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know your enemy - bridging knowledge and practice of managem

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Description This book attempts to bridge the void between knowledge of management from a formal management program and real world demands on practice of management. It exposes limitations to application of management concepts in isolation as well as the accelerating obsolescence of management theories. The intent is not to belittle value from management education, but to sensitise management students and practitioners on nurturing an open mind, on continuous learning and apply their knowledge with contextual sensitivity. The book is aimed at practising managers across levels, aspiring managers, entrepreneurs and anyone to introduce them to the practice of management and its finer nuances they might encounter in their day to day life. Every human being is a manager irrespective of his/her social /economic status and the profession he/she is in. The simple, but not so obvious messages here are considered essential to practice what is learnt in formal schools, though many of these would have been put to use unconsciously in our daily grind. Our educational system fails to address critical elements essential to effectively put into practice the formal knowledge from an undergraduate /graduate program. Students of formal programs are handicapped by having no one to ask, not knowing what to ask, even feeling diffident to ask for fear of ridicule; until they are confronted with situations the like of which are illustrated here. The syndrome of holding back genuine simple questions by students and admonishing the one raising the question by the teacher hasn’t died down in our social milieu and educational system. Regressive educational system and medieval mind-set of the teaching community offer space for simple books like this, to bridge the gap between knowledge and its application. Real life situations are visualised only when one is confronted with or when they are presented in a no holds barred manner, not gift wrapped. When people try to apply knowledge from formal education innocently, gaps between the tool and its effective application surface, as surprises. Formal education cannot address all possible variants in real life situation for which a tool (set of tools) is expected to be applied. Formal education largely addresses theory, principles, concepts and their mechanistic application in near ideal situations. Real life situations are never ideal, but are open systems notorious for complexity, cacophony, unpredictability and inconsistency. Questions such as what mix of tools to use, where, when, how, how much, how to tweak the elements, when not to use despite theory suggesting to the contrary, how to provide for situations that the theory doesn’t cater for and intelligent use of knowledge, are rarely addressed. Such gaps in our education are generally filled in by a mentor or a coach, on the job, during apprenticeship, who interprets situations for the mentee, in the context of the theory. He also extends the comfort and confidence to carve a judicious just-in-time amalgam of concepts, apply them, interpret the outcome and continuously tweak to arrive at desired results. This free-wheeling dialogue is what this book attempts to achieve, to give the reader a sense of what to expect and how to handle the same. The role of this book essentially is to be a coach or mentor; not a lecturer on theory. This is not a replacement for text books. Instead, it serves the purpose of supplementary or a casual reading for someone excited about the topic. I hope inquisitive readers will find some value, help supplement the content and educate the author by sharing their own experiences and views.
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