Sunday, January 25, 2015

Will you make a difference ?

Many companies still live in the old ‘command and control’ paradigm. By this I mean that the top people strategize and the bottom people just carry out their orders. There typically is a middle management also which facilitates this process. This structure is on it’s way to extinction. The reason is simple: You have to address human beings as people and not machines which carry out some operations mechanically. The people at the bottom are not only beings but those with dignity. You can’t just order them to do something coming from a fear angle. They are not just bags of bones and flesh, but real beings and you have to treat them that way. I think women will probably more congruent with what I say, and that is probably the reason that we find them more in the HR department.

Every one of us desires to have a meaning in everything that we do. Robbed of this, we fall short of our own expectations. The management has to sell their meaning to every one concerned and opt-in the people who resound to it. These people who have a reason why they are doing the thing that they do, will excel. And after all what is work if people are not being productive. Now meaning can also come from the bottom, not just always from the top. Hence what we require is a participative form of management where everyone can contribute his ideas. But ideas alone don’s suffice. If it were so, we would be seeing diamonds paved across every street. What matters is the execution. And the top management should play an active role in this also.

Look at a tree. The top management is the roots of the tree. While the roots give a strong support and foundation, they also facilitate the water absorption and pass it along to the tree. The root doesn’t order the tree to grow this way or that way. They just let it. This is the same model to be imbibed in our organizations. The top management should give a strong foundation (infrastructure and facilities) to the people working below. The water (essentials) should be passed on to those below and let them loose. Now, here comes the question of micromanagement and feedback. While the latter is useful, the former leads to tensions. Where you micromanage, the trust factor goes down. You must follow your intuition and keep those below you happy.

A sense of belonging for everyone is essential in the organization. People should be happy where they work. This makes them productive and in turn the customers delighted. I read somewhere that about 80% of the people working are not happy and the maximum number of heart attacks happens on Monday mornings between 9-10 AM. Stress is created when you don’t enjoy what you do. In turn that leads to maladies. If you look at science today, the deterministic Newtonian model no longer suffices. The quantum model works at a level of participation. We are all connected together in a network and what the other person does affects us in some ways. Quantum entanglement (how particles behave when they are separated) also shows that the distance doesn’t matter. What simply matters is acknowledgement and empathy deep down. Treat people with respect and they will shower their innards for you. Trust them and you will get back trust. Love them and you will have left a message behind. And this shall be written for you : Yes, he made a difference.

To your best,


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