Did you keep your currency?

Well, not the Greenback or Gandhiji kind I mean here.

I more talk about what the aviation industry uses this term for.. ‘Recentness of experience’

You got your certification, CSM, CSPO, PSM, PMP, SAFe, LeSS practitioner and all those acronyms that you could earn, but what after…

Did you put them aside just like we do to the user manuals of our phones or did you actually put the knowledge that you earned spending all those up against some very boring instructors like me ??

As the psychologists say, lack of currency in any profession can affect performance and level of preparation.

As a practitioner of the fine art of Agile philosophy and the related, your learning does not finish when you are out of that darn dead workshop but it is a life long journey.

So, if you are not practicing it, your are just killin’ it dude!

In working with 25000+ co-learners from across the globe, I have seen learners many a nary, who come back to me after 5-6 years having never used the knowledge they gained in their first workshop and wanting to get to the next level of the rugged certification ladder ..but is just getting a STAMP enough???

It’s about time Y’all ScrumMasters & Product Owners of yore, get your lazy bums out of that cozy chair of urs, go get down and dirty helping your team learn, relearn and forget Agility, Bring them all together as a team and get them to the path to achieve their goals

For, The sun can give you endless energy, but how you use them is totally up to you..

You can hide inside your cozy dark house OR go see, how bright the world is when it shines and gain the energy from it.

The choice is yours!

Manifesto for Agile Software Development (in Hindi)

चपल संगणक भाष्य विकास के लिये घोषणा पत्र

हम निरंतर संगणक भाष्य विकास की उन्नत तकनीकों की खोज कर रहे हैं और अन्य जनों की इस खोज में सहायता कर रहे हैं ।

इस शोध के आधार पर हम

प्रक्रियाओं और उपकरणों की बजाय मानव और उनके पारस्परिक संवाद
व्यापक प्रलेखन की बजाय सक्रिय संगणक भाष्य
आनुबंधिक वाद विवाद की बजाय ग्राहक सहयोग
स्थिर योजना की बजाय परिवर्तन अनुकूल प्रतिक्रिया

को ज्यादा कारगर मानते हैं ।

हालांकि बायीं और दिए गए विषय भी महत्तवपूर्ण हैं, परंतु दाएं दिए गए विषयों का महत्व ज्यादा है ।

12 सिद्धांत
  1. हमारी सर्वोच्च प्राथमिकता जल्द और निरंतर संगणक भाष्य वितरण के द्वारा ग्राहक को संतुष्ट करना है
  2. बदलती जरूरतों का संगणक भाष्य विकास के अमृत काल तक भी स्वागत करें। चपल प्रक्रियाएं परिवर्तन का ग्राहक के लाभार्थ प्रयोग करती हैं ।
  3. दो सप्ताह या दो महीने के भीतर निरंतर संगणक भाष्य का वितरण करें। कम समय सीमा ज्यादा अपेक्षित है ।
  4. वाणिज्यिक गणमान्य एवं विकास मंडल के सदस्यों का परियोजना के दौरान प्रतिदिन साथ काम करना अपेक्षित है।
  5. परियोजना में उत्साही व्यक्तियों का समावेश करें। उन्हें अनुकूल माहौल व सहायता प्रदान करें और उनकी काम संपूर्ण करने की क्षमता पर विश्वास रखें ।
  6. विकास मंडल के सदस्यों से संवाद का सबसे अनुकूल तरीका उनके सम्मुख हो कर संवाद करना है ।
  7. सक्रिय संगणक भाष्य ही प्रगति की प्रमुख निशानी है ।
  8. चपल प्रक्रियाएं सतत विकास को बढावा देती हैं।  ग्राहक,  विकास टोली और उपयोगकर्ताओं को मिलकर विकास की एक स्थिर गति रखनी चाहिए ।
  9. तकनीकी उत्कृष्टता और अच्छी संरचना चपलता बढ़ाती हैं।
  10. सादगी– गागर में सागर भरना- अत्यंत महत्वपूर्ण है।
  11. सबसे अच्छी वास्तु, जरूरतें और सरंचना स्वावलंबी समूहों के द्वारा विकसित किए जाते हैं ।
  12. नियमित अंतराल पर विकास मंडल के सदस्यों को अपनी प्रभावशीलता परखनी चाहिए और उससे उत्तरोत्तर बढ़ाने के लिए अपने व्यवहार में परिवर्तन करना चाहिए ।

Father of the Bride: Essentials of the Product Owner’s role

Product Owner’s role is one of the primary roles on the Scrum but as it is with most of the Scrum practices and Agile principles , Everyone interprets it in their own way.

