February 28, 2009

Is money a good motivator?

The old school of thought "Money is a good motivator' has been overthrown by contemporary research that proves that money is no longer an effective motivator, and beyond a given circumstance, it ceases to be one. This reasoning is very subjective given the various levels of need an individual currently is in. For example, an individual at the first level of needs (Maslow's hierarchy) would crave for money, and it would act as a very strong and effective motivator. The point here being emphasized that "A satisfied need is an ineffective motivator. Not only that a satisfied need doesn't motivate anymore, but also that it is subjective to an individual's mental and psychological framework that determines his perceived value towards different motivators.

The traditional school of thought established where rewards are associated with monetary forms and nothing else. This, over the time has caused in the abatement of perceived value of money, causing individuals to desire less of it. Another reason why money is not a good motivator is because in pursuit of such rewards, the behavior of individuals gets out of norms and wrong behavior gets rewarded which later proves cost to the company. Also, each one recognizes that 'all the highest paid ones are not the best performers'. Moreover, monetary rewards are also a great expense to the organization and increasing costs is anyways, a reversal to existing trends and hence cannot be tolerated.

In the light of Maslow's theory which defines the hierarchy of needs; it needs to be understood that levels of needs are clearly identified. Also, the essence of the theory is that a satisfied need cannot be a good motivator. If an individual looks forward to upper mobility in the social status and has climbed up one step, the desire to be there at that point diminishes and his expectations rise to another elevated level. Similarly, once an individual's need to earn enough or satisfactorily is achieved, money no longer motivates. However, human beings have more to care for besides earnings like being a part of a relation, institution; to be recognized, to achieve something.

In the light of Hertzberg's two factor theory which demarcates between hygiene factors motivators, it needs to be understood again that there are some factors which are imperative for functioning. And others, which are not but desired, can be good motivators. For example, if an individual is employed anywhere, the basic requirement would be a basic pay, without which a person wouldn't want to work at all. Here, the basic pay becomes a hygiene factor, which is an imperative. If the employer decided to provide something more than basic pay like dating allowance, earned leaves which are not something that is minimum, but might act as a motivator to the employee in performing better, these factors become the motivators. The assumption is that the perceived value of these elements in the mind of employee is high and his desire
to achieve them also high.

Hence, it can be concluded that Money, as a motivator, both when regarded as a level of need or a hygiene factor ceases to motivate someone beyond a given point, and the sense of achievement in the individual diversifies towards attainment of other factors than money.

(This was from my days of IIPM while pursuing MBA, 2001)

February 25, 2009

Emotional atyachaar, or emotional prostitution?

Talking of love, marriage, relationships, it's a constant maneuver (rather a struggle if you like it) for something still better, but when it's been sometime you've been with the same person, when the highs are not-so-high and they become lows, and things don't seem to work between two persons, the reasons why you both should be together grow thin and worsen.. yes, that's when you say 'the spark is missing'.

Sparks, ha? Here's an interesting statement I came across lately from the movie 'The Accidental Husband', where Uma Thurman, acting as a counselor advices
"...Sparks cause fire, and fires will burn your house down. So, if you keep searching for good old sparky you know, you're sure to get burned. Trust me on that..."

OK. The spark is missing... what next? Time to move on.. emotional atyachaar? I'd call it emotional prostitution. Dean Sherman, in his book Love, Sex and Relationships gives a clear explanation of this phrase-- 'A prostitute is someone who's willing to shave sex with anyone who is willing to pay for it'. They have no other criteria whatsoever. Similarly, he goes on to say 'An emotional prostitute is a person who's willing to date anyone who will pay him or her a little attention. The person's emotions are out there for taking'. That's how a emotional prostitute gets paid.

