Thursday, November 29, 2012

At your next meeting

Through a series of coincidences, a book on philosophy landed on my reading list. And the book was not meant to be read, but to be returned. But in the process of returning, I decided to take a shot at reading it. And, while it did not change my life (if that was what you expected), I read through what are known as logical fallacies. Take a look at this list here...

Seemingly sound arguments fall by the wayside when one looks at them from this perspective. The next time you are in a meeting, count how many logical fallacies are used by people while advancing their arguments.

My favourite one out of all those is the argument from personal incredulity. Whats yours?

Whatever else, you wont be bored!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moores law of training

Last night, I was reading a book that talks about high performance teams and how to create a high performance team culture. The book made for very interesting reading and had a few aha moments for me. While the premise is simple - and I thought I knew it all - the way the book structured its story seemed simple and more importable - doable and replicable.

All went well, till I reached a chapter where the example was 'Lance Armstrong'. Now, I myself used to admire Lance Armstrong. I read his book, 'Its not about the bike' and thought about this man who kept on winning despite the odds. All that seems so long ago now given the recent news around him.

And once I read this part, I kind of put the book away. In all probability, I will return to the book since it did have many an a-ha moment in it. But the example of Lance set me thinking.

Is management theory or theorizing only about present heroes (and of course, past successes?). But talking only about past successes does not hold much water for the future - so talking about the present becomes important. And therein lies the trouble. The same Lance who one upheld as a hero yesterday is gone today. The same Nokia which till yesterday marched like Alexander into emerging markets is now more of an Alexander who has lost his way. And these are but two examples.

Really, people like us who are in the training line use examples of great companies and individuals as paragons of the topic we are talking about. But do we really know if that is what got them there? Do we really know the secret sauce, if there is one? Or is just a fallacy at work - to use a theory to justify a success?

And perhaps there needs to be a Moores law of training - which could state that all training examples will be antiquated in 12 months. Or that all recent successes will fit into any new theory you decide to teach. Or some such.