Wednesday, September 23, 2009


'GLOBE’, this 5 letter word became the mostly used word in the last 3 months of my life. After I joined MBA I came to know the real meaning of this word.

As part of the informal induction with seniors we were told to make a presentation on the topic “Did the chicken cross the road? “. We made India a chicken and tried to show off all the knowledge gained during the preparation for GD/PI round of selection into B-school by relating the road with all the hurdles that our country faced and crossed during all these years. We were not even 5 minutes into the presentation seniors shouted back “Stop the GLOBE and get lost”.

GLOBE! What is it? It is something where the speaker speaks anything and everything under the sky without evaluating the use of what he/she is speaking. I became very much conscious of this word whenever I speak or propose a solution to a problem. I ask myself “Am I globing?” If the answer is yes I try to unglobe the globe.

Now the question is, “Is GLOBE good? “ Let us try to evaluate it using non-GLOBE.

Suppose a manager says “The project is interesting, tough, challenging and blah blah” crap like that. Will the team ever understand the scope of the project except a bunch of nice adjectives?Obviously ” No”. The manager GLOBEd and I believe that it is not good. The manager instead should say,” The project demands 1000 man-hours, requires automation of accounting module and is reviewed frequently by the customer”. I think the second one makes much better sense to the team and it motivates it to work in a right direction. The simple observation is to substantiate whatever you say with solid facts and numbers at least in business scenario like above with out losing objectivity (sounded like Ayn Rand :)

I participated in a competition that requires the teams to come up with a practical solution to address child labour. Initially we pulled out statistics, wrote lot of globe like create website, create awareness etc. We proofread it and realized that we are talking something very trivial which everyone knows. Then we started to analyze the problem, analyzing stakeholders and hit upon a solution which generates income from a viable cottage industry run by parents of the children.

Let me share my resume preparation process. The most important document for a B-school student is resume. My first-cut preparation was absolute globe. I wrote points like helped client, manager applauded, interested in writing so on. Not that I have nothing to write but I didn’t know separating globe and presenting non-globe. Take the above points helped client (How?) , manager applauded (why? Is it because you ran marathon or Is it specific to your work?) and interested in writing (what? Do you write Shakespeare?). Taking care of “Globe vs Non-globe” helped me to carve a resume which is much better than my first-cut one though both of them doesn’t have much difference in the underlying meaning of the sentences.

Pondering more on this concept I feel that all those thick, huge books that I encountered (I won’t say that I read) all through my life should have contained 80% globe and 20% non-globe. The skill is to read non-globe and save lot of time from reading globe.

If everyone who contributes to information or who generates information understands the globe, non-globe thingy may be the world will be saved from information overload. Unfortunately we are all so used to globe and the so-called experts consider information to be meaningless if it doesn’t contain globe.

Does that mean GLOBE is bad? Not really. Think of this situation, a patient is dying. What should a doctor tell to the patient? I think that he should speak globe instead of giving him hard facts only to reduce his/her confidence levels.

So it is not black and white. We tend to use globe especially under stressed, time-constraint situations. At times it makes sense even though we don’t evaluate it consciously, like the one in the case of a dying patient.

My opinion , " Use GLOBE when required but ensure that the other person doesn't understand it :P". A practical advice to GLOBEing : Start the answer to any question you don't know with "IT DEPENDS"."It depends" makes the other person to pause and think.Use that time to prepare unbreakable GLOBE.

By the way Thanks for reading GLOBE

Watch out this funny video made by my classmates on GLOBE


Dheep Joy said...

Interesting observations Shadab, especially your contention that the information overload can be reduced to a great extent if people indulge in non-globe alone. However, I do not think that good books contain as much as contain 80% of globe. Globe has become a part of our active vocabulary at L and similar B-schools perhaps because of the profile of the students (mainly from engineering background), the nature of some of the subjects and the ineffectiveness and unimpressiveness of some of the pedagogy. The definition of globe is subjective indeed. However, if we label anything that is not plain fact as globe and at the same time insist that we should communicate nothing but non-globe, life becomes difficult as well as incomplete - because a vast body of human knowledge is built on inferences, judgements, feelings, instincts and the like. Further, if globe is taken to be anything that is not specific, specific again is a relative term. There are degrees of specificity - just that the acceptable degree is defined implicitly according to the context.

Just my humble thoughts. On a broad level, I think we agree since you too have not cast off globe as an evil.


Sushant Kumar said...

Nice Post. Keep writing.

Wolverine said...

We call it [BC]@iiit :).
You've learnt a new synonym for it now!!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Shadab said...

Thanks Anonymous! It would have been great if you would have mentioned your name :)