But, where does this all end? Robert Schuller, the possibility-thinking guru opines, the antidote to emotional prostitution is something that's termed 'Stick-to-it-iveness'. He says 'Stay through it through thick and thin, and you'll see through eventually.' Given that we live in a fast world, and demand instant results, this certainly looks like a hard task. But, beware, if you keep looking for good old Sparky, you're sure to get burned. Well then, commit yourself to action through all the happening and the not-so-happening times in your interpersonal relationships, and you'll eventually see it through.. Don't give up. Don't become a emotional prostitute.

P.S.: Special thanks to Ryan Scott, who'd gifted me Dean Sherman's book on his visit to Faith Academy in 1998. It's been such a great positive influence.
P.P.S.: By the way, emotional
atyachaar is the latest hit song from the movie Dev D in India.

February 23, 2009

Slumdog sweeps Oscars, but, did it have a message?

Whoa.. time of celebration for all Indians as the 'Slumdog' title originally written by Vikas Swarup (who thankfully got a mention, once, twice) won 8 Oscars out of 10 for which it was nominated for... It came as a surprise that it won the Best Picture too.. Well, discussing our points of views and our 'judgments' between my colleagues Anubha Mamgain and Kiraun, Anubha leave the thought for this post - 'Nobody talked about the message in the movie.' Perhaps, there was no conscious message intended to pass on. It was purely commercial. If there were true actors in the movie 'Slumdog Millionaire', guess it was the kids and kids alone. None else. I'm glad to see a press release by the end of the day from World Vision which has also identified the message and here's what it says: "Don't just be entertained; do something!"

World Vision India called for action that ensures children like Jamal, Salim and Latika are protected, educated and cared for. "While the film does a good job depicting the realities of slum life to a large extent, there are many more challenges these children are up against," said Dr. Jayakumar Christian, National Director World Vision India. "Moviegoers should realize that poverty in India is a clear and present challenge for children in India -but there are tangible ways people can make a difference."

About World Vision: The organization works in close to 50 slums like Dharavi, depicted in Slumdog Millionaire, as well as communities across the country, assisting street children, people living with HIV and AIDS, child labourers, migrants and families in need of clean water, sanitation, education and economic opportunities.
The public can donate or learn more by visiting www.worldvision.in

Joy Christina. R, Manager - Media Relations, World Vision India, +91 (044) 24807064 / +919840798734, Joy_Christina@wvi.org

February 21, 2009

A lesson from Chandni Chowk to China

Despite the torment viewers had to undergo after paying for the comedy movie 'Chandni chowk to China', many did have a lesson to appreciate. I haven't seen the movie thankfully :) but it was my friend Gowri Kumar (a colleague at IBPO), who's a soft-skills trainer that shared this lesson. While learning Kung-fu, a lesson taught to Akshay Kumar is this:

"It's not the thousand things you want to do right , but the one thing you can do thousand times perfectly that matters."

O yes, also Gurmeet Singh, our Quality trainer also did make a mention of it, and my friend Vikram Singh Parmar concurs.. Learning from movies.. :-)

February 20, 2009

3Cs of an Employee..

We'd had a townhall with Mr. Swaminathan today, our VP-Ops.. here's few take-aways from it..

3 Cs that an employee values most—
  • Compensation
  • Career
  • Comfort
Sharing his learning over the years.. he opined that employees will leave if either of them are not at peak. I'd say that's subject to the personality types. Hmm.. there's many types, isn't it? Guess this forms the core to where the actual EVP (employee value proposition) lies to hold the constant attraction of an individual towards the company among the many other offers..

Another important thing he'd shared was to get the quality of smart working in one's DNA illustrating with few examples from his experience. Guess that's gonna take a little longer time.. But certainly would come with perspiration if you aspire...

February 18, 2009

Advani's e-Campaigns..

Last week, I'd removed Google Ads from my blogs. The reason - Advani's all over it. I'm sure it hasn't gone without anyone's notice how extensively the oldie's promoting his candidature through electronic media, especially by creating a blogging site of his own, and then the internet advertisements... I'd never want this multiple-faced, double-standards dubious character as a leader, nor his sly and rogue party patrons to take over the rule of this country... They'll only take us back to hate politics and national turmoil..

