I certainly am no authority to explain ‘The Tao’. As you can see for yourself the explanation of Tao by the great Chinese Master Chuang Tzu. The profound wisdom in this quote contains a wonderful lesson. Taoism is an ancient Chinese philosophy and religion. Tao means ‘the path’ or ‘the way’. In essence it is a life-seeking harmony with nature.

So you can imagine in business management we try to teach ‘Knowledge Management’ and set up systems in the organization to manage people and knowledge. The wisdom of Tao conveys a message for our knowledge managers that true knowledge does not lie in realms of the tangible.

According to Tao conscious effort to manage and control people is futile and unproductive. The question therefore is how do we approach knowledge management? I’d love to hear your views.

Dear friends – Here’s Wishing you a Very Happy New Year 2012! 🙂


About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are music and growing culinary herbs. Love to play golf and do yoga regularly. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

8 responses »

  1. Girish kohli says:

    Respected sir,

    Thank you for a beautiful quote by Tao,s philosophy. Moreover there is action in inaction and inaction in action which is intangible and needs wisdom and to trust our instincts to have a pace over it.

    For the transfer of knowledge management in the organisations we need to first understand ourself ,then other will be already understood in tangible and non tangible ways.Moreover we have to broaden our conceptual and human aspect of life.


    Girish kohli


    • dilipnaidu says:

      Girish Ji I am glad you liked the quote. Your comment too is perfect. “Action in inaction” and in KM “we need to first understand our self”.

      Many thanks and have a nice day!


  2. Sriram says:

    dear sir,

    what a thought provoking quote to sign off a year that has seen such wisdom missing in action in public life and polity.

    When Sri Ramana was told that his concepts of The Self and the path to realization were similar to those propounded by Adi Shankara, he used to make it clear that His Knowledge was based on ‘pratyaksha’ or ‘personal experience’ and if it agreed with Adi Shankara, it is perhaps because it is seen to be so. Clearly demonstrating that Knowledge that is subjective cannot ‘agree’ to a common standard or be seen as the same. This is to bring out the difference between objective knowledge and subjective knowledge.

    As if to prove this, we have Lord Dakshinamurthy the Guru of Gurus’ sermons are always in silence – silence not only of words, but thoughts as well. Legend has it that this Guru is forever young and his disciples are much older, (perhaps symbolising that age & experience have nothing to do in becoming a Knower), He sits under a Banyan tree(symbolising Knowledge is available to all – just as the shade of the Banyan is can encompass a King’s army) with his chin mudra symbolising the ultimate Knowledge of the Self – ‘Brahman’ – Christ Consciousness or The Tao or The Zen or however one chooses to label it. It is also said that even though his ‘vyakyanam’ or discourse was in ‘mouna’ or silence, his disciples never had any doubts about the Knowledge they were ‘experiencing’. This is Knowledge Transfer at its most efficient state. Where the Knower transmits the Known in a manner in which the receiver makes it his own and becomes the Knower! Such is the beauty of subjective Knowledge & its transfer.

    In management parlance what we label knowledge as explicit – objective & tacit – subjective. These are similar concepts and the ‘management of knowledge’ is about creating structure & systems within organizations to ‘somehow’ trap this knowledge & leverage it for organizational effectiveness.

    Anything objective is low hanging fruit. Subjective is profound and is difficult to reproduce & replicate. So how do organizations then handle KM?
    The first step perhaps would be to draw from the wisdom of the sages of the orient & this particular quote and recognize the fact that there is such a thing as subjective knowledge that cannot be captured in scripts or processes and resides somewhere in the person who has made the knowledge her own.

    Once this is recognized, follows the easy step of transfer – Dakshinamoorthy style. In his book ‘practical wisdom’, Barry Schwarz draws on Aristotle’s emphasis on building society / institutions & organizations on the DNA of practical wisdom. Practical wisdom is doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.

    Behavioral Psychologists are now realizing that this age old truth about wisdom being the bedrock of organization building is the only way forward to create the organizations in the coming years, for the simple reason that the business environment is getting more and more turbulent and in quick changing settings & contexts, one cannot rely on rule books & explicit knowledge to deal with situations but tacit knowledge that helps the decision maker take the appropriate decisions.

    So what is the Dakshinamoorthy style of Knowledge transfer – the receiver becomes the Knower in a conducive environment, only through active participation of the receiver. For this active participation, one needs to ensure that people appreciate the importance & relevance of it all and the importance in their own contexts. That’s what subjective knowledge is all about. Its Mine and it is therefore as unique as me and it Helps me become a better me and perhaps unleashes the Best in me.

    So this timeless quote becomes the basis for designing knowledge management systems & truly learning organizations, rather than the lip service that is paid today in the name of KM. What we need is not more rules & procedures, but unleashing the wisdom in every one of us – by making right a good thing, celebrating moral exemplars and focusing on long term gains rather than on QoQ results!

    Wishing you a wonderful 2012 !



    • dilipnaidu says:

      Ah ha my dear friend .. as always a beautiful explanation of this profound wisdom. Chinese wisdom always raises many questions rather than answers. But your enriching reply gives a comprehensive insight.

      Just imagine Lord Dakshinamurthy sermons were always held in silence – not in words – this is simply amazing. And yes you have given the correct emphasis on KM in organizations – that it is the subjective and the intangible stuff that leads to real knowledge.

      Thank you for your this lovely comment and have a great New Year 2012.


  3. brar ajaib singh says:

    happy christmas and very very rewarding New Year dilip. lovely quote of great tao master chuang Tzu. we make all out efforts to inspire our people. highly inspired people can do great things- or they can do absolutely stupid things. Inspiration does not always come with wisdom If we want to creat something very purposeful and focused, then we need more sensible,focused people; more of those who do not need to be inspired by any body but who clearly know,If clarity of what we really want to do is there in us, our ability to creat what we want is so much better than that of just an inspired lot. A group of inspired people are good for short term activity. Long term activity can only be done by those people who really want to do it anyway. The difference between a materialistic person and a spiritual person is just this. a materialistic person is like a dog that has a bone hanging in front of it to make it win the race. Looking at the bone in front, the dog runs faster, hoping to get the bone, but this never happens. The market economy runs like this- everybody has a bone in front of him. Their tongues are hanging out but with some incentives, they keep running. Of course there is always a threat that if you dont run fast enough for what you are paid for, you are nailed. This is the fundamental difference between running a corporation and running a sopirtual movement. ajay.


    • dilipnaidu says:

      Well said Ajay! A hard hitting one that demolishes the so called knowledge we gather from new-papers and TV news. Real wisdom is different than simple informational knowledge – it comes only through ones own ‘experience’.

      Thanks you for dropping by and for the spirited comment.


  4. What a great quote!!! You are a wonderful human being Dilip. So glad our paths crossed. Margie


    • dilipnaidu says:

      Hi Margie for once I find it difficult to agree 🙂 But yes I too feel fortunate that our ‘paths’ crossed! There is a lot of learning and much inspiration from the creativity that you share in your blog! Best regards. Dilip


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