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Is Your Bad Boss Killing You?

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Just spotted a very nice infographic.

See how your bad boss is killing you

A recent survey found that U.S. employees spend an average of 13 hours during the workweek and 6.2 hours over the weekend worrying about their boss says or does. Together that adds up to 19.2 hour a week of lament over bad boss woes. Turns out, unreasonable or ineffective supervisors don’t just affect employee work life, they can indirectly damage family life and psychological and physical health. See how your bad boss is killing you in this infographic created with Keas.

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Positive reinforcement for students

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The results if class 12 is out. One student has scored 495 out of 500 and overall there are 28,000 students that have scored more than 90%. While this is encouraging that you have so many good students, what good this information does to the society at large and to those kids who have not scored as high.

This information only makes like more difficult for majority of the kids. “You have got 80%, our neighbor Mr. Bhatia’s son has got 89%”

I’d like Hindustan Times, TOI and other papers to publish more than just the obvious. Is any of those papers game to do a little research? For example, I’d interested in more data on the top 1000 or top 5% students from the last 20 years. Data like what kind of job offers did they receive after complete studies, what jobs and positions do they currently hold and how do the compare to average peers from their classes in schools.

If all the toppers in CBSE exams are holding influential positions or have become trailblazing entrepreneurs or have contributed in changing the face and direction of their chose industries, then maybe a high score in class 12 is a dream worth chasing. If majority of toppers are not any better, or doing only marginally better than an average students, then the dream of being in that top 5% is not worth chasing.

This information will be positive reinforcement to kids who are disappointed with their results that this is not the end of the world and they have as good a chance to be successful as anyone else. This information can also save many lives – of kids who kill themselves every year after results.

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World no tobacco day

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Today is world no tobacco day. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. This is to create awareness of the harmful effects of smoking – more than 5 million people die across the globe every year due to consumption of tobacco.

One disturbing thing I read in the paper today is the increasing number of women smokers in urban India. 10% of urban women smoke and this number has increased by three fold in the past few years. While globally the number of smokers is going down, it is on the rise in developing countries like India. One reason is lack of awareness. The other reasons are more damaging like peer pressure. Kids get the feeling of being a “grown up”, women at workplace may find it liberating as they may see it associated with “breaking the glass ceiling”. This may sound silly but let me quote a very well educated and professionally successful cousin “A lot of discussions and decisions are made when people go out for a cigarette break and to be a part of that decision making, the women also join the smoking group”. Then there are the other reasons like defiance and rebellion.

A few years ago I wasted a couple of my nights and days working on a site called Second Hand Smoke Kills for World Lung Foundation when smoking in public places in India was banned. Wasted because the site was never promoted and it seems to have died a lonely isolated death. The stats say there are 10 visitors a day which is no visitors at all for a site like this.

Anyway over the years I have posted images of ciggies along with my thoughts and today is a good day to revisit those.

No more smoking in public places

On the 2nd of October the Government of India banned smoking in public places which is good news if you are a non smoker. You would know how bad it is going to a restaurant that smell of stale smoke. read more

Smoking… Alcohol… Prejudice… The whole truth

The extreme to this is the ban on the Cadbury Fruity Gems ad as authorities felt it is implying that eating gems is as good as eating fresh fruit. The health minister Mr. Ramados wants smoking in the movies to stop and he wants Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan to apologise for smoking read more

Marlboro Lights

Anyone trying to tell others to quit smoking loves telling them that the Marlboro man died of cancer caused by smoking. Does that help? I guess not read more


Low tech lightbox

Posted by Navin Harish - 3 Comments

I have been taking macro shots for a long time and till very recently I used only natural light. I don’t want to be limited by what I don’t have so I have always made the best use of what I had. Not having lights means that I am not able to take the kind of product shots you see in advertising. The lack of lights forces me to try out what I can manage with natural lights, unconventional angles, crops and dramatic and I feel it is better as it pushes me out of the box.

When I decided to get some lights, I decided to do it with as little money as possible and instead of buying the lights used by photographers, I made a very inexpensive setup using a box board, tracing paper and a couple of CFL lamps.

I created two frames using the box board and pasted tracing paper in between. Now when I need light, I place the two frames on either side of the object and a CFL lamp behind each. This has its limitation, I don’t have a top light plus the lights are not very bright so I still need natural light when taking pictures but I guess this is okay.


