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Swami Vivekananda at Harvard Swami Vivekananda’s stay at Harvard , although well documented, presents many incidents that have been relatively unnoticed. This, the 150th year of Swamiji’s  birth anniversary, is an appropriate...

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Vishwanath’s First Century and a Kick start to my... It is amazing how a small incident can make a crucial difference to your life and career. This was what Vishwanath’s test debut did to me. I was a relatively junior official in my company. I knew I was...

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Meeting Satyajit Ray......and into Ashani Sanket (Satyajit Ray and I have had very little in common, personally and certainly not professionally. Most mornings I drove past Ray's house on Bishop Lefroy  Road and parked my car close by. I had, however...

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AMRITABHASHINI and its Fading Footprints In the Wikipedia pages on Kottakkal, there is a mention of Amrutabhashini . I quote ,” The development activities of women included modern publications such as Amritha Bhashini and Bala Chandrika, published...

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Another Family Reunion Family Reunion-May 11, 2014 The Kizhakke Covilagam family reunion I attended in 2010 was my first experience of attending the annual family meet, started ten years ago. I attended it a second time...

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Is creativity enough?

Category : Business Insights

The tension between continuity and change is said to constitute the groundwork of history. Not only nations but organisations experience this tension in some form and measure. Continuity is guarded by solid, stable no-nonsense administrators while change is advocated by a small band of impatient innovators. One rests largely on traditions and conventions and is highly procedure oriented. Every time you suggest a new idea they would give you five reasons why it will not work. They would sacrifice results for rules. The impatient innovator, on the other hand, tends to measure success in terms of results obtained even at the cost of bending the system. → Continue

Swami Vivekananda and Jamshedji Tata-Where Hi Tech met Hi Touch

Category : India and The World

In 1893, in a boat that sailed from Yokohama to Vancouver, two great Indians, one, a monk and the other, an industrialist met for the first time.  The monk was Swami Vivekananda, who was to take and interpret to the West, more effectively than anyone else, the religious and philosophical tradition of India. The industrialist was Jamshedji Tata,   the father of Indian industry. As they got talking, Vivekananda explained his mission of preaching in the US, the universality of all religions. Jamshedji  said he was in search of equipment and technology that would build the steel industry and  make India a strong industrial nation.  Vivekananda  blessed Jamshedji, and remarked “How wonderful it would be if we could combine the scientific and technological achievements of the West with the asceticism and humanism of India!” → Continue

The Power of Visioning

Category : Non Profits, Personal Growth Strategies

One of the most satisfying projects that I have seen in my Rotary Club has been the Vocational Loan Scholarship Scheme. It has changed the lives and fortunes of many in a way that neither they nor we had visualised. The Scheme was conceived and launched in 1994 by one of the Past Presidents, Subhashis Bhattachary, soon after he became the President. During the last sixteen years it has worked very well for us and for the loan scholars.

I have had my interactions with the loan scholars. One event where they were brought together was documented by Subhashis himself. I reproduce it below, not merely because I figure in it but for the touching words of a scholar that moved many of us. → Continue

Indian Ethos

Category : India and The World

During the visit of our GRBS students to the Hebei University of Economics and Business, Hebei,  China in 2009, I was invited by the Director, Dr Ms.Wang  Qingyun to deliver a lecture on India’s Cultural Heritage. I spoke to a group of over 100 students of the International Exchange Centre. The theme was the distinctive characteristics of the  Indian Ethos and the inspiration that countless generations of Indians, regardless of language and religion, had had from the wisdom of the scriptures. These have shaped the Indian philosophy of  life and encouraged Indians to look inwards and find both the unique and the universal in one’ self and thus connect the self to the larger Self that is all pervading. I had also drawn attention to the cultural ties between India and China.
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Leadership in the New Millenium

Category : Personal Growth Strategies

On Stephen Covey’s book – The 8th HABIT

Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was a milestone in the history of “success” literature. The 8th Habit comes 15 years later, not as an afterthought or extension of The Seven Habits, but as an attempt to offer a new roadmap to personal and organizational greatness. Effectiveness is no longer an option, Covey says. It is an imperative, the ‘price of entry to the playing field’. To survive and thrive in today’s world we need to go to an altogether new dimension of fulfillment, passionate execution and greatness. We need to tap into the higher region of human genius. This he calls “VOICE” → Continue

The Impact of Story Telling on Corporate Culture

Category : Business Insights

Myths, legends and authentic stories abound in visionary organizations. Some see great instructional value in story telling; it is said that storytelling is fundamental to informal learning and that 70% of the skills, information and competence in the workplace is acquired through informal learning. Stories build trust, raise vital issues and communicate more effectively than cold analysis of the organization’s vision and core values to its stakeholders. Social service organizations like World Vision India and Cry put them to good use in India. The medical profession recognizes the healing attributes of story telling. So do religious leaders.

Even in formal learning, the cases taught at business schools resemble story telling and these are used for analysis, generation of solutions and understanding of intricate issues… Publications like the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal have published articles on the uses of business story telling. At business schools in the U S, offering courses in story telling for leaders is a growing practice.

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The Predictive Revolution – Transforming the Company with Anticipatory Knowledge

Category : Business Insights

“Our abilities to capture, analyze and recognize patterns in dynamic data have reached critical mass and now provide us the ability to anticipate future business events with a high degree of probability. When combined with the flexibility and agility to act before an event occurs, this creates a powerful new way of conducting business.”
This is essentially the message of the book. The author compares the impact of predictive business to that of corporate networks linking desktop computers and servers in the 80’s.

Vivek Ranadive is Founder and CEO of TIBCO, a business integration and process management software company located in Palo Alto, California. His earlier book THE POWER of NOW, published seven years ago, was a New York Times business best seller. This is a take-off on that book.

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TURNING A PERSON INTO A BRAND

Category : Personal Growth Strategies

Like  the character in one of Moliere’s plays who suddenly discovered that he had been speaking prose all his life, we might suddenly discover that we are marketing ourselves all the time. Not very effectively, because we hardly give any thought to it. Understandably we do not think of ourselves as brands as well as brand managers to market that brand. Is a professional approach needed?
Personal branding is apparently a growth industry in the United States. Persons like Charles Schwab and Oprah Winfrey are as powerful  brands as Pepsi and Kodak. Tom Peters is a one man brand. They have a vision of where they want to go and an understanding of what it takes to develop brand power.

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Prof Raja’s ideas should be studied with seriousness – V.K. Madhav Mohan

Category : Testimonials

I have the privilege of being closely associated with Prof KCR Raja for over a decade now. Every minute spent with him has been enriching! His erudition knows no boundaries; in any situation he is able to dive deep into the ocean of knowledge that he has mastered and retrieve pearls of wisdom. His ironclad commitment to excellence and ethics make him the tallest in any company. Working with him has been undoubtedly the most rewarding experience of my career. His blog on management for education and education for management should be mandatory reading for students and practicing managers alike. Prof Raja’s ideas should be studied with seriousness by anyone interested in the sustainability of institutions.