Thursday, January 22, 2009

Twenty ancient values for the modern manager - Interview

Twenty ancient values for the modern manager
D. Murali
Chennai: What accounts for the sudden downfall of otherwise successful organisations? Are there any insights from the scriptures in this regard?
In answer to these questions, Dr S. Kannan, a Chennai-based chartered accountant, and author of ‘Vedic Management’ (, finds it apt to cite the maxim ‘Vinasa kale viparita buddhih,’ which in Sanskrit means that when one is on the path of destruction, his mind gets perverted.
“This happens due to the negative vasanas (inherent impressions) of a person which suddenly manifest and show the true colours,” he explains during the course of a recent email interaction with Business Line.
“Kings like Ravana and Duryodhana, though highly learned, powerful and wealthy, faced destruction finally when they went against dharma (righteousness). The great king Harischandra suffered a lot but emerged finally victorious as he remained steadfast and upheld truth at all costs,” says Dr Kannan, making a reference to the epics.
He also quotes from the Vajasaneya Samhita that one shall not covet the wealth of others. “In the organisational context, it is the top leader who either makes or breaks the organisation. Hence a leader should master the art of proper self-management and abide by the moral and ethical values.”
Excerpts from the interview.
These days, we hear a lot about corporate governance. Is this a topic on which we can draw from ancient Indian wisdom?