Ban Advani... If the Sangh Parivar finds reason in killing of Gandhi by their follower Nathuram Godse, by the same reason, we'd find reason in.. well you know...

February 14, 2009


Shall we cast us away, each other, because we fail and turn aside?
Are we not win each other through ways of love,
That in love we may abide, you in me and I in you?

(18/2/05, 2PP)

February 5, 2009

Surviving in the shade of hatred

My two cents on the war between Arabs and Israel, the allies and the perpetuating Jihad. I've tried putting this of for so long from coming on my blog, but, a recent email conversation with my friend had brought it up.. and perhaps, for some good..

Amidst well-read people, I really do not see adding another point ensuing in an endless argument..

Perhaps, I just need to clarify (in as brief as I can) my stand so that I am not misinterpreted, which is expressed as 'adroitness which isn't' as felt by one of my friend's friend, and also evident in my friend's conversations. This subject, I feel is no arena to show all that 'adroit' in language, unless someone's writing poetry o'er it.. these are emotions which take form of words, even so that these words are inadequate, and may even go inappropriate in articulation. So, please do look beyond words, as the spirit in the words is what matters, and words can be misconstrued, misused, or maybe to the say the least I abuse them.

I think we're all deeply hurt, and we have our own roles to play as a believer of own religion, and one doctrine among the many of it. The seamless violence and the way it is evolving with a historic background to it, to top it all the political forces, and the mix of religion and the various religious doctrines have made it so very complex that our answers (may) seem too small; even if we win over another as individual in answering, they seem to be of less, much lesser consequence. However, amidst all of those controversies, we've all made our conclusions, rather learned them in our own bounded-rationality.

We (Jews, Christians, Muslims, for that matter all the rest) all share the same ancestor - father Abraham, beyond him is Adam. Which means we are brothers by blood. When will we once again unite as 'Children of One True God'? The Jews call Him Jehovah, Elohim, Lord God, even as Christians follow, but Muslims call Him 'Allah'. Will God change just because we feel a particular name is overused or abused? No, He's one, the 'One true God' throughout ages and will remain even through the eternity!

But, why is it that an enmity rages through our lines? Why is it we grow even more blood-thirst, judging and condemning people? Even as each Holy Book has given its own answers (not all that I know), I struggle with God for answers, I pray for His wisdom and understanding that He will reveal these mysteries to me. I hold it against the divine 'Him'. But, I find peace in the fact that God is Almighty & Sovereign. His ways and plans, man cannot fathom. But, this I know - He is a just God. He will do justice to the believer, whose faith is in Him, as much as to the one who is a believer but unrighteous just as to the one who is Righteous but a non-believer. Well, that's my own rhetoric, and may not anticipate answers on that.

Given this basis of mine, I am too small to opine whether Israel is a greater threat, or the Arabs. The world has already made the issue big and worse by personalizing it to individuals, states and nations that we witness the state of it as it is. Perhaps that's its destiny, or may be that's ours too. However, I think a greater jihad than that on the land is the one that every man faces within himself. True religion and / or governance, as the Holy Bible says in the book of prophet Zechariah is this: "In administering justice, to be compassionate and merciful just as God is towards us, to not oppress the weak, and not scheming things against another man/ woman."

Will the Muslim community, or the Jewish ponder over the reactions of the their own states as a wider community. The reactions have reached such extremism, that a particular community is branded as terrorists. Even that community is not in a complex that any talk around terrorism makes them feel that they're being judged all-together as terrorists. Not that any community is terrorists. I believe terrorism has no religion, not even humanity is in them...

