How to fix your finances using the Envelope System

Click here to read my new article on the Envelope System. This was written for the blog section of Money Munchkids website.

My Favourite Motivational Quotes

My Favourite Quotes

Proverbs and quotes are something to ponder upon and live by for. Here is my interpretation of quotes by some prudent personalities.

I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Choice – A simple term worthy enough to change our lives, for better or worse. As simple as this quote may sound, it takes a whole lifetime to master its practice. Choices are not just the major life decisions we make like choosing our career path or finding the right place to live. Our everyday choices are micro decisions that shape our future like waking up early to exercise, scheduling your passion projects and practising self-control over extra spending we can save on. Thus, we must be proactive in our choices. Letting go of useless choices is also essential to prevent harmful outcomes in the long run. In fact, not choosing is also a choice which can end up in something we never asked for. That is why they say; do something today your future self will thank you for.

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine ~ John C. Maxwell

Similar to the first quote, this one emphasizes the need to establish a growth lifestyle in order to achieve your goals. It is because there is no elevator to success; every successful individual has instilled a particular set of habits in their routine to learn and grow. The most common of it all is reading a book every day, the classic appetite for wisdom. An average CEO reads 60 books in a year, which is obviously not a necessary number to achieve, but developing this habit is surely a great initiative. Also, setting a daily agenda and working to achieve it is a good indicator of productivity. At the end of the day, as Benjamin Franklin said – by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Words lie, actions can lie too, consistency speaks the truth ~Trent Shelton

This quote should not be confused as a contradiction to the good old quote “Words lie, but actions will tell the truth”. This is an extension to the former as its stresses over the repetition of the actions necessary to lay the strong foundations of trust. As Lilly Singh says “We are the sum of our actions, not just one or two actions”. We can’t master a skill by just claiming to master it or putting some effort just for namesake; it needs constant learning, practice and commitment. The same goes for developing habits as I discussed earlier, every new initiative needs to be consistent in order to reap its future benefits, as they say ‘Consistency is the key’.

I have no special talents, I am just passionately curious. ~ Albert Einstein

This is by far the best quote I have come across because I personally relate to it through experience. With a job well done, I often get praised by my peers on how talented I am; which undoubtedly does make me happy, however, the aspect of the speaker regarding the talent as innate or unachievable by them is what bothers me. One should always believe in the possibility of acquiring a skill with time and practice, not label it as a special ability. I am just curious enough to explore and learn something I’m really intrigued by. If an extraordinary mind like Einstein claims to have no special talents, so why can’t we be curious enough to discover our passions. After all, as Tom Bilyeu believes, passions are not found but developed.

All of these quotes preach the influence of choices, habits, consistency in our lives. What we need is a powerful purpose– the Why to everything, in order to keep going and striving.

How A Walk in the Park Can Help You Financially

This is an article written for the website blog of Money Munchkids.

Click here to read the article.

The Process of Organizational Innovation

The previous article discussing Innovative practices at workplace gave reference to certain terminologies from the concept of Innovation Process. The concept believes that innovation does not happen instantly but is a gradual sequential course. Therefore, in order to fully practice innovation, a company should first identify its Innovation Process and frame its organizational structure in accordance with it. The 3-phases common to most organizations has been summed up by Damanpour and Schneider (2006) as illustrated below.


  • Initiation: The first step includes activities that relate to identifying a problem or need, exploring for solutions, being conscious of current innovations, selecting appropriate innovations and offering them for adoption. Firstly, managerial participants become aware of the innovation’s actuality and examine its suitability for the business, discuss with concerned members, and suggest its adoption. Exchange of information with the external environment can help innovators improve their knowledge of environmental events and trends in order to initiate change and propose new ideas for adoption (Rogers, 1995). It is generally believed that a need mostly arises from dissatisfaction with the business performance or customers’ demands. (Van de Ven, 1986).
  • Adoption: This is the most crucial step in the Innovation Process since the problem or need that the organization desires to solve may be a high priority status needing immediate results (Rogers, 1995). This step analyzes the proposed idea(s) from technical, commercial and tactical viewpoints; mostly undertaken by the R&D department. Upon realizing its potential benefits, the idea acceptance is confirmed by pitching it to the top management (board, committee). On approval, resources are assigned for its acquirement, modification, and assimilation.
  • Implementation: It involves measures which require adjusting the innovation, arranging the company for application, assessing the test period, and approval of the innovation by the adopters with the consistent practice of it till it is a routine element of the business (Meyer and Goes, 1988; Rogers, 1995). It also requires a marketing plan for the customers and continuous improvements after receiving feedbacks (Neese, 2017).

