- Lt Col Atul Tyagi retd -
Professional Life flowers best in situations where collaborations & partnerships with others are the usual norms & where there is mutual trust & understanding.When employees are driven to deliver results on the basis of unhealthy comparisons, it ensues trouble. Driven by greed & intolerance; we disclaim the right of others. We forget that the leaves of a tree once separated cannot survive on their own. No one can be happy with material progression to their side when others are unhappy. No one can enjoy prosperity when others are dying owing to poverty. The brutal & dehumanised practices of self centeredness, competitiveness, indiscipline & acute insensitivity are on display day in & day out.
Value Integration in Technology driven Business
With the beginning of industrial revolution in eighteenth century till date, science & technology & related business practices have become accepted as ends in themselves & ceased to be regarded as means of optimising human well beings. The unravelling of modern technology juxtaposed with human values, professional & social ethics would have ensured physical & spiritual contentment & well being & thus evolve a better world. The paradoxes of modern technology however are endless. Technology has become more important than human beings. It has increased the GNP & life expectancy but injected serious maladies like environmental pollution, deforestation, inequity, vulnerability to social & nuclear disasters & unhealthiness in bodies & thoughts & above all unhappiness. The idea of modern technology was to involve purposeful application of scientific knowledge to promote human welfare however that remained defined in narrow context of material prosperity only & was treated like a genie competent to generate material & money.
Some of the core inherent characteristics of modern technology & business world are:
- Mass production: It ensures more productivity, lesser manufacturing cost, better quality of items with minimized human errors through automation. Automation on the other hand has set unemployment.
- Reductionism: It is by definition anti holistic & anti ecological with central approach of reducing the cost of production. Depletion of resources however invites ecological backlash of unparallel nature.
- &nbs p; Ethics of abundance: The stress is on optimised application of all resources. Availability of water & electricity at the turn of knob has set the ball rolling for brutal display of tendencies of carelessness & wastefulness.
Modern Business Practices
Desire for accumulation has set the rules of games in our society. Business management is infected by consumerism. Consumerism & production defy spiritual teachings of prophets & sages who taught us to consume as little as required for survival in order to ensure long term continuity of natural resources & also equitable distribution & access of resources for all. The index of material progress is based on material growth & prosperity. The balance sheet of human values is increasingly overshadowed by balance sheet of profits & losses purely in terms of materialism. Ethics & values are blatantly compromised due to ends emerging stronger than means.The entire thesis of business management is based on profit maximisation. Profit maximisation is the official & most recognised objective of any business. The result is that most unethical practices – bribery, cheating, selfishness, disloyalty, frauds, artificiality & cosmetic human relation having taken deep entrenched roots in business environment causing & setting deterioration in human values. The practice of frowning upon matters of corruption, bribery, fraud & incidents related to unethical practices is completely missing in today’s business & social environment. It only consolidates the belief that if you repeat a lie hundred times, it becomes truth & similarly if you practice unethical ways repeatedly, it appears ethical to most of us. The wealth generation is not unethical but amassing wealth through profiteering with inhuman approach is not only unethical but dangerous to the body, mind & spirit of the person. The wide social & economic chasm has engulfed the whole society in distinct diversified alienated brutalised & dehumanised groups which doesn’t augur well for the progressive & evolving world. Free market dynamics, economic liberalisation & globalisation are furthering the gaps between the poverty stricken class & affluent class. Material possession has become the index of ultimate contentment. We have to make conscientious & deliberate efforts to inculcate desire & anxiety to rekindle & reenergize the value system through integrated education curriculum as well as our social & corporate practices. Values & ethics happen to be twin pillars of education & social system. The ways to ensure peaceful & universal existence is to comprehend & follow spiritual democracy, spiritual humanism & bond of world unity. Spiritual democracy offers infinite ways of appropriate ideals & paths to reach the same destination. Spiritual humanism offers loving service to the divine, feeling his presence everywhere & bringing the great connectivity all over the universe. World unity is based on political considerations, economic considerations & cultural ties & remain fragile to withstand the vicissitudes of artificial diversities.