As was trying to find examples of a PO’s role, I remembered Steve Martin (who else…..) [And if you are thinking why and how.. you are certainly a Gen Z rather than a millennial or the GenXer]

If you were born in that era, you would certainly remember the Steve Martin cult movie and the big fat weddings, demanding in-laws and the farting, passed out uncles which were the quintessential part of the big fat wedding

If you have been to a wedding in that era, you would also remember that guy who was supposed to be in-charge of everything, in control of every single bit yet he was the most tense, most haggled of the lot..

Yes, yes… I am talking about the Father of the bride, the ever beaming, smiling one… That, my friend is your inspiration for the PO’s role

BUT not to worry if you have not experienced that feeling of being powerful but still being like ice-cream (trying to make everyone happy I mean..).. let me take you through the journey, my dear co-learner…

If you are the Father of the bride (ummm… Product Owner I mean)… who are you really..:??? Let’s discover

The Cupid/ The Matchmaker or simply ‘Sima Aunty’

( Sima aunty is now in season 3 on Indian matchmaking, making matches, do you know and remember her ;))

The first task of the parents of the bride is to find the suitable match. You would be lucky if your child says, they already have a partner but if they say, we will marry with a person of your choice.. be prepared, It’s a long, bumpy ride ahead and the storm is brewing… because you child is now the customer and they have a lot of ever changing demands, multiple meetings, screaming matches, tantrums et al, yet you are the one trying to be the matchmaker and find that suitable life partner for your beloved child…

and very very similar to this, the PO’s role is to ensure the Developers and Customers know each other, talk to each other frequently, understand each others’ needs well and promise to be friends forever (impossible almost but we can always give it a shot :D) …

Easier said than done though, so here is your survival kit as The Matchmaker:

The Facilitator: You would need facilitation skills to ensure that the developers and business people behave like perfect buddies and actually reach conclusions during meetings

The Negotiator: Negotiation skills to ensure that they don’t start the World War V between the business and developers and also , developers do not take up more than what they can chew.

The Diplomat: to ensure that both business and technology understand each other. If not, get some interpreters on board aka Architects, Product designers, BAs etc.

The Wedding planner

So, after a lot of meetings and ever changing needs, finally we have a match ..and now starts the big task.. planning for the D-Day…and that includes everything from identifying the kind of wedding, to venue, to deciding when should the guests start rolling in and kind of food and everything else to make the occasion unforgettable

Similar to this, as a PO, you are the future gazer of the team. Helping the team build a vision statement, identifying product goals, establishing milestones, identifying what PSI and MVP means for us and much more…

But, this is not a one time activity, because as a wise man said once, planning is important , plans are useless. So, continuously updating the Product plan, strategy and roadmap ,based on the feedforward received from customers and stakeholders, sprint over sprint, is an essential part of the PO’s role.

But when the going gets tough, the tough get going, so here is your survival skillset:

The Astrologer: Being able to understand and envision the future, understand market needs of today and predict the future.

The Planner: to plan for the broad horizon as well as the minute details, to ensure that we do just enough plans and adjust them as the team sprints.

Kuber- The chancellor of the exchequer

A big fat wedding means a lot of people and a lot of demands and ever changing needs of the relatives. But while the demands are endless, the money is not.

So, sometimes as the person in-charge, you have to make some tough decisions ; which wedding item/ ritual to focus on first and what can wait for later, when we have more funds., whom to invite and whom not to go, what venue do we want etc. etc. etc.

Akin to this, your customers would have a lot of demands from the team, but which ones can we do, which we cannot , which should be done first, what can wait for later; these are tough decisions that you would need to take as a PO. And chances are not everyone may like the decisions you take, so its better to be prepared with your survival skills:

The Chitragupta aka the accounting person: You would need to have an understanding of budgets, priorities, hiring, Balance sheets and more to ensure you take the right decision which create value for the business and customers

The astute businessperson: You should know where to invest the penny and how much is it worth, what time to launch the product, what do the users like and what will maximize the profits for the product.