An organization needs to adjust its structure according to the innovation process to increase its efficiency. At the initiation phase, a simple and decentralized structure is suitable. While at the adoption stage, some formal decision making is needed. As the organization shifts to the implementation period, a bureaucratic structure becomes suitable to ensure mobility (Zaltman, Duncan and Holbek, 1974).

Innovation experts believe that an organization’s innovation is directly influenced by its external environment. Every organization’s environment has a different set of characteristics. They include the market structure, level of competition, technology forces, imitability conditions and market growth etc. (Damanpour and Schneider, 2006). Greater environmental uncertainty is said to be positively correlated with organizational innovation (Pierce and Delbecq, 1977). It means that if an environment is more turbulent and unpredicted, the organization will be better prepared to for unforeseen situations, and constantly look for innovative solutions for survival and development.

From the abundance of models established by various authors, the three steps discussed above are basic to any organization, regardless of its size or nature. Hence, enterprises with hardcore innovative strategies need to closely analyze and choose the best mix of models and mold their hierarchy and bureaucracy per process, to bring in innovation in its operations and decisions.


Damanpour, F. and  Schneider, M. (2006) ‘Phases of the Adoption of Innovation in Organizations: Effects of Environment, Organization and Top Managers’, British Journal of Management, Vol 17, pp. 215-236 Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Meyer, A. D. and J. B. Goes (1988) ‘Organizational Assimilation of Innovation: A Multilevel Contextual Analysis’, Academy of Management Journal, Vol 31, pp. 897–923. Available at:  (Accessed: 25 December 2017).

Neese, B. (2017) Cultivating a Robust Organization: 5 Stages of the Innovation Process. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Pierce, J.L. and Delbecq, A.L. (1977) ‘Organization Structure, Individual Attitudes and Innovation’, Academy of Management Review, 2(1), pp. 27-37. Available at: (Accessed: 19 December 2017).

Rogers, E. M. (1995) Diffusion of Innovations. Free Press, New York.

Van de Ven, A.H. (1986) ‘Central Problems in The Management of Innovation’, Management Science, 32(5), pp. 590-607. Available at:  (Accessed: 24 December 2017).

Zaltman, G., Duncan, R. and Holbek, J. (1973) Innovation and Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons

Practices that Foster Organizational Innovation

This is an excerpt from my essay on “How to encourage innovation in an organization”.


The word Innovation comes from the Latin word innovare meaning “to renew or change”. It implies innovation must bring in change in people’s choices and behavior, which may add up or contradict to their existing norms.

The need for innovation in an organization cannot be stressed enough. Innovation is considered as a source of competitive advantage in the dynamic market conditions and is a necessity to survive and grow in the corporate world. It is a prerequisite to advancement and development. It is because progress can only be made when an organization enhances its existing practices and norms in the form of product development, service enhancement, administrative or management practices etc. Companies and countries that constantly innovate manage to maintain economic robustness (Ahmed and Shepherd, 2010). Therefore, it can be summarized by saying that innovation is all about finding solutions to present problems, improving existing conditions, and winning unanticipated situations; all leading towards organizations advancement and economy’s growth.

