|If you are a first time visitor, I suggest going through these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about me, and my outlook on the business and personal fronts. They will give you some answers to questions you may have while going through the rest of the site.
Thank you for spending your precious time at the site, and hope to see you
checking back here for blog posts, new additions to the picture gallery, news on
what my current work projects are, resources for students and professionals, and
much more as this site evolves.
Why do you
have your personal and professional site together?
I do not separate my professional self from who I am as a person. My work and my
choices reflect my personality, my experiences, and personal beliefs about life
in general. To be successful as an Organization Change consultant, one has to be
a deep thinker and believer in the possibility of change itself. This entails
knowing my self as much as possible, and consciously striving to change for the
Mubeena.Net is a testimony to my own self as much as it is to the world, and so
it acts like my mirror of awareness. I would like you to know what my work is
about and the services that could be beneficial for your organization, but this
site is foundationally about me and the person I am which includes all aspects
of myself. It may not be convention, but having both these domains presented
together would give you an idea about the whole of me, instead of just one part.
I insist about this because my profession is more of a calling than a job as it
emphasizes on looking at organizations as holistic and integrated systems, which
is just the way I look at my own self.
Why have you chosen to work independently, rather than for a company?
I am very fortunate and grateful to be able to practice independently for now.
The answer to this question partly lies in my spontaneous personality as I
always need something different to stimulate my creative flow. The chance to
work with different organizations, in different cultural settings and dynamics,
gives me access to a great wealth of learning experiences. I’ll be very honest
and say that I would have trouble sticking to one job routine. Another reason is
that I need to devote time to things that are important to me like my books,
paintings, and activities that make me a stronger, more confident individual. I
have not managed to take the time out for personal activities nor maintain
important relationships at previous routine jobs.
Working independently allows me the flexibility and freedom to spend more time
with friends and family, concentrate more on personal development and, pay more
attention to a few key clients. Being an independent practitioner is helpful
also once clients develop trust with me, because the feedback is that they
received the warm personal touch that is significantly missing in the business
exchanges of today. In addition, cost is minimized for them without the
overheads of a large, technical-oriented, consulting firm.
Why is Philosophy such an important discipline for you?
The etymology of the word “Philosophy” results in the translation “Love of
Wisdom”. I had two majors in college Psychology and Philosophy as I was highly
interested in studying human nature. I also studied a lot of Anthropology, which
actually studies human beings in their context (whereas Psychology tends to
isolate just the mind and behavioral responses). A long time ago, these subjects
were studied under one name ‘Philosophy’. Even the highest degree in education
is called the Doctor of Philosophy, i.e. the PhD. Philosophy has been the
traditional foundation of all what we know today.
One of my lifetime goals is to pursue a PhD in Philosophy (Doctor of Philosophy
in Philosophy, talk about meta-cognition!). My philosophy professor in college
Dr. David Cernic, in our intro class said, “Philosophy is the most dangerous
discipline you will ever learn.” This statement had a profound affect on me
because at the time I thought college was going to be a fun party place. Little
did I realize it was going to change the way I fundamentally thought about
From a pragmatic perspective, I philosophize regularly because it is what all
human beings do with very few realizing it. Nobody can deny that they have had
some deep thoughts about their world at some point, most probably during
troubled times. Although there are formal philosophical areas of study such as
metaphysics, epistemology, existentialism, logic, to name a few, I was able to
better grasp concepts in Psychology and Anthropology because of my background in
Philosophical principles. Philosophy helped me become an excellent writer and
refined my art of persuasion through rational logic as well, and I feel a whole
lot more sophisticated because of this.
I have been successful at coaching myself out of personal troubles using my
knowledge of the various arguments posited by some of my favorite thinkers which
include Descartes, Aristotle, Kant, Leibniz, and Spinoza. It is this discipline
that has led me to believe that human beings themselves have their own answers.
