Waking up on work

Published : 12:00 am  June 2, 2014  |  Category: Ajantha Dharmasiri, Columnists  |  Leave a Comment  |  431 views  |  
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I enjoyed reading a book with a difference. It was blended with success and spiritual flavours. The book in fact, invited me to relook the way I work. More importantly, I started asking the question ‘why do I work?’ I felt there is a lot relevance to Sri Lankan managers to find true meaning of their work. Today’s column is a sincere sharing of that serene experience. Overview Before you ask ‘why aren’t my employees working harder?’ ask yourself ‘why are my employees working?’ That is an essential question raised by the book titled ‘The Why of Work’ written by Prof. Dave Ulrich and his wife Wendy Ulrich. According to them, the book evolved out of a conversation between a business... 

Road discipline through self discipline

Published : 12:00 am  May 31, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  728 views  |  
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The lack of discipline is a factor that all road users, be it motorists or pedestrians are well aware of. At one time we indeed were a nation of disciplined people but sadly though it is eroding fast. The best manifestation of this fact is observed in road transport, in particular between 0600 to 0900 hours and 1630 to 1930 hours. In my observations, I have come across two key contributors, namely: The lack of discipline on the part of pedestrians and motorists. Absence of innovative methods in the road traffic management that can instill disciple in motorists and pedestrians. An outsider trying to use our roads during peak hours will surely know that it is free-for-all, where the fittest will... 

The return of India: New realities for Govt. and TNA

Published : 12:00 am  May 30, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  890 views  |  
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Something happened. Things just changed. Unnoticed by the Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan civil society intelligentsia which was engaged in “much wailing and gnashing of teeth” (as the Bible has it), and “how many angels can dance on a pinhead?” type disputations (convoluted and obfuscatory, with much lost in translation), the tectonic plates just shifted. The five post-war years were largely wasted because the South and North, the Sinhalese and Tamil political elites represented by the Government and the TNA adopted political postures that were exceedingly unrealistic but did not appear to be so. The mutual and shared unrealism was possible because of one factor and that factor has just... 

Petes vs. Royal: Pick of the week

Published : 12:00 am  May 30, 2014  |  Category: Arthur Fernandez, Columnists, Sports  |  2 Comments  |  528 views  |  
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The second round games for the Schools Cup Championship will kick off on Saturday with four games to be played. For some strange reason all the games are on the same day and will continue in that manner till 21 June. Given the format that was resorted to this year, in that the teams were divided into two groups, mean that some of the eagerly awaited battles will take place over the next four weeks. Some of the games are being played for traditional trophies between the two schools concerned. SPC vs. RC The battle-hardened Royalists will take on the Petes who have been unbeaten so far. The Petes have been relatively lucky so far in that they had reasonably easier opposition. The Petes drew their... 

Honeymoon with Modi?

Published : 12:00 am  May 29, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dharisha Bastians  |  6 Comments  |  2,212 views  |  
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa may have metaphorically leapt into new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arms this week, but in the beginning there was Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. The Congress Party won Parliamentary elections in 2004, returning the Gandhi family dynasty to the helm of Indian politics after a hiatus of eight years and heralding a new dawn for Sri Lanka’s battle against terrorism. The change had come only three years after America had faced its own demons in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, forever altering how the world would approach and combat terrorism. Already, appetite for the LTTE’s brutal politics of terror had waned completely in... 

Can the Establishment win over Modi?

Published : 12:00 am  May 28, 2014  |  Category: Columnists  |  1 Comment  |  779 views  |  
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Deception and intrigue have been traditional instruments of foreign policy in the Kautilya tradition which have been used by our rulers in the past. It was successfully used to oust the Portuguese. It was also used against the Dutch to dampen their enthusiasm for conquest. It was used less successfully against the British who after their early experiences with the Sinhala Establishment did not trust anybody. In the 1980s, President J.R. Jayawardene played on the inherent prejudices of the Nehru family, the Delhi bureaucratic establishment committed to the unity of India and the Brahmin lobby in the South, to dampen India’s championship of the Tamils. The LTTE leader Prabhakaran was not enamoured... 

Winning and losing the Cold War

Published : 12:23 am  May 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  823 views  |  
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5th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s diplomatic victory, 26-27 May 2009 “…And mine is the sling of David” – Jose Marti (The ‘Apostle’ of Cuban Independence) The international press called it ‘victory’ and even ‘triumph’. Exactly five years ago, on 28 May 2009, The Times (London) headlined a report as follows: “Sri Lanka forces West to retreat over ‘war crimes’ with victory at UN”. Concluding our 30-year war in May 2009, we had victories on two fronts, or our victory had two dimensions: military and diplomatic. We won the hot war and the first battle of the Cold War. Then, we won more votes (29) than the world’s sole superpower the USA has been able to obtain for... 

Narendra Modi’s India and opportunities for Sri Lanka

Published : 12:18 am  May 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Opinion  |  Leave a Comment  |  1,218 views  |  
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South Asia’s giant The $ 2 trillion Indian economy with a 1.2+ billion population will be in the hands of the new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week. He and the BJP will be taking India forward for the next five years. The pro-business leader of the BJP  has not only won an election but has done so by obtaining an absolute majority, giving him the comfort of pushing through policy and reforms at a faster pace as all Indians would want. The last five years saw the Indian economy struggling to keep pace with its growth rate targets and inflation and interest rates hitting the high side whilst the foreign capital inflows reduced.  Although the former government led by Dr. Manmohan... 

Why companies must invest in leadership

Published : 12:15 am  May 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Dinesh Weerakkody, Leadership  |  Leave a Comment  |  688 views  |  
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Effective leaders in organisations bring together both individuals and organisations to solve customer and organisational problems, but there is a difference between leaders and leadership. Leaders refer to individuals who have unique capabilities to guide the behaviour of others to deliver outstanding results or resolve issues. Leadership refers to an organisation’s capacity to build future leaders and leadership bench strength. An individual leader matters, but an organisation’s leadership matters more over time both to shareholders and customers. Therefore, organisations must not only invest to help individual leaders to be more effective through coaching, 360 feedback, and by executing... 

Lifeline for SAARC by Modi?

Published : 12:14 am  May 27, 2014  |  Category: Columnists, Rohantha Athukorala  |  Leave a Comment  |  731 views  |  
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If one analyses Modi’s management style, he likes taking daring decisions, which is what he did last week, commanding 339 seats in the Indian Parliament, that makes him one of the most powerful Indians and may be one of the top leaders who will shape the world in the years to come. In this backdrop, the invite extended to the SAARC leaders is an interesting gesture given that the world is focusing at South Asia for its future growth. Let me share the key challenges that Modi is up against in South Asia. Business challenge – SAARC Apart from the political challenges that Modi will have to manage with Pakistan on terrorism and the Sri Lankan issue fuelled by Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu, Modi... 

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