Here are a few practices that can steer an organizations’ path towards innovation:

Effective innovations start small: It is one of the Principles of Innovation introduced by Drucker (1985) in his book ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’. It means that no matter how big the idea may seem, its implementation should be on a small scale in its early stages. This practice saves time, resources, and money as the success of the innovation is uncertain. It is evident from the Amazon Inc. policy about teams where only a small team experiments with an idea and analyzes its viability. Its CEO has established the “two-pizza team” rule, which means that teams must be small enough to be fed with two pizzas (Lee, 2016). This is the reason that Amazon ranks on 1st for the “World’s Most Innovative Companies” this year (Fast Company, 2017). Small groups comprise of the ideal mix of skills while utilizing maximum communication and responsibility among members (Quinn, 1985).

Minimum Viable Product: This is a well-known strategy for innovation in Product Development where organizations’ design new products with just sufficient technologies in the initial launch and gradually upgrade the features with revenue, time and feedback.  Given the risky nature of innovation, it is reasonable to create the product with the available resources instead of spending years of money and research into it (Patel, 2015). Besides, in today’s highly competitive and advanced market, it is only a matter of time when the rivals come up with the same innovation. Amazon followed the same strategy with its innovative store concept called ‘Amazon Go’ which could work in various retail stores, but Amazon’s initial approach is to open only one store. Based on its success, it will launch thousands of stores with time (Lee, 2016). Similarly, Apple is also famous for using this strategy since its first iPhone launch which aimed to get the responses from the early adopters on its rudimentary yet pioneering technologies (Freedman, 2013).

Age: Age is negatively proportional to organizational innovation Pierce and Delbecq (1977). It implies that the higher percentage of old employees, the more bureaucratic and inflexible structure gets, leading to less acceptance of innovations and policy changes. Youngsters are adaptive, tech-savvies; willing to take risks and possess better cognitive abilities (Damanpour and Schneider, 2006). Older employees may hinder the implementation process as they are accustomed to existing systems psychologically. Therefore, infusion of external fresh blood is vital for an organization to innovate constantly.

Open Innovation: Since the past decade, the concept of Open Innovation has received a lot of recognition. It is defined as “the leverage of capabilities and expertise of others to deliver differentiated and meaningful innovation” (Perkins, 2008). It implies, to globalize innovation by internalizing communities and capturing value from their expertise. The communities include supplier, consumers, competitors, manufacturers’ etc. Firms have now realized that secrecy reduces potential and efficiency and through collaboration, many business orthodoxies, norms and beliefs can be challenged and reevaluated, thus enabling innovative thinking (Gassmann, 2006). Vanhaverbeke, Van de Vrande and Chesbrough (2008) suggest a wide range of sources like purchasing marginal shares in high-tech companies, investing in venture capital funds, financing innovative projects at colleges or research labs and so on. This way, the firms can capitalize on such innovations in its early stage. According to Gassmann (2006), early supplier’s involvement in innovation increases innovation performance and acts as a source of competitive advantage.  A case study research by Dodgson, Gann and Salter (2006) on Procter & Gamble provides an ideal example where the company transformed its R&D mission to a ‘Connect and Develop’ which resulted in huge success and development through unique, externally drawn products and expertise. It gathered vast sources of information by organizing an expo where suppliers, researchers, small firms and young amateur researchers were given a chance to showcase their ideas and make connections. This led to a massive success of over 2000 ideas for P&G technologies. Therefore, open innovation provides benefits like increasing the pool of knowledge; reducing the cost of internal R&D with greater focus on capturing value (Tidd, 2014).

Another remarkable example of Open Innovation is from Coca-Cola who is embracing innovation from both sides; the customers and the entrepreneurs. It has invested in supporting startups in various cities around the world that build up innovative strategies to boost Coca-Cola’s brand vision of Happiness. Meanwhile, its pioneering freestyle dispenser machine introduced in 2009 has assisted in obtaining its customers’ feedback. The machine allows users to select and mix flavors of their choice and suggest a new flavor for Coca-Cola products. Additionally, the consumer preferences can also be synced to their mobile app and be used on any machine around the world (Elmansy, 2016). The company tracks the suggested flavors and their demand levels, and considers them as a new product line. Thus, such interactive relation with the external environment is the very essence of Open Innovation.