I was reminded of this fundamental belief by my current mentor and business
partner Mr. Roland Sullivan whose core idea is that all the solutions are in
fact within the client system itself. It is a consultant’s job to bring them out
in a safe, non-threatening environment.
If you are interested in exploring Philosophy and getting introduced to thinkers
who have shaped our modern thought process, I would recommend reading a book
called ‘Sophie’s World’ by Jostein Gaarder. It is a fun book that would surely
not intimidate or bore you with complicated technical jargon and concepts. It is
simple and more importantly gets the philosophical ideas across.
Why do you consider your work to be more of an art than a science?
Again, I am breaking convention here. I truly believe art has an edge over
science (Sorry to shock you. Relax and read on). Many if not most would argue
that science and art are equal in value to the essence of the human spirit. Over
the years, I have formed a different opinion due to a critical factor:
experience. Reading the works of Hume and Kant gave me a life-changing
revelation. Science is actually nothing more than human experience. Visit any
scientific journal, and you will encounter research studies for and against the
same hypothesis. Ironically you will also find arguments for and against the
research methods used in these studies. I used to believe in one absolute truth,
but lately I’m not sure about that anymore. I have come to believe that there
are different ways to reach the same goal, be it material or spiritual, and that
it is entirely possible that multiple realms of realities and truths could
exist. What I am basically saying is this: what you perceive to be truth may not
be another person’s truth.
And so it is with my work. One of my foundational work values is the notion of
perspective. Everybody has their own perspective. One organization’s goal and
business style fits in with its own indigenous surrounding and culture. So I
work with that, instead of trying to “copy” other organizations’ models. This is
the reason I tend to shy away from pre-established models and tools. I therefore
work closely with the client system to create in-house assessments that will
elicit the right data for the organization to act upon, bringing in positive
change. My art lies in the creativity and imagination I exercise while designing
these assessments, as they go far beyond just survey tools. Although I believe
in quantified data, the story behind the numbers is more important when
facilitating Organization Change and establishing sound Human Resource
Management Systems in areas related to training, selection, compensation,
performance appraisals, succession planning, and job design. I use the words
‘design’, ‘creativity’, and ‘imagine’ a lot. These are artists’ words.
I am also an oil painter in my free time. So I guess I am biased toward
artistry. A lot of you are afraid that the word ‘bias’ only connotes negative
sensibilities. What about positive biases? Think about it, I’m sure you have a
lot of them. Being a true artist to me means that you are open to other
world-views that affect others, and address issues by empathizing and then
bringing solutions to the table that might come out of nowhere, having no
beginning or ending.
What does “Change” mean to you?
"You never step into the same river twice.” These simple words uttered by the
ancient philosopher Heraclites assure us that change is the only definite in
this world. It is exciting to be in the business of change from a professional
standpoint, especially since I reside in the ‘fastest changing city in the
history of the world’, as my partner Mr. Sullivan says. From a metaphysical
perspective, change is invisible. You don’t really see change. You only see the
results of change. It is like the wind that you can’t see, but exists because
you feel it (seeing is not always believing).
As I apply this belief in my Change work with Mr. Sullivan, a pioneer in the
business for the last 40 years, we put minimal emphasis on quantifiable data.
Although I believe in some number games, you might not need to invest your time
and energy measuring your environment (sorry to shock you again). In fact, when
the change brought about by a successful intervention turns out to be so
visible, significant, and pervasive, measuring it does not even matter anymore.
The best way to measure change is to simply keep your eyes open. Do you want
little changes that you have to measure all the time? Or do you want deep change
that lasts a lifetime?
On a personal level, “change” to me represents growth, mastery, learning,
creating the impact you can make on those around you, being a woman in this
highly competitive man’s world, health, love and vitality, prosperity with my
inner-self, and refining and authenticating my intellect with every step of my
learning process. The real substance in a the whole idea of willingness to
change, is the courage to admit that there might be a better way to get to the
bottom of anything you are wondering about.