Saturday, November 24, 2007

Oh my god! Am blogging again.....

Yes, it has been quite a few days since I last blogged. I currently run through my thoughts on "Corporate Blogging". I am quite keen to have one for my company....and am working on it. Collecting Ideas or topics to write on itself is a huge exercise. Then collating materials, formulating etc etc....
Am quite sure, soon I will be able to start on that activity with a full fledged flow!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - Robin Sharma

Are you someone who is too busy working with computer but don't have time to back up???
If you are someone who is looking to "making a lot of life" rather than "making a lot of money"....then this book is for you.

Well, it is definitely not a business book....but a life book. There is something for all of us in there - depending on what & how much we want to take it and practice it. At least, it is sure to set some of us thinking....if not really acting :)

Talks about some ancient wisdoms and living simply (not simply living!!!) Condensed & narrated, matching today's reality. Read few pages, mull over them, then proceed; if need be, read the pages again.

Necessary But Not Sufficient

This book opened an eye for few fundamentals to be questioned, that are quite possibly overlooked today in IT & Business world.
Here are those lines....which should be in the mind of everyone involved in IT & should be repeatedly probed for:
  • First Law of Implementation - "Learn how to do business with new systems first, and only then can you ask for changes."
  • One guy by the tie - "No finger pointing between the software company & implementation team allowed".
  • "Technology will bring benefits when and only when, the new technology surpasses an existing limitation. It is simply common sense".
  • "Technology is a necessary condition, but it's not sufficient".
  • "MRP - More Ridiculous Priorities".
  • "We have to switch from selling information technology to selling value".
  • "You have invested much of this company's money in this project, what can you show us for all that money?".
and so on......

These lines are just simple common sense yet many a times not deeply thought about.
Though the whole novel is based on the Manufacturing Industry as a base, yet there are few points applicable for all....! Also, it does not explain in detail how to apply "TOC" in IT itself.

Novel to read, Crispy lines to ponder for better business & IT.

SCREW IT, LET'S DO IT - Lessons in Life - Richard Branson

An Interesting title!

Book is short & crisp. Chapter titles themselves are self-explanatory.....

1) Just do it
2) Have Fun
3) Be Bold
4) Challenge Yourself
5) Stand on your own feet
6) Live the moment
7) Value Family & Friends
8) Have respect
9) Do some good

So the titles speaking for themselves, short & crispy narration behind each of them lets us know the episode behind these titles in Richard Branson's life.

What did I find more interesting in this book?
Well, the lessons that are given as titles are simple enough to be stated by anyone.
However, it makes us stop after each chapter to question,

"Have I faced such a situation? Did I do the right thing then? Or how did I act etc.?"

Pondering deep reveals that these simple things (one or more) are the ones we have been evading from or have not attempted for yet!
Good read during a short travel to make the next steps in the long travel of life.

Maverick - The success story behind the world's most unsual work place

This book, Maverick - The success story behind the world's most unsual work place by Ricardo Semler - reveals a kind of ideal world.

While reading this book, many a times you are forced to stop by and think over and ask yourself the question "Is this really possible"??? Well, it has happened somewhere in the world and seems quite possible.

It may not be possible at every place in the world, however, there are few take aways that could be definitely made possible.....and one of those things is

What If Analysis - This can be applied not only to Major Decisions but also to Email Deletions, Clean Workplace etc. Sometimes even to your responses & reactions to happenings around you!

Even though your cannot make your workplace quite unusual, may be you can atleast read it for few take aways to make a difference!

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - A Leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni, gives a wonderful insight on the dysfunctions in a story format and the ways to pull the strings together.

The story is built around the Senior Management Team (CEO) and her direct reports. However, i think it suits to all levels, though a valueable one for SMTs.

Somewhere, each one of us would have encountered a one or more situations mentioned herein.

A Must read if you are struggling to pull the strings with your team.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Money Changers - Arthur Hailey

After a long time, quite a number of years, my search for "Money Changers" by Arthur Hailey ended when I found the book in a Airport book shop in Chennai. This time while returning from Holidays, I found the book and had no second thoughts to pick it up though I have given up reading fiction for a long time now.

And today as I write this, I even finished reading it. Quite a page turner....and I liked it. :-)

Da Vinci Code.....A Fiction in my list?

Here is yet another fiction, i read ...after having decided not to read any fiction (post reading atlas shrugged).

It was one of those days, when you don't have much to do at work....when you have put in your resignation...but yet should be present in the office (for whatever reason), that i came across this book in the electronic format.

