Seth Godin shares about his recent visit to Indian Consulate in Newyork and its bizarre state of affairs. Thats not a big surprise for me and fellow Indians who have been living through it for years. But it is quite interesting to read his fresh suggestions to treat it just like a business and leverage the unique opportunity and maximize benefits. He argues that problem is not lack of ideas to change but lack of a mindset to do so.
The problem is that this bureaucracy, like most bureaucracies, has an attitude of minimizing, not maximizing. They want to minimize expense, not maximize benefit. There isn't a single person there who has as part of his job, "change systems to increase the satisfaction of people we deal with." Nobody who is charged with, "increase revenue opportunities for us and for the people we work with." Or even, "employ more people in Delhi."
Same thing happens at my village zoning board, at most schools, at many churches and even, believe it or not, at most businesses. It's not that difficult, but it requires a very different mindset.
Traditional wisdom says, to maximize your profits, spend your energy on minimizing the waste. It looks so reasonable and seems to make sense to 'almost' everybody. And may be, then, that also explains the fact that only 1% of people control over 90% of wealth and prosperity, in any part of the world.
I remember attending a series of Financial Education brown bag sessions, called 'Wi$eup' at my workplace an hour a week for about 8 weeks. The sessions are full of how cutting down one Starbuck coffee a day can take you to Disneyland and how cutting down on your daily expenses make you a rich person. At first it looks reasonable and logical and true in concept. But think about it. Say, if you are an employee making 100K gross a year and want to make a Million dollars in say 10 years, how long would it take you by cutting down a coffee a day and opting for car pools. I tend to believe, it requires a totally different mindset to come out of this 'Saving and cutdown' ratrace and start making MORE money and invest wise.
There is a reason if we go to any bookstore, we will find 100s of books that are trying to help us becoming Rich or more productive by 1000s of tips on 'Saving', not necessarily on INVESTING.
Traditional wisdom 'traditionally' sells a lot.