Game Theory

The first time I heard the term ‘Game Theory’ was in Microeconomics Class. An interesting concept.

Now, that is the definition I got on typing Game Theory in the Google Search Bar.

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In case the image is not visible then the definition is…

‘The branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant’s choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. Game theory has been applied to contexts in war, business, and biology.’

Hmmm, the words that appear important to me here are:

  • Analysis
  • Strategy
  • Competitive Situations
  • Outcome
  • Choice of action

Speed of action is also significant, which is missing in the definition.

When this subject is discussed in the class, it starts with the Prisoner’s Dilemma. A crime has happened. The (suspected) criminals (two people) are arrested but on interrogation they deny their involvement. Now, the investigating officer has got a job to do. Confession has to be made. Justice has to be served. But how?

Sometimes, it is easy because either the criminal is not smart enough or there is a strong witness or evidence. In this case, the prisoners have no choice but to cooperate. No cooperation means there both the prisoners get punishment. Cooperation from one prisoner means it is a bad news for the other. Cooperation from both means both prisoners get punished but the law may be a little less harsh on them.

If you want to know more on Game Theory, you can visit the article on Game Theory on Investopedia or Game Theory in Economics at MBA Crystal Ball.

There are many other websites and books on this theory. The above mentioned links are for easy understanding for those who aren’t familiar but would like to know its application in Economics or Business Management.

But what can an investigator do in a crime scene where there has been a crime, someone is dead, the body and related stuff are carefully discarded, criminals think they have tied all loose and have the capability of doing so, have strong alibi with no strong evidence to link and no witness to speak? Criminals are free as birds, but there is someone grieving over the loss of a life yet is helpless with the investigation files closed and buried among many other cases.

If you want to understand this Game and the application of Game Theory in such a scenario, then you must watch The Invisible Guest, a Spanish crime thriller film.

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It is on Netflix with English subtitles. Badla is a Bollywood remake. I haven’t watched the Hindi Film so I cannot comment. But the original movie has a very interesting script. So I think.

If you happen to watch, do share your views as comments.
And here is the link to the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epCg2RbyF80

…Ashu Bolar

 

 

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Crazy, yep crazy it is!

“I know that you work very hard for that wife and child right there. I know you are real good at your job and that you take care of this company and you do things that they’ll never know about, that they’ll never appreciate. So, you’re very proud, right? But you’re scared. You’re scared because you’re dispensable. You’re scared because you know that, more than likely, one day, you’re gonna be replaced by somebody younger, somebody cheaper, may be even by an app.” – Sandy Patterson

An App? Ouch. You can’t even curse it or compare yourself with and feel superior as you would do if it was a human substitute. No space for blame game either. Crazy, indeed.

Those are the words spoken by the victim Sandy Patterson posing as Mr. Harold Cornish (his ex-boss) to the Account Processor while attempting a credit card fraud under guidance of a con artist Diana Budgie. Movie: Identity Thief, available at Netflix. Fun movie. I like both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.

Crazy_IdentityThief_Panorama

Identity Thief Movie Trailer links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8ZI0H3_tdU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO12W35DpsQ

Well, coming back to the quote. Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Today it is possible to be replaced by an app. It is human competing with intelligent automation and bots. Not a pleasant picture. Unfortunately this is the reality.

However, it has always been survival of the fittest. Natural selection. I doubt if bots fit in the Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Not unless they reproduce, which is as of now, pretty much unlikely. This could be good news to our species depending on what we choose now and what we adapt to.

Something to think about, something that is discussed a lot in management classes these days and something to which we may need a creative solution to ensure a happy survival and selection. Scientific inventions always had pros and cons. May be by focusing on pros and taking care of the cons well in advance, we may not end up being as scared or insecure as we may be now. Interesting topic, subject to further discussion.

Till then, if you get a chance, do watch the movie, and it has one of my favourite songs…Crazy’s what they think about me, Fitz And The Tantrums – The Walker; Official Music Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGBLlFMn9Xc

And there you go with the lyrics (Lyrics Source: https://genius.com/Fitz-and-the-tantrums-the-walker-lyrics)

Ooh, crazy’s what they think about me,
Ain’t gonna stop ’cause they tell me so,
‘Cause 99 miles per hour baby,
Is how fast that I like to go.

Can’t keep up with my rhythm
Though they keep trying.
Too quick for the lines they throw.
I walk to the sound of my own drum,
We go, they go, we go, hey yeah yeah yeah…

Oh, here we go,
Feel it in my soul.
Really mean it, mean it, so go,
Gotta feel it, your heart, it takes control.
Really mean it, mean it.

I wake up to the city of angels,
To see my name headlining the coast.
They say I’m a walking dreamer, baby,
If I stop they would make the show.

