"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

May 10, 2009
Time to focus on Nairobi’s present, not its future

There may not be many freshwater springs left in Nairobi, but hope certainly springs eternal here. We keep hoping for the ‘Nairobi we want’, or even the ‘Nairobi we had.’ Anything but the ‘Nairobi we have.’ Is there reason to be hopeful again? Well, the regular game of musical chairs at the top has completed […]

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May 04, 2009
Your job-grading system may be the problem

“Most companies grade their employees’ jobs using some kind of ranking or rating system based on job evaluation. The grades assigned are intended to assess fair pay for people doing the same work, and are usually public, like the letter grades of schools. In theory, these systems are supposed to help people manage their careers, […]

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Apr 27, 2009
Watch out for a Ponzi scheme hatching near you…

“In financial history, Ponzi schemes – the fraudulent enterprise of paying off old investors with money collected from new ones – are the most peculiar of crimes. Before they are detected, they seem exquisitely pleasing to perpetrators and victims alike. The fraud appears to be a bountiful gift that the confidence trickster, a generous soul […]

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Apr 26, 2009
Reclaiming good values in Kenya: what’s your personal agenda?

I went on the attack against the ‘followers’ in this country last week, and asked that we all examine our everyday behaviour rather than wait for ‘leaders’ to sort us out. The attack continues this week. We heard recently that a magistrate had been killed and his body dumped on the roadside. Newspaper reports now […]

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Apr 19, 2009
What’s our real problem – leaders or followers?

There is a prominent new sign on Nairobi’s Uhuru Highway, just after the University Way roundabout. It says: “No stopping for buses and matatus”. Rightly so: it is very dangerous for vehicles to stop on a busy fast-moving highway – the chances of a pile-up are big. And guess what? That is exactly where buses […]

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Apr 12, 2009
Future success is not guaranteed – for anyone

Icarus flew too close to the sun, and came crashing down into the sea. He became giddy with excitement at his ability to fly, and was punished for his over-confidence. That is a Greek fable, but all societies have their tales about the phenomenon of hubris – the excessive pride or arrogance that so many […]

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Apr 06, 2009
To prosper in life, expect the unexpected

“It is easy to see that life is the cumulative effect of a handful of significant shocks. It is not so hard to identify the role of Black Swans, from your armchair (or bar stool). Go through the following exercise. Look into your own existence. Count the significant events, the technological changes, and the inventions […]

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Mar 29, 2009
Kenya’s reverse economics: squander everything that’s scarce

Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta tells us that we are going on a national belt-tightening exercise. Government is going to cut out unnecessary foreign trips, workshops, and conferences by its leaders and functionaries; we are going to cut out all unnecessary hiring of cousins and sycophants; and we are going to suspend all spending on luxuries. […]

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Mar 22, 2009
Why the future lies with women

“Behind every successful man is a woman” is the well-known saying. Noted wit Groucho Marx added some words to this: “Behind every successful man is a woman; behind her is his wife.” That certainly rings true in Kenya… But I would like to disagree with the original statement. I think it should say: “In front […]

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Mar 15, 2009
Sad reflections on the week’s violence

This week we were treated to one of those depressing spectacles that make many of us wonder about the kind of society we have become. Two NGO leaders were shot dead in the city in open view, by assailants unknown. University students then clashed with police, trying to prevent the dead bodies from being removed […]

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Mar 08, 2009
The phrases Kenyans misuse every day

One thing we seem to sorely lack in this country is linguistic intelligence. We are acutely unaware of the power of words, and how to harness and use that power. As a result, we use the same old cliched phrases every day. These phrases are so overused that they actually cease to have meaning. We […]

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Mar 01, 2009
Jams everywhere: gridlock is already here

Jam today, jam tomorrow. Jam in the morning, jam in the evening. Jam at midday, jam at midnight. Jam in the city, jam in the suburbs. Strawberry jam on your toast, traffic jam on your road. I got out of my house in the morning to go to work earlier this week, and found a […]

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Feb 22, 2009
Exam scams can’t be taken lightly

News that our public examination papers may be getting leaked to candidates on a systematic basis probably came as no surprise to many. Exam leakage is becoming a chronic problem, and we are now realising that it may be a well-organised activity. What is alarming, however, is how unalarmed we are by this. This one […]

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Feb 15, 2009
Kenyans are masters of the blame game

We are in the middle of an oil crisis, in which Kenyans periodically look for petrol like scavengers. This is unprecedented in this country, but we still can’t explain why it is happening. It’s corruption at the Kenya Pipeline Company that has caused the crisis, say some: officials conspired with racketeers to make oil stocks […]

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Feb 12, 2006
Knowledge is the key future resource

Peter Drucker, widely acknowledged as the greatest management thinker of the past century, died 3 months ago. His death went largely unremarked here in Kenya; not surprisingly, as we tend to pay little attention to management – either as a concept, or as a way of doing things. Drucker was just a few days short […]

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