Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Objective: To identify the way an Ideal Organization should work

After my graduation, I entered the professional world with a strong notion that the professional ways were "Perfect". I am a Mechanical Engineer and after seeing huge refinery units & modern cars roll out of factories during my trainings, I thought that only perfection could lead to such engineering marvels that I had seen. Today, it’s been more than 6 years of my working in different Indian Organizations.
 My career took a start with my entry into the Automobile Industry as an Engineering Trainee. Perfection was something I expected when I entered the Automobile Industry due to my impression about the industries that was formed during my training days. Very early in our careers we were made to understand that a lot many things were happening the way they were due to already established guidelines and procedures. These guidelines were established by people years ago based upon some circumstances which none of us were explained about. Times changed but the guidelines didn’t. Still newer models rolled out of plant and production volumes went up year on year. This all suggested to me that probably strong guidelines were making things perfect. I accepted the organizational ways without questioning them and started to believe in the power of guidelines. Even when the mid level managers got stuck with some problem, they approached not the higher ups in the hierarchy, but those people boasting of decades of their service in the same organization. The purpose was to know not the right way of solving the problem but to know of any precedents that could help them get through. The future course of action on any problem would depend upon whether a similar one was dealt with correctly or not in the past. With so many guidelines in place and plenty of precedents to consider before taking a decision, my job, I felt, was quite tough for me to handle. On the other hand, those who were quick learners of these guiding principles were seen as the leaders of tomorrow. In any case, I was struggling and my managers reassured that with more number of years put in, things would certainly become easier for me. But till that time my understanding would remain unclear I had thought.
One day, an opportunity knocked at the door. Chance to get trained in Japan was considered to be a big opportunity as no one had been trained there in my department. I was presented with that opportunity and I grabbed it. I knew guidelines would be something that everybody in Japan would expect me to know. I did my homework and was well prepared before I reached there. Shortly after, I realized that my sensei (teacher) was more interested in the way I think rather than what somebody else had thought while making some procedures. If my thought process guided me logically to a different path than the commonly accepted one, sensei encouraged me to take that. This sort of experience was something new to me as till now what someone else had thought always used to yield the right result, but suddenly my sensei made me realize that what I thought also took me to the right direction, probably a better one. Suddenly the ghost of guidelines started to diminish. It took about an year for the newly found power of my own thinking to hold ground. It seemed that guidelines were virtual walls to limit one’s own thought process or probably to scare the new joinees like me.
I returned back with great confidence in myself. I knew that my peers were in the same situation as I was before I had left. One of the things that I had to do was to introduce them to the same experience that I lived for one year. It took me some two years to realize and conclude that not only me peer level, but people, 3 to 4 levels up the hierarchy, were still in the same mind frame. The only difference was that my peer level was flexible enough to listen to new ideas and understand while the people up the hierarchy had become very rigid in their thought and approach. These were the people out of whom some would become the leaders of change in the dynamic business scenario.

Now do I mean that there is something wrong with the way Indian Organizations work? "No", there is plenty of evidence to prove that something “Right” has also been playing its part and taking us to the right direction. If the functioning was not proper, we couldn't have seen so many advancements in our lifetime. People across the globe would not have seen India as the emerging technology hub. With basic flaw in the functioning, we couldn't have come up with product like Tata Nano that created curiosity globally.
So, one thing is for sure that we had our share of the “Rights” with us. But what I want to stress upon is that still there is a lot of scope for Improvement with us. My dream is to have an organization that runs in a “Perfect” Manner. But then we have heard so many times that
 “Nothing in this world is perfect”.
Then how can we expect an organization to work in a perfect manner? That seems logical. But I think the true essence of the earlier statement needs to be clarified.
“Nothing that Human has created in this world is perfect”.
But there certainly lies perfection in this world.
“Everything that God has created is perfect”
And I have the confidence in saying that because as a human, I do believe in the test of time and the universe is time tested and is said to be working for the past millions of years. An organization may never become perfect for being a human creation, but definitely come close to it by taking inspiration from the “God’s perfect ways”. With this idea in mind, I start a journey called Management By God in search of that Perfect Organization.

No comments:

Post a Comment