Saturday, September 6, 2014

Decision making of the worst kind

“Vinash Kale Vipreet Buddhi” is a very old saying. Loosely translated, it means that one tends to make the worst types of decisions when the good times are up.

Let us look at recent events (mainly political) that are the perfect example of such kind of decision making.

#1 Satyam – Mr Raju admits to wrongdoing
In India, even murderers and rapists are beyond the “long arms of the law” I am in no way suggesting that fraudsters commit a lesser degree of crime than the above but the fact is that criminals in India never get punished. One popular movie had a dialogue – no minister in India has ever been prosecuted. No wonder all criminals want to be politicians (if they are not already).
Given this background, Raju’s admission of wrongdoing at Satyam is at the top of the worst decisions. If he would not have admitted to his fraud, he may still have been running the company and if not, would definitely have been out of jail. For those who don’t believe this – Mallya has defaulted to banks, government (TDS and other dues), PSU’s (unpaid oil bills), employees and vendors and god knows who else. He is still out of jail, maintains his flashy lifestyle and comes to India regularly to see his teams IPL performance. Who cares, dude?

#2 Nitesh Kumar – big ambitions
Nitish Kumar took a big gamble and took a tumble after that. While only his die hard loyalists were in agreement with him when he decided to part ways with BJP before the general elections, what he has had to endure to undo the damage has been worse. He had to give up his CM post and also kill his ego and tie up with arch rival Lalu. While one cannot be faulted for taking a wrong decision (everyone makes mistakes) a politician who cannot read the mood of the electorate should seriously consider a change of profession.

RaGa – I want to be PM
Before the 2014 general elections I thought only Sheikhs had it in them to blow money. Having seen the money Congress spent in trying to project RaGa as PM, in my mind now Italians are right up there with the Sheikhs. I also strongly recommend that the actors who came in the ad fllms sincerely recommending us to vote for RaGa be recommended for Oscars. After all only the talent of the highest order can really appeal to the people for a cause like this.

AK – I don’t want to be CM – I actually want to be CM
I really like this one. But since I have already written on the same I will be brief. This is truly iconic – a flurry of bad decisions – someone who clearly cannot make up his mind. A man who was running away from power. Then he started running after power. Then he got the power. Then he decided to “kick” the power. Now he is again running after power. I thought only Ekta Kapoor soaps had characters ready to do anything to keep busy. Now AK has joined that hallowed list.

Kans – From mythology (on a lighter note)
Kans was the maternal uncle of Shri Krishna. The prophesy was that he will be killed by the ninth child of Shri Krishna’s parents. So he jailed the parents. Brilliant. But he kept them together in jail and killed their first eight offspring. He could not kill the ninth (Shri Krishna) and the prophesy was fulfilled when Shri Krishna killed Kans. If you knew this would happen, why not jail the parents separately? But then, as they say “honi ko koun taal sakta hai” who can change fate?

We take numerous decisions every day. Most of them are routine and some of them have implications for the long term. The time span for decision making is getting shorter. The only thing to watch out here is the implication of the decisions. What if the outcome of the decision is not as the same as expected? Are we prepared for the downside? In normal course this answer should determine the course of our decisions. May the power be with us to make the correct decisions.