Call of the Grey Matter


By
Kamal Misra
PGP 2004-2006
Xavier Institute of Management
Bhubaneswar
 


Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.
                                                                                                                                             -- Aristotle

The resplendent beams of the rising sun steer their way through the curvaceous anatomy of the sprightly jungle to dazzle the verdant corridor, albeit gradually.  The ambience resonates with soft chirps, slowly transcends the mischievous howls, culminating in the majestic roar in what appears to be a fusion of earthly sentiments that pervade the taciturn persona of the green empire. Life moves out of the soporific abode to grace the charming territory in all its capacity with the agility of a young cheetah, the experience of an ageing orangutan, the cunningness of a vivacious fox, the magnificence of a royal Bengal tiger, the dazzle of an ecstatic peacock and what not!!! The varieties of life forms that one comes across in the entire spectrum of wildlife symbolize what is actually known as Free Spirit. This epitomizes the natural, untamed instincts of the animal kingdom that have been in existence since time immemorial. The feral incarnations have been known to pass on the lessons of survival to their offspring notwithstanding the ravages of time. In the perennial battle between the predator and prey, the survivor comes out unscathed primarily because it puts into action these enduring tactics. Wilderness is all about being free, untapped and untrained. Once the concept of training takes over, the learning becomes less lateral and leans heavily towards a pre-defined objective. The underlying credo for that matter belies the fact that domesticating any entity hones its skills. In fact, the more one gets taught, the farther it drifts from the core subject matter.

The cacophony of the bustling metropolis compels the plebeian mortals to abandon their nocturnal delights. Buried inside the thick foliage which otherwise is a rare sight in the cities, lies a sprawling campus overlooking the splendid works of architecture collectively referred to as a B-school wherein 'B' expands to Business. Here resides the most remarkable organism that has ever descended on our planet to manifest time-tested theories in the most incomprehensible manner.  The elements of the aforementioned organism have inherited the right to colloquially identify themselves as B-school Grads from their predecessors. They dress smart, speak neat, behave sophisticated, dream lofty, walk tall and display all possible traits that can trick the naive onlooker into assuming whether he had actually landed on the wrong planet. This most singular species believes in swearing by the likes of Kotler, De Bono, Robbins, and Anderson et al to authenticate its oratorical and analytical prowess. Endless hours of grueling sessions are devoted to contradicting what is universally true and abiding by the illusions of the flawed. Its here in these esoteric campuses, the species undergoes the radical transformation from a state of unadulterated mindset to that of an inordinate inflection. In this process, it loses the pristine charm of raw knowledge to the lucre of conditioned applicability. The so called B-school Grad would unflinchingly don the garb of a would-be manager to decisively overrule any existing concept as being highly erroneous just to showcase his superfluous understanding of the market. Having done so, the next moment he would flaunt a piece of paper mysteriously titled "…graduated from the best B-school" grinning to the flash of the irresistible endowments in whatever form they appear, dollars, pounds, euros, rupees all alike.  But, he ceases to function in consonance with his innate abilities, the assets he is gifted with.

Wilderness represents a perfect allegory to the very meaning of being boundless, yet undeniably original. The creatures of this uncultivated world learn to carry on by interacting with their ambience. They harness the senses to communicate with the unexplored in order to sniff possibilities of a calamity. The free spirit makes it possible for them to employ all possible combinations to extract a suitable avenue for existence. Contrast this with the approach ordained by their more illustrious counterparts in pursuit of a piece of paper aptly christened MBA Degree wherein the level of thought employed is behemoth but the outcome is inexplicably disorganized.  Years of unregulated classroom learning take the sheen off their able brains and render them highly inactive. They become receptive only to a standardized version of skillfulness wherein they employ a pre-defined set of constructs to achieve the objective. A highly self-conscious MBA graduate, when asked to find out the number of granules spread over an unclenched palm, would seemingly hurry to perform a regression analysis to test the homogeneity of the particles, open a highly incoherent software package on his laptop to adjust the standard error, refer the marketing topology to carry out a cluster analysis on the exactness of the range, proceed to study the behaviour of termites to calculate the depth of the mound only to arrive at a mind boggling figure of a quarter and a half million approximated to the 100 th place on the decimal side. Our local tea-boy, on the other hand, would not even take a quarter of a second to arrive upon the fact that all we have is only a handful of granules. The naïve youngster might not have visited the primary school, let alone any B-school, but on the face of it possesses enough common sense to utilize at the right instance. It's his interaction with the surroundings that have taught him the basics of survival, which no B-school, howsoever glorious, can ever fancy to impart.

The idea is therefore, to establish a bridge between the environmental learning and skill development in classrooms. The notion of intelligence is controversial enough to throw open innumerable forums for argument. But, the seat of human intelligence, as conceived by the biologists would certainly be augmented by the proficient usage of the grey cells in the brain. A continual exposure to testing situations on the platform of reality stimulates these units of cerebral activity. In fact, steady interaction with the elements of nature nurtures the essence of free spirit in animals. Hence, it's highly imperative that a sense of simulated training should be incorporated in the mindset of the B-school graduates. This would subsequently narrow the gap between their natural flair and adapted competence. What else, but the sanctity and composure of the jungle life would suffice well to the paradigm of skill development in them? Therein, the individuals would carefully study the customized manners of their less gifted counterparts to analyze the implications of real world decisions. This could be of tremendous benefit to the future of mankind. Possibly, the cradle of humanity would deliver what years of modern coaching has not been able to – The Quest for Perfection.
 


Kamal Misra
PGP 2004-2006
Xavier Institute of Management
Bhubaneswar
 

Source : E-mail September 22, 2004

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