Those who have watched the movie 12 Angry Men during HR classes (and have fallen asleep – I confess I have every time and remember only bits and pieces of the movie), Padmavaat with one barbaric man Khilji may have more fodder for entertainment, learning and elements to keep your eyes open! My take on Organizational Behavior and this movie is a pure work of fiction and coincidental pointing to any person, organization or place or whatever it may be is absolutely unintentional.
Well! I do have a habit of muttering something under my breath while watching a movie and then giggling with my movie partner for the next few minutes. We have often got strict glares from those seated beside us, but somehow some things don’t deter us from having fun in our own way! Listing down our thoughts (and building on the same), just for gags!
10 lessons on OB and HR Policies from the movie Padmavaat, popularly still known as Padmavati
- Rigidity of HR policies: Just like every organization has a HR policy and different levels of rigidity, Mewar had a list of “usools” which could never be compromised on! Even when the enemy uses unethical ways during the battle and your life, wife and kingdom is at stake. Usools are usools, like your kinky promise, cannot be broken!
- Employee Engagement: Khilji firmly believed in employee engagement! “Kushti” tournament or wrestling tournament was introduced to prevent the soldiers from getting bored! I mean, really???
- Motivational speeches: are extremely important. Khilji did a great job in convincing his soldiers to stay back in the scorching heat of a Rajasthani summer, but Padmavati stole the show.
She motivated women of all ages, expecting mothers and young children to jump into a burning pyre. I would have never done it, brutal and ruthless enemy or not, yet I have to factor in the era and social fabric of that time, so I cannot comment.
- Leading by example: Padmavati led her troop with pride and set such an example that nobody faltered, be it at war or at death. And it is not just the movie, all tales of Rani Padmini echo the same story of a brave battle fought and communal jauhar.
- Loyalty to the organization: Well this is directly proportional to how well the organization takes care of you! You can read all the hints of sarcasm you wish to in the previous sentence. Malik Gafur was loyal to Khilji, and went out of the war strategy usool way to protect his king. Padmini’s followers were devoted to her beauty, wisdom and courage and followed suite to kill themselves. Ratan Singh’s minister had chosen a death of glory and wanted to fight for his kingdom. Loyalty can move boulders which otherwise cannot, are organizations listening?
- Open door policy: Well the new age organizations following this and are doing pretty well, the likes of Flipkart etc. Khilji paid a lot of attention to what his minister had to say about his army, motivated them, kept them engaged etc. Ratan Singh, on the other hand, was exactly the opposite. He did not care if there were less food resources and the enemy had surrounded the fort and it was getting difficult for his people.
He never paid heed to what Padmavati said either – he could have definitely saved his life that way.
- Strategy & Planning to attain visionary goals: The organization must strive to make it bigger and better. Khilji had the vision. From usurping his uncle’s throne to expanding his empire, his dynasty definitely has created history, ethically or unethically. I don’t think any other emperor of the Khilji dynasty did as great a job or are remembered today – for right or wrong reasons! Strategy & Planning is extremely crucial. The organization must have a vision and a dynamic strategy to achieve the goals based on changing market conditions and unforeseen external factors (read recession or slowdown). Khilji removed his soldiers from Chittor and changed his strategy after waiting outside the fort for 2 months. It worked for him, Padmavati or no Padmavati. He won the battle unethically but yet had a strategy in mind. You cannot just walk in to your enemy camp without weapons assuming they will treat you well. It’s equivalent of walking into a sales pitch with no business numbers in mind just because the competing vendor told you that they don’t have their presentation ready. Duh!
- People’s Leader: The organizational hierarchy must be approachable. Khali Bali – what was Bansali thinking when he included that song? This was the only element I did not like in the movie. The only sane explanation I can come across is to show Khilji as a people’s sultan. If you come up with a better explanation, type away at the comment box below!
- Perks & Incentives: Jalaluddin Khilji would have not lost his life is he had allowed Alauddin to keep the precious stone he wanted. The entire loot of Devagiri was for the Khilji dynasty. Instead, he gifted Alauddin a slave. Compensation and benefits were always important, and is important even today!
- Data Security: Last but definitely not the least, all employees must not have access to confidential information. If Ratan Singh would have kept the Rajguru or priest away from his beautiful and intellectual queen, or taken care of his employee well, the seeds of revenge would not have been sown.If you wonder why a bag check happens and pendrives and CD’s are not allowed, don’t blame the poor guards! They have been instructed to do so! But how will they wipe our grey cells out?
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