A leader’s dilemma on team building

We want teams to explore opportunities, yet we celebrate speedy delivery. We advise people to think as a ‘group’ but treat ‘group think’ as a cancer in the organisation culture. We want self motivated, initiative taking teams, but at the same time fear uncontrolled outcomes they bring in. We want people to meet, discuss and make collaborative decisions, when in fact that decision could have been made by just one person, saving hours of meeting time. Are we walking the talk ?

Where are ordinary people?

I scanned few newspapers and watched news on TV to realise ordinary people ( You and Me) have no place in media. Headlines are screaming rubbish statements from politicians. There are videos of gruesome murders and road crashes. Death counts from bomb blasts. Cricket scores. Beauty tips. Weather. Where are news about the ordinaries? The ordinary champions who made it. One rare news of an ordinary I want to share is this jaw dropping story of a  Sri Lankan lady. Her name is Nilushika Jayaweera. Please read. Maid who left Singapore as a businesswoman  

Why people don’t create?

People say internet is bad because  it makes people purchase items they don’t want. It feeds you tons of information you cannot process. It depress you because it feeds you celebrity stuff and you think you have to be a celebrity too. All of this is true, if you are using internet 100% as a consumer. What about you become a creator ? A simple blog post that can help someone. You do a research to check the cheapest and easiest way to purchase insurance. You reduce usual time it takes for you to do a task, by learning from google fast. You register to a course and learn how to play piano. ( You have to check Udemy, if you don’t believe me) You open a Google doc, and invite collaborators from around the world to contribute to a working concept note. You get brilliant minds to work on something. You hire and outsource brilliant people to get your leaflet

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Fake News : What can we do?

This is not a step by step guide. Here’s the philosophy to deal with fake news.  If you don’t read news you are uninformed. If you do read it, you are misinformed. ( This is a quote of Mark Twain, of course ). So what do you do ? That’s a great question. What is the long term effect of too much information ? One of the effects is the need to be first, not even to be true anymore. So what is the responsibility you all have ? To tell the truth. Not just to be first. We live in a society that is just.. it’s first, who cares, get it out there, we don’t care whom it hurts, we don’t care whom we destroy, we don’t care if it is true. Just say it. Sell it. Anything you practice, you get good at, including …..BS. You heard me? Does that make sense? And Who said these words? Denzel

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Startup Depression or just Depression ?

  ‘Although the truth is not always pleasant… it offers the recipient of that information the chance to change the outcome’ ~Grace Choi Last week at Global Entrepreneurship Community , I learnt ‘startup depression’ is a common problem among startup founders and team members. We were in a circle, candid and open, our hearts swelled and poured on to the open floor. That discussion released many of us, and we gained strength from each other. Depression is not a problem. It is a mental illness that needs serious attention. I was depressed few times in my life, and I know exactly how it affects. When it happens to people in startups, it becomes ‘startup depression’. Developed countries are good at coining terms for just about everything. One good thing about this attention to detail is, it gets the attention it deserves. But of course, too much emphasis is not good either. Let’s strike a balance. Let’s get to the basics.

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Can Social Enterprises attract millennials?

Today at the Global Entrepreneurship Community conference, I heard 2 questions from delegates that stood out because of its relevance and intensity. ‘Why we have so much focus on tech startups, where are the non tech entrepreneurs ?’ ‘Can social enterprises survive in a commercially oriented, non compassionate environment?’ One thing for sure- to thrive, or even survive, all kinds of entrepreneurs need technology. Take a handy crafts maker in a rural village in Sri Lanka. He cannot get a good price, because he doesn’t know how to place her products in a e-commerce portal. Even if she did, she won’t be able to receive money. Paypal is not providing inward remittances in Sri Lanka. There are alternatives such as Skrill, but very few people know it. Social enterprises who can help the non tech entrepreneurs are struggling to recruit millennials who are good at tech game. Contrary to the popular belief that millennials are socially conscious, they are not

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Global Entrepreneurship Community 2016 kicks off #GECommunity2016

I am in Malaysia, as a delegate from Sri Lanka to be part of an amazing community. There are more than 100 delegates here from over 60 countries – entrepreneurs who in their own unique ways changed their societies for good. Bibop G. Gresta from Hyperloop is here. I am keen to listen to the humble success of amazing Dhabbawalas. Yes, the spectrum here is crazy – from tech empires to mind blowing social enterprises. Audience I hear will be more than thousand. What do these people have in common ? They have committed their lives to their cause. They do it for many conscious reasons, money is just one of it. They love to share. Their currency is ideas executed. Their vision is driven by scale and real impact. They are not doing things as side kicks or part time jobs to flip it at forums to ride an ego drive. I feel like a tiny spec. I am part of

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Quick fixes are an addiction

We love quick fixes. Speed is the most crucial factor for winning in the new world. Fast food to 7 minute workouts to consultants pushing theories to change an organisation or a whole country in 100 days are now common. News headlines scream quick change, because any media likes eyeballs on them. In a week, we all forget. Then we need another quick fix. It’s nothing short of planting a seed and waiting anxiously to watch the seed transforms in to a plant next day. No result. Then decides to extract the seed out and plant it somewhere else hoping the new ground would be different, would be better. There was nothing wrong with the seed. Water, sunlight and caring were missing. So if you want to make changes in your life, family or work -quick fixes won’t work, unless you make them a habit, a daily routine.

Something Magical happened at #YouthSparkLive

Microsoft, in collaboration with Ministry of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure and Sarvodaya-Fusion organised this event #YouthSparkLive at Trace expert City on December 3rd , to inspire youth in Colombo to learn coding, get right advice on career guidance, and have tons of fun doing that. The reason for Microsoft to have this event in Colombo was because youth in colombo were excited after seeing the 5000 youth training program happening in rural Sri Lanka. The event is simple in design: full of energy, lots of space, bean bags, music, laughter, networking, talks by IT industry leaders, one on one career counselling sessions, and finally a coding relay where teams of 3, from Universities, schools etc compete getting through code.org coding modules. The fastest to complete the given modules, win. One of the teams was from Nisala Nenasala, Udubaddawa. This centre led by Santhusa Jayathilaka was one of the first Grass Root Partners of Sarvodaya-Fusion since 2008. I was happy to see

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Too many entrepreneurship forums in Sri Lanka. Is that bad ?

Yes, If I think I have to be in every one of them. Going to too many forums will take away actual time I can work, and also when the senses fatigue creeps in ( This happens when I am bombarded with too many ideas, too quick), what hits the eyes and ears will die right there, not bothering to enter my brain. No, if I want good ideas in our society to blossom, pollinate and spread. Entrepreneurship is of no use if practice is absent. Sri Lanka has a culture of ‘OK’. Contrary to what the media is projecting, been an entrepreneur is next best thing to a ‘stable’ job. Working for a company is cheered, running a company is frowned upon. This ‘OK’ culture is killing Sri Lanka silently in every aspect. It is a high, very thick glass ceiling that must be broken. Hence forums are important. Yet, Action is better than forums, forums are better than no

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