Yearly Archives: 2019

12Feb/19

The Art and Science of Execution

(Review of the book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ramcharan, Business Books)

Contemporary management literature is an ocean of concepts, theories, visions, strategies and techniques. However, not much is available on how to execute these lofty ideas and concepts to produce concrete results. It is here where lies the importance of this book under review by Larry Bossidy and Ramcharan. Jack Welch, renowned former CEO of GEC, describes the book author (while critiquing the book) as “A great practitioner and an insightful theorist join forces to write a compelling business story of how to get things done.” The ‘great practitioner’ is Larry Bossidy who was, while writing this book, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International, with a turnover of more than 25 billion, is a diversified technology and manufacturing firm, and also served as Chairman and CEO of Allied Signal, an American aerospace, automotive and engineering company. The ‘insightful theorist’ is Ramcharan, a highly sought after consultant and adviser to CEOs and senior executives ranging from startups to well-known Fortune 500 firms such as GE, Ford, Dupont, etc.

Talking about the importance of execution in contemporary business, Ramcharan says: “Most often today the difference between a company and its competitor is the ability to execute. If your competitors are executing better than you are, they are beating you in the here and now. Execution is the great unaddressed issue in business world today. Its absence is the single biggest obstacle to success and the cause of most of the disappointments that are mistakenly attributed to other causes.”

He clarifies his statement with a very interesting and compelling example.

A CEO was sitting in his office late one evening, looking tired and drained. He was trying to explain to a visitor why his great strategic initiative had failed, but he couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. “I’m so frustrated,” he said. “I got the group together a year ago, people from all the divisions. We had two off-site meetings, did benchmarking, got the metrics. McKinsey helped us. Everybody agreed with the plan. It was a good one, and the market was good. This was the brightest team in the industry, no question about it. I assigned stretch goals. I empowered them—gave them the freedom to do what they needed to do. Everybody knew what had to be done. Our incentive system is clear, so they knew that the rewards and penalties would be. We worked together with high energy. How could we fail? Yet the year has come to an end, and we missed the goals. They let me down; they didn’t deliver the results. I have lowered earnings estimates four times in the past nine months. We’ve lost our credibility with the street. I have probably lost my credibility with the board. I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know where the bottom is. Frankly, I think the board may fire me.”

Several weeks later the board did indeed fire him.

We can see here that this CEO has done all the right things except a missing factor which leads to concrete results. In this book, the authors try to bridge this “Gap which nobody know” between doing the right thing and getting things done. They spell out, with many examples of success and failures from the corporate world, how to incorporate a pervading discipline and culture of execution into the whole organization. The first part of the book explains the need and importance of execution. The second part of the book describes the building blocks of execution. The third part of the book brings out the core processes of execution, such as People Process, Strategy Process, Operation Process, etc.

This book is for the hardcore executive seeking for business success. But is this kind of traditional business success enough for the future world? Peter Drucker is probably the first among business thinkers to question some of these traditional notions. In one of his writings, Peter Drucker said that it is a very wrong notion to think that the purpose of a business organization is to earn profit or enhance shareholder value. He said that the aim of a business organization is to satisfy the customer first and not to earn profit. If you focus on customer satisfaction, profit may come as a result but profit is not the purpose of a business organization. However, even this idea of Drucker seems to be getting out-of-date in e-commerce. Most of the e-commerce firms, including the big ones such as Amazon are not making any profit, but still many of them have a great shareholder value and attract investment, because they serve customer needs and valued for their future potential. Apart from customer satisfaction, there are other and higher values which are emerging in business such as environmental and social responsibility and employee wellbeing. Many investors are now including environmental and social performance of the company as an important factor in assessing firms, what is now called ‘Socially Responsible Investing’ (SRI). So the present or contemporary challenge execution is to build an organization which contributes positively to the economic, social, ecological and human wellbeing of the community, humanity and Nature.

Beyond this present challenge, there is a future challenge. There is an inner evolutionary impetus, which is driving humanity and earth towards a higher progress beyond the mundane and the material towards a moral, psychological, aesthetic and spiritual development. Success in the future world depends on the ability of individuals, groups, organization and nation to align themselves with this higher evolution. This will be an execution challenge of the future which may be described as “how to create an organizational system which can help in this higher and inner evolution of the individual and groups in the mental, moral, aesthetic and spiritual dimensions and also to express this inner progress in every activity of the outer life”.

