I am a systems engineer with an ardent belief in the systems/interdisciplinary approach to analyzing complexity. I have a background and keen interest in information security, besides a more than casual interest in finance.
What’s On My Mind
Oct 2010 : “Innovation usually comes about through teamwork and the adaptation and repurposing of other people’sideas, made possible by ideas being unfettered.” (The Natural History Of Innovation, by Steven Johnson – FT, Oct 14 2010)
Dec 2009 : “Technology has been about creating things that never existed. Now we’re looking at what already exists and trying to build on it.” (Japan : Technology & Investment – FT, Dec 10 2009)
Nov 2009 : “…The structuralism he developed suggested our perceptions of the world and our actions in it are shaped by universal underlying structures, which combine to form models – sometimes accurate, sometimes not…” (Claude Lévi-Strauss Obituary – FT, Nov 7 2009)
Oct 2009 : “…[Cisco]The company is in the middle of a structural reorganisation that has created a proliferation of committees – not typically a form of management associated with clear thinking and swift movement…” (“Cisco/Starent” – FT, Oct 14 2009)
Oct 2009 : “…While Mr [Defence Secretary Robert] Gates has not made his own views clear in public, he appeared to rebuke Gen McChrystal on Monday for pushing too publicly for extra troops in Afghanistan. “It is important that we take our time to do all we can to get this right,” said Mr Gates. “In this process, it is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations — civilians and military alike provide our best advice to the president candidly but privately.”…“What is remarkable about Gates is that he is a loyal team player who speaks his own mind,” said Dimitri Simes, head of the Nixon Center think-tank in Washington. “The combination of his experience, his loyalty and his independence makes him really quite unusual – and it’s a combination you need to get results in Washington.” (“Gates plays pivotal role in US debate on Afghanistan” – FT, Oct 7 2009)
Sep 2009 : “…guidance & purpose…are often lost in the maze of interdepartmentalism or frittered away by caution & compromise.” (“Man Of War” – FT, Sep 5 2009)
Feb 2009 : “…..Industry architectures consist of the roles played by companies in a sector and the rules (standards, regulations and conventions) that connect them. They define the ways in which money is made – companies’ business models. They influence “who does what” (strategic choices, and what each role is in the industry) – which, in turn, determines “who takes what” (revenues, market share, competitive advantage and profit). However, they are not static – they change substantially over time…..” (“New Thinking On How To Do Business” – FT, Feb 13 2009)
Nov 2008 : “Energy without focus dissipates into purposeless busyness, or in its most destructive form, a series of wasteful failures.” – Heike Bruch & Sumantra Ghoshal (“Beware The Busy Manager” HBR, Feb 2002)
Oct 2008 : William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, and long-time McCain cheerleader, wrote that McCain looked doomed by a toxic combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence. These words are applicable to many a corporate’s planning sessions.
Sep 2008 : Slingbox – the magic of technology.
Aug 2008 : “Leading effectively is less about mastering situations or even social skill sets, than about developing a genuine interest in and talent for fostering postive feelings in the people whose cooperation & support you need.” (Daniel Goleman, HBR, Sep 200eight)
Jul 2008 : The incredible new book by the greatest “business author” of our time, Clayton Christensen, entitled “Disrupting Class”. An instant classic, the basic premise is the application of the landmark theory of disruptive innovation to the K-12 school space. An absolute must read for all educators everywhere.
Jun 2008 : Apple OS X
Apr 2008 : “Much of what Google does is rooted in its legendary IT infrastructure, but technology and strategy at Google are inseparable and mutually permeable—making it hard to say whether technology is the DNA of its strategy or the other way around. Whichever it is, Google seems to embody the decades-old, rarely fulfilled vision of IT pundits that technology should do more than just support the business; it should engender strategic opportunity and be architected with that purpose in mind.” (HBR, Apr 2008).
Mar 2008 : “Mr Spitzer’s spectacular fall from grace does not undermine the case for transparency on Wall Street…..But his downfall is a reminder of the limits of a one-man crusade compared with a consistent and clear law that does not depend on paragons for its enforcement.” This lesson (FT Editorial Comment – Mar 12) applies just as well to any initiative or change program, and is generally applicable as a principle of good governance.
Mar 2008 : As leadership moves away from a “command and control” model to a more “cultivate and coordinate” model, MIT Sloan’s Distributed Leadership Model (DLM) provides a great framework for understanding and integrating the four critical components of leadership : Sensemaking: making sense of the world around us, coming to understand the context in which we are operating ; Relating: developing key relationships within and across organizations ; Visioning: creating a compelling picture of the future ; Inventing: designing new ways of working together to realize the vision.
Jan 2008 : WOOHOO !! Passed the CFA Level 1 exam (Dec 2007, 39% pass rate). 1st attempt, self-study. Absolutely thrilled with myself right now.
Dec 2007 : Edmund Burke on security (quoted in the Cisco 2007 Annual Security Report) : “Better be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident security.” So damn true.
Oct 2007 : The hazardous mindset of gadget-monkeys. Quickest detox option : expose specimen to CFA Level 1 curriculum.
Aug 2007 : “Dispersion is defined as the variability around central tendency. The common theme in finance & investments is the tradeoff between reward and variability, where central tendency is the measure of reward and dispersion is a measure of risk.” This statement applies just as well to processes in any context, and is a very apt summary description of the meaning of Six-Sigma.
Jul 2007 : “We have to lower costs and get up to scale and those are the things technology is really good at – if we give it a chance.” Nate Lewis, CalTech (talking about solar power). This is a very useful perspective to measure the effectiveness of technology in any context.
Jun 2007 : Virtualization
Skype : mmadan
eMail : email@example.com