Zen Stories for Management

Story 1

Prepared by Prof.K.Prabhakar
02/09/08

for Management students

Why stories and why Zen?
• • • • We will use dialogue mode to have our discussion. Many complex problems around us may not require complex solutions. Many a times a complex problem or issue may have a simple solution. Stories help us to come in terms with reality and provide us insights that we miss in our everyday life. • Zen stories is one of the oldest methods of providing insights into complex issues. This is my own conjecture, and you have every liberty to disagree with me. As Zen stories never end with any solution, it provides you insight that is profound . Zen requires reflections at the end of the story. • We will read one story today and contextualize it into our life and have some reflections. You can add your reflections based on your own experience.

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology

Context
• How do we terms “events” that happen around us? • Generally good or bad: it depends on whether particular event provides you happiness or unhappiness. • Happiness or unhappiness is also subjective and depends on person and place where it has happened etc. • We try to judge an event based on its immediate impact on us. • However, do we have another way to look at the events in the world?

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology

Some “Events”
• We get promoted in our job • We may loose job • We may have tough time in the marketplace to sell our products or services • We may be confronted with issues of social relationships. • Some of these events we may term them as good or bad.
02/09/08 KSR College of Technology

We now go to the story
• Once upon a time a farmer had a horse. This horse ran away, so the farmer 's friends and relatives came to console him for his bad luck. He answered: “May be”.

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology

The day after the horse came back, leading six wild horses with it. The friends and relatives came to congratulate him on such good luck. The farmer said: “May be”.

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology

• The day after, his son tried to saddle and ride on one of the wild horses, but he fell down and broke his leg. Once again the friends and relatives came to share that misfortune. The farmer said: “May be”.

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology

The day after, soldiers came to conscript the youth of the village, but the farmer ’s son was not chosen because of his broken leg. When the friends and relatives came to congratulate, the farmer said again: “May be”.

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology

The story ends and our reflections begin-Reflection 1
• Let us first take one way of reflection on what has happened in the story. • If you analyze each event and its immediate impact ,they are either good or bad. • If we look at long term we can term it as good. • However, how long we have to wait for all the checks and balances or debits and credits in accountant terms? • Do we have some measures?
02/09/08 KSR College of Technology

Reflection 2
• Can we say in real world for every event “May be” and act stoic. • Is it not fatalism? • Will this kind of attitude help a person to achieve things? • The reflection is, the farmer is not passive, he is very much active. He is just not judging the events.
02/09/08 KSR College of Technology

Reflection 3
• If every event that is likely to happens does happen then what is our role? I think our role is to “accept things” as they are and progress and just say “May be”.

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology

Any other reflections?
• Please send your mail to prabhakar.krishnamurthy@gmail.com Thank you very much. I thank my secretary Ms. Subha for all help to prepare this presentation.

02/09/08

KSR College of Technology