Communcation that leaders should avoid

January 6, 2011

“ I would like to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to meet me. ….”

I would think twice about meeting even if these words come from the God. I smell tremendous attitude in these words and I don’t think it does any good when it comes from the democratically elected PM of a nation. Somehow I felt these words lack humbleness and give a picture of a person who wants to show his position of leadership.

When I read the enclosed news, the first thing that struck me was how leaders forget that they are leaders because of people and followers, they have not come from the sky.  When you are the elected PM of the democratic nation you need to avoid the language that connotes that people are the subject and you are (whatever you think you are).

My intention is not to critise the person or the PM per se or the initiative mentioned in the news item. Actually it is a good initiative and nice way of leveraging social media. However to me it is a lesson as to how leaders need to be careful in their communication. and avoid unpleasant language. I would have drafted these lines as “ I would like to have an opportunity to meet you all”…

What would Singapore gain through OSS

January 6, 2011

One of the key issues why open source software has not taken roots in Singapore is the mismatch in messaging and perception in what open source offers. Though innovation is the key message as the benefit of open source software, the more dominant message that persist in the country regarding OSS is cost saving. In the society and nation like Singapore where there is abundance of economic wealth and which is more interested in banking on the big brands, why should they care about saving cost and working with smaller companies? The common perception related with cost savings is not positive aspect but of compromise with quality or functionality. Why would a nation which can afford to spend money adopt the products with such messaging.

Though open source software is not just meant for cost saving and it has more positive messages and benefits associated with it, it needs to be communicated.

So what are those key benefits that nations and societies like Singapore should look for in open source software.

Lets us first look at the reasons and benefits the biggest economy of the world – America derived from adopting open source. America and some developed economies adopted open source software to address many challenges that these nations have to address. Even if you have economic wealth the key engine for growth and leadership lies in innovation, pace of development and giving tools in the hands of people to drive growth. As a leader, it is not enough to be in sync with developments, but it is important to set the pace and create tool-kits for innovation.

With the traditional model of software development you can’t do this, in general.

Open source software development model presented America and all those who are aspiring to address various challenges of society and nation with the model that allowed them to drive innovation in a ubiquitous manner. Open source software has enabled collaborative development leading to faster pace. It enabled the enterprises to remove vendor lock-in and set its own (often faster) pace leading to more business. Open source software has fueled the competitive environment challenging the inefficient monopolies which are impediments.

In the same way Singapore should embrace open source software development model to inculcate the habit of innovation, to help drive competitive environment and remove the inefficiencies caused due to proprietary development models in software industry.

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