Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Trade Unions

Types of Trade UnionsDepending on the environmental situation,historical background and management efforts, the organization will essentially have three types of unions.

The first is the "collaborative" union which is ready to collaborate with the management and consider the management's view-point when there is a conflict.The union itself thinks of a compromise that would be acceptable to the workers.

The second type of union is the "confronting"union. Here the union confronts the management for various demands of the workers. A series of negotiations go on for a long time and thereafter a compromise is reached as package deal which both sides are ready to accept and live for the next three or four years.

The third is the "militant" union. This is the most difficult to deal with because any compromise made or any concessions given is considered a sign of weakness and increases the appetite to ask for more. This union also uses violence to intimidate workers ( and even managers ) to create pressure and to create unity amongst workers.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Work Ethics

Work Ethics in Organizations
People working in an organization can be categorized in to three types:
Work Ethics
Worth Ethics and
Leisure Ethics

Those who believe in work ethics are people who value work and are happy when they are working. The worth ethics are also ready to work provided they get something for their work.They are always afraid of being "exploited" - somebody getting more work from them than they get from the work. The leisure ethics want to avoid work as much as they can.

Work ethics, worth ethics and leisure ethics are very important aspects in the working of an industrial organization and the way the organization functions depends on the relative proportion of these. In each organization all three types of people are there, but the proportions vary. What is more important : as the department head or unit head changes, the proportions change. This shows that people are not stationary, locked up in their respective compartments forever. They can move from compartment to compartment provided something happens. We want to see what is that something that can happen which can push more and more people from leisure ethics and worth ethics to work ethics. This can create "work culture" in the organization.

Inculcating Work CultureA manager can succeed in promoting work culture if he himself has the work ethics image i.e. feeling that he is trying to achieve results not to get promotion for himself but because he believes that achieving those results is important for the organization.

Then he creates "stature " to push "worth ethics"(and even "leisure ethics") towards work ethics.A person likes to be considered the boss's man.Although he will criticize others as being "chamchas" ( sycophants), he himself does not mind being considered the boss's man and getting importance.

The work ethics group by itself is contagious and infectious. Not only they work hard, but they make people around them work hard through induction. However , the leisure ethics ( and particularly the core of the leisure ethics) are also contagious and infectious and they go around pulling people away from work ethics.

The effective manager has to create a situation whereby this core of the leisure ethics is isolated and insulated. Through judicious transfers , people can be moved in to corners of the organization where their influence will be minimized. This can not be done overnight. But over a period, it would be possible to isolate and insulate this core of leisure ethics. This is of great advantage to the organization because this increases the infectiousness of the work ethics and more and more people get into the work ethics category. This is the method through which a " work culture " is introduced in an organization. Everybody comes to work with a feeling that he has to achieve something today.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Delegation

Delegating by Steps
Delegation is not a single step process of abdication.Effective delegation is a four - step process. This really works.

The first step is "plan - and - check":In this step, the executive calls his subordinate and clarifies the objective of the task being delegated to the subordinate. Then he asks the subordinate to plan the task and check with him before carrying it out. This step is repeated till the subordinate is able to plan satisfactorily.

Second step is "check - in - trouble":In this step the subordinate is asked to carry out the task - but the boss is available whenever the subordinate wants to check with him.This builds the boss's confidence in the subordinate and the subordinate's confidence in himself and the boss. Once his confidence has been built up, the third step may be introduced.

Third step is the feedback system step: In this step, the executive has a routine feedback meeting with the subordinate in which he checks on the performance of the task.
When the executive is fully satisfied that the task is being performed competently, he may take the fourth and the last step that is ,"abdication". At this stage the task is performed without any formal reference to the boss.

All effective delegation must end in abdication.

Communication Skill

Developing Interpersonal SkillsGetting along with people-boss , colleagues, subordinates, customers , suppliers, workers, trade union leaders, etc becomes vital ingredient of managerial success. The difficulty in acquiring this interpersonal skill basically comes from within. So it is necessary to understand why we behave the way we do and navigate ourselves to better interpersonal relationship.