The need for value education has become all the more important in context of globalization, consumerism, and fundamentalism. The evolution process covers physical, moral, mental & spiritual levels. Largely our focus is centred on physical evolution only. Physical evolution has a limit however moral & spiritual evolution remains without limits.Socrates believed that people will naturally do what is good if they know what is good.The rapid degeneration of values which is symptomatic in form of terrorism, strife, violence, destruction, intolerance, deprivation, inequality, induced poverty, crimes, pauperisation, war- between nations and within nations; and at the micro level amongst family members is already ringing danger bells to the very existence of mankind. Science & technology infused with values & ethics can be great server to humankind; without it, the same may be notorious servant who plots killing of masters. Instead of reaping benefits out of it, we chose to be on the path of conflicts between the economically developed & economically underdeveloped nations, between generations, between reasons & dogmas, between human beings & nature. We as society enmasse have surrendered to the vicious course of materialism & individualism & deviated from the enshrined teachings of our learned sages under the influence of short lived, temporary & pleasure oriented western culture which can boast for scientific temper but devoid of deep ended spiritually. Human are susceptible to more & more physical orientations. The irony is that more he gets, more he craves for material possessions as they can bring only temporary succour. The values in education, practices & living will lead to right understanding, prosperity & coexistence of all in society. Values serve the process of ‘becoming,’ in the sense of transformation of the level of consciousness, to purer & higher levels. Values are subjective whereas the skills with the method of ‘doing’, in the sense of speed, dexterity, efficiency are objective. There are two integrated channels of actions. One is training- skills- policies- knowledge & other is education- values-principles- wisdom. To attain the best outcome, the knowledge worker with practical, rationale & wisdom worker endowed with sheen of values require assimilation & synergisation failing which destruction instead of construction & consumption instead of creation is likely to set the process of annihilation.
The meaning of happiness is confused with physical comforts; individual is deemed the basic unit instead of family & prosperity mingled with wealth. Only right values can differentiate prosperity (feelings of having more than required physical facilities) from wealth (mere money & assets without feelings). Recent TV report confirms that India is likely to witness 60% heart cases of heart ailment in the age group starting from 30 years. The main cause appears stress, insomnia & restlessness. Stress is toxic to mind & distorts vision, logic & reduces ability. On the surface, life seems to be going fantastically however underneath the current flows opposite. We hear about million of people not able to sleep today without anti depressive medicines. The joy is not determined by what you have but if you have the understanding to feel that joy.There is a serious contradiction with gaps between inner & outer beings of a man. External progression does not guarantee inner well being.
In our country we witness growing menace of commerce through corruption, generation particularly the one which breathed after 80’s growing away from joint families maturing without Panchtantra stories & grandma’s homely tips. We are concerned for this generation which opened eyes in the period in which the cable network already invaded the houses & replaced the parental & elderly sermons/discussions & cartoon channels replaced Chadamama & Mulla Nasiruddin tales. We are concerned for tremendously fast paced technology driven advancement which has galvanized the world spectrum but also introduced robotic & mechanised influences threatening the existence of human kind as such.
In the pursuit of holistic spiritual development of employer & employee, a professional worker is required to be not just excellent in his job but also display evolved qualities that make him less militant & more cooperative, less of complainer & more of a doer. The more the employees is engaged in service of others, the less he tends to focus on selfish motivations & ends that might sometimes egg him to veer him off the straight path. True peace & fulfilment depend upon the knowledge of our true self. We have to make conscientious efforts to inculcate desire & anxiety to rekindle & reenergize the value system through integrated education as well as social & corporate practices. The values enshrined in ancient Indian philosophy, culture, heritage, ethos & literature need to be propagated & nurtured. It is high time that instead of modern technology bereft of values, we develop humanistic technology based on higher emotional, social, moral, intellectual & spiritual considerations to ensure happy, peaceful & sustainable existence of mankind.