The Iron smith aka Completer Finisher

On the day when the urge to forge comes upon him,
The bellows do everything but speak.
The pile of slag rises higher and higher.
Just look at what has been forged

-Shona praise poetry-Ironsmith, Zimbabwe

It’s the night before the wedding, its well past midnight and everyone is asleep , the wedding planners have done their job and made everything ready…there is a silence all over but there is one guy, who is checking and double checking everything; ensuring and worried everything goes smooth; instructing the wedding planners to make some final changes so everything is perfect on the D-day. There is the father of bride.

The PO is there to ensure that when the team says ‘Done’ , doublechecking and confirming if it is indeed done. When the team needs any clarifications making sure, they get the details in time.

But the final survival skills that you would need are here:

The completer finisher: Ensuring everything is DONE; Definition of done and Acceptance tests have all been completed and quality is inherent in the PSI the team is creating

The tough soul: At times as a PO, you might need to take hard decisions about the product. Focusing on logic rather than emotions about the product you are building.

To conclude , the PO role is an all encompassing role who is responsible for generating value for the customer, frequently and efficiently delivering the right build and product

So, Are you ready for it , Dear Product Owners?

Be who you are – Essentials of a ScrumMaster’s role

A ScrumMaster is a lot of things – Mentor, Guide, Buddy, Coach, Shoulder to cry upon, Teacher, Specialist and many more ..

But, if we think deeper….Can one person really be all of these at once??

I think the nearest super humans we know, who can pull of all of these responsibilities without batting an eyelid , is our mothers who can be awake at 4 am every morning, work till 1 am in the night and be raring to go once more at 4 am.

But obviously, we can’t be like our moms (even if we try), more so in a professional setting, so as a Scrum practitioner ( Read again, I did not mention ScrumMaster ), before you can decide to become a ScrumMaster or a Trainer or a Coach, you need to understand and decide who you are ..else just like our furry friend in the video , you might be thinking…ok now what?

Now, the next dilemma is how do I know what I want to be and where I want to be. So, here is a simple matrix to help you understand:

Excerpted from adoption of Choosing a Consulting Role: Principles and Dynamics of Matching Role to Situation. Douglas P. Champion, David H. Kiel and Jean A. McLendon by DandyPeople

As a ScrumMaster you are a teacher, coach, mentor and facilitator, but in your profile and future vision if you lean towards the other roles, may be its time for a realignment of priorities and career expectations.

Do reach out to your coaches and mentors to help you understand your own self better and then decide accordingly

PS: A little bit off the track, but unfortunately, most of the “Agile coaches” Job descriptions advertised these days, expect you to be a Hands-on expert (on everything!) and then when you take up that role, the misses and disappointments start popping up!!

Choose Wisely…. Does your future organization really understand the role of an Agile coach or a ScrumMaster?

Is ‘Agile’ a substitute for your messy culture?

800 teams , more than 100 organizations that I have coached to build an Agile culture and practices, but a peculiar thing that I have noted.

I probably had not paid attention to this earlier, but as I was looking back and analyzing the pre and post transformation status of lot of my clients, I was almost amazed on how I missed it!

What I realized was for almost half of my customers who went for an Agile transformation, Agility was not about being more flexible or faster time to market or better employee satisfaction (though these were the stated goals) , what my team and yours truly ended up doing was, focusing on bringing discipline and actually documenting and tracking some KPIs (Where there were none!).

You must be wondering if my coaches are advising more documentation and tracking, how can it be called Agile?

Sample this: The project managers of one of the very large and global organizations, track their progress not in terms of days and hours but rather in weeks. Task A would take 8 weeks, Task B would take 16 weeks and more. All this is documented not in any tool or spreadsheet but in a powerpoint slide set and that is updated only by the Project Manager.

The culture is almost perfectly “Agile”.. team members decide the timelines, there is a great camaraderie between team members across the team, they respond to change as needed based on market conditions and change the plan, almost too good Agile … a perfect Agile team….!!!

BUT …..

…they deliver their projects on an average from 18 months to 27 months even though the mandate is 6 months or less for an average project.