Tough Time Management

Managing in the tough times.
With increasing competition,the managerial jobs is becoming more and more difficult. To succeed in the new environment,there has to be a purposeful tough managerial style characterized by
* Clarity of objectives and ability to motivate subordinates to work towards the objectives
* Inducing colleagues to co-operate , collaborate and co-ordinate
* Inducing the boss to support the team efforts
* Preparing self to face the changing environment.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Time Management

TIME MANAGEMENT
The first law of time management
We say time is money.But do we manage time the way we manage money?
Money is spent in essentially 3 avenues.
Necessities,Luxuries and Investment. What is good management of money?
Confucius said 2500 years ago that nothing is essentially right or wrong- extremes are always wrong, balance is always right.
Thus , in money management, spending all the money on necessities and luxuries with no investment is wrong. Investing every possible penny minimizing expenditure on necessities and luxuries is also wrong. Balance between the three is right.

Everybody gets different amount of money but everybody gets the same amount of time :24 hours a day. However time available to spend at individual discretion is about 14 hours as 10 hours are gone in sleep and our routine daily activities. This is like our salary-what we can spend is the amount "after deduction at source".
Bulk of this is spent on Contribution value: on the job, in the profession,vocation etc.
Some is spent on Leisure value: with family and friends or enjoying life.
Some can be spent on Transfer Value: preparing oneself for the future. Investing it like investment of money.
As a person gets senior in his life, he tends to spend more and more time on contribution value at the cost of Leisure value. Very often hardly any time is spent on Transfer value. Thus the balance is lost.
Management of time is to attain a balance on an average per day.
10 hours on contribution Value,
3 hours on Leisure value and
1 hour on transfer value.
Better judiciously he spends , more he gets good will , healthy living etc.

Leadership

What is Leadership?Leadership is the ability of one person to influence the thinking process of another person. In effect, a follower supercedes his judgment with the judgment of the leader .

The leader is able to make his impact due to :Sense of Mission. The leader creates a feeling that they are going to do something very important. As a result, the dedication of the leader goes down the line and creates passion in the followers.

Using this feeling of passion , the leader is able to create a sense of action,i.e.,whatever has to be done has to be done immediately.This sense of urgency is the key to productivity.

However , the most important aspect of a leader is creating a Sense of Loyalty.He gets loyalty from his followers by giving loyalty to them. This makes the followers stand with the leader even in adversity. In fact leadership is really tested in adverse situation.

Motivation

Motivating Subordinates
A person can be motivated using fear or money. However , such a motivation creates a feeling of hostility. To inculcate motivation amongst subordinates , the boss must create
1.0 A Sense of Identity: Once a person feels the organization is his organization, there is no need to create any further motivation. That feeling itself is a motivating force. The best example of this is the housewife. We talk of bonded labor. Has anybody seen labor more bonded than the housewife? She is the first to get up in the morning to get milk , last to go to bed. And this is because she feels it is her house.In case wife is dominating it is true about man also , as he feels it is his house and he has to serve his wife or family.
2.0 Sense of Importance: To keep a person motivated , he must feel that he is very important in the organization. This ego is something we talk about elimination in all spiritual discourses.In management , we do not eliminate the ego, we pamper and exploit the ego. The feeling that i matter here and people listen to me is a great motivator.

3.0 Sense of Development: When a person realizes that his work in the organization is enhancing his capabilities, that becomes an important motivating factor.

4.0 Management by Human Values : You preach that you work and do not think of reward.It does not work for every one.

Managing the Boss

Managing the Boss
Boss plays a very important role in the career of an individual.How far the boss will help the subordinate will depend on how the subordinate manages insecurity,ego & idiosyncrasies of the boss.
To manage the insecurity of the boss, the subordinate must demonstrate his loyalty to the boss. This involves
Keeping the boss informed about the developments that the subordinate comes to know of - which might be interest to the boss.
Helping the boss to repair the damage that might have been caused by the boss's mistakes.
Protecting the boss's image when the boss is being discussed.

Furthermore, every human being has an ego, and believe it or not, the boss is also a human being. If the ego is hurt, relationships will be affected adversely. A subtle pampering of the ego helps to build a good relationship.

Everybody has idiosyncrasies -- everybody acquires habits in his life. So does the boss and these are difficult to change. The subordinate has to adjust his habits with those of the boss.

Boss can be your --husband, --- wife , --in laws, brother / sister etc.

Sight - Insight - Hindsight

Sights in Management

Sight is to register what you see. It is just noting the incidents around you.

Insight is understanding significance of the incidents.

Foresight is predicting what is likely to happen in the future.

Oversight is avoiding distraction by minor matters to focus on the main tasks.

