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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 24th April, 06 (page 22)

THE ART OF CONTINUOUSLY EDUCATING OURSELVES
- Radhakrishnan Pillai


(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)

All of us must have, at some time or the other, heard people complaining about not getting “deserved” promotions or the boss not noticing their “hard work”.

However, few realise that it is not the boss who is responsible for your growth in life but the knowledge and the experience that you acquire. We need to continuously learn in order to grow. Only then will external benefits like increments, promotions and higher responsibilities come to us.

Now, most believe that they do not get time to learn as they are fully occupied with work. So how will such ‘busy’ people learn new things?

This is where Kautilya advices us:

“During the remaining parts of the day and the night, he should learn new things and familiarize himself with those already learnt, and listen repeatedly to things not learnt” (1.5.15)

It is a very simple principle of time management. Utilise your evening and night hours to learn new things, instead of spending them on most unproductive things like partying or just things which are really meaningless.

Even in an office, the peak business hours are generally in the morning. The latter half could and should be used meaningfully and effectively.

You may even use this time to ask questions and learn from seniors on areas that you have not fully understood.

The following are some tips on how you can use the second part o the day more effectively:
  1. Join a class / course
Today, there are various courses and classes that are conducted in post-office hours. Even MBA courses are offered with classes in the evening. If you enrol for any such course, you will automatically leave the office on time rather than not having any fixed agenda to leave the office.
  1. Read books
Get into the habit of reading good books. Especially in a city like ours, you can effectively use your commuting time to do this. Choose the right books for learning nw things. Do not just open any newspaper or magazine for the sake of passing time. You should read with a purpose.
  1. Meet the right people
You should make it a point to meet at least two new people every week. They should be experts in their own field who know much more than you. Go to them with humility and learn the secret of their success.

All of this would, no doubt, make you a better man. After all, you would be following the old adage of “The only time well spent is the time spent in learning new things”!
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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 17th April, 06 (page 21)

DECISION –MAKING MAKES THE LEADER
- Radhakrishnan Pillai


(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)


To become a leader you should think like a leader. Sit down and observe what are the qualities you find in good leaders. And then start practicing them. One of the important qualities of a leader is of decision making.


Kautilya says,

“He should hear (at once) every urgent matter, (and) not put it off. An (affair) postponed becomes difficult to settle or even impossible to settle” (1.19.30)
There is a lot of work that cannot move forward without the final sanction of a leader. Thus, here Kautilya suggests that if there is any subordinate who comes to him with an urgent matter, he should listen to him at once. If he postpones such a decision, the pressure gets piled up and then the situation gets out of control.

A leader has to be a fast thinker, a fast decision maker and a fast implementer. He has no time to waste. Analysing is good but moving ahead is important.

How to become a good decision maker?
  1. Do not be afraid to make mistakes

In an interview a CEO was asked the secret of his success. “It is by taking timely decisions”. “How do you know if your decisions are correct?” He snapped, “By taking wrong decisions”.

Every child has to fall before he learns to walk and run. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. But important is to learn from the mistakes. At At the same time do not to keep making mistakes eternally.
  1. Think with a deadline

While you are planning and thinking over an assignment or a project, give yourself enough time to think over the various possibilities. But keep a time frame when you will want to take an action. Only then theory will meet practice.
  1. Encourage others to take decisions

Work gets stuck up, when it is dependent on a single person. Learn to delegate smaller decisions to your subordinates. Your organisation should become a self managed mechanism. Train others to make them responsible. You should only be dealing with the important matters at the top.

The game should be bigger than the player. The organisation should be bigger than the employees. The purpose should be bigger than you and me.


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

The vital task of stopping attrition - Arthashastra..


Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 10th April, 06 (page 22)

THE VITAL TASK OF STOPPING ATTRTION
- Radhakrishnan Pillai


(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)

The biggest challenge faced by any company is that of attrition i.e. avoiding employees from leaving their organisation.

Tackling this is the uppermost task of any and every H.R. department. Strategies and policies are eternally formulated to solve this problem. After all, continuous training, promotions and hikes in salaries are not enough to stem attrition.

Kautilya suggests,


“He should favour those contented, with additional wealth and honour. He should propitiate with gifts and conciliation those, who are discontented, in order to make them contented” (1.13.16-17)


There are generally two types of employees: contented and discontented. As mentioned before, Kautilya gives us a tip on how to handle these two types.

