The learning organization..

The Learning Organization

“To understand systems is to understand how it is that the problems that are the most difficult and intransigent that we all deal with come about. And, obviously, to get a perspective on those problems that gives us some leverage and some insight as to what we might do differently. 
When you ask what does it take in a business context for people to start to discern non-obvious areas of leverage. The answer is a very deep and persistent commitment to real learning. 
And, there’s a couple features to this kind of deep commitment to learning. One is I have to be prepared to be wrong. Again, if it was pretty obvious what needed to be done, we would already be doing it. 
So, I am part of the problem, almost for sure. My own way of seeing things and my own sense of where there’s leverage is probably part of the problem. 
This is the domain we’ve always called mental models. If I’m not prepared to challenge my own mental models then I can go to finding non-obvious areas of high leverage is very low. 
You need to really triangulate. You need to get different people, from different points of view, who are seeing different parts of the system, to come together and, collectively, start to see something that, individually, none of them see.
Intelligence is always about systems. It’s one of the reasons we don’t really even need terms like systems thinking. You could say, well, show me an example of where people have acted really intelligently, and, almost always the examples will have to do with balancing the short-term and the long-term. 
They will have to do with some ability to forego short-term benefits in the sake of investing in something in the long-term. They’re not just about opportunism and getting the most we can in the shortest period of time. Almost never will people give examples like that. 
I was part of a team, and there was real collective intelligence in that team. That’s the other thing to me that’s very important about the notion of intelligence, [that people] are smart in the social context. 
We all probably spend too much time thinking about smart individuals. That’s one of the problems with school, you know, it’s very individualistic. Very much about the smart kid and the dumb kids. That’s not the kind of smartness we need. The smartness we need is collective
We need cities that work differently. We need, you know, industrial sectors that work differently. We need value change and supply change that are managed from the beginning to the end to produce social, ecological, and economic well-being. 
That’s the kind of intelligence we need and it will never be achieved by a handful of smart individuals. It’s not about the smartest guys in the room, it’s about what we can do collectively. So, the intelligence that matters is going to be collective intelligence, and that’s the concept of smart that I think [is most needed]”
~Peter Senge

Lucknow loves Hanumanji..

The story behind celebrating bada mangal in Lucknow goes like this.  Begum Janab-e Alia (wife of the third Nawab of Awadh, Shuja-ud Daulah 1753-1775), dreamt of a divine presence commanding her to build a temple honoring Hanumanji. The dream pointed her to a specific site where an idol of Hanumanji was buried. When they dug up the place they actually found a statue buried there. 

The queen ordered that the statue be bought to the city with complete fanfare on an elephants back. The procession started but when it reached a particular spot the elephant stopped and would just not budge.
A temple was erected there of Lord Hanuman and month long celebrations happened across the city on all Tuesdays. The tradition now continues for more than 250 years and in its history Lucknow has never had Hindu Muslim riots ever. 

One unique thing that you will find is on the top of the temple there is an insignia of a half moon to denote that the temple was built by the Muslim nawabs as a gratitude towards Hanumanji.


मरना लगा रहेगा यहाँ जी तो लीजिए, 

ऐसा भी क्या परहेज़, ज़रा—सी तो लीजिए..

See! I clasp the cup whose power

Yields more wisdom in an hour

Than whole years of study give,

Vainly seeking how to live.

Wine dispenses into air,

Selfish thoughts, and selfish care

~ Omar Khayyam 


This is the first verse of Isavasya Upanishad of Yajurved. I heard it for the first time at our Chinmaya Yuvak Kendra class and just fell in love with it. Have been reciting it everyday for the last 25 years and it always give me tremendous strength because of the sheer clarity and perspective it brings to the everyday existence. If everything is infinite then what is there to fret about for those small losses and what is there to be euphoric about the petty wins. The underlying principle of everything and everyone is the same infinity or Bramhan or God or the quantum field. Just think about the wonderful meaning and chant it with a belief that this is my true nature. Each word will will start having a deeper meaning and a life lived from the depth of that understanding can get agitated for a short while but then like the ripples in a lake the mind will settle down and the consciousness will go back to its eternal, primordial state which is – Infinity !

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णिदं पूर्णात पूर्णउद्यचते।

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादायः पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ।।

ॐ शांतिः शान्तिः शांतिः 

Since we are talking about it the chanting of Shaanti three times also has a profound meaning. The seeker acknowledges that there are three types of Kaleshas (problems) which could disturb his practice

 – adi daivik (arising from forces of nature)

– adi bhautik ( arising from surroundings)

– adhyatmik ( arising from within us)

The seeker then chants Shanti three times to invoke these forces to help him not to get disturbed and be at total peace within and without. 

