This is about a bunch of articles that I have been reading.
Richard Branson: Five Secrets to Business Success. They are:
1. Enjoy What You Are Doing.
2. Create Something That Stands Out.
3. Create Something That Everybody Who Works for You is Really Proud of.
4. Be A Good Leader.
5. Be Visible.
From the National Journal Magazine, How Tea Party Organizes Without Leaders. This article is a great introduction to what the tea party is and how it operates. Some excerpts:
Though headless, the tea party movement is not mindless. . . If they succeed, or even half succeed, the tea party’s most important legacy may be organizational, not political. . . The tea party began as a network, not an organization, and that is what it mostly remains. . . (the movement probably could not have arisen before the advent of free conference calling), they began to talk about doing something. What they didn’t realize was that they were already doing something. In the very act of networking, they were printing the circuitry for a national jolt of electricity. . . The Starfish and the Spider, a business book by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom, was published in 2006 to no attention at all in the political world. The subtitle, however, explains its relevance to the tea party model: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations.
Traditional thinking, the book contends, holds that hierarchies are most efficient at getting things done. Hierarchies, such as corporations, have leaders who can make decisions and set priorities; chains of command to hold everyone accountable; mechanisms to shift money and authority within the organization; rules and disciplinary procedures to prevent fracture and drift. This type of system has a central command, like a spider’s brain. Like the spider, it dies if you thump it on the head.
The rise of the Internet and other forms of instantaneous, interpersonal interaction, however, has broken the spider monopoly, Brafman and Beckstrom argue. Radically decentralized networks — everything from illicit music-sharing systems to Wikipedia — can direct resources and adapt (“mutate”) far faster than corporations can. “The absence of structure, leadership, and formal organization, once considered a weakness, has become a major asset,” the authors write. “Seemingly chaotic groups have challenged and defeated established institutions. The rules of the game have changed.” . . .
. . . tea partiers say, if you think moving votes and passing bills are what they are really all about, you have not taken the full measure of their ambition. No, the real point is to change the country’s political culture, bending it back toward the self-reliant, liberty-guarding instincts of the Founders’ era. Winning key congressional seats won’t do that, nor will endorsing candidates. “If you just tell people to vote but you don’t talk about the underlying principles,” Martin says, “you just have to do it again and again and again, in every election.”
The tea party movement is of interest to me because I feel that something similar has to happen for India to get out of the rut. The Congress party is successful in what it does — which primarily amounts to keeping India poor and powerless — and the BJP sort of had the opportunity to take India on a path to economic recovery but they were largely incompetent and ineffective.
I spend a significant amount of time working on figuring out how to get decent governance in India. I am working on putting together what we call “United Voters of India” — an association of people who have the power to bring about change.
The change we are seeking will have a sequence. Education –> Understanding –> Change in behavior. Which is, cultural change is the outcome of education and the cause of political change.
Talking of change, a brief article about Robert Cialdini’s work, “Using the Science of Influence to Improve the Art of Persuastion“, which lists “six universal principles of influence–those that are so powerful that they generate desirable change in the widest range of circumstances.” Excerpts:
• Reciprocation. People are more willing to comply with requests (for favors, services, information, concessions, etc.) from those who have provided such things first.
• Commitment/Consistency. People are more willing to be moved in a particular direction if they see it as consistent with an existing or recent commitment.
• Authority. People are more willing to follow the directions or recommendations of a communicator to whom they attribute relevant authority or expertise.
• Social Validation. People are more willing to take a recommended action if they see evidence that many others, especially similar others, are taking it.
• Scarcity. People find objects and opportunities more attractive to the degree that they are scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability.
• Liking/Friendship. People prefer to say yes to those they know and like.
Moving on to something entirely different, here’s something that I am learning. I don’t know anything about financial markets. I thought I would get myself an education on them on the web. I have been following Yale University Prof Robert Shiller’s course on financial markets on the web.
The course description is:
Financial institutions are a pillar of civilized society, supporting people in their productive ventures and managing the economic risks they take on. The workings of these institutions are important to comprehend if we are to predict their actions today and their evolution in the coming information age. The course strives to offer understanding of the theory of finance and its relation to the history, strengths and imperfections of such institutions as banking, insurance, securities, futures, and other derivatives markets, and the future of these institutions over the next century. [Link: Academic Earth.org]
Lecture 11 of 26 is on “Stocks.”
Watch it on Academic Earth