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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Understanding personality assessment in a dynamic situation involving personality interactions

I just chanced upon one of those 'personality tests' based on the famed Myers-Briggs Personality test and yeah! had some fun with it playing with different answers. Different sites provide different versions. I happened to choose You can choose the one you want but regardless of the one you take you arrive at a result that comprises of four alphabets. Now this combination is what holds key to your 'supposed' personality. These scores are used from personal amusement to even serious  evaluations. 

Then I wondered something - the very nature of this test is single person oriented i.e. mostly self assessment report and sometimes (possibly) from another person's viewpoint. Most importantly, this is not a test but more of a personality tpye and preference. While ducking and doging the semnatics for any judgemental tones, it is safe to state that what I assess about myself is certainly not going to be what other person were to do about me (and rightfully so). 

Since we tend to live in an interactive and social environment all these personality type scores have little meaning without an interactive score pattern and then start understanding the variations. This I feel could lead ot better assessments, even if for fun. So tomorrow if someone were to develop an interactive app that combined them into the type of matrix (let's call it #PAMatrix), don't be surpised 😎 I told ya!

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Personality Assessment Matrix – PAMatrix

There are different types of personality assessment tests like the Myers-BriggsPersonality test. Regardless of the type of test administered, there is always a score. It could be a number OR a combination of alphabets OR even very 'subjective' as some would like to prefer it. Now! Such an evaluation can be done in different ways

  • Self-assessment
  • Assessment by others
    • Assessment by ‘qualified experts’
    • Assessment by those known to the person

The scores are likely (more so) to differ in each of the cases and quite possibly, rightfully so. So! Which one of the scores is right OR are all of them right in their own way? If the latter is true, then therein lies the undercurrents of perception, image building etc.

So, to better understand this, the whole assessment of a personality in an individual can be expressed in the form of a MATRIX. Since it is a matrix centered on the personality of an individual, let’s call it the PAMatrix. This kind of a matrix is rooted in the principles of interaction of a person with others around him/her in the home, workplace or public in general. Since this is what basically constitutes our society, any personality assessment has to be seen a whole of different perceptions when it comes to evaluating a personality.

Y (X)
What X thinks of 'Self'
What X thinks Y will estimate about 'Self'
Y (X)
What Y thinks of X
What Y thinks X will estimate about 'Self'
Table1- The Personality Matrix or the PAMatrix

It is the analysis of this matrix that is going to define the concurrency of the evaluation process and reconciling the differences that ensue.

Case analysis

Y (X)
ENFJ (Protagonist – Diplomat)
Y (X)
ESTP (Explorer – Entrepreneur)
ESFJ (Sentinel – Consul)
Table 2 Case study 1

Let us consider the following case of a person X. Applying the matrix above let us consider a possible scenario below using the Myers-Briggs Personality test. The descriptors for each result have been conveniently taken from but one could refer to any site that gives them suitable names. 

In the above case
  1. X rates himself or herself the same as s/he would think others would rate him/her. Now this is good in a way. Some coherence there though the scores could certainly change when others see it. 
    1. If the score of X↔Y(X)were different from X↔X, then any discrepancy here could mean uncertainty in the image being projected. This could be something to work on.
  2. Y evaluates X differently. Now! This is a regular scenario since we are not perceived the same as we think we like to be perceived as. Everyone has their own benchmark and priorities and hence evaluations will certainly vary here. If there is indeed any consistency here with the scores that X has valued themselves at then it is indeed an achievement to the efforts by X to project that image.

     The bottomline is that, the more closer this score tends to X↔X and X↔Y(X) the better the consistency in the image portrayed and hence it more likely to lead to better relations between X and Y. On the contrary, if they are strikingly different then efforts have to be taken to address such a difference. Hence this is something to work on again.
  3. The final and probably overlooked one is the Y(X)↔Y(X) match. A typical scenario would be when worker says, “The boss thinks he knows it all when actually he just manages them well without going into details”. This is a telling statement and gives room for greater understanding. Some of the differences maybe natural by virtue of the interaction involved e.g. a boss interacting with many people reporting to him. However, some others could be important especially in a 1-1 interaction scenario where differences exist between the individuals.
So what do you say? Ready to try this out with someone else and see how the matrix turns out? 👍

Friday, September 16, 2016

Will the Bayer-Monsanto deal submerge the anti-GMO mindset?

Yes, the word is out and deal is inked. Bayer has clinched a $66 Billion takeover deal of Monsanto. Two big names, becoming one big(ger) name. The tectonic plates in the AgroBiotech industry are rattling big time - Dow and Dupont merger involving $130 billion, ChemChina acquiring Syngenta for $43 billion. Completion of these merger would leave these three companies with more than 75 percent of the global market i.e. US, Germany and China.

