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Gearing up Human Resources for
Corporate Restructuring - Vedic Approach

Dr T.S Mohanchandralal,
Director, Maharishi Institute of Management, Bangalore

Corporate Dualism:

Dr. Garrow Luxmoore, an international expert in marketing services while commenting on Indian industries made several significant observations, which are eye openers to the corporate world. Indian industries by and large have made a significant breakthrough. But the power structure is still trumped by age-old cultural heritage. There exist chasm between owners and employed professionals, between seniors and junior managers, between workers and supervisors and so on. No doubt most of the Indian managers are good at theories but have not shown keen interest in practising what they have learnt. Cultural rigidities often stand in the way of fair and free interaction between different hierarchies. The gaps in power positions are so large that in many companies bosses are not in first name terms with their employees. Titles matter more rather than job contents1. This is an anathema to modern management culture.

Missing Input:

To break this syndrome, many solutions are at work. Successful companies have taken to them for enhanced performance with substantial success. But in all these, only the body and mind of the employees are focused, the eternal being in man, the soul; the fountain-head of creativity is glossed over. When problems are addressed and strategies are designed ignoring this fundamental inadequacy, their impact on business enterprises cannot last longer. They become a passing fad. If corporate restructuring process is grounded on Vedic Technology which focuses on the total being, the outcome will be complete, all embracing creative and lasting. This paper, therefore, evaluates the various available strategies to restructure and improve human resources in the corporate sector and eventually suggest how far the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the TM - Sidhi Programmes of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are effective in providing the critical inputs to bridge corporate dualism. This scientist of consciousness brought meditation from the caves of Himalayas, for the benefit of mankind and offered the same with strong scientific footing.

Learning - The Critical input:

Most successful organisations are learning organisations. They recognise the importance of people within, and support their fuller development through conducive environment. Enterprises look for three main areas for gaining competitive advantages: a) the use of most up-to-date technology. But today technologies become obsolete within a short span of time, in this fast shrinking world. b) the employment of efficient systems of delivery and working, but so can its competitors too and c) the quality of its people. Smart people perform every task smartly.

It is not necessary to tell them how to do things. It is enough to tell them what to do, and they will spring surprise with their ingenuity. They learn faster than their competitors, sustain the advantage for longer period, and move easily towards excellence. The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them but to be indifferent to them2. The only real security in this competitive world is a reserve of knowledge and experience and ability3. Sharing Organisational Culture, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Empowerment, and labourisation are certain popular tools available in the arsenal of Human Resource Development for evaluation in the light of the Vedic approach.

Sharing organisational culture:

Hatch (1997) observes that when a person leaves an organisation and joins another, he carries with him his skills as well as mindset which is influenced by a plethora of factors such as religion, philosophy, values, beliefs, socio-economic factors, etc., which can be collectively termed as 'Mental Programming'. The new entrant hence must bring about suitable changes in his mental programming, so that his ambitions and aspirations are aligned with the goals of the new organisation. Such alignment enables the corporate employees to look upon their career as creative rather than a way of mere earning.

To modify mental programming, the newcomer on his entry is tutored in the culture of the organisation, its values, goals, its customs and rituals, its heroes and their accomplishments. The newcomer is taught dos and don'ts of the company, the various channels of communication, his rights, privileges, responsibilities, and the grievance redressal procedures. He is periodically retrained and evaluated, so that his interpersonal relations and performance will improve. If employees are receptive, alive, expressive, objective, and open to experience, this strategy will bring them together both from within and outside the hierarchies. It loses the much needed binding force when these routines become rituals. Absence of creative element as well as holistic approach characterises this strategy.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP):

This therapeutic technique of Richard Bandler and John Grinder serves as an instrument for changing the behaviour pattern of the employees for effective communication, coordination and cooperation. People have five senses through which they interact with the external world. When a person sees, hears, smells, touches and feels something from the external world, the brain processes the inputs and converts them into a comprehensive structure on the basis of beliefs, experiences and values. Thus brain creates virtual realities in response to external stimuli. Therefore what one perceives is not the reality, but the brain's interpretation of it. This echoes the Monoistic philosophy of Shankaracharya, for whom all forms contain an element of untruth and the real is beyond all forms4.

Every person operates in a virtual reality of his or her own creation. Since human brain cannot comprehend negatives, all communications are framed positively. When people visualise, they defocus and look straight ahead, or look upto the right or left. When they are in internal dialogue, they are more likely to look down and to their left. When they are aware of feelings, they often look down and to the right5. Likewise, people use tonalities, voice-tempos, tones, and gestures to succeed in effective communication. Sometimes, silence becomes a useful mode of communication. NLP will be more effective if employees realise that everything around them is nothing but the creation and interpretation of mind and hence they could command authority in the field of progress and dictate their terms to the environment6.