According to him, ignoring the employees who seem contented (those who do not ask for a promotion or a rise of pay) is a very bad HR strategy. Every person works in an organisation for his salary. Just because the employee seems contented does not mean they really are.

Such people just need a bigger offer from a competitor, and they will be gone like the wind. Hence, if you see a contented employee, favour him with additional wealth, awards, and also increments. You will find that they will be more loyal to you. Why? Well, you understood their needs even before they expressed their feelings. After this, there would be no unions or strikes!

As for those who are very restless and discontented, give gifts and other notable benefits to them also in order to retain them in the organisation.

Following are just some methods that can be followed to avoid attrition.
  1. Give importance to HRD (Human Resource Department)
Most top managements consider HR Department as a very ordinary and administrative part of their organisation. Its function is only to recruit, train employees and maintain their records. In fact, each and every management should consider HR as the top priority in their agenda. Work on your people. Only then will your people will work for you.
  1. CEO should be a mentor
A CEO should be a friend, philosopher and guide to all the employees. Running the business is only a small part of his job. His main job is to be a teacher and train people to become future leaders. He should use his years of experience in running a business to train others to do the same.
  1. Create your own culture
Instead of copying form others, develop your own culture – an organisational culture that is unique. Others can copy your product and services but never your culture. Such a culture should be friendly and open. Every employee should “feel” that he is a part of a family.

Break all rules. Get out of your cabin and spend more time with your staff. Let your organisition be the one every one feels proud to work for.


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006


Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 27th Feb, 06 (page 22)

IMPORTANCE OF YOUR ‘ARMY’ AND ‘TREASURY’
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)

First things first – let us make management simple. Why go around beating the bush, reading a lot of books and doing various courses to understand what really management and leadership is?

Management is all about focusing on how to take your organisation forward. Even in the good old days when the concept of a company or a corporation did not exist, we had efficient managers –the Ministers and the Kings of those times.

What message did Kautilya have for the leaders?
“The king brings under his sway his own party as well as the party of the enemies, by the (use of the) treasury and the army” (1.4.2)

As Kautilya pointed out in order to control and lead an organisation, one needs to focus on just two things – treasury and army.
  1. Treasury or Finance
The success of any county, state, organisation or association, is chiefly dependent on its economic and financial condition. If the balance sheet is good, cash flow is regular, profits are shown year after year and reserves and investments are in proper places, you will then be termed as a financially stable firm.

So the leader needs to make his company financially strong. Everything else will fall into place.

  1. Army or manpower
The second most important aspect is the army, or the kind of men the company possesses. The more efficient, skilled and professional your employees are the better is your productivity. The leader also has to take care that he needs to keep his employees from leaving his organisation.

Even in a non profit or a voluntary organisation, including spiritual organisations, success is dependent on the number of volunteers and workers in can attract and keep.

Even though the above two seem to be different, they are inter-connected. A financially strong company can easily attract better employees. And, only an efficient team can make a firm profitable.

So how does the leader achieve this? The following are some time-tested tips:
  • Recruit the right people
  • Invest in people –train them and pay them well
  • Focus on developing quality in your products and services
  • Keep continuous track of your finance
  • Ensure that you make your company profitable
In the above sutra, Kautilya says that if this is done, the King (leader) will automatically bring under his control not only his own group but also his competitors.

Al ries, a marketing strategist, wrote a book by the name ‘Focus’ which includes various case studies and analysis of successful companies.

He says, “Focus – the future of your company depends on it”. Nothing beats this statement.


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 12th Feb, 06 (page 22)

START NOW, DON’T WAIT FOR A MAHURAT
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)

Indian economy is at its best. Foreign investors are pouring money into India. Job opportunities have opened up. Starting a new business is no more limited to the rich class.

In today’s corporate scenario, there are multiple opportunities for anything you want to do. Yet, we find people sad and stressed out worrying about the future.

Kautilya suggests,

“Having found a matter for consideration, he should not allow time to pass” (1.15.45)

Do not wait for any ‘golden’ moment to start what you always wanted to do. The best time is not the ‘murhut’ that the pundit suggests, nor even the dates that come in a calendar. It is right here and now!

