About the Author
Prof. Sengupta is an Alumni of St. Xavier’s School, Hazaribagh, and St. Stephen’s College/Delhi University/Delhi School of Economics with Master of Arts in Chinese History, Political Thought and Economic History. He completed his practical studies at the XLRI Business School, Jamshedpur with Behavioural Sciences specialization. He has held Senior Positions with CESC Ltd, OMAM Consultants, Haldia Petro-chemicals, PwC (Principal Consultant on/off shore Projects). He has taught in Calcutta University, Gandhi Labour Foundation (Puri) & extensively taught & worked with the brick & mortar story of Dr. A. Samanta, Founder KIIT & KISS Universities. [email protected] He is Author of a Management Book- “Principles and Practices of Management”: ?Amazon Kindle. Prof. Sengupta is an Energy Resource Consultant-worked with ADB/WB/DFID/JDA in South Asian electricity privatizations/reforms. He has published articles, is a proficient Speaker, managed Industry-Academia Interfaces with FICCI/NHRD/AIMA/NIPM. He sustains teaching & learning.
Abstract – In pandemic times, it is not illogical for us to sometimes believe our environment is actually a Large Mental Asylum! Within this Asylum, human experiences reverberate in different trajectories. It is a fact we are each tied within a set of pre-determined activities- like going to prep school, higher school, college, higher studies; looking for a job; marrying, becoming a parent, changing jobs; retiring but feeling exasperated and now with all these, Covid strains since February 2020!. Sometimes it is very apparent our leaders’ enthusiasms at decision making are ridiculously impractical. It is no longer the Economics Stupid! It’s just how we manage our Brains that matter in 21st century!! This paper is an attempt to explain one kind of imprisonment by another. If the logic of the paper is a trite mad, we are perhaps truly living in a Mad Asylum. The writer would be the first of few to fly over this Cuckoo’s nest, kind of! This article is dedicated to my grandson, whose 7th birthday was recently. I humbly pray all the children of his age grow up to be Great Bahubalis to combat the inseparable Future Shocks we are leaving behind for them.
The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians passed down from generation to generation says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However in modern business, education and governmental/global bodies our current leaders use a whole range of far more advanced strategies, such as:-
- Buying a stronger whip
- Changing riders
- Threatening the horse with termination
- Appointing a committee to study the horse
- Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses
- Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included
- Re-classifying the dead horse as “living impaired”
- Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse
- Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed
- Providing additional funding or training to increase the dead horse’s performance
- Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance
- Declaring that the dead horse is less costly as it does not have to be fed, carries lower overheads; so contributes more substantially to the bottom line of the economy than other horses
- Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses
- Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position of hiring another horse.
Our techno-commercial world employs all these advance strategies of principles & practices of management. But an emerging techno-humane society under Artificial Intelligence needs more empathy and alignment to manage the already emerging hugely disconnected Useless Class.
To be able to write with relevance to the psychological aspects enabling HRM & Mental Health is a privilege. It is also a challenging proposition because I do believe HRM is being used as a storage tower/grain store, unable to mitigate humane concerns. The larger picture eludes us.
For example, even as a pandemic is “on” and our Health Caregivers are empowered to deliver; another pandemic, namely water scarcity is on the anvil. Over 25 lakh fishermen have lost livelihoods in State of West Bengal, India owing to the dying of many of 396 rivers. A mass rally was organized by NGOs and well wishers on 17th March 2020 in Kolkata, India highlighting government’s ineptitude to correct these deviations. Bengal carries 17 of most polluted rivers in India. 10 major rivers-including the Alokananda, Kankona, Chaiti & Bhairab– with several rivers near extinction confirm bio-diversity is lost in State of Bengal & India. Looks like we are suffering from multiple body sores; as one subsides, another emerges!
My paper will therefore touch upon larger HRM issues impacting the future of Homosapiens’ behaviours. We have an indulgent ruling elite paying lip-service by not enforcing community/civic discipline impacting future of our toddlers. War-footed Reengineering with total clarity in linkages/networking are urgently needed. We are rapidly scaling Artificial Intelligence platforms beyond imaginations.
Given current global dynamics, it is indiscreet to ignore this overall impact of HRM on the micro & macro spaces we live in. HRM processes of reengineering across different societies & techno-systems in our “borderless world” can provide the critical efficiencies for survival of our species. Traditional impermeable structures, with their traditional thought processes, always tend to resist better change efforts. Humans are the only species in the world that can cooperate in large numbers. The erratic behavioural dynamics we see (our values, self-image and vision with feelings) are disablers; we are becoming self-centred with the “freebies” of modern technology doled out by the profit-making manufacturers & politicians, playing to the galleries. History is replete with what was evil yesterday becoming virtue today. Just because some are making loads of money with sale of junk food & easy to use technologies can not mean their customers are always right. This paper is an imaginative presentation of disciplined alignment to break our impermeable mind structures.
The Issues & Questions
Given the global Covid ‘blues’, my flow of thoughts become very incisive concerning human QLI & Living. We live within dif ferent bounded rationalities variously spread across the globe where basic survival instincts (needs) of more than 1/2 the world are at stake. Tragically the wants of a significant smaller but more resourceful segment of humans have created an unparalleled Catch 22 situation. It is not just the super dynamics of Covid & after-effects I refer to…managing this emerging techno-humanism is an entirely different cup of tea.