Reducing Bureaucracy: Bureaucracy is often referred to as the enemy of innovation (IBM, 2015). It is because Innovation constantly challenges existing norms, principles, and demands risk-taking which clashes with the concept of bureaucracy. Hamel (2014) describes a bureaucratic situation as where job position defines worth, power is concentrated, employees strive for promotions and higher compensations, and rules frame every activity. He clarified that control and freedom are equally important but managers often consider them as mutually exclusive. Decisions in a centralized structure involve various approvals and delays. Tests which could be executed in hours may take weeks in bureaucracies. This also increases the level of costs and risks for the organization (Quinn, 1985). According to Rangus and Slavec (2017), Deconcentrated decisions are positively correlated to innovation and employee involvement. In the innovation process, Decentralization facilitates initiation and implementation (Pierce and Delbecq, 1977). Therefore, the diffusion of authority is imperative for encouraging breakthrough solutions to a problem.

Attitude towards failure: An organization’s approach towards failure is crucial towards fostering innovation. It should make its employees feel comfortable with the fact that they can experiment with new ideas without fearing any penalizing consequences (Szczepańska-Woszczyna, 2014). Managers of innovative organizations should train their employees to handle failure through behaviors like optimism, persistence, confession, and prevention (Bradberry, 2016). It is because implementing an idea and failing it is far better than not trying at all. Google has proclaimed itself as a company which celebrates failure through test and learn process. For example, Google Buzz tool was an extension to Gmail but failed and was shut down in 2011. However, it helped in developing Google Plus, which is now being widely used (McKinsey&Company, 2015). Furthermore, it is said to even reward its employees for failing in its Google Labs. They believe that if they don’t, then the employees will not dare risk-taking and make revolutions, they will hold on to a lost idea by dreading the consequences (Grossman, 2014). Amazon also embraces failure as many of its services failed and transformed into something new and better (Davis, 2016).

Organizational Culture: Designing a culture which promotes innovation is an essential element in order to succeed. Organizational culture typically is defined as “a complex set of values, beliefs, assumptions, and symbols that define the way in which a firm conducts its business.” (Barney, 1986). According to Brame’s (2017) article on corporate culture and its effect on innovation, an organization needs to explicitly devise a clear and succinct vision statement for its employees at all levels of the organization. Moreover, it should repeatedly promote the values and apply in all of its decisions; and when necessary, change them for improvement and growth. The values should, therefore, encourage innovation and creativity. Google is famous for its innovative culture which is evidenced in an interview-based research by Steiber and Alange (2013) where Google employees rated the organization culture at 1st for its influence on the company’s innovation. All employees were clearly aware of the company’s mission and aims and shared the same beliefs and values. Notions like ‘do no evil’ and ‘we can change the world’ are inscribed in every employee’s mindset directing their behavior in the desired direction. They have coined the term ‘Googleyness’ based on such values.

Secondly, the culture of an organization should be such where the top management engages with non-managerial level employees; especially the ones who directly interact with the customers. According to Quinn (1985), familiarity and experience reduce risks so when employees come up with risky innovative ideas, top management view them as troublesome even if they encounter the same risk with other business decisions.

Being people-focused: Another Principle of Innovation is to be both conceptual as well as perceptual (Drucker, 1985), i.e. analyzing figures as well as people. An innovative leader does not focus only on profits and gains. The reason why Amazon surpassed Google and Apple in being the most innovative company is that of its one simple goal: meeting people’s needs (Lee, 2016). Most companies are obsessed with their competitors’; to always remain one step ahead, whereas Amazon is said to be obsessed with its customers i.e. anything that makes their life better and convenient. It engages in producing only those innovations which customers will actually be willing to buy. During conferences, CEO Jeff Bezos leaves one seat empty at the table; they consider it as the customer’s seat (Anders, 2012). Furthermore, most large companies like Hewlett-Packard, Sony and 3M now rely less on market research and more on lead customers when introducing new innovations. Small groups work observantly with lead customers; learn of their responses and feedback, and quickly adjust changes the product/service or the entry modes into the market. It is because conducting market research in advance for a completely new innovation does not guarantee accurate results (Drucker, 1985).

