Out with the old!

Words like targets, performance ratings, top company, competition, shareholders etc. sound so meaningless these days. Discussions around fashion and travel feel vulgar and frankly the opportunity to only deal with the emotional and not the financial side of social distancing looks like a privilege. The discomfort that most of us feel as a result has been termed as ‘grief’, ‘denial’ and ‘shock’ among others. Regardless of how you skin this cat, it is painfully obvious that we are still trying to make sense of this new context through an old frame of reference. It’s time to ditch the old lenses and get the new ones. Maybe it’s time to look beyond the prophets of capitalism to the wise old men and women of tradition to look for answers.

Here is what I have discovered so far and propose these for your consideration:

• Do less with less than doing more with less. Our drive to do more and more is a remnant of the industrial age thinking. Everything around us is over-optimized. Even nature allows for redundancies to counter any shocks in the system. Think of why there are two kidneys and not one. The current global supply chain disruption is mainly because of its over optimization; the idea that there must be no back-ups to be more efficient.

• Shift from becoming to being. Becoming assumes that you need to acquire a set of tools, being on the other hand assumes that you already have it in you. It’s just a matter of discovering and using it. We are too worried about our own mental struggles and most of the time they tie us down and don’t allow us to look at the human condition in totality. Breaking free from the tyranny of our own orbit will hopefully launch us into a newer and a grander orbit. I suggest we listen more. It is extremely difficult being with self. Most people want to express as we have become a hyper-expressive society. Maybe it’s time to listen more and talk less.

• Be skeptical. A skeptic is someone who doesn’t believe anything without any evidence. The urge to stay one step ahead of the virus has us externalize our worries and hopes in a weird manner. We share everything without wanting to dig deeper. Being skeptical will help us and others who are trying to help us.

• Don’t be cynical. Cynicism is thinking about and believing the worst of something or someone. While skepticism is cherished, cynicism isn’t. You are not helping anyone by dashing their hopes.

Kamran Z. Rizvi

Kamran’s unconventional approach to organizational growth has positively contributed to some of the most unique institutions in Pakistan that challenge outdated viewpoints. This makes him a de-facto thought leader in his field, and he carries his message with utmost confidence, conviction and clarity.

He brings with him a wealth of cross-cultural management and leadership experience, having worked in Europe, South Asia and the Middle East for over three decades. He has also served clients across Pakistan in a range of sectors and industries. His learning and development interventions include facilitating sessions with Young Community Leaders in the UK, speaking in Toastmasters Clubs and conducting workshops for clients in the Middle East, Europe and North America. Kamran has not only led international assignments for Pakistani clients, but has also rolled out customized versions of international programs in Pakistan. He is also an Approved Training Resource for members of Young Presidents Organization, USA.

Kamran has conducted leadership, change management and trust building assignments with a number of clients, such as HBL, RB, Nestle, Total Parco, Pakistan Tobacco Company, Indus Motors, Crescent Bahuman, Jazz, Akzo Nobel and Engro Corp.

Executive and group coaching, which he has conducted and facilitated since 1996, is one of Kamran’s fortes. He has been enabling members of C-Suite and senior managers to perform better and achieve strategic goals. Over the years, leading organizations in the telecommunications, pharma, banking, FMCG and other industries have engaged him for this purpose, including Cisco, Getz Pharma, Jazz (formerly Mobilink), RB, Faysal Bank/ABN Amro, United Energy, and others.

Kamran obtained his MBA degree from the University of Strathclyde, where he majored in Organizational Development. In addition to that, he is also a graduate of Dale Carnegie Inc., and has attended courses at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University and the Wharton SMU Program in Singapore.

Author of five books on personal improvement and leadership, Kamran believes in developing oneself through reading and writing. He regularly contributes articles to Blue Chip, a leading business magazine.

He divides his time between Toronto, London and Islamabad.