Empowerment:

Successful organizations will be the ones best able to apply the creative energy of individuals toward constant improvement. The only way to achieve this, as a way of life in doing daily business is empowering the employees7. In progressive organisations top manager shares their responsibilities with middle management. Supervisors share their responsibilities with shop-floor workers. Such responsibility sharing gives a consensus and co-operative approach to various challenging problems. In quality circles, the team leader will list out the number of problems discussed and prepare a list of solutions through brain-storming sessions. Best suggestions are presented to the management for execution. Incentives and rewards are often offered for outstanding performance.

Delegation of authority broadens employee participation and deepens their involvement in corporate activities. It builds self-esteem. Many research studies have shown that when an employee's self-esteem is threatened, he becomes distressed and hence will be reluctant to accept additional responsibilities8. Management experts and psychologists have shown that, people work to satisfy their inner urge for excellence. Money is not the ultimate motivator. Empowerment provides optimum results if the members involved are able to feel that all invariably originate from a Supreme Common Source and hierarchies are mere designs to play designated roles for continuous improvement of the organisation.

Quantum Cosmology suggest that whole universe emerges out of Unified Field through its own spontaneous eternal process of self-observation from a point which is infinitesimally small-a point of infinity9. Such an enlightened perception is possible when members of the organisation start consciously looking upon themselves more than what they appear to be and take a stand in the science and art of management thorough natural law and bring its support to every aspect of management goals -prosperity, progress, fulfilment, success and peace for all concerned10.

Labourisation:

Financial participation by workers in the ownership of companies creates a sense of belonging to employees. As owners, they can question and evaluate the performance of the management and can come out with suggestions and plans. This labourisation strategy enables the employees to also view their enterprise from management angle. By minimising irritants and conflicts, this extended approach avoids strikes and loss of opportunities for making profit, and thus paves the way for developing harmonious and people-friendly organisations.

The New Agenda:

To reap optimal results from these tools, corporates must bank on holistic approach which is faithful to the head, the heart, the body and the spirit of mankind. The head agenda organises the work, but it leaves out the human beings who do the work! Business hires the whole person - feelings and emotion, corporeal needs, social behaviour, and spirit. The heart agenda, the right brain focuses on dignity, morale, team-play, and trust. The left brain is objective and hence fixated on productivity and all other associated activities. A trade off between these hemispheres is vital for corporate success. The body agenda brings to focus the sparkle of health. Energetic workforce enjoys high morale and a better perception of corporate problem. It can easily rise up to the occasion and contribute more. The spirit agenda, the most neglected and often forgotten is vision-oriented. It is wisdom-centric. It is beyond all forms and names, yet it governs all. Creativity, excellence and completeness originate from this perennial source.

Prof. Peter Vaill after observing high performing companies over a decade says that they consistently refer to the "Spirit" of the people11. For Tom Peters, a quality improvement programmes, that really works, are "almost mystical"12. The members of high performing organisations are by and large strong, happier, more focused, better able to compete, more likely to play a good game. Full of inspiration and enthusiasm, they hold others in esteem admiration, genuine politeness and kindness. All these positive attributes spring up from within, when spiritual awareness is created. Maharishi says that managers rooted in Transcendental Consciousness, function through Nature's principle of least action, initiating dynamism in silence, and introduce automation in administration to create stable and balanced economy13. TM and TM-Sidhi programmes accomplish this task.

Transcendental Meditation (TM):

TM technique is a simple and effortless process which can be learnt easily under the guidance of trained teachers. To practice this technique, the individual sits comfortably with eyes closed in a restful way. At a certain point of time there occur shorter or longer intervals when thought activity ceases in toto, and the mind simply experiences conscious awareness alone without content. There is quietness and serenity at these heights. This is the place of certainty, the home of all laws, the seat of creative abilities, a field of all possibilities and a field of infinite correlations. Maharishi calls it Pure Consciousness(PC) or Transcendental Consciousness(TC). On continuous practice, TM leads the individual to the fifth state wherein pure consciousness is maintained along with waking, dreaming, and sleeping14. The principle of Homeostasis confirms that the dynamic equilibrium of our physiology, by a hierarchy of self regulatory processes maintain its integrity and stability amid changing influences15.

The third law of thermodynamics postulates a positive correlation between entropy (disorder) and temperature (activity). When the latter decreases and tends toward zero, perfect orderliness in the system emerges. Hence it is not vulnerable to penetration by external stimuli. In TM similar situation emerges. A decrease in mental activity followed by a marked improvement in brain coherence takes the meditator to the very source of thought, the earliest stage of thinking. When this is enlivened, thinking becomes spontaneously evolutionary following the natural tendency of the law of nature16.

