process oriented vs just-get-it-done

There are a lot of cases where balanced and middle view is better, but adopting middle path on everything might lead to average or mediocre outcomes. One such problem is whether to be methodical, process oriented and cautious OR attitude of “get it done”, use whichever way suits the best for achieving the goal and taking risks. I think it is eventually basic nature of people.

I also think either approach works differently for different kind of problems. Doing something new, discovering a solution where none exists, pursuits that calls more creativity – those may call for second approach. Changing a complex system, coordinating efforts of a large group of people to achieve a single goal, size of the problem being big – these may need the process oriented / methodical mindset.

Knowing what kind of person I am on this spectrum of rigidly methodical to flying by the seat of the pants would be a good start. Assessing what kind of mindset is needed to solve the problem in front of us would be second. If we are able to change ourselves to suit the method needed to solve the problem/project, that might be perfect.

Even if we start with System 2 for some projects (greenfield projects), it may need to switch to System 1 once it scales and complexity increases. Similarly even if we start with System 1 for complex mammoth projects, micro problems within that might need inventiveness and System 1 approaches. So shifting between both (not mixing both for problem statement, but changing approach from problem to problem) might be needed.

Questions to ponder upon: Is it possible to change like this from project to project? Is it just better to have different kind of people handle different kind of projects – whichever is best suited for them?


Poems read / liked recently.. 

Khalil Gibran – My Friend masking the madness..  
My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art
perfect--and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously. And
yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone.
Khalil Gibran – Half Life It is a good regular reminder, while it is difficult to adhere to.


Weekend playlist is somewhat blue-ish.

No Doubt – Don’t Speak Gwen Stefani is a favorite. In her new avatar outside of the band No Doubt, but I like the No Doubt songs better.
Amy Winehouse – Wake up alone it was her birthday couple of days back. I had written about her sometime back as well.
Cesario Evora – Besame Mucho Spanish experiment continues. Need to discover more.

recent reads

Erin Hanson – a poet in her early 20s, I did not realize someone with so much clarity about might be so young.

Living Hygge, What Hygge really looks like, Denmark dominates the world happiness report – don’t know if such a report can be accurate, but liked the concept of Hygge. Being really present, “intentional intimacy”, shared experiences, slow and conscious, special moments, cosy, relaxing or loving – sounds good. Need to figure out how to have more such moments in life.  

21 quotes from “Call me by your name” – I liked this movie, good quotes.

toxic leadership

I read this extraordinary op-ed by a Trump administration insider. It reinforces what I was thinking about for some time. In our current time, leadership has become a farce. It could be a significant detriment to the world to have such leaders come up on top of organizations and nations. Why is this happening, in spite of a large number of people knowing that this is all illogical, improbable and irrational?

Looking at the words used to describe Trump in this article: worst inclinations, misguided impulses, amorality, not moored to any discernible first principles that guide decision making, little affinity to ideals, impetuous, adversarial, petty, ineffective, whims, veer off topic and off the rails, repetitive rants, half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions, flip-flipped, erratic behavior.

I see more of similar behavior from leaders, may not be such crazy levels. Narcissism, not encouraging feedback, shooting the messenger, prone to exaggeration, lack of humility, hypocrisy, not liking anyone else looking even slightly good, not interested in details, taking rigid positions, simplification, generalization and host of other problems.

I think another factor has amplified the problems that such leadership is inflicting on the world. How we consume information and form opinions have fundamentally changed with social media and such leaders are adept at managing the perceptions through such mechanisms. If both of these combine, it multiples the power.

From the article: “The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.”

Someone remarked couple of days back that even if Trump shoots someone, it will not change anything. Another was betting that he will still win a second term. I have met people who think in spite of everything, the nation is benefiting overall, so can put up with everything else. A grain of truth inside a mountain of lies still makes people “agree partially”.

Should some of our positions be one or zero, with or against, than partial? How should we avoid getting toxic leaders? How to call them out in clear terms without being stripped of civility and stooping low?  

rabbit holes

Someone tweeted about this spanish song. I didn’t know what it meant and about the music. It was a refreshing / different music. On Sundays, I do the laundry and it is usually with the background of some music. These days it is from youtube - either My Mix which is random or take any of my favorite songs and just hit the Mix option that comes up on the top. It sets me up for an hour or two.

Back to this Spanish song. It is not frequent and easy to discover a new song. I wish there are music recommendation (and book, story and whole lot of other recommendations) which is not algorithm driven (based on what I liked in the past), but a recommendation from a human friend. Share a surprise music recommendation that can set you up for new journey.

I feel it is like falling into a rabbit hole like Alice. Once I started listening to this song, I hit the “Mix” which brought up a whole lot of others. It might be similar songs like those, songs that others liked who also liked the first one etc. I am ok if algorithm does that. I choose the path to go to and let it play the part of the GPS.

Spanish is sweet to listen to. So much so that it is in my bucket list to learn. Now this reminds of that goal. What if I take it up seriously? If so, it would have been a wonderful thing this song would have accomplished – to push me to this rabbit hole that could lead to new adventures beyond similar music. Need more such new paths, atleast alley ways to do detours to once in a while and get lost.

process oriented vs just-get-it-done

There are a lot of cases where balanced and middle view is better, but adopting middle path on everything might lead to average or medioc...