Monday, June 14, 2010

Dancing to the tunes of management

Education, said somebody, is the progressive discovery of one’s ignorance. In the last couple of months, the pace of this discovery has been so scorching that often the poor ego was left severely bruised and hurt. But then I discovered something important, the joy of collective pain. The sinking feeling after each academic disaster is often assuaged when you see the majority of your fellow mates sinking along with you. Management , what I understand after the completion of first term is all about having as many people as possible with you when sinking. From this definition, I have not done too bad.
Another learning of prime importance is that when you know no shit about something, you might as well change the definitions as I have just done above. In the corporate world, there is a term for it -Thought Leadership.

As the term progressed, the class too evolved greatly in character as individuals and groups started blooming with their own unique traits. While some sought (seek) the answers of life in class, some were (are) more interested in answering them. Common ground often is never reached nor sought. That too has a terminology - Rich diversity of batch. A subset of this diverse batch is the following :

The Band of Brothers (with No Sisters) - A conglomerate of individuals held together strongly by the bonds of grapes and barley who believe that the greatest discovery of mankind is the discovery of the process of fermentation. They invariably represent the second category mentioned above and some even claim to receive their answers directly from the Buddha. (Attempts at group discussion for academic purposes within this group have proven to be hopelessly futile for obvious reasons.)

There have of course been quite a few deep learnings and important events since the last post, some of which are described below :

Jargonology - The reason management education is so costly is because it is here that you are introduced to terms and definitions which twist and turn the muscles of the brain so bad, that when appropriately used, an antagonistic audience would be compelled to cede ground. If they are still not convinced then you are equipped here with a rich repetoire of world famous theories to further substantiate your views. The term Bullshit is believed to have originated from such rich discussions. But one should be careful in its usage as the higher one goes up the corporate ladder, the more is the chance of interacting with people talking in this same bovine language.
So next time , if you hear a person use terms such as Cognitive Evaluation Theory, Fiedler's Model of Leadership, Economies of Scale, Multi Divisional Organisational Structure etc etc, have pity on him. He must be repaying a hefty bank loan.

Theory of the Raised Hand - This is a unique theory that claims to solve any management problem. No matter what the complexity of the issue, you just have to ask people to raise their hands and depending on which direction the majority of hands are pointing, the decision can be taken. The basic logic behind this is that, some would invariably faint from the combined stink of the armpits. Works very well in boardrooms I hear. Has been helpful in our class as well to sort out contentious issues.

I was not born theory : This feeling hit all of us after the Financial Reporting and Analysis (FRA) examination where we were asked to balance some cash flow statements. Never has the word balance seemed more alien than on that day. This subject that had tormented us throughout the term simply deep FRAied us in the exam. A scalded behind is all that I could bring home from that course.
Some who had their birthdays during the term had it comparitively easier as they had already been subjected to such feelings before through vicious attacks of cake smacking on their faces. Owing to this increasingly violent trend, many have decided to postpone their birthdays till the next year.

Are you understanding ? : Often you would not, but the key is to pretend that you do and 'meaningfully' participate in the class. Unfortunately, dozing off is not counted as a participative process which gives people like us a serious disadvantage. Other than that, just opening your mouth (yawning excluded), tearing apart a classmate's argument or his shirt or his dignity all seem to be contributing towards meaningful class participation. Its a big bad world outside and this is where we sharpen our skills of survival, provided of course that we are not mauled here itself.

Some other titbits :

  • One of my greatest achievements (read joke) of life - An A+ in Probability (The environmental factors played a part of course). For the remaning subjects , its the familiar story of Kabhi to Nazar milao, Kabhi to kareeb aao with A grades.
  • After three failed attempts to enter Tantra , the happening disc in town, due to gender related issues, a few of us finally managed entry owing to the benevolence of a couple of female classmates and the perseverance and belief of one gentleman from the Band of Brothers mentioned above. Some night to remember that was, whatever portion I remember of it, that is. Include a trip on an open tempo through the midst of the city and it was a memorable weekend for the student in each one of us.
  • The excel sheet with the bills that followed was equally forgettable !!
  • There is a certain Pyarelal who does the washing and ironing of clothes and every cloth that he takes for washing comes back with a permanent mark of D12, my room number. Imprisonment is here to stay.
  • The two PGP batches are now in full strength in campus making for healthy peeks at civilisation. Those like me whose marital status still reads Free have our tasks cut out if we are to make any use at all of this status.

As I write this piece, the second term has started in full steam. In the very first week, a barrage of case studies greeted us with all ferocity leaving most of us quite shaken. While the characters in the cases fish in Montana, we have been left to fish in unchartered waters. Time alone would tell where the sail next takes us.


Kailash said...

This time the identification is with scalded posteriors!

Recent experiences suggest the immediate disbanding of the the brotherhood in the larger interest of the society.

Are you understanding that dozing off is the best contribution some like me can offer

LED lights ,aroma oils , curtain rods and every damn thing conceivable in a porcelain cup , by itself a coup of unimaginable proportions, deserved a mention

An admirer said...

Hi Wanderlust,

I love your blog; it's so different from all the riff-raff out there! You have a great sense of humour and you make me laugh! Reading about your University experiences made me think about my Univ days... so much fun; yet, so much agony!
Also love your picture - rather unique!
I'm coming back here for more, so do keep writing!
BTW, I'm curious about the name, Wanderlust. Someone with that name inspires an image of, well, a wanderer, and not someone tied up in, erm, jargonology! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Dude you got admirers...Finally!!!

Anyways nice post
- Nandan

Anonymous said...

hey ...Band of Brothers has 1 can you say "No Sisters"..