The writer succeeds in vivisection of the popular psyche of executives. KR Ravi with his bagful experience doles out those nuggets of wisdom that he gleaned upon through his assiduous years of holding workshops and upbraiding the skewed populace. Its high time that India commemorates its newfound freedom of economic boom on the global forefront. And that business literature in India ought to have India'svery own chassis to reverberate its indigenousness and not kowtow a plagiarised version we have hitherto harped upon. The author recommends the book to all business executives and B-school students to apprise them of Indian scenario that is hardly ever reflected in books of foreign origin. To assert the emerging Indian hegemony the author declares, ?there is a heightened sense of expectations from India, not only in the US, ??from all over the world? is indeed a feather in India'scap.
The book is a fitting sequel to the author'sThinking about thinking, his first written book. The present book You Only Think Twice exudes scintillating ?insightful examples, common errors that Indian executives are making in the course of their work. As a consequence of such awareness, the reader will be better equipped to take better quality decisions?. The author is emphatic to clarify ??this is not a book on decision making skills. I have concentrated on thinking that precedes decision making?.
About ?India'sparadigm shift in the Indian executive thinking?, the author feels, a brimming ?can and will do attitude? has propped its verve and vivacity. The inherent ?inferiority complex? that had percolated down the Indian pedigree has undergone mutation to assert our emphatic identity of elitism. ?A moribund nation? has let at large its pent-up aspirations and is basking in its tingling fame.
Notwithstanding these achievements the ipso facto thinking amongst the executive camaraderie is riddled with plethora of prejudices and hence fraught with errors. ?Thinking is a skill that ought to be taught separately in our business schools?.It cannot be assumed that a student who has passed out of a B-school with distinction is necessarily a good thinker.? It sounds paradoxical but true ? ?Intelligent people often become rigid about their views and then are closed to new evidence?. The sole question is ?we don'tsee things as they are. We see things as we are?, the author quotes Anais Nim. A single fact etches out different perceptions on different minds. K R Ravi cites the name of the bird turkey, for instance. It has varied names in different countries hinting its country of origin ? in the country Turkey it is named ?hindi? implying it to be a native of India; in Italy it is referred to as pollo d??ndia, meaning it is from India; in Arabic, the bird is called an ?Ethiopian bird?; in Poland and France the bird is believed to hail from Peru. Thomas Carlyle in 1849 was perhaps pertinent enough to brand economics as the ?dismal science? for its approach to reduce man to ?a dead iron balance for weighing pains and pleasures?. And so the author opines ? ?we look with our eyes but see with our mind?.
K R Ravi cites some hilarious instances when people harbour rigid ideas holding them sacrosanct, that he calls them ?challenging a holy cow?. He aptly appelates the chapter as ?Holy cows make the best burgers? after the name of a book by Krigel and Brandt. He says, ?It is not only the prerogative of our people (Indians) to be rigid about rules?. He narrates an old incident when Elvis Presley himself took part in ?Elvis Presley look alike contest? remaining incognito. Believe it, the legend was adjudged third. ?When he protested that he was Elvis Presley himself, he was rebuffed and told ?the judges decision of the judges is final and binding?! ?One can cite any number of such instances ranging from the hilarious to the tragic?. By and large executives ?tend to unthinkably apply rules, treat rules as paramount rather than the purpose for which the rules were set up. And so the author surmises ? ?some of the longest surviving beliefs, procedures and systems may just be the right candidate for a close examination?.
The author sends out a dire warning quoting John Dewey, American philosopher that ?we can have lots of facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts?. K R Ravi goes on citing several anecdotal evidences to corroborate his stand that he calls: merely bolstering his hypothesis. About morbid presumptuous assumptions, K R Ravi quotes Oliver Wright, American inventor of airplane that ?if we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, here would be little hope of advance?. ?An important trait of a thinking executive is to be able to look at each issue with fresh eyes, shorn of the baggage of previous thumb rules. We believe that the only rule of the thumb that may be valid is the rule that one should not blindly follow any rule of thumb!?
Ravi has embossed succinct epigrams of eloquent quotes at the start of each chapter. The chapter, ?why decisions go wrong? finds its answer in what Albert Einstein said, ?If I had one hour to save the world I would spend the first 55 minutes defining the problem?. Our executives are often found wallowing in mythdom, Ravi sends a didactic call to wrest themselves from the muck of prejudice. Ravi splurges plethora of anecdotal mockery of straitlaced dictums succulent with parched rationale.
(Jaico Publishing House, 121, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai-400 001.)