Our youth have become very fragile & fragmented elements. Like robots they are glued to smart phones. Smart phones offer an avalanche to sensuous information and the youth unabashedly lap up the media. With no life, no hobbies, burnt out, lost childhood- our youth are also at the “bottom” of the pyramid we call family, community, society. They usually resist least because they know how bad things really are & willing to experiment anything to improve the situation. Sensuous education & lifestyles in South Asian economies that I am familiar with, have made our loquacious youth more tech-savvy than their more rebellious predecessors of the 1960/70s & even the freedom fighters of the pre-1947 days. The stark exploitative contradictions of life do not make any sense to our youth. They simply want more in a world driven by wants. The horrible case-study of the socio-economic degradation of Venezuela from the 1960s till today is lost on our leaders as they continue assuring freebies to gullible voters. Core Think Tanks of governments must trigger such minds to build the inevitable better change with change readiness techno-workshops, explaining the scope of change to be expected. The HRM model of ‘building the case’, visualizing change, understanding the stakes, telling the truth, providing direction across different levels through benchmarking must begin to make such case for better change.[i] Change is the only constant.
What is this better change for Business Society? Can there be a HRM Model in it?
With Covid, fear and apprehension have stalked every human being. Sleep for instance is never a waste of time. The pandemic has ruined not just employment but sleep and converted many into chronic insomniacs. People across all segments of working populations in towns & cities are confined to their homes, eating binges of food & exhibiting erratic, depressive behaviour. Anxiety has turned to palpitation, hysteria and irresponsible behaviour. It is a weird unpredictable magical mystery tour for all of us these past several months. The few erudite of the world are wondering “where we are going.” This state of suspended animation is like none other!
It is also a challenge for current leaders across different spectrums of leadership, including parents & teachers who are selling impossible dreams without understanding the larger picture. Remember the popular 1970s song by Bob Dylan’s: “the times they are a changing”? Whatever positions we have held & whosoever individuals we have been wherever in this life time, Covid has been a leveller. For good or bad, this is resurgence of more conscious Sapiens. Even as governments try to restore economic balance, global trade & tariffs; individuals are surely asking “OMG! What is happening?-“Where do we go from here?” How do we go?” Very few, have had the gumption & foresight to ask “Why we go where & how from here?” As I walk down restless streets, many visions are planted in my brain even as I perceive people talking without speaking and hearing without listening. The paper seeks to explore the Whys as we unsuspectingly move into the techno-humane society.
Socio-economic predictions are not the fundamental privilege of economists and sociologists. At operational level it is a HRM problem. We are discussing the overall human resource development of the aspiring billions who are stumbling blocks in context of Traditional HRM which is part of this whole. We need unbundle “trickle down” HRM possibilities engulfing whole communities. The subdued disenchantment of the general public is already creating erratic behaviour in different societies under different governments. It is apparent this jigsaw puzzle requires New Leaders.
Bertrand Russell had stated in the preface of his book “Has Man a Future?” that Homosapiens or Human Beings are the cruellest animals on Planet Earth. My understanding of this assessment, based entirely on my own experiential learning is that we are actually most cruel to our own progenies. Our self-indulgence is causing their downfall. By the time an individual’s dawning of ‘realization’ occurs; a lifetime spent under personal revenue improvement programs is over! No other animal is as cruel. On hindsight was Gandhi’s decision to opt for partition a good HRM decision? Somehow our leaders never see the larger (50 years ahead) picture.
Vast masses of unconscious, untrained aspiring Sapiens are always solely dependent on the largesse of their changing beliefs & unchanging hopes. They are less dependent on fraught leaders for life-fundamentals. This is where I believe HRM needs to skilfully intrude with discipline in an emerging brick & mortar vision & mission statement. Quite obviously, our political leaders are doing the opposite in style & substance which needs changing. Innovative ‘trickle down’ effects are necessary to trigger HRM control 7.4 billion aspiring Sapiens. Unlike the past history of political economy, our peoples now possess built-in expectations due to access & familiarity with technology- the Smartphone, internet, Face book and WhattsApp for instance. The aim must be to mellow down the built in palpitations, hysteria and insomnia with community enforced discipline. I see such Writing on the Wall.
The Human Resource Meta-Movement
So is this the time when Barack Obama’s “Yes, we can” needs to reverberate down to the grassroots of societies? This is undeniably an opportunity to cast old bad habits and acquire pragmatic new ones. We must transform not only healthcare but beyond- ushering in methods of regulated community living to better our own lives. This is primarily HRM domain. I find no other option for this world where everyone is running after greed but Mother Earth having enough for our need only. This is precisely where Human Resource Development is linked with that Psychological better change resonation which needs to reverberate within communities. This is a Wake-Up Call where HRM Lead Resource Persons need step in to efficiently contribute with deliverables. The passionate “We can” Health Care success stories of India have empowered our Care-givers deliver against all odds. This “together we do it” case study is up for replication in other silos of public enterprise management. Innovation must stand out. I apprehend our idiosyncratic politicians & procrastinating professionals may take gullible humanity for another ride.
We are on a paradigm shift. To redesign processes, we need to redesign jobs and procedures, change systems & technologies, train people to perform new and different tasks and remove barriers to change. The generated success of India’s Health care personnel is because their Leaders’ clarity with two flexible questions-
- What is the scope of the project?
- How many levers of change may the team actually access and alter?
At the micro operational level:-
- Can the change team recommend and secure approval for significant changes in the organizational (e.g. local community/public utility) structure- or is that option off-limits?
- Can the team make substantial changes in the degree to which frontline workers (e.g. in regions/local enterprises) are empowered- or do government, union & human resource policy factors put this option out of bounds?
- Can the team recommend segmenting and serving customers (e.g. citizens) in a completely new construct?
- Can it consider disbanding less attractive or conflicting product lines (e.g. existing pollutant transports/waste management dumps)?
- Is it free to consider new performance measures and reward systems (e.g. incentives and rewards for start-ups/innovations)?
