Working in the kitchen last week, I could hear the plotting and scheming underway among the rival

factions of Pandavas and Kauravas as Dad watched completely riveted by the epic Mahabharata (he has the DVD collection on Moser Baer).
In this episode, Krishna was convincing the Pandavas by his inimitable logic how they could defeat the invincible Kauravas chief commander Dronacharya by leading him to believe that his son Ashwatthama has been slain in the war.

While this like many other points in the epic leaves one wondering on the insidious machination employed in the war, it set me thinking in a different direction in context of what we witness in the daily corporate warfare.Without any doubt, Krishna proved to be the most potent weapon for the Pandavas. How was the Pandavas approach to Krishna different from their cousins Kauravas? How is it similar to the divergent approaches followed by marketers of today?

When Kauravas reached out to Krishna for his support in the war, they were completely focused on the great ‘tools’ that he held in his armour and therefore when he offered the choice between his army and himself (for moral support and no use of arms), the Kauravas lapped up the choice of using his army. On the other hand, the Pandavas, could see the value of Krishna beyond the tools in the realm of ‘strategy’. Their choice of Krishna as a strategist help them in good stead through the war, as his experience, market intelligence and knack of deploying the choicest tools at the points proved to be the ultimate differentiator.

I could see the parallels between this choice and the choices that commanders of today seem to make. The shimmer of the new tools growing by dozen everyday sometimes take away the focus from deeper questions on what will they do for us, why do we need them, should we deploy them because they are so cool or because they would actually solve a business problem. As warriors flaunt the newest tools in their armour, others feel pressurised to add these and more.
Am I being imaginative in linking these two scenarios? Interestingly the word strategy itself derives from a Greek word which roughly translates as “General”.

Should it be about Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or about how these social technologies can be leveraged for solving the business challenges? Is the gap in our myopic implementation of these technologies (gathering fans versus gathering fan insights) or does the myopia emanate from not having a clear strategic view on the matter?

Have you found your Krishna? More importantly, are you even looking for him?

Would love to know what you think.

Image Source: Dolls of India