Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fire for regeneration...

The concept of destruction as a seed for new creation is not new. However the pains of destruction and the emotional attachment to the old creates a constant dilemma for leaders, slowing down the emergence of new creations. Timing is crucial for the seed to germinate and any delays to create the right environment will only stunt the next generation growing naturally resulting in a sense of disbelief instead of confidence.
A clear example we can look at is Forest fires..forest fires are now more and more man made (Unintentional,so they say. But forest fires have always existed. The trigger has been Lightening strike on the tall trees. If it does happen in a dry season then it sets off a forest fire killing every possible life it can gobble. Some fires burn for several weeks. The heat on the floor of forest takes several months to subside or need to wait for a monsoon rain.
A pessimist will say that is the end of fertility and power of life. But nature has found ways to find life in this adverse condition. Certain variety of pine cones have been waiting for several years to open up. As they are hard and wax coated the only way to open it up is fire. The seeds jump out in joy and start to germinate. What a wonder...very soon the fertile soil provides place for younger and newer species of life. Was the forest fire bad? Yes for the older generation. But it provided a base for a new generation which otherwise would not have come to live with us. The concept of Shiva performing the dance of death and firing up lives opening the Third Eye when things need to be destroyed is to be viewed as an act out of pity rather than anger. The anger part is just to ensure there are no emotional reasons to slow down the destruction which slows down next creations. The reason to have bias less entity to destroy (as it will be difficult for a creator himself to destroy..I cannot imagine Brahma sitting on Lotus Flower can perform this task as the attachment/admiration will be preventing doing this. Remember Brahma was so fascinated by the creation of Thilothama that He forgot the reason fo the creation and started to lure her).
And why do I write all this? Life in corporations are similar. A product line which has outlived its utility is a constant dilemma for a company whose founder is attached to the product than the realities of market. Bajaj Scooters is a classical example. Owning a Bajaj scooter (Chetak) was a pride of several fathers and sure it was considered an ideal middle class family vehicle. Recently I read that the company decided to stop production of this. There were some emotional discussions of the founder, creator of the product. Maybe the decision should have been made 5 years ago to avoid drain of resources. I don't say that with this decision everything will change but the courage of destroying what has been created earlier is a Fire that should come at the right time. It takes will power to execute this decision as old people see it as Rash, safe players think that this fire will create total destruction etc. But a leader should take the decision without passion or attachment to ensure that the next generation thrives. Maybe there are some pine cones waiting for this fire.
Having said that it is important not to destroy for the pleasure of destroying. When I hear people telling me in Interviews that " Reducing Headcount is my key focus area. I have always championed this cause" I get really worried. Improving efficiency and output can be a focus area for everyone. One of the several consequences can be reducing resources that are no longer relevant. If the focus is other way then probably they are passionate about destroying rather than creating which makes them unfit for leading fires for regeneration.
Next time you find such a person tell them what we are looking for a person with third eye which opens only when really needed and not a sharp shooter who shoots only to check if his guns are working or his skill of sharp shooting is intact.

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Gothenburg, Sweden
Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!