I often don’t do book reviews, apart from my annual listing of my best reads. But this one simply couldn’t wait, considering the impact it had on me. The author of ‘The Defiant Optimist’, Dureen, is one of the accomplished Bangladeshis creating waves in the international domain. Her checkered career in investment banking, microfinance, development finance, media, social entrepreneurship, and academia held her in good stead when she founded Impact Investment Exchange (IIX).
Increasingly, I’m encountering a lot of representatives from late Generation Y and early Generation Z in professional settings. Most of my young colleagues and acquaintances are idealistic, tech-savvy, and feedback oriented. However, many of them prioritize work-life balance over maximizing their learning opportunities by refraining from taking on additional responsibilities.
As a researcher and consultant, it’s imperative to have a beginner’s mindset while investigating underlying issues and arriving at hypotheses and conclusions, based on data analysis and discussions with relevant stakeholders. However, experience often becomes a huge liability while eking out actionable insights and innovative strategies as ego kicks in and we assume we know it all.
Just to avoid such distractions, I have been working on a system to gather “just in time” instead of “just in case” information. These strategies are quite effective if you’re particularly pressed for time:
This year whizzed by with an excessive workload and a flurry of post-pandemic business meetings. While it’s always heartening to start meeting people again, it comes at the expense of travel time and other system losses