Saturday, July 6, 2013

Business Sutra and thoughts



I recently had the privilege of reading Business Sutra.

The book is a thought provoking read to say the least. As any creative mind would say, in order for the mind to be creative, it is important for the mind to open, expand, gather in a greater range - this book does that by using Indic (mostly Hindu, but smattering of Jain and Buddhist) line of thought to explain some of the 'sutras' of business and management. It comes across a little different - because mostly we would not have encountered anything along these lines of thought. 

Throughout business school, business is from seen from a mostly western perspectives (and the only Indian companies that we referred to are used to mostly as Lalaji businesses - with barely any good thing heard about them except perhaps the 'parta' system of accounting).

Through many pages as I read it, I realize that Human Resources in India has much to harness from Indian Itihasa and Purana which it has not – with the result that our entire Human Resources education is from an almost exclusively Western perspective. I could be wrong here, given that I am very new to Human Resources from an education perspective but from what I see around me  - basic organizational behaviour text books, assessments, analysis, studies, bodies of work - are by and large 'Western'.

The leadership, learning and development part for me, really hit home – Nara as opposed to Narayana which is our unrealized potential versus realized potential. Devdutt Pattnaik uses an example of a lotus as presented in both Hindu and Buddhist schools of thought as an example of the mind opening up.

And then again Management theory – which is really about self actualization (and beyond) of every individual so that businesses can take off – he uses the example of the yajaman and how it is not easy to get there. 

There were quite a few aha moments, process versus creativity (using Yama and Kama as examples), tactics versus strategy, about creating leaders within the organizations, villains who follow rules versus heroes who break rules. 

All in all a very interesting book to read from a leadership and business perspective. And I hope I see more writings/books of this kind that taps into our vast knowledge system to create more indigenous human resource, leadership systems and methodologies.

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