Can’t keep up with my rhythm,
Though they keep trying.
Too quick for the lines they throw.
I walk to the sound of my own drum,
We go, they go, we go, hey yeah yeah yeah…

Oh, here we go,
Feel it in my soul.
Really mean it, mean it, so go,
Gotta feel it, your heart, it takes control.
Really mean it, mean it.

Oh, here we go,
Feel it in my soul.
Really mean it, mean it, so go,
Gotta feel it, your heart, it takes control.
Really mean it, mean it.

Everybody walk.
Everybody walk.
Everybody walk, walk, walk.

Oh, here we go,
Feel it in my soul.
Really mean it, mean it, so go,
Gotta feel it, your heart, it takes control.
Really mean it, mean it.

Oh, here we go,
Feel it in my soul.
Really mean it, mean it, so go,
Gotta feel it, your heart, it takes control.
Really mean it, mean it…

And I am humming the tune 🙂

Happy thinking. Happy reading!

…Ashu Bolar

Words, Meanings & Voices

Recently, I happened to watch a movie named Some Kind of Beautiful. Now, it has two more titles – How to Make Love Like an Englishman and Lessons in Love. Yes, slightly confusing. But with Pierce Brosnan in the movie, no matter what the title I got to watch it anyway.

It reminded me of my days as an English Literature student. ‘Romantics’ and ‘Romanticism’— important topics for a second year post graduation question paper. Poems and Poets from the Romantic era form a major part of the second year MA English syllabus. One can’t do without reading about and the works of Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge, Blake, Bronte, Emerson, Hugo, Scott, Shelley and many more.

But what the movie made me realize is that no one taught me the way Prof. Gordon Haig and Prof. Richard Haig are teaching. Very interesting approach. I wish I had attended or probably in the future would get to attend such lectures. The way in which the significance of Romantics is explained is truly wonderful.

Some of my favourite lines from the movie are…

“…Romantic age which wasn’t about love. It was about going your own way, defying authority and following your heart…” – Prof. Gordon Haig

“Forget the critics. Let them have their own opinions. Let them publish their books and brag about them at tedious faculty parties and let university librarians file those books away…there is nothing theoretical about the Romantics—Where true Love burns Desire is Love’s pure flame; It is the reflex of our earthly frame, That takes its meaning from the nobler part, And but translates the language of the heart. (Desire by Samuel Taylor Coleridge).” – Prof. Richard Haig

“I can tell you what’s behind the words for them, but I can’t tell you what’s behind those words for you…because this class is about you learning to find your own meaning, your own voices. Go read the poems. But know that at this moment you are the Romantics, you are the relevant ones. Let Byron, Coleridge, Wordsworth inspire you to do your thing, to go your own way…Ignore anyone who says you can’t. Follow your hearts. Do good things, be bold and above all else…stick it to the man.” – Prof. Richard Haig

I totally relate to Prof. Richard Haig’s views. Finding your meaning, your own voice…hmmm…and that comes after learning from a lot of life experiences…some good, some not-so-good ones. What is important is that you find that voice, and then, cherish it, expand it and never let it go, and never stop learning, not just words, but the meaning behind them in your life.

Well, it made me think, what am I?

A Dreamer…hmmm…with open eyes and closed.

A Dynamo…hmmm… following heart has always been the way. Some label it as Drifter.

A Rebel…hmmm…if that’s what you call finding your own voice, then I guess, yes.

A Learner…hmmm…always was, always will be.

A Mentor…hmmm…in a way…boldness, advising, doing good things, guiding, comes naturally.

A Romantic…yes…a Millennial Romantic, for sure.

A very interesting movie. Some great acting. Some beautiful actors. Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek being my favourites. And there is the link to the trailer; movie is on Netflix.

Words Meanings Voices

Link to the Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyF9TXiOnLw

…Ashu Bolar

 

I did right, or did I?

Three years to complete the four decades of my life, I stand by myself, but surprising some, shocking many.

I did right, or did I?

Ten years post grieving a broken cord, I stand single, but strong.

I did right, or did I?

Twenty years of continuous evolving from the acquired knowledge, work, life, I stand alone, but confident.

I did right, or did I?

Twenty three years of life after a life altering loss, I stand upright, but attracting many frowns, some odd expressions.

I did right, or did I?

I stand to grow.

I stand to what I believe.

I stand to fly, fly high.

Brows will be raised.

Frowns will be formed.

But I don’t expect the distorted expressions to understand my life.

Because my life is my journey, walked in my shoes, my heels, my flats, my sneakers, my boots, my naked feet.

Yes, I did alright, may not be perfect, but right.