The unfolding HRM narrative indicates bottom of pyramid management dynamics involving people management and at the other extreme top of pyramid power dynamics between the contending lead forces of the Ruling Elite.
I believe in the context of this paper, the bottom of pyramid issues must be addressed by individuals, local leaders & government functionaries to optimise positivism within the psychology minds frames of public. If hope turns to helplessness, then the worst case scenario may commence. In April 2020, I thought we were in such a situation. The fact that I am writing this paper in March 2021 indicates partial hope & less anxiety.
Let me then analyze the HRM pyramid dynamics from different perspectives.
Unless HRM wishes to play second fiddle, we cannot ignore the fact that at the higher pyramid a War of Attrition is “on” to control the means of production between the corporate state and the private state. Rules of governance are changing- will water resources, minerals be owned by public or private enterprise? Power & Greed are at play on both sides as neither side is embellished with humanism but crass opportunism. Citizens at bottom of pyramid are caught in these contradictions. We now need (HRM) Leaders who are made not born to lead us beyond rising hysteria.
In such situational dynamics, we need innovatively usher in multi dimensional better change syndromes. Leadership expertise is necessary to see beyond the short term to the long term, say the 2070 eras. So when we discuss future of Business Policy, let us realise HRM Policies are intertwined with Artificial Intelligence beyond our islands of so-called prosperity. Let us be fair to ourselves and the generations that follow. Government, industries and citizens together make or break Business Policies. Business/HRM policies reflect awareness in society in terms of output.
AI dependence implies inter-disciplinary functioning across communities. The output of micro and macro socio- economic activities is the responsibility of the better change leaders. If the nature of existing contradictions converts to antagonism, Mother Earth will augment her destruction processes. The drying up of rivers is only one such indication. And our present day leaders’ ineptitude toward rectifying such issues, say with volunteered sapling plantings along river banks for soil restoration (as is happening in South India), is indeed cause for great worry. Leaders have to hear the new lyrics of Mother Earth. The Brain matters. But Einstein had stated a century ago that only two things are infinite – the Universe & Human Stupidity!
This War of Attrition is actually the strategic break-point into which techno-humanism fits in. Globalization is not political but mainly economic phenomenon, across which groups of plunderers are deeply divided into two teams of marauders wishing to own the means of production- the Public State versus the Corporate State. In between we have the lackeys of course. We cannot ignore this emerging 21st century reality. Homosapiens, linked to their learning environment and perceptions, have their lives intertwined within these contradictions. The manner which the Corporate State is winning over the Public is actually the paradigm change engaging HRM issues of employment, production & the 3Ms. It is also becoming known that all Banks in the world are operating on ‘fractional reserve banking’ which allows banks to lend money they do not have! The Artificial printing of money or deficit financing is one other example where deposit guarantees are not assured! This is what the Austrian School of Economics led by Professors Mises and Minsky affirm.[ii] Mankind is slowly being led, for good or bad, into the era of unplanned techno-humane community! The efficacy of governance is at stake. The Royale Bubble may burst anytime.
The fact remains the erudite of the world are wondering “where we are going.” Emerging techno-humanism, meticulously governed by synchronous activities based on cognitive electronic intelligence is emerging. Traditional HRM is part of this whole process. May be private capital with Artificial Intelligence by its side, will reign supreme. But can management of billions of aspiring Useless Class under a tug-of-economic war remain the prerogative of the Rulers always? Such are my Questions.
Therefore I am exploring few possible “trickle down” innovative HRM possibilities within the forces shaping our competitive world. The subdued disenchantment of the general public is already creating psychological induced fracas in different societies under differently (dis)abled governments, led by equally enigmatic leaders. Re-emergence of more Donald Trump like personalities beyond 2021 may bring frolic to many but pain to most. These are all inter alia detrimental to the cause of Business Society. We are living in an era of already emerged huge Useless Class. In India, this is very apparent as I mask to walk the alleys, roads & avenues, as I do.
Unlike the past history of political economy, our peoples now possess built in expectations due to access and familiarity with modern technology- the Smartphone, internet, Face book and WhattsApp for instance. Morals aside, even the uneducated become instant ‘educated’ with modern gadgets! Governance aim must be to mellow down the built in palpitations, hysteria and insomnia involving aspirations. The movement must be from unpredictable sensuousness toward trained sensitivity.
Perhaps we have reached the rock bottom in expectations. Patience & perseverance are being severely tested. Our leaders’ capability maturities are on display. Rules of governance are changing- will water resources, minerals be owned by public or private enterprise? Power & Greed are at play on all sides, including the common people. There is no humanism but crass opportunism. In a narrative where human relation is going out of control do we need Sincere Deceivers like our erstwhile Western leaders who drove us into the ‘WMD’ hidden Kuwait War? Multi dimensional techno-humane Society is fraught with heavy risks management concerns.
I have therefore on offer two fundamental HRM Models that we need understand & implement at micro/macro aspects in order to sustain normal life on planet earth. These involve Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman Model) and Learning Style Processes (David Kolb Model). And interconnected to these are concerns regarding-
- Huge gaps in chronological/psychological ages among people (including current leaders)
- Concomitant capability maturity levels, the optimum regulation of which is critical
- Affiliated augmentation of Integrated Community Behaviour hubs across economic geographies to combat AI induced ‘monstrosity’ engulfing our lives and living.
Emotional Intelligence linked to HR Development
Consider the agony of the last twelve months whose experiential learning has positively for few & adversely for most, affected Mental Health (MH). But for the extremely rich who have gone richer, most of us are at rock bottoms of our dreams and expectations. Our mind-functions continue to be influenced by what we have perceived and how rattled our Emotional Intelligence became.