However, in a managerial perspective, execution is the art of converting a mental idea or decision into a material reality. This book provides practical and detailed guidance on how to do it. So even for a leader who wants to realize a higher ideal beyond the bottom-line or business success, this book can provide useful clues on the practical aspects of how to convert ideas into tangible actions and material realizations.

M. S. Srinivasan

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12Feb/19

A Great Inventor and a Great Soul

(This is the story of one of the most inspiring and heart-warming unsung heroes, George Carver, a great inventor in agriculture and a great soul. Carver was a pioneer in peanut cultivation in United States, and in the productive utilization of waste products in agriculture. He invented innumerable uses for peanuts and made a myriad of innovations in converting agricultural waste into useful products. He became famous as the ‘Peanut Man’ and an internationally recognized expert in agriculture, specializing in peanuts and agro-waste management. Farmers and industrialists from all over the world came to him for consultation. All the VIPs of America of his times, such as the American presidents Roosevelt, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, became his close friends. With his inventive genius and connections Carver could have become a billionaire in farming or industry and one of the richest men in the world or secured a high position in government or business. But Carver cared not for money or position. He gave all of his talents and ideas entirely free to whoever came to him for his help or guidance and lived out of a meager monthly salary of $125 dollars, which he received from the institution founded by his last employer and mentor, Booker T. Washington. Washington inspired Carver to give up his comfortable job as a professor and serve a community of poor Black boys. Carver believed that his talents are a gift of God and had to be used for the benefit of people and not for self. His biographer states that Carver “seemed astonished that anyone expected him to claim rewards from the gifts God had given him.”

Carver was extremely different from the most traditional kind of inventors who tend to be eccentric, uneducated, imbalanced, one-sided and self-centered, unsocial and lonely. Carver was a qualified scientist who earned his higher education in agriculture from US universities and went on to work in them as a professor. He was actively involved in community development, mentored poor Black boys and was also an accomplished artist whose paintings were displayed in the famed Luxembourg Gallery in Paris. He was religious, God-centered and unselfish with a passion for serving people and the society. Here are some excerpts from an article on George Carver, excerpted from Reader’s Digest.)

Introducing Carver

Any one of his achievements could have made Carver a man of fabulous wealth. But all his life he refused to accept payment for a single discovery. Actually he had not the slightest regard for money. He never accepted a raise in salary. “What would I do with more money?” he once asked. “I already have all the earth.” Forty years after his arrival at Tuskegee, he was still earning the $125 a month that Washington had first offered him.

Even then, the harried treasurer had to plead with him to cash his paychecks, which were always stuffed in pockets or dresser drawer, so the school’s books could be balanced. When Carver did dig them out, it was usually to give them away. There is no way of knowing the number of boys, white as well as black, whose bills he paid in their time of need. Virtually everyone who knew him remembers at least one such instance.

He was constantly besieged with offers of money from businessmen willing to pay almost any sum for his advice. A group of peanut planters in Florida sent a check for $100 and a box of diseased specimens; if the professor could cure their crop they would put him on a monthly retainer. Carver sent back a diagnosis of the disease, and the check. “As the good Lord charged nothing to grow your peanuts,” he wrote, “I do not think it fitting of me to charge anything for curing them.”

When a dyestuff firm heard that he had perfected an array of substitute vegetable dyes, the owners offered to build a laboratory for Carver, and sent him a blank check. He mailed back the check, and the formulas for the 536 dyes he had found to date. When he declined a princely sum to join another company (which had adopted his process for making lawn furniture out of synthetic marble), the company literally came to him—moving factory and machines to Tuskegee—and got the benefit of his regular counsel at no cost at all.

Thomas Edison once invited him to come and work with him in the Edison Laboratories in Menlo Park, New Jersey, at a minimum annual salary of $100,000. Carver declined the offer, as he had all the others. “But if you had all that money,” he was once challenged, “you could help your people.” “If I had all that money,” Carver replied, “I might forget about my people.”

By now Carver’s reputation had spread across the world, and so much mail poured into Tuskegee—a considerable portion of it addressed simply to The Peanut Man—that the substation of the post office at the Institute was swamped. Some 150 letters a day were dumped on Carver’s desk, and he answered each in meticulous detail. A steady stream of visitors asked to see him, and his door remained open to all. Farmers came to question him about their seeds, townsfolk about their gardens, and boys in the dormitories thought nothing of asking him for help with their homework.