On witnessing thirty seven revolutions of our planet around the sun, I wish myself a very happy birthday, a happy life.

I did right by wishing myself, or did I?

By setting my norms for myself, I have always done right. 🙂 😉 🙂

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…Ashu Bolar

Ten years, a decade, an experience 

The year 2009, yes, that’s when I started blogging, a birthday month start-up. And 10 years of writing made me learn-unlearn many things, about myself, on surroundings, in life. An Experience.

Hmmm, looking back, it has been a great feeling altogether…friends, books, knowledge, coffee times, selfies…time well spent. A Great Experience.

Some baggage shed, some still to be. Some minor changes, some major adaptabilities. Some faded memories, some still afresh. Some forgotten, some still around. Some work completed, some new beginnings. Some dreams fulfilled, some hopes ahead. A Beautiful Experience.

I know I have changed, a better version of me than yesterday–a process I would like to adhere to on everyday basis. So yes, a decade gone, another begins…Awaiting The Next Exciting Experience…

Thanks to all those following, liking, commenting, sharing, reading, visiting my blog. Please feel free to connect with me on my Email id (ashubolar@gmail.com) or Facebook Page (AshuBlogs) or Messenger anytime.

Me in 2009 and in 2019…Changed? Right!

2019…Being hopeful…While still dreaming…

– Ashu Bolar

Women’s Day…

My day began with silencing the alarm vibration on my mobile phone, only to notice many good wishes, some motivational quotes, a few creatives–all wishing Happy Women’s Day.

A good start of the day.

Next, had a meeting. Went well.

Next, thought of carrying something for my colleagues; was wondering what, and there I saw a Mad Over Donuts (MOD) outlet. Ordered donuts, followed by the unexpected at the billing counter. The person asked me for identity proof, and I was thinking, “Since when did retail stores started asking for identity proof!” It took me by surprise, but on asking why, the reason stated made my day. It was to check my birth date as I get discount equal to my age.

Felt good to be old today! 🙂 😉

My next question was, “What if the customer is 75 years old lady?” It seems age limit for discount is 50, with conditions apply. But 50% discount too isn’t bad!

No, no…I am yet to be 50…long way to go, however, I liked the marketing initiative.

Well, donuts were great. They always are.

So far, the day has been good.

Have a great day ladies. And if you happen to come across an MOD outlet, I think it’s worth your time visiting today. 😉

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MOD Image Credit: MOD Facebook Page

Happy Women’s Day to all the ladies out there!!!

– Ashu Bolar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the Beginning

There are various kinds of addictions. Addiction is considered unhealthy. But in my case I have some not-so-bad addictions.

One of which I have recognized is the constant desire to learn and improve as a person and professional, which makes me a lifetime student, and thus, I keep enrolling in various programs, courses and workshops.

And this week, I was back to one of my favourite institutes, SPJIMR, to attend MDP on a very unique topic ‘Employer Branding – pathway to becoming a great place to work’. I have almost 12 years of experience in Marketing, Branding and Communications, which is also supported with relevant academic qualifications. However, during my academic years as well as in real life, ‘Employee’ plays an essential role in the growth of an organization was taught, cases revolving around employer-employee relations were discussed, how employees are responsible in creating a great customer experience was also talked about—but how to achieve this wasn’t a major focus. It is there somewhere throughout, mostly dispersed, but I never came across a dedicated session on Employer Branding that solely focuses on valuing employees, who are The Essential (not-the-forgotten) Stakeholders and The Brand Ambassadors of the organizations, whether they are working with the organization or have moved on to next phase in life but with good memories.

Attrition has increased in almost all the companies across sectors. Why? Easy answer is –“It is the millennial attitude.” But is it? And if so, then why? It is said – “People leave the manager, not company.” And the boss, in most cases, isn’t a millennial. Something to think about.

Employees are the face of the organization, more so, in the service sector. I belong to healthcare industry, hospital to be precise. Right from the time a patient makes a call to book an appointment to the time he/she sees the doctor, the patient interacts with a series of hospital executives…

  • The person from customer care who took the call for appointment confirmation
  • The security who checks all the visitors entering the hospital premises
  • The liftman guiding the patient to the respective floor
  • The registration team providing patient with the hospital card
  • The billing unit on the cost details
  • The nurses interacting with the patient
  • The assistant doctor taking the case brief
  • The treating doctor advising the patient towards right treatment management
  • The pharmacy person dispatching medicines

Broadly, these are the Hospital Employees a patient and/or the patient caretaker will come across in any first time OPD (Out-Patient Department) visit to any Multispeciality Hospital. Now, each one of the employee mentioned above probably is an expert in his/her job, but is his/her functioning aligned with the organization’s (hospital here) vision-mission-values? And by this I don’t mean the HR team talking on Vision-Mission-Values in the induction session; what I mean is its actual percolation across the hierarchy.

