Dakshana is at the cusp of a new era to deal with the next level of revolution. I have shared my thoughts and roadmap for every section in various fora. I am writing this note to re-visit our ethos and the real purpose of the organization. We need to build a foundation that is anti-fragile and can deal with an enormous degree of complexity yet does not compromise on the real purpose of infinite good.

Once an organization becomes successful, its management tends to put blinkers on and shut themselves off from new ideas: “Being right is the enemy of staying right because it leads you to forget the way the world works.” – Jason Zweig. Buddhism has a concept called the “beginner’s mind” which is an active openness to trying new things, studying new ideas, and is unburdened by past preconceptions like a beginner would. Knowing you have a competitive advantage is often the enemy of a beginner’s mind, because doing well reduces the incentive to explore other ideas, especially when those ideas conflict with your proven strategy. This is dangerous. Being locked into a single view is fatal for a learning organization.

As Dakshana scales up, the HR challenges of managing and motivating thousands of people get exponentially harder: “Scaling an idea requires scaling HR, which is monstrously complex and usually unrelated to your original skill. Designing a device or process on paper is a million miles separated from managing 500 or 1,000 people. Managing one hundred thousand people is a different universe. Even when responsibilities are delegated, creating a culture that promotes trust, creativity and growth is a different skill. After having steered thousands of varied manpower in the Armed Forces, I can say with conviction that HR engineering will be far more complex.

At a certain stage, as its executives enjoy the good life, naturally they become complacent and tend to lose their edge. I have always emphasized that systems are better than goals because once you reach a goal you tend to stop doing the thing that made achieving the goal possible. “I’m going to work out every day” is better than “I’m going to lose 10 pounds” because once you lose 10 pounds you will probably stop working out. Similarly, when a successful career hits a big goal, one tends to reject new learnings. Paranoia is a trait newcomers use to combat how deeply the odds are stacked against them. But it tends to die once a goal is hit.? In today’s era of hyper megatrends in innovation and technology, we should always be afraid of going out of business. This is the only way to survive and thrive.

The note aims to create structural systems and processes to deal with 2700 scholars and 300 staff at DV by 2027. For team Dakshana, this is a moment of “Tryst with Destiny”. I urge team Dakshana and DAAN members to step up and help us create a five-year vision document in the field of academics, EdTech and reforms in DAAN. The members of DAAN and team Dakshana should ensure a high talent density among faculty, outreach to Government schools, CSR partnerships, adapting future technologies to deal with challenges in the selection, HR practices and many more.

This note, in the form of a blog, is a harbinger to share thoughts and initiatives by team Dakshana. It will be our effort to write one such article every month.


 

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