Every human being has an innate desire to be good, to be the best. That is why we strive to be a good father, a good mother, a good son or daughter, a good partner, husband orwife. It is this desire that manifests at the workplace too as a quest for excellence, to be good, the best in his or her field of expertise.

Organisations in an effort to draw out this quality, to improve performance and increase productivity create a system of pitting one individual against the other, to compete, so that the best is can be acquired from the employees. But this has been declared a failed model.
The journey to reach a particular goal or destination has to provide pleasure to the individual. Competition makes the journey towards a particular goal, tedious and stressful even though achieving the end result may give pleasure. So the individual loses the desire to repeat the journey again and again.

Keeping in mind the value of productivity and growth in the long run, some organisations are trying for a change in their system of operation, while others, a larger majority are still following the existing system.

On the other hand, there is a blame game going on between the individual and the system. On the one hand, individual employees stress that the current system is tedious and stressful which undermines one’s potentials and on the other hand, there is the system blaming the individual, saying peak performance is exhibited by the individual only when there is stress and hence they encourage a competitive environment.
The need of the hour is to find a solution that meets both the need of the individual and the organization.

The information age is an age of exponential growth. It can also be called as the age of ideas because growth happens through sharing and building of ideas.

Just after Apple announced its product, I Pad, there was a group of young Indians who came up with the Adam which had extra and advanced features compared to the I Pad and at a lower cost! Advancement and growth happens as one idea is built upon the other, not that ideas emerge out of the blue. In fact civilization is clearly showing the interdependent nature of life. There can be no one idea or invention that can exist independent of other
ideas or inventions. This is the way civilization evolves.

But how do we choose to perceive this? Do we at this juncture arise from a place of insecurity and fear, believing in the survival of the fittest or are we going to create a different culture, an approach to change as an opportunity for growth and excellence?
Research demonstrates time and again that the performance of the whole company is much better served by encouraging teamwork because almost all tasks require teamwork for their optimum performance and also given the social nature of human beings morale is boosted in a team setting and this, in turn, boosts performance.

But unless the individual who is the system takes up the mantle of change, no change is possible. The question is, can we as responsible individuals create the change that we want by living life differently? Bringing a change in the system could naturally happen when the individuals, the subsystem changes.

Man has made tremendous progress from the stone-age to the age of information technology. There has been a rapid advancement in science and technology; we have succeeded in exploring hitherto unexplored, unknown frontiers of space; there has been much advancement in thought; we have progressed leaps and bounds in the understanding of the Human mind. Then why do we still need to hold on to a primitive instinct for survival
in the light of all this progress? Why not give a different perception and approach to thescenario to create excellence?

As long as there is competition, one is driven by fear, comparison and stress. This may perhaps reap short term gains but is definitely detrimental to excellence in the long run, because we function from a frictional energy that is negative. When you arise from love, joy or passion for the work you do you are arising from creative energy, an energy that is positive and restful, that naturally builds concentration and focus. There is creativity and innovation leading towards excellence.

This can happen only through awareness. When you are aware, you are conscious of the thoughts and emotions that control your actions. In awareness you have a choice of response – either allowing yourself to be driven by fear and stress or respond from a place of wisdom and intelligence.

Awareness helps create a new work culture based on cooperation, teamwork, of a pursuit of excellence through passion and a focus on growth rather than competition.

Author :
Faculty, One World Academy