…Whenever the status is updated, it is not in terms of number of hours (or days ) pending but just a simple percentage, 50% done, 80% done etc.

Because the organization is truly Agile and cares about its employees, employees reject team and project meetings half an hour before the meeting, because they simply couldn’t come to office that day or were too busy with other stuff.

So, would you call this organization Agile or not Agile. As a coach, if I call for the enterprise to be more disciplined first before using Scrum practices, would I be exaggerating?

Does Agile comes with just the employee friendly rules and culture or there’s more to it, which is as important as setting up a nice team culture?

I await your comments and any similar experiences you have in your organization?

The various hats of a Scrum Master

Process Champion, Facilitator, Buddy, Coach, Mentor, Ear to listen to, Shoulder to cry upon, The friend you can confess with, The non-judgmental listening box, the savior, the rescuer and more…

Well, if you combine all these adjectives , what you get is your Ideal Scrum Master.. but..

but but.. nothing in this world is IDEAL not your wife or husband , girlfriend or boyfriend … and the checklist to find one is something like this :D…

But this is what gets your there, yes, right there up to the top.. but then the question arises, how do we take those first steps to become that ideal one?

Well, unfortunately, no institute or certification can guarantee you to be perfect in your work as a Scrum Master and be able to handle every single situation. But, for sure, these are things that can be learned, imbibed and practiced.

So, let’s start this journey. TBH, there is no one good place to start, you can go in any order you want but make sure you learn and practice as much:

Scrum Master as a facilitator:

By definition, facilitation means to make an action or a process easy or easier.

So , here you are not an expert but much rather helping your Scrum team, your unit, your management complete the processes in an easy way. This could be a sprint planning event or that difficult meeting with the client or conflict resolution between two team members, you are helping the team go through those seamlessly by calling for the meeting, identifying the right agenda and people, identifying a suitable place and ensuring that the event goes on smoothly and the event goal is reached. You may actually feel like Doraemon, and rightly so…

There are many facilitation techniques that you should be aware of here including effective listening , non verbal communication, visual facilitation, facilitated conversations and more and it’s important for Scrum Master to learn as many of these to help the team

Scrum Master as a teacher:

A teacher is the one who shares his knowledge with those who listen and want to learn. It require skills, attention , preparation, practice and patience.

Imagine being on a stage, with 800 eyes focusing on every move that you make, every word that you say, every expression that you give. If you cannot engage your audience and they sleep mid-way through your play, you have lost the plot.

As someone who is expected to know Scrum framework and Agile philosophy in and out, you would be expected to teach Scrum to your team, your business stakeholders, your customers et al. So, it’s time to tighten your seat belts and practice as much as you can.

Scrum Master as a coach:

This is where it gets more interesting. As a coach, you may not answer all the questions but you are there to help them find the answers.

Yes, that’s where it gets difficult too.

To keep your mouth shut, to help them learn.

It’s easy to jump in and be the shining knight in the armor and solve all the problems of your team, but for the team to be self organized, it is important that you ask them the right questions, so they can discover solutions by themselves . Yes, they would hem and haw and fail occasionally, but that’s part of the learning process the team has to undergo to be in-charge of their own destiny and be truly self-managed.

There is so much material available on the web today about how to become a good coach , there are so many instant potion classes which claim to make you a coach in three days; but, to me, it’s truly a journey, where you discover yourself too as you help your team

Scrum Master as a mentor and guide:

Mentoring is the longest engagement out of all the above. This requires that you are invested both in the outcomes as well as the process. You are there with your team and team members, almost through the lifetime.

This is where you are helping them identify their team and personal goals and helping them as a teacher, facilitator or a coach at every step to help them reach those goals. So, it requires patience and perseverance and yes, true Agility (Responding to change over following a plan).

Ok, to summarize, you are almost like a parent to your team. Being there for them , always, in many forms, many situations and many ways.

Enough of reading…

Now, go figure out and make a plan how you are going to put all of the above in action from tomorrow morning 😀

The $101 experiment!

The world around us has changed a lot in last 365 days. The way we connect, the way we meet, the way we talk, the way we travel and ALSO the way we learn.

