I.A.A.R {reboot error}

We speak in acronyms. A lot.
It’s our special “language” … and so one of those that is frequently typed out or articulated is “IAAR” or “I am ALWAYS right”. 
It’s not hard to be always right being the more cynical one. Being the more critical one. Being the one who has to toss an idea over and over in my head … I am Libran with a dash of OCD. 
OK, with more that a dash … definitely more than a mere dash.
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Conductor Stéphane Denève is the epitome of a child’s imagination of what a classical musician conductor should be; dramatic and expressive with a big hairdo of curls that lends an air of artistic genius. 



Paired with Scottish piano virtuoso Steven Osborne who played Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, that entered center stage after the haunting beauty of Vocalise that has captured the public fancy since its premiere in 1916, June 14th was a beautiful evening for me, even when I managed to have a run in my navy blue lace dress!
Basked by the Petronas Twin Towers’ lighting and distant sounds of laughter of couples and holiday makers taking selfies, we begun a cultural discourse where some where midway I made the mistake of verbalising my wishful thoughts of: you know what would be simply magical? If we were in Vienna or Salzburg …
Within a week under the undue influence of others heading that direction for the summer break, weddings and of course visits to the patriarch home, dreamy plans were made about driving down the autobahn from Switzerland to Austria only to be “squashed”very quickly by practical me who for one will be in Eastern Europe (not Central) and more importantly will not be within the European Union vicinity for the next 2 weeks from the proposed trip – simply said, the dates did not jive, and yes, we do unfortunately need to work for a living and can’t be sitting idle in Europe for extended period of time to ‘catch’ the Salzburger Festpiele!
That aside, I got talking about a British french horn musician I used to know who was attached with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra – not in very favourable terms nonetheless, due to his mismatched expectations of an employer and real abilities/ talent and actual contribution. Being passionately (and often misplaced) patriotic, I had personally thought that he should be grateful for the break in his otherwise Broadway musical career …
But, more importantly for someone who spent two seasons playing no more than 60 minutes live, one could well said it was a very lucrative job! and he has really nothing to complain about … I mean, seriously, how pivotal is a french horn anyways? How many pieces out there actually has the french horn playing a important role, let alone as the star of the show?
… and then, as if by curse, picking up the 2014/2015 Season brochure, I flip it open and stared at this:
Screen shot 2014-06-29 at 3.24.22 PM
I took a photo and sent it across with the message: I.A.A.R {reboot error}
Hell yes! I got a lot of pissing for that.
But what do I know?
I was a child who spent her youth wrecking my piano with tears, practising for the dreadful Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music … unable to play a single piece despite having a Grade 8 certificate.



who’s right? Herb Kelleher or Jack Welch?

Is it a matter of preference?

I doubt it. Given choice most people will embrace Herb Kelleher, bring him home to momma and put on the kettle for tea and arm themselves with garland loads of garlic in the face of Jack Welch as if he was some vampire who’s here to suck their lives away in just a matter of time.

Personally, I am for Jack Welch.

The most successful high performing, highly engaged environment I have been in adopts the Jack Welch approach. It’s frankly simpler – with things being so transparent, there is no question of favouritism and everyone basically knows where they stack against one another.

Honestly, why do people retch at the very idea of force ranking? The very fact that measures exist in this world – the very fact that statistics is invented – suggests the necessity of relativity and comparison. And have we not been forced ranked since we stepped out of our mother’s womb? And officially the day we attended institutionalized learning?

Some are in the halfway house when it comes to Jack Welch – the ‘yeah, forced ranking is ok, but not the fact that you drop the 10% at the bottom‘. Very well. But what do we do with the freeloaders? And why bother going through the arduous exercise of ranking/ measuring in the first place? Surely, twirling one’s thumb while having ice tea by the beach is far more appealing in the spectrum of ‘pointless activities’. And how do we systematically and deliberately improve the entire system if we measure, rank and then … do nothing?

Having moved on to various cultures and human capital practices, I am still a firm believer of the Jack Welch approach.

For the live of me, I can see how any high performer who are typically transactional by nature, not expects a clear trade of value exchange with little room for error and tolerance for mediocrity. With the exponential return on investment, it is unlikely a high performer would want to share the gains, even if s/he does not break in cartwheels whenever a mediocre counterpart (be it attitudinal or aptitude) fails and receives the ‘stick’.

And that’s my unpopular and unfavorable response recently to a bunch of … of well, all so forgiving and let’s be one big happy family with just enough to go around organization! Good luck and have fun lounging … there’s obviously horses for courses!

Which one are you?

Psst… the Jack Welch approach in my personal experience is also preferred to ‘shock the systen’ of any lagging organization …