In one of the discourses the Buddha taught the bhikkus – ‘The finger is not the moon.’ Simply put when he tried teaching the bhikkus he said when I point to the moon with my finger the ideas is to give you direction where the moon is. You cannot hold on to the finger. Learn the lesson, get the direction and move on your own path. Since everyone is different and every situation is different therefore the path taken will be different.
The Cases are the means, not the end –
Lately, I did a course International Management with Professor S Rajagopalan. In the course we did about ten cases and all were from different industries, countries and situations. In such cases, the learning becomes more challenging yet practical. What I learnt from the different cases is – the finger (case) is not the moon (methodology to solve every situation – magic wand). Learn the lesson, understand your situations and create your own path. The same used to happen in marketing cases. Constant challenge for Professor Lopez used to be ‘class of engineers is used to models and formulae’, models and formulae do not fit at every place. Prof Mankad taught us in Macroeconomics class – management is art and science together.
As the finger is not the moon, the cases are not the end in themselves and one should not try creating models for everything.