Abandon waste: In order to maintain the health of an organization, the top management must evaluate and remove anything that is out-of-date, useless, unproductive, as well as any errors, failures, and mislead efforts. It may include wasteful resources, practices, process, and technologies, activities or distribution channels from the organization (Drucker, 1985). This practice can be compared with an organism’s system which needs remove its waste products, or it poisons itself and dies. This process should be carried periodically depending upon the size of the organization. It is to be noted that one must first identify the problem and find its root cause in order to filter the relevant activity. This is largely possible by the R&D department since it carries out all the analysis. Hence, Google has completely transformed its HR practices based on the analytics and almost every decision is data-driven. Thousands of surveys and research are undertaken throughout the year (McKinsey&Company, 2015).

Recruiting policy: No innovation strategy can be effective if the organization doesn’t hire the right employees. HR strategies significantly impact innovation at a workplace. An organization should hire and retain employees who are creative and willing to think outside the box. They should be loyal and intrinsically believe in the organization’s objectives.  Such employees facilitate innovation and are an asset to the organization. According to Pierce and Delbecq, (1977), intrinsic motivation is positively connected to innovation. Google considers its employees as sources of innovation and competitive edge. Its hiring system ensures that it selects only intellectual, competitive, self-motivated individuals who are passionate about their goals. Various selection techniques and hiring committees are involved in selecting an employee. Apart from their credentials, candidates’ googleyness is observed and after selection, an extensive orientation process is involved to help them build their network. (Steiber and Alange, 2013).

Establish an Innovation Department: An organization, no matter the size, should assign a separate manager and/or department for nurturing innovation; particularly the ones meant for advancing new products, services, or business. All ideas should be reported to the Chief Innovation Officer instead of the line manager who is already responsible for existing operations. This may be considered an unconventional idea in some companies but not in the innovative ones. There are various reasons for this approach; given the preliminary stages of innovation and its exploration, the problems or hindrances it encounters are to be dealt with attentiveness and patience.  The executives in the duty of existing businesses or products will have no time or insight for the new project. They can’t risk their existing obligations and commitments. A perfect example of this practice would be of P&G, Unilever, and 3M etc. They establish a new venture as distinct business right from the beginning and hire a project manager for it. This helps in allocating all resources towards the innovative project and prevents any disruption to the existing business (Drucker, 1985).

Therefore, this essay can be summed up by a quote – “The only thing that is constant is change.” ~ Heraclitus

Reference List

Ahmed, P.K. and Shepherd, C.D. (2010) Innovation management. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Anders, G. (2012) Jeff Bezos Reveals His No. 1 Leadership Secret. Available at:  (Accessed: 27 December 2017).

Barney, J.B. (1986) Organizational culture: can it be a source of sustained competitive advantage? Academy of management review, 11(3), pp. 656-665. Available at: (Accessed: 27 December 2017).

Bradberry, T. (2016) 8 Ways Smart People Use Failure To Their Advantage. Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2017).

Brame, M. (2017) How Corporate Culture Can Affect Innovation and Corporate Success. Available at:  (Accessed: 27 December 2017).

Damanpour, F. and  Schneider, M. (2006) ‘Phases of the Adoption of Innovation in Organizations: Effects of Environment, Organization and Top Managers’, British Journal of Management, Vol 17, pp. 215-236 Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Davis, S. (2016) How Amazon’s Brand And Customer Experience Became Synonymous. Available at: (Accessed: 23 December 2017).

Dodgson, M., Gann, D. and Salter, A. (2006) The role of technology in the shift towards open innovation: the case of Procter & Gamble. R&D Management36(3), pp.333-346. Available at:$FILE/ELE%20xx13%20L%C3%A6ring,%20kunnskapsdeling%20og%20samhandling%20i%20en%20digital%20verden,%20artikkel%202.pdf (Accessed: 18 December 2017).

Drucker, P. (1985) Innovation and entrepreneurship. New York: Harper & Row.

