Friday, September 7, 2007

The Five Baobabs

how goes? Remember me, Arjun Shekhar, i said i'd be back. Yes sabbatical is over and i'm glad to report progress on all the important KPI.s/ targets/ goals for the last six months. Basically i was trying to grow 5 baobabs (its a very tenacious tree found in Africa) - belly (health), baby (getting from and giving Saanjh therapy), buddha (meditating on my spirit), browsing ability (how to experience life slowly), and book (creatively expressing how i am feeling today). The first four baobabs have taken root and hopefully shall fruit in the coming months. It is the fifth of my baobabs that i write to you about. I need your help in nurturing it. Its getting a bit wild and out of hand, you see. Unmanageable, actually because its outgrown the others and is now trying to eat into their time in my mind. I write to you because i think i've figured a way to keep it busy and out of my hair; you see this one is a talking baobab and its forever hungry for a dialogue. so i've decided to take it out for a walk in bloggers' park. It feeds on anything - suggestions, comments, feedback, jibes, vibes any communication will do.
In a way, when you talk to my fifth baobab you will be talking to yourself. Because the hero of my book could easily be any of us. Of course, what happens to him is only something we wish would happen to us.
From his ordinary organizational life of a corporate executive he is suddenly sucked into the secret world of a guild of anonymous superheroes who are out to transform the organizational world. They want to compose a new rhythm (did i say algorithm) for the organizational dance to make it more playful, creative, fun and most important more effectively suited to the emerging reality. The secret society (as you might have guessed from the preceeding metaphor) is called The Tuning Folks Collective.
The book is a's's pretty mixed up actually - satire, mystery, love story all rolled into one, and i forgot funny (which is why this strange post) - basically it's a slice from our lives...not as we live them but as we hoped they would turn out.
So, you will make the time for my fifth baobab won't you? You could meet it at bloggers' park here or in some cases it'll be happy to sleep over. Don't worry i'll post only snippets here not the entire thing. For the sleep over, viz. entire manuscript, you'll have to give me consent and an email id. Say no only if don't have any baobabs of your own that you want to walk my way sometime - kidding! i love trees.
arjun (and he'll love you back)

Author Bio:
I have been the founder partner of an Organizational Development Consulting organization called Vyaktitva for the last ten years and have worked in corporates in HR for seven years before that. I have experienced different sectors, sizes and types of organizations from within. And everywhere I run into the following paradox. People are getting paid very highly but their dream is to retire early. They want to slog and earn money for a future payoff. They are willing to suffer the pressure cooker environment of the organization hoping that the final dish, which they can eat only when they leave the place, will be worthwhile and payoff for their current stress.
Recently, I decided to take an year's sabbatical to explore this paradox and write about it in an entertaining way. Out popped A Flawed God, a synopsis of which i promise to post here as and when i get around to it or if a rush of comments on my blog pressures me into it, whichever comes first.

My other passion is building in youth socially responsible leadership behaviors through transformatory social action. 14 years ago, my wife and I founded a non profit organization called Pravah that works with schools, colleges, teachers and young social entrepreneurs. I volunteer there a minimum of 2 days a week ever since its inception.


Lindley said...

Hi Arjun-
I can’t wait to follow the ongoing development of the fifth baobab and to meet the ‘Flawed God’. I am a professional development trainer in the human services arena. Like you, I have been doing OD for years but in government agencies we call it ‘systems change initiatives’. I am excited about your blog. I want to learn how to write (in an entertaining way) about the common threads I see running through life at all levels (my passion). Any time I am working with a model for improving systems I cannot resist the temptation to apply it to all areas of my life- as a trainer, a colleague and friend, a wife, a mother. I find the parallels completely intriguing. I am curious about what a blogging community playing with these ideas might look like. I’ll be waiting for the next installment…

Arjun Shekhar said...


Arjun Shekhar said...

I am new to the blogging community and i am pleasantly surprised that you found me. You're bang on about the parallels (except i am a husband, father). My book is actually written in the voice of people like us but hopefully has a wider message.
And the theme is to transport organization theory into other parts of real life - the way it impacts and the lessons to be learnt from it. Sounds eerily close to "your passion".
I had promised myself that i wouldn't publish stuff unsolicited on the blog - thought it might feel a little narcissitic and useless. But your comment has just extended my walk inside bloggers' park.
So very soon my baobab shall be entering your neck of the woods.