The brain is the most ignored critical link to our understanding. But to establish the link we need to cast away absurdity and accept human values. This is the most significant paradigm shift needed at micro/ macro levels of life. Relationships matter.
Contextually I have always appreciated aforesaid Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence (EI) Model with the following (Diagram II) Learning Styles Model of David Kolb[iii]. I have used these in Behavioural Sciences Seminars. If life beyond the 2030s is going to be a paradox woven under the aegis of Artificial Intelligence (AI), I strongly believe we must be induced to understand & practice the Goleman Model of recognition and regulation of our emotions relating to individual and group dynamics at micro levels of management. Duly regulated and monitored with reference to our learning experiences, these quality behavioural inputs will enhance consciousness levels for better micro & macro decision making processes. We do not need degrees from Universities to unravel basic life mysteries is what I am conveying.
Emotional Intelligence is operational at every local unit of production- family, school, higher education studies and commercial/corporate entities. A much needed resurgence of empathy-the wired to care approach– among citizens, groups and families is now necessary in our techno-humane society for congenial living. Quality of living is concomitant with QLI where Communities/Nations can be on a synergistic “win-win” trip. We need to proactively trigger the Nature-gifted body chemicals of Oxytocin (trust/belongingness), Dopamine (Motivation), Serotonin (safety/mutual respect) and Endorphin (euphoria and determination). We are born with these fluids and most of us are unconscious beneficiaries. [psychologies.co.uk/self/how-to-boost-national-feelgood-chemicals.htm]. So why are we trained not to live with abundance?
Sadly, I believe we are forced to live in a most disconnected world for the sake of the personal revenue improvement programs of larger commercial groups. Human emotion has become most elusive with advent of technology, ornamental capital gains & rising aspirations. Sans the stereotype ideologies my narration of Techno-humane society is radically opposite to such degeneration.
And contextually, Kolb invites attention to our experiential learning where-
- Concrete Experience– is new experience/situation encountered or a reinterpretation of existing experience.
- Reflective Observation- of the New Experience- where of particular importance is any inconsistency/deviation between experience & understanding (another ‘gap-analysis’!).
- Abstract Conceptualization– where reflection gives rise to newer ideas/modification of an existing abstract concept the person has learned from her experience.
- Active Experimentation– where the learner applies her ideas to the world around to see what happens. Effective learning optimizes when a person sequentially progresses through these cycle of 4 stages of Learning and can execute all 4 stages of the model meaningfully to one’s survival. All the 4 states are inter-connected and interlocutory (Author). But yes, for implementation discipline is obligatory. It is a pre-requisite for maturity.
Our aforementioned natural body chemicals are necessary for better human performance for higher evolution. Our future leaders-as parents, teachers, coaches/mentors, academicians, bureaucrats, industrialists, sportspersons, managers and politicians- will need to understand appropriate leadership has always come from learning awareness shared through social practice for empowerment. Empowerment means Motivation.
Emotional Intelligence linked to Human Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
Conceptual clarity over EI & aforesaid Learning Styles will lead toward enhanced changes in our mental characteristics reflected in normal mature individual/group behaviours. The thrust of pedagogy must always be directed at enhancing our awareness with practical exposure; enabling better understanding the subjects we are taught. It is quite another story that parents, teachers, managers, mentors; & political leaders have been seeking the short-cut to learning in past few decades. A huge disgruntled Useless Class with disguised unemployment poses risks for HRM/Business Society. Behavioural Economics has become an intriguing R&D issue. I am inferring to the current narratives in our disintegrating individual, family, group, community & national HRM linked Capability Immaturity Models to manage situations.
Capability maturity goes beyond the wanton emotional ranting generated by political parties before elections. They have mastered the art of flogging the dead horse! Tragically, it has always been in the greater interest of the vested parties controlling means of production to ensure people remain disunited & disintegrate with half baked consciousness. The Partition of India is a controversially intriguing HRM case-study which has negatively impacted the socio-economic lives of billions.
Foreseeable Integrative Community Behaviour Hubs (ICB)
Must our assumptions then lead us toward creating Integrated Community Behaviour (ICB) hubs, I am asking? Realignment within Armament Industries for example is already looking at the Bigger Picture beyond Rafael, Aircraft Carriers etc into Cognitive Electronic Warfare (CEW) processes. CEW has intelligence placed algorithmically in several electronic warfare systems. This enables the CEW to read & understand how to adapt machine learning data. Thus we have the Drones- the swarming flying electronic robots that we hear but do not always see! CEW is a game changer, helping war domains to function by providing critical connectivity.
Can the efficacious CEW model be used for community integration in a manner never seen before? The need for effective connectivity is paramount for external & internal survival in the emerging Business Society. All management issues will be managed through electromagnetic spectrum by compulsion, not choice. CEW is here to stay for the armament industry. How long will it then take for ruling elite, committed upon peoples’ “democratic aspirations” or its own hegemonistic designs, to realise cognitive electronic controls can better regulate civil life also? Could this signal more danger? Could the Ruling Elites create George Orwell type Animal Farms across global societies?
Cognitive electronic processes must adapt within civil life to create & regulate optimum integration of community behaviour. Such transgressions may also lead to “intellectual giants” calling it a travesty of justice for undue interference into the fundamental rights of citizens? Are our ruling elites already nefariously planning autocratic regimes under guise of their interpretation of integrated community behaviours? Given the exponential nature of our about-to-burst-at-seams, what alternatives do we have? Undoubtedly we are on the cusp of innovative techno-humanism in its formative stages. This is much like the guilds in mediaeval history, the communes in ancient and the societies/nations in modern human history. The fact remains there will be chaos as AI begins to rule over us and indiscipline among the youth & leaders alike multiplies. The world will be spinning toward destruction with repetition of follies & pandemics alike. Need for Conscious Persons imperative!
