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Points to Ponder:
“In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” - Lee Iacocca (who was fired from Ford Motors in the 1980s, joined Chrysler in bankruptcy, and turned it around to be a very profitable company)
"Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different”
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi quotes (Hungarian Biochemist, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1893-1986)
Worried that their boys had developed extreme personalities - one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist - their parents took them to a psychiatrist.
First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. “What’s the matter?” the psychiatrist asked, baffled. “Don’t you want to play with any of the toys?” “Yes,” the little boy bawled, “but if I did I’d only break them.”
Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist.
The optimist clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. “What do you think you’re doing?” the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. “With all this manure,” the little boy replied, beaming, “there must be a pony in here somewhere!”
It seems that in current global situation everything that could go wrong seems to be going wrong. But then looking back at previous crisis whether: economic, wars, terrorism, corrupt politicians, natural disasters; the new world order has emerged with new opportunities. Even during the greatest depression era (1929-37); many ideas, new companies and new leadership emerged.
So where are the Ponies in current dung heap? Any Points to Ponder?
If you get rid of useful things when discarding inessential things, you "throw the baby out with the bath water". This idiom has its origins in the mid 15th century. When it came to the family bath, the father would bathe first, then the sons, then the women, and the baby last - all in the same tub and water. When it came to the baby's turn, the water would be so dirty and opaque, the family would have to be cautious that they were not forgetting about the baby when throwing out the the dirty water.
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)
It's that time again - watch the video above as we rotate a simple image, and let your creativity run free! Let us know what you can see in the comments section. The best idea (leaving an email address) will receive a free copy of Friday Reflections.
Congratulations to last month's highly creative winners: Shinji (via email) with this interpretation [.ppt, 800K], and Ronak. We'll be contacting you shortly via email - well done!
Point to Ponder:
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
- Winston Churchill
Story Line: Courtesy of Urmil Desai and Anil Deora
A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, & miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?
That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them.
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house"
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.
Musical and pictorial version of this story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiAIVLEe-JU&feature=related
Hint: you can click on the cartoon above for a full-size view
The idiom "Saved by the Bell" is used today to mean "saved by a last minute intervention". This is boxing slang that came into being in the latter half of the 19th century. A boxer who is in danger of losing a bout can be 'saved' from defeat by the bell that marks the end of a round.
(It is also rumored to relate to a practice in the middle ages of attaching a bell to a coffin so that if someone were to be buried alive, they could ring the bell before they were actually buried)