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Sunday, August 10, 2008

HSoftware (Human Software): Every Human Being Is Different

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia at:

(Please read my earlier write-ups for more benefits to you).

In thousands of my seminars for general public and for people of the corporate sector, I have invariably found that the seminar participants' response to any of the management exercises or case studies I give them to solve is not the same. Most times it is pretty different from each other.

Sometimes I invite them to give solution for a situation of an air crash in the jungles of Assam (India). The air crash situation reads something like this:

"An airplane with 74 passengers on board developed engine trouble while flying over the jungles of Assam (India). The pilot managed to send out an SOS message just before the plane crashed into the jungles. Time: 3.12 pm.

All members of the crew died except the pilot and there were in all seven survivors. (I tell each participant of the seminar to imagine that the participant himself was traveling in that airplane and he was one of the seven). There were two women survivors, one of them is badly injured and is losing blood fast.

The plane exploded shortly after crashing but some of the survivors had managed to retrieve some items before the explosion. They could not, however, retrieve any food or water. The pilot had taken a bearing just before the engine trouble developed. He reckons that the plane crashed about 100 kilometers (62.5 miles) from the nearest inhabited area. To reach it would mean marching through thick forest with heavy undergrowth, crossing streams and fending off wild animals that abound in these jungles.

After recovering from the shock, the survivors began discussing what to do. Should they stay put? Should they march towards the nearest civilization?

It soon became apparent that no agreement was being reached by the survivors. In fact there seemed to be a struggle for leadership, some friction was developing and the group realized this might jeopardize all of them.

(Then, I tell the participants that since you were one of the travelers and since you remained the most calm and objective, the group agreed that it would abide by your decision as to who should be the leader. It was also agreed that you could not choose yourself as leader. Then, I give to each participant of the seminar some details about his co-survivors. I ask him to read those details and then take decision as to whom he would choose as leader from among the survivors).

Having given these details, I ask each participant: whom would you choose as leader".

In my thousands of seminars with more than 100,000 people who participated in my seminars, every one of the five candidates (the five survivors of the air crash) was chosen as leader by some participant or other and every one's reasons to choose his candidate was not identical. In many cases even though two or more participants chose the same candidate as the leader, their reasons were not identical. But every one was very sure that his choice was the most correct.

When I make them to discuss and sort out their differences in their choices and come to a common name for the leader, more than 99% times, no consensus is arrived. They agree to disagree. At times, they lose their control in the discussions, become emotional, start talking lose, getting personal, start shouting, taking row with each other, abusing others and only short of fisticuffs. I give them almost 45 minutes to an hour to come to a common platform but they can not do it.

Interesting? Yes, it is. Everyone displays his uniqueness. Everyone has different look at the same topic, every one thinks and argues his stand differently and not willing to buzz. But when I give them to add 2 + 3, every one, yes, every one gives the same answer: addition of 2 + 3 is 5. There is no argument, there is no conflict.

Why in the air crash exercise everybody agreed to disagree but in arithmetic exercise every one agreed and got one same answer. Why?

You will see my explanation in my next post here.

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1 comment:

Chris said...

very interesting. If one could only know the thoughts and many of the paradigms that were filtered through the minds of the survivors to elect the leaders amongst themselves.

Are leaders made or are they born...i realize there are some out there that have been educated in the realm of leadership but many seem to have character, characteristics and personalities traits at young ages that better suit them for the jobs at hand.

Wow, amazing for the disagreement within the crowd, what are they looking for in a leader, what is a leader or were they searching for a certain perception of what they thought a leader should be.


Eastern NC