Monday, 14 March 2011

Organizational values and significance

After completing my last blog, I did research more on organizational values and its principles. I found that along with strong fundamental values and universal implementation of the same, an organization must have an attitude to thrive itself further. To do that change is required. Also, this raises serious questions. Why to change? When to change? How to change? First two questions are simple. When organization decides to thrive itself or grow bigger itself, it starts thinking about the change. The last question is a serious question and implementation of change is always a challenge in any place. The probably way is to adopt re-engineering, reinventing and recycling strategies within the organization to achieve the objectives set by itself. To achieve, this  I think we need troika consisting of executor, philosopher and follower with each of them work in conjunction towards the objective of thriving.

This troika is more or less similar to any democratic elected system. If India is concerned and with current set-up, it is PM belonging to party and elected by people of India acts as an executor with supporting staff like (Military, Government officials and other elected representatives). People would be the followers of the policies and of course Judiciary, media act as philosopher or guide. In this ecosystem, everybody has same objective to achieve wellness of nation and people. This means collectively troika should try in achieving the wellness of the society.

Similarly, all the profit-oriented organizations will have more or less have troika model. Like any democratic system, it will also be collectively working towards wellness of the organization and employees who are part of it. Here I would say management becomes executors, board becomes philosopher and employees become followers. All in unison will be working towards an objective of thriving themselves directly and indirectly making organization to grow.

In the political spectrum, the prime minister is accountable to people who elected him and also to the party at the same to which he/she belongs. In this sort of system, there will be considerable percentage of people who are not willing to accept the policies of the party to which prime minister belongs. So, it becomes the prime minister’s responsibility to take these people without affecting his party line of thinking. If party starts to dictate or manages PMO, definitely we see issues in the policies and people/nation will suffer at the end. It is happening now with Congress controlling PMO and it happened earlier during Nehruvian time or Vajpayee’s time. Nehru asked to remove party president when party started to question Government policies (more read: Feroz Gandhi vs Nehru). Vajpayee when he was in power, BJP’s sister concern RSS troubled him over many issues resulting in embarrassment. Thus, everybody in the troika that I mentioned earlier has got their roles and responsibilities to perform. All are accountable to their actions and responsibilities.

In the same analogy, every business organization, certainly some set of employees who are not on with management. Management has to consider them during their policy changes or making. Also, if management unilaterally takes certain decisions, then it is board which should guide them during the crunch time.  Finally, the employees must adhere to the organization values set up by management after board’s approval. Like any elected government, organization’s troika must work in unison to achieve organization goals. Like any democratic systems, everybody who is part of organizational troika must perform their roles and responsibilities.

In the beginning, I said about organization thriving with reinvention, re-engineering and recycling. To achieve this, the important aspect would be that objectives tend to change. The CHANGE is the only way to achieve organization growth as change is the only thing which is constant in this world. In my previous blog, I did mention that changes should happen in the organization. Also, I did mention that changes should happen if and only if it is required. And these changes must adhere to organizational philosophies. This means changes must be in conjunction with organization values or set-up. Secondly, the changes should not shackle the fundamentals of organization as the organization has been built upon those values. Finally, changes must be universal to accept. To thrive, these things are needed and should be methodically done to achieve the organization goal. This means the changes must be designed considering the organizational values and differences of opinion on the change itself by the executors. The changes should be revisited and should be approved by the philosophers and finally it should be thoroughly followed by the followers.

Along with troika, one more important factor which can directly influence the path of change is the individual growth within the organization in specific or society in general. In a society or organization, as organization grows, individuals who are part of it will also thrive. It is natural and expected. But there is conflict of interest which can bring the organization into its knees even after having strong organizational values. The personality quotient, PQ, within every person will have direct influence on the path of change. I suppose PQ is the biggest potential to thrive and at the same time biggest threat to organization.

Let me give few examples which did not follow the process I explained earlier so that we can better understand my analogy.

Let us consider Satyam Computer Services Private Limited. This company is one of the pioneers of India’s IT supremacy. It explains in the best possible way of my analogy of troika system and personality quotient and conflict of interests. This company when incepted had had some organizational values. In the process of growth, it instrumented some organizational changes. With more personal interests, executors without the board’s approval introduced the changes without adhering to organizational core values resulting in company falling like WTC! What next – the IT czar was behind the bars. The organization collapsed and followers suffered.

Another great example would be VeriSign itself. Here the executors and philosophers failed. The company in order to thrive bought some companies which were not part of their core business strength. That change back-fired them and company CEO was also fired at the same time. In the path of thrive, company tanked.

Finally, let me consider our medium and small scale industries. Here the followers failed to adapt  to valid and rational changes drafted by executors with philosophers' approval. In ‘90s, Bangalore had 15K small scale industries. In order to grow, the small scale industries needed to  increase the produce. So, owners decided to introduce new working policies to thrive the production. However, employee unions did not accept the new policies. Now both executors and followers are in dire straits.

Contrastingly, Personality Quotient, PQ, as I said earlier can be a boon to an organization. Let us consider people like Steve Jobs, NRN and Richard Branson who can influence the whole organization with their mercurial thinking resulting in extra-ordinary growth of the organization. All these personalities are individualistic in nature but they never violated any of the company policies and philosophies. They stuck to their company values. 

From these negative examples, my belief has increased and also even with troika system and proper implementation scheme, if anyone in the troika thinks irrationally, destruction will happen affecting the ecosystem. Also, I suppose and believe that everybody threw the values of themselves and the organization in the name of growth. The personal significance ruined the organizational values. None of them understood the significance of value-based living.  On the other hand, personal influence did help organization growth since persons stuck to their values and organizational values. Therefore, I think organization must teach its employees the significance of principles, philosophies and rules. At the same time, employees should understand them and adapt them to grow themselves from one stratum to another. 


Unknown said...

Nice thoughts. I think one important aspect in driving a change is to make everyone a part of it. A change is always resisted in the beginning. It is important for leaders of an organization to be ready to rollback a change.

Srinath said...

I see a distinct combination in the examples that you have sighted, in all of them the philosopher and executor is the same. So are we then to conclude that dictatorial form of governance only warrants for successful change?

Unknown said...

No I DO NOT believe in authoritarianism. In all my examples they are separate.

nsharma said...

Well Said Aravind. Change is always a difficult challenge to accept. Whether it may be in an organization or in an individual. The basic instinct an individual has is to resist a change, as the individual is used to the normal routine in life and his instinct will feel uncomfortable if it senses a change. This holds good at any level weather it may be an organization, country or the whole world.

Agree that the individuals who introduce changes must think rationally and introduce it in a way which benefits for individuals as well as the organization. A rollback strategy is always a must for any change.

If the change is not well planned it may lead to failure at all levels.

listen2chandu said...

nice dude...u r good in expressing ur thoughts...