Hindsight is analyzing whatever has happened to convert it into experience. That is the most important baggage one has to carry to become successful.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Management

What is Management?Management can be defined in many complex ways. However,management essentially consists of 3 basic tasks:
1.0 Identifying your responsibility and getting committed to it.
2.0 Identifying your resources and ultimately realizing your most important resource is yourself.
3.0 Experimenting with resources.
The best example of this is the housewife.Every girl, as soon as she gets married,identifies her responsibility and gets committed to it. Her responsibility is : To convert a house into a home. A house is a piece of architecture. A home is a place where one gets psychological support, a feeling of warmth and being welcome. Who gives this? The housewife. A housewife identifies this responsibility , gets committed to it and looks at her resources. In most cases , the main resource is the husband's income. I am sure most husbands have heard how inadequate that is! But she has another resource: herself. See how she uses this resource. The homeliness of the house depends not on the income of the house- but on the housewife.

Similarly , every manager has to identify his responsibility and get committed to it. With his chair, he will inherit some resources--men, materials, and machinery. He has to add himself to the resources to make a potent combination and experiment with the combination.

Decisions

Types of Decisions
The word decision - making denotes choice of alternatives. The most frequent decision is the programmed decision ( like the mail clerk decision to decide the postage ) - ( In a bigger organization mail comes to mail clerk and he reads and decides that this paper should go to Purchase , or account or brewer or distiller or manger HRD or Directors or sale).-- Information gives the decision.

The second type is the operational decision where information plays an important role - but judgment has to be used. Each manager may use a judgment in a different way and we get different decisions when the information is essentially the same.

Judgment plays a more important role in the strategic decision e.g. location of factory, product mix, technology, plant capacity,etc. These are vital decisions. If these decisions are wrong, in spite of good operational decisions, the factory may end up in a disaster. In the case of strategic decision, although lot of information is collected,intuition plays the deciding role.

The last category of decisions is the entrepreneurial decision. These are essentially three: How much to invest,Where to get resources from,Who should be the chief executive.These are vital decisions for the long term success of an organization. In these decisions , information plays a very small role. The entrepreneur taking these decisions will have to use his judgment to the full extent and this is why these are called entrepreneurial decisions.
A person becomes King or Pauper due to these decisions.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Monday, September 05, 2005

Climbing the Pyramid of Management

Climbing the Pyramid( Preparing for organizational career)
" We can not prepare the future for the next generation; all we can do is to prepare the next generation for the future." President Roosevelt.

Professional education in management , engineering or technology tries to prepare individuals for a career. Few persons would become entrepreneurs and start their own organizations;most would join existing organizations and try to make a career in these organizations. Their success in going up the organizational pyramid depends on three factors: Ability X Efforts X Luck = Results.
How to improve luck, by definition, is beyond instruction. Everybody has some ability and will continue to improve it rather slowly. Improvement in efforts can be crucial in most cases of remarkable success.
In the educational process , the effort is essentially individual.
However , in organizations, effort has to be a group phenomenon. When one is at a very junior level, one has no subordinates. But everybody at all levels, has boss and colleagues. How to manage them to get their support is something which plays a vital role in climbing up the organizational pyramid.

Papa

Retirement

Planning for retirement & mid career changeThe active executive during his busy life in Industry,business or administration , would have hardly any time to plan in advance the continuity of his active life after retirement. Although retirement is an anticipated stage in life,very often there is little preparedness by the executive concerned. In this century , this problem of change might come even before the normal retirement age and managers may have to prepare for mid career change. The change involve
Time structuring and Psychological Preparation
Financial Planning and Living "Alone"

Management Gaps

Management Gaps
In his progress in the organization a manager has to pass through three gaps.

The first gap is the Knowledge Gap. The knowledge that he has might be inadequate for the job he has to perform and he has to work towards bridging the gap.When JSD moved from marketing to be the chief executive of the Ford car project, he had a severe knowledge gap. Although he was an engineer by qualification, the job required depth in automobile engineering. He asked his two best subordinates to come to his office for one hour at the end of the office hours to teach him automobile engineering and in six months the gap was filled up.

Then the manager will face the Talent Gap.His ability for comprehension has to be equal to the requirement . This is where he can select subordinates and use his colleagues, bosses and consultants to bridge the gap.

The most important gap he has to cover is the Credibility Gap. Confucius said 2500 years ago, " governments exist on three things: guns,rice and faith - the most important is faith." Converted into modern management language managers exist on three things --ability to punish, ability to reward and credibility. The most important is credibility. For this the manager has to depend on his personality development.