People resist change because of expectations about what change is– in its processes and practices? It is therefore up to the 21st Century visionary leaders to make their people perceive change under unstoppable Integrated Community Behaviour hubs operating with multi-dimensional facets. This is beyond the one or two dimensions people are generally familiar with in their current lives. The scope of better change under AI technology to access public utilities with participatory ICB hubs has to be lucidly understood. Much like the CEW, all human activities (including utilities like electricity, telecom, health, infrastructure, education, sports, R&D, T&D etc) must be algorithmically better networked with responsibility & accountability. The present moribund provisions in government and private undertakings must be overhauled. Time is not on our side at all.
Socio-Economic Survival compulsions are perforce confirming this urgency of integration within & among communities. Ideally, Useless Classes must be managed under exclusive humane technology enabled economic geographies. I believe this is the major challenge ahead for us. Push can turn into shove. Overall this involves being a better human through understanding the enhanced Self. This is the Bigger Picture. The New Accelerator will become the Integrated Community Hubs, changing the substance and styles of governments & peoples’ behaviours.
As to whether such integrative processes will be democratic, autocratic, oligarchic, totalitarian, theocratic, socialistic, aristocratic, monarchical or communistic- depends entirely on the unique local/regional characteristics, needs & evolutionary processes engaging human consciousness. I believe technologically we have evolved beyond the democratic, socialistic or egalitarian structures of the earlier historical epochs. Only Time will tell when as humans we shall have evolved to be at par with Nature.
In fact clarity and exact thinking (“Form-Focus-Flow” as with the inescapable AI language) are very, very important for managing Mass Psychology. Our administrative systems and processes under agile human resource management must be technologically empowered for distributive justice. This is the bigger picture- much in sync with the Cognitive Electronic Quantum Jumps we have been making in context of the armament industries! Rethink globally-Re-energize locally.
Evolving HRM & MH have thus an inseparable techno-humane connectivity evolving mass psychology. This has to be aligned to goals of economic equality across Asia and Africa, slowly stabilizing a world population. Pious and rational feelings as opposed to irrational ones need to be provoked within Humans.
Our World is on the cusp of another opportunity cost of better change. It can also convert into another opportunity lost. All the fragilities we have created- families, nation states, blocks, corporations-, will collapse in the next 20 years or so primarily because we are being kept untrained to experience change with (physical/emotional) pains. But anything that is AI algorithm driven will be better off than us human beings. We are converging toward an age when only consumers will determine what will happen with technology. This offers infinite possibilities. The risk however remains of being hijacked by cranky Rulers!
We need to ask questions as seekers. The trouble is that as humans we have reached a stage when we assume we are optimally intelligent but we are not. Even the most erudite among us has stopped asking questions. We are living with non-intelligent external tools, having forgotten our own body-mind dynamics. We have become square pegs in round holes craving for all the needs of Maslow except self-actualization! HRM & MH has to become part of a concerted process to liberate the human brain. We must transcend beyond the wants of acquisitions to the blossoming of community needs & use our intelligence for sustained better change. Character developments with Universal identity are possibilities in techno-humane world.
Substantiating the efficacy of the 2 Models in Diagram I & II, I can briefly also discuss Albert Bandura and Erik Eriksson in calibrating my paper. Bandura’s theory of observation learning is based on attention, retention, production & motivational brain induced processes. Eriksson’s reputation is derived mainly from his detailed account of human psycho-social development throughout the span from infancy till senility. He is greatly admired for his acute observations, sensible interpretations, writings & deep compassion for everything human. He postulated that without anxiety, conflict & crisis there can be no human strengths. It is precisely in managing crisis & suffering that man is Man. Can this pandemic reignite brain-based Learning?
Contextually therefore regulating the pulsating Capability Maturity Model (CMM) of a community has many management advantages. Individually EI & Learning Styles enable incremental development of human capital. Under the aegis of a benevolent technologically enabled ICB hub, the Models can reduce the Gap Analysis of its peoples’:-“As-Is: To-Be” Behavioural needs & other ill syndromes flexibly. CMM must be understood in the context of each nation’s efforts to augment socio-economic consolidation under “needs”, not “wants”. All roads lead to customer driven societies that await us in the ‘ozone layers’ of the Future! But foremost customer has to be Mother Earth.
Paradigm changes have never fallen from the skies; they have always come from socio-economic best practices. Such changes occur optimally when micro levels of civic life- individual/families/communities/villages/towns/cities/zones- are rooted & aligned for better change. In my childhood I understood that reality was beyond thought. In adulthood I realized reality & thought must be aligned for synergy. Contextually, in 21st century we need to internalise AI inventions. This is the new path of HRM which can be a tool toward limitless expansion beyond our current comprehensions of consciousness? It is the dawning of Age of Inner Engineering!
Variable Axis of Human Chronological & Psychological Ages
We need to link state of mental health with regulation & reduce the existing huge gaps in the chronological and psychological ages (leaders, individuals/ families, communities) under a possible CMM enabled ICB hub Model. These can be monitored with advanced Cognitive Electronics Technology & become viable for humanity’s future.
I am attempting to synthesize these few concepts (old wine in new bottle!) in context of the frothing issues of the future. Covid pandemics have drilled fundamental questions within me. We need weigh the pros and cons of inevitability of brain based decisions for creating better wired-to-care Homosapiens. Realization is never an attainment. I believe realization is basically an understanding of that which is always there. HRM has to resolve only ONE basic problem for Mother Earth- Human Beings! If this is determined, all else will fall in place.
