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How to Speak Up at Work

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When you express a strong or a divergent opinion, your listeners may use cognitive distortions to interpret your opinion.

The fact of our lives is that what you say will go through the mental filters of those you are saying it to- their experiences, their rules, their upbringing, their culture and their disposition before being parsed and understood by them. You are in no control of how they will understand what you say but you can mitigate the erosion of the message by creating a safe environment for them to understand it.


Here are a few recommended actions:

Use a Behavior or Value Frame:
People build a series of mental "filters" through biological and cultural influences. They then use these filters to make sense of the world. Thoughts become opinions and are affected by attitudes, rules, beliefs, and worldviews The choices they then make are influenced by their creation of a frame. Framing selects certain aspects of an issue and makes them more prominent in order to elicit ce…

The Hazards of Speaking Up

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In a sales meeting one hot summer in Doha, I decided that I had an opinion. And instead of keeping that opinion to myself; in a room full of sales staff; I voiced it.
The next few moments are indelible in my memory as an onslaught of nouns personifying my presence and intelligence was showered upon me in the most profound manner. I was a co-owner of that company but as a woman; I should have stayed quiet and listened. Having an opinion contrary or otherwise meant I was insulting the intelligence of the men in the room.



My perceived competency decreased in the room by measures only because I spoke up. I was labeled- aggressive, tenacious, abrasive and several gentlemen would shake their heads in disturbed silence; ending it with closing their eyes in a hopeless gesture simultaneously mumbling " That woman...."
How many times have I made bold, brash statements only to be called "emotional and incompetent." A man making the same bold, brash statements in a loud threateni…

What do your biases say about you ?

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Only 5% of our biases are conscious.  That says a lot about how much of ourselves we think is really us acting without biases. Unconscious biases are a myriad of biases that reside in our psyche and get processed by our brains without even our own explicit acknowledgment.



Our behaviors are predominantly determined by these biases. Instant opinions, pre-judgments, evaluations without processing are all devoid of logical thinking and pre-conditioned biases which are deeply ingrained in the processing of thoughts and actions through precedence and experiences. The human brain interacts with its environment using sensory organs. Using the information collected through sensory organs, the brain analyses information, associates and maps it using memory landscapes. Memory is normally associated with the accumulation of previously collected information. So every new information is passed through the same filters unless we make a conscious attempt to use alternative logic to process the path o…

Still a long road ahead for smart cities

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In 2007, while working on a blueprint for the technical deployment of a smart city project in the middle east; the infrastructure was not so complex, we had thought of connected devices but the Internet of Things economy was in its absolute basic infancy so the development of applications was really just reduced to a control platform of data exhibits. In hindsight, we were limited in our vision for the city by the screens and devices we would have to deploy to get mobility incorporated and last mile connectivity ensured.

11 years hence, I am excited to be working on another huge project for a citywide deployment. Assessing the deployment in terms of readiness of the city technology base, its use in the creation of a suite of smart city applications and adoption by the residents; there seem to be a myriad possibility if only the right model for the right city be deployed.



The most significant barrier, however, seems to the sensorization of the city infrastructure. Something that was co…

Crypto Money Laundering - Are we ready for this ?

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Ciphertrace just reported that more than $700M was stolen from Crypto Exchanges in the first six months of 2018. The current market cap of the top 100 cryptocurrencies globally is around $250 Billion. With a thousand plus of cryptocurrencies and globally distributed exchanges; a new crop of cybercriminals is emerging - The Exchange CyberCrims.

Most exchanges and startups issuing new coins are not regulating the identity checks of the users and most of them are represented by anonymous addresses. This is a big loophole in creating trust in the system.

When crypto criminals stole $2000 in coins from me in a transaction a few months back; it was even difficult to trace or enable regulation to trace the transaction. They were gone and the services were never performed. The laws trail behind as always. Cybercriminals 1; You Zero.

Corporate and Economic Espionage

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It's not what you are imagining. A well fitted Daniel Craig stealing your company data files on an NFC induced cellphone while drinking a martini with you. Not that. 

A former Apple engineer was arrested by U.S. authorities at San Jose International Airport while preparing to board a flight to China earlier this week and charged with stealing proprietary information related to Apple’s self-driving car project.

Your economic espionage agent may not be a fabled operative; it may just be your employee. Sometimes a trusted one. 



According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, intellectual property (IP) accounted for $5.06 trillion in value added, or 34.8 percent of U.S. GDP in 2010. IP alone accounts for over 40 million U.S. jobs and over 60 percent of all U.S. exports. U.S. companies have a lot to lose.

What makes employees commit economic and corporate espionage? Most workers are unconcerned about the privacy of corporate information: More than half (56%) of employees in a recent survey s…

Mass Entrepreneurship in China

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Over 200 square kilometers in the north of Nanjing is now a high-density technology outpost set up by the China Government to compete with Silicon Valley. 

For the China Government, investing in innovation is a huge priority. The startups in Nanjing are innovating for the use of the Chinese Government. Is this the reason for the onslaught of the US-China Trade war?

Three out of the Four most valuable companies in the world are Chinese. A discussion by the Trump administration to prohibit Chinese capital in the US has sent worry into the fundraising strategies of the Silicon Valley venture funds. 

While the US blames China for "Economic Aggression", China is executing the most ambitious economic policy based on tech innovation as we speak.

Innovation by millions of startups funded by the government to enable 2025 Made in China Economic program offering tax-free status and subsidies to most of the innovating startups.
This is truly a country executing "mass entrepreneurship an…