The Sri Balaji Society and Management Institute runs under the guidance of its Founder and President, Dr (Col) A Balasubramanian, who with his senior faculty and students, welcomed the two British guests. Professor Balasubramanian is renowned for making history in the field of education through creative methods. The Institute is built on the values of 'Discipline, Determination, Dedication’ and is holistic and progressive in its approach to management education.
The second year MBA students, the majority in their early twenties, listened attentively as Mike introduced background concepts to a new consciousness of business that is emerging, including the social and ecological contribution of companies towards human well-being, a sustainable planet and the common good.
His presentation reflected on what those values might be, based on stories that exemplify such values. The stories were gathered from TIGE conferences in Caux, Switzerland, and CIB (Caux Initiatives for Business) conferences in Panchgani, India, both IofC centres. Although varied in focusing on aspects of personal transformation, the stories all had a common theme of trust-building, including sustainability, stewardship, cooperation, integrity and purpose which build trust. He also highlighted six common elements in the stories that focus on trust. TIGE highlights these as 'the 6 C's of trust': contractual, covenant, competence, character, conscience and commitment/calling. Smith took the participants through this journey of trust in business, concluding that these six C’s and five pillars lead to the dynamics of trust.
Smith asked the students to discuss, in pairs: 'What do you understand by integrity'? A young woman responded: 'doing the right thing when no one is watching' and a young man said: 'having strong moral values'.
He ended by asking participants to think about what resonated and challenged them from the presentation, and to take a moment in silence to reflect on what they will takeaway from the afternoon.
The event had been arranged by Vinita Deshmukh, editor of the magazine Corporate Citizen, which is published by the Sri Balaji Society Institute.
This was the second time Mike Smith and Talia Smith have delivered the ‘Five pillars of trust’ presentation, the first time being in September 2015 at York St John’s University social entrepreneurship conference.
The Balaji Society bought 40 copies of the new Indian edition of Smith's book 'Great Company', which is due to be launched at the Caux Initiatives for Business conference being held at the Indian centre of Initiatives of Change in Panchgani
One Pune student posted on LinkedIn afterwards that the presentation had been 'awesome'.
Photos by Yusuf Khan