Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.
Nature is in a process of continual renewal but for the ecological footprints left by our interventions. It takes more than a year for nature to renew what we consume in a year and some damages are irreparable.
Learning improves our mental models. The frog in the well forms a model of the world. The eagle on the tree has a different model. When the frog is taken out by the eagle and brought back into the well these two merge together to form a map of the world. The world has not changed but the models of the world have changed. We had a flat earth model in the not too distant past. With better technology and tools these models have given way to maps with increasing precision. Though maps of the physical world have become more precise the mental models that went with them are not easily discarded.
The eagle represents the big picture and frog, the details. Both are connected just as the Hubble telescope sends us pictures from outer space and the femtoscope helps us see the smallest of the small.
The eagle represents the global and frog the local which are but different perspectives of the whole. Thus being GLOCAL – is an imperative. So is the imperative of continual learning, leading to continual renewal. We are frogs in the well of nature
A brief history of learning/ renewal
Real work is the expression of a mature self
As a Dairy Technologist, I used to watch the huge butter churns in motion, waiting for that magical moment when the cream breaks out into globules of butter. This was my first project at work- to find a solution to mountains of cream that had accumulated over the previous surplus season. In the long hours that i worked towards reducing the bulk, I was forced to fight the boredom, visualising the mythical churning of the sea of milk by the Devas and Asuras to make amrit, the stuff that makes one immortal – knowledge.
Later on I had the privilege of observing a very sedentary ascetic centenarian for the last twenty five years of his pursuit of learning which had started at the age of nine. At 60 he had made it known that he had another 40 years of work left to complete. He completed his 40 years and went on for another six months and 15 days.
In developed nations the fastest growing segment of the population is centenarians.
While most “successful’ people in the ‘modern world’ (read top of the pyramid – sic) contribute in real terms for 15/20 years of their life span of around 75, what goes into the making of the rare centenarian who remains productive many times over ? If the product is in the process, what makes this process so rewarding in itself which keeps them relatively less mortal physically and immortal in the world of knowledge. Why are we not able to go beyond them as a community?
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. – Max Planck (1858-1947)
Imagine the churning that preceded the above statement!
Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543)
Proof: Galileo, (1564-1642) Strategy: Patience, non- action, out-wait competition
Ever wondered about the history of churning and the consequences?
We have a secret dread of being thought ignorant. And we end by being ignorant after all, only we have done it in a long and roundabout way. (From the short story – Once there was a King) Rabindranath Tagore, 1839-1941. The Parrots Tale develops this in much greater detail. Viswabharati, the university he set up, was the solution that he came up with for the problem.
There are only two ways to live: Either without thinking of death… or with the thought that you approach death with every hour of your life. – -Leo Tolstoy, 1828 – 1910
There is a third way, the path of regeneration, living with birth/death, NOW, in real time, the path taken by the high performing centenarians and the path open to the next generation who would go far beyond them. Most of us live in linear time. Living in real time is living in eternity.
Tolstoy was a prophets’ prophet, a link in the long chain from Buddha, Asoka the great and Christ who greatly influenced two of the heroes of our time and kept alive the idea of non-violence and non – action, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968).
Why did most champions of non-violence, have to die violent death?
Tolstoy’s thoughts on How to live: (He appears to have founded the human potential movement much ahead of the new age messiahs of the movement)
- The more upset you are with other people and circumstances, and the more satisfied you are with yourself, the further you are from wisdom.
- Don’t compare yourself with others. Compare yourself only with perfection.
- It is not the place we occupy that is important, but the direction in which we move.
- When you want to escape from rage, do not walk, do not move, and do not speak. Your rage cannot be justified by anything. The reason for your rage is always inside you.
- Speak only when your words are better than silence. For every time you regret that you did not say something, you will regret a hundred times that you did not keep your silence.
- There are two ways not to suffer from poverty. The first is to acquire more wealth. The second is to limit your requirements. The first is not always in our power. The second is.
- You do not have the right to be unhappy with your life. If you are not satisfied, see this as a reason to be unsatisfied with yourself.
- The more strictly and mercilessly you judge yourself, the more just and kind you will be in the judgment of others.
- Strive for goodness without any expectations for rapid or noticeable success. For the further you progress, the higher your ideal of perfection will rise. Yet it is the process itself, this striving, that justifies our lives.
- Nobody knows where the human race is going. The highest wisdom, then, is to know where you are going.
- The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.
- There can be only one permanent revolution – a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man.
He died on his way to become a wandering ascetic. Imagine the churning.
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, 1821- 1882 turned out to be more prophetic than Tolstoy – Raskolnikov, the hero of Crime and Punishment is the template for our current role models who have perfected the art of committing the perfect crime and earn their place in history as saviours of the world.
The product is in the process.
The seats of learning/ churning/clashes and the interplay of history, knowledge, power, religion, politics and culture
Taxila 6th century BCE to the 5th century CE
Nālandā (427 to 1197 CE)
The Imperial Nanjing Institute, China, founded in 258, has perhaps the longest unbroken tradition
Budha , Christ, Ashoka 304 BCE – 232 BCE , all belong to this period.