He was, of course, a revered campus character. He often wore the suit he had been given at Ames four decades before, and his neckties, which he knitted from cornhusks, always flaunting the garish colours of whatever dye he happened to be testing. Despite increasing demands on his time, he started a painting class, teaching students to mix an astonishing array of colours from the native clays, and to make canvases from the pulp of peanut shells. And although his genius as an artist had been recognized by the famed Luxembourg Gallery in Paris, where his exquisite work Four Peaches was exhibited, he was quick to give his paintings to anyone who admired them.

Carver’s Solutions

(On how Carver tackled a serious problem in peanut cultivation)

It came this time in the seemingly innocent question of an old woman who knocked on Carver’s door one October afternoon. She was a widow, she told the professor, but she had followed his counsel and turned the farm to cultivate peanuts. There had been a bumper crop, and, after setting aside all the peanuts she could use in the year ahead, she still had hundreds of pounds left over. “Who will buy them?” she asked.

Carver had no answer. He had been so engrossed in breaking the one-crop system, and so successful in promoting the peanut, that almost alone he had created a monster as cruel as the weevil itself. One hasty trip into the countryside, and his blunder glared back at him from every farmyard. Barns were piled high with the surplus, and peanuts were rotting in the field.

He returned racked with guilt, tormenting himself that he had thought the problem only halfway through. Years later, Carver told the story of how, groping for solace, he had walked through the predawn darkness of his beloved woodlands and had cried out,

“Oh, Mr. Creator, why did you make this universe?”

And the Creator answered me, “You want to know too much for that little mind of yours.”

He said, “Ask me something more your size.”

So I enquired, “Dear Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for?”

Again He spoke to me: “Little man, you are still asking for more than you can handle. Cut down the extent of your request and improve the intent.”

And then I asked my last question. “Mr. Creator, why did You make the peanut?”

“That’s better!” the Lord said, and He gave me a handful of peanuts and went with me back to the laboratory, and together we got down to work.

Inside the laboratory, Carver closed the door, pulled on an apron and shelled a handful of peanuts. That whole day and night, he literally tore the nuts apart, isolating their fats and gums, their resins and sugars and starches. Spread before him were pentosans, legumins, Ivsin, amido and amino acids. He tested these in different combinations under varying degrees of heat and pressure, and soon his hoard of synthetic treasures began to grow: milk, ink, dyes, shoe polish, creosote salve, shaving cream and, of course, peanut butter. From the hulls he made a soil conditioner, insulating board and fuel briquettes. Binding another batch with an adhesive, he pressed it, buffed it to a high gloss, and had a light and weather square that looked like marble and was every bit as hard.

Carver’s Inspiration

(On how Carver was inspired into his mission by his mentor)

In 1896, George received his Master’s Degree in Agriculture and Bacterial Botany. He had never been more content—and yet he was sometimes disturbed by his happiness. He was a Black, and across the land millions of his people starved and stultified, yearning for a place in the sun. Did he serve them best as an example of what a man—any man—could achieve by unending effort? Or did he belong among them, sharing the knowledge he had come by with such labour and pain?

About this time, 1,200 kilometres away in the Alabama town Tuskegee, the acknowledged spokesman of the Black race Booker T. Washington was struggling to achieve his dream of a Black people’s institute of learning. One overwhelming problem confronted him. “These people do not know how to plough or harvest,” he wrote. “I am not skilled at such things. I teach them how to read, to write, to make good shoes, good bricks, and how to build a wall. I cannot give them food.”

Washington became convinced that his most urgent need was someone who could teach his people to farm. He had heard that there was a noted agriculturist, a coloured man, at a school in Iowa, and on April 1, 1896, Washington sat down and wrote him a letter:

“I cannot offer you money, position or fame. The first two you have. The last, from the place you now occupy, you will no doubt achieve. These things I now ask you to give up. I offer you in their place work—hard, hard work—the task of bringing a people from degradation, poverty and waste to full manhood.”

One morning, four days later, as the tall young scientist read the letter, his blood raced and his heart beat fast. God had revealed His plan for George Carver.

When Carver met Washington, he told Carver:

“Your department exists only on paper” and added “Your laboratory will have to be in your head.”

“I will manage,” said Carver.

He set to work.

(Article Courtesy: Compiled and edited from the article ‘Beyond Fame or Fortune’ in Reader’s Digest—75th Anniversary Celebrations: A Selection of Memorable Articles from The Digest, 1922–1997.)

