Seven Skills for Survival

Seven Skills for Survival - Suresh Lulla

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Albert Einstein

Organizations and institutions are essential for our economic survival and wellbeing. However, how they operate depends on how we operate. And how we operate depends on how we think and interact.

To survive 2020, we need to work differently than we have in the past. We are facing huge challenges in terms of material waste and related toxicity. In industry.  In healthcare. We actually budget to produce waste, before discarding this unfriendly output. And it adds up to a significant Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ). My guesstimate is that the COPQ will be about 20 percent of total costs. Our benchmarks for waste minimization are the Godrej Group, the Aditya Birla Group, and the Tata Group.

We also have challenges in terms of energy and transportation. Our quality of air is threatened. The health of citizens is under stress. We need to think differently. Urgently. We have an abundance of sunshine that can be transformed to solar energy. We have the knowhow at Tata Power. We also need to commit to design of smart transportation and buildings. Mahindra Auto has pioneered this space.

And finally, we have the challenge of food and water. Why have we allowed this to happen? We need to think disruptively. As a suggestion, we need to get temples, churches, mosques, synagogues, and all places of worship to preach best practices for water conservation and drip irrigation. Did they not play a significant role for similar objectives centuries back? In modern India we have a benchmark for water management in Jalgaon – Jain Irrigation.

In conclusion, change is accelerating. We have no choice but to accept this reality. Or die.

We also know that traditional thinking will not get us anywhere. We need to radically change our approach to thinking. For survival.

In this context, the seven vital skills required for survival are:

  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Voice of Customer
  • Quality by Design
  • People Management
  • Facilitation

We owe this to our grandchildren.


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