After having considered a matter, start work on it immediately. Remember always that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

While starting any project or assignment, a few steps would be helpful:
  1. SELF EFFORT
There is always a problem in starting anything. Maximum energy is required at this point. You need to challenge your self to get out your laziness. Do not get caught with the postponement attitude. A work started is a work half done. Just start!
  1. PREPARE A PLAN
Starting does not mean getting excited. You need to have a direction for how you are going reach your goal. Take a piece of paper (or open a new file in your computer) and jot down your points. Give shape to your thoughts. Prepare a blue print of what you want to do. Begin with the end in the mind.
  1. CONSULT AN EXPERT
As we are not sure of our ideas being practical, take the advice of an expert. Take the help of the person who can guide you in making your dream a reality. It very important not to go to a people who say, “It will not work”. Beware of such negative energy in the beginning. You will kill the child even before it is born. Your consultant should himself be a person of positive attitude and should be a success in his own field.
  1. WORK OUT YOUR PLAN
All said and done, you have to work out your plan. Do not spend too much time trying to make your plan perfect. Plans are theories that can be successful only if they are given wings of practical application. Once you start, help and required resources will come. You will learn a lot as you keep putting more and more self effort. You can keep improving your plan on the way.

However, it is important to complete what you have started to achieve. It is not important how many new things you have started. What is important is how many of them have you completed. Complete what you have started. And, then, start again after you have completed!


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 12th Feb, 06 (page 22)

MAINTAIN SECRETS TO AVOID ATTACKS
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)

A leader holds a very responsible position in any team and, hence, also in an organisation. He has to be very careful in his talks and with the words he uses. A single, wrong statement from his end can destroy his organisation.

One of the important factors that a leader should know is how to maintain secrecy.

Kautilya warns the leaders,

“To as many persons the lord of men (the leader) communicates a secret; to so many does he become subservient, being helpless by that act (of his)” (1.8.9)


There are various projects and issues that the leader should never talk about in the open. Until and unless the right time comes, he should not make them publicly known, at least till such a time which is right.

Every work being executed in an organisation goes through three stages – conceptualisation stage, preparation stage and delivery stage. At each stage, there are key ‘secrets’ that only a leader should know. He should never let others know these secrets.

What if he keeps telling his secrets to others? Let’s look at two possible repercussions:
  1. HE HAS TO BEND DOWN

A leader has to bow down to all the people who know his secrets. If more people come to know his secret, the leader will have to bend down that much more. A leader should always be in control of the situation, and not allow others to control him. If he has spoken the ‘right’ thing to the ‘wrong’ person, he has to be at the mercy of such a person to keep that secret intact. Such a person can not only blackmail, but also leak the information to even competitors and enemies.
  1. HE BECOMES HELPLESS

Having opened out his secret to others, the leader becomes totally helpless. Instead of thinking of how to carry out his plans, he will be worrying about how to protect himself from the attack of others.

A golden rule in business is, think twice before you speak. Even a tailor is adviced during his apprentice days, “Measure twice, but cut once”.

Kautilya’s (Chanakya’s), enemies were afraid of him because they could never understand what his next move would be. He always had multiple plans ready in his mind. If one plan failed, he was ready to attack with the next, totally surprising his enemies.

Chandrashekhar Azad, the freedom fighter, was another person who was always a mystery to every one. He would never allow anyone to know where he would be going next. Not only the British, but even his own team members, like Bhagat Singh, would not know his hideouts. He believed that he was ‘Azad’ - the ever free person. If he wanted to be truly free, he had to keep himself unknown to others.

Therefore to be free – keep your mouth shut!


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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 6th Feb, 06 (page 22)

KAUTILYA’S ADVICE FOR MODERN-DAY ROOKIES
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)


India today has over thousand management institutions. With the Indian economy opening up, and foreign direct investments (FDI) flowing in, there is a lot of demand for the students who come out of these business schools.

Once recruited, the students feel they have achieved their goal. However, the real challenge is yet to start. The management student, who has now become a management trainee, is yet to show the results for which he has been recruited.

How does one work in an organisation which is an all-new environment for the new recruit?

Kautilya advices,
“Under the supervision of the officer, he should carry out the task assigned with special zest” (1.18.4)

No management trainee should consider himself superior because of the course that he has just completed. He might have a theoretical base; however, he has to go a long way to understand its practical applications.

A guide/ mentor is required who can show him how to get things done. These can be the seniors who have acquired knowledge and skills by gaining years of working experience. The senior may not necessarily be as qualified as the pupil; yet, the new recruit has approach him with humility in order to learn and benefit.