The persuasive power of action can become the game changer. Simply describing benefits of more and better systems, strategy, communication with training & development cannot change society. The brain needs more than ideas. From planning and decision making stages we must move toward implementation under PERT/CPM and more advanced guidelines. All these parameters must be woven together into a pattern of aggressive actions, convincing the peoples that the train is leaving the station. A powerful case for better change will get people scrambling for seats in the station! Late Dr. Kalam had said- there must be fire in the belly!
Managing the Emerging Useless Class
Barely 5% of our youth will control their destiny; 95% of this population is already converting into “Useless Class”, [iv] variously referred by historian-author Yuval Noah Harari in his seminal books. As one reads his writings (slowly digestible in portions & often re-readable as well), I believe one cannot remain the same human being any longer. In my case, my sense of awareness throbbed with Prof. Harari’s “projects, dreams & nightmares that will shape the 21st Century- from overcoming death to creating artificial life”. My body chemicals underwent feverish alterations. Harari poses two sacred questions which are profoundly inimical to our survival –
- How will we go from here and
- How will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers?
He makes it quite clear that should this global village created by our Liberalization, Privatization & Globalization (precipitating LPG Model since 1990s) refuse to change- then only Time will ensure its lethal destruction. Plotting innovative Road Maps intelligently to unite is important now. Brain based learning must prevail.
It is this same “Useless Class” that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will manage. It is not the guy sitting in Silicon Valley or Bangalore but the robot next door which is going to take away jobs. And this is source of enormous anxiety for rising middle class. The fact is middle class jobs are disappearing-Due to technology or Globalization a paradigm change is occurring. But no one has time for answers to analyze & amalgamate this paradox! Everyone is fighting against one another!
The late Rector of my Boarding School at St. Xavier’s Hazaribagh, Jharkhand in India (an Australian Missionary by birth & a lifelong educationist in India), Rev. John Moore had lamented decades ago at an Alumni Meeting that our education system is creating Mr. & Mrs Know-Alls who do not know they know Nothing!
Importance of Innovative Leadership
Given the spiralling population, climate changes and huge unemployment rates, our leaders must clearly understand where we came from and where we are going. Nebulous comments and ill-conceived actions will be unproductive. The gap in chronological & psychological ages of our leaders is alarming. This is apparent from their propensity to distribute freebies even as their own HNW is ever increasing. Barring women Prime Ministers in a few countries, it is difficult to identify male leaders who fit into the appropriate job description needed to fulfil the new challenges. This is alarming.
Prof. Harari says we need a Humanist Revolution in order to manage AI. But our current leaders do not fit into this role play. We need draw from within our experiences the meaning of our entire lives and the meaning of the entire universe- this creates meaning in a meaningless world. But within the framework of my juxtaposition, I believe Human Resource Development now need be accelerated by its newer Movers & Shakers to effectively manage the semi-dormant/stereotype Psychological challenges within societies. Our communities need be dotted with goal oriented skill training centres. Billions of disguised unemployed youth must be harnessed. Leaders must anticipate hurdles in people management & deliver.
Mental Health is a critical supplement to creating the internal balance linked to the external. We need sensitive Homosapiens who are conscious of the bio energy within themselves (refer to the 4 Body Chemicals mentioned earlier). Human Beings need to begin looking at the world through a different prism. Hard work must prevail before attaining smart work capabilities. We need to be shown the way to be attentive to the nature of our existence, says Dr. Deepak Chopra cardiologist and behavioural scientist. Our current education systems are not geared toward concepts of better change linked to these futuristic paradigms. As much as it is impossible to imagine the emergence of a Krishna, Buddha, or Christ type leader today; I also see disjointed priorities set by our current leaders- the armament industries, dysfunctional HRM practices, adverse Mental & Physical Health of peoples everywhere- as bottlenecks. Is the Bigger Picture of the World truly similar to an unmanageable Mental Asylum?
Sensitivity is a practical skill, no longer an abstract aptitude in 21st Century realities. Sadly, our media, pedagogies and leaders are urging emulation of pointless, absurd sensuous practices that are casual by nature. But sensitivity is causal– there is a cause and effect to it. Perception inevitably aligns our Learning Styles and Emotional Intelligence. This augments our CMM, reduces the gap between our chronological and psychological ages as well. It is how algorithms are operational within AIs. In a world where rate of change is increasing every year, in a time when few will end their careers in the same jobs or even same occupations that they started in, the ability to learn seems an important, if not the most important skill. It involves the learner’s internal cognitive processes & her perception abilities. Should our New Business Societies emerge, HRM has to prioritize these inroads; but not as sincere deceivers.
Our objective is to regulate, not manipulate community behaviour. There must be synergy for communities of nations. To understand this at the micro level, it is desirable to accept that perceptible variance in individual and collective psychological mind states is directly proportionate to measurable competence levels. The following behavioural patterns/traits are clearly observable:-
In his book “Leading the Revolution” Gary Hamel underlines the need for situational leadership in the 21st Century. His book published early 2000 indicated that in time of crisis and pandemics, leaders must reinvent their connections to peoples/customers. The real issue is not the present versus the future but the orthodox versus the heterodox. Those leaders, who intelligently are attentive to the emotional needs of citizens/employees & unite them creatively with pragmatism for intended output/outcomes and common purpose, will contribute in sustaining engagement of the peoples. Such are the leaders the world is waiting for…
… “It is not enough to be a novelty addict. You must be a heretic as well. Heretics, not prophets, create revolutions...those who escape the shackles of tradition & refrain from being prisoners of their own dogmas.” says Hamel.[v]
Successful societies have innovatively stuck to this rule-book. But in our current narrative, our politicians and leaders (we must include parents, teachers, friends, mentors, role-models & others) display mental states of Unconscious Incompetency or Conscious Incompetency variants (refer Table 1). I apprehend future of newer techno-humane societies truly very uncertain. More & more people operate under personal revenue improvement programs (PRIPs), which is short-lived and destructive. We are being crassly insensitivity to ourselves and Nature.
