Skip to main content

Breakthology

Breakthology is a venture of Tarunjit Singh Bachcher, a top organisation performance coach in India. Good to see the shiny new website of Breakthology.

Shubh Yatra and Malcom Gladwell

Greedy about the possibility of carrying an R K Laxman cartoon in my pocket, I signed up for a designer credit card offered by State Bank of India. Yes, the silliest reason I can think for signing up for a card but let me be honest. It turned out that the card was a co-branded Indian Railways credit card and came with a free membership to Frequent Flyer Traveller programme, which I never cared about since my travel with the railways can hardly be called Frequent.
So I was at New Delhi station ready to board a long journey to Chennai and could not find my name in the reservation chart despite having a printout of my e-ticket. Still I went on sat of the berth showing on my ticket, took out the ticket one more time and pored over it for any date errors. Could not find any. There was a newly wed couple sitting there who were in certain need of more private space, and I was feeling very very awkward. The conductor came soon enough and I gave him my ticket with very eerie feeling. Then came the surprise. He informed me that my ticket stood upgraded and that I should take my place in 2nd AC. Class upgrade. What a surprise!
So, I take my small bag and move to my 'upgraded place'. There I take out Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, which was the plan. The book is about 'How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference', claims the cover.The next few hours are spent in figuring out the subject of the book. Some facts that emerge are:
  • The book is atleast six years old.
  • Has been a bestseller
  • Is on unorthodox sociology, if I can use this term
Over the next day I discover I find that the book is about finding the small little reasons which make a ripple into a wave.The book is not a very easy to read book. Malcolm Gladwell packs in lot of facts and observations, and before you can absorb some, he throws lot more at you. Look at his reasoning of why communities should be limited to 150. He says that is the number human mind can really take without creating disconnects. But the reasoning moves from description of human mind to observation of hunter gatherer communities of ancient times and how their average community hovers around 150. Then he brings in a company called Gore Associates, which has a fascination for number 150.Wilbert Gore, one of the founders is quoted as saying,"..we put a one hundred and fifty parking spaces in the lot, and when people start parking on the grass, it is time to build a new plant".Man, what a simplified strategic planning!
The book, as I read it, made me pretty excited as one should while reading a bestseller.But perhaps no wiser. If you have read Freakonomics and felt confused, this one will obfuscate things even more.So by evening I put the book back in the bag. Mr. Iyer and Mr. Mehta are engrossed in some discussion that I must get involved. Mr. Iyer's 'foreign return' son (America, he helpfully clarifies) is getting married in few weeks. Mr. Mehta is returning home after engagement of his daughter, who is also with him. She is lost somewhere, I could not figure out where but that somewhere is infinite distance focal length across the wall towards 'dah-ly', while Mr. Iyer and Mr Mehta are busy discussing the nuances of the marital traditions in different parts of India. Much more interesting than the book. This is my tipping point. So I hook on, uninvited!

Comments

Hi rajesh ur blog is really cool and i had added ur blog into my technorati favorites and thanks for adding my blog and feel free in visiting my blog

http://santa-reviews.blogspot.com
Unknown said…
Why were you focusing on where that girl was focusing on?Sudhar jaao!!
Rajesh Kumar said…
Good question Sara. First, there was no Sara to warn me of any unintentional felonies that I was committing by observing organisational behaviour - isn't a bunch of passengers an organisation too?:) Sometimes, her blank stare was right two feet above my head....

Popular posts from this blog

हिन्दी लेखन

हिन्दी लिखना एक टेढी खीर से कम नहीं, ऐसी आम धारणा है। किन्तु क्या आपने प्रयास भी किया क्या? मैंने हाल में गूगल पर ढूंढा तो पाया कि कुछ अच्छे साइट हैं जहाँ आपकी मदद की सहज व्यवस्था है। रमण कौल की साइट सराहनीय है।यदि हिन्दी लिखना चाहते हों, तो यहाँ जाँए।

TOI Chennai Launch - How would the Hindu react?

Of course this post is speculative in nature but then isn't that the case with lot of things :)

The question is, how will market leader the Hindu react to the Times of India's proposed launch in Chennai:

Do nothing, no one can shake me - 0% probability.
Do nothing on the surface, work on the distribution control - 10 % probability.Start outdoors before the TOI does, buy hoarding spaces - moderate probability.Go for a drastic price cut and start a price war - almost certain to happen ( Do remember price positioning is not good but then you just lost the chance)Make the paper better - which means not saying a leading star hotel in Nungambakkam but saying Taj Coromandal instead- 10 % probability.Start publishing more color photos- 50 % probability.
In all we would be keen to watch whether the Hindu would adopt a defensive strategy and try to save the turf or a very aggressive strategy and try to kill the new edition of the TOI. And how about no strategy as a strategy?

FINALLY, WHO WON GOOGLE WORDMASTERS CONTEST?

Google organized Wordmasters Challenge in several cities in India recently (30th September,2006). Word is that close to 3000 people participated in this event.
(See Harshad's report on the event here) The winners are supposed to be declared today.Wonder who won it and what did the winning entries look like. Does anyone have a clue on this?

Updated:Nov 9 , 2006:I just decided to send a self-addressed-stamped envelope to Google. If and when I get a response, I will update this post.

Updated:Nov 16 , 2006: One week and no response received. Yes, a self-addressed stamped envelope with a covering note was indeed sent to Google's Bangalore office on the address specified in the event leaflet. Snailmailed on 9th Nov. So much for the mission to organise the world's information and make it accessible to everyone :)

Updated: Nov 29, 2006: I did send a second letter to Google, this time by courier, assuming the previous postal mail failed to reach them. The contents of my letter to Googl…