Curiosity: Building Success in the Organization

Curiosity: Building Success in the Organization

I still remember a conversation I had with a science teacher at a science exhibition when I was in the 11th grade. This man talked with excitement and passion about electricity. He explained, in detail, how a three phase power supply system works and outlined the benefits of it for me. Although I didn’t understand everything he said, he aroused my curiosity. I came home and started trying to build a vehicle I had seen at the event. Since then, curiosity has become part of my nature.

The art of teaching is to awaken and then satisfy the natural curiosity of young minds.

Mahabharata, one of the greatest epics from India, tells the story of how two groups of cousins, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, who were being trained in the art of warfare. Of all of the students, one called Arjuna, who was a Pandava, developed a great love of archery because of his natural curiosity. He practiced this art with great concentration and perseverance until he was unquestionably the very best.

Acharya Drona, their guru, was very much pleased with Arjuna and treated him as the favorite. This caused a natural adolescence jealousy in the heart of some of the students, especially those in the Kauravas family. On boy, in particular, did not like Arjuna and other Pandavas and silently hatred towards the Pandavas took birth in his heart.

One day, this boy and one of his brothers openly criticized their guru for favor shown towards Arjuna, telling him that they too were skilled in archery. As a reply to their criticism, Acharya Drona arranged a test to decide who was the best archer.

Accordingly, a wooden bird was put on a branch of a distant tree, partly hidden by the foliage. A prominent artificial eye was painted on the wooden bird. The teacher called all his disciples and said, “Look my children, a bird is sitting on that far off tree. You have to hit the arrow exactly in its eye. Are you ready?”

Everyone nodded. First, the eldest Yudhisthira was invited to try his skill. He stretched his bow-string and was about to release the arrow when Dronacharya asked him a question, “O eldest son of Kunti, may I know what is visible to you at this point of time?”

Yudhisthira replied innocently, “Why, O Gurudev, I am seeing you, the tree, people around me, and the bird!”

Similar questions were put to Duryodhana, Bhima, Nakul, Sahadeva and the others. All had similar answers. Acharya told them to step aside as it was obvious that with such poor concentration they were sure to miss the target!

Lastly, it was Arjuna’s. He readied himself, his bow and arrow in perfect graceful harmony! The guru asked him, “O Arjuna, will you tell me what is being observed by you?” Arjuna replied, “Sir, at this point of time only the eye of the bird is visible to me.” When asked by the teacher whether he was able to see the bird, the tree, and people around, Arjuna replied that he saw the eye of the bird only. The teacher was pleased with Arjuna’s immense concentration and approach towards the art of archery. He then explained to the others that these yogic qualities made Arjuna his best disciple.

There is much more to this story, but suffice to say that Arjuna continued to distinguish himself and to make his guru proud. Through my career, I’ve come to believe that this story holds a lot of wisdom. Curiosity is a critical component to success, both for individuals and for organizations. It builds the ability to concentrate on what is important and to continue to strive for success.

The question, then, remains, how do we foster, encourage and support curiosity in our supply chain teams? How have you seen this attribute benefit the organization? Let us know in the comments section below.

Originally published at on Feb 27, 2018.

Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. SG LoadProof is a patent pending Centralized Enterprise Photo/Video Document System on Cloud for Supply Chain. SG LP is built on the fact that photos & videos are vital docs as important as POs/SOs/Legal Contracts/Fulfillment Orders that reside in ERP/WMS/TMS systems, that serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal proof of crucial, critical, vital operations executed in Supply Chain within/across orgs when fulfilling customer orders as well as meeting contractual obligations between orgs as merchandise is transferred between different parties that partake in Supply Chain functions & operations. And these photos/videos data should not be stored in someone’s Smartphone or Email Inbox or in their personal/work Computer, but should be stored in a Centralized Enterprise system, where such data can be pushed into super-fast, stored securely, accessible to all stake holders (CFO/Sales Reps/Customer Support/AR/AP) in an org, as well as facilitates super-fast retrieval/sharing. LP is an Enterprise System of record for Photo/Video docs & is as important as an ERP which is an enterprise system of record for POs, SOs, Legal Contracts between parties etc. that have huge legal ramifications, also as important as a WMS (Warehouse Management System) that hold indispensable shipment & fulfillment data on orders. Like how Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc. have evolved into social media platforms/systems that enable individuals to showcase their beauty/pretty clothes/lovely cosmetics/hep coolness etc., LoadProof is an Enterprise system that holds similar photos/videos, but for a different reason, not for show off, but to serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal & indisputable system of record and proof that can be presented even in the court of law, when there is a dispute between parties while they execute many facets of the Supply Chain functions & operations. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 25 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit the company at Also follow him at

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