compare

If you want to engage someone at work (who works below their capacity and they are making the effort to improve) don’t compare them with someone else in your organisation. 

Absolutely do not compare them with people in some other organisation, or their practices. 

Ever wonder, why someone who have performed exceptionally well in one organisation, then goes to a new organisation to fail miserably ? 

This behaviour comes from our need to compare numbers: they are doing well, we are not. 

Humans are not numbers. With the advent of big data, managers want to tag everything to a number, because it makes decision making easier. 

Yet if you really want to develop people, learn to trust them and coach them.  

Invest your time to learn why they are working in your organisation ? 

What keeps them motivated ?

People stick with managers who gets them. 

I have seen people working happily at a lower salary for years. They love their manager. I have seen Managers who cannot keep their team members from leaving them, despite offering higher salaries. Yes, there are many reasons to switch places, but have you ever wondered what is the first thing that triggers people to look elsewhere ?

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A loan officer somewhere in India. There are good outcomes when done right, but things have turned bad. 

Micro finance is not glorious as majority of the reports out there proclaim. There are many findings to the contrary, including this article of FT. 

Micro finance has been converted from a small enterprise creation help for poor people to a monster greedy business machine for finance institutes to exploit poor people. 

According to the Lanka Microfinance Practitioners’ Association (LMFPA), data gathered from 37 MFIs for from 2017 to 2018 shows that there are over 2.8 million active borrowers, of whom over 2.4 million are women, who have taken loans amounting to Rs. 94 billion. 

The micro finance sales people are dishing out loans ( very small loan at bizarre high interest rates as much as 40%) to poor people for consumption purposes. Sales people know it. They don’t care because  their commission is at play. The recipient ( Most of the time a woman) is not finance literate at all, and all they care is getting that money to get out of the trouble they are in for the moment. 

It was found that women are compelled to borrow to finance health emergencies, funerals, coming-of-age ceremonies and weddings through microcredit facilities. “They give the loan for livelihood development, but we use the loan for other purposes. I showed tailoring and cattle rearing as reasons for getting the loan,” said a female from Batticaloa, while another from Monaragala said that she took the loan saying it was for cattle rearing. “I showed someone else’s cattle as my own since I don’t have my own. That is how people borrow. We show different means to borrow money,” she said

As the article mentions, there’s a direct link between women migrating to middle east countries as house maids to pay back the very small loans they received as micro finance, which have become un payable.  

The micro finance space is not regulated. This is sick.

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You are a female. Imagine a scenario where you get bullied, trolled or blackmailed on internet. Or that happens to someone you know, someone you care.

Ask them to call 0114216062.

Hithawathi is a timely initiative launched by LK domain to support the ones who get distressed on internet in Sri Lanka.

Hithawathi has a website ( www.hithawathi.lk)

You can email at help@hithawathi.lk

One of the ancient artefacts organisations hold dear is the 3 year strategic plan. 

While there are reasons to do it, for example, forecasting scenarios or preparing for difficult situations, the reason to do it comes from a very basic psychological comfort. That is to bring about a sense of security that the organisation will live for 3 years, because there is a document that says so.

No one can predict the future precisely. No one can, it is impossible. 

Certainly no one can predict 3 years, let alone a week. Organisations lose cash in periods of unexpected scenarios like terrorism, climate change, recessions and trade wars, which forces them to shut down their businesses. 

3 year strategic plan has its’ fans because no one wants to show that they are short sighted. No one likes to tell that they are looking at the next 3 months instead of next 3 years. All the visionary statements look for the future and it is easier to speak in audacious targets and goals when you have too much time no one can keep track of. 

Organisations who are doing well by having their eyes fixed on what’s happening in-front of them are the ones who expand organically and have the ability to adjust to changes in their environment. They may not speak audacious goals, but they might well survive and grow for many years. For them flamboyance is an accessory, much too expensive to waste.

It’s been just over a year since I moved from a full time job to be a business consultant. I have the opportunity to be working in several places,with different teams, including my final full time place of work. 

Initially I thought the transition would be easy. In-fact for first six months, I enjoyed the freedom of having the time to think more and the opportunity to work with different teams. It was exciting. 

In the next 6 months, it got tougher. It’s not that work has been too challenging. It is the change of position. From a position of power and authority, to a position of not having power and authority. From a position of leading to a position of influencing, not knowing if the changes I think needed, might take place. Without a warning, sometimes emotions can wreck me. For example, I can see a change is needed immediately, and I am thinking why others cannot see it. Yet after sometime I realise my job is not to effect change when I want to. Speed is not a sustainable success factor for me now.

My job is to create the space for teams to realise a specific change is needed or to articulate a need with clarity for all. (and sometimes with in that space, I realise, may be that change or the need, is not what we thought it would be)

I read many books, took online courses, discussed with many mentors, but this insight from my experience, is so important for my happiness and teams around me. 

We have different perceptions about the term ‘consultant’.

‘expensive people who have quick answers to problems of others’

‘experts who can talk, only talk,not having to sweat the new changes they bring in’. 

I am not surprised, because most of us had bad experiences with consultants. In my transition, in order for my work to be successful, to create that space, I have to wear different hats: Sometimes I am a moderator, sometimes I am a coach, sometimes I am a counsellor. There are times I am a nobody. I just be there. Not trying to fix anything. Yet, fully aware of the issues, trying to see a different angle, from the people around me.

elearning.lk got me to chat about how I do online learning. This video covers basic information that would help you to start your online learning. The chat is in Sinhala. We did this to encourage Sri Lankans to get on to online learning. I also mention about how to get all the great content with out paying. That is called auditing the course. ( In auditing mode, you don’t get the certificate)

Do check out elearning.lk for online courses available in Sinhala and Tamil languages. They are sailing against the outdated winds of Sri Lankan education system. It’s an uphill task. Yet a task that is worthy of pursuit.

Sri Lankans did not like excessive netflix ads placed on youtube, right at the start of each video. This happened around new years eve. That felt like a nasty friend who goes and stand up right in-front of TV every time I start playing a video.

Direct disturbance of user, especially when that user ( me) is already a subscriber, is the polar opposite of permission to ask and sell. There’s no permission given in this forceful ad. I have waited in irritation for 4 seconds to pass to hit ‘skip ad’.

Throwing tons of ads on face of a user is not a good tactic. Not in 2019.

In-fact funny thing happened afterwards. I have unsubscribed netflix and subscribed to prime video. I am not saying those ads was the sole reason to switch, but I can safely say, that irritation was a trigger for me to find an alternative. Price wise it was a $12 to $5 switch. That made it more easier.