In the first glance, Carver’s attitude to money seems to be ascetic and not in tune with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s ideal on the right use of money. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have said that we should not shun the money-force in an ascetic spirit of denial, but use it with an inner detachment and with an attitude of what the Mother calls as the ‘Will of the Giver’. Carver was not interested in money and he was using his talents and ideas with this attitude of the ‘will of the giver’. These kind of talents and ideas are also a form of wealth. The Sanskrit term ‘Artha’ is translated as wealth. But it also means ‘instrument’ or ‘instruments of wealth’. Inventive talents talent is also a form of wealth, Artha. Carver’s method is perhaps much more direct and effective than that of the businessman–philanthropist. Instead of using his talents to create wealth, and again use this wealth to serve the society, Carver was using his talents directly to help people and serve the society, by passing the stage of money-making. It is also more effective because it frees him from the burden of money and saves the time and energy involved in managing money (for which Carver may not have the temperament or the skill), which can be used more effectively and productively in inventing new things.

We may ask some more questions, such as whether Carver’s approach is in harmony with the highest ideal of charity. Is it not indiscriminate, giving without making any distinction between the rich and the poor or understanding the true needs of the recipients? But such questioning will prevent us from appreciating the sheer beauty of the generosity of his soul and switch off the deep feelings it evokes when we read the story without asking too many questions.

M. S. Srinivasan

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11Jan/19

Towards Holistic Management

At present management as a profession and a science is in a state of transition. There is a seeking for something higher than profit, productivity and efficiency and deeper sources of motivation beyond money and career advancement. To pass through the transition and take a decisive step in its higher evolution, management needs a higher and a more holistic vision which includes the psychological and spiritual dimension of the individual and collective life of human beings and human life as a whole. This book under review can provide such a vision.

This book is a compilation from Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s writings and conversations on management or to be more precise, management- related subjects like Self- Management, Developing the Human Potential, Organisational Development, Decision Making, Quality of Work-life, Management of Money and Material, each one forming a chapter of the book.

The book begins with an interesting letter of Sri Aurobindo on Business and Spirituality where he says, referring to the teachings of Sri Krishna in Bagavad Gita: “It is in his view quite possible for a man to do business and make money and earn profits and yet be a spiritual man, practice Yoga, have an inner life.” But how it is possible? “All depends on the spirit in which a thing is done” says Sri Aurobindo “the principle on which it is built and the use to which it is turned”.

Each chapter of the book begins with a brief and crisp intro which sums up the significance of the title for management. For example intro to the chapter on Self–management states “right management of the internal self is the key to the successful management of the outer life” And in a passage in this chapter the Mother elaborates on this idea. “One can’t control the outer matter” says the Mother “if one does not control inner matter, for they are the same thing… first you have the control in yourself and once you have it in yourself you can transmit the vibration to others…”

The chapter on “Developing the Human Potential “ presents an evolutionary perspective on human growth and deals with many functions related to management like motivation, leadership coaching and mentoring . In an interesting passage in this chapter, Sri Aurobindo describes the ideals and qualities of true business man, based on the Indian concept of the Vysya, the type and temperament of the commercial soul, looking at it at a much deeper psychological perspective, which we cannot find either in ancient Indian or in modern management thinking.

Similarly, the Chapter on the “Quality of Work life” brings out the true meaning of work and action in a spiritual perspective and contains practical guidelines on how to achieve progress and perfection in work and build harmony in work-life. In this way each chapter throws deep insights into the inner dimensions of the different facets and functions of management

For those who are seeking for the deeper truth and the higher ideals in management, this book can provide valuable guidance. The pragmatic mind of a modern manager may find the book more visionary than practical. But we can’t expect spiritual personalities like Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to get into the nuts and bolts of management practice.

M S Srinivasan

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11Jan/19

Nurturing Individual Uniqueness in the Organization

ABSTRACT

An organization is made up of people or humans, who are not like the animal herds. They are individual beings with each one bringing his or her own uniqueness. Carefully nurturing and harnessing this uniqueness can considerably enhance the creativity and productivity of the organization. This article examines this subject in the light of integral management. This essay takes an article on Harvard Business Review as a starting point for discussion and examines the problem of nurturing individual uniqueness in the light of a deeper and more integral vision of the management.

THE DREAM WORKPLACE AND INDIVIDUAL UNIQUENESS

A favorite pastime of management scholars and researchers is to sketch out the contours of a dream workplace by analyzing the values and practices of ‘most admired companies’ which are able to create a work environment that leads to the highest motivation, productivity or satisfaction in work. This has given birth to many formulas which change according to the ever-changing economic, social and cultural environment. But there are certain factors which remains the same, because they correspond to something universal in work and life and in human nature.

Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones[1] present a recent formula of the great workplace in an article in the Harvard Business Review. After interviewing hundreds of executives all over the world, they identify six factors which can build the ideal workplace. One of them is related to nurturing individual uniqueness, which they define in the following terms:

  • You can be yourself.
  • Individual differences are nurtured.
  • We are all encouraged to express our differences.
  • More than one type of person fits in here.

THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE

The old, traditional corporate world cherished uniformity and conformity. The new and emerging corporate world tends towards diversity and empowerment. However, even the new corporate mind looks upon diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, nationality or religion. But ultimately, diversity means nurturing the uniqueness of each individual. Equality may be an ideal, but the inequality and variation are facts of life. People differ in their nature, temperament, motivation, values, behavior, way of thinking and feeling, knowledge, capacities and the skills and the level of their inner development. The extent of uniqueness depends on this inner development of the person.

When we are in the lower levels of development, our consciousness remains more or less diffused in the subconscious uniformity of the collective mind. At this stage, we are driven by herd instinct and blindly follow all the customs, traditions and conventions of the group to which we belong. As we grow in our consciousness, especially in our mental development, we emerge from the subconscious mass and become more and more individualized and distinct from others and begin to think and feel for ourselves. In the slow process of natural evolution, this growth towards self-conscious individuality and uniqueness may take many centuries. But it can be accelerated through a process of education and a favorable outer environment which felicitates and encourages people to consciously develop their individual uniqueness.

But what is the need to develop or express this uniqueness of the individual? Looking at it from the traditional management perspective, it may appear that this uniqueness is not a very desirable thing because it may lead to much conflict, friction and divergence, which makes it difficult for the management to bring them together and make them work or contribute to the common goals of the organization. But when you look at it from a deeper perspective, this culture of individual uniqueness has one big advantage because it helps in bringing out the higher potentialities of individuals. Every one of us has something of a unique genius within us. We become more and more aware of it as we grow in our consciousness. As we become more individualized, inwardly drawing back from our surface self, we enter into the deeper layers of our consciousness.

HARNESSING UNIQUENESS

This brings us to two important and practical questions: What is the nature and content of this uniqueness and how to manifest or bring it out in the modern corporate environment? Or, in other words, what is the type of education and environment which can bring it out?

The outermost part of uniqueness is behavior, which means not forcing individuals to conform to some fixed patterns of behavior. In such a culture of uniqueness, deviations from the common or most followed patterns are accepted without any negative reactions. For example, if someone wants to follow the 9–5 timing in an organization where flexi-time is the norm and people come at odd hours it is fine, or if someone wears the traditional business suit in an advertising agency where most people come in fancy dresses is also acceptable.

In the inner domains, first come knowledge, skill and talents. In a modern organization, most people possess, pursue or specialize in that form of knowledge and skill which are part of the core competence of the organization or related to its main products and services. However, some people in the organization may have a natural inclination, interest or talent in a different domain of knowledge which may not be directly related to the core competence or products of the organization but somehow complements or enhances their knowledge base. For example, a programmer in the software firm who is interested in higher Mathematics or Sanskrit Grammar or Philosophy. The culture of uniqueness will help encourage and provide whatever facilities it can give to such people to pursue their inclinations and interests.

Goffee and Jones2 talk about an organization where complementary knowledge and skills are consciously cultivated:

“For example, at LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company (and growing rapidly), you would expect to find brilliant, creative innovators like Marc Jacobs and Phoebe Philio. And you do. But alongside them, you also encounter a higher than expected proportion of executives and specialists who monitor and assess ideas with an analytical business focus. One of the ingredients in LVMH’s success is having a culture where opposite types can thrive and works cooperatively. Careful selection is part of the secret: LVMH looks for creative people who want their designs to be marketable and who in turn are more likely to appreciate monitors who are skilled at sporting commercial potential.”

The third factor of uniqueness is nature and temperament. In Indian thought, it is called ‘Swadharma’—one’s own self-nature. This Indian perspective classifies human beings into four types based on Swadhrama. First is the one with a natural inclination for knowledge, values and ideas, who lives predominantly in his mental, moral and aesthetic being. Second is the type with an inclination for power, action, conquest, mastery and leadership, who lives in the consciousness of his will and vital energy. The third type is the one who tends towards mutuality, harmony, building relationships, organization and pragmatic adaptation to life. The fourth type is the one who has the natural inclination for service, helpfulness, and craftsmanship and material execution. There can be many other similar classifications. The culture of uniqueness will provide all the help it can to each individual to discover appropriate activities or occupations which are in harmony with his or her natural Swadharma and also encourage him or her to work in complementing harmony with others with a different Swadharma.