I was never a fan of e-books and always preferred to buy my own book, get a first smell of them...and inhale it deeply, enjoying it...before i inhale & enjoy the contents :-)
Every possible media boasted of this book....and it raised a question in me....."What is so great about this book? If it is so great, then i wouldn't want to miss out on it...which happened during my lifetime..."

This was the reason for me to pick up a copy of this successful code. And...having picked up, it just required one night for me to finish it. Thinking through my opinion, there is nothing great about this book....yet it was definitely a Page Turner...and the whole storyline was written in a GRIPPING way...! This i would say, was the major success factor...rather than the ultimate story itself.

Being a mathematics student, it also interested me in deciphering some parts of code....before i could turn the pages. This book also gave me some knowledge about all the controversies around the church.....which i was not aware of until i read it. Though not of my interest, yet good to know some information always!

Though there have been other books from the same author, i am not interested in reading...coz i expect the same kind of plot, writing style from the author, which is no more here it ends!

Harry Potter....and Why I read it?

Harry Potter Series....possibly one of the last series i would have picked up in my reading list. However, i should say i have finished 3 volumes of it. But what made me pick this one up....and add to the list of my passion?

Being in a foreign land, Germany, it is not easy to find some English books for reading on the book stores. Few stores have collection of only fiction or literature books in english....which is not my usual subject of reading!
During the initial days when i started living in germany, desparate to read some english books....i only saw a good deal of fiction ones. I never spend my money on some fiction books...which interests you only till you finish it. There is nothing to go back to....once it is finished.
So i never wanted to buy those attractive fiction titles....! But again, why Harry Potter?

This book was (or still is) taking the world with more than a tsunami wave! News broadcasts even published adults reading this. Then i found out that parents read it to find out what their children are reading (atleast i think so).

With such a success prevailing and desparate enough to read some book, along with the thought of not to miss this record breaking success of my times, i decided to read one.
It was a welcome choice, in the times of getting bored with just BBC & CNN as the only english channels on TV.

It is extremely childish (as intended), yet a definite page volumes grew.
More so, it kept your mind completely distracted from the daily pressures...and it simply didn't require any thinking....on uncovering the plots.

Currently, am reading the fourth volume....will continue to read all the volumes....coz it helps you get a bit childish and get out of your daily stress....! Great Stress Reliver though! ;-)

Tuesdays with Morrie

Yet another one-night book. A small & concise one. The reviews on this book is what made me pick it up from the stores.

Yes, this book is definitely worth a read. All the things that is said in this book are nothing new. However, the way the whole book is associated with real life is what makes us think.
It definitely includes a huge portion of Emotions. After the first few chapters, you definitely stop to read & start to think on terms of your own life.

Each one can associate what is said in the book with our own life. I stopped almost at the end of every think about, to sink into what is said. At one point, i even thought i will not continue to read it for a day or too...coz i had too much to think about, to grasp, to take into myself & too much of emotions.

But i did continue to finish it is said in the book "Get into it & get out" i got into the contents & got out! There are aphorsims said....quite handy, crispy ones to remember.
Hopefully, it changes the way i look at life too :-)

Mustard Sauce & My Taste Buds

I was introduced to Mustard Sauce for the first time while I was in Germany. When I tried it for the first time with Pommes (French Fries), felt it a bit bitter and my taste buds refused it.

On a bright morning, one of my colleague brought a typical Bavarian Style Breakfast called "Weisswurst" (See Picture). I ate it only with Pretzels & sweet mustard (strictly no meat for vegetarians!!!) Mmmmmm...yummy it was! That introduced me to a different taste and liking for the mustard sauce.

Now I have also started to like the non-sweet version of Mustard sauce. Nowadays, mustard sauce definitely finds its place in my sandwich preparations :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's Cooking@Pendula

Almost everyday I have been visiting Barista Coffee Pub. My expenses ranged from Rs. 80/- to Rs. 200/- easily. Wondering what I can eat in a coffee pub for so much?! Well, it is not quantity that matters here....but just the price tag.

This prompted for some savings and finally I succumbed to the idea of buying a Sandwich maker, to keep away from Barista. On 13th November, we bought Sandwich maker from Morphy Richards. (See picture).

Now for second day in a row, I have not been visiting Barista. Moreover, we have been making hot sandwiches in the afternoon for lunch. Now my brain starts to get hungry for innovative sandwich ideas, so that we don't run into boredom of sandwich soon and start to visit Barista again!!!!