Work Place-Madhuvan or Kurukshetra?

Work Place-Madhuvan or Kurukshetra?

In a recent article in The Economic Times,I happened to read about how to make one’s work place comfortable.Here is the piece :


Workplaces can be like Madhuvan, but they are more often Kurukshetras.

8 Jul, 2011
Devdutt Pattanaik
The story of Krishna can be divided into two parts: the Bhagavata part and the Mahabharata part. The first part is where he is in Madhuvan, playing the flute, drawing the milkmaids to dance with him outside the village, at night, in the forest. It is a place that is not governed by fear, or rules, or obligation, yet everything is synchronized to form a perfect circle.

The second part is where he is in Kurukshetra, riding a chariot, leading warriors to a bloodbath. It is a place of fear and rules and obligations and vendetta, where all rules of decency collapse.

Every employee who joins an organisation, hopes it to be Madhuvan: a place of joy and hope and growth and teamwork. Every employee who is leaving an organization describes the situation as Kurukshetra: a place of struggle and politics and insensitivity. We want our worlds to be governed by the principles of Bhagavata, but we are often faced with the terrible ways of the Mahabharata.

In a large company of seventy thousand people, Milind found his team of seven people always groaning and complaining and being nasty about everyone and everything from the management to the customer. As a young team leader, he felt he was in the heat of a Kurukshetra battle every day. He realized that every organization had the same grouses with the management, with the admin, with the customer, with teammates. This is how most organizations were, even those who claimed very publicly to be employee-friendly.

Maybe, he realised, this is how every employee sees an organization and everyone expects the world around him to transform. Who established Madhuvan and Kurukshetra? Does Krishna create these spaces or these spaces create Krishna? Are we fountainheads of circumstances or victims of circumstances?

Milind decided he had enough of the ‘issues’. Every day he would focus on what was positive in both professional and personal life. No negative conversations allowed, except on Tuesdays – which he called ‘vent-day’. Every day Milind would only discuss positive things. When there was a problem, the focus was on solutions. When there was a complaint, the focus was on resolution. He encouraged his team to do the same. They agreed reluctantly.

On Tuesday, Milind wore a black shirt and the day was spent only complaining and whining and in bouts of intense irritation. It took getting used to but in a few weeks, Milind’s team was a happier team, all organizations issues notwithstanding. Milind took a stand: he would transform his little world into Madhuvan.

He realized the importance of the chariot festival of Jaggannath Puri where devotees pull the giant chariots hoping to bring Krishna back from Kurukshetra to Madhuvan. The point is to discover that only we, on our own, can close the Mahabharata chapter in our life and open the pages of the Bhagavata. If we wait for management to do it, we may be waiting for a long, very long, time.

[Devdutt Pattanaik is the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group who can reached at]

On reading the above article,this is what I had commented on the paper’s website :

I believe that a workplace like a Kurukshetra can be converted to one like a Madhuvan by change of our attitude.
Efforts need to be made in right earnest to make the working environment conducive for result oriented performance.
Here are some tips given by various HR experts on this subject and which I have found to be really worth implementing during my entire working experience of nearly 36 years-7 years in an Engineering Company and 29 years in a Bank:
1.It’s the environment that shapes performance.
2.Have clear goals that inspire.
3.Share all information.
4.Make everyone business literate.
5.Map perceptions regularly. 
6.Get rid of status symbols.
7.Foster innovation.
8.Have fun – often.
9.Share the rewards.
10.Everyone is a leader.
Just ponder of the issue and let me know your views.
My comment is still to go live on the website.I will let you know if it goes live.

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3 Responses to Work Place-Madhuvan or Kurukshetra?

  1. Armagard says:

    I found the info on this blog handy.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. This is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  3. Nobuko Russ says:

    Well crafted post, well researched and useful for myself in the future.

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