Improving systems from the inside out

During my stint with the Indian Police Service, a top police official once said this to me with immense pride: ‘I only travel to countries where I am not frisked at the airport. I go to Dubai because I am not frisked, but I won’t go to the US or Europe.’

Apparently, some Kerala expats in Dubai used their local influence to get him a ‘VIP welcome.’

This officer was intellectually brilliant, yet, his thinking was totally messed up.

But he was not alone. Years ago, during PM security duty, my policemen frisked a retired chief of the Intelligence Bureau. One senior police officer went ballistic at me for having ‘insulted’ the dignitary.

Frisking is not an insult. But if it is, the way to fix it is for VIPs to also go through the same experience. If they don’t like it, they will fix it.

On a similar note, banks often have pathetic customer service because their top bosses never have to call their customer service lines. If they did, they would soon stop saying things like, ‘Your call is important to us.’

In the startup world, there is a saying: ‘Eat your own dog food.’

If we want to improve any system, let the bosses also eat their own dog food. In no time at all, you will see the world becoming a better place.

– Rajan

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