MONDAY MUSINGS Ep.3 – Corporate Governance

Painting for Article 4 on Corporate Governance

Featured Picture : Lord Ram with Bharath at Chitrakut – Picture hand drawn by Hema Rajagopalan

Excessive Sleep

First lesson given by Lord Ram to the newly anointed King Bharath on governance amidst the serene chitrakut environment is on the damages excessive sleep can create (Ayodhya Kandam, 100th sargam 17th sloka). Lessons on governance continues. Next topic is on ‘Analysis Paralysis’.

Analysis Paralysis

कच्चिन् मन्त्रयसे एकः कच्चिन् बहुभिः सह |
कच्चित् ते मन्त्रितो मन्त्रो राष्ट्रम् परिधावति ||

Meaning – “I hope you do not deliberate alone nor indeed with numerous men. I hope your decision arrived at by you through such deliberation does not flow to the public (even before it is carried out)”.

Rama sowed the seed on the importance of Team Meetings in tretha yuga itself. Rama advised Bharatha to deliberate with his council of ministers before taking critical decisions and not to take unilateral decisions.  At the same time not to deliberate too much. Ramacautioned Bharatha on the challenges from autocratic leadership style as well as ‘Analysis Paralysis’ in a single sloka.

What is ‘Analysis Paralysis’?

Analysis paralysis is a stagnation point that can occur in a decision-making process when stakeholders become over-involved in researching and evaluating options. When analysis continues beyond what is warranted for a given decision, the consequences can include wasted resources, reduced productivity, lost opportunities and failed projects.

Rama forewarned Bharatha against getting into ‘Analysis Paralysis’ by deliberating critical decisions with too many people.  Adroitness of Decision Making is an essential trait for a Leader.

Barry Schwartz wrote about “Decision Paralysis” in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. It is a potential consequence of having too many options. Rather than facilitating optimal decisions and satisfaction, as might be expected, Schwartz maintained that an abundance of options can lead to anxiety, indecision, paralysis and dissatisfaction.

Information Classification Policy

Rama goes on to add in the same sloka that a leader should ensure that the leadership deliberation does not reach the public before they are effectively implemented, a precursor to the prerequisite for ‘Information Classification Policy’. Leadership deliberations are ‘Confidential’ and it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that everyone part of the deliberation understands the significance of ‘Information Classification’ and gives the treatment appropriate to ‘Confidential’ information classification.

Cost Benefit Analysis

कच्चिद् अर्थम् विनिश्चित्य लघु मूलम् महा उदयम् |
क्षिप्रम् आरभसे कर्तुम् दीर्घयसि राघव ||
Valmiki Ramayana 2-100-19

Meaning : “O, Bharata! I hope considering your interest fully, you lanuch an undertaking, which has maximum benefit with minimum cost and indeed do not delay it further.”

Before initiating any project, ensure that the project brings benefits for your enterprise. Execute projects which would bring in maximum benefits at minimum cost. Projects are selected not just because they must be undertaken. Projects require resources and the resources available in an enterprise are limited. Hence careful consideration must be given to select those projects which give maximum benefits at minimum cost. This is the essence of ‘Cost Benefit Analysis’ in a project.

Similar message is given in thirukkural as well

அழிவதூஉம் ஆவதூஉம் ஆகி வழிபயக்கும்
ஊதியமும் சூழ்ந்து செயல்.
Thirukkural 461

Rough translation of this kural – A leader must reflect on what will be lost, what will be acquired and what will be the ultimate gain from any initiative and then only take up that initiative.

A project takes up resources including time, money, material and human resources. A project cannot be successful without spending on the resources. Hence the objective of project selection is not to conserve the resources but to weigh the benefits against the costs. Ultimate gain as per Thiruvalluvar is the balance between Costs and Benefits. CBA is not the responsibility of only finance professionals. It is the responsibility of every project leader.  That is what Valmiki said in Ramayana.

Rama completed the sloka by saying once a project is identified which gives maximum benefits at minimum cost, the same must be taken up without further delay. Projects must be taken up at the opportune time. Costs could go higher, or the benefits could reduce if delayed.

Competitive Advantage

The next sloka in Valmiki Ramayana talks about the need for keeping your competitors guessing about your business strategy. Rama talked in terms of other kings which can easily be interpreted as competitors in a corporate world. Your competitors should not know about your strategic initiatives before they are completed.

कच्चित् तु सुकृतान्य् एव कृत रूपाणि वा पुनः |
विदुः ते सर्व कार्याणि न कर्तव्यानि पार्थिवाः ||
Valmiki Ramayana 2-100-20

Meaning : “I hope the other kings know your entire undertakings only after they have been successfully completed as well as those which have taken a shape, but not your proposed undertakings.”

Competency Mapping

कच्चिन् मुख्या महत्सु एव मध्यमेषु च मध्यमाः |
जघन्याः च जघन्येषु भृत्याः कर्मसु योजिताः ||
Valmiki Ramayana 2-100-25

Meaning : “I hope that superior servants are assigned superior works only, mediocre servants in mediocre works and inferior servants inferior works.”

Work must be assigned based on individual’s competency and capability. Learning continues in the next episode…




Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Disclaimer: The views/opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. is neither responsible nor liable for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in the article.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Join the Bhogya Community

Subscribe to our Newsletter and get notified of updates!