Swami Ishwarananda’s (CM Los Angeles) successful workshop on “Ancient Indian Management Techniques” at the Academy of Management’s annual program in 2011 in San Antonio, Texas led to an invitation from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey to speak on applying India’s ancient management techniques to modern day issues.
Swamiji spoke on “Humane Approaches to Management” on September 24, 2012 in the university’s Jubilee Auditorium. The lecture was attended by students from various departments, including Organizational Behavior, Operations for Competitive Advantage, Leadership Institute, and Knowledge and Innovation Management, and was moderated by Professor A. D. Amar (Stillman School of Business).
Swamiji detailed the typology of the human personality according to Rg Veda and Bhagavad Gita, the impact of a manager’s personality in his work role, and the need for managers to be ethical and humane in accordance with the scriptures. Swamiji said humans are capable of becoming aware of the way they experience the world, controlling their minds, and developing their personality. He gave an insightful connection between desire, thought, and action, linked the quality of thoughts to the quality of actions, and explained how thoughts give birth to actions and are thus vital in constructing right actions.
The lecture was well received by the audience; some said they learned the importance of correcting mistakes that individuals make without punishing the individuals. Quoting Swamiji, one attendee said, “A wise manager should try to find out what went wrong rather than who made the mistake.” Many were impressed when Swamiji quoted, “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you,” and so appropriately applied it to the workplace and humane management. Students also appreciated Swamiji’s message, “The success of managers is in earning trust from their colleagues,” and “That trust is generated by keeping their word.” One student said, “His teaching about life and one’s inner self taught me many things I was not aware of.” Another said, “This was a great lecture that I feel all managers should hear from because it touches on many different aspects of how to manage different people in different ways.”
Before the lecture, Swamiji was hosted to a lunch in the University Club by Dr. Joyce Strawser, (Dean of the Stillman School of Business), Dr. Jason Yin (Chair of the Department of Management), and Dr. A. D. Amar. After his lecture, Swamiji was felicitated by Dr. Larry Robinson, Provost of Seton Hall University.