Criticism In Corporate Culture

Today, I came across two seperate reputed opinions about corporate culture. Unfortunately, both are negative.

The first one from a Bridgewater Associates (considered the most successful hedge fund in the world) manager:

In general hierarchical structures, you don’t tell people what you actually think.

You’re always managing other people’s perceptions of you and what they think of you, and trying to butter people up above, trying to make sure they don’t think anything is going wrong, that you have all the answers.

Radical transparency is designed to solve for a deadly sin of work life: office politics. In too many places, what happens in the meeting doesn’t matter nearly as much as secret alliances and conversations after the meeting.

And the second one (paraphrased) from Malcom Gladwell:

When I think back about my time in a large organization, the thing that was most frustrating to me was the extent to which people over time in organizations, put the needs & desires of the people on the inside ahead of the needs & desires of the people they are serving.

Sometimes people get so immersed in their envronment, that the people you are supposed to be serving sort of falls away. And you just think about what would make your life better.

One way to avoid this is to keep reminding yourself & the people around you the point of your organization & who you are serving.

Principles_by_Ray_Dalio

Incidentally, both of these were heard in the TED original podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant. The episode How to Love Criticism delves into how Ray Dalio addresses these in Bridgewater Associates with a corporate culture based on radical transparency & constantly getting better (kaizen).

What’s With #Times2Travel?

#Times2Travel

I have been using the #Times2Travel hashtag while posting my travel pictures for a long while now. Friends still ask me what it means. So, here goes a quick explanation.

#Times2Travel represents 2x Travel.

  • First time, is when I actually travel,
  • Second time, is when I nostalgically re-live the experience while researching & sharing pictures with friends

There are four aspects to my travel hashtag #Times2Travel.

While Traveling, Travel!
Typically, I stay away from social media & picture posting when traveling.  This allows me to stay focused on soaking in the experience & be with my fellow travelers when there. This also gives me the time to click pictures at leisure .. the way I want it.

Research At Leisure
I get around to post processing pictures (mostly shot in RAW) many weeks or months after the travel. This way, I get to research & learn more about my subject or location. Sometimes the learning is also friend sourced on the networks. Anyone in my friends circle who is more familiar with the subject or location, generously share what they already know. I’ve learnt a lot via this route.

Post Processing Is Refreshing
The process of research & post processing – I find quite soothing & refreshing. When I’m having a tough day – processing a picture is equivalent to 60 deep breaths. I have some downtime, I’d rather research my pictures than getting lost in the rabbit hole that the Internet is.

You’ve Been Informed
There have been multiple instances where I’ve been mistaken to be traveling at the time of posting photographs. My #Times2Travel hashtag is now seen as a sign of past travels .. and there are fewer responses to my post asking to catch up in far away foreign land.

You can check out my #Times2Travel hash-tagged pictures at both Instagram & Facebook.

Deliberate Practice: 2 Finger Clutching

When I started riding a motorbike (my first ever) two years ago, I got into the habit of using four fingers to operate the clutch. It was probably because of the belief that I had to press the lever fully for proper gear changing.. like in a car. Doing so has become a part of my muscle memory now.

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to pick some off roading skills. And I’ve discovered that using 2 or 3 fingers for clutch control is a game changer. Since then I’ve tried to clutch with fewer fingers.. but never succeeded. Until today.

Clutching with 2 fingers offers multiple benefits.

  • optimize energy used & resources (fingers)
  • the freed fingers can be used to maintain control on the handlebar
  • .. & use the horn

But, it wasn’t to be. I was scared of crushing my fingers between the handlebar & the gear lever. I always thought four fingers are a must to declutch properly. I didn’t want to risk trying a new skill… it felt weird. My hand – foot coordination was severely compromised whenever I tried it.

Today’s morning ride was dedicated to the deliberate practice of two fingered clutch. It was a conscious & focused practice of this method. It was dedicated to getting over the feeling of uncomfort.. or getting used to the feeling till it became normal. It was an attempt to force the muscles to not depend on its memory.

Upshifting was relatively easy, downshifting not so. The hand – leg coordination just wasn’t working. It took a lot of conscious effort. Discomfort zone.

But, a start was made. And I’m definitely on my way to developing the two finger clutching skill.

Disclaimer: I’m a biking & off roading noob. Sharing my experiences, is an attempt to solidify my learning.

The Best Camera

The best camera is the one with you when you need it! The camera phone & an editing app combo can produce some artsy social media worthy pictures 😂

This picture was taken on one of my early morning sprints with Tigris. This was taken just before sunrise, in low light conditions. Yet the picture taken on the mobile phone is gorgeous – captured quite a bit of details & color, both in the foreground & the background.

Mobile phone cameras can easily replace the point & shoot (P&S) cameras nowadays. For anyone considering buying a P&S camera today, I would suggest they instead invest in a more recent mobile phone model with a good camera.

  • The phone goes wherever you go … no need to worry about forgetting it
  • You can capture a moment wherever / whenever you encounter a picture worthy one
  • It’s compact & light… no lugging around a burden
  • You can do the editing (if needed) right on the phone with any of the plethora of powerful editing apps available
  • You can also share pictures right away .. no more waiting to get to a PC / laptop

There are awesome photographers on Instagram who use mobile phones only. Check a few of them for inspiration –

  • https://www.instagram.com/dcim.ru/
  • https://www.instagram.com/brahmino/
  • https://www.instagram.com/cocu_liu/

Let’s get clicking!