Steps for on-the-job training;
  1. UNDER A SUPERVISOR
The insights provided by a supervisor are invaluable. They have gone through their jobs the hard way to master themselves in that particular stream. The trainee should accept his senior as his new teacher. Every teacher is happy to teach a willing and obedient student. At the end the benefit will be thousand fold.
  1. CARRY OUT THE TASK

Whatever tasks the senior assigns should be carried out. No work should be considered small or mediocre. It is only when one does small things perfectly, that one will be able to handle big responsibilities. Completion of any given assignment within the given time frame should be the first objective of a trainee.

  1. SPECIAL ZEST
While carrying out the work, it is the attitude that matters the most. It has to be positive -with extra zeal. The enthusiasm, with which the trainee does his job, shows a lot about his mind set. The eagerness to learn, and the passion to get going, will determine where he will be placed in the future, or what new responsibilities will be given.

The training period is the toughest part. However, it is only a good student who will become a good teacher. After all, only a good subordinate will ultimately become a good boss.

A charted account was hired by a successful businessman to manage his finances. The senior businessman was not even a graduate. Initially, the accountant used to rebel inside, “This person is not even as qualified as I am. Oh! I have to work under such a person”

One day it suddenly stuck him. “Who pays whom?”

This boss has the ability to hire more qualified than himself, to work under him. The charted accountant got determined, “Until and unless I learn all the skills that he possesses for running a business, I will not leave this company.”

That should be your attitude.


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Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 30th Jan, 06 (page 22)

THE ARTOF MANAGING MULTIPLE PROJECTS
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)

Every leader, manager and executive has to handle multiple tasks at any given point of time. This is unavoidable. He may have been appointed for a particular work; however, with time, he will naturally get more and more responsibilities.

Management Guru, Peter Drucker, in his book – ‘On the profession of management’, is compassionate while describing the role of manager. He says, “The role of today’s manager is very difficult. In any given situation, he has to handle multiple projects and assignments. He is always under pressure”

Kautilya, advices us on how to manage multiple projects and get more profits for the company;

“And (they) should bring about the commencement of what is not done, the carrying out of what is commenced, the improvement of what is being carried out and the excellence of (the execution of) orders, in the case of works” (1.15.51)

He looks at four types of works that an executive has to carry out:
  1. Commencement of what is not done
There are many things that need to be done. Good managers are those who start work on their own rather than waiting for the bosses to tell them what to do. Each person has to become proactive. He needs to build his own pipeline. New work has to be started. New experiments have to be tried. New techniques have to be applied.
  1. Carrying out of what is commenced
A project manager said it well, “It is not important how many projects I started, but how many I have completed”. Everyone knows about pressure getting built up simply because we are not able to complete the jobs that we started. Procrastination is the worst disease. Once you pick up this bad habit, decisions are not taken on time, papers get piled up and people loose focus. The best solution is the age of saying, “What you aught to do tomorrow, do today, what you want to do today, do it now!”.
  1. Improvement of what is being carried out
One needs to ensure that the work started should end with a quality output. We should continuously strive for excellence. The Japanese theory of Kaizen believes that there is a scope of continuous improvement in each work a person can do. Excellence then becomes a habit.
  1. Excellence in execution of orders
This means effective delegation. A manger like all other employees had limited time and resources. Thus, in order to do multiple tasking, he has to delegate it to either his team members or outsource activities. Learning this art of effective delegation is very essential if one wants to get climb up the corporate ladder. Management is not about only doing work on your own, but getting work done form others.

Once, a successful CEO who always seemed relaxed, was asked the secret of his cool temperament. He said, “Immediate decisions, faith in people whom I have given the work, and spending more time in activities which will give us more money”


Best Regards,
Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 28th Nov, 05 (page 22)
Title Column: The Wealth Script
Author: Radhakrishnan Pillai

DELEGATION OF MULTIPLE TASKING
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3 rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya's Arthashastra, in Today's Corporate World)

The success stories of great organisaitons start with the dream and will of one single person. Started by him, even a little stream becomes a massive flow. Finally, the organisation reaches the summit of success due to teamwork.

As the organisation grows, work also grows and more and more people join it. From a one man army, it becomes a full fledged army with its own dedicated lieutenants and soldiers. Hence the key to success for a leader lies in effective delegation.

