War & Peace

“The Purpose of all Wars is peace” is a hoarding sponsored by the Indian Army that I came across this morning and it set me writing this edition of the blog. I began wondering even as I read it, whether it was true? I have my doubts because of the causes one identifies with the purpose. First and foremost is the question on whose perspective it is and how inclusive is the maturity in understanding the diversity of thought. Do I need to go further than this? It took Alexander and Ashoka to shed a lot of blood to realize that the peace they sought lies in conquering the self. Hitler and George Bush II have subsequently discovered no better.

One of the frailties of being human is perhaps the inability to identify the causal self; always seeking the problems in others and externalizing rather than journeying inward and seeking within. From an individual, this subsequently explodes in its manifestation in families, societies, organizations and nations. Despite humans being endowed with preceptory senses, we refuse to exercise our options that are available to us to live intelligently and perpetrate peace and growth.

On this planet, we are on that fork in the road where we need to make some clear choices that will impact us and our future generations, NOW.

Innovation, Transformation and Growth have to become key factors in the way we think and act and we need to increase the number of people to the right than to the left. Despite us human beings, this planet has witnessed amazing transformations and therefore there is still hope. At all levels, this time around, patch work and thrift in thought will not do. This is a time for large heartedness and if it warrant, even stopping to take a deep breath and re-wiring oneself for the future. Visible Leadership is clearly a prime priority to rekindle the spirit of excellence that has somehow faded in recent times that can lower the noise of those sceptics that keep harping on the need for reality.

At a recent business lunch, my business partner from the US mentioned that Obama was not good for the economy. However, he opined that the Republicans were not organized enough to deny him a second term. On quizzing him further, he reeled statistics about how the common business people were affected by the policies or the lack of it, by the Obama administration. And finally, he concluded that Obama picked people in his team who were academicians and probably lacked commercial flair. Though I did not mention it at the table, it made me wince at the perspective.

All of us who are out there trying to create leadership teams know how difficult it is to get the people you want at the time, rate and place that you want. Could it be that Obama has found it difficult to find people with integrity to work in his team and avoided people with commercial flair, precisely for that reason? I have a vague feeling that he is the last person to lose sleep if he did not make it to a second term. Yet, his leadership bears the promise of that inward introspection and the need to search and find lasting answers even at the cost of short term unpopularity. Is there a way that this message could be carefully orchestrated and communicated to the masses?

2012 promises to be much more than just another year. This planet will significantly enter into a new phase of growth and diversity powered by Knowledge and Experience. Each one of us has an opportunity to participate and make a contribution. We have enjoyed enough entitlements and it is now time to give back. I wish and pray for each one of you to resolve taking that journey inward. You might be surprised on the potential you discover along the way.

PS: The Indian government finally woke up and announced an Innovation Fund to create an enterprise that will impact the poor in the country positively. This is four years after China announced a fund (100 times larger) and has implemented hundreds of successful programs under that agenda. However, I am a firm believer that it is never too late and no fund is small. Hope flows eternally for a start somewhere. Congratulations on that!

About Subbu Iyer

Subbu Iyer is an Innovation & Transformation Leader as with 28 years of serving customers globally. He is currently the Chief Designer & Transformer at Energizing Innovation, an enterprise that is being founded to facilitate continuous growth in enterprises and as a consequence create societal wealth. The Radical Shift that this enterprise intends to employ is focusing on the Potential rather than the Performance of a business. He has been a serial entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in his past life, having founded Nihilent Technologies and Nandaki Systems besides being associated in senior leadership roles with firms such as Coopers & Lybrand, Cambridge Technology Partners, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and Steria.
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