WFH Daily #98: A lesson in data privacy

June 29: Look at a business in a holistic manner; trust and be trustworthy; pay attention to design

Founding Fuel

[Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash]

Dear friend,

In Beyond the Last Blue Mountain: A Life of J.R.D. Tata, RM Lala narrates an interesting incident involving JRD, Mahatma Gandhi and his secretary Pyarelal Nayyar.

“On one occasion when J.R.D. met Gandhiji with GD Birla and Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas in 1944, he found Pyarelal. Gandhiji’s secretary taking notes of the conversation. After the meeting, he casually mentioned to Sarojini Naidu that he found it rather strange that their private conversation was being so recorded. Rather unwisely she went and repeated this to Gandhiji. Gandhiji wrote to JRD:

Dear Jehangirji,

I am glad you drew Mrs. Naidu's attention to the fact that Shri Pyarelal was taking notes of our talks yesterday. It is usual with him. I had omitted to tell him that talks such as between yesterday's company were not to be taken down. I have now had them destroyed in my presence.

Please excuse the indiscretion.

Yours sincerely,

MK Gandhi

It turned out that JRD had mentioned that Sarojini partly out of curiosity and partly to make conversation and that in fact, he thought it was quite a natural, proper and useful procedure for Pyarelal to jot down what Gandhiji said during his many interviews. Still, he was grateful for the letter.

Besides lessons on data privacy, the anecdote says something about how serious the leaders took communication when communicating was not that easy. It's about something deeper. RM Lala quotes JRD Tata saying this about Gandhiji: "He was also, like Jawaharlal Nehru, the most considerate and courteous of men who would never leave a question or a letter, however unimportant, unanswered."

Have a great day and week ahead.

Here are three things we picked up for you.

Look at a business in a holistic manner

In the run-up to our Masterclass on The Future of The MBA, we held two breakout sessions to distil the big questions and themes that need to be addressed. In the first session, Sanjoy Bhattacharyya, Managing Partner, Fortuna Capital, made a strong case that business schools should create a new kind of leaders.

Bhattacharyya said, “The idea that graduating MBAs have in terms of their understanding of what is their role in a company, their role in business has to change. I think too many people now are not looking at the business in a holistic manner. There is a mismatch even there between the expectations that the employers have and what they would like to bring to the table. I don't think that many of the MBAs are actually well-prepared. They want to become just specialists.”

“What can business education do to get together a template which says we need to be aware that these values really matter in running a business? To have belief in a set of values which are intrinsic both to you as an individual and which can be mapped onto how a business functions is very important.”

Watch excerpts of that discussion in this 10-minute video

The Masterclass is happening tomorrow. 

  • If you haven't registered for it yet, you can do so here
  • If you want to engage in a discussion with the Founding Fuel community, you can join our slack channel. Here is the invite.

Trust and be trustworthy

Recent research by The Advanced Workplace Institute says that when it comes to remote working, both managers and their team members have responsibilities. Managers must trust their team members to do their best work autonomously and the team members must repay that trust.

Financial Times quotes Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp, from a recent conference: "We ask people to do their best work for eight hours a day and work with the small team to do their best work—and that’s that.”

Dig deeper

Pay attention to design       


(Via WhatsApp)

What are some of the best-designed ads according to you? Share them with us, and tell us why. Or share it on Twitter, tagging @foundingf. Or head to our Slack channel..

And if you missed previous editions of this newsletter, they’re all archived here.

Bookmark Founding Fuel’s special section on Thriving in Volatile Times. All our stories on how individuals and businesses are responding to the pandemic until now are posted there. 

Warm regards,

Team Founding Fuel 

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About the author

Founding Fuel

Founding Fuel aims to create the new playbook of entrepreneurship. Think of us as a hub for entrepreneurs- the go-to place for ideas, insights, practices and wisdom essential to build the enterprise of tomorrow. It is co-founded by veteran journalists Indrajit Gupta and Charles Assisi, along with CS Swaminathan, the former president of Pearson's online learning venture.

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