Monday, 9 May 2011

What are ideal values?

The last two blogs that I wrote concentrated predominantly on the organization values and system which sets manages and changes them as and when requirement comes up. The system (troika) that I talked ideally should set values which always tend to excel the organization. That ideal system if at all exists, then it can be assumed that organization is in safe hands and definitely we can expect changes within the organization when organization itself looks to excel. This is the summary of my previous blogs.

Before I start my current blog, I would like to take re-organization which happened in Infosys Technologies recently with NRN going out and K V Kamath taking his position along with other management changes at the top most level of the organization. I think this change supports my theory I mentioned in my previous blogs. Because of competitive market pressure, INFY to excel itself it needs to change itself and needs to evolve to shield the market pressure. Management felt the need of overhaul. It is because of clear fundamental values associated with organization – such a re-organization had been achieved smoothly. Now we have a new troika to see INFY 3.0. Obviously we can expect changes within the organization with respect to policies to achieve their organization objective. I also mentioned earlier my blog that if organization values change too much, there will be more chances that organization will be renamed; same happened with INFY and I suppose this is one of the first changes in the organization and many more to follow as the situation is nothing but reinventing itself. I also feel that INFY becomes a matter of case study like it used to be from last two decades.

After digressing a bit from my current blog, let me come back. With some of the events that happened and happening in my professional front, I’m more fascinated to know how an organization decides its values, objectives? How it drafts policies? And the most important and tricky one – “What are ideal values of an organization?”

If I have a group of ideal people who can draft beautiful, scientific, employee-friendly organization values, will it be possible for them to draft the most “ideal” values? It will be a mystery to me to understand these things.

I am trying to explore more on what are ideal values through this blog. Before I proceed, I feel that I may be wrong here in understanding the facets of ideal values or ethics of an organization as I had been part of only one organization all through my 6 years. Also, I may have skewed-view of these values as I have been only an          employee all through 6 years and never been an employer (manager).

Generally, in an objective based organization, objectives are associated with organization indirectly. However, directly they are associated with people who run organization and people who work for organization. These objectives must always adhere to organization values and ethics. This means all of them who are part of the organization will be either directly or indirectly adhering to organization values either through objectives or through changing the organization values themselves.

I believe (rather strongly) that organization values are individualistic in nature when organization is incepted and they evolve as organization grows and matures itself. Organization when incepted will have very few individuals and values will be based on these individuals. In many cases it may not be ideal when started instead they will be primitive and becomes core values as organization evolve over the period of time.  The ethics or values of organization can be visualized with the different stand points – employer view and employees view.

An employee thinks that ideal workplace should provide him/her job satisfaction, job protection and good monetary benefits. I cannot think anything else other than these as of now. From an employer perspective, ideal values should meet or adhere to organizational objectives and also there will be many more other things to achieve organizational objectives and hence may not be able to provide everything that an employee thinks ideal. So, there will be a compromise plan that will be laid down by organization in agreement with “troika” that I mentioned earlier. So, organization should now set values or ethics which will eventually help to achieve the organizational objectives along with the fact that everybody in troika adheres to it. In other words, organization should draft policies which adhere to its values and creates a conducive “environment” for employees to work. I feel this will be the greatest challenge for any organization after its inception.

All I am pointing is the way ideal values will be drafted or evolved within the organization. But never mentioned anything about them and how they should be. If I can think of ideal values of any organization, I always quote a quote from mother of Narendranath Dutta, Swami Vivekananda and quote goes like this:

“"Remain pure all your life; guard your own honor and never transgress the honor of others. Be very tranquil, but when necessary, harden your heart."

If my understandings are correct and I can add my bits to the above lines –

“Be honest to yourself first and then to others as well; be accountable, responsible and disciplined so that one can protect his/her honour; never disrespect others; be calm at all the times and remain practical when required.”

If organization and people who are part of the organization follow above lines, I think and I am pretty sure that such organization will have ideal values associated with and people are following it without fail. The other important thing these lines speak – the idealism in yourself. If an organization drafts an ethical pattern which can be adapted in oneself or in other words if that becomes a walk of life – then definitely people follow it w/o fail and they can be differentiated as distinguished ideal values. I am saying this because (especially in India) we tend to celebrate everything. We believe in group based activity. We celebrate festivals together; we mourn together; we celebrate government activities such election, polio drops programme together. For us everything is celebration. Thus, if our policies or ideals are designed in that way, I am pretty sure they succeed. Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr. Modi says same thing. When a scheme or a policy be designed as Janandonalan or people-oriented then that scheme/policy succeeds. He exemplifies with water harvesting, malnourishment improvement schemes by asking milk suppliers to donate 100ml of milk everyday to name a few. I am sure that above values if adapted amongst the people and also by organization itself, they automatically become ideal.

I read above lines when I was browsing something on Swamiji. But, I have had this inhibition of comparing these lines at organizational level and individually.

I think by this time many people would have realized which organization I am talking as I have worked with only organization. Yes “VeriSign”. This company has got greatest concept of “RAPID” values and these are the values which I cherish forever. I tried to adapt it in my day to day activities along with my professional values. For those who aren’t or weren’t part of VeriSign, RAPID means Respect, Accountable, Passion, Integrity and Drive. Let us compare these values with the above lines. They match exactly! Don’t they? We have respect, responsibility and integrity defined in the organizational values which cover first two lines! We’ve passion and drive defined as well. Whatever may be the situation in employee’s life, if you have drive and passion, you deliver! Aren’t they satisfying those lines? According to me, they are for sure.  

Like VeriSign, we can find many people who follow those values or principles. One of the apt examples would none other than Sachin Tendulkar.

He has been playing for India from last 21 years. He would have faced so many balls in his careers and during practice as well against such a nice bowling attack over 21 years. But even now, before match, he practices and respects each and every ball and of course every other cricketer. His humility and his humble nature towards other cricketers make him great and commands respect from all corners. So, I can mark R of RAPID as covered. Next will be his accountability. Do I need to explain? He takes his responsibilities every time he comes to middle. Integrity – I think I do need to talk about this. Passion and drive – if Sachin does not have these then he would have retired long time ago. It is his drive which took him past the tennis elbow problem and it was his cricketing passion which makes him to wake up early in the morning, practice for 3 hours, play for 8 hours on field, practice again, have tea and sleep on dining benches. He did this for 55 days non-stop at age of 14! He does even now and he may not sleep on bench though! He is following same RAPID values and of course those lines as well!

1 comment:

Ashwini Ramakrishna said...

Well said Aravind....I Liked "RAPID" and comparison portion of that...good one..