As the ways of learning changed, it opened a Pandora’s box. Now, a trainer sitting in Bengaluru, Mumbai or Ahmedabad, could train people in Hawaii and Christchurch sitting right from his/her drawing room. But this also brought out an avalanche.

Because now, suddenly there was a flood of online classes for every topic perceivable from every trainer in the world, the only way some trainers thought they would be able to attract learners to the classes was only be lowering their price and there started the proverbial race to bottom e.g. From the peak pricing of $500 for a 2 day CSPO class, some trainers and organizations started to offer prices for as low as $150 .

As a CST and having teaching Product Management for many years now, I was wondering how do I sustain the market? Should I even be bothered about offering a class given what was happening from a price point?

I had pointed the futility of this rat race to bottom to a lot of my fellow guides online and offline but no-one seemed to be taking notice or being bothered anymore.

SO, I decided to run a marketing experiment !

I put up the lowest one of the tickets for my CSM classes for as less as $101!!! Yes $101.. This was a no frills ticket.

The others two tickets were posted at a rate of $250 and $350 and included most of amenities

The purpose of this experiment was to find out whether the lowest price is the only consideration which a learner would use to decide which trainer and workshop he/she wants to be part of. (Unfortunately, a lot of training marketing companies and trainers think so).

So after running this experiment for a quarter, I am happy to report that my original belief that rock bottom pricing for any product/ service is not the solution, stands vindicated.

Here is some of the results from my experiments which confirmed my belief:

  • During the January-March 2021 quarter, I posted 7 workshops from my ScrumAlliance offerings.
  • Less than 1% of total queries received, enquired for the lowest priced ticket.
  • Most students (close to 95%) enquired for my medium price ticket which sells for approx. $250. This is much higher than the published prices I see from a lot of trainers/ marketing companies today for a CSM workshop in Asia.
  • There was no significant uptick reported in the traffic to the registration portal because of low pricing. The number of visits more or less remained the same over this period.

I completed this experiment end of March and changed the pricing.

If you have a passion and dream to be a trainer (CST, PST, SPC et al), here is a simple advice, that I would like to provide based on the above experiment :

  • DO NOT build your sales and marketing strategy around pricing. Be sensitive to the market but do not fight the bloody war to rock bottom.
  • Increase your personal brand value. That’s what pays in the long term.
  • Last but not the least, collaborate and win with your fellow trainers. Celebrate each others’ success and recommend their good work to your students. Your students would for sure come back to you if they liked the person you recommended.

So pandemic or no pandemic, some things never change in this world: the sun, the sky, the politics AND good sales & marketing strategies. The choice is yours!!

Is being free and open a sin or a responsibility?

If you have seen the NetFlix documentary, Wild Wild Country on Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh (or Osho, as he was called in later years), or have been intrigued by what happens and used to happen in the Osho Ashram in the tony Koregaon Park neighborhood of Oxford of the east, Pune read on..

but …

If you think if anything and everything that happens outside the moral fabric of the society is immoral and illegal, may be you should move away from this article because, dear reader, you would, for sure not align with some of the examples and the words I say..

So, coming back to the Wild Wild Country and the man behind it. The Baba who preached freedom, of soul, of speech, of karma , and more controversially , of sex and related things.

First, to mind you, Osho was definitely not the first to talk about this and definitely wouldn’t be the last to talk about these so called “taboo” topics.

Now, I am not here to talk about whether Osho was right or wrong, whether Swami Nithyananda is right or wrong, whether Krishna was right or wrong or the practices of other religions like Islam and Christianity are right or wrong. I am simply not qualified and read enough to be able to comment on these.

But , what I want to point out, if you notice a little deep in all the examples above, is the yearning for Freedom.

Freedom from mundane, freedom from rituals, freedom from restrictions, freedom from tyranny and orders from bosses.

Under our thick skinned, poker faced daily routines and facades, all of us yearn for it and yet only a few dare to talk about it or actually, try and be free.

But. why is that while everyone says eons of words about freedom of expression, being yourself and more, not many dare to be actually free?

Well, the answer is a simple societal flaw: Anyone going out of their lane is considered a sinner, an outlaw and society fails to accept anyone talking about breaking those societal rules. Be it those of marriage, relationships, office work, culture, basically just about any dimension, which requires interaction between two humans.

