Sunday, April 21, 2013

Work creation

I was talking to my uncle recently and we happened to talk about organizations. He runs practically a lean single person operation and hence his constant focus is to prioritize and do only the things that are the most important for his customers. Anything else is de-prioritized.

Unfortunately, as organizations grow larger, this focus is lost and there is a lot of pride in 'activity'. As they say in spirituality, mistaking 'activity' for 'action' is very common. 'Activity' and 'Action' are one and the same. A lot of 'activity' does not contribute anything for the 'economy'.

Like NREGA. One of the major criticisms levied against NREGA is that it is a ditch digging and filling exercise and does not result in asset creation or in contribution to the economy.

It is very tempting to create work where none exists - what we miss out that is all that 'work creation' if it does not result in meaningful contribution to what the customer wants. Not only does it waste time but also puts you back because ultimately, someone has to prioritize this over some work that would have helped the customer in the first place.

Developing thought...need to sharpen it further...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Hyperlink Cook

I love cooking.
Thats a bit of a lie.

I love cooking, but equally detest the 'getting ready' and the 'putting away' part. But sometimes, even that is worth it.

Over the last few years, I have discovered yet another joy of the internet - the hyperlink cook. Through various sites, random linking, people on twitter and posted on some of my favourite sites - I have attempted and succeeded in making various global and Indian delicacies.

All vegetarian, but thats a minor detail really. There is much joy in searching for ingredients of something you want to make.Sometimes collecting all the ingredients takes a little while, but it is worth it. One day, I felt like having avial, a traditional Kerala dish and after a bit of googling and adjustment with the ingredients we had at home I had perhaps the most delicious avial I have had in recent times. Ditto with a coconut chutney that I once felt like eating. And realized that these dishes are not as complicated as they are made out to be.

Or, on the other hand, there is much joy in buying ingredients that catch your fancy and then trying to make something with it. This has resulted in a few things lying in my house that are unused, but sometimes this leads to some really amazing combinations.

I googled, Coconut milk and sweet potato and chanced upon a simply delicious recipe that uses both these ingredients - what we ended up having was simply out of this world.

What has this got to do with learning? Plenty? If learning is about opening of the minds, then hyperlink cooking is a great way to get there. One of the ways at least. And food for the stomach as well as the soul - how cool is that?