As I sit down to write this piece I see the photo of the deities Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Sarasvati. We paid our obeisance to the Gods, urging them to shower prosperity and success, this Diwali.
Possibly, all we asked and prayed was Tangible and measurable. What about the intangible?
I hope, you are also from the generation, where the clothes, shoes, and books were passed on from one sibling to another and we hardly grumbled about it. Those were the days of scarcity and or rationality.
What we shared during those days, were not just the things but love and the strong sense of bonding as well.
A striking question to me was what do my child inherit from us ( me and my wife)? I can make the list of all the things passed on to me and what I saved for my child.
What about those things, which are not measurable and not tangible, perhaps the most important inheritance to the next generation?
I take the reference of Tangible versus non-tangible, from Bussiness Sutra, written by Devdutt Patnik . The Kauravas chose the army of Krishna and Pandavas chose, Krishna, himself, and we know the outcome of the Mahabharat.
The values (intangible) won over Greed and lust ( Tangible )
As we evolving to be a consumeristic and individualistic society, the emphasis is on me than us.
The live example is Delhi’s pollution level post-Diwali. Despite the Supreme court orders, the air pollution was at the peak.
Sadly, the values are not necessarily thought in schools. The biggest challenge for any parent today should be a reinforcement of the values, especially when there are plenty of other influencers around.
The hard truth is, values shape us and we shape society.
Simon Sinek, has written a very interesting book called “ Why leaders eat last”.
The book takes us through the interesting facets of chemicals in Humans and the impact on the society as the whole.
While reading the book, I resonated with a lot of example of the corporate disasters in the rest past as simple gush of Dopamine. The short-term-ism. The recent tarnishing instances of Japanese companies like Takata Corporation, a leading manufacturer of air bags for the vehicles, has filed for bankruptcy on account of faulty air bags , costing them billions of dollars.
Another Japanese company to be hit by scandal over quality was Kobe steel.
The German automaker, Volkswagen Group, falsified their emission results since 2015, before being exposed.
Harvey Weinstein, a successful movie producer is marred by numerous claims of sexual abuse.
The corporate culture can either be vicious or civilized. The individuals on the top, shape the culture of the organization producing results by recklessness and shortcuts or on basis of long term-ism.
The organizations, which are marred by scandals are Dopamine driven leading to instant gratification. We have had our share of scandals in India – Satyam is one of them. The 2008 sub-prime crisis was the result of short-termism where many of the financial institutions invested in the toxic assets and were on verge of perishing, before being rescued by the Governments.
The Dopamine driven organization employees will also have the highest cortisol levels. Since these organizations thrive on greed and fear of survival. The culture which is becoming prevalent is, perform or perish, has induced the employees with tremendous levels of stress and distrust among peers and the other stakeholders.
Then there are other kinds of organizations, which have been built around core values of Trust and bond. These organizations are induced by oxytocin and serotonin.
Oxytocin and serotonin, simply put create the feeling of calm and closeness and mood stabilizers.
In India, we must have definitely heard about the TATA’s, who have thrived on the culture of Trust and bond. Where the employees have started and have ended their careers. In contrast, the other big business houses have followed the culture of “Hire and Fire”.
Southwest airline is an apt example of thriving in a very competitive industry and still being the very humane and very profitable organization.
To conclude, we need to introspect our values, our thoughts are a product of our values. The values, which we imbibe and exhibit do shape our society and organization as a whole.
Do we create an organization, where employees come to work with zeal and lot of passion or see the organization as a mere source of sustenance?
Food for thought: Are you toxic or Humane?