Book Review: How We Learn

Book Review: How We Learn

Every family will have that one cousin who does everything right. In my case, that cousin had a study routine that she followed every single day throughout the year. She had that calendar pasted on the wall and her study hours were allocated. Unlike the rest of us she never put the radio on while she had her nose buried in the books. The rest of us did. When she […]

The Dark Side of the Gig Economy

The Dark Side of the Gig Economy

The new world of work is still run with old laws. Uber, which started in 2009, now has more than 7,00,000 active drivers in the United States alone, which is nearly three times the number of taxi drivers and chauffeurs in the country in 2014. Gig workers have flexibility but no paid sick leave, no time off and certainly no pension. The government may need to legislate the labor platforms where there is an urgent need redefine labor laws. The laws must not stifle innovation but must certainly prevent exploitation. It is time for new rules.

The Four Jobs of a Boss

The Four Jobs of a Boss

Being the leader of people is an honor. The leader must ask every day, “Am I worthy of discharging my responsibility? Do I have what it takes to lead them today?” That means doing these 4 tasks without fail.

Leapfrogging

Leapfrogging

I was catching up with an erstwhile colleague, “K”, who was smarting from being passed over in the office. He had expected the big corner office and the perks that go with it. Instead life offered him a googly. Someone his junior had been handpicked by the board to head the function. The tables had been turned. “K” would now report to someone who had once been a reportee in […]

What To Do When Machines Do Everything

What To Do When Machines Do Everything

Machines already embedded into everything we do. How can we stay ahead? The book suggests five approaches that form the acronym AHEAD.

Can we teach people the way we teach machines?

Can we teach people the way we teach machines?

Affectiva has gathered more than a billion data points to learn how human emotions differ based on the device, the content and of course, the individual viewer. These data points are then analyzed based on inputs from psychologists and experts. The machine tries to identify emotions in real time. The human experts coach the machine and tweak its algorithm and help it improve. Why don’t we teach humans with the same rigor.

The secret of feeling motivated at work

The secret of feeling motivated at work

Mastery is an endless pathway that you can use to stay motivated regardless of the work you do. A barista could build further expertise by learning about different recipes of coffee. Or about the rituals around coffee in different parts of the world. And become a storyteller who tells a new story involving coffee to a customer. Maybe you could have storytelling sessions about all the interesting people who love coffee. The day you can discover that the opportunities for mastery in your field, whatever that might be, is really endless, you will stop dreading the beginning of the work week.

Who is your disruptor?

Who is your disruptor?

It may be time to heed the advice of Sun Tzu, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” That advice certainly holds true in the digital age.

The tech sector is disappearing

The tech sector is disappearing

Technology is becoming like electricity — it is invisible. Its presence does not draw attention any more, but it periodically strikes like lightning, leaving behind a trail of devastation. Unable to keep pace with fast fashion and the consumers’ preference to shop online, The Limited shut down 250 stores in 2017. 460 outlets of Sports Authority went out of business in 2016. PacSun, Aeropostale, and American Apparel filed for bankruptcy in 2016. Macy’s has just slashed 10,000 jobs and shut 68 stores. All sectors are tech sectors. All jobs are tech jobs.

2017 a year of possibilities

2017 a year of possibilities

The first day of the week or the month or the year is new start. The world has not agreed on any one common calendar. Therein lies the opportunity. Every religion offers a different day of the week as a fresh beginning. Think of 2017 as the year of the “&”. The ampersand (&) is a symbol of possibilities. You can start on a Monday & on any other day. You can start on the first of January & then again on any other day.

Would a robot boss be more effective?

Would a robot boss be more effective?

Ray believes that if only human emotions would be left out of the workplace, it would make it possible to run the place most efficiently. He is investing the brute power of his financial empire to make this dream a reality. People would be rated based on a million data points. The decision would be a foregone conclusion. But because people have difficulty (at least for now) to take orders from a machine, the role of the manager would be to simply convey the decision the machine has taken. How meaningful would that be for employees?

How to run your career like a “Moonshot” Project?

How to run your career like a "Moonshot" Project?

Alphabet is home to a dozen innovative companies. Look at the company that is simply called X, which runs “moonshot” projects. Google X chooses to focus on the future as it chooses what problems to solve. In keeping their innovation projects in-house, they use their massive cash reserves to focus on problems that would not get venture capital funds or those that have very long time horizons.