By Ambica Gulati January 2003 The new wonder formula in performance sheets is meditation, which has skillfully woven its way into the corporate world The whole purpose of meditation is to make you aware of your kingdom, to make you aware of your highest potential,” writes Osho in Contemplation Before Sleep. The corporate world is fast waking up to the concept of connecting within as the best means to meet external targets. You do not need emotional intelligence or psychometric tests to assess your potential. Just quieten the chatterbox mind. Listen to yourself. And you have an instant antidote to all problems. Param Ajjan, a corporate trainer and CEO of The Matrix, a training organization, says: “I include meditation in all my workshops on emotional intelligence. I have observed remarkable results. The work environment becomes charged and relaxed.” Rishi Prabhakar, founder of the Bangalore-based Rishi Samskruti Vidya Kendra and Siddha Samadhi Yoga (SSY), propagates ‘true leadership’ and ‘automatic management’ through SSY. “The thinking process exhausts the body. The level of rest gained during SSY is about three to four times more than that acquired in a state of deep sleep. It enhances creativity and intelligence.” In a study, the practice of SSY recorded a marked improvement in team spirit, productivity, sales and profits. In some cases there was a phenomenal improvement of 600 per cent in sales and 250 per cent in profits—all in a short duration. Today, General Motors incorporates SSY in its basic training programme for recruits. Some of the organizations that have benefited through this meditative technique include Bhandari Industries, Kirloskar Oil Engines, Thermax, Otis Elevators and Sangola Spinning Mills. Binay Kumar, director (personnel), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), speaks about the positive influence of meditation: “At Corporation Grid of India, I designed a training programme for the CMD in which he would start the day with yoga and meditation. This proved to be an effective way of managing stress.” His viewpoint is shared by Vinod Gulati, IT and HRD head at NHPC: “Our target is to provide power to everybody by 2020. To face this challenge, we need to be properly equipped. Two years back we had introductory sessions of Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living and noticed a remarkable difference in the output.” Now all training programmes begin with meditation and yoga. At the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), meditation and yoga have found success in its regional training centres. Vipassana, a 10-day rigorous residential meditation course for business executives, was also held at its Ikatgiri centre recently. The grand success of this course promises more in the offing. R.V. Shahi, secretary in the Ministry of Power, incorporated meditation and yoga in the 10-day capsule course for the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) during his tenure, a decade back. This course saw its centennial celebration at the Power Management Institute, NTPC, Noida. Going by the popularity of meditation in the corporate sector, Fore School of Management in Delhi conducts Vedic management workshops before its MBA programme. Dr Rajni Arya, director of Amity Institute of Behavioral and Allied Sciences, feels: “Few management schools have been able to strike the right balance between modern management techniques and insight from Shastras.” At Amity, they have been able to straddle the divide by introducing certain modules in their curriculum, which are drawn from Indian scriptures and their practical applications. “It is our experience that meditation helps students de-stress, improves their concentration and focus, and helps them to be in harmony with themselves,” Dr Arya adds. During meditation they teach students to connect with the core of their being, which helps them get in touch with the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of their actions. Dr Arya says: “The students then feel ‘I am you and you are me’, that it is okay to have problems, biases and negative emotions so long as one is willing to work on them and learn ways to manage them. Since our profession is a part of our lives, values at the place of work cannot be fragmented from perennial values, which are necessary for the unfolding of the individual’s personality.” This ensures that the future managers coming out of their institute have a vision based on value-based management (dharma), value-based work (karma) and ultimately a value-based life (samyama). He says: “Our conviction is that if our students are empowered it will automatically find manifestations in their organization and will lead to an awakened society.” R.V. Shahi, secretary in the Ministry of Power, incorporated meditation and yoga in the 10-day capsule course for the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) during his
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