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Let’s follow Japan

When I started my professional career, I was exposed to something called The Quality Circle, which is encouraged by many organisations. Basically, it encompassed the philosophy of one Mr. William Deming – an American who was not recognised for his recommendations, who moved to Japan on an invite and was instrumental in the rise of Japan for quality products. At one point of time, the word “Japan” symbolised lack fo quality and was looked upon with a smear on a face. However, thanks to Mr. Deming, the Japanese found out the huge potential within its production line and soon became a leader in quality products – surpassing their American counterparts quite easily. The laughing-stock of international forum had become the leaders in a very short timeline. This was Japan transforming to a great example to emulate.

The World War-II had destroyed many countries – but the most severely impacted was Japan, after the two atom bomb attacks. The country was grounded, buildings razed to the ground, physically exhausted, war-criminal acts pursued by other nations. Obviously, the country was ‘finished’. Then how come within a span of 40 – 50 years, the country has risen like a spectre to be treated with respect and become one of the leading countries in the world ?

Only recently I read an article on Japanese honesty and I quote from the article

Since the March earthquake and tsunami that leveled much of Japan, thousands of wallets containing a total of $48 million in cash have washed ashore — and been turned in, ABC reports. In addition, 5,700 safes containing $30 million in cash also have turned up.

Japanese honesty !

This is simply unbelievable to me – here is a nation destroyed by a huge earthquake, many of the people living in distress having lost all their earthly things, the temptation to get ‘free’ money is huge … yet, 2.3 billion yen of cash has been given back to the owners ! Amazing – specially coming from a country where we see huge scams, corruption everywhere in public life …

This country is worth emulating and instead of going towards Russia or US, we should take lessons of national pride, honesty, hard-work, honesty from this country named Japan !

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My last walk in England

It is the last walk on a sunny afternoon … though it is summer, the chill in the air was still being felt by many. Sweat, hard work, success and failures – all has been a part of my life. All these qualities are there in any human being; I do not consider myself extra-ordinary, even though some of the people do think that I am a class apart from my seniors, peers as well as the juniors across the world. But I do not feel the same – as I only believe that talent is just a beginning, it is the hard work and then giving more than 100% pays. And that is what I have been doing for last 14 years, day in and day out.

This walk is not a happy one .. as probably I will be leaving England in my current active role for the last time. Normally the last walk is always supposed to be full of praises, full of nostalgia, full of memories. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I am sure I will get a fair quota of each of the above three … but what has made the walk a sad one is because at the end of the day, I have faced another defeat … our pride had gone down the drain after so much success in last few months … here was the last chance to regain some pride – but my colleagues and friends could not make that … As always, I have tried my best – got some success but no so much just before I started my last walk.

I wonder what has gone wrong in the last few months – but do not get any answer. I must be exhausted as my mind is not working – this surely has been such a mentally challenge for the last few weeks …

People say that my success is often overshadowed by the success of my great colleague .. maybe so, but I as an individual have never bothered about my success … this is a work I love to do and while working, I give my best … rest, as they say, will be history.

I look around as I walk past my workplace – some people are giving their customary clap, some wishing me good for my future, some cursing the decision-maker for a tough call … but still, I cannot enjoy the walk as I retreat for a lost cause .. a lost cause specially when we were on top of the world even a couple of months ago … don’t know why this disaster has happened – but I am an optimist and hence believe my juniors will rise to the occasion the next time … only difference will be that I will not be there to enjoy the English summer next time with the greens, the strawberries and of course, the red cherry coming at you at a high-speed and lateral movement ….

Well, that’s life … let me take rest, raise my legs on the table, relax back and close my eyes … the day is coming to an end ….

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This must have been what Rahul Dravid was thinking as he walked back to the pavilion after being dismissed in the last innings of the India – England test series at Oval, England, 21st Aug’ 2011

The end of the unit of measure called “mandays”

In various fields within the corporate world, billing to clients is often measured by the concept of “mandays” efforts …. even workpackages are measured by the effort in “mandays” … ok, ok, ok – I am not being a male chauvinist .. you can replace the word “mandays” by “person-days” if it would satisfy your feminist ego’s :-)

Well, if you go into details of “mandays” or “person-days”, it is often considered as the output corresponding to working of an individual in a day – whether that consists of 8 hrs of efforts or 9 hrs or 10 hrs – that is a different perspective very often leading to debates and where human rights organisations along with our beloved comrades will start shouting of exploitations, etc etc … but in effect, this basically means a unit of productivity equal to the work one person can produce in a day.

So, what’s wrong in that ?

Well, it is not true that an individual will be consistently productive in the same level every day. Or even during a project work (say), it is not true that the work load will ALWAYS demand 8 / 9 hrs of work every day throughout 365 days a year. Very often, you will find some “lean” days or even “lean” periods where you come to office and find a “relaxing” time as there is not much work for that day.

If the above is true, why would clients would “pay” for “mandays” when you are not that productive, whatever the reasons might be ??

Assuming you agree to the above logic, then the question is that what will be a substitute of “mandays” ? Now let my genius mind come in play – ha ha ha ha ha …

I would recommend the unit of measure to change from “mandays” to “calories” … basically, any work (whether physical or even mental) results in burning of calories .. so if we can measure “calories” spent (which I believe we can, going by the calorie meters available in the market), we can very well estimate efforts in “calories” and hence make commercial transactions against the same.

Some might question that a physical “labour” kind of work will involve higher spend of calories as compared to white-collar mental work … Absolutely true … maybe, we should evolve a conversion factor between a predominant “mental” work vis-a-vis “physical” work so that we can come up with an acceptable standard globally.

How ? Well guys, that I leave up to you to find out … otherwise, how on earth will YOU spend your calories ????

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …

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