Initiative, Out-of-Box thinking and commitment are the stepping stone to success.
Initiative should be life long. Think of out of the box.

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Lesson of Life

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(Just a nice forward email.... credits to whoever created this)

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said no it was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

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The man then explained to his sons that they all were right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall.

Moral:

Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

Don’t judge life by one difficult season.

Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later…….

5 things for which I love myself

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Aaj ki taaza khabar. Suda is doing a tag!!! 😀 😀
Yes, stop slapping yourself, this is not a dream!!! I am really doing a tag (actually stealing it from Reema) 😀
The tag requires me to write 5 things for which I love myself 😉
So here we go:

1. Helping Others: I have habit of helping (or at least trying to help) everyone (read: anyone) no matter who he/she is. Even a stranger can not discourage me.
I know this is a common habit (at least in India, I don’t know about others) but I love myself for it because many other people love me for same reason. I help many people without realizing how much I am doing for them. And I guess that is what makes me special. Whenever someone asks me, “Why are you doing this much for me?” I get surprised. I have heard same question hundred times before but still it surprises me. Friend or not friend, a person who needs help should get it without hesitation.

Help Everyone Everywhere in Everything!!!

Help Everyone Everywhere in Everything!!!

Now, I don’t claim to be some great personality or something like that. I help others when I can, when it is possible for me and (recently, only) when it does not create trouble for me.

2. Forgiveness: I don’t believe in holding grudge. I hate some people but that does not make me to hold any grudge for them. The moment my anger melts, I forgive every offender in my mind and let the person know what I feel if possible. I do not expect everyone to be saint. It’s a choice a person has to make for him/herself.
Believe me; I really do not have any enemies. Or may be I should say that I do not consider anyone enemy. I may be distant and rude and dry towards some people but I really don’t see any reason to call them enemies. The guy whom I called “my best friend ever” actually plotted behind me and got the girl I loved when we were in college. You would think I must be looking for a chance to get back to him. But I am not!!! I was stupid back then, because I just liked that girl but never tried to tell her. And I was stupid enough to tell everything I felt to my best friend. May be I was not stupid in telling him. May be they fell in love with each other and the girl (she used to love me, her roommates still claim this even after so many years) thought him better choice. Now, I have no contact with him or her. My friends consider us enemies or something more. But I don’t!!! I just don’t want them back in my life and I am not sure I can bear them together. I am better off without them. And anyway I have found someone *who truly loves me* beyond my imagination. ☺ ☺ So, I have forgiven both of my friends for everything. But still he should better take care of remaining out of my sight!!!! :mrgreen:

Forgiveness is Divine Quality

Forgiveness is Divine Quality

So, I love myself for this forgiveness saintly quality. Now I forgive myself for bringing up stupid hurting memories for very stupid reason of praising myself in a stupid self praising tag post. 😐

3. Flexibility: Now here is something I share with Reema. Put me anywhere, I will match myself to the context!!! (or match the context to me 😛 ). I can live in some extreme rural area with no connection with modern world and will not complain at all. I am living in a Metro city Pune (where I don’t like many modern things) and have adjusted myself to match Punekars. I can live with very less water 😀 and I am adjusting with my current roommates (that is a miracle in itself). In technical field, I have no objections in working across different technologies and different people.
Again, same as Reema, I show nakhras only when I have choices 😀

4. Fakology/Creativity/Making things up/Playing with words: Sometimes, you need to change a few details and twist some tales to tweak the situation for your good or for greater good of the universe……this is the field where I have attained a fair level of expertise. I usually manage to slip through tight situations by using my word-games and a little presence if mind.

Presence of Mind

Presense of Mind

I will share a secret which is formula I use in most of the critical situations. That secret is *simple logic*. Not just commonsense, but the right application of commonsense. I will explain with simple example (keeping non technical people in mind):

For my project, I was supposed to make a document about a banking product NRI accounts using information provided by my onsite colleague. I was supposed to write “pain areas and problems” in one section. But my onsite friend did not get much information for that particular section properly and the banker he interviewed gave very vague answers. All he got out of the banker was there are no specific pain areas and he does not bother to explain why. So it was my responsibility to convince my Project Manager that there is really no need for that section in document. Here is what I told him:
“Sir, Mr Onsite-Colleague interviewed Mr ******* for this product. As we know the NRI account product is uses Foreign Exchange (FOREX) Dept for currency exchange rates, blah-blah system for customer records and Miss. Blah-Blah is head of the FOREX dept. As the concerned product uses multiple systems and people for small-small activities, it hardly creates any problems for Bankers. So I doubt that any banker can actually tell us specific pain areas for this product, they will just tell problems of bigger products they handle.”

My PM thought over this explanation for a moment and decided not to chase me out of his cabin for such a small issue which was not my creation in first place. So he decided it was wise of me to keep that section blank and my onsite colleague owes has done nothing wrong. The fact is I was not lying. Whatever I told was supposedly expected from the client banker. So I may have missed real thing but I did not create any problems for client as well as my employer.