Whereas under Inspirational Leadership, practising general revenue improvement programs (GRIP)[vi] is the call of the day. This is the precise challenge of the world today- to create equity. And therefore I opine the efficacies in our Human Resource Management of Business Societies at macro and micro levels are linked to applied psychology. Ours is a borderless world and, whether we like or not, we are all electronically networked. So let us also be humanely networked for the better!
Evolutions with newer technology have enabled radical behavioural changes. It is imminent to regulate these new behaviours for dignified survival. Freedom is not a panacea for all things. It has never been! Freedom must have definite limitations in an over-populated world. Our world has enough for man’s needs; but not enough for man’s greed, had said M.K. Gandhi. Not many may agree wholly with Gandhi’s overall political philosophy and application. But few statements of his, especially his treatise in “Hind Swaraj” are very, very poignant even today. The world verily needs better workers, better managers and better human beings at par with the demands of Mother Earth. It enables me to believe something unreal as this paper can happen!
Riddle of the Human Brain
The mind–body problem is a debate concerning the relationship between thought and consciousness in the human mind with the brain as part of the physical body. Study of Mind and Body functions is converging to show both are inter-related. Referring to Bertrand Russell concluding Human Beings are the cruellest animals on Planet Earth reconfirms my contention that in future vast communities and nations can only be managed under Umbrellas of compulsive Integrated Community Behaviour (ICB) hubs, meticulously working under general revenue improvement program best practices. There is simply no better alternative to need base mass survival.
We have had powerfully erudite humans extolling the virtues of philosophy, positive living, revolutionary theories and best practices in human history. Let us focus on the writings of J. Krishnamurthy, Ramanna Maharaj, Ramakrishna and even Alvin Toffler (Future Shock/The Third Wave) at another extreme. To the post World War II educated, erudite & more aware generations, access to information has never been an impediment to growth. But sadly, not only have they steered clear of the lessons imparted by aforesaid living sages as impractical & religious; but due to intense personal revenue improvement orientations, they ignore spiritual (i.e. being human) life lessons of opportunities. We are cast as followers of “isms” that segregate but never unite. Is this the true value of Life?
Implementation modalities through genuine service to society asking us to look within were rarely imparted; in fact meticulously avoided (or not imparted at all) in our schools, colleges, higher studies and specialized (say, management) education. This was done due to lack of foresight and a will to plunder by ruling elites emulated by each segment of society.
Every Teacher is in a mad hurry to finish her course. Every Director is in a crazy rush to attend or chair the next National Seminar. Every Manager is sulking for promotion. But few, if any, are weeded to the grassroots– to empower their wards to better change & manage their lives. It is as if we have ushered in the dawn of Aquarius already. We pride ourselves as Alma Maters of renowned and emerging institutions but at best we are only change agents for self aggrandizement! This is no cause for human pride. There is no vibrant frequency that is electrical in the Air creating fusion among peoples. My purpose in this paper is to draw attention to such fusion.
2021 “no-win: no win” situation is akin to Human beings having created large chunks of disintegrated aspirational communities sans proper inspiration. HRM, I believe, in its entirety, displays spiritual messages- mandates to reform or perish are emerging in the hallways of Living.
For the few billion majorities of ‘unconscious’/ ‘unaware’ youth in our planet- the likes of Philip Kotlers, Hamels, Tofflers, Douglas McGregors & other pathfinders mentioned hereinbefore have little or no meaning today. We subject our students to rote learning. We do not provide them opportunities to see the larger sky from the air-conditioned rat-holes of their hostels and classes. Our youth possess intelligence & grit but due to negative pedagogical & environmental factors, their intelligence is not on a stable platform. The overall socio-economic impact of Big Data & electronic networking in sync with rising Ecological metamorphism are still beyond their practical comprehension. They are only seeing; incapable of weighing issues.
Everything finally depends on an individual’s mental strength. The Human Brain! Fear and anxiety begin to be created within the weak whenever things begin to change externally. Covid has brought this repressed mentality to the fore in 2021. And assuming the respective psychological ages of most citizens (especially the leaders) of this ornamental ‘global village’ is far, far below their respective chronological ages; we can assume dormant anti-life mentality is optimum today.
If under a system of regulated CMM/ICB models, monitored by at-the-moment incomprehensible-to-me Big Data activities, we can ensure our citizens are equanimous, can we theoretically assume they will become witness to and accept the need for better change and not succumb to adversity? By way of example, I do not believe our education and civic systems across societies since WWII (or say, since the Industrial Revolution) have made our progenies any better conscious of body-mind alignment? Swami Vivekananda had posed few questions off the youth in the early 20th century. (Inserted by author):-
- A brave, frank, clean- hearted, courageous and aspiring youth is the only foundation on which the future nation can be built.
- You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.
- The world is ready to give up its secrets if we only know how to knock, how to give it the necessary blow. The forces of the blow come through concentration.
That 2021 youth still do not have understanding of Vivekananda is a separate issue. In the final analysis, however much we intellectualize on our future, it is the concerted community resolve to better change that matters.
