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Changing Our mindset is the key to Success

There is a popular saying that the only thing that does not change is change and this is true for many areas of our lives since everything is in a state of flux. We age, our attitudes change, our atomic and cellular structure changes giving us new cells, skin layers and thought patterns over a period of time. Some fight change and others embrace it willingly. Being resistant to change will only hamper our own growth and we will be living in the past frozen in time and mostly immobile. This applies equally to the filed of Human Resources too.

It was Albert Einstein who observed, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at, when we created them.” Thus, it shows that we need a new level, a deeper level of thinking – a paradigm based on the principles that accurately describe the territory of effective human being and interacting – to solve these deep concerns. It is also clear that all thinking is not the same, some vertical, some lateral , some ordinary while others are creative- all this needs a change of mindset, a new way of seeing reality. What do we observe in the field of Management ? Throughout the twentieth century, the dominant paradigm of management has also been changing. As a consequence, there has been an evolution in the concept of leadership and in the way executives think about business strategy . The trend in both leadership and strategy began with an emphasis on the concrete or material aspects of business and focused on production. This was followed by progressively subtler interpretations of business enterprise that emphasized the importance of the human factor. Contemporary thinking about both leadership and strategy focus attention on the knowledge base of the firm and emphasizes the value of creativity and learning in organizations. Historically the answer to the question “ where is the organization knowledge “ ? has been that it can be found in the databases, files, and accounting systems of the firm, because knowledge contained there is owned and fully controlled by the Institution. But a deeper analysis reveals that a company’s knowledge lies in the Human Resources. These apply to all levels of staff. The true depository of knowledge in the institution is therefore the consciousness of the knower himself which may even be said that it is actually “ knowingness” The field of Human resources is also undergoing significant changes .

Writing to HRD Gateway, Dr.J ames Y. Lin of USA had this to say: The new HR is constantly and continuously transforming towards human capital initiative, knowledge management, talent development, workforce wellness promotion and workplace ergonomic enhancement, etc. Thus, the HR trend is moving from HRD to HRM and now it is into the HRW (Human Resource Wellness). It is undisputable fact that there is a positive correlation between HR wellness and HR performance; healthy corporation and happy HR. The HRW is driven by the newly created TQW (Total Quality Wellness), which is based on: 1. Healthy Corporate Culture 2. Humour in the work force 3. Happy work place and 4. Holistic approach to HR. In some instances the Leader who wished to change had adopted unethical means that ended in disaster. Leaders like those found in ENRON, is a case in point, which makes us question the very concept of leadership. It was reported that the Vice President of ENRON, Charles Baxter had committed suicide. At the superficial level Baxter was also a top leader, ruthless, Type- A, winning the admiration of his subordinates, kind and generous to staff and moving with time. Yet at the inner core he was unsettled and corrupt. ENRON was one of the companies that had the best industrial relations, vacations, bonuses and all that an employee dreamed of. Alas, they turned out to be dreams only. There was no harmony or inner calmness within - but conflict consumed him and led to a depression that cost his life. Almost 2000 years ago, writing The Art of War, Sun Tzu said that we need to know ourselves before anything else , a view promoted by Socrates too. Art of war-chapter 4, 18 : Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. Thus the caution that we must also be careful with change and should not change for the sake of changing- but must examine our inner motives carefully so that we do not allow us to be consumed by our own wrong motives.

So what characteristics are typical of a success – mind set ? 1. Common sense – the ability to reduce one’s understanding of a complex problem to the simplest terms. 2. Self- reliance- relying on your own resources and abilities 3. General Intelligence and EQ- Learn to manage with both head and heart 1.Insight 2.Integration 3.Inspired action 4. Creativity- natural talents plus intuition and insight 5. Ability to get things done- good organizing abilities and productive work habits. 6. Leadership- through motivation and not intimidation. 7. Communication competency – both oral and written- use of non verbal communication as well. 8. Concern for others- At the least successful people can get along with others. 9. Empathy- they have a sense of understanding and compassion 10. Humour- Keep humour positive. One of the greatest talents is the ability to laugh at yourself !!

About the Author : Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe, MA.,MS(Psy).PhD Chartered Fellow CIPD(Lond) is a Behavioural Scientist with International HR Consultancy experience. He can be reached at . His articles can also be viewed at

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