Now look at the underlined things in my answer. They are my guesses or deductions from a line my onsite friend told me plus some general knowledge. I managed to keep anything from being too specific. Do you see what I mean? No??? Well, I will come up with more examples later. Just keep in mind that whenever you need to slip through tight holes, make sure you are very logical about things you say or make up and also make sure you have left enough loopholes to bypass someone trying to catch you. 😀 I call it Fakology and I intend to write a guide for it, seriously. I love myself for this ability (and many of my superiors and friends hate me for it) 😀

5. Basic Instinct: Now, this is a thing I guess I share with thousands of people around the world. I believe that every person has a power or ability sometimes called Sixth-sense. It is not just your logic or brain power. It is some instinct that flashes up some feeling in your head for a moment when you are about to make a decision. Mostly the feeling slips away before you catch it and understand it. But whenever you manage to get a hold on it, it surely affects your decisions.

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense

I believe my intuition is very strong. I have saved myself from many blunders and stupid mistakes by following my instinct. Sometimes I think my quick reflex to something like ducking an unseen stone is more than just good eyes and ears. Many times I think I heard someone coming before anybody else but it is mostly the feeling and not the sharp ears.

I have a strange example here: In my college days, some friends decided to hide programs in computers in college lab and use them for practical exam next day. I had no need for cheating but I decided to give them company just for thrill of doing something against the rules. That evening, the lab assistant was promised a drink and then he locked us in lab with and promised half an hour for the dirty work. I did not take part in copying but sat browsing the net. After few minutes, I felt an urge to go out of that locked room. Nothing was wrong but something strongly urged me to get out and I started feeling very uneasy when I tried to force away the urge. So I went to locked door and asked the assistant to take me out. He knew me very well. He snapped at me that why I went in at first place if I did not need to cheat? But he let me out and I ran away. I was feeling suffocated in the building. I ran to bike stand away from the building. Hardly 5 minutes had passed when all (cheater) boys joined me at bike stand. A teacher of my dept had caught them red-handed!!!! The teacher failed them in practical exam as punishment instead of making a big issue for that serious crime.

I was simply lucky to get out in time. I was about to get punished for being at wrong place at wrong time in wrong company, I must have missed her by a minute or less. I still don’t believe that it was just a co-incidence. Unknown, unexplained urge to get out of that lab just few seconds before the teacher decided to check the lab……… to much for just a co-incidence!!!
There is other side to these so called instinct decisions. Sometimes, it does not feel right for the situation. It may be turn out to be right in long run but at the particular moment, I can’t afford to follow it. Also many times I simply ignore it because of some stupid attraction or something like that overcomes it. And I regret it many times. How many times I say, “Damn, I should have done it that way. I should have listened!!” I think I should write about instincts in detail in a separate post later.

Well, that’s all for now. I can write a book about myself and best things about me, but I doubt anyone will ever read it 😀
And this is the longest post I have ever written. I hope some people have really reached this line honestly 😀 😀
If you answer this question then I will know that you have read all points above. If you can’t then its okay, I will assume that you have read between the lines 😉
Que. I mentioned that I want to write a guide for something. What is it?
Answer the question in comments. This question is optional 😉 , you can choose not to answer it.  😎

Do you guys need any disclaimer??? I hope not 😉 😀

Shameless self advertisement: See my photography here.  Lately, I am advertising my photoblog too much 😀 😀

Use TAGS efficiently to increase your Blog visibility

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Every time you write a tutorial or a movie review or a funny story or a serious issue, you want your post to be read. And you want your post to be higher in search engine results. So you use links, good content, pictures, references, and tags.

The Tags. If you don’t know what a Tag is and why people use it, see this entry in WordPress.com Support. (Honestly speaking, if you read all the support section on WordPress.com, you don’t need to read rest of this post)

A tag helps indexing your post in search databases and WordPress uses tags to keep track of things/topics in the(ir) Blog World. The tags on WP are similar to “labels” on Blogger.com.

So whenever one thinks he/she has written a good post, he/she tries to insert as many tags as possible. And believe me, that’s not a good idea. Not in the terms of SEO on WP. (SEO= Search Engine Optimization)

Why using lots of tags is not a good idea? Read this.

The Global Tag Listings at WordPress.com aggregate all published posts attached to any particular tag or category.

If you want your post or blog to be listed in Global List, which is one of the best way to get readers, you have to use tags and categories efficiently.

Few tips:

=> Use specific tags. Keep them limited but as relative as possible.

=> Create and use categories. Using them keeps your blog organized.

=> Stop misusing tags. If you try using a famous tag on a post on totally different topic, that may produce unwanted results. Most probably, your post will be blacklisted or marked or flagged or something like that for misuse of tags.

Anyway, its your choice. Some bloggers are never interested in SEO or page rank or reader count. If you are one of them, then don’t bother and do whatever you like with your blog. 🙂
There is no harm in using lots of tags. No one is going to punish you for using your own blog in your own way 😀 😀

Cheers

Work (Balance) Blogging

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Blogging is good. Good in many ways. Good if you know how to manage it.

