The world is currently perceived to be in a state of churning. It appears severe. It appears far reaching. It appears drastic. Maybe it is so. How this churning evolves is something which will be apparent in course of time.
Any retrospect from the vantage point of history would show that such churning is not for the first -time-ever in human history. It was a far more fundamental churning in human experience when fire was discovered. One can go down the time lane to flag discovery of the wheel, discovery of iron, discovery of the methods of producing energy from wind, water and more (the list can go on) as equally fundamental points of change. The present churning appears basic because it has touched the lives across financial hierarchies, those wielding political power and more. No one seemed immune across the crests and troughs of the Covid pandemic. It appears to be on the wane in parts of India but it is on the rise in other parts of the world including China.
Yet, commercial and business interest ed to have concluded that enough is enough. Hence the feeling is being drummed up that Covid is on the wane. The jury is still out on how true this is. A good analogy of this drummed up perception is the way vaccine was touted as the answer to the problems of infectivity. Few would seriously doubt the efficacy of vaccination. Yet, few are absolutely sure of its percentage effectiveness. In the meanwhile, the vaccination pharmaceuticals have made profits, as perhaps never before in business history. As the market got saturated, the crescendo tended to wane. People are still talking of the fourth and the fifth booster dose but the drumming up is far less intense than what it was for the first or the second dose.
Also read: Do the CEOs get the CHROs they deserve? – Prasad Kurian
Clearly, the commercial and business compulsions are a huge determinant of human effort. Hence at the time of writing of these lines, international travel has picked up as it has never been known in the last two years. Restrictions after restrictions have been dismantled. Covid has been declared as a ‘mild disease’ rarely needing hospitalisation. It may or may not be so. The ground conditions in many parts of the world do seem to show that hospitalisations are currently low. This one must hasten to add, is open to many interpretations. The wise man from the health sector does not hesitate to point out that waning of hospitalisation numbers may be a temporary phenomenon till – God forbid— a new variant hits the scene. Nobody can forecast whether it will actually hit or not. The counting of the waves which was a popular journalistic pastime, often done region wise, has waned. The search for a Covid specialist has grown less intense because there never was such a specialist. The Pulmonologist is sought after and the Epidemiologist is quick to follow. This till does not explain who will answer the call of the specialist when the nose or the throat is infected with the virus.
The old prism, which assumed narrower units of reference for deeper understanding of issues, no longer exists. There was a time when the eye specialist was an ‘eye specialist’ of the full eye.
In the meanwhile, people continue to have faith in hospitals – whatever that might mean. It is not uncommon, when infected, as evidenced by many so called ‘tests’, to ride it out with treatment of fever and more. The penny has begun to drop– albeit slowly. The story does not stop there.
The teaching-learning process has been severely jolted by the pandemic experience. The talk of online/offline methods is beginning to be passé’. Most are moving on to a hybrid method rooted essentially in costs and convenience. Sometimes, anxieties overtake. That however does not take away from the need to understand what is happening to the ‘academic approaches’. The old prism, which assumed narrower units of reference for deeper understanding of issues, no longer exists. There was a time when the eye specialist was an ‘eye specialist’ of the full eye. There is a time now where the eye specialists seeks for a specialist of the nerves in the eyes to understand problems of that order. There is nothing wrong with this.
Perhaps what is required is the recognition that there is emerging another kind of vantage point of perception. The disciplinary boundaries are crumbling, old texts of super specialisation will have to give way for understanding the interface zones of disciplines. Illustratively to understand the future directions of growth of the hydrocarbon sector it may become necessary to understand its interfaces with international relations. The Ukraine experience is an interesting illustration of the times. Russia, after more than two months of engagement has clearly not emerged as a victor. But then, neither have the NATO powers with their covert support of various orders (save perhaps providing manpower) to Ukraine. The war itself shows the power– amongst other things– of the Russian hydrocarbon instruments.
In the actual business operations, emerging of Bitcoin is an interesting example of how horizons are receding. These are seminal times for everything including business. It doesn’t matter if it is the first such revolution in human history or one of the many fundamental revolutions which have shaped human history.