“STUPID” DECISIONS

11/10/2010

This is an abstract from “The Indigo Stories” by Alexander Iscenco.

I tend to make “stupid” decisions. These decisions are illogical, unwise, and, most importantly, unprofitable. They lead me to loosing wonderful opportunities that are almost “served” to me like a delicious dish.

Today (October 11th, 2010) has been marked by another decision-making of this kind. During my Master studies in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, I rent an apartment in a student dormitory. It is very expensive – I pay around 6000 Danish kroner (DKK) each month – but it provides good and quiet study conditions.

This afternoon I have paid a visit to a bank to transfer another monthly rent and get some money in cash for food. I asked a man at the service desk to do the transfer from my account to the one of the University of Copenhagen (the Housing Department to be more precise) and to withdraw one thousand DKK from my account. The man did everything and gave me the amount of money requested and two receipts for the two operations performed. I noticed something incorrect in the receipts, but decided to examine them carefully later.

When I returned to the University library, finished my study tasks, and looked through the receipts, I was very surprised to notice that 1000 DKK I had received were deducted NOT from my account. The bank officer must have used the first receipt (the one for the rent transfer) for performing the second operation (debiting the amount requested) and incidentally mixed up the account numbers there. So, it seemed I had ended up with an extra 1000 DKK in my pocket, which was equal to my monthly food budget.

The temptation had lasted for several minutes. I could have kept the money and for some period of time no one might found out the truth. Even if they did, it was all bank’s fault, and that fact was supported by documentary evidence. It looked like as this money had just been given to me.

However, I went back to the bank and showed the officer the mistake. After some minutes of understanding what had been wrong, the officer got the point and corrected the mistake immediately by crediting 1000 DKK back to the University account and debiting the same amount from my own.

I left them with a happy and proud smile on my face.

But what was there to be happy and proud about? I have lost quite large amount of money that was given to me for nothing. For that I have spent some of my time and efforts. In addition, there has not been any “whisper of conscience” or anything like that – just my own “stupid” decision.

And this has not been a single case. Take the last month situation, for example.

I was riding a bike along with other cyclists on the busy roads of central Copenhagen. Suddenly a mobile phone dropped out of the back pocket of one of the cyclists in front of me. The guy did not notice anything and continued his way along one of the canals.

I stopped and picked up the phone – it was a shiny modern and quite expensive model. It could have been mine…

But, no, I had to run after the guy across the street on a red light, shouting all the way in order to attract his attention. Finally, he noticed me and recognized his mobile phone. Upon receiving the missing item the guy said something in Danish, probably about the foolish idea of keeping a phone in a back pocket, thanked me, and rode away.

So, what did I get from this action? Some Danish sentence and a short “Tak!” (“Thank you!” in Danish) in exchange for a good-looking mobile phone. Therefore, what was the point of such behaviour, especially when considering that all other cyclists and pedestrians had shown total ignorance?

Truly, I tend to make such unreasonable decisions. From the economic point of view they are extremely senseless and stupid. They do not bring any profit; moreover such decision-making gets me to lose some time and look “different” in the eyes of other people. There is nothing to gain here.

Or is there?

 

Probably you expect some nicely looking learning point from these examples as a conclusion. Something like “Be stupid”, “Listen to your brain, but trust your heart”, “Follow the ethical way”, and so on. But I prefer to leave this part for you.

 

On the other hand, perhaps we do not need a conclusion. Maybe there is nothing to conclude here.

Certainly you do not want to be treated as “stupid” and “different”, do you? Especially if it does not bring any profit or other tangible benefit. So, why bother about it? Development and growth of the Human World are based upon rational, carefully thought decisions, both individual and common. There is no place for “stupidity”.

Is there?

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THE FORMULA FOR AIESEC BALTI

01/09/2010

This video is a special message dedicated to AIESEC Balti and all people who contributed to its establishment, development, and growth (in Russian):

Below you can see the translation of the message in English:

Hey, AIESEC Balti! Hello, my dear friends!

Greetings from Copenhagen, the beautiful and interesting capital of Denmark.