Image source: Wikipedia - Traditional farming with oxen in India.
Notwithstanding the impending political and consumer scrutiny, these moves are certainly and steadily going a long way in addressing and controlling world food markets. While China will have the powerhouse of Syngenta's plant-genomics R&D (and hence less outside control), India would be laying itself open to the grace of Bayer (instead of Bayer and Monsanto).

So what does this have to do with 'submerging the GMO mindset'? I am not a finance or a market geek, but more of a science (and it's effects) point of view, person. To us all, till now, blaming GMO meant blaming ... well... Monsanto. You always thought that evils of GMO meant Monsanto right! The name became synonymous with all things bad in plant science besides their monopolistic business practices (not that they were, or, are alone out there). Re-branding wouldn't have helped either 'cos it would be the same issue of GMO once again. On the other hand Bayer, as a brand name , encompasses a wider variety businesses than just GMOs. It also has it's own brand identity. So, looking at it from that angle, there may not have seen a better way out than this. Same goes for, probably, Syngenta-ChinaChem.

Meanwhile this deal also apparently throws doubts over the GMO revolution and the dominance of genetically modified crops - quite counter-intuitive sounding. According to this article farmers are apparently reconsidering the use of biotech seeds as it becomes harder to justify their prices amid the measly returns of the current farm economy. Hence a question arises if such a deal like Bayer-Monsanto or ChinaChem-Syngenta is also an attempt to effectively address the rising costs of Biotech R&D. What I see gradually happening is a shift in this anti-GMO mindset by internalizing such GMO entities it under bigger brand names doing other things like crop protection and agrochemicals. This buy-over will certainly give Bayer the next tag of the 'GMO bad boy' BUT only for a short while. Public memory is short lived you see. So, for now, all of you #BlameMonsanto guys have to rethink your next favorite whipping boy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Leukemia Survival Curve - Estimates

I have presented below a simple interactive spreadsheet giving a brief outlook of the life expectancy upon diagnosis of the type of leukemias listed below. The list will keep changing as more types will be added. This feature best accessed from desktops and may not work well in mobile phones or devices.

NOTE: The information presented below are projected values based on SEER Survival Data from the SEER Database - . Values and results provided are for information purposes only. Actual results may vary based on health of individual like ECOG score, success of the proposed treatment in clinical trials, besides other  factors. No responsibility is claimed whatsoever.  

natarajanganesan gmail

Friday, December 11, 2015

‘What should define a well meaning opposition’

Bedlam in a Parliament

What is it with the discussions in the parliament across the world? I just saw a video of bedlam and chaos in a country’s parliament. Next I see few more more trailers posted below from other countries and the scene is no better or worse. The comments below the video are even more revealing. Nearly every user from every region and place has the SAME old thing to say - how even their place is no better, just the dresses and places are different. Instead of going into the usual blame game and ‘how all politicians should be bundled up and thrown out’ I want to ask something different - something more 'theoretical' and that requires deeper introspection.
The question is simple, 'What should define a well meaning opposition'?
In other words what are the policies where parties could differ, and what are those issues on which there should be no argument or chest thumping i.e. they are a given.
Before reaching out for answers, I want you all to consider a couple of things. There is an inherent paradox (or dichotomy, if you will) in asking such a question YET so relevant and crucial in defining of a functioning house. This is under the assumption that all members are conscientious on both sides of the table (hence the word 'theoretical' :) ).
I am bringing this issue because, today I find many a party (be it anywhere) at cross-roads with the system that sustains it. Someone chest beats about patriotism as if it were their birthright while someone assumes they are indeed the people to think of equality of existence for all. Things are so bad that yet another party claims it right to being 'clean' and working for the people. All these things should NOT be defining the basis of a party formation but should be common across the board.
I could rattle on BUT what do you think?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tag-cloud your professional summary, not your resume!

They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. I’d go a step further and say that ‘a picture of words (effectively designed) is worth a thousand times more’. That brings me to the topic of using tag-clouds as a supplement/complement to your professional summary.

Wikipedia defines as a tag cloud as follows - A tag cloud (word cloud, or weighted list in visual design) is a visual representation of text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. Below is an example of what I talking about.
For those who are already aware of this concept, it must have struck you at some point of time as to why it has not made its way into resumes. For now it looks a bit jazzy to see them in your CVs or resumes but it’s worth noting their advantages when you are looking at compressing content effectively where space is a premium.
When used and placed appropriately in resumes, tag-clouds can greatly enhance the content. What is referred to as keywords (a table) in resume can be effectively replaced by tag-clouds. Resume-builders could effectively build some acceptable templates

The keyword here is effective crafting of the summary. You don’t want the picture to reflect that are mostly job requirements as opposed to crucial skill-sets you bring to the table. There are a couple of videos out on the internet that give you examples of this.

