What gives us Indians an edge in this world is a paradoxical ability to balance the super-structured with the totally ambiguous !
In my view, no other civilisation (Jung would call it the ‘collective unconscious of a people’), save the Japanese, drills in both the factors to such an amazing degree. So you have the example of a
Ramanujam who excelled in the so called structured world of maths relying on mysticism and intuition.
So what, I hear you ask? What does this psycho-babble have to do with strategy? with business? with India Inc.?
Look around you. The structured world of business as Taylor, Ford and Sloan knew it is falling (or has fallen) like a house of cards…and the domino effect is happening around the world. In these chaotic times the skills that are needed most are the duality to balance the chaos of the environment with order and structure of the organization…and yet not be rigid !
The rise of the Knowledge Age…Drucker called it…when individual expertise is the most coveted…in the Financial Analyst industry (the “new Jews” is what Indian whiz kids are called on Wall Street), in the Software industry (too numerous to chronicle), in the still developing discipline of Management (CKP, Rajat Gupta, Sumantro Ghosal, Ram Charan are uber-gurus!)
I believe the skills that help us succeed in these diverse fields are embedded in us, in our psyches.