'Well, in OUR country,' said Alice, still panting a little, 'you'd generally get to somewhere else--if you ran very fast for a long time, as we've been doing.'

'A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. 'Now, HERE, you see, it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!'

The Equation for #Change

Here's sharing a pithy graphic to nibble on and encourage reflection during personal and organizational #change. Sustainable transformation requires not only infinitesimal and continuous changes in every aspect of each of the team members, but also a high level of simultaneous focus towards all the five inputs areas viz, vision, skills, incentives, resources, and action plan from the organization.

Also read, Gleicher's formula on beating resistance to change.

Source unknown.

13 principles for team and personal transformation, in no particular order. Some principles might seem to be in conflict, but therein lies the power of context!
Emulation – microcalibration for success; learning to adopt the characteristics of the successful people and teams, and what drives their social perception
Skepticism – don’t take anything for granted, including your own reasoning. We are products of intellectual and cultural programming, based on agendas of people for centuries. Breaking free of common premises by challenging them is essential for getting at the truth.
Telepathy – take things out of your own perceptions and put yourself in the perceptions of others; understand what is driving them and then present the facts in a way to address their issues; mindful engagement
Communication – make sure all stakeholders understand what you are doing and why; get them to do the same. Information exchange is key for dispute avoidance, dispute resolution, and creativity. Foster social behavior. Conduct performance reviews.
Empowerment – allow others to take ownership of projects/responsibilities. You can empower by allowing them to make decisions in areas where you are comfortable with their choices.
Decisiveness – investigate issues thoroughly and then make decisions; constant evaluation without pulling the trigger is pointless. Trust your gut, but validate with research and analysis. Allow for a cool-off period for honest evaluation. Stress test with experts, but be skeptical. Also surgically swiftly remove failing people.
Creative Destruction - Constant re-evaluation and benchmarking; but, avoid distraction and jumping to the next “big thing” prematurely (also, not lingering onto something that you know doesn't work)
Delight - Matching skills/talents with job functions; satisfying or working towards self-actualization needs.
Taking measured risks – lost opportunities should be considered as part of evaluation
Providing Incentives for creating value – but be careful that the incentives don’t cause unwanted behaviors. Sometimes incentives in different directions can lead to mediocrity, so it is wiser to choose the more valuable result and stick to it.
Getting Organized – make lists and keep track of things; triage issues.
Trusting - Fostering an environment of mutual trust and respect. This builds confidence that the creations of the team is not annihilated at someone's whim. This goes along with trusting your intuition.
Upholding the Value system (the character ethic) - make and constantly build a set of personal values; which provide the set of tests that can be applied to seek answers to ethical / social dilemmas.
First 11 points courtesy of sh├ęk

Don't ignore the new New York! Daniel Craig's skyscraper stunts in "SkyFall" sent many a raised eyebrow in search of Shanghai. Initially passed of as a fad, people are now taking Shanghai's revival seriously. A few takeaways from the video:

1. Women: They are the heart and soul of the new China. Though for the bad human rights record, it's women who lead so many of the businesses and as they say, they are respected. Not surprising since I see my female Chinese acquaintances to be more competitive, focused and assertive than the males. It's wise for China to put women in control of a growing economy.

2. National pride: The government might clamp down on personal freedom, but still people do not care to give up something to see their country growing. The lack of other dividing factors like political and religious allegiances takes the country in just one direction - Up!

3. Well-informed residents: Speaking English confidently, the new generation in China is well in touch with what's going on around them even though social media is regulated. The day is not far when the youth will make China rethink its policies and see social media as a friend and feedback agent.

4. Positivity and Growth: Shanghai has a lot of the richest people in the world, and a growing population, ready to consume more and more. People are generally positive about the economy and the way it's growing, however stage-managed it may be. I'm bullish about the Shanghai economy for the next 20 years at least and would move in here without hesitation if I ever got a chance. I hope environmental concerns will be taken seriously, and China will lead in implementing sustainable development, learning from the West's past mistakes. A little less plastic from China can make such a lot of difference because it goes out into the world!

5. Blend of the East and West: T'ai Chi and Chinese-dressed Barbie dolls meet Western wine and plastic surgery - Shanghai is definitely trying to be cosmopolitan, and invite the world to come to it.

6. Shipping from Shanghai: A strong seaport is still the best qualifier for a great city. Landlocked cities never can steal their position. Chinese trade has a lot of room to expand, and so does the city's growth.

7. Media: If they kick Piers Morgan out of the US, he sure has places to go to, where he will be welcome - imagine Chinese media and broadcasting (also, propaganda) taking over the world! Topic for a new write-up, but this is the new revolution waiting to happen (I did notice the Xinhua billboard at Times Square last May! See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18437404) - watch out News Corp / Time Warner and all the mega-entertaintment studios (remember, AMC acquisitons?)!

So, yesterday, I finally upgraded my [AT&T] Captivate to the stable CyanogenMod-7.1.0, a whole one and a half years after the purchase, having (mis)used the phone enough to be less worried about the warranty. After the upgrade, the phone works like a dream, even with 125 user apps leaving only 45M free ROM. CM7 lets the user control everything, right from the levels of haptic feedback to the performance.