Personality is inbuilt and it is part of luck and stars at the time of birth.Personality can also be developed by training but seed is very important. Apple can not grow on Mango seed.

Papa

Sources of Authority

Sources of Authority
There are basically three sources of authority.

The first is hierarchical which comes from the organization position. However , hierarchical authority is not accepted by the younger generation.

The second authority is the authority of expertise.If a manager is an expert, the subordinate say: "Boss is nasty- but he knows. Better check with him." With changing technology , expertise is becoming difficult. The subordinate who is operating the new technology may have greater expertise compared to the boss who has only studied the catalogue.

The third authority is the authority of concern. This is the authority every housewife enjoys. The housewife has no hierarchical authority; she has no authority of expertise. She has the authority of concern - the word "Worry". She uses the concern to control the husband and children.

So the best method as per Indian culture is
Fiker kar , Fikar ka jiker kar, jikar bar bar kar, kam chahi kar na kar.
Worry about work, talk about worry again and again , You work or not work.

papa

Working at various levels

Working at Various Levels
To succeed in his career, a manager has to change his method of working depending on his level of operation in the organization.
At the junior most level , hard working is vital. A person working long hours whenever required- sometimes round the clock- makes a very favorable impression and stands out amongst the crowd which is invariably thick at the junior most level. However , as he comes to the middle level, he may get into the organization paradox: the one who works more,gets more and more work.And he may get caught in a situation where his plate is always overfull and he finds increasingly difficult to meet deadlines.

At this stage,smart working is important. He must concentrate on effective work i.e.that work which contributes significantly to the organization-as against just routine work.This makes him more and more visible to the top management.Simultaneous , he must learn to delegate the routine tasks to his subordinates-and even to his colleagues.

This need for delegation will increase as he goes further up in the organization.To ensure that he can delegate some of the work and get collaboration and cooperation from his colleagues ( and support from the boss or bosses for such delegation), he needs networking.

Thus, for organizational success , a manager has to progress through hardworking and smart working into networking.

Papa

Communication

Barriers to Communication
The barriers to communication are :
1. Language or coding of Ideas so that they are easily understood.
2. Transmission: the communication does not suffer from distraction
3. Hostility: This is the most difficult barrier because it comes from inside and not outside. Hostility is created by the parental messages received - many of them create bias against caste , color , community, language, state , religion,etc.

Another barrier to communication is feuds . A lot of hostility is created in organizations by feuds between departments. How do these feuds occur? This hostile attitude - I am OK you are not OK - is responsible for a lot of problems in communication. This feeling comes because of the way we have been brought up. Whenever there is a conflict there are two routes available : one is the right - wrong, good - bad route which invariably leads to quarrel. The other route is understanding , compromise , co- existence. Depending on our upbringing , we are likely to take the approach and this gives us an image of being a reasonable or unreasonable person. Operating continuously with the hostile prejudice or I am ok , you are not OK attitude, one can develop a dysfunctional life script which makes communication difficult.

One should try to be reasonable , understanding, compromise and co-exist.
Compromise can lead sometimes to not achieving your aim. For this all , one should have leadership characteristics .It may be part of your destiny and time only proves that who was right or wrong.

papa

Networking

Networking with Colleagues
Managing colleagues is more difficult than managing either the boss or the subordinates.With subordinates , we have the authority of hierarchy. With the boss , we have the authority of performance. With colleagues we have neither. In fact , a prominent display of performance can be dysfunctional, as it can arouse antagonism due to jealousy. Colleagues can be managed by establishing a relationship through: Informal Interaction , Reciprocity and Sharing of Credit.

The formal interaction on the job invariably involves compartmental feuds among the various functions. However , approaching the colleague informally on a personal basis creates a closer relationship that can set aside the barriers of compartmental feuds.

Managing the colleagues also calls for reciprocity. Giving a colleague priority when he wants something from your department means a good possibility of getting priority when you want something from his department.

It makes world of difference when you share your credit with colleagues. It sets a positive reaction and they feel that you value their cooperation. Thus , a performing executive has to use the "lamp-shade" strategy. A floor lamp with a lamp - shade ensures that the light goes above and below - but does not give a glare on the side. Similarly a performing executive ensures that the light of performance reaches the top management and his own subordinates - but minimizes the glare amongst his colleagues.

It is easy to write but difficult to convert in to practice. For this you should think twice before speaking to your boss , subordinate and colleagues.