Monday, December 6, 2010

Business Ethics Lecture Series - Part 17 - Musings on Management Consultancy

Musings on Management Consultancy

I just don't understand why we take "outside" help to solve "internal" problems, particularly when the solution to the problem lies within. This is true in personal life (when one goes to counsellors) and in organizations (when one hires consultants).

This famous Mulla Nasrudin Story exemplifies this irony:

A man is walking home late one night when he sees an anxious Mulla Nasrudin down on all fours, crawling on his hands and knees on the road, searching frantically under a street light for something on the ground.

“Mulla, what have you lost ?” the passer-by asks.

“I am searching for the key to my house,” Nasrudin says worriedly.

"I'll help you search for your key," the man says and joins Mulla Nasrudin in the search.
Soon both men are down on their knees under the streetlight, looking for the lost key.

After some time, the man asks Nasrudin, “Tell me Mulla, do you remember where exactly did you drop the key ?”

Nasrudin waves his arm back toward the darkness and says, “Over there, in my house. I lost the key inside my house…”

Shocked and exasperated, the passer-by jumps up and shouts at Mulla Nasrudin, “Then why are you searching for the key out here in the street ?”

“Because there is more light here than inside my house,” Mulla Nasrudin answers nonchalantly.

Close your eyes and think of this story, reflect, ruminate, carry the story in your mind, identify yourself in the story, create a silence within you and let the story reveal to you its inner depth and meaning.

Which “key” are you looking for?

The key to happiness, the key to health, the key to bliss, the key to freedom, the key to inner peace and tranquillity, the key to love, the key to God? Which elusive key are you searching for?

Why are you looking for the key outside when you have lost the key deep inside within you?

Is it because there is more “light” outside than within?

How can you find the key outside when you have lost it inside you?

You have lost your key deep inside within, so you have to search inwards deep within you.

Similarly if a married couple have lost the "key" to their relationship within the marriage, how do they expect an outside person like a counsellor to find their lost key - isn't it better for the married couple to sit together, reflect, look inwards and try and find their lost "Key"?

It is the same with organisations, isn't it? I wonder why we hire outside consultants to find the "key" which is within us?  

If an organization has lost a "key" within, is it not prudent for the management to introspect and search for the solution within than to hire external consultants and expect them to find the "key" which is lost within?

Well, maybe this is a contrarian view, but maybe, it is food for thought.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2010
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.  

VIKRAM KARVE educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU, The Lawrence School Lovedale, and Bishop's School Pune, is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, a Human Resource Manager and Trainer by occupation, a Teacher by vocation, a Creative Writer by inclination and a Foodie by passion. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. His delicious foodie blogs have been compiled in a book "Appetite for a Stroll". Vikram lives in Pune with his family and pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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1 comment:

anu said...

Very nice flow.Good article
Very nice flow.Good article
Very nice flow.Good article
Very nice flow.Good article