Have you ever thought what allegorical meaning the sky and the Earth might have in modern management? Or how Eastern wisdom, philosophy and approaches are transformed in the managerial systems?
Correlations and answers that might sound strange and seem not to even exist at all become realistic, simple and clear after taking a journey to the world of philosophy and management with the founder of the company ‘A-live’ and a philosopher – Andro Dgebuadze.
The change of generation leads to the changes of the way of thinking, mentality and priorities. This altogether is accompanied with the apparent and tangible technological development. We seem to be living in a world of inevitable changes, thus the people standing by the doors of success are the ones who not only keep up with those changes but also have the ability to predict and overtake them. This is the main challenge of today’s managers – what kind of managers they should be in a time where possibilities are indefinite, the environment constantly changes and the fast pace of life deprived us of the time that we could use for and with ourselves. The starting point of the successful management turned out to be the co-existence of the freedom and order and the ability of the manager to balance these two concepts.
‘The thing I always loved about jazz was how a musician could dare to merge freedom and order. It seems like there is no place for order in freedom; and vice-versa – if there is an order, what does the freedom have to do there?! The place where I have ever seen a balance between these two was exactly the jazz improvisation.’
Indian mythologist and author – Devdutt Pattanaik managed to interpret the antique scripts, symbols and rituals into the contemporary world and helped managers to better comprehend their employees, companies and customers by helping them to use the power of myths. What is the most important thing in management? – The answer depends on how you look at business – as a unity of goals and orders or as a unity of people? If your answer is latter, then it is critically important for your employees’ motivation to find out what they think and what they believe in. According to Pattanaik business develops in a way how you behave, and you behave in a way what you believe in. Based on this approach he developed the ‘3-B’ model – As is belief, so is behavior, so is business. It turns out that even in business the highest virtue is belief. This philosophy opened doors for completely new approaches in management where, according to Andro Dgebuadze, the process of humanization of the management has started.
‘Whatever a robot could make is already taken over by computers and the only thing left for humans is – creativity. An artificial intelligence (AI) will deprive humans of everything except for the ability of excitement, sense of conscience and ‘I understood’. AI already took away ‘I learned’ that time when it managed to learn in hours the knowledge for which the mankind spent the whole span of evolution. Thus, we need to understand in what a different time we are entering; in a time, where if we do not transform ourselves in the realm of spirituality and creativity we will simply lose our function.
The new challenge for 21st century managers will be how to balance between order and freedom when managing a team. The millennials are the biggest generation of the world workforce that means that the employer should adapt to the constantly changing workforce. The millenials are perceived as being obstinates and having the inborn refusal of bureaucracy and authorities. They think that the most important feature for creating their identity is impression. Because of this, it is one of the most decisive factors what they think of managers and the atmosphere.
‘One person shared his version of being a good manager – be an asshole! There is the truth in this joke. The approach of obedience used to exist in management for long time and we thought it would exist forever. Serving this approach you can be Good but will never be a Great manager. Today’s youth is not grown up in the national obedience and there is much bigger portion of free will in them. Millenials are impatient people and cannot be circled by the rules. They are willing to attack authorities, they prefer to learn in the process, make mistakes and accumulate experience.’
It is interesting till where this freedom lasts and where it leads us to? – Freedom only then becomes understood and valuable when a person finds out that there is an order existing somewhere as well; order, which needs to be discovered.
‘Steve Jobs reached order through freedom. It was him the first person who nurtured the idea that a laptop should have been minimal in size and feel nice when touched. In the huge industry of technology only Steve said – ‘MacBook is a laptop you want to touch and this way introduced us to the element of feeling. The necessity of feeling was not known for management until this century. There is nothing written about this approach which is still in the process of development in the textbooks because yet everybody tries to avoid feelings. But management will reach that point and more and more people will say: give me the possibilities; there is no way you can make an obedient person out of me! Your question as managers will be how to manage those persons inside whom lives Brahma, a creator.
In order to transform to this kind of new management and relationship format, considerate and successful companies try to prepare themselves for changes. More and more Georgian companies start to implement Lean management and Agile transformation. Lean is oriented on eliminating extra expenses from the processes not through firing the employees but through increasing the size of production and better time management instead. Agile is the flexible methodology of management which enables the company to boost efficiency and shrink the deadlines for project implementations and decision makings – this explanation is according to business terminology. However, what do those means of management mean in simple words on which companies gradually transform to?
‘It is time we took off our ties but it does not mean a simple disorder. If you will be wise and predict upcoming changes, you will see that management will be added by feeling – which means the management process will become humanized and so will be the offspring product of this management. As managers you have to give people freedom and on larger scale – order. On large scales the feeling of freedom is a huge asset for employees. Agile is nothing more…’
Andro Dgebuadze used to have a German roommate with a different mentality and culture. He still remembers what his roommate once said: do what you know and know what you do – that is quality. A philosopher added feeling on this equation and thus created a heaven of his understanding: know what you feel, feel what you know, feel what you do and do what you feel!
‘’Definitely this approach exists in Georgian culture – we can balance between freedom and order and to prove this only a Georgian polyphony is enough. We have a culture of listening and that’s why. If you possess this kind of culture, you can ask for higher quality management and not for obedience.’
And lastly, things come full circle that prove the advantage of a unity of the sky and earth symbols for even the most rational managers.
‘In our business the standard should be the product that we create. There is always a hypothesis between standard and creativity – always do something different in a way to fit in standard because what you do outside the standard will not have a value. Also, always make sure to change the standard and make it higher. Make that a standard what you did well after a lot of tries – this is how Japan lives. We, Georgians, do not fancy standard – we prefer mere creativity over standard. Exactly this is the sky and earth which we need to engage in our lives and which will lead us to progress and development.’
For the purpose to share modern management, motivation factors and its management highest ranking managers gathered at a meeting of the project ‘business café’ implemented by consultation company ‘Insource’. This year’s ‘business café’ is supported and sponsored by ‘TBC Insurance’ and ‘Beeline’. ‘Business café’ is consultation company - ‘Insource’-s project and aims to exchange practical experience, ongoing business processes and news around leadership and management among different companies’ heads. Afrer Andro Dgebuadze’s lecture, in this line of meetings the organizers have come up with the new idea – discover new faces from leadership sphere and introduce them to business circles.
Author: Mariam Kanchaveli