There is one more facet of uniqueness which our modern mind, heavily influenced by the ideals of democracy, is unwilling to recognize; it is the extent of inner development—mental, moral, aesthetic and spiritual which we may call as the development of consciousness. In this domain, all are not in the same level of development. As we have indicated earlier, uniqueness is the result of this progress in consciousness. Those who are in the lower levels of consciousness tend to be more or less the same in the nature and content of their consciousness. As we grow in consciousness, we tend towards greater individualization. Ideally, the leaders of an organization have to be at higher levels of development or, in other words, live in the consciousness of their higher nature made of the intellectual, ethical and aesthetic being with well-developed faculties of will and vital force. But very rarely we find such ideal leaders. Most of the leaders in the corporate world live in the consciousness of their dynamic faculties of determination and vital forces with a highly individualized ego, but without a commensurate development in the consciousness of their ethical, aesthetic and spiritual being. Here comes a major problem with individualization and uniqueness.

A highly individualized vital ego without a corresponding mental, ethical or spiritual development can become a perpetual source of conflict and friction, because without this higher development, ego at the lower level cannot achieve unity and harmony with others.

RECONCILING UNIQUENESS WITH HARMONY

Here comes the remedy to the other practical question, ‘How to reconcile individual uniqueness with the need for unity and harmony?’ There must be an equal motivation and encouragement towards inner development in the mental, moral and spiritual domain which leads to an inner unity and harmony with others. In the mental level, there must be a broadness in the mind which can understand with clarity and conviction that diversity is a fact and there can be a large variation in thinking, feeling, understanding and behavior and therefore an enlightened acceptance of the uniqueness of others and a willingness to learn from, work with and complement others who are different from oneself.

At a higher level, there must be a deeper bond between people in their minds and hearts. There is a growing recognition of the need for a uniting vision, mission and values in the new management thinking. A higher purpose or vision which brings a deeper and higher meaning to work beyond the self-interest of individuals, and provides compelling motivation to work together, can create a mental bond but it cannot unite the hearts. Along with a common purpose, there must be a mutual goodwill in our thoughts and feelings. To arrive at this goodwill, we have to consciously cultivate all thoughts and feelings which can forge this goodwill like kindness, forgiveness, helpfulness, sympathy, generosity, and understanding and reject everything which is contrary to it like anger, jealousy, ill will, resentment. When this inner unity and bonding at the psychological level is forged, then any amount of outer variation in behavior, skill, knowledge, thinking, and feeling can be allowed without much conflict or friction.

When an organization is able to achieve this inner psychological unity, it is ready to take the higher leap towards a still deeper oneness in the consciousness of our spiritual self which is the source of everlasting unity, where we can feel others as part of our own self. This requires a yogic discipline of progressive interiorization. When a group of people are able to achieve this highest inner oneness, then all problems of diversity or uniqueness disappear. A deeper spiritual intuition develops in people and links all individuals in an orchestra of mutually complementing harmony.

CONCLUSION

An organization is not like an animal pack; it is made of human beings who are unique individuals. For harnessing the full potential of human being, this uniqueness of people has to the carefully nurtured and not suppressed in group-think. This uniqueness manifests itself at four levels i.e. behavior, knowledge, skill and talents, nature and temperament, extent of inner development. The individual uniqueness has to be nurtured at all these levels. But a highly individualized vital ego without a corresponding mental, ethical and spiritual development becomes a source of conflict because without this higher development, ego at the lower level cannot achieve unity and harmony with others. So for reconciling individual uniqueness with harmony, there must be an equal encouragement towards inner development in the mental, moral and spiritual domains. An organization as a collectivity has to strive towards a psychological and spiritual unity among people at the inner and deeper levels of consciousness. If we are able to arrive at this inner unity in consciousness any amount of variation or uniqueness in behavior, knowledge, thinking or feeling can be allowed without much conflict and friction.

M. S. Srinivasan

REFERENCES

[1] This article has also been published in NOLEGEIN Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.

[2]Coffee R, Jones G. ‘Creating the Best Workplace on Earth’, Harvard Business Review, May 2013; pp. 80–90.

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