Especially for SME – 64: Selecting when only and surgical strikes against Pak.

02 November 2022


SME 3: Yes, choose a timing that has a telling effect on the achievement of the end-result. Be proactive or preventive rather than taking postmortem action. Keep your timing secret.

Mr. Lowe: You do need caliber in timing a decision and in timing the subsequent action. You don’t need that level of caliber to do postmortem solving of a problem as the caliber you need to prevent the problem from coming to pass. And interestingly, though you need a higher level of caliber to prevent, you need much less resources to prevent rather than do postmortem. By taking preventive decision and then action, you are seeing to it that ineffectiveness does not enter at all in what you do. So, what you are doing by choosing a time that is preventive or proactive rather than post-mortem is, if effect, you are preventing ineffectiveness from entering your planning and execution and so you are effective and successful.

SME 1: Examples from politics, please!

Mr. Lowe: A classic example of timing in politics is the timing of surgical strikes against Pakistan by India followed by the timing of demonetization of the high denomination currency notes that completely put a stop to the stone pelting -that Pakistan was doing in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for more than 3 months continuously, through its agents. Once the money flow to the agents stopped, the so-called unrest against the Govt. of India in J & K also stopped. The surprise element was very much there in these two major decisions and actions taken by the Government under Mr Narendra Modi. Of course let us not forget Balakot, when Pak commanders did not believe it even when their own injured soldiers were asking for urgent help.

This gives us another clue or criterion for timing, the sequence. The sequence is of great importance in achieving whatever you want to achieve. You cannot change the order of steps to be taken, which is a matter of what first and what next. The order itself is a matter of timing. See how Mr. Modi had prepared the whole world diplomatically before the surgical strikes. However, one step in execution went wrong in the third step of demonetization. The assumption that 2000 Re notes will cushion the impact of the demonetization of 500- or 1000-rupees notes. In fact, one should have had a lot more 100-rupee notes introduced in the market quietly before announcement. This was because the vital few for causing problems and disruption to majority of people was not absence of 2000 Re notes but 100-rupee notes.

Another not so desirable outcome (giving minus to the correct Super system namely India and its people and therefore wrong) but a good example of timing is that of Ms. Indira Gandhi, who imposed in this inherently democratic country a state of emergency. She announced it at 12 midnight before the day the Allahabad High Court was to dislodge her from power. She dismantled or disabled practically every institution in the country including the judiciary, effective that announcement at midnight. Again the timing was right in the sense, had she announced it a few hours earlier it would have been ineffective but the action itself was wrong because it gave minus to the Nation and its people, her SS1 in her official role.

People with no clarity on the end- result would not be able to decide on the timing at all. They would be confused on the means of achieving also, as the end-result they want to achieve is at best confused, if not wrong- in the sense, the end-result that they have in mind gives minus to the correct Super systems for the role they are playing. The classical example of this is the previous Government in India led by Ma(u)nmohan Singh. The people were feeling that there is no Government at all in the country because practically everything took so much time that there was indeed decision-making paralysis and execution paralysis. All the intellectuals in the party were masters at procrastination and used or rather misused their intelligence only to justify the indecision and inaction and to explain why no decision and action. For giving this explanation we do not need a government at all. ………………Contd.


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