Taxila was burnt to ashes in 1197. The fire went on for weeks.
Prophet Muhammad, 570 – 632
The University of Al-Karaouine, Morocco was founded in 859 by two well educated wealthy sisters. Played a leading role in the cultural and academic relations between the Islamic world and Europe in the middle ages,
University of Bologna, Italy, 1150. The term university was coined at the founding of this seat of learning. The University of Paris was founded even earlier, was split into 13 universities in 1970.
1167 University of Oxford, UK. Exact date uncertain, teaching existed in some form since 1096
1209 University of Cambridge, UK
1440 the Printing Press
Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)
Harvard University, 1636
Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883), John Maynard Keynes, (1883- 1946)
W. Edwards Deming, (1900 – 1993), Peter Ferdinand Drucker, (1909-2005)
Drucker had personal experience of the Nazi regime, probably would have listened to Sigmund Freud as a child, and was a student of Keynes and Schumpeter. He foresaw the possibilities of the modern corporation and continuously reinvented himself. One might conclude that he also foresaw the need for a new paradigm of management with the focus on the self, managing oneself, for which he himself would remain, one of the best models.
Drucker started the study of General Motors in 1945, leading to the publication of the Concept of the Corporation and began his career as a consultant, teacher and writer. He remained at the forefront of the discipline he founded for half a century.
Deming started from where Drucker left off towards the end of his career. Had Deming been accepted in his home country as much as Drucker in his country of adoption, perhaps we wouldn’t have been in our current crisis. The prophet is seldom respected at home. One could argue that Japan had the cultural pre-requisites to accept Deming and the US ultimately had to give in reluctantly to the competition. Drucker could not save the corporation/s whereas Deming left a legacy which forms the foundation to the discipline that Drucker is said to have founded.
The Web. 1992. The parrot leaves the cage, the seats of learning move to the clouds. The internet has dematerialised learning from the seats of learning. Technology has become real time but people have not moved to real time. . We need new paradigms to bridge the gaps and transcend the learning plateaus in our journey of continual renewal and improvement
> a new discipline and pedagogy > the first discipline>the discipline of sustained high performance
The BRIC is broken
The tail wags the head
WMD – Destruction or Dialogue?
War on terror/ talent – WFT, Dream merchants and the revenge of the underdogs
Recession, Booms and Busts, the long cycles and the bubbles in between,
Is there a future? The rise or fall of India, Indian = Global
The climate /energy crisis, water /food security and sustainability
Finance capital > Human Capital > Community Capital > Eco-system Management > Developmental Management > Rethinking Development
Reinventing the discipline of Management
2. Management Overview
Missing the wood for the trees – What we failed to see, Marketing Myopia, Theodor Levitt
Peter Drucker. The Bystander> End of economic man > to Managing Oneself
Beyond Competitive advantage
3 . First Discipline, SHPC : A Map to the Future and the Road ahead
- 1. Continual Renewal > Regeneration Therapy
- 2. Personal mastery and LLL, Life Long learning, learning plateaus
- 3. System/s Thinking
- 4. Accelerated Learning and Mental Maps, KM
- 5. Positioning yourself, your business for SHP
- 6. Community Intelligence
- 7. The Singularity Perspective- the map of all maps
4 The Practice of First Discipline.
The tool kit – a backpack for the road
Dialogue and Storytelling
Analytics and Gap Analysis
Aligning with the Deep Structure
Participative Action Learning, Research and Real Time Management Development
Sustained High Performance – Growth by Design
5. Custodians of the Future
The Blue ocean people
Milk is white
God’s own country, Devils too – Between the devil and the deep-sea
The Eco-system people, fishermen/ tribal communities
The Fusion fuel and the Energy Challenge
6.Creating the future by design
Rethinking CSR, Wealth and Charity
Animating the Learning Engine, Maintaining the LE for SHP
Context: First Discipline?
The global failure of management as a discipline- Enron to Lehman brothers, recession, failure of IT , bubbles, poverty and conflicts. Thought leaders – Peter Drucker over the years – In spite of all the hype management in the west also has failed to deliver against the global context
Local failures: Failure to connect to the developmental management issues of India
Failure to define what is Indian (global) about management
Failure to attract management to governance and development
Academic work in India has failed to make a global impact
A dialogue between an academic and a development practitioner
The collapse of governance
The disillusionment with managers and academics, failure of leadership/intellectualism
The majority are left to fend for themselves –
TECHNOLOGY AND ACESS IN A CONNECTED WORLD
One man can make a difference
IT was entrepreneurial /technological/ learning breakthrough and not a product of management thought
Competencies of the new manager- Development practitioner?
The blogs explore these issues through dialogue
. Birth of the professional manager: the ethical /competency /community imperatives
Peter Drucker vs Amartya Sen
Stafford Beer vs. Peter M Senge
Prahlad vs Porter
Chris Argyris vs. Maslow – End of Organisation man ?
Deming vs. Drucker
Aurobindo vs. Ken Wilbur
Management Development , Nurturing the new managers
Action learning – Reginald Revans
Schumacher vs Schumpeter