Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘management lessons’

We Indians have the ultimate power to solve all the world’s problems.  Barack Obama faces the healthcare bill impasse.  World leaders like Clinton and Biden want to bring peace to Palestine.   Come to us.  We Indians possess the “Stealth Bomber” to solve these problems with – Just 3 simple words.

Simply uttered, they are – “Swalpa Adjust Maadi” in Kannada which is the lingo in Bangalore – or “Kuch Jugaad Kijiye” in Hindi or literally translated in English – “Please do something”.

The meaning is important – “Accommodate and help me, please”.  “Screw the rules and just get this done for me”.  “Please do me this favor, You Are The Great One!”  “Honey, please don’t get so upset, please adjust, accommodate”!  Get the idea?

Utter these 3 words and you are ready to rock and roll.

Because, hear me out – These are the most powerful, omnipotent, non-negotiable words that can cause mountainous barriers to collapse and fires to simmer down, relationships to resurrect and governments to move.  These words have made India the growth juggernaut that it is.  We have been using these words and solving problems for centuries.  We can travel in trains or see movies when all tickets are sold out.  Politicians can use them and hush up an irate mob of 100,000.  We can feed an additional 1000 hungry mouths.  We can get a fortress to open.  We can make up a broken marriage, reopen a business partnership.  We can even get a job where is none.  We can change despair to joy, sorrow to hope and a no to a yes (yes, maybe).  India’s 5 Year Plans can be simply adjusted for more growth with some minor “adjustments.  All with 3 magical words.

The Western and the digital world have missed out somewhat on the power of these simple 3 words.  And so they are up the shit creek without a paddle all the time.  There are only 0s and 1s, logical programs and policies and rules in the Western and digital worlds.

In the US, could we “somehow” board an overbooked train?  Can we “adjust” and get a prescription drug over the counter?  Can we “manage” and get into a Red Sox game without tickets?  Or park in a wrong spot and “request to adjust” and get away?  No, hell, developed digital worlds and countries just haven’t learnt to “adjust”, man!  Can’t get anything done here.

Look at current events.  A budget gap can stop a city from functioning in California, a museum and a library to close in Boston and 100s of teachers to get pink slips all over in Massachusetts.  That won’t happen in India.  There is no such thing as a budget gap.  It’s just a “minor adjustment”.  Somehow other departments will “adjust”.  Plans will be juggled around, space made and bills printed and under-the-table “something” negotiations will keep the engine chugging along.  Payroll maybe delayed, maintenance maybe delayed, reimbursements postponed and some frugality enforced, but life “somehow” goes on.

Alas, the Western world does not want to learn this simple philosophy of “adjusting” with fate and circumstance.  Nike tried to imbibe this wonderful Indian philosophy with their “Just Do It” slogan. But it misfired and no one else understands it, really.  Except Tiger perhaps.  Things get really tough and non-negotiable here, without the magic words.

Devdutt Pattanaik traces the roots of this absolute comfort with ambiguity and flexibility of the Indian mind and compares it to the Western “Yes or No” way of thinking very well in this video at http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/devdutt_pattanaik.html

Utter these three words when you negotiate next time and see how the person on the other side purrs into submission and gives in.  Things will work out well for you.  You could even whisper them into your laptop microphone next time it craps out on you – Swalpa Adjust Maadi, Please Do Something – it might work out and boot successfully.  Maybe the program was developed by an Indian who knew the power of these 3 words.  Well, maybe…..somewhat…perhaps…..Swalpa Adjust Maadi…..

Read Full Post »