Skip to main content

Pranayama is for Everyone

Prayanama benefits us in several ways. It regulates our body's processes, reduces stress, protects us from common respiratory issues, improves sleep and digestion and so on. It also makes one feel joyful. Learning Pranayama has two elements:

1. Some guidance from a practitioner who understands every human body is different
2. Regularity, regularity and regularity

The following instructions are to help you start your Pranayama journey.

Some simple instructions to follow for Pranayama in the morning:

*Pre*

Loose dress.
Empty bowel
Take bath if weather in your city is warm
No tea/coffee or any food prior to this (last 4 hours at least).
Two classes of water, at least 10 minutes before starting. Warm water ideally.
Basic Yoga mat

*During*

No aroma of food, perfume or agarbatti nearby
Please open the window - fresh air/ventilated room is an important requirement.
Don't wear watches or trackers etc.
Turn off the fan

*Post*

Move/walk within the house for 10 minutes at least
No tea/coffee…

The Culture Map as an Organisational Enabler

Well, why should we even attempt to map something so contextual as the culture, especially, national culture? Is there anything such as international culture? What about the impact of culture within a nation's boundaries? How does this impact business operations within an organization and between organizations? How does one ensure not falling in stereotypical traps when leveraging cultural context? The topic is unavoidable in today's business environment where multi-level supply chain runs across several countries. For example, the Singapore office of an American company could be overseeing sourcing from China, Korea or Japan, maybe even Vietnam.  Maybe the software running on sourced products run Indian developed software. So, which should be the dominant organizational for maximum effectiveness and efficiency in such cases? 

The answer is simple. Today, every organisation has a basal culture, which is a product of their historical evolution, if the company is old. Then there is a local culture, wherever the company operates.  The only difference between two companies, headquartered in one city but operating in nearly identical markets is the extent to which these cultures-local or basal - dominates.

In some cultures, particularly cultures trust quotient is a function of task based or functional transactions and in others it is more on the relationship based. In my professional experience of working with people from different cultures, I realize(and advocate to my team) that one can achieve wonders if conscious of this aspect, and feel lost completely otherwise(Read this excellent Forbes article).  Typically, Asian cultures such as India and China tend to be relationship based and there is a tendency to 'unpeel' the individual's personal life, nature, roots etc quite early in the journey of acquaintance. In such cultures, spending social time together can have a positive impact on the business relationship. However, it is other way round in the Western Culture( USA, Germany and the UK), where the focus is on professional relationships. It would be dumb, to a US business acquaintance to go on a Tennis tournament in the very first meet. Most probably, such an offer would be declined. But going to a Camel or Horse race in the middle east can be considered a great gesture and act as a business enabler!

It is, therefore, very important to have an understanding of acceptable behaviour in the culture.  Even within a culture(such as India) it is important to be mindful of such landmines. Proposing to take a client in Chennai to a non-veg speciality restaurant without ascertaining her/his veg preferences is like shooting self on the foot. And proposing a Punjabi client to a veg restaurant without doing so is equally disastrous! In other words, one must know the 'default' settings of a culture, but validate them every time, lest one fall in the stereotype trap.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Metis Talent Management brand new website goes live

Last fortnight was a joy, as we came to the launch of Metis Talent Management's website. Metis is a Singapore based organisation that advises clients on Talent Management with a primary focus on Talent Development and Organisation Design. Best wishes to team Metis!

The other great thing is how folks at Metis approached this by going in for a full overhaul, including getting a new logo and brand colours. Do leave your comments on what you feel about the website and the logo!!

Rediscovering Osterwalder's Business Model Canvas

Of late I have found myself very obsessed with Alex Osterwalder's business model canvas. It seems to be all over the place - in workshops, training sessions, CEO talks in B-Schools and in generally every intellectually sounding talk!

Having heard this turn business model at the turn of the century when all sort of logic-defying business ideas were bandied about as unique business models, I had become programmed to turn an instant sceptic whenever this term was used in presentations. Thanks to this refreshing new approach, which appears as smooth as Swiss Chocolate, I found myself forced to look at the 9 blocks of Osterwalder's business model which seem to present a more complete picture. Of late, I have been part of few envisioning exercises myself and found this model very handy, though I do add my own spice to it, such as using colour code in that box which reflects significant innovation and is critical for the value proposition.