In the article “Org.Schema: Creating Redundancies“, I argue how for every position, you need to have a succession plan. You need to prepare the second employee, through job rotation, and I have conveyed that message through a case study.
Currently, I am in a job profile which also includes taking care of physical assets alongside helping my organization appreciate its human capital. The physical assets side of my profile has helped me appreciate some simple truths which may well be applied even in the case of human capital:
Do not invest in assets which you cannot possibly maintain.
There is this tendency in large organisations to invest in large physical assets, larger even relative to their requirement. The asset does not receive the attention it deserves, and is left to decay with zero maintenance. Soon enough, it becomes a liability.
Gif Credit: media.giphy.com
Because it is their in the books, and although the organisation may not be using it, still the depreciation costs are helping it “save” some taxes, although it isn’t really saving. So you need someone to just keep a track of the same, maybe invest in some security for ensuring that the asset is not misused in any way – BIG COSTS.
In the case of human capital: Do not hire, if you cannot assure the welfare of the employees. If you cannot ensure that they are put into proper projects or work that fit in with their career aspirations. If you cannot provide good learning and development opportunities. If you cannot provide safety and security to the families of your employees.
Do not hire. Because in the long run, not only would those improper hires suffer along with their families, but also the organisation which may well be the biggest loser.
Cut off the extra fat, if you cannot possibly burn it.
Having worked in two Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), I have understood that one of the biggest strengths of the PSUs is the amount of land they have under their possession. But they do not always require that amount of land! And they spend enormous amounts of money on litigation, security and boundary walls to protect that. Wouldn’t it better to sell those extra land, and be asset-light when you cannot possibly put the extra land for the creation of organisation-value?
On the human capital side: Use your human capital for value-creation, and if you cannot, actively train & develop them or help them get more rewarding careers in another organisation. Your organisation would benefit much more than those employees. The employees would thank the organisation for not killing their careers.
But first, DO NOT hire if you cannot buy the right assets at the right time for the right amount at the right cost.
You would not have to face the two problems listed before, if you just buy the right assets at the right time for the right amount at the right cost. Because of the right amount, the assets would be maintained. And no need for shedding off the extra assets, because you would again have the right assets for the right amount, right? (Too many rights, the lefts would mind!)
On the human capital side: Hire right. Hire trainable employees, who can add value not only in the present but also in the future. In this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous) business environment, you do not need the best for the present, but best for both the present and the future. Having the skills to learn both easy and fast (the motto of this blog), and having the right attitude to keep on learning always.
Comic Courtesy: dilbert.com
What other variables do you think affect power relations? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Amartya Dey, India
Other Articles by the Author:
- The First Rule of Negotiation
- Human Aspect: Beware of the Exceptional Employee
- Human Aspect: Importance of Precedent
- Two Levers: Potential & Tacit Knowledge (Part I)
- Breaking Organizational Silos (Part I)
- Breaking Organizational Silos (Part II)
- Working More than 12 Hours?
- The Abuse of the 360º Feedback System
- Org.Schema: Creating Redundacies
- Organization Meter: Policy & SOP