Columnists,Ajantha Dharmasiri,Opinion and Issues

Bitter reality of a battered fraction: ‘Vishama Bhaga’ displays the ‘Other Half’

Views - 289 Monday, 27 January 2020 00:00

I was surprised to hear that the first time in Sri Lankan cinema, a movie had won 50 awards and yet has not received the needed recognition from us. It is the first Sinhala film produced by a Buddihst monk with the noble aim of donating the entire pr


Mind, matter and managers

Views - 691 Monday, 13 January 2020 08:58

I was very pleased to deliver my first-ever convocation address at the recently concluded convocation of the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. In today’s column I have produced the entire text of my speech.


Twenty thoughts for a terrific 2020: Essentials for excellence

Views - 1066 Wednesday, 1 January 2020 00:40

A refreshing 31,557,000 seconds in 2020 are with us. A brand new year invites us not only to have brand new thoughts but to convert them into grand actions. As usual, people tend to have New Year resolutions. My suggestion is to go beyond scant resol


Tale of two leaders: A Christmas reflection

Views - 1093 Tuesday, 24 December 2019 00:00

Christmas is almost there, despite the subdued nature due to the Easter Sunday disaster and its aftermath. Leaders and laggards are being discussed these days in the midst of a growing optimism towards a better political culture. Apart from the trad


Creed of breeding leaders: Reflections on ‘Mind Before Action’

Views - 843 Monday, 16 December 2019 00:00

The new shift of the national leadership has ignited a ray of optimism of what Sri Lanka can become with its untapped talent. As Peter Drucker said, there are not good or bad institutions, but either well-managed or ill-managed ones. This is relevant


Poignant pondering on a patriarch: One year later

Views - 171 Monday, 2 December 2019 00:00

One year has gone. It is with a profound sense of sadness that we experienced the demise of our veteran teacher, respected author, legal luminary, an accomplished ambassador, an eminent public servant and an amazing human being, Dr. Wickrema Weerasoo


Reflecting reality through research: Management and leadership in focus

Views - 333 Monday, 25 November 2019 00:00

We are in the midst of a golden opportunity as a nation to move ahead in solidarity with strategic aims. With refreshing leadership at the helm and renewed enthusiasm for better results in all fronts, it is seen as a positive and progressive beginnin


Unleashing the power to lead: Global presence with local pulse

Views - 629 Monday, 4 November 2019 00:00

We are indeed delighted to present 340 extraordinary managers at the PIM’s latest convocation. They have been developed as leaders with a global presence and a local pulse. That’s why we aptly picked the theme this year – ‘Unleashing the Powe


Towards better people management in Sri Lanka: Vital learning for vibrant leading

Views - 382 Monday, 28 October 2019 00:03

We see more of the absence than the presence of proper people management practices in the premier parlours of Sri Lanka. Positions filled based on connections then competencies have resulted in pressing problems than promising prospects. Politics h


Emotionally intelligent leaders for Sri Lanka: Dire need of a rare breed

Views - 795 Monday, 14 October 2019 00:00

Verbal diarrheal has become rampant in Presidential Election season. Emotional outbursts in the political circles ranging from “jumpers to pampers” are common these days. Leaders are supposed to be more “emotionally intelligent” according to


In search of future prosperity: Inspiration from a splendid past

Views - 294 Monday, 30 September 2019 00:00

The Presidential Election has taken centre stage in our discussions amidst economic challenges engulfing the country. Every time I come back from an overseas visit, the thought lingers in my mind how other nations are surpassing us in terms of growth


Radically reinvented reality: Relevance to Sri Lanka

Views - 387 Monday, 16 September 2019 00:35

I am delighted to be involved in the National HR Conference 2019, the largest HR event in South Asia. This time it is on the theme ‘Radically Reinvented Reality’. We need to take another look at the way we act institutionally and nationally, in u


Carnage of garbage: Matter vs. mind

Views - 501 Monday, 2 September 2019 00:00

There is uproar about Aruwakkalu land being dumped with raw garbage without prior preparation. Ironically the Aruwakkalu Waste Management Project was launched following the collapse of the Meethotamulla disposal site as a sustainable and scientific


Vibrancy of ‘Vijayaba Kollaya’: Lucid lessons for Lankans

Views - 884 Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

I enjoyed watching the first 3D Sinhala movie last week. It is ‘Vijayaba Kollaya’ directed by Emeritus Professor Sunil Ariyarathne. It happened to be the last screenplay written by late Dr. Tissa Abeysekara. The story is based on a classical nove


Remembering a management sage, four years later

Views - 488 Friday, 9 August 2019 00:00

By Prof. Ajantha S. Dharmasiri Time has passed by. Four years have gone after the sad demise of my mentor. A lot has been said by now about this legendary marketing sage, since his untimely departure in August 2015. The Postgraduate Institute of Man


Of trombones and backbones: Towards a Sri Lankan shift from ego to eco

Views - 415 Monday, 29 July 2019 00:00

The latest addition to the chaos that we experience is the hazardous garbage containers imported from the UK. We are plagued with multiple environmental challenges. Whilst garbage disposals are still non-systematic, dengue mosquitoes continue to infl


