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POINT TO PONDER
"Risking is just for me, it's always been kind of the thing like, just trying different things. That's what the drill is... But why do I risk it? Cause the gains are pretty great when you do take a chance and you find something new - when you do find a new area..."
- Robin Williams
Robin Williams was one of our favorite comedian/actors here at Friday Reflections. We were sad to hear of his passing this week and the tragic circumstances that surrounded it. He brought joy to so many and even in his passing, his genius and hilarity live on.
As Robin was a long time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, we wanted to share an outtake of his observations of the valley that many of us call home. We hope it leaves you with a smile, as it did with us, and we can remember the staggering talent Robin Williams shared with us all.
R.I.P. Robin McLaurin Williams. We will miss you.
FRIDAY REFLECTIONS started on August 5th, 1985 as stories I would tell our children during Friday evening rides. Ten years ago, FRs went high tech (onto the Internet and the www) with the help of two very young and very restless people: Neil Simpson and Analisa Hightower. Over the past years, Friday Reflections has grown, read by the tens of thousands in over 150 countries.
A note with a youtube video I received from my good friend Jim Mulready last week seems appropriate to share as we begin our 30th year.
"There are people other than me who have been influenced by the thinking of Joe Juran, and some of them have had reasonably successful careers. This guy shows a real understanding of quality thinking at a relatively young age."
REFLECTION by Anand Shah
What I found most interesting about this interview is Steve's view about Joseph Juran, the man. Quality was his passion but it is his personal characteristics - the ones common amongst successful people - that resulted in huge contributions the world. The secret of success is ultimately - Constancy of Purpose.
Thank you to the readers around the world, to the many story contributers, blog participants, as well as Neil, Analisa and Rajiv for carrying on these weekly reflections throughout the years.
I end this 29th year with a quote from Patrick Swayze movie: City of Joy.
"Things that are given away are never lost."
in the light of world events we repeat this refection oiginally published on May 31, 2012
POINT TO PONDER
There are no facts, only interpretations.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
REFLECTION by Rajiv Shah
facts - something that actually exists; reality; truth
interpretations - to give or provide the meaning of; explain; explicate; elucidate
Can a fact ever be divorced from the interpretation of that fact? Or does the truth always lie somewhere in between, where each person's truth is different from the other? Perhaps, it is not the truth that matters but how we use it to get what we individually need?
Have you ever seen Rashomon? If not, check it out (click the photo above for a link to the complete film), not only because it's one Akira Kurasowa's great films but because the film seems to attempt to answer this very question posed by Friedrich Nietzsche. Warning: the following reflection contains spoilers for the film.
The film centers around the rape of a wife and the subsequent murder of her husband. The film recounts what happened from four different points of view: the bandit that supposedly raped the wife, the wife herself, the now deceased husband (told through a medium), and a woodcutter who witnessed the rape and kept the dagger that was used to murder the husband.
The film takes us into the court hearing of the murder to determine what really happened. The facts at that point were that all the said people were involved in some way, a man was dead, and a dagger had been used to kill him.
According to the badit, he seduced the woman after tying her husband to a tree. Filled with shame, the wife pleaded that he fight her husband in a duel so as not to dishonor her. After fighting valiantly, he claims to have emerged the victor and the wife ran away. When asked about the dagger, he claims he forgot all about it and made a mistake leaving such a valuable piece at the scene.
The wife's story claims that she was not seduced but raped. After which the bandit left her in shame with her husband. Her husband, full of loathing and contempt refused to look or acknowledge her. She took the dagger and begged her husband to kill her to save her from shame. She claims to have passed out from shock and awoke to find the dagger in the body of her dead husband.
Through a medium the husband's story is told. According to this version the husband claims that his wife was raped and agreed to escape with the bandit on his journey only if he would agree to kill her husband before they left. The bandit, horrified, asked the husband whether he should kill his cold hearted wife or let her go. She runs away and the husband kills himself.
The woodcutter's story is the only one coming from a person not directly involved in the events. The woodcutter did see the rape and the murder. But how things transpired were not exactly as anyone had said. According to his account, the bandit did rape the wife. After begging her to leave her husband and marry him, the wife freed her husband who was too ashamed to defend her honor. The wife chastised both claiming they were not real men and that real men would fight for her. Pushed to fight, the men fought not valiantly - as the bandit had claimed - but pitifully with the bandit finally knocking the husband to the ground after a lucky blow. The husband begged for his life as his wife fled. Roiled with conflict, the bandit finally killed the husband. This version isn't without doubt either as the woodcutter is then accused of tailoring his story to hide the fact that he was indeed the one that had stolen the dagger and didn't want to get caught.
*Watch the complete film above if you're curious to the outcome of the film*
Many companies have training and development programs for their employees. In some places, they are crisp and targeted to specific needs, while in other places they are extensive. Some of these extensive programs consist of exposing new hires to many different types of training classes in a short time, while the others require employees to go through some massive training blasts that somebody has determined to be essential for revitalizing the company (or whatever).
Whenever I am exposed to massive training blasts, I recall an incidence from several years ago when I volunteered to take care of five kids during my sabbatical.
Trying to keep track of five kids and their activities was a massive planning and scheduling nightmare. I would pick up kids from different schools between 2PM to 3PM.
Then the sequence was something like this;
Well, the sequence did not end there but you get the idea. One day, as my luck would have it, I got some time to ask questions to the kids.
Being aware of the conflict of interest, I did not want to dare ask such specific questions to our own children. They would have taken the Fifth* anyway. However, my curiosity prevailed enough for me to ask a general question.
Further investigation and introspection revealed that these children were occupied in so many activities during the day that they had no time to practice and perfect any of them well enough.
This is what happens with giving an overdose of training to the new hires and delivering massive training blasts to all employees. The office shelves get full with training binders, checklists for “training completed” are in compliance ... but in most cases what was taught is not ever put into practice.
The cases where training has been highly effective is when it was targeted for specific needs, people were given enough time to absorb what was taught, and there was a follow up as to how the training was put into practice.
* For overseas readers: "The Fifth" is the reference to The Fifth Amendment (Amendment V) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, is related to legal procedure. One of the key part is that no person shall be compelled in any case to be a witness against himself. (Source: Wikipedia)