Sunday, September 21, 2014

Color Color What Color?

In one of the professional forums, someone shared a concept that describes organizational culture. It was an interesting concept to listen to for various reasons.

Red organization is the one that exercises power constantly with fear being the driving factor, Orange organization is the one that is constantly looking for beating the competition while Teal organizations focus on deep introspection sharing, consensus, and commitment to improve character and wisdom.  The person who shared the concept to the audience believed that it is an all new idea. More interestingly tried generalizing that India is Orange while US is Green, getting closer to Teal; also he believes that once an organization is Teal they would stay Teal ever after unless there is any life changing event. That is where the contention is!

First of all, it is not a new concept! If you study three 'Gunas' described in Indian philosophy, you can clearly see that Red and Tamasik are similar; Orange and Rajasik are the similar and Teal and Satvik are similar. Please note that they are only similar but not same because being Satvik is much more than Teal. For example, a Satvik person does help others because he thinks it is his duty to help; he is not proud of being helpful; he expects nothing in return!! Unlike the western management philosopher, the Indian philosophers felt that each one of us have these three gunas while we should constantly strive become satvik.

While Indian gurus recognized the impact of the environment and the people you interact with on your thought process and behaviors, they did not generalize that a community can be at one level or the other, because they understand that it is the quality of mind that gets expressed through behaviors!! India believes in continuous introspection and cleansing; if not your thoughts can become impure. It does not take a life changing event to switch from one level to the other - just different type of environment can do the trick unless you are very careful about your thoughts.

The most interesting part of the session is presenter believed that India could never have been Teal!!!  What surprises me the most is, someone who claims to be a researcher & more importantly preaches that each individual is to be treated as an individual, cultures should be respected has not done the groundwork before making such statement in a forum of professionals! How will someone orange have ethical standards defined even for war? While the focus is to be Satvik and not create unrest within self and others through thoughts, speech and acts (like war), there were ethical standards for war in case war becomes inevitable. Ancient Indian war ethics mandates that a warrior does not kill elders, patients, children, women and anyone who does not have an equally powerful weapon; even when you are fighting someone with equal power, no stabbing from the back; war is to be fought only when there is sunlight! Sure, a civilization that sells weapons to those who bomb schools, hospitals and places of worship can never understand these war ethics!

It is high time we Indians realize the fact that we have lost and losing our leadership edge by exhibiting behaviors of competitiveness & winning at all cost. While being ready to accept such generalizations is bad, not acting to strengthen our leadership qualities is a sin! The colonial era wanted us to be only clerks who would just execute the instructions; the next information era is slowly influencing us to create software that would execute the instructions. Of course, we should make use of the opportunities to strengthen our economical growth. But we should start thinking about solving our local problems. If we can write software to sequence the actions of robots in a factory, statistically analyze the sales, demand, supply etc., can we not write software that would analyze the data from our satellites & alert people on natural disasters?   I am more concerned with our education system than ever. Isn't it time for us to focus on leadership skills than just scores, thinking than memorizing skills problem solving than numerical abilities, technical excellence than just employability? 

It does not matter if someone calls us Red or Orange or Teal! What matters is how do we realize our strengths, develop & exhibit strong character and make our country a better place to live!  

2 comments:

Ms.Learner said...

I am happy to read this blog and have few thoughts/questions to ponder on similar lines:
1.Once being a country abundant with wealth, intellect & resources like no other - now India is termed as 'DevelopING' nation. Where did we falter?
2.Are we actually working on our strengths as well, while focusing in improvements?
3. We, humans, are tagged similarly in real life based on perspectives of few others.
4.Example quoted from Indian scripture quoted - makes me proud to be Indian (yet another reason to have data to back up the 'New' concepts coined/explained by others)

Geetha Justin said...

Jyothi, thank you for your comments!

your first and second questions are very much related. there are several reasons why we took a nose dive and became just "developING". http://geethajustin.blogspot.com/2012/11/great-indian-ship-continued.html is my attempt to list down a few.

More than drilling into the root causes alone, I think we should start looking forward and start using our strengths with continuous focus to improve what is existing.

We are in the process of creating a platform for those who are interested in working for this cause. You can join us if you are keen to make the change you want to see!