Elmansy, R. (2016) 5 Successful Open Innovation Examples. Available at: (Accessed: 16 January 2018).

Fast Company (2017) Most Innovative Companies 2017. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Freedman, E. (2013) ‘Apple’s Original iPhone Was A Minimum Viable Product’, WordPress, 3 January. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Gassmann, O. (2006) ‘Opening up the innovation process: towards an agenda’, R&D Management36(3), pp.223-228. Available at: (Accessed: 19 December 2017).

Grossman, D. (2014) Secret Google lab ‘rewards staff for failure. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Hamel, G. (2014) ‘Bureaucracy Must Die’, Harvard Business Review, (Nov/Dec), Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2017).

IBM (2005) Enemies of innovation: What they look like, and how not to become one.  Available at: (Accessed: 25 December 2017).

Lee, T.B. (2016) How Amazon innovates in ways that Google and Apple can’t. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

McKinsey&Company (2015) Learning from Google’s digital culture. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Meyer, A. D. and J. B. Goes (1988) ‘Organizational Assimilation of Innovation: A Multilevel Contextual Analysis’, Academy of Management Journal, Vol 31, pp. 897–923. Available at:  (Accessed: 25 December 2017).

Neese, B. (2017) Cultivating a Robust Organization: 5 Stages of the Innovation Process. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2017).

Patel, N. (2015) 8 Elements Of A Robust Product Launch Strategy. Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2017).

Perkins, C. (2008) Innovation leader summit: open innovation executive roundtable, Pure Insight, Darlington, UK.

Pierce, J.L. and Delbecq, A.L. (1977) ‘Organization Structure, Individual Attitudes and Innovation’, Academy of Management Review, 2(1), pp. 27-37. Available at: (Accessed: 19 December 2017).

Quinn, J.B. (1985) ‘Managing Innovation: Controlled Chaos’, Harvard Business Review, (May/June), Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2017).

Rangus, K. and Slavec, A. (2017) The interplay of decentralization, employee involvement and absorptive capacity on firms’ innovation and business performance. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Vol 120, pp.195-203. Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2017).

Rogers, E. M. (1995) Diffusion of Innovations. Free Press, New York.

Steiber, A. and Alänge, S. (2013) A corporate system for continuous innovation: the case of Google Inc. European Journal of Innovation Management, 16(2), pp.243-264. Available at: (Accessed: 27 December 2017).

Szczepańska-Woszczyna, K. (2014) The importance of organizational culture for innovation in the company. Forum Scientiae Oeconomia. 2(3), pp. 27-39. Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2017).

Tidd, J. (2014) Introduction: Why we need a tighter theory and more critical research on open innovation. In Open Innovation Research, Management and Practice, pp. 1-11. Available at: (Accessed: 20 December 2017).

Van de Ven, A.H. (1986) ‘Central Problems in The Management of Innovation’, Management Science, 32(5), pp. 590-607. Available at:  (Accessed: 24 December 2017).

Vanhaverbeke, W., Van de Vrande, V. and Chesbrough, H. (2008) Understanding the advantages of open innovation practices in corporate venturing in terms of real options. Creativity and innovation management17(4), pp.251-258. Available at: (Accessed: 18 December 2017).

Zaltman, G., Duncan, R. and Holbek, J. (1973) Innovation and Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Equity vs Equality


Equality: The equal treatment of everyone in all aspects be it rights, status or opportunities. This is the definition we are taught our whole life which seems completely fair and just. The justice system has always stressed on the idea of equal chance for everyone specifically the gender system. Equality and equity are often mistaken as substitutes but in reality, the meanings are entirely different and at instances, contradictory.

Equality is the idea that everyone deserves an equal opportunity while Equity believes in fairness, giving rights to each based on its circumstance and needs. A simple example to depict this is that giving everyone a shoe which is equality. It overlooks over the differences in the shoe size which is taken care of in the case of equity where everyone gets a shoe according to their size i.e which suits them best. In class, we must have come across the term ‘Majority wins’, whenever there’s a debate over an issue, the majority’s decision is given the privilege which is not wrong as it sounds fair. But this principle cannot be applied in every situation as every human is different and complex hence fairness and justice also needs to be different.

