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August 3, 2016 No Comments

Decay & ultimately death is inherent in growth

Dharma is a principle. The human ability to outgrow the animal instinct born out of the fear of survival, manifesting as domination and territoriality.  Dharma is a human concept. Animals and plants belong to nature, where no one has choices. Might is the only criterion that prevails. Humans have the unique ability to make choices and hence reject what is ‘in their nature’ – from this space comes the idea of dharma, which is beautifully illustrated in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Dharma is a principle, not a rule, which is why in Ramayana rules are upheld and in Mahabharata rules are broken. Beneath the actions of Ram and Krishna is dharma – which may result in rulePrinciple-Rules-KRDR making or rule breaking, depending on the context.

While empathy towards others is Dharma, the exploitation of the weak for self-gain is Adharma.

Dharma is universal and highly context sensitive. It’s a principle and not a code of conduct. Rules are developed to uphold the dharma. Rule make sense only when the context remain same. If the context changes, rules needs to be changed accordingly.

Cultural dilution with growth: In the early stages of the organisation, Leader himself is involved in decision making hence righteous decisions are made. With growing size of the organisation, managers start applying the rules as per the rule book to resolve the conflicts. The interpretation of rule book by managers with little understanding of principles coupled with increasing number of managerial layers & resulting distance from the top management who designed the rules in first place, the letter of rules becomes more important than the principles or the spirit behind the rules. Growing distance from the leader results in dilution of the organisation culture. The decay and ultimately death of an organisation is inherent in the desire of growth through dilution of culture.

It is true for every organization. Things change. Rules get rigid as time passes, and then rebels appear who demand freedom.

Rules-PrinciplesPrinciples guide you, rules restrain you. What is right is usually decided by people in power and rejected by those who are oppressed by it. So it is, was and will be.

Leaders must take variety of initiatives to reduce the speed and extent of cultural dilution that comes along with growth of the organisation. Educating the managers as well as employees about principles behind the rule book is one of the effective way. Education about ‘why ie why the rules are what they are’ coupled with ‘what the rules are’ helps in alignment of mind and heart.

Once people understand what is right and wrong, the number of violation comes down as well as fixes are easier to work out and easier to implement as majority is aligned.