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links for 2010-08-20

20 Aug
  • Failure is inevitable, so the key to success is to be good at learning from it. The ability to capitalize on hard-won experience is a hallmark of the greatest organizations…
    You forgive because it is impossible to run an organization without making mistakes, and pointing fingers and holding grudges creates a climate of fear. You remember — and talk about the mistakes openly — so people and the system can learn. And you also remember so that you'll notice if some people keep making the same mistakes, even after being taught how to avoid them…
    A vital difference between good and bad bosses is that the former consider it their responsibility to surface and learn from past setbacks, errors, and failure. They apply their management skills and dedication to building trust and an atmosphere of psychological safety. These are the kinds of bosses we need more of…Not bosses that demand no mistakes, but bosses who help their organizations stop making the same ones.
  • Historically, the emergence of arguments vindicating the right to free speech was based precisely on the recognition that ideas and their expression would unsettle us…
    Lately, we seem to think that free speech is a contingent, grace and favour grant from government or from the various religious groups in society…
    If we cannot allow criticism and deflation of our certitudes and beliefs, we remove the possibility of reasoning about how to change ourselves—and of change itself…
    more than 60 years after we gained our collective freedom by severely provoking and offending the British, we are still not free as individuals to paint, to film, to write, to imagine the world as we feel moved to. What, then, was the point of struggling to create a free society?
  • Talking about controversial things became taboo, and if anyone felt offended, the State was ready to restrain the offender. Since outraged religious feelings could lead to law and order problems, there was now a law to ban that; since the government would not easily know when an outrage was committed, any community could claim offence, making it easier for the unelected district collectors to ban particular performances.
    And today, those laws restrict Indian freedoms. Argumentative Indians? Maybe—so long as the argument is about cricket, or cinema, or perhaps mangoes. As the injunction says in an Irani restaurant in Mumbai, discussion about religion and politics is out of bounds. But you can talk about cutting chai and bun muska, while the owner’s father’s portrait looks over you, deciding what you can speak and think.
  • The Kashmir crisis has festered since June, yet it took over two months before the prime minister publicly intervened. Even then, his response was tepid: a promise of jobs and the appointment of another committee indicative of a bankruptcy of ideas. On the Naxal challenge, the government’s stand ranges from uncertain to chaotic. When a Mamta Banerjee speaks out of turn in virtual support of the Maoists, the prime minister seems reluctant to rein her in…
    When an A Raja finds himself discredited over serious allegations of corruption, the prime minister doesn’t appear in any hurry to seek an explanation or effect a ministerial reshuffle. When rotting foodgrains symbolize the inefficiency of Krishi Bhavan, there seems little urgency in enforcing accountability. And even the attempt to get the crumbling Commonwealth Games house in order appears to lack credibility: an ‘empowered’ committee of secretaries is a classic ‘Yes Minister’ recipe for more confusion.
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Posted by on August 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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