Why is delegation required? Kautilya says,
"Because of the simultaneity of undertakings, their manifoldness and their having to be carried out in many different places, he (leader) should cause them to be carried by ministers, unperceived (by him), so that there is no loss of place and time" ( 1.9.8)


Delegation is required due to the following reasons:


WORK HAPPENS SIMULTANEOUSLY

In an office various departments work simultaneously at the same time. Each of them becomes specailsed in that particular area. Sales, accounts, marketing, HR, R &D many other processes go on continuously.

WORK HAPPENS AT VARIOUS PLACES

These multiple tasks are carried out not only by various people but at various places. Some of the work would be happening inside the office while many outside the office. For a big organisation, work happens in various branches and also in various countries.


Decision making should get decentralised to various managers. The benefit is the saving in loss of time and place. As the famous saying goes, "In business -Time is money". Delayed decision making leads to loss of time and opportunities.

A few are the tips for effective delegation,
  1. SELECTION

Good decision makers should be made as managers and departmental heads. An effective manager does not get struck while taking decisions. He may make mistakes but having corrected himself with each mistake the work goes on in good speed.
  1. SETTING OF MIS

The head of the organisation need to set up a good reporting system. In corporate language this is technically called as Management Information system (MIS). Lot of software tools is available in the market for this or one can create of their own.
  1. TRAINING

The decision makers have to be trained to report all the activities using the MIS. This kind of training helps both the reporter and reported to effectively use of the reports being produced. With the internet revolution one can access these reports anytime and anywhere. It is also cost effective.
  1. CONTROL

The leader can keep track of the various developments and shortcomings in each area on a daily basis. He can control the whole organisation with the help of such a well planned out system

Peter Drucker the father of modern management once said, "Initially delegation is not easy. It gives a feeling of insecurity. However one realises that it leads to one's freedom"



Best Regards,
Nikhil Gadodia
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra
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Re: Kautilya’s Arthashastra - September 6th, 2006

Name of paper: MUMBAI MIROR (Times of India)
Date: Monday, 26th Sept, 05 (page 21)
Title Column: The Wealth Script
Author: Radhakrishnan Pillai
GETTING THE CORRECT ADVICE
- Radhakrishnan Pillai

(This weekly column will explore the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)


Consultants are required by every company in various departments, activities and also in the board room. They play a very critical role of beacons, illuminating the right path and bringing focus to achieve the organisation’s goals and objectives.

Whenever a new venture has to be started a person with knowledge in that particular field is required for guidance. His tips and insights can help us to avoid many pitfalls save a lot time and effort. Such a person is a consultant. Kenichi Ohmae,the author of the famous management book, ‘The mind of a strategist – The Art of Japanese Business’ says, “A consultant plays the role of a strategist and a mentor at the same time”.

Kautilya in the Arthashastra goes step by step in the process of identifying the right consultant and how to work with them.
“All undertakings should be preceded by consultation. Holding a consultation with only one, he may not be able to reach a decision in difficult matters. With more councilors it is difficult to reach decisions and maintain secrecy” (1.15.2,35,40)

DO NOT PROCEED WITHOUT CONSULTATION

In business and in other aspects of life it is important to understand the fact that – I require guidance. Proceeding without the advice of experts can lead to serious mistakes. A consultant has years of experience and knowledge, based on which he can give valuable suggestions.

DO NOT CONSULT ONLY ONE PERSON

After knowing that one requires a consultant, however, it should also be understood that the ultimate decision and course of action should be based on one’s own discrimination and judgment. Complete dependence on one person can narrow the viewpoint. Only different persons can bring variety and freshness to perspective. Therefore, there should always be more than one guide.

DO NOT CONSULT WITH TOO MANY

While it is important to look at different perspectives, it should not be overdone. Getting too many people involved can create confusion. Just as too many cooks spoil the broth, too many ideas can complicate matters, making it difficult to hit the right course. Moreover, if more people come about a project, its plan could be compromised to rivals. It is important to announce a project only when all the ground work is complete.

CONSULT WITH THE MATURED

“Therefore sit and counsel with those who are matured in intellect” ( 1.15.20-21)

After one has identified these few right people, about two or three of them, the next step is to sit along with them. Sitting means listening to their insights, imbibing form their deep knowledge of the subject and vast experience. They should be people who are matured in intellect. It means those who are experienced, deeply analytical and possess an intellectual and practical knowledge of that particular subject.

Kautilya himself was such a consultant who advised emperor Chandragupta Maurya on strategies in war, diplomacy, statecraft and economy during one of the most important periods in Indian history.


Best Regards,
Nikhil Gadodia
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