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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