What you can do …
If you use one of those online tag cloud generators here are a couple of things you can do

  1. Give weightage to your own words – That is, if you can really visualize how you see the words. Since these programs often operate based on the number of times the word is used, you can literally create a garbled text of these words repeated as many times as you wish (for each word). I have actually seen it to work :) 
  2. Create an effectively designed professional summary – In other words if you have taken pains to create a well-crafted professional summary, you may as well use that and fine tune it a bit. It is here that a well composed summary of your in your #LinkedIn #Profile might actually be of help. Just copy that into your program and watch the results. Play around a bit with the fonts and presentation. You might actually like it!

A final note

There are many online free tag cloud generators. Wordle is by far the popular one but they are getting fancier (fonts, color, presentation etc.).  Tagul allows you play around with shapes (even your own photo upload). I guess it will only be a matter of time before it will become a norm to see it in resumes.

In fact, one of the best places where it can be used effectively is the back of business cards. Imagine every professional business card having this in fancy ways. Or imagine in a Harry Potter style, you can just click on the email in the card and send a video message. Quite fancy eh! My coffee just got spiked again :) 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Do asymptotic behavior of fatty acid breakdown efficiencies drive their differential mobilization in white adipose tissues?

Following is a simple calculator to compute the net ATPs and Oxygen consumed and the net P:O ratio assumed, during the breakdown of an even chain fatty acid by ß-oxidation. Just enter the number of carbon atoms corresponding to the even chain fatty acid and the number of double bonds in the same.

Note: The cursor won't blink, just click the cell/s where you wish to input the values (for 'n' and 'x'). Further, the equation and the values for an odd chain fatty acid vary (in the constants) and merit a separate discussion.

When you compute the values for all fatty acids in a table; as a function of chain length and double bonds and plot them in a graph, you will see a clear asymptotic pattern.

A note on the value of P:O ratios for NADH2 and FADH2 - The current estimates assume a yield of 3 ATPs and 2 ATPs respectively. When revised estimates (Hinkle and Yu) of 2.5 and 1.5 and taken into account, the only change in the equation (for the fatty acid P:O) is that of the constants. Otherwise, one would observe the same asymptotic patterns.

Efficiencies of fatty acid breakdown for energy can be represented by equation that resembles a rectangular hyperbola. This equation possibly governs the selective mobilization and distribution of the different types of fatty acids in white adipose tissues.

The following document shows the derivation of the equation (for even chain and odd chain fatty acids) and the general equation to show that it is a rectangular hyperbola ...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Is ‪' # ' and social media changing the dynamics of ‪customer service?

Is it goodbyes to the old method of toll-free calling for customer service (and being placed on the hold-music)?
Image credit: Creative adaption by Natarajan Ganesan
For the uninitiated, "A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social ...". That is how the definition goes when you search the internet; and it gets even more geeky and confusing.
In plain-speak, its just a way where you use hashtags - literally, the symbol # on your keyboard - followed immediately by the word you wish to draw attention to. Before I get distracted into the nuances of hashtags, let me quickly get down to the topic i.e. how the use of the same is possibly changing the landscape of customer relations from big companies.

Its just that I have been seeing that from my recent experiences ... One was with a travel website I booked with, and the other was an airline. Both gave me a really hard time. There were sudden itinerary change/s (on their part), lost baggage/s and what not! Instead of the routine #toll-free call that we all are accustomed to; I happened to #hashtag them on their social media page, followed by a crisp one-liner as to why I am not happy with them, and the specific trouble I am facing.
The responses were almost instantaneous followed by a routine 1-1 response - via social media, of course. But at least there was a purposeful 1-1 interaction with the team. I also did the usual phone method in-tandem, and we all know how it goes (mostly the reason why I chose the 'music logo' in my image, and how they are possibly fading in importance). All of this however, does not speak for, in anyway, if the customer issue is handled to your satisfaction; it is another point altogether.
What got me thinking was, if this was the trend being set in customer relations by big companies. The way I got the responses looked as if the company had devoted a main chunk of their customer relation efforts on the social media accounts as opposed to the regular toll-free call approach. After all, this means less hands behind the phone, right! Maybe! Or is it that the marketing and customer relations all around are beginning to realize the virality of the negative experience/s by customers in their trusted circles?
Whatever it is, the landscape of customer-relations certainly is being defined by their presence in social media. A casual internet search reveals this. Customer service using Social Media accounts may not be far into the game but their logistics might certainly be a tempting consideration (maybe worth a discussion for an #HBR write-up).
Regardless, certain basic rules of communication do exist -
  • You cannot, of course, go on your own baseless/emotional tirade.
  • Hashtags with #CompanyNameSucks OR #CompanyServiceIndifferent is OK, so long it is followed by a specific message justifying it e.g. my cable services are still not up etc. 
  • Following up with a good review or a #ThanksCompanyName may not be a bad idea (if your issue is settled, of course).
What are your experience/s. Feel free to chip in ...