On the 5th of September you celebrate 2 years of active development of AIESEC Balti. Still, the whole story reaches beyond this period, covering the appearance of the AIESEC Balti idea, various “experiments”, both successful and not so, etc. In the end, all this has resulted in what you see today – the registered and functional local committee in the city of Balti.

And in the basis of all changes and developments have been and are people with certain ideas, wishes, and goals. So, one of the toasts here should be for all actors of this entire play.

In addition, as a person interested in the ethical aspects of individual behaviour and organizational functioning, I am very glad to see the progress of AIESEC Balti in following the AIESEC Way and the Code of Ethics. Of course, there might be some points to be improved, but you and future generations will certainly obtain certain progress here.

So, enough long talks! It is time for wishes and presents!

Well, what can you expect from a young scientist like me? Of course, it is the FORMULA! Here is my gift, my wish to you:

Thus, I wish that AIESEC Balti develops according to our most ambitious vision, wishes, and goals, and these wishes and vision are aligned to the conventional ethical principles and all elements of the AIESEC Way.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AIESEC BALTI!


THE X WORLDS OF OTHER MOLDOVANS

29/07/2010

With the development and growth of the “eXchange” programme of AIESEC Moldova more and more young people from the Republic of Moldova manage to obtain colourful internship experience in other countries. Thus, more and more blogs with interesting stories of their X Worlds appear in the World Wide Web. This trend allows us to find out about the daily reality in other countries, located even far away from our home.

For instance, recently two more adventure-seekers from Moldova have gone on internships to two different corners of the World: Africa and Asia. Elena Scutaru has decided to visit the “Africa in miniature”, as the Republic of Cameroon is usually called, and nowadays she shares her experience on the blog Cameroon in plain Moldavian (in Romanian). Sergiu Matei has chosen the busy streets of the great China – you can read about his adventures on the blog Din Moldova in China (in Romanian).

It is evident that the increasing number of interns would display their X Worlds, giving other people the opportunity to get to know more countries and visit them in the future. Quite good basis of mutually beneficial international relations, isn’t it?

As for me, I will not be able to benefit from the “eXchange” programme… at least for some time. However, visiting other states is still on the “To Do” list, so new stories are waiting their turn to appear here.

Stay tuned for more life-changing experience from all over our grand and beautiful World!


THE AMBITION OF 2015

07/05/2010

As an alumnus already I have little to say regarding the newly created organizational strategy called AIESEC 2015… Nevertheless this period brings significant push to my own ambition and goals. Needless to mention they are possible with the support of my experience in AIESEC, in particular the eXchange stage.

It is due to my internship within the environmental project “Learn to Change the Future 2009” in Craiova, Romania (details are revealed in the post “PRICELESS GEM IN MY COLLECTION”), that for the first time I have been able to present my idea and ambition to establish the BioSciences Research Centre (BSRC) – an international organization aimed to combine Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), scientific research and contribution to the environment protection in my home country and all over the World. The presentations took place last summer in two Romanian cities: Craiova and Timisoara. They allowed me to practice presenting the idea of BSRC, gain self-assurance, as well as obtain several valuable contacts to use in the nearby future. So, according to the well-known concept “The Right People on the Bus” (read about it in the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins), I have the “Bus”, and now I am in process of getting the “right people” on it.

Thus, the internship through AIESEC has significantly contributed to the establishment progress of another organization that by the year 2015 should be officially registered and actively developing to realize its vision, mission and goals.

This is how the cumulative growth is done: one success brings another… one victory leads to more on other battlefields… and so forth. And in the end, the Ambition of 2015 is turned into the Reality.

Additional information about the presentations of the BioSciences Research Centre (BSRC) is available in the post “NO MORE AMBITION… TIME FOR ACTION!“.


AIESEC: THE MONAD MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT

10/03/2010

It is not a great surprise that the non-government organization of young people AIESEC is considered to be one of the fastest growing and highly innovative NGOs in the World. To support the statement the following facts can be given:

– Successful history of more than 60 years (since 1948);

– Available good case practices (GCPs) of team / project / innovation management and organizational culture that serve as examples for other organizations and private companies;

– Long-term partnerships with large transnational corporations: Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Post DHL, Electrolux, Indersoll Rand, Microsoft, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), UBS, Unilever, Vale and many more;

– Numerical achievements (based on the data of 2009 – 2010): coverage of more than 107 countries and territories, presence in approximately 1700 universities, around 45000 members and 9000 leadership roles, more than 5500 internships provided and 470 conferences organized per year, over 800000 alumni.

