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Monday, November 12, 2007

Humble approach to learning

The Chairman of Indian Boston Consulting group writing in the economic times says we need a new approach to learning - less reductionistic more systemic and more humble approach.

Just to shift the focus - learning is natural if we are humble - because we believe we know much less and unknown is to be explored and learned as much as we can, however, learning is not natural if we have the arrogance of knowledge - This is a paradox - by learning you acquire knowledge and unfortunately the arrogance of knowing as well, which actually hinders further learning.

Learning matters in a universe which is evolutionary. However, the intelligent design theorists will have a different view saying universe is too complex to be evolved without divine intervention.

I am becoming convinced of the other way round - method - instead of reductionistic can we use complexification as a way of solving problems and hence learning. How do we complexify a system? As soon as one starts looking at we get into various system parameters to make it more complex. May be complexification is need in GIXBang world to solve problems. Also reaching the other side of compelxity - it is Simple there - however one need to transcends the complex.

Employee First Policy - HCL

"Being unique is no more a desire, but a mandate" - This is an interesting line from HCL's New CEO -

There is something happening with this communication engine - suddenly more press on this from the company itself. May be it is the urgency of communication that will propel the shift to new policies - I remember reading sometimes back that the company is talking of new business models - outcome, output and device based rather than transaction or billing rate based models.

Further this value based model has to be designed very quickly - so that we change the mindset of the industry. It is a long way to go - however we dont have time - hence rapid transformation is the key!

Design for Complexity

The recent insight from Gartner, "Business innovation will come from organizational openness" doesnt seemto be much of a new thing. Everyone talks about it.

The problem is how do we design the enterprise for openness. The enterprises where mental images and experiences are governed by close door, close loop, tight control, command and control hierarchical structures that were prevalent in last millennium, - how does one open the eyes of the organization big wigs - who by keeping the tight control are hellbent on killing the enterprise that they painstakingly built in the last century.

The Design for Complexity is a possible way ahead. What I mean is that shift the way we solve problems - we do it by dividing problems into smaller problems the so called reductionistic approach to solve problems. By increasing multi-dimensional horizontal links in the enterprise we will be increasing the complexity and hence in the eyes of the control freaks - the chaos. Well,Chaos to your eyes dear CXO's is nothing but value when it comes to enterprise in the new world.

Let the employees own the entrprise - not the management - as anyway they know what it is that is best in the given context - Management should perform an important function of designing theorganization so that employees can learn and create. The new HCL policy - if it is really translated - The Employee First policy is absolutely fantastic in this sense - However one small caveat- it is in contrast to customer first not management first - therein may be lie the nemesis of the policy as well -
Please redo it like this - Employees First. Customer Second and Management Last!

What say you?

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