Nature has an interdependent Reality. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, had said the late Martin Luther King Junior. The human system that sustains our global village is ‘network’, with nodes and links. A node is a human leader at micro or macro level, the link is relationships. A network is a matrix of interrelated individuals. A network in the ultimate analysis is an infinite field of relationships and possibilities. In a network you can connect with those people who connect with you and those who connect with each one of them. And then even further to those who connect with them …until we see the world as nothing but connections.[vii] Writing this article I wonder if I am possibly seeing beyond the connections: – toward optimum humane consciousness!
My paper harbingers on this vast colossal network we have built over centuries. In 2021 we have the modern Cognitive electronic systems that do not even need humans to manage. At the other extreme we have latent human consciousness- the bedrock of HRM. The ecology of leadership, says Dr. Debashish Chatterjee, Director of Indian Management Institute, Kozhikode, rests with the ability to bridge the distance between minds. Effective leaders must understand Human Resource Management & Mental Health from perspectives of time and space. HRM will continue to have psychological impacts in our Business Societies for better or worse, depending entirely on how we see our Future & steer our Global Ship. We have 3 alternatives- go extinct, become more barbaric or unite under a United Power. HRM has role-plays in all three possibilities. I anticipate the first alternative to occur.
The generation I relate to and the generation of my children are vastly different. My generation realised our seniors were not at all sure of what they were talking about and placing as ‘reality’ to us. Society was horribly restrictive then. My search for Truth zeroed in on the Beatles, Doors, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan, Lata Mangeshkar, Md. Rafi /Kishore Kumar and great Western & Celluloid other movies. Till the 2nd semester in my B’School I was simply not going anywhere. My intentions were great but I was just not doing the right things for the right outcomes. With introduction of Behavioural Sciences from 2nd Semester my Third Eye opened!
The generation after me has a more tragic trip. Their senior, which is my generation, have only shown them how to optimize self gains through personal revenue improvement programs (PRIPs). Rote Learning has been the name of the game for them. We have not enabled association of their life vision & mission with general revenue improvement programs (GRIPs); & if at all, in the passing only. Survival has concerned the self and not the community. The message of ‘Ubuntu’- the indigenous South African equivalent meaning “we all win but together”, was lost on us and is lost on them too. But for the growing 7 year kids today, this may not be quite true- I hope against hope their energy levels outplay our follies.
For these toddlers of the world we must appreciate Human Resource Development and Mental Health are finally two sides of the same coin. We must rapidly find means of transforming the way they perceive & view our world. The bottom line still is better profits & better products but with happier world people, where empathy is the name of the game. Stunning new scientific discoveries about biological effects of the brain’s functioning show all cells in our bodies are affected by our thoughts[viii]. How effectively or belatedly our leaders and societies in general mould these elements into QLI and Quality of Living habits under Quick Response Time, will be very interesting to observe. The wise, smart men & women of the 21st Century like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezoes and others who have quadrupled their wealth- are now tasked to ignite the brains of the billions of Useless Class.
Otherwise the War will be lost to mankind for want of a horse shoe nail. Our failure will convincingly prove we have lived our lives as Mr. & Ms. Know Alls who never realised they knew nothing.
[i] The Price Waterhouse Change Integration Team: – (1995) “Better Change– Best Practices for Transferring your Organization”. Burr Ridge, Illinois, NY, New York: IRWIN Professional Publishing, NY
[ii] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_von_Mises & https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/minskymoment.asp – Have we reached the Minsky Moment where the world of easy money may implode & create some extreme volatility for most people? This Austrian School is a heterodox school of economic thought that is based on methodological individualism-the concept that social phenomena result exclusively from the motivations and actions of individuals (HRM). Since the mid-20th century, mainstream economists have been critical of the modern day Austrian School and consider its rejection of mathematical modelling, econometrics and macroeconomic analysis to be outside mainstream economics, or “heterodox”. In the 1970s, the Austrian School attracted some renewed interest after Friedrich Hayek shared the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. In sustained pandemic times, I find this Austrian School of Economic Predictions quite possible.
[iii] McGrath E.H., S.J:- (1999) “Basic Managerial Skills for All”, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall of India M-97 Connaught Place, New Delhi-110001.
[iv] Harari, Y.N (2015), “Homo Deus” Harvill Secker, 20, Vauxhall Bridge Rd, London SWIV 2SA: Penguin Random House- states a not too distant world in which we face a new set of challenges since intelligence is decoupling from consciousness and since non-conscious intelligence (AI) is developing at breakneck speed, humans must actively upgrade their minds if they want to stay in the game. (page 352-353). The rise of techno-humanism is an impossible dilemma because…Today only one candidate is sitting in history’s reception room waiting for the job interview. This candidate is information. The most interesting emerging religion is Dataism, which venerates neither God nor Man/Woman. It worships only data (page 346-350).
[v] Hamel, G. (2000), “Leading the Revolution”, Library of Congress Cataloguing-in-Publication Data, Boston, MA 02163: Harvard Business School Press.
[vi] Sengupta, P.S. (2010), “Principles & Practices of Management” E-28, Sector 8, Noida-201301 (UP), India: S.Chand/Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd, page 37.
[vii] Chatterjee, D.(2006), “Break Free”, 11, Community Centre, Panchsheel Marg, New Delhi 110017: Penguin Books India 2006.
[viii] Lipton, B.H. (2005), – “Biology of Beliefs” (28th reprint), Muskaan Complex, Plot No.3, B-2 Vasant Kunj, New Delhi-India: Hay House Publishers, states – the precise molecular pathways through which ‘cell thoughts’ occur in our bodies…showing our DNA is controlled by signals (including our positive & negative thoughts) from outside our cells. Link between mind and matter stands revolutionized with profound effects 1st paragraph, (page122); contextually, also with reference to the 4 body chemicals including serotonin (in context of link (page 11).