Sachin promotes Pepsi. Coke promotes Sachin

Posted by Navin Harish - 2 Comments

As far as my knowledge goes, Sachin Tendulkar is the brand ambassador for Pepsi or was the brand ambassador of Pepsi for a very long time. This can of coke is a surprise as this celebrates the 100 centuries of Sachin Tendulkar.

A can of coke featuring Sachin Tendulkar

Good marketing strategy, you are leveraging the image and popularity of Sachin Tendulkar to sell your brand while maintaining you are “celebrating the heroic achievement of a national icon” by dedicating your cold drink can to the landmark.

Or maybe I am completely wrong and money has exchanged hands for Sachin to appear on the can.


Long Term v/s Short Term

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After the previous post, here is another one where a post from Seth Godin validates what I have said. I said in “Can your brand custodian see beyond the next quarter?” how important it is to have a vision that sees in the long term in comparison to a vision that can’t see beyond the next quarter.

Seth Godin in his post “Emergency room doctors” has said the same thing.

If all we do is reward fast first aid in what people do at work, is it any wonder we don’t have enough attention to the strategy and choices that would eliminate the need for all that running around in the first place?
-Seth Godin

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The tyranny of low price

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Some time ago I posted an article named If you have the cost advantage, you don’t really have an advantage where I said that If your business depends on lowest cost, it is time for you to find a more sustainable business model.

A couple of days ago, I found that idea being validated by Seth Godin in his post titled “The tyranny of low price“.

Cheapest price is the refuge for the marketer with no ideas left or no guts to implement the ideas she has.
-Seth Godin

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In whose interest is the “Immediate Effect”

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I saw the petroleum minister giving a statement on TV that “The price of petrol needs to be increased with immediate effect” Today the government has increased the price of Petrol by Rs.7.

There is a need to implement and enforce laws to curb corruption with immediate effect. There is also need to improve the law and order situation in Gurgaon – our rape capital with immediate effect. There is need for a lot of things with “immediate effect”. They keyword is in whose interest is the “immediate effect”. If it is in the interest of Government or people who make and support government, there will be swift action, otherwise there are a million excuses for inaction.

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Actually, I can make it much worse before I make it better

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One way to control people is to make the things much worse for them and then marginal improve them to make it look like an improvement. Let me give you an example

A group of people are demonstrating, demanding implementation of a policy to improve general situation, theirs or their country’s, lets sat they were protesting against corruption. Any group in power that wants to oppress them will not react by having a dialogue with them so the Police come and the people protesting are arrested and sent to jail. Instead of improving, their situation has deteriorated. The corruption is still as it was but to make things worse, now they are in jail.

You have the poor guy by his balls, he has a family and a mortgage and the thought of suddenly being unemployed is scary enough for him to forget about the raise he didn’t get.

Now is the time to have a dialogue. The powerful and influential group, in this case the government, is in a much better position to make a negotiation. It can now offer to release the arrested people if they promise to behave and suddenly, getting out of custody seems like a big improvement in the situation.

This is not unique to the governments; it is true for any powerful groups including corporates. This is true even for the HR departments of the company. I have seen this happen to a friend of mine who was told in his appraisal that the company is not happy with his performance over the year and he should be thankful that the company had decided to give him two more months to show why he should not be fired. Now suddenly the guy who was unhappy with the raise the company would have offered him if things had been different, is suddenly feeling happy not to be fired. He has completely forgotten about his raise. You have the poor guy by his balls, he has a family and a mortgage and the thought of suddenly being unemployed is scary enough for him to forget about the raise he didn’t get.

P.S. The friend of mine is still working as he was working earlier but now since he is happy to be not fired, no one is questioning his performance. May be they will during the next appraisal.

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Teacher’s CAN DO SPIRIT more powerful than CAN’T ADVERTISE rule

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I was surprised to find this ad in the HT City of Hindustan Times. Tobacco and alcohol companies have always taken the route of indirect advertising by advertising anything ranging from soda to bottled water t Music CDs.

The CAN DO SPIRIT if Teacher’s is more powerful rule of CAN’T ADVERTISE rule of government. The question now is what are they going to sell in these cans.

This ad, while intended for Music CDs, is more than suggestive of what it is trying to sell. The use of full stop after a can and then actually using shape of cans leaves no doubt that they are trying to sell a beverage in a can. The question is what are they trying to sell. Is this something like Teacher’s whisky mixed with soda or cola or a new drink altogether?

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