In chanting Shaanti thrice, the first time it’s chanted loudly, the second time as if you were speaking to someone and the third time almost under the breath so that only you can hear it. 

1 crore in year 1 ..

Found some very practical advise on LinkedIn on entrepreneurship. Sharing it here with my readers. Vijay Anand, the author is based out of Chennai and loves to call himself The Start Up Guy. From the wisdom in his post looks like he sure is..

What does it take to build a business that does 1Crore in topline in its first year.

Well, at first it seems impossible and such a big number right? But lets say we break down the numbers.

1 Crore in topline (aka total revenue) is as follows…

10 x Rs. 10 Lakhs
100 x Rs. 1 Lakh
1000 x Rs. 10,000
10000 x Rs. 1000
100,000 x Rs. 100
10,00,000 x Rs. 10

If you can sell something worth of value Rs. 10 lakhs, to 10 people, you have a one crore business. Or alternatively if you can sell Rs. 10 worth of value to 10 lakh people also you have a one crore business. The first model is a B2B enterprise model. Solve a big problem for a few or limited audience. The latter is a B2C model.

You will notice that in the six scenarios, the top two are B2B, and the bottom two are B2C — at the current scenario in India where it costs upwards of 2K in Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) this can get very expensive and will need funding.

The sweet spot for most first time entrepreneurs, to build their first 1Cr business (ideally bootstrapping) will be the middle two options.

1000 x Rs. 10,000
10000 x Rs. 1000

Suddenly, the math doesn’t look impossible. (Didn’t say it is easy but it isn’t impossible) And it also gives you a framework to think abt business ideas.

A 1Cr topline business with say 30–40% margins, is very healthy. And also THE best way to learn as to how to build a business and make it sustainable.

I believe that the first business an entrepreneur builds needs to break even, the second one perhaps should yield a little profit but with a solid team. It is the third venture that might scale.

With an opposition like that..

I was reading this news about Sanjay Singh(AAP) once again getting confused between his mouth and his rectum and it got me thinking what has gone wrong with the opposition in India ? Thought of putting down my assessment of the situation so things are more clear at least in my mind. Any opposition to my views will be gross ‘intolerance’ on your part. 😊

To begin with, in a country of 80 % Hindus, secularism can never be something that can win elections for you. Some ‘Sanatan Dharmis’ are more open about their beliefs and identity and some are silent spectators but everyone knows where their interests lie. That is a hard fact – one likes it or not. Today BJP has positioned themselves as the benefactor of Hindus just as Congress did for Muslims and Christians since independence. The block voting phenomenon was perfected to a fault and both sides enjoyed the rich rewards. But now BJP has successfully created rifts within the Muslim community by bringing up issues such as Triple Talaq. Shias and Women seem to be standing opposite to Sunni hardliners and Maulvis. The block has been shattered into its components. In the given scenario being secular can at best be one slide at the end of your presentation but if you make it a case for the “majority” to vote for you the strategy will fail miserably. You can’t say in capital letters that if we come to power we will screw the happiness Hindus and then expect them to love you for saying that. It’s plain anti thesis of human behaviour. 

The other problem is that the entire opposition is trying to woo the same 20 % instead of breaking BJPs vote bank into fragments, something which Mayawati did successfully in UP for quite some time.But then everyone is too afraid of loosing familiar territory or handing it over to competition so they have this ‘Secular than thou’ match going on which further consolidates BJPs position. I have myself seen many ‘liberals’ converting to right wing due to stupid assaults by the opposition like this one and the calf slaughter fiasco. Most Hindus including me are not opposed to eating beef as long as we are not provoked or ‘shown’ our right place. Hinduism is a way of peaceful co existence and self discovery unlike Islam which was born out of strife and has its roots in violence. Nothing wrong or right but that’s just the way it is. All of us know what would have been the fate of Hindus, Christians, Buddhists if there were 80 % muslims in India. There are shining examples in Pakistan and Bangladesh for those who have a doubt.

The bottom line is that opposition parties in India have completely lost the plot and BJP will continue to be in power and add new lands to its ever expanding dominion thanks to assholes line Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh, Mamta Banerjee, Azam Khan, Digvijay Singh, Kapil Sibal and of course Mani Shankar Aiyar..

Whether this trend is good or bad for the nation only time will tell.


“There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmon knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins—their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens… 

The spectacular truth is—and this is something that your DNA has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up.”

~ Neil de Grasse Tyson