The image attached to this article illustrates the disparities ideally. Every individual based on his/her inheritance (height in this case), needs to be treated differently. Giving everyone the same opportunity in the name of ‘reducing differences’ is by no means equality given that it promotes privileges and increases ‘opportunity gap’. Differences need to be embraced, not eradicated. It is a prerequisite to note that the approach does not assume that underprivileged community is incapable or weak. It is the historical oppression that has led them to fall under such conditions. Be it being a female or black person, whenever the society even remotely adopts the equity approach, the privileged and the opposite sect demands the same attention in the name of ‘Equality’. A perfect example demonstrating such metaphor is the hashtag #AllLivesMatter following the campaign #BlackLivesMatter. The notion gets completely twisted by the privileged community considering their obligation towards being offended over the minimal things. Certainly, everyone acknowledges all lives, but giving some rights to the discriminated doesn’t mean it denies or costs all other lives.

A wise person once said. “The only thing we cannot count in numbers are our blessings”. Not that we should never try that, but being grateful and aware of one’s privileges is the first step in realizing empathy towards the unfortunate. Moving outside of our first-world problems and rediscovering our abilities to treat those around us with equity rather than equality will serve a great purpose in revoking ignorance.

For more on this:



via Daily Prompt: Scent


Petrichor- The wonderful smell in the air after it’s been raining.

The sense of smell does more than we think. It is fascinating how our memories are linked to specific scents like the scent of old books, flowers, dust, food, rain, clothes and even people. A forgotten memory can be triggered easily by smell and relived all over again. Be it a good or an unfortunate memory, the emotions come rushing through intensely at any moment unexpected. Photographs may be a way of capturing the moment, but the effect of a scent is something far stronger and closer to the soul incapable of being lost.


What motivates an employee?

Joined in businessOne of the most challenging decisions of an employer is to hire the best employee who is worth serving as an asset to the company. But the struggle is not limited to recruitment as just like any machine needs maintenance to ensure its maximum performance, even employees’ need continuous fuel to perform up to their full potential and with time, expand their potential through experience. It is the manager’s job to carry out the right kind of approaches to accomplish its goals. It might seem manipulative as the employer lures the employee towards working harder by promising attractive rewards just how you wave a treat in front of a dog to make it run towards you. This phenomenon is explained by Frederick Herzberg in his article ‘One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?’ He came up with this term ‘KITA’ meaning Kick in the Ass where the employees are forced to work harder by a physical attack (negative motivation), a common practice used in the age of slavery. Although in the present world such attitudes are condemned but its methods are still exercised in a ‘civilized’ manner where funnily the manager doesn’t need to kick you but you kick yourself in way of getting more rewards. Of course one wouldn’t mind doing that since they are being provided with incentives but Herzberg believed it may not guarantee loyalty in the long run. He also believed that motivation is intrinsic i.e. comes within an individual and external factors can influence only up to some extent. And hence the question arises, what motivates an employee or what are the set of factors that can increase an employee’s satisfaction to make him work harder? There is no ONE answer to this question since it is all based on psychology given that human nature is complex. Some might be motivated by money, status, security or through recognition, appreciation, and responsibility all influenced by his social background. The manager needs to examine the employee’s behavior in order to understand its desires and attitudes and use the right set of factors to motivate the employees. Such crucial observations call for human resource managers who have the knowledge and experience in distinguishing the employees and their interests. So if a manager thinks that providing the hygiene factors alone will increase the productivity of an employee then he/she shouldn’t expect any growth in the business. Hence one needs motivators along with basic necessities to be more efficient and hard working. Therefore, this is one of the aspects of improving the quality of work life (QWL) which serves as the development of the employee at not just professional level but at life in general. Henceforth, it can simply be said that satisfied employees make a successful organization, a manager just needs to know how to strike a favourable deal.

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers – Stephen Covey in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.

