KRISHNA Tarangam

A Political and Sciences Website

Vertical vs centric




       Gita gives you the best organisational structure!

      By Vivek Sharma

In India, we have top-heavy organisations,  literally and figuratively. The man on top doesn’t know the job of the persons he/she is heading. Ha ha ha ha…How can he/she plan  when he himself is a big zero in things he is about to plan for his men.
Young friends! You should try to reach the centre of an organisation instead of the top and introduce the centric system of management as described in the Bhagwad Gita. You should be an expert in the jobs your co-workers do. This alone can enable you to understand their situation and give them the best plan of action. What is happening today is that the “top” is just passing down orders and instructions which are a burden for the co-workers—the latter can tell how silly the plans are as they don’t address the problems. They are instead a heap of dust collecting on the co-workers’ heads—donkeys with loads can’t run like horses!  Always learn the job of your co-workers as an expert. You should be able to do the job in their absence, is the only standard of expertise. Don’t prove that you are an expert. Just show it through action. This is what is asked from you.  If you can do it, you are a true leader and you shall automatically set examples for your co-workers and give way to the centric system. If not so, then you are a burden on your team. They will never support you though they may speak highly of you as long as you are in power! Ha ha ha ha. 
 Digital Ease
One of the surveys by a UK-based company in 2008 found that 70 % of the men in top positions in the digital era only make use of their technical staff in planning and execution. Why? Because they are not aware of the digital platforms and formats which require everybody from top to bottom to know and operate with. In such cases, they are only using the intelligence of the technical staff which make tech-heavy and work-difficult planning. Result: Most of the organisations failed in the growing digital medium then, the survey said. However, the organisations took note of the study and gradually began to keep digital-savvy members on top. This revolutionised their work culture and the result was maximum output with minimal effort and great functional ease. 
 Back in India
In India, the situation is still very bad. I can use the term “technically weak heads” are still on top in 68% organisations, which include media houses, educational institutions and brick and motar corporates.  Out of 68%, 12% people are good at PR jobs and not what they should be excelling in. Almost 90% of such organisations are either running in losses, or finding themselves knocked out in the new market format. They are still not getting the idea that today’s digital work culture doesn’t require PR heads but workers who are working despite oddities being created by tech-zero heads. 
Till 2010, the ad agencies in India hired bosses who were good at PR job. But, 70% of the organisations shut their shops just because the heads didn’t know the ground details and couldn’t plan well for a digital work culture. Gradually, some organisations began hiring designing personnel from designing institutes to the top positions and made way to creative heads, who were good writers and designers too.The result was that some of the ad firms not only excelled nationally but began to give a tough fight to the international firms. Believe it or not, during such a makeover, all the firms unconsciously shifted to the centric system of management wherein the best was kept at the centre who not only inspired the co-workers through his work contributions but also through his decisiveness and continual interactions. This increased communication between the leaders and co-workers and the result was outstanding. However, the companies which still continued with top-down management system only found themselves to be the victim of lack of communication, miscommunication and work-uneasy interactions with co-workers. A study, according to my friend who is leading a media group using the centric management system, suggested that in most of the head-on-top or vertical organisations, even the best talents couldn’t work to their full potential due to lack of communication and miscommunication. This was the major reason for their failure. He (I will not take his name as he doesn’t want me to due to technical reasons) says  an organisation can sustain itself in the market through a good PR man on top for some time. But, finally it is the work which is the best PR in the market in the era of social media, wherein everything is in the public eye.  All 1960s models have to be garbaged and the old organisations should reset themselves to the digital atmosphere within and without.
      Insecurity Syndrome
In the digital world, a digitally unskilled head can either be dominated by the efficient co-workers or influenced by sycophants, which he is more vulnerable to as he knows that he knows little about the work. His only concern is to survive and ensure the monthly salary. 
In such a case, the head shall take extraneous work  routes to hide his inabilities and insecurities by keeping the owners on his side and showing off that he is the best hand for the owners. His entire focus of the planning would be to save himself and others like him in the organisation and keep the talented down and unnoticed. 
This shall make the talented co-workers insecure too and the result shall be disastrous for the organisational output. 
Talent exodus only gives rise to mediocres in place. This hits the final nail in the organisational coffin. It may not seem to fall today. But, gradually, it shall collapse under its own weight, says my friend. 
   But, where is Gita?


Discourse 2 of the Bhagwad Gita gives loud hints about it all. In fact, the discourse is full of such ideas. 
The centric system requires a person at the centre to remain functionally connected with the co-workers keeping his personal associations aside. Meaning thereby that a person should  recognise his co-workers through their work and not by emotional nearness. Such a leader is like Dhananjay—the person who has success at his command. The principle applied here is 
योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा  
धनन्जय।समत्वं योग उच्यते।।
We shall have to understand as to what really is समता. Now imagine for a moment the solar system. All planets are arranged around it functionally in different orbits. But, the sun is connected with them not personally, but through its light, heat and rays. The centre is called समता where all forces are balanced without upsetting the functional connectivity. This is not possible in the weighing balance or a vertical or horizontal system. It will always tilt this side or that side in order to bring in the balance. This pendulous motion shall only give rise to chaos. This is what is happening in the vertical system of management. Now in the shloka Krishna is saying place yourself (योगस्थः = योग + स्थः=place yourself at the centre or operate from the centre) and act through the orbital hierarchy wherein people are arranged around according to the function they are best at. This can happen only when you give up personal liking for somebody—functionality is the only criterion to rate persons as per their talent. This is possible only when you act from the centre in the open area and not from the closed cabin.
In the case of a tech-zero head, make him work in different sections of the organisation till he masters the job. If he fails, he should be placed in that particular section for learning. This will not only demolish the vertical systems but also give way to centric system of management. 
There are certain organisations which follow this principle and keep rotating the head through various work stations every year or so. There he is supposed to give an output, not just sit there and throw his weight around. After his ‘work refresh’, he is supposed to file reports discussing and suggesting necessary changes in the system. 
Multitasking begins from the head, not from the feet or hands, says John Richard, a management wizard. He also says that a multitasker alone is fit to head an organisation. Of course, he doesn’t discuss the centric system which I have talked about, but it does indicate that. Many multinationals are following this and excelling in their respective fields.
 Situational joke 
In most of the organisation following the vertical system of management, the top man only passes down instructions and is paid sumptuously. However, the co-workers who are really working out the organisational plans, are paid abysmally less and made to work more. 
The only function of the top head is to pass instructions (of the kind I have discussed above) and walk around in the corridors to make his presence felt and retire for snacks, coffee or lunch in his chamber after asking the personal assistant not to allow anybody inside for three hours. That simply means he is not available for talks for three hours. After that he takes a round or a meeting, discusses plans, gives his ideas which may not fit in the schemes of things, and leaves the office only to appear next day and take feedback of implementation. If anything goes wrong while implementing his ideas, he is quick to pull up the guy for not being careful. The guy should have informed him about how non-implementable his idea had been. The guy is under pressure for no fault of his, since he was only following a feudal vertical structure of commands. The boss goes home after routine checks and balances. The joke is that he draws the highest salary through instructions alone! Ha-ha-ha. I wrote the blog after having discussions with my friend. Credit of information goes to him.

Go Back


Blog Archive

YOU ASK Comments

जय महाऋषि जमदग्नि

This is a beautiful post, I have been reading all the posts from a very long time :) and it has really given me a different perspective of life and everything ! Great going in this harsh world this is some kind of relief ! Good luck

Very well explained.action and reaction both are clearly explained.

I feel that it is the simplest way to guide us to get up and start performing for good, as expressed that we are better than a ditch any given day.