A growth strategy for business and profession
The summary of a talk by Prashant Shah (http://spiritual-living.in) for the Manager’s Wonderland session at L&T Knowledge City, Vadodara held on 8th of April, 2016
EKS is a ‘holistic approach’ to managing your affairs in an ‘open system’. It shows you how to conduct yourself so that you can have extraordinary growth and remain always wanted. The principles of EKS are simple to understand. However, to be able to apply them consistently and effectively, you may have to also make some changes in your business strategy.
EKS was originally devised by Wolfgang Mewes of Frankfurt. It is a concerted (simultaneous) application of the energy laws, cybernetic control and a benevolent strategy. In this introduction we explain these terms individually and then we put them together to show you the power of the concerted effort.
The energy laws are commonly known to define the growth processes in nature. But it was left to Mewes to show how these energy laws also determine the behaviour in human systems. EKS says: “When you act according to energy laws, the greater system or the environment encourages you and you have growth. When you act against these laws, you meet with diminishing results and the environment tries to shut you down.” The general idea is that you should not to try harder to win against the energy laws; instead you should aim to better utilise the energy laws.
Applications of energy laws in social systems:
Concentration: Find what you really like to do and can do better than others; develop your speciality on that and become attractive.
Gap Behaviour: Develop into the gap between others; offer what is missing and don’t try to do what everybody is doing.
Develop into the Depth: Find the best solution for your target group and don’t try to merely improve the existing methods.
Bottleneck Orientation: The energy in systems gets obstructed at bottlenecks. Hence, direct all your effort to overcome the bottleneck in your target system. Here you make maximum impact with minimum energy.
Become Settled: Aim to do a constant task for a clearly defined target group that you are suited to serve.
It is a method of controlling (steering) a system through feedback. Your body, your family, your business, your company, your trade, your market, your philosophy, etc. are all systems. They a network of forces that are interconnected, continuously interacting, self-adjusting and work as a whole. Hence, once you have set your goal, you can use feedback to make the system ‘goal oriented’.
Some examples of control through feedback: You can regulate the temperature in air conditioning with a thermostat; you can regulate the price in the market by adjusting the factors of supply and demand; and you can regulate the water-level in a flush tank by using a floating ball mechanism. In all such cases the output or result is used to regulate the next action or input.
If you analyse all the different parts of a system and try to control them individually, the task becomes very cumbersome, complex and laborious. Instead, you accept the complexity of the system and try with the ‘whole system properties’, you can control the system through feedback. The control will be much simpler and more effective. The nature of systems is such that they are always self-adjusting and self-organizing. Hence, their behaviour can be effectively controlled through cybernetics.
In EKS you begin by turning your information systems (sensors) outward, to sense the needs of the target group. Then you use feedback to make your actions more goal-oriented. When you set it up like that, you won’t waste your energy in blindly pursuing irrelevant knowledge or opportunities; you will know what is really important and how to make the relevant knowledge and information gravitate towards you automatically. Then you will be able to recognise your true options and you know what you have to do to get them to work for you.
Your strategy (or business philosophy) decides how you command your forces and means to achieve your objectives. It decides what you choose; what you trade-off in a give and take exchange; and how you try to find your fit (suitability) into the larger system or environment. All these things are decided by your strategy.
In today’s world, everything is changing rapidly and there is competition everywhere. There is too much information demanding your urgent attention, and you cannot have the time to deal with it. Under these conditions if you don’t have a strategy that differentiates you from the other players, you become a common person with no special appeal to anyone. Then you become a mediocre person who can be easily replaced; your life becomes a continuous struggle; and you land up in situations where everyone is trying to arrive at the same place.
However, if you have a clear strategy, you have to don’t wander around aimlessly or try to find something from here and there; and you won’t keep on reacting to other people’s moves. Your strategy will show you the right things to do in every situation; and when you are in difficulty, it will show you how to turn things around to generate your competitive advantage.
Some people think their strategy is to simply provide the highest-quality product at the lowest cost, and keep on improving their product endlessly. That is ‘operational effectiveness’ and not strategy. It is good for every business, but it is not something you choose!
EKS uses an extroverted strategy. It says that your value in a system is not determined by how you evaluate your product or yourself. It is determined by the value other people attach to you. Thus, the importance you get is not personal. It arises indirectly from the value or benefit you bring to your ‘target group’ – the receivers of your work.
Your individual efficiency or ability may be great. But to be utilised by the larger system, you must be relevant to the larger system, and contribute to its needs. And to do that you have to give up your individual selfishness and instead identify with the goals and aims of the greater system. Hence, EKS says: “Your strategy should be to bring the greatest value to your target group. Satisfy their needs better; and correspondingly your own attractiveness, turnover, profit and security will improve automatically.”
- a) First, do your ‘own thing’. Build your core strengths on what you really like to do; and do it better than others.
- b) Next, match your distinctive capabilities with the opportunities that exist or are arising in your environment.
- c) Then, integrate your special knowledge with the actual problem situation of a concrete target group so that you don’t become irrelevant.
Prashant Shah does counselling with EKS for professionals and owners of small business. For more information click here: https://darshanacentre.wordpress.com/counselling/
Feedback received: It was a privilege for us to have you deliver a talk session on ‘EKS’. It provided new insights on growth and success. The participants gained many useful insights. Everyone present highly appreciated the valuable inputs provided by you. Once again thank you for your efforts! Vittasta Kaachru, L&T Power, firstname.lastname@example.org