Thursday, September 19, 2013

I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.

There is a lot of catching up. I will try to keep this as short as possible.

1) 'Cut the Crap' - CTC rule

I realised that I spend a lot of my time typing redundant sentences in my mails and communication. So there is a rule that I have come up with - 'Cut the Crap'.
Example statement: The thing that I would like to know is how does this change impact us.
Example statement with CTC: I want to know how this change impacts us.

The aim is simple - Use precise statements with same meaning in lesser number of words in all my communication. Saves your time to say them, and the reader/listener's to digest the meaning, resulting in faster communication from both ends. So now, I apply the CTC rule to all my outgoing mails. And in the limited time I have had, I observed that my mails are shorter by 25-30% .

2) Playing Doctor Doctor, and the hospital experience

This month, I had to rush to D in a hurry. My father had been admitted to Fortis. He was diagnosed with Tuberculous Meningitis, and is recovering at home now.

I had a lot of things to observe in the hospitals.

Staff management, Drug administration, Sampling for tests, Patient Record maintenance, everything had a process of its own. A perfect example of how responsibilities can be decentralized, and managed in a timely fashion to scale up the services.
An organization of one kind is no different than an organization of another. As Sun-Tzu would have said, If you can manage 10, you can manage 100 or 1000. Its just a matter of dividing and arranging them properly.

There was one more lesson that I learnt during the whole period. Beyond a point, Personal efficiencies come at the cost of inefficiency in some other person's/ system's time. This was based on experience interacting with an unrelated super-specialist highly recommended doctor. The timings were 11AM to 1PM, but the doctor would come in only at around 12-12.30. By this time, all the patients would have already come and waiting for some time. The attendant would place the file of the next patient on the desk while the previous ones left and the next patient entered. By the time the next patient sat, doctor would ask 3-4 questions, measure any vitals, and write the recommended instructions in the file,, and shout out next. Here the patients would leave, and the attendant would bring the next file. In all, he spent around 1 minute on the average with a patient, and would manage to see 45-60 of them within an hour. Of course, his system was premised on the collection of waiting patients. Thus, every patient would wait for around 1 hour before getting the 1 minute with doctor.

3) A question of perspective

Till some time back, I never really understood why certain people are the way they are, or why we need certain type of people/things in a department.

For example, I did not value the presence of HR in previous organizations. Its only now, that I can witness firsthand the work and perspectives which HR can handle, that it has started making sense to me how each person is important within an organization.

If you are truly smart, there will be really limited number of tasks that you can't do. Maybe you can't fix the pipes, or maybe you can't arrange for gas. But the time you have is limited, and hence you must wisely choose which ones to do yourself.

The point never is whether you can, or cannot do it. The question always is, to manage it as best as possible, or to manage it within acceptable limits.

And that's the whole point of having specialists, to do the specific things as good as possible, as fast as possible. To extract all those increase of efficiency and leverage the gains in other functions. No matter how uninteresting that work seems to you. Because it will definitely be interesting for some other people. And therein lies the difference of perspectives.

4) The value of HeadStart and Social media systems

I have started accepting those recruiter requests I was getting on linkedin. Reason was simple, out of every x such requests accepted, there would be y number of people who would endorse me. Why, and for what I don't know, but they will do it based out of their usage habits.

So the more such people you have in your network currently, the more endorsed you become, and the more your profile image starts getting boosted up. The earlier you have them, the better.

And that's true of headstart in any system. The earlier you start, and the faster you move, the better.

Example: Imagine you (A) and some other person (B), neither of whom I know. If that guy has 20 people endorsing him for a skill, and only 5 people in your case, I am already biased in his favor for him having some knowledge of that thing. Its not like I am going to ignore you, its just that, he has a soft win in his favor already. Now imagine you have 70, and he has 99. I am sure it is irrelvant now.

Point is, its not the deciding factor, but its definitely a mildly influencing factor. And when you aggregate a lot of such mildly influencing factor, they become the deciding factors in absence of other deciding factors.

PS: The title of the post is inspired by some lines spoken before the Rumble In the Jungle that I was just watching. "I wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I'm so mean I make medicine sick."

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