Management & Yoga Philosophy
The world has its latest scandal: VW. I won’t go into technical details as I don’t have the knowledge and anyway, I am a woman. I don’t have to understand the technical details, right? Sorry, just joking.
Anyway, what I do claim to understand though are the mechanics that drive huge corporations or any other huge system. Many huge corporations in any kind of industry have at one point or other been involved in some major scandal – from oil, pharma, food and banking industry to the latest scandal in the automobile industry. Why is that? We may very well ask and I am sure many do.
The other day a dear friend came to dinner and at one point she talked about a lecture she had heard at work by a Yoga teacher. Obviously, the topic was Yoga. However, in this case the lecturer apparently did not really focus too much about what Yoga is or is not. Rather, he mentioned all the advantages Yoga has in various aspects of life, underlying these known facts with studies conducted around the world.
Then, he proceeded to show pictures of a person going into certain physical positions such as the headstand. The aim was clear and the effect followed in its wake. The audience – mainly managers, consultants, etc. – was duly impressed. Hm.
In the northern Hermisphere we are going towards autumn and the markets are – as so often – on the down. In fact, just this morning on various online news they were fearing a “Black Monday”, as the stock exchanges around the globe are pointing in one direction: down.
And – who knows – maybe it is or it isn’t a ‘so-called black Monday’. I don’t want to go into the ins and outs of the “why, how and who is to blame”-mechanism that invariably starts when something untoward happens in the world.
The other day there was an article in the paper (for those of us who read online it would have to read: “there was an article somewhere in the digital world of bits and bytes”…) referring to some research that a couple of economists had done with respect to possible effects of IT, robots, computer technology on unemployment. The upshot was that in the USA within the next 20 years approximately 47 % of the jobs would be replaced by computer technologies of various kinds.
First couple of questions
Similar numbers are foreseen for Germany and probably the rest of Europe. Without going into this article as such, a couple of questions, however, pop up. For instance: If we assume and agree that Computer technologies are replacing a millions of jobs, why then do we push the various technologies further? What is the purpose of knowingly affecting approx. 70 million employees alone in the USA to an extent where they need to fear for their very existence?
There is this lovely story about an Indian saint who boarded a train without a ticket. When the conductor passed by the saint obviously couldn’t produce ticket, so he was asked to leave the train. The saint then calmly sat under a tree and meditated. In the meantime the train wanted to continue its journey, but for some “unknown” reason it wouldn’t/couldn’t move. Realizing the problem they called back the saint onto the train and – surprise, surprise – the engine immediately started and the train began to move. – The morale of the story? – We’ll come to that later on.
One of my teachers once told me not to plan. Upon my questioning look he re-confirmed it and said: “Don’t plan.” He did not mean don’t organise, but simply don’t plan. At the time I thought I had understood his meaning and maybe intellectually I did. After all, who invites two dear friends months in advance for dinner on a Friday evening on June 12, 2015 and plans that they would help shovel umpteen buckets of water out of a flooded cellar? I mean the first part of the sentence is something everybody plans a million times all the time. But the second part? -Forget it. However, this is exactly what finally happened: a dinner combined with shovelling water – in the opposite order.
When I first started to work in New York over 20 years ago, my colleague next to me one day claimed that she was a professional. I forgot the reason why she said it but somehow she was totally and utterly annoyed and exasperated with her counterpart she had to deal with on the phone. – Theoretically, another professional. – Hm.
I just looked at her quizzically and did not really understand what the Americans meant by ‘being professional’. They kept repeating this term over the years and certainly, I did not understand why one had to state the hopefully obvious. After all, aren’t we supposed to be professional when we work for a salary? Isn’t that supposed to be a given?
This is the second blog in a short series of “de‘s”. Life is full of cycles: there are phases where everything is on the up-trend, then cycles of seeming stagnation and finally we also find these cycles where everything seems to be going down.
Depending on where we stand in a full cycle – i.e. up, stagnating or down – we need to adapt our economy accordingly.
Years ago, when I still officially went to school, the whole school used to go for a week’s ski-camp. For us kids it meant an extra week on the skis and – equally important of course – no sitting in class rooms, listening to teachers that were more or less exciting.
Our class was fortunate in that we had one teacher who was just great. She was – back then – young, fun and made class as interesting as possible given the topics she was teaching (French and German). On the whole she was also dependable, i.e. she followed through with her announcements.
Okay. Sometimes she could show a little explosive anger when we overstepped the line, but it never lasted for long and we clearly knew we had gone too far. One of the times that some of the students clearly had overstepped the line was during one of the weeks in ski-camp.
This morning the ‘Neue Zürcher Zeitung’ (NZZ) published an article an Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (For those of you who are interested and read German here goes: http://www.nzz.ch/schweiz/blick-zurueck/die-fliegenden-yogis-von-seelisberg-1.18473566?extcid=Newsletter_02022015_Top-News_am_Morgen ). Why they chose to publish something on this Yogi who died back in 2008 I don’t know. But the article was interesting in that it shows the attraction and aversion that a person such as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has on people.