The main trigger for my upgrade was this article on The Verge about the lack of ICS updates on Galaxy S, because of crappy TouchWiz (http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/23/2657132/samsung-no-ics-upgrade-for-galaxy-s-and-galaxy-tab). In the US, Samsung didn't even release the Gingerbread update. On the same day, this came out: If Samsung doesn't care about customers, how can it hope to keep them? (http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/23/2657492/samsung-touchwiz-fails-customers/in/2274490). After the upgrade yesterday, I disagree with the article. The Android environment is something you cannot compare to the iPhone's. iPhone has to support only one phone and one tablet (their own) every year. It's not even close to the universality of Android - Android's challenges are heightened by the OEMs wanting to customize away its beauty. iPhone and Android are for different kinds of people, and both need to exist, so fanboys, I am not telling you that one is better than the other.

If you're an Android buyer, focus on buying the best hardware out there - don't look at the manufacturer or the Android version. You have a lot of choice in the market, with sturdy Motorola and sleek Samsungs, with HTC that comes in between. At the time of writing, I will go for the Galaxy SII or the SII Skyrocket over the Galaxy Nexus as the best hardware out there, because I don't care about ICS anymore. I won't get ICS right away on my phone, but I will get it soon anyway through CM - who cares about Samsung anymore - their warranty is already voided.

Exactly, if you can read my mind, you know where I am going with this - once you have the hardware, you don't need to wait for your manufacturer to upgrade your software. That's where CM comes in - CM brings back the control to the user, who owns the phone through his/her one-time investment. CM effectively brings together an Android universe that is apparently fragmented. By updating the OS for each model out there in the planet, CM takes the onus out of Google or any of the OEMs. There's obviously no incentive for Google or any of the OEMs to support a phone that has already hit their income statements, given the huge amount of customizations that go with it. Google has been around for enough to know the importance of communities to build products, and they sure know why they need CM.

The OEMs need to recognize this - stop spending money on the upgrades, and stop worrying about upgrades denting the sales of newer models, and focus on the user instead. Give the user the choice whether to keep their bloatware of get rid of them. Give approvals to CM upgrades and don't take away the warranties of users who switch. The guys at CM do it voluntarily - they need more support (how about some monetary incentives and better placement in the Android Market?) so that their updates are faster (Remember how they gave up working on the Vibrant build because they could'nt figure out the Emergency calling stuff?). Google and the OEMs need CM to be the universal platform that they intend to be.

And if you're considering a CM upgrade still or waiting for that promised upgrade from your manufacturer that never gets released, here's my verdict - go do it, and you will never look back! Unlike any other platform, in Android, the user has the privilege of owning a brand new phone on a whim, with no money spent as long as he or she has compatible hardware. Isn't that awesome?

Energy is finite in nature as defined by the currently known principles of physics and thermodynamics. The process of creating energy cannot be completely efficient and involves the loss of energy in some form or the other and not only that, certain processes or certain outputs can be harmful to the environment around us. Combine this with ever-increasing need so that we keep the engines of economic growth chugging, and we have the biggest problem for human survival in front of us.

Despite the increasing number of options for energy production and dissemination, most of the world depends on proven fossil fuel sources. One reason for this is the availability and concurrent lower cost of producing such energy. But our current model of pricing energy based on supply and demand is heavily flawed since it does not take into account the environmental ramifications of each source of energy. For instance, availability of already built infrastructure and resulting economic and political costs of dismantling such facilities is what drives the adoption rate of newer technologies, rather than the amount of good it does to the world. The environmental costs of a source of energy are completely ignored by the current pricing structure. Take for instance the first generation biofuels initiatives in the United States, many of which are currently proven to be more damaging to the environment that the very fossil fuels that they want to replace. However, an infrastructure, a political mandate and a regime of subsidies is already in place and trying to alter them can be a huge challenge.

When supply and demand are the only factors determining price, of course, along with the volatility due to speculation, we have a situation where we have multiple competing technologies, some with an unfair advantage over others due to factors other than what is best for the long term. As long as fossil fuels remain cheaper than alternative sources, the world will continue with the "drill baby, drill" mantra, piling on economic costs in the form of environmental damage. Imagine a situation where the price of oil was to include a component of cost to clean up the environment. The price of nuclear energy will include the costs of getting rid of nuclear waste. All forms of energy will be pitted against each other based on their inherent worth, and demand will go for the supply that becomes cheaper.

The beauty of such an energy efficient pricing model is that is can even affect the choice of a consumer by increasing the price of the less efficient filament bulb in comparison to a compact fluorescent lamp. An organically manufactured food item can be cheaper than a food that uses growth hormones, and chemical fertilizers. In the same way, your super energy efficient car will be cheaper than your neighbour's gaz guzzler, though the cost of manufacturing your machine was higher. In some way, such a pricing mechanism is revolutionary in terms of bringing transformation in energy choices.

How will one go about implementing such a model? Assuming that energy efficiency is measurable in terms of horse power output for unit input, as long as we consider even environmental factors as input costs, and take disposal of residues as part of the product cost, we should be able to determine a "Cost to Environment" factor from a few samples from each energy production mechanism or energy consuming equipment. The easiest way will be for a global agency to collect this as a tax at source. This tax will be ultimately passed on to the consumer, and the consumer will be paying more. But, the long term effect will be that this pool of funds can fuel further research in the most promising technologies. Since all production mechanisms or consumption mechanisms are lossy, the cost in general will go up. But this ideally will push the demand to the cheapest available option, which will also be the best to the environment. For instance, our auto-makers will finally get an incentive to produce more energy efficient cars. The governments do not have to earmark new funds for research, as the model contains a feedback loop to push it towards better ends.


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