TM-Sidhi, an advanced program is a breakthrough in the development of human potential. Enlivening and activating TC, and also developing the habit of projecting thought and action from the simplest form of awareness, it makes them spontaneously evolutionary and opens the field of all possibilities for the fulfilment of every desire. Here both ancient Veda and modern science find their ultimate achievement in opening infinite possibilities in human life17.

Empirical exercises:

When Maharishi introduced TM, 44 years ago, it was viewed as mystical and unscientific. Today more than 500 scientific studies from various research centres in 32 countries bring home the point that TM & TM Sidhi eliminate individual as well as collective stress that underlies accidents, industrial sickness, crime and violence and promotes all positive attributes such as health, fulfilment, receptiveness, productivity and development of personality18.

A study of 25 individuals practising TM has shown that TM speeds up reactions indicating increased alertness, improved coordination of body and mind, and improved efficiency in perfection and performance19. Another study of 26 meditating individuals indicates improvement in their ability to respond to new situations with greater adaptability20. A third study of 36 adults and university students who practised TM regularly exhibited greater intelligence compared to a host of 26 individuals whose TM practice was not regular. Intelligence is always associated with adaptability, creativity and comprehension21.

Personality Orientation Inventory (POI), a test developed by Shostrom to measure Maslow's concept of self-actualisation was applied on subjects practising TM regularly for 2 months, showed significant positive improvement in a clear perception of reality, more openness to experience, increased integration, spontaneity, expressiveness, objectivity, detachment, transcendence of self, ability to fuse concreteness and abstraction, a firm identity, increased autonomy and resistance to enculturation. Maslow defines these positive attributes of self-actualisation as a high level of maturity, health and fulfilment22.

Psychologists such as Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow and other experts have used The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), verbal form A, to measure a type of creative thinking process. This test was used to compare 44 subjects practising TM for an average of 18 months, with 41subjects who were new to this technique. The two groups were homogeneous in age, sex, education and income level. The long-term meditators achieved higher scores on all the three scales of TTCT- Fluency, Flexibility, and Originality underscoring that TM increases creativity23.

Executives at higher levels of responsibility practising TM, showed improved job performance, more job satisfaction, improved interpersonal relationships and more stability in their jobs when compared with individuals practising TM at lower levels of organisation. These attributes are positively associated with increased productivity24. A number of similar studies show that TM and TM-Sidhi programmes produce a wide range of physiological and psychological benefits for the individual as well as improved relationships. They have brought down crime rates in various cities, besides improving the health of people at large. All these findings thus give objective validation to the virtues of TM and TM-Sidhi programmes for constructive corporate activities.

Conclusion:

The corporate world at present is in the throes of crisis. Uncertainties, change and turbulence grip the business enterprises. The ever-increasing waves of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation lash the shores of business corporations signalling their Achilles' heel. The opening up of our economy now forces the corporate managers to realise the home truth that they will have future only if the impending threats are converted into profitable opportunities. They must rejuvenate their business houses by creating cost consciousness, waste consciousness and quality consciousness among their employees. They must not forget the fact that the law of increasing returns operates only in human resources. Investment in this resource is bound to bless business enterprises with rich dividend on sustained basis, even during hard times, compensating all other inadequacies. The Vedic approach discussed here can provide the much needed resources and strategies to prune and culture our vast human resources for harmonious progress.

***

Endnotes

1. Indian Management - vol 39 no. 7 July 2000: Culture Trumps Indian companies - Interview p 14-15.

2. Dr. Frank F Huppe, Successful Delegation ISBN 8107224-706-0 p 140 - George Benard Shaw

3. Ibid p 141,Henry Ford

4. Radhakrishnan S - An Idealist View of Life, George Allen & Unwin (P) Ltd. P 76

5. Joseph O'Connor & John Seymour, Training with NLP p 30

6. Maharishi University of Management, Wholeness on The Move, p 3

7. Dr. Frank F. Huppe, Successful Delegation p 132

8. Ibid p 41

9. Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Defence ISBN 81-7523-000-2 India 1996, p 251

10. Wholeness on The Move p 9

11. Jack Hawley, Reawakening The Spirit In Work p 26

12. Ibid

13. Wholeness on The Move p 3

14. Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme Collected Papers, Vol 1 Ed. By David W Orme-Johnson and John T Farrow - MERU Press - Introduction p27

15. Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Defence p 397

16. Ibid p 215

17. Creating Ideal Society, TM and TM-Sidhi Programme, MERU Pub. No. G 1959 p 21

18. Howard M Chandler, PhD, Maharishi Vedic Defence Technologies, Seminar Paper, p 7

19. Creating Ideal Society p 12

20. Ibid p 14

21. Ibid

22. Ibid p 15

23. Ibid p 16

24. Ibid p 1

 
 
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