And if they aren’t and if there happens to be an incident (imagine in a hospital where each patient, each life matters), which fortunately (for the customers as they will be aware) and unfortunately (for the organization) goes viral on the digital media, then who is to be blamed—the Employee, the Manager, the HR team, the Board or the Entire Management System? Again, something to think about.

In this two-day workshop, many such aspects were discussed, and I understood on ways how Brand Equity is to be created by including all the employees, and not excluding or overlooking or taking any one of the employee for granted.

Employee Value Proposition is not something we aren’t aware of in the corporate world. However, it is something that needs not just to be preached, but practiced. Well, it is a matter of time, the sooner a company realizes and recognizes the need for Employer Branding, the better are its chances of growing, however this time, not just with innovation and aggression, but along with compassion and positivity.

Interesting subject. Great faculty team. Interactive batchmates. And goes without saying, a known and a good Management Institute.

Some quotes that stayed with me post the session…

“Life is precious, but too short. You can’t take anything with you, but you can leave a lot of meaningful things behind.”

“Within the company, collaborate. Outside the company, compete with the competitors.”

“Learn-Unlearn, from time to time.”

“Employer Brand + Employee Experience = Brand Strength —> a competitive advantage, a POD (point of differentiation) in Marketing Parlance.”

“Creating Moments That Matter. Making Employee Experience a beautiful journey in the company.”

“If you want a better brand image, it is best to start with a better brand reality. Self analysis, self reflection and walk the talk kind of leadership.”

“Good employee journey maps are one which has stories.”

Yes stories, I hope there will be some good stories about me and my firm someday.

To hire talent and to retain talent are two different things, and each requires great effort and investment of resources, time being the leading resource. It is easy to be on the other side and criticize a boss, but it is difficult to be a boss and not to be criticized.

So I think, and will try my best to be a better leader everyday…

…because it is a new beginning, everyday…

…and everyday is a good day to create some good memories, some good stories.

Glimpses from 26-27th Feb 2019…

Group Picture Credit: SPJIMR LinkedIn Page

For further information on MDP at SPJIMR, please visit: http://www.spjimr.org/mdp

– Ashu Bolar

Bistro 1

Yet another new addition to the restaurant-zone at the BonBon Lane, Seven Bungalows…and a good one!

My favourites…

Prawns Dynamite…a real dynamite!

Basa with Herbs and Couscous

Loaded Potato Wedges

with Orange Basil Mojito!

Price for two around Rs. 2000 (for no alcoholic drinks)

Nearest Stop: Versova Metro (Andheri-West, Mumbai)

Some Bistro Moments…

…Ashu Bolar

 

Worth a try!

Yesterday done, came and gone.

On a Sunday, today, I was checking my Facebook Page and I find a clip from the mid season finale of Grey’s Anatomy (S15 E9) with, as always, an excellent background score. And I Googled to find the song….Bones by Garrison Starr on YouTube…And since then I have heard the song umpteen times…lyrics below as much as I could type…My favourite lines in bold…

Oh child, when you are weary,
Weary deep down in your soul,
Hear my voice rolling like a river,
I won’t ever leave you alone…no no no…

Ain’t no chain gonna hold you down.
Ain’t no grave gonna hold you now.
Yesterday done, came and gone.
Ain’t it time to bury the bones.

Oh child, when you’re in darkness,
Them devils circling around,
Don’t you go thinking it’s hopeless,
Takes some getting lost to be found…oh oh ooo ohhh…

Ain’t no chain gonna hold you down. oh oh ooo ohhh…
Ain’t no grave gonna hold you now. hmmm hmmm hmmm
Yesterday done, came and gone. oh oh ooo ohhh…
Ain’t it time to bury the bones.

Take me down to the river.
Wash me clean in the water.
Take me down to the river.
Wash me clean in the water.
Take me down to the river.
Wash me clean in the water.
(Repetition)

Ain’t no chain gonna hold you down.
Ain’t no grave gonna hold you now.
Yesterday done, came and gone.
Ain’t it time to bury the bones.

Take me down to the river.
Wash me clean in the water.
Take me down to the river.
Wash me clean in the water.
(Repetition)

Worth repeating, again and again. Takes some getting lost to be found…Yesterday done, came and gone. Take me down to the river. Wash me clean in the water…oh oh oooo ohhhh…hmm hmm hmmm…

A very captivating finale…yet another elevator moment in Meredith Grey’s life…Great work Team-Grey’s Anatomy!

…Ashu Bolar