And that’s what I call hypocrisy! unfettered, unabashed hypocrisy!

I will give you a very small example from the time I spent long back in God’s Own country Kerala.

Now, if you are in a public transport in Kerala, and a lone woman is sitting and the seat next is vacant, an unknown male dare not sit on that seat, as it is considered to be immoral, unethical but the same state, downloads the highest amount of porn every month globally.

We all hate godmen like Sant Ram Rahim, Satpal Maharaj, Swami Nithyananda, yet in our immediate family, or we ourselves would have some Guruji , whom we bow down to take blessings from and worship them like Gods.

So, does Freedom generate sin or cults always? May be not!

Freedom is not a Sin. It is an essential fuel for the human soul to grow, to learn, to innovate, to leap and reach beyond and create that magic. So, as a social beings, we need to rethink our behaviors and our responses to things out of our normal way of thinking.

But, Let me now present a totally different perspective. Freedom is a right, but it does come with responsibility. The downfall of many a cults, spiritual figures, and social heroes has not been their ability to connect but because of taking things for granted, bringing egos and personality worship into their vicinity, destroying the ecosystem of society around them.

With great power comes great responsibility, and freedom is Power. So, if you are thinking radical, out of the box, great, by all means you have the right to think differently but do always think about the consequences that you would have on those around you. Are you ready to ensure that your thought process doesn’t inadvertently or knowingly cause harm to others.

Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand and they can be good friends if allow them to. So, think, my dear friend think!

PS: This article is not about Agility as you would have expected from my blog, but if you would notice and know the Agile values, I am sure you can resonate all of the above in the context of Agile Values and true Agile team.

Your best chance to be an Outlier!

We all have been to a zoo once in our lifetime, sometimes as a child, some times accompanying our children.

Do you remember that excitement that we used to have as kids to see an African Giraffe or a Gorilla or Sea Lions, all the way from a different country and continent ?

But while watching all those calm, lazy animals , did you ever wonder how the world looked like from their perspective. Caged, confined with nothing much to look forward the next day.

No, I am not starting a lecture about Animals Rights and PETA (Though i have been a closet animal activist all along).

I am steering this discussion to a different paradigm. The paradigm of human intelligence and preservance (and IQ).

When animals are confined and caged, they don’t have many other things to do as their mind just know a few things to do: Eat , Sleep, Play/hunt…and repeat.

But in these strange times of 2020, as a Human being, are we also doing the same?

True, some of us are working in WFH, Virtual mode and yet others have resumed officers, but are we repeating the same routines all over again, pre and post lockdown?

On that note, let’s talk about Outliers.

Who are outliers? These are people in our society, from amongst us, who are considered geniuses, in any domain, business, sports, religion, politics, software et al.

And some notable examples I would talk about here: Michael Jordan, Bill Joy, Sachin Tendulkar, Mahatma Gandhi, M C Mary Kom, Chattrapati Shivaji, Dhirubhai Ambani,Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Jack Ma.

These are all considered geniuses of their times and field. But what can be common between Chattrapati Shivaji and JackMa (apart from their innate talent, of course).

It’s that one word which we have heard since our childhood, but we keep on ignoring:


We want to have all the comforts in the world, we want to be respected and well known in our field, we want to enjoy the fruits of our labor , but when it comes to practice, our ‘excusist’ syndrome takes over and you often listen yourself saying that dreaded phrase “Oh, I don’t have time”.

A counter-argument that I always hear, oh, I practice my skills when I am working so I can easily become a master at my work…

But, just ask yourself at this moment.

The job, the work that you are doing, Is this where your passion lies? Is this what you see yourself doing 15 years from now? Is this something which will give your fulfilment and fond memories in future.

If not, this is the perfect time to take a pause and think!

Are you riding the hamster’s wheel or have you really started practicing towards your ultimate purpose/ Goal of life?

And this lockdown , caged period we humans are/have faced is probably the best opportunity to practice those skills and gain mastery over what we really want to do?

But, how much practice is enough to gain Mastery/ Expertise on a subject/ topic/ skill ?

It’s a very simple number:

10,000 hours*

(*Taken from Outliers: By Malcolm Gladwell)

So, even if you start practicing your art/ skill for 1 hour per day for 5 days a week, it would take approximately you approximately 40 years to be the master in your field of choice.