However, an obvious question arises here:

How an organization of students and recent graduates with few or no working experience engaged in its activity on a volunteer basis is able to deliver such impressive results and maintain constant growth?

Well, the answer can be found in the Monad Model of Development.

Monad (from the Greek “monas” – the whole) can be described as a single, neutral, and balanced system containing all existing elements. A well-known example of monad is the Chinese Tao that represents the interconnection and interdependence of seemingly contrary forces within a united system (the yin and yang concept).

Now, let us place the Tao monad in a system of coordinates, where the X axis represents the time, and the Y axis – numerical achievements (Gross Domestic Product, investments, sales results, etc.). And here you have it: a single segment of the economic growth cycle with its active growth (boom), growth peak, recession, crisis point (trough), and recovery.

In long-term scale monads can also represent the Kondratiev waves, or Supercycles, used for describing the development of world economy and civilization on the basis of innovations.

As you see, the Monad Model is a universal one and can be applied to the development of economy, society, organization, etc. Therefore, it is also suitable for displaying the growth of an AIESEC entity (committee). I have chosen an example of AIESEC Moldova, as I was a part of its history and possess detailed information about it. The timeline shown in the following diagram reflects the period between the committee’s reestablishment in 2004 and till the end of our National Executive Board team’s mandate in 2009.

One can apply the presented diagram to any local or national AIESEC committee in every country where it is present. Only the numerical data and description of periods and achievements will change, the overall structure should remain the same.

Now, what KEY SUCCESS FACTORS of organizational growth are shown here:

1) Each new monad (segment of growth cycle) is based on certain significant (even revolutionary) achievement / innovation that transfers the following system onto a new level (transfer point). In simpler words, during a mandate every generation of leaders in AIESEC create a solid platform for their successors to capitalize on and achieve greater results.

2) In order to create the transfer point the organization requires significant amount of resources (people, time, finance, etc.). That is why the preceding period is characterized by downfall in organizational performance and effectiveness. Still, as you have noticed, the downfall is the lowest point not of the whole cycle, but only within the current monad. This means the organization always has the possibility to gather resources from the lower level, combine them with the ones on current level (obtained from the booming period within the current monad), and invest all of them in creating the necessary achievement / innovation.

3) The stability of the whole cycle depends on interconnection of the current growth level, the preceding one, and the succeeding one. Each monad is present in all three levels at once, indicating that the organization actively uses current trends and opportunities, involves people (partners, alumni) and resources already obtained in the previous term, and performs strategic planning for the period ahead (5-years strategy “AIESEC 2010”) – all within one balanced process.

Additionally, what IMPORTANT LESSONS can be learned from the Monad Model of Organizational Development:

1) In order to gain something significant, you need to invest much in it. Often it leads to a certain downfall in performance. The key to further growth here lies in not crossing the limit and performing the investment in the right time and place to stimulate the recovery process.

2) The overall victory of an army depends on all preceding battles, be they successful or not so. For in victories the soldiers gain motivation to move further, in defeats they obtain the knowledge and strength to win. This is also true for the organization: the current growth is impossible without the achievements and failures of all previous generations of its members and leaders. You need to be grateful and respectful to them, and capitalize on their advice and support as much as possible.

3) The so-called Power of NOW is an impressive and inspiring thing, but it is extremely limited and useless without the Powers of PAST and FUTURE. For only the preceding results, present actions, and planned initiatives and innovations entangled in single process will create the enormous synergy of growth.

Of course, the information on the Monad Model is not limited to this article – there are many peculiarities to be found in various scientific sources. And the Model is appropriate not only for AIESEC – it is able to explain the development of any organization, company or public institution. The reason I have used it particularly for this organization is that the Monad Model allows explaining the global growth by using a part of it as an example, determining key success factors and coming up with lessons to be learned and implemented in order to support organizational development.

Thus, you have the answer on the question at the beginning of this post. No brainwashing, just pure science of AIESEC.