Competing with competencies: Developing future-proof Sri Lankans

Views - 566 Monday, 15 July 2019 00:52

Competencies are required to compete in an increasingly competitive global environment. Sri Lanka has slipped from 71st place to 85th on the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) last year. This shows a dismal picture as Sri Lanka i


Salience of ‘Strategy Safari’: Lessons for Lankans

Views - 422 Monday, 1 July 2019 00:00

‘Strategy Safari’ by Henri Mintzberg and others is a book that I keenly read a couple of times. Every time I read it, new insights with fresh perspectives were quite common. As a book, it’s a bit old but still gold. I referred to it recently to


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Views - 460 Monday, 17 June 2019 00:01

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


In search of sensible Sri Lankans: Seeking tranquillity amid turbulences

Views - 469 Monday, 3 June 2019 00:00

The aftermath of the Easter Sunday tragedy witnessed many a calamity, confusion and chaos. The need to rebuild trust among communities amidst the mistrust among politicians, has become crucial. In the absence of one voice from the ruling front, soli


Serenity, synergy and solidarity for Sri Lankans: A post-Vesak pondering

Views - 342 Tuesday, 21 May 2019 00:00

We have just witnessed a different Vesak with less dansals and more devotion. It was an illuminating sign of unity among diversity where Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike joined hands in showing the world what Sri Lanka really is. Despite the sporadi


An accolade for authentic leadership: Exemplary response for Easter tragedy

Views - 1146 Monday, 6 May 2019 00:00

I live in Negombo and know many who lost their lives in the Easter tragedy that engulfed serene Sri Lanka. There was surely no repetition of ‘black July’ or ‘dark Digana’. It is amazing to see the restrained response of affected masses withgr


Exalting People Professionals: Explore, Expand and Excel

Views - 499 Monday, 8 April 2019 00:10

The most premier HR event in the world will come to Colombo in 2020. It will bring prestige to the pearl of the Indian Ocean. We have selected a simply significant theme with wide-ranging implications ‘Exalting People Professionals: Explore, Expand


From Vacation to Workation: Lessons for Lankans

Views - 472 Monday, 25 March 2019 00:00

Vacation is something we know and look forward to in our lives. What about workation? The relatively newer term comes with a mixed bag of promises and pitfalls. Some even call it a sad trend of our times. How do we Sri Lankans behave? Are we drifting


Living the strategy: Lessons for Sri Lanka

Views - 575 Monday, 11 March 2019 00:00

Strategy is an often confusingly used term that may mean different things to different people. I have seen this happening in Sri Lanka, where crafting and executing strategy is cluttered by myriad jargons. We need clarity and commitment towards formu


‘Thaala’ shows the way to enriching education through engagement

Views - 916 Monday, 25 February 2019 00:00

Education is in focus these days with much talk on revamping the existing practices with a futuristic outlook, amidst the debate of tablets vs. toilets for the schools. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the family movie, Thaala, the other day. Though it


Of Mintzberg and Zuckerberg: Communities and commodities

Views - 569 Monday, 11 February 2019 00:10

Henry Mintzberg, the veteran management thinker, promotes the concept of “community,” stating that leadership should pave way for “communityship”. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, created the largest social media platform, Facebook, with a


Enter the chartered HR professional: A new frontier for Sri Lanka

Views - 656 Monday, 28 January 2019 00:27

It is very encouraging to see the opportunities emerging for Sri Lankan HR professionals to reach a charter status. This is in fact filling a long-felt void in the profession of HR. It is in the broad context of the transformation of the Institute of


Significance of sustainable HRM: A salient Sri Lankan effort

Views - 1082 Monday, 14 January 2019 00:00

I witnessed the launch of a book with a difference recently. It was Senior Professor Henarath Opatha, a veteran researcher in the field of HRM presenting his newest contribution titled ‘Sustainable HRM’. Today’s column is about the nature and f


“Exciting 19” for excellent 2019

Views - 984 Monday, 31 December 2018 00:00

A refreshing 31,557,000 seconds in 2019 are with us. A brand new year invites us not only to have brand new thoughts but to convert them into grand actions. As usual, people tend to have New Year resolutions. My suggestion is to go beyond scant resol


Today's Columnists

Tourism ahoy!

Monday, 27 January 2020

I was making my way out of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel lobby when I heard someone calling out my name. It was a heavy European accent and for an uncomfortable moment I could not recognise the caller seated in the lounge chair. Then, it connected, Robert


World war III is not US vs. Iraq

Monday, 27 January 2020

World War III is the longest war yet and probably the final end game. This war is not the war between the US and Iraq. World War facts History states that World War I began in 1914 with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the


A child’s guide to price determination in the market: Tax cuts won’t always reduce prices

Monday, 27 January 2020

Asani has been an alert student reading for her Advanced Level exam. She is an inquisitive student and makes it her business to probe into matters that are economics about which she has no clear understanding. Fortunately, her Grandfather – Sarath


Bitter reality of a battered fraction: ‘Vishama Bhaga’ displays the ‘Other Half’

Monday, 27 January 2020

I was surprised to hear that the first time in Sri Lankan cinema, a movie had won 50 awards and yet has not received the needed recognition from us. It is the first Sinhala film produced by a Buddihst monk with the noble aim of donating the entire pr


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