But, what if you got a chance to practice, 3-4 hours per day for 5 days a week? The same time period reduced to 10 years ( now that sound more reasonable, particularly for young minds)

Let me ask a question then:

Are your still cribbing about lockdown and and reading this article?


Has your wonderful super-computer already started planning on how to master your skills and be the Outlier in your field by making best use of this stay-at-home opportunity ?

As I leave you with more questions than answers, reflect, set your goals and start your journey.


The Origin of Conflict!


I am not going into the boring old topic of conflict management here. umm, there has been enough said about it.

Actually, this came up in some of my deep discussions with my daughter about one of her research topics in school on ‘how does religion affect the laws?’. So, we have been debating and discussion about Iran, Mohajirs of Pakistan, the conflicts in 7th and 8th century , the multi-religion families and more.

We did discuss how religion itself has caused almost 70% wars and suffering in the world. How religious suppression goes in waves: From the early centuries’ Catholic dominance, to the persecution of Jews, the suppressions of women’s right in post revolution Iran, under ISIS rule and even the suppression and ‘atrocities’ in countries following Buddhism.

But how did Religion become a topic/power even greater than the right to live, right to have proper food, right to die in dignity?

So, we dig deeper and what we discussed , the problem of all religions (and so called religious ‘Gurus’) is not the religion itself, but the desire to expand , the “Greed” to expand, to be the most followed religion in the world.

Is this Greed limited only to religions? Well if you look around you, this “Greed” is everywhere, in personal, professional world, everywhere!

In Politics, the greed to have ultimate power and rule the millions and billions..

In business, to earn more and more (Yes , even in my training business)..

In Offices, to have that influences on maximum number of subordinates..

At Home, the greed to always get your way and control (the typical saas-bahu conflict)..

And when , this greed is not fulfilled, we enter into a conflict zone and obviously, we tend to blame others for start of that conflict

But are human beings born greedy, are human beings born with a religion, are human being born with expansionist mindset. NO!

A child is not born with a rudraksh, or a skull cap or a cross.

It is the parents who force their religion upon their kids. Even at the tender age of 1-2 years, when they don’t even know how to spell their name, kids are told to bow down, follow the rituals, and not go against one’s religion. But was it your religion or your parents’ religion you are following?

It is the parents’ greed to follow the ‘family’ traditions, family religion which make them grow more biased and confused as they grow..

But, coming back to the origins of conflict, where does this Greed come from?

Can it really be eliminated or suppressed? Let’s try to find an answer.

Let’s actually look at the Neanderthal times, when we were still gatherer-hunters 2,00,00 years back. The number of people on the planet was too far less and the resources to feed were in plenty. SO, there were pretty much no conflicts..

But then, we started to expand our clans, our families. and that needed more resources, more food, more hands, more hands who would hunt and gather for the ever expanding clans.

and there in started the origin of conflicts. Because now we had continuously forage into others’ ‘territories’ to get more food , so if they would try to defend, we would forcible try to take over land and food sources and force them to follow our rituals and ways of food and more.

As humans evolved some of these things got hard-wired into our genes. To protect what we call ours, to expand wherever and howsoever we can and to look down upon those, we conquered.

Flash forward to future, and lets go to the ever burning Middle-East part of the world.

If the powers to be would not have the expansionist , religious mind-set, Would the Gulf-war take place? NO!

Would Yemen be in the condition it is now? NO!

Would the USA have more bases outside of mainland US? , NO!

You are thinking this is a political statement I am making.

BUT think about the conflicts in your office… When a colleague is given more attention and privileges,when the boss never listens to the voice of reason, when people are fired even though they would have served the company dutifully for 25 years

And, it’s not also professional.

Think about your conflicts with your friends, your family members, your neighbours. Are they really ideological or one party trying to prove their supremacy and trying to say others are wrong. Ah! the greed to be seen as superior.

and let me make it more personal, when you want your partner to love and like you the way you want them to , isn’t that greed. When you want your partner to be 24×7 with you, isn’t that greed!

Now, almost all religious gurus can give you a 5 day gyaan on how to suppress greed, but I would rather leave you with a question..

Before you preach others about anything..

Have you been able to suppress your own greeds?