Especially for SME’s – 47: Result resources x strategy from Mahabharat.

06 July 2022


Mr. Lowe: After a while, Krishna woke up and saw Arjun first as he was standing straight at his feet and greeted him and asked him what made him come to Dwaraka, his place. Before Arjun answered, Krishna heard a voice from behind, that of Duryodhan, proclaiming he came first, before Arjun. Krishna said: ‘You too have come! ‘, greeted him too and asked him what brought him to Dwaraka. Duryodhan said that the war between Kauravas and Pandavas was now certain and he had come to seek help from Him. Duryodhan argued that he was also related to Krishna the same way as Pandavas. Krishna asked Arjun why he came and Arjun said that he also came to seek His help in the war and seek His blessings too.

Krishna said: “Now that both have come asking for help in the war, I have to help both of you”.

Duryodhan: “how can you fight from both sides in a war?” This is like the same consultant advising two competitors!

Krishna: ‘I never talked about fighting but I only said I have to help out both sides. Choose from one of the two options: Option 1: The Yadava army, huge and well –trained or option 2: Only me, unarmed and I won’t take any weapon in my hand during the entire war’

Krishna continued: ‘Now the question arises as to who, out of the two of you, should have the first chance to pick the option’.

Duryodhan, worried that Arjun may pick up the army if given first chance, shouted: “Only I should be given the first chance to pick because I came first”.

Krishna said: “No Duryodhan, Arjun should get the first chance as he is your younger brother and also I saw him first”.

Duryodhan was aghast and worried but could not do anything except wait for Arjun’s decision.

Arjun said: “I did not come here to seek your army’s help; I came here to seek your help. I want only you and not the Yadava army.”

Duryodhan heaved a sigh of relief and went off to tell his uncle and strategist Sakuni how stupid Arjun was to choose Krishna who would be unarmed and who would not lift one weapon in the war zone. For all practical purposes Krishna would be a completely avoidable overhead in the war, according to Duryodhan. Sakuni being a shrewd strategist castigated Duryodhan: ‘Arjun is not stupid; You are stupid! How nice it would have been if we have taken Krishna and put him behind bars until the war is over! What a great relief we would have got if we had ensured Pandavas miss him and don’t get his advice when the war is on!”

We get the answer for our question: “what does Result depend on?” from this one scene in Mahabharat. Of course, there are management lessons to be learnt, life lessons to be learnt that are relevant even today, from practically every scene of this great Epic. The Yadava army, huge and well- trained, implies resources that we use, and Krishna depicts the lonely, silent strategist who decides how to deploy what resource, when: That is why Krishna said “I am on one side, unarmed and won’t lift any weapon” implying a strategist. So, Result = resources x strategy. In fact, so much management is there in Mahabharat that I have developed a new management concept by name Management by PICKSS and written three books covering this new effective management concept.

We have seen in industry as well that the skill required for execution is very different from the skill required to formulate a strategy or to do planning. The skill required at the project stage is a combination of planning and firefighting whereas the skill required to run an existing plant or institution is systematizing and ensuring systems work smoothly taking care of routines, enabling smooth execution rather than firefighting every day. How many great project managers have failed when appointed to take over and run the unit which they themselves have created as General Managers!

So the equation that emerges from this scene is: Result = Resources x Strategy. Strategy here implies the way we deploy the resources at our command to produce results. We know that

Success=Result = Effectiveness..

So combining both we can say that:

Success=Result = Effectiveness =Resources x Strategy

The above equation says that result, which is an indication of how effective we are, is a product or multiplication of resource and strategy. Specifically the result is not an addition of resources and strategy. This is because if resources are zero, the result is zero. And if resources are plenty and strategy is zero the result is zero again. And because the resources can never be zero, when we consider creativity and time, only strategy can become zero that we see day in day out in practically all fields. Most people think result = resources and complain about the shortfall of one or the other of the 7 M’s as the reason for their failure.


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