Once Lord Krishna was playing his flute and his two wives, Rukmini and Satyabhama, entered the room. In spite of calling several times, Krishna continued to play his flute unperturbed. After several attempts, they get irritated are retreat to another room. Narada, as usual, sensing an opportunity to crop misunderstanding, appears in front of Rukmini and Satyabhama and enquires about their anxiety. They narrate the happenings and ask Narada for the reason. Narada says that Krishna must be playing his flute thinking of his childhood friends, Gopikas, in Nanda Gaon and therefore must not have noticed their call. Listening to this, a feeling of jealously creeps into the minds of the wives. At the same moment Lord Krishna listening to Narada mention Gopika enters the room in a hurry. Krishna’s excitement upon hearing about Gopika from Narada further infuriates both Rukmini and Satyabhama. In an attempt to prove their dedication, they start taking even better care of the Lord. The next day, they cook very delicious food for Lord Krishna. Happy and excited about the tasty food, the lord over eats eventually contracting terrible stomachache. The chief doctor of the state was called for to cure Lord Krishna but to no avail. The lord then says to his wives that all he needs for getting rid of the pain is mud from the leg of one his devotee which upon consuming would provide respite!
Shocked hearing this bizarre request Rukmini and Satyabhama both deny disrespecting the Lord by giving their leg’s mud. So they ask several other devotees of Krishna for the same. However none agree stating that doing so would entail going to hell. Eventually Rukmini and Satyabhama call Narada for advice. Narada suggests them to ask Gopikas for the favor. Thus a messenger was sent to Nand Gaon seeking mud from the leg of a Gopika. The man returns not with little but a lot of mud from all Gopikas in the village. Rukmini and Satyabhama offer the same to Krishna and Krishna gets well. Rukmini and Satyabhama asks Krishna why Gopikas provided the mud without fear of hell or disrespecting the lord to which he says “My dearest Gopikas only cared for my good health and not for their own well being and thus readily offered mud under their feat”.
Hearing this, Rukmini and Satyabhama at once lost all their jealousy and appreciated all the Gopikas for their true devotion for Lord Krishna.
My intention in this blog is to bring to your attention the fact that Krishna, noticing jealousy among his wives, did not just state his opinion directly. Neither did he order them to take the righteous way by virtue of his position. He could have just reprimanded his wives and stated the fact that Gopikas were equally devout. But Krishna knew such an approach would be in vain. Thus he created an experiment and clearly set parameters for the experiment. He collected the data and presented the result of his analysis. Rukmini and Satyabhama had no choice then but to agree to the facts.
Similarly as managers, we need to experiment, collect data and demonstrate in order to be heard. Thus it’s wise to adopt Evidence Based Management, just as Lord Krishna did! Frame a case, collect data, analyze and present conclusion and recommend change. This is the best method to ensure the change happens. This method is far more effective and collaborative. This not only helps build confidence because you are backed by data but also focus on issue rather than people.
A few quotes that emphasize importance of evidence based management are:
At least since Plato’s time, people have appreciated that true wisdom does not come from the sheer accumulation of knowledge, but from a healthy respect for and curiosity about the vast realms of knowledge still unconquered. Evidence-based management is conducted best not by know-it-alls but by managers who profoundly appreciate how much they do not know. These managers aren’t frozen into inaction by ignorance; rather, they act on the best of their knowledge while questioning what they know – Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton
If the decision is going to be made by the facts, then everyone’s facts, as long as they are relevant, are equal. If the decision is going to be made by people’s opinions, then mine count for a lot more. – James Barksdale