Impact of Brexit on GCC and MENA region

As the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union this year, there have been major anticipations and predictions about its effect on the GCC and MENA region by different analysts. Here are a few implications I have gathered from various articles and reports.

Firstly, there are quite many GCC’s foreign direct investments (FDI) in UK such as Sovereign Wealth Funds and High Net-worth Individuals (investors with more than $1 million liquid assets) which profoundly invest in the UK’s real estate market. The UAE alone accounted 20% of buy-to-let property sales in the UK last year. Qatar is also a leading investor in various London high valued properties. So with the fall in the British pound, the effect on these countries will be definitely unfavorable. Although it is to be noted that the degree of effect may not be severe on GCC as entities like Sovereign Wealth Funds are quite massive and diversified to suffer from Brexit.

On the contrary, the FDI from the UK into GCC will not be affected as UK’s major investments are in the hydrocarbon sector and the UK accounts for merely 1.6% of the global oil consumption thus having little or no impact on Gulf oil market. Additionally, with the plunge in the value of the pound, the prices of assets fell tremendously inducing property investments from GCC and thus having a positive impact on it.

Since the main drive for UK’s separation was EU’s policy of single market, now it can independently strike trade agreements with GCC as it was bound by the EU association agreements earlier. It is likely expected to adopt the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with GCC as it was never approved by the EU despite negotiations since 1988. Considering UAE as the business hub in the region, signing a deal with UAE will be UK’s top priority hence benefitting both nations in the future.

Therefore, it can be said that the effect of Brexit on GCC will be positive in general. The negative factors haven’t gravely affected GCC’s growth as the present situation will not seem to persist in the long-term. The future seems promising as the UK desires to overcome the loss from the access to single market and hence both parties will be willing to deal with favorable terms.

For more information:

A Guide to Brexit

This article is the simplest explanation on the concept of Brexit with its background from the past.

Brexit is the term which refers to the British exit from the European Union. The European Union consisted of 28 nations until June 23, 2016, when 51.9% UK citizens voted to leave in a referendum leading to this separation. The primary reason for this decision was UK opposing the Immigration policies of EU which allows free movement of people all across the borders of its member countries. It was against the idea of foreign-born members of the EU joining the UK workforce and hence it desires full control over its borders. Secondly, Britain felt like it was being suppressed by the EU as it imposed a lot of rules on businesses and charged billions every year for its membership fees with little return.

This revolution was not an abrupt change but a series of gradual events leading to this uprising. Right after UK joined EU in 1973; there were a group of nationalists who were against this idea of unity like the Labour Party and the Referendum Party but were dissolved right after losing the 1997 elections. Meanwhile, another party with the similar ideologies named the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) lurked around and absorbed the Referendum party’s supporters. Gradually, they obtained seats at the EU Parliament in 2014 elections with Nigel Farage as its current leader. Everyone saw the referendum coming as The Conservative Party had promised to conduct it if they came to power in 2015. After Brexit’s success this year, David Cameron resigned his position by replacing Theresa May from his party as the Prime Minister of UK. The first referendum was conducted in 1975 when 67.2% had voted to stay hence there was always a possibility of another referendum in the future.

The results revealed the voter turnout to be 72.2% which is apparently the highest in two decades. The statistics also showed that the majority of the young citizens wanted to stay whereas older population preferred to leave. It was expected from the younger ones as they enjoyed the freedom to travel all around the 28 countries, explore their cultures and opportunities. British pound sharply lost 10% of its value the next day after the vote which gradually recovered and will continue to do so. Although economists fear that UK’s financial hub London might be negatively affected if UK is unable to trade tariff-free with EU like earlier, banks like HSBC and Societe Generale have no rush to move from  London as it’s too early to tell the consequences of this break-up on businesses.

It will take two years for UK to completely withdraw from the EU as there are quite a lot of negotiations to deal with such as immigration, customs, capital etc. Making post-Brexit deal will be quite complex as the UK demands to exercise control over immigration as well as continue trade for reaching the single market but as of now it’s a wait and watch situation for everyone.

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