But, who can stop terrorism? Terrorists or Inductors of terror? I believe either of them can. Depends on who's willing to take the higher ground. Depends on what God do they believe in. Depends on what their God taught them. Do they believe in the same God? If yes, did God then give one lesson to one, reverse to another? No, God is not human to change now and then, to them and to us? Is it about God at all? Or a fight over a piece of land? What have the allies on both sides got to do with it who've made the war even larger? Is it just over land, again? Are there greater interests and spirits in play here? I'm sure certainly there are. What could they be? It all goes round and round in circles, and perhaps when one figures where it all starts, they'll start their own struggle against (their) God, just as I am probably in. In the end of this rhetoric, I can say one thing is for sure.. Satan's enjoying all this hate and fight above all. There's no love among God's people (unless you believe only one community is), only hatred. Cos we're behaving as God damned world and even divided God among ourselves. Shame on all of us.

I don't want to test my knowledge of history of who started it and who didn't. But, who's got the whole account of history anyways?

To end this: Jesus Christ said "Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the Children of God." To complete that King Solomon the wisest wrote - "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Verse quoted from King James Version)

Let's be called 'Children of One true God' for once, not creating discord among each other for the least.. If we're not an active part of the war, let's not get involved in our own communities in giving speeches against each others' communities, or even as we forward chain mails which incite and create more hate towards one another..

This conversation was interesting, gives me a prayer point to place before God, because we all lack in understanding, and need His Spirit in guiding us.. I also pray for forgiveness if I have blasphemed against God in all of my usage of words and his dear ones.


“Education is a progressive way of discovering your ignorance”

If we are still not sacrificing bulls and rams to the Sun god, the Rain god to favor our causes; or if we’re not allowing ourselves to be oppressed by the stronger in the society, we should thank education, which has progressively got us out of our ‘painful’ ignorance, and helped us understand and reason out as to what causes these changes around us...

Well, in the context of India - if we, around the table are discussing this topic, we owe a great deal to education reforms which has brought out India from the label of ‘underdeveloped’ nation, and a growing economy, so much so that we now talk about being a super-power in the coming years. Did we dream of the same about 60 years ago when we were reeling under the rule of British or just cluttered with teething issues after gaining independence? The social evils including the riots, class and caste discrimination, superstitions, the vast ethnic differences dividing India within have all weakened the nation within. If we can stand up today and speak that we have in an effective manner dealt with most, if not all of those, we should thank education and the institutionalization of education practices across the nation and stabilizing them. Thanks to the educated lot and intellectual minds which have scripted the constitution of India, which has laid the foundation to a progressive society and nation at large. Thanks to the bearing of Indian constitution which provides all Indians free and ‘compulsory’ education. Nonetheless we have miles to go still…

Why talk of India alone? Move out the borders, and we see how the world has got positively impacted by education. Seen the latest buzz around Obama, who hails from the black community? Blacks were the slaves, but today the American society has reached a landmark where a Black man rules the United States of America. Had it not been for education, would they have been out of the clutches of bondage even yet?

Curiosity is innate to a man. To explore is a way of living. From a new born baby which uses its senses to identify and bond with its mother to a toddler who goes exploring things with his mouth to a teenager who explores new grounds for a simple reason of ‘knowing’ shows that we have a basic desire, even an instinct to know, and explore; in that we discover our ignorance. The body of knowledge in the whole world in every sphere is a testimony to how far our search for more knowledge and discovering ignorance about people, places and things has reached. It’s all to discover our ignorance and know even more.

Man, since early civilizations has identified this innate instinct and the growing need to explore and have designed ways and means of formalizing and instituting methods of enabling individual to gratify this need, and so schools as a formal means of education has evolved. From the early civilizations in Egypt, where priests used to teach formally in temples, to the gurukuls of India where sages taught even princes on the various arts, administration and philosophy, we’ve come a long way.

A lot has been done, a lot yet to be done, and through the process of discovering our ignorance, as many questions have sprouted showing us new grounds to break through and explore further. And even as scientists, sociologists and educationists press on for newer methods and innovation to make education even better, yes, it only corroborates the statement that education is a progressive way of discovering your ignorance, indeed!