Many of the bloggers blog from work. Some of them do it because they can spare time for it and some because they don’t have computers at home (probably because they live in rented flats or can’t afford a laptop yet 😉 ).

Few bloggers are full-time bloggers. They are either retired individuals or the blogging earns their living.

Now, for others, i.e. spare-time bloggers, I have a question.

How do you manage the balance between work and blogging?

I am asking this question because I forced a blogging break on myself just to concentrate on some important things. I was unable to balance these two things properly and ended up trashing one of them (blogging of course).

What happens is, as you keep blogging, you get new readers. Most of them are bloggers and they do write interesting things. So you go read, comment and find more people and make friends etc.

Now, here is a realistic example. I know quite a few bloggers now. And I like to read their blogs. Lets say I like 20 blogs. Three or Four of them write nearly daily. Seven ot Eight write thrice a week. Some of them write irregularly and some of them write stories and stuff (I know 3-4 short story writers).

Approximately, I get around 15 new posts every day in my RSS Reader. Even if I don’t have to read all of them, still 12 posts are there. And if I am busy and miss opening Reader for one day, the count reaches to 20. Then it increases gradually in next few days. And one does not read only blogs. There are other sites and news and many things. So gradually it becomes an overloaded truck.

Now a post of approx 250 words takes some time reading if its on some good subject. There are references to other sources (if you bother to read) and then time to understand the subject. Then if there are already few comments there it adds more time as we read them too.

I am not finding an excuse for not reading or writing or commenting. Its just I find it very difficult to manage all friends and their blogs and your own blog at same time.

At there are some people who comment only if you comment on their blogs. But they are very few.

And there are some people who are always very busy but still comment on my posts even I post after a decade. 🙂

Anyway, I am leaving this post halfway as I think you have got my point.

I just want to know how people manage their time. Mostly the people who use net from workplace (like me).

I wanted to make this post much like Nita’s any statistics and facts post. But then its me!! If I started writing very good posts here, then how can I live up to my reputation of confused blogger??  😀  No. its not an award, its what I think I am. Confused like this post.  😀

FOCUSING on PROBLEMS and FOCUSING on SOLUTIONS

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The Difference between FOCUSING on PROBLEMS and FOCUSING on SOLUTIONS

Case # 1 : When NASA began the launch of astronauts into space, they found out that the pens would not work at zero gravity (ink will not flow down to the writing surface).

Solution # 1 : To solve this problem, it took them one decade and $12 million. They developed a pen that worked at zero gravity, upside down, underwater, in practically any surface including crystal and in a temperature range from below freezing to over 300 degrees

Solution # 2 : And what did the Russians do…?? They used a pencil.

Case # 2 : One of the most memorable case studies on Japanese management was the case of the empty soapbox, which happened in one of Japan ‘s biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a soapbox that was empty.

Immediately the authorities isolated the problem to the assembly Line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soapbox went through the assembly line empty.

Management asked its engineers to solve the problem.

Solution # 1 : Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soapboxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast but they spent a whoopee amount to do so.

Solution # 2 : But when a rank-and-file employee in a small company was posed with the same problem, he did not get into complications of X-rays, etc., but instead came out with another solution.

He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

Moral
* Always look for simple solutions.
* Devise the simplest possible solution that solves the problems.
* Always focus on solutions & not on problems

Note: Got this text as a forward mail, but still its speaks nothing but the truth  😀

Life, Plans, Mess, God, Dad

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There is nothing more irritating than not being able to blog regularly. Twitter gave me some relief and now I think I am starting to get addicted to it. But still I haven’t forgotten I have a blog here.

Yesterday, while looking in my bookshelf, I found a small notebook which I instantly recognized as One of my failed attempts of daily diary. I have written only 4-5 time since I purchased it 6 months ago 😀
Anyway, I sat down and read through. Last entry was incomplete and I remembered why it was so. On previous day to last entry, I had listed things I can do but I don’t, things I should do but I don’t and Things I can learn to do.

And then I realized what a fool I am. One day, in bad patch of my life I wrote down most useful things I have ever written or thought of and I was foolish enough to forget them next day and keep the list incomplete.
Now things have changed, little storm is gone and I am buried in heaps of work. I have plan, list of things to do, to learn and I have little or no time for them. My life boat is sailing towards a bright but entirely unexpected future. Its good, I know, but its not what wanted or planned….

May be, now on, I should plan the plan’s execution plan and execute it for sure.

hey God, I know (and I thank you for) you always ‘tweaked, pushed, adjusted, made available, routed and what more’ things for me or say you gave me chance and I always (read: never) used it fully (my mistake)……
But still I am your child and keep an eye on me as always, because I need you more than I ever did as I have messed many things in my life(like this sentence).

My Dad says there is no mess in my life yet, its just a start of the show. God, don’t listen to him, okay?