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Applying Meaning to Management With Ancient Hindu Mythology
Washington Post ^ | Monday, January 26, 2009 | Rama Lakshmi

Posted on 01/31/2009 11:29:49 PM PST by nickcarraway

Fifteen young managers with a top Indian retail company met in their office basement recently to sip coffee and listen to a talk about their specialty: brand building. The speaker, renowned mythology expert Devdutt Pattanaik, is also the company's "chief belief officer."

Cupping his chin in his hand, Pattanaik launched into a story: "Once upon a time, there was a conference of the gods to discuss the affairs of human beings."

The ancient Hindu tales that Pattanaik, 38, tells his corporate audiences are full of fallible kings, stoically suffering queens, demons enticing the gods into lawless jungles, gods with rivers sprouting from their dreadlocks, and goddesses riding elephants.

But the round-faced, bespectacled author, who graduated from medical school and has worked as a business strategist for the consulting firm Ernst & Young, says he is not like the wise old grandmother who sits under a banyan tree telling stories. Instead, he says, he is helping to create a set of management principles that are steeped in Indian culture.

He calls it the "3-B" model: belief, behavior and business.

"I am a pattern-finder. The mythologies are stars -- I point out the constellation," he said. "The world of business and the world of our mythological tales are not too different. The characters and the situations are similar. I apply their meanings to modern corporate management. Business is run on a pattern of behavior. I help create the belief that governs behavior. "

Pattanaik did a sketch of the Hindu god Shiva in yoga meditation posture and urged the youthful managers to add the traditional symbolic embellishments. They pointed out that Shiva should have a snake around his neck, the crescent moon on his head, lines of ash on his forehead, and a third eye.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: business; hindu; india; mythology

1 posted on 01/31/2009 11:29:49 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
"Applying Meaning to Management With Ancient Hindu Mythology"

Wonderful. I guess that's why India is such a bristling economic powerhouse.

2 posted on 02/01/2009 12:27:40 AM PST by Nathan Zachary
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To: Nathan Zachary

Well, I don’t know... right until the 1800s, India, together with China constituted 80% of the world’s GDP, for most of history.


3 posted on 02/01/2009 12:43:47 AM PST by MyTwoCopperCoins
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To: nickcarraway

there is no “ancient hindu mythology”

there are ancient hindu myths, but the study of myths, or “mythology”, is a new thing, and so can’t be ancient.


4 posted on 02/01/2009 12:58:23 AM PST by chuck_the_tv_out
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