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Org.Schema: Do not hire!

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.

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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. 

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Comic Courtesy: dilbert.com

What other variables do you think affect power relations? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Amartya Dey, India

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Bosses Type.001: The Kangaroo

The Kangaroo hops around. It looks marvelous as it hops around. Remarkable. Always with a trick hidden in its pouch, you never know what its going to surprise you with next.

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The Kangaroo is good at networking because it does not stay hidden in its closet, you see. Well hopping around has its benefits and controlled well, it can take you places.

The Kangaroo is mostly a generalist, lacks expertise. Not that it stops the Kangaroo from sharing its expertise through expert comments. This is not the only way through which the Kangaroo may irritate you or impede you from working productively. The worst part is its lack of focus.

It would keep on shifting goals for you, hopping around. It can be a pain to work under the Kangaroo. That said, like every other boss, it can be managed too. Yaay!

How?

Now that is a big question. How! By staying calm. By being organized. By focusing and cutting all the noise. And considering that it might just be an opportunity to learn all the work because you would have to do all the work. Do not take it negatively.

Remember!

If you have managed the Kangaroo even once in your life, you can manage any client, any number of clients. No problem.

Amartya Dey, India

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 Credits:

Thought of the Day.009

totl-change-management-in-a-nutshell

To change the culture of a company requires enormous effort, numerous day-to-day negotiations, calculated fights, deceptive nudges, excellent communication and effective persuasion. It costs a lot of blood, sweat and tears but guess those who can effect the change they desired must feel that it was all worth it!

#Organization #Gyaan #Structure #Love 

Picture Credit: www.changefactory.com

Thought of the Day.006

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Bust the bureaucracy. 

Picture Credit: likesuccess.com

Thought of the Day.005

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Comic Credit: dilbert.com

Apparently, outsourcing is the new normal. Ok.

Thought of the Day.004

culture-misfit

“Culture Fit” is a dangerous proposition. I do not even understand why some leaders even want to promote this. This is lazy and would lead to stagnation in the long run. Yes, while we all might die in the long run, the organization should not.

Organizations should seek out misfits so that they might have an anti-thesis to their thesis and seek out challenges they normally would not.

Human Aspect: For Better Working Conditions

Dirty toilets. Creaking beds. Seeping walls.

This is what welcomed the new engineer to his workplace. He had to share his room with 2 other engineers. Cursing was common in the workplace. The seniors were rude. They smoked openly, chew on betel-nut.

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He quit. 

5 years. He joined a consultancy firm. The pay was good. They had separate rooms. Attached toilets. Privacy, at last! Good food. Clean talk. Work-load was there definitely but the basic hygiene conditions were present.

All differences apart, he wondered about that one distinct difference! 

The gender ratio. In the former, they ratio was somewhere around 5% (women in the entire workforce). In the latter, the firm touched somewhere around 35%. He wondered if the working conditions of male employees would better in an organization that had more women than the ones that did not.

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He knew about all the benefits of diversity. He knew how leadership qualities that organizations need in this age are feminine in nature. But now he saw how a good gender ratio not only benefits an organization but the male employee too.

This is no paradox. This is a new perspective.

Bottomline: If you wish that your working condition improves, pray that your organization employs more women.

Amartya Dey, India

Post Script: Many would argue how in the garment industry of Bangladesh, the working conditions are horrible although most of the workers are women. But this article is not about Bangladesh or sweat shops. This is about regulated industries in countries like India where unions exist and exercise power, where there is a platform already for workers to voice their opinion, where the talented youth cannot be taken for granted and can switch companies if they do not like the job. This is for them.

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 Credits:

  • Wikimedia Commons

Org.Schema: Creating Redundacies

Redundancy is a necessity for creating fail-safe, fool-proof systems. And it has become a necessity even in modern-day organization structures. With the ongoing war for talent, with organizations ready to out-spend the other, leaders have to create people redundancies. But let us look at what we mean by redundancy here first:

“In engineering, redundancy is the duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system, usually in the form of a backup or fail-safe, or to improve actual system performance, such as in the case of GNSS receivers, or multi-threaded computer processing.”

Source: Wikipedia

NOTE: In this blog post, redundancy does not refer to the negative situation when an employer lets go off an employee because the organization does not require that organizational position anymore. It is being used in the positive way engineering solutions provider use it.

Case Study

Damon is a top performer working in a construction company. He joined the organization as a trainee. He was groomed to be an exceptional site engineer, and he is a senior site engineer now with immense knowledge about project and construction management in the field. His level of expertise and rapport with the workmen is such that he can work even from his home now by giving instruction over the phone.

It has been 5 years now and he wants to get into the planning and strategy side of the business. His bosses do not want to lose an exceptional site engineer because there are so few technically sound people willing to work in the site these days. They turn a deaf ear to his career expectations.

Damon starts hunting for a job soon and gets an offer from a civil engineering consultancy firm. He gets a salary hike of 80% and the profile he wanted. His previous organization loses a great talent, finds it hard to replace him and their leadership pipeline is weakened. So, we see a stark contrast here: Damon’s win-win versus the organization’s lose-lose.

Who is to blame? 

Damon’s bosses blamed it on Damon and justified why he left the organization. They blamed it on Damon’s replacement when she could not perform as well as Damon. Of course, they avoided the entire topic of succession planning, transfer of responsibilities and tacit knowledge.

Damon reviewed his previous organization on GlassDoor. He said that it was a great place to start your career in but not one where one should ideally stagnate in. His review was not the only one. It was one of the many. This discouraged the best from applying or even if they applied and became a part of the organization, they came with a time frame of 2-3 years in mind – learn and exit.

Damon’s previous organization had become a training ground where they prepared talent for their competitors to poach. They also poached talent from their competitors but every one of them was sure not to spend more than 5 years there, because there was zero job-rotation and pure stagnation after a few years. No doubt the solid citizens remained.

But was that enough!