How Long is One Second?

This is a story of an American company outsourcing its IT support to an Indian offshore vendor. Assume that you are a local IT employee in the US urgently requesting for offshore help to recover the crashed system. The business users are screaming at you like hell, unable to ship the products out without the system. After listening to you explaining the symptoms of the problem, the Indian support personnel on the other side of the phone tells you ‘one second.’ You wait for one second, two seconds, five, ten, thirty and then finally ask, ‘hello, are you there?’ You’re partner on the phone responds ‘yes?’ as if nothing has happened during that thirty seconds.  You, a little bit confused and annoyed, will explain the issue again and ask ‘can you find the cause of the problem?’

What do you think your Indian partner will say? – ‘One second.’

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‘The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business’ by Charles Duhigg

Was your New Year’s resolution to get fit, to spend more time with family, or to quit smoking? It’s been already three months. How are you doing so far? If you are a part of the majority, your answer would not be great. No worries. I’m on the same boat. I can easily count a dozen of falied resolutions. Wake up early for a run. Reduce time on the Internet. Read 100 books per year. Et cetra, et cetra. You know, it’s hard!

Yes, we know it’s hard to drop a bad habit or to create a good habit. According to a research quoted in the book, up to 40% of our daily activities are controled by habits, not by a conscious decision making. 40%? You may not believe it. That’s the point. Habit is so hard to change because you don’t notice it. This book shows why these habits are so strong and how you can reprogram them.

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Muri Muda Mura – Pursuit for Optimal Process

You may have heard these three Japanese ‘M’ words repeated by any process engineer at a Japanese manufacturing company. Muri Muda Mura mean overwork, waste, and inconsistency respectively. Toyota, one of the world’s best companies in the operations management, taught us to avoid them like the plague. A crusade against Muri Muda Mura is one of the key pillars of the famous Toyota Production System.

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‘The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur’ by Mike Michalowicz

This book is not about celebrity entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. This book is about ordinary people like you and me, who don’t have a special talent, past experience or abundant amount of money to start a successful business today. Nevertheless, the author says you can become an entrepreneur today. To show you what you can, he busted typical three myths about entrepreneur’s requirements – Extraordinary Talent, Customer and Funding.

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