Thoughts on #Entrepreneurs and #Systems

#Entrepreneurs and #Business owners: it is absolutely fine to feel pride in the business that you are building or have built but please stop "talking" about setting up #systems and #processes within your org if you think they are only for your team/staff/employees to follow.

Stop talking about #accountability, #delivery and #results as if only the team/staff/employees are responsible for it.

Stop talking about #attrition, lack of #passion or #enthusiasm unless you are willing to #introspect, and honestly at that.

Stop believing that all #rules, #policies and #regulations are only meant for the team/staff/employees while you are not accountable to anyone. Your accountability to “yourself” is pure #convenience, so let us not even go down that path.

Stop #blaming everyone else. If you pay #peanuts, you will get #monkeys. If you encourage #sycophancy, you will get your #shit worshipped. If you treat your team with #disrespect, you will be left with #unmotivated and #passionless…

For The Love of Pen and Ink - The Jobless Life

We were in a mall on Christmas Eve (I know, right!) because we had to get something. While passing by the otherwise dull inventory on sale everywhere, we chanced upon a tiny kiosk run by Scooboo ( selling stationery and we just had to take a look.

You know what happens when you stop at a place selling stationery? You tend to lose money quickly. That is exactly what happened. We saw these lovely gel ink pens in two varieties - one was a black ink with a big bold alphabet on it, and the second was a box of ten with nine colours. The black and white body pens both have black ink. This box is also available as a set of twenty pens.

Anyhow, long story short, pens were bought and money was handed over. I was so enticed by the beautiful, black satin finish fountain pen but held firmly to my resolve of not hoarding any more stationery. It feels good and bad - at the same time.

So here is a random piece that happened as part of The Jobless Life. Don't blame me if you s…

The Design Business

This very interesting piece of research - "The business value of design" (link) by Benedict Sheppard, Hugo Sarrazin, Garen Kouyoumjian, and Fabricio Dore, published by McKinsey Design - talks about how design affects a company's bottom line.
What I found interesting while reading it was that I have seen a lot of organisations whose core business is design yet they do not understand it entirely. They make the same mistakes or lack the same commitment towards a design led approach to their own business as mentioned in the article.
Design organisations get tied down by the lack of design in their own internal processes and business outlook, all the while trying to sell a “design product” to a client, claiming how it will improve their life or business.
This is one of the main reasons why most designers live a chaotic and disoriented life, taking pride in their utter inability to streamline even the basics. This attitude is sold to the world as the romanticised essence of a…

Architects and Partners

Will the profession of architecture in India benefit if the Architect's Act allows the formation of Pvt Ltd companies where all directors are registered architects?
Will this allow for a better sense of ownership and career progression opportunities to employee architects who dream of opening an independent practice purely because growth opportunities are severely restricted in the partnership structure?
Will this allow for consolidation and better project delivery instead of the need to open a multitude of tiny independent firms and the resultant exploitation of the firms, and their employees?

Educated People

“He/she looks like an educated person. How can he/she do that?” This is a phrase that I hear often, from a variety of people, in response to a variety of stupid or uncivil behaviour that people exhibit in everyday life. It is almost always delivered with an expression of disbelief. 
Quite honestly, I have never understood this strange correlation (in people’s mind) between being “educated” and the expectation of better behaviour from other human beings. It seems that for whatever reason, people believe that education is supposed to instil better sense and behaviour. It is supposed to make one a better human being. How? By attending Moral Science classes in school?
It is my firm belief that our education system is deeply entrenched in an industrial process of converting human beings into employable zombies who will obey orders. The standard recipe of study hard, good grades, good college, good job, etc. is designed to make us subservient and obedient. The sole aim of the design of thi…

Tired Innovation

A key takeaway from the last post, Design Thinking_Einstellung Effect, according to a dear friend who is an architect, was, “Don’t try to innovate when you’re tired”. I couldn’t agree more. How does one innovate when the mind, body and soul are feeling crushed by fatigue? There is another perspective to this situation though – famously depicted by Bill Watterson – last minute panic.

“Last minute panic” is a design world favourite because it justifies (even if only to themselves) all the chaos, disorganisation and quite often, half-baked design solutions that most design firms love to revel in. Yes, business realities and external factors will always impact the process. Every stakeholder will have an influence on the job on hand and yet, if you look at the inner workings of most (not all) design organisations; the chaos and disorganisation are self-inflicted.

There may be a number of reasons why those who are entrusted with organising our world with design solutions themselves are so …

Design Thinking_Einstellung Effect

Design Thinking is an interesting phrase. I keep seeing it referenced a lot and yet I wonder if most people using it understand it? I have heard it from successful “designers” who seem to practice the exact opposite of what they keep harping about.

This morning I came across a very well written article Minimizing the Einstellung Effect in Design Thinking: How to Arrive at Innovative Solutions by Diminishing Cognitive Bias by Dana Mitroff Silvers.

The author talks about how, instead of focussing on innovation through design thinking, design teams tend to focus on the “tried and tested”. In an atmosphere of intense competition and cut throat fees, design firms are constantly trying to cut down on the process and focus more on the deliverables. Whether the design solution works for the given design problem or whether the team “fall in love with what is front-of-mind, thereby missing opportunities for fresh, new ideas”, designers need to pause and introspect.

In the race to produce resul…