Excerpts from the book “Nemetics — The Power of See”.

….Is there one way of seeing anything? Though the answer is deceptively simple, most try to ignore the obvious and try to see things in one particular way. A businessman would see the world in one particular way and no other way is acceptable to him. Similarly Capitalistic economies see the world in a specific manner. They are relentless about their way of seeing things in terms of expansion and growth even if they trample upon millions of lives and Nature. Same it is for Marxists. They even want art to reflect their ideology. But why should it be so?

For example, if we are viewing a simple window, there are many ways of seeing it.

We can see it as an opening that lets in fresh air when we feel stuffy inside a room.

We can also choose not to see too much of the window but the perhaps see and enjoy the excellent view of Nature that it might offer.

We can then see the connection between a window and the hygiene of a room. We can see it as a medium of exchange that lets in sunlight and fresh air and drives out bacteria and dust that accumulate in the room.

We may also see the state of economy and material prosperity by paying attention to the quality of the window materials used and the way they are arranged and painted.

We can see a window as a window to the culture of the place like ‘bay windows indicating ‘surplus’ of leisure; ‘jafri’ windows of Rajasthan as a means to protect privacy of women from unwanted gaze of strangers or the ‘jali’ windows of old Kolkata displaying aristocracy of the household.

We can look at a window to get an idea of the climate of a place. Hotter climate calls for smaller windows and use of less glass. Colder climates necessitate use of larger windows and glasses to trap the available heat of a weak sun.

We can also see many windows in the neighborhood to see whether the neighborhood belongs to working class community or to the privileged class.

We can with some patience wait to see the effect of traffic on the windows of our interest. Do they rattle with the vibration of a motor cycle passing by or the blare of its horn? If they rattle a lot then we can be sure that the life of the window panes would be short enough forcing the owner to spend substantial money on its upkeep if he or she cares to keep the draught out on a chilly day in December.

So many ways to see the reality! No doubt there is a diversity of views. But that is true of any reality. Reality of anything is made up of diverse views or ‘sees’. Wisdom lies in accepting all views and living with them but choosing one or some according to one’s intention, needs, limitations and constraints in a given context.

‘Seeing’ is the spiritual part of anything.

How is that?

In India, spirituality is described in a very simple way – it is nothing but the power of paying attention with a still mind and being aware of the possibilities such viewing unfolds.

If so, there is hardly any divide between spirituality and materialism because without the form, which materialism provides, there is no spirituality or nothing to notice or ‘see’.

Similarly, there is also no divide between our inner world and the external world. The secrets of both worlds can only be revealed through the power of ‘seeing’ or paying attention by a still mind and becoming aware of all possibilities. After ‘see’ all that is left for us to do then is rather straightforward and easy. We are then left to engage with the possibilities that compete for further attention in our awareness space and carefully choose (mull) the one that satisfies a given need in a given context within its existing limitations and then exchange the choice with others. However, whether the exchange improves the life of the individual and/or that of others would depend on the intention of the ‘seer’. …..

[The book: ‘Winning Anywhere – the Power of ‘See” is now available on Amazon.com  http://tinyurl.com/o4q8kxq  (paperback) and would soon be available on Flipkart as ebook.]

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Chance favors the connected mind!

The art of ‘noticing’ or ‘paying attention’ or ‘observation’ is the starting point for our Nemtical studies, Design Kata and Rapidinnovation.

Right observation is the basis of strategy formulation, innovation, decision making and possibly everything we do as humans. Much depends on our choice and power of discrimination of what to notice and what not to notice.

The following article brilliantly exposes the ‘Art of Observation’ in a very nuanced manner.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/03/29/the-art-of-observation/

Indeed ‘Chance favors the connected mind’.

 

How to Win Anywhere in the World?

Last Friday evening, Mr. Giri called me up. Mr. Giri is one of the middle level managers of an Indo-Japanese production unit in the state of West Bengal, India.

He was very happy and excited to announce, ‘You must know that we have broken all previous records of production’.

“Is that so?” I asked; my voice laced with excitement.

“Yes, it is true… almost unbelievable.  We have shot up from producing 200 units per day to 2000 units per day from the same machines. Our quality rejection has dropped from 14% to around 5%. We have crossed the 8000 tonnes per month target… ” he almost gasped for breath to continue, ‘… and I must thank you so much…”

Indeed, this was incredible! His company was struggling for the last five years to crank up production and make some profit. They identified the bottleneck of the plant but were simply unable to do anything about it. The Japanese introduced all their famous improvement tools and techniques they had in their arsenal. Everyone sweated and puffed and huffed but no improvement was forthcoming. All efforts were in vain. The Japanese management team blamed the Indians for their ‘work attitude’, ‘lethargy’, ‘incompetence’ and gross overall ‘stupidity’… This obviously made the Indians angry. They in turn called the Japanese ‘overbearing’, ‘conceited’, ‘racists’, ‘foolish’ and what not… But at the end of the day in spite of all that shouting, mud-slinging and sledging no iota of improvement was in sight. In fact, things went for a nose dive. Crisis of closure loomed in the horizon as losses mounted.

‘Thank me for what?”, I asked with a tinge of eagerness.

Then he went on to tell me a story. “You know what the great music maestro Tan Sen said?”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tansen)

“No I don’t have a clue about what he said’ I mumbled.

Giri continued with a tone mixed with excitement and reverence, “‘Tan Sen said if you only know how to sing the first note of seven notes in music very well, you automatically get to sing all notes fluidly’.

‘Hmm..’ I nodded in agreement. ‘Right, but what has that to do with me?’ I asked.

‘Everything’, he quipped back. “You taught us the first note so well that I have now learned to sing anything.’

Absolutely clueless about what he actually meant I asked with curiosity getting better of me, “And what was that first note?” This was because I have tried to teach them many things to improve their performance over a period of 18 months.

“Oh! Didn’t you teach us how to pay attention or observe things and their connections in their own settings without seeing what the mind already knows?” he replied bit incredulously.

‘Yes, I remember that. And you think that was so important?’ I pressed in to learn more from him.

“It was. And it would continue to be so for the rest of my life. It makes me so confident that I think I can work and win anywhere in the world, tackle anything in the world and solve any problem in the world”, he said with a slow deliberate voice exuding lot of conviction.

“Thank you again and would you mind if I come over to Kolkata to meet you some day to learn more of what you say as NOTICE.?” he seemed to stress the last word.

This was the first time in five years they made a decent profit.

As the conversation ended, I sat on the sofa with waves of happiness sweeping over me. I thought to myself, OMG! The power of the humble NOTICE is just amazing! Nothing more is needed. We need not teach people how to think. They know how to think. We need not teach people so many tools and techniques. They would discover those by themselves. We simply don’t need to waste their time doing things which we think must be done. We need not bore them to death to the point of getting disengaged. We simply need to teach those who really want to sing well the first note of the seven notes — “NOTICE“. That’s all!

I noticed my tea getting cold…