Carrot & Sticks – More sticks & a few carrots!

Fear, Greed & Management in 21st Century.

The change world has witnessed in 20th century is for more predominant than in 5 centuries earlier. But 21st century is generating an exponential visible variance. With the change happening so fast, every organization has to keep pace surviving. Till the last century any enterprise would be satisfied by a certain percentage of incremental growth every year in production, sales or profits. That was a linear growth. But in the current century entrepreneurs are hungry for exponential growth. So the game of the business has undergone a drastic change. Accordingly the enterprise owners have changed their HR policy and motivation techniques. Fear and greed’ can be commonplace among traders and can be rather damaging if not managed properly. Fear is often observed as the reluctance to enter a trade or the closing of a winning trade prematurely.

Employee motivation till now:

Motivation has always been recognized as essential driver for management. In order to ensure that the workforce move ahead as a team and contribute to the organization’s objectives. The business leaders recognized and carried out the certain procedures for enhancing productivity and keep to the staff motivated. These were positive initiatives which can be summarized as under:

1. Recognition.

First on the list is that the employees must have the feeling that the management recognizes that they are significant part of the organization. They contribute productively to the company’s mission.

2. How recognition motivates.

A person who is made to feel important applies his/her mind while performing any task. Further, application of mind results in the person enjoying the work which in turn motivates.  Person recognition is one of the keys to successful person motivation. Person recognition follows trust as a factor in person satisfaction with their supervisor and their workplace.

3. Juniors too have innovative ideas.

Listening to the juniors promotes real participative conversation. The manger is able to understand their team. They know what to communicate and how to communicate to move the wheel of progress.

4. Engagement is critical.

A policy of systematic engagement encourages staff to take help of seniors at the time when it is needed. The efficiency increases and so also the satisfaction of the staff members.

5. Shop floor learning in the best starting point.

In traditionally managed family organization the owners would make their children to start from the bottom. If it is an engineering organization, working at the shop floor would be the first step for induction in the enterprise, and then gradually upwards. This helped workers to have a positive attitude towards the organization.

6. Mentors are more important than anyone would think.

An experienced senior was given the responsibility of mentoring. The mentor would ensure that the newcomer is exposed to each department. Doing the work is the best way to understand how to perform it. This would be considered as personalized training. All newcomers would be exposed to it irrespective of who they are.

7. Who said criticism has no role to play?

Positive feedback helped to keep anyone motivated. But appropriate criticism when necessary formed a part of training. This too ensured that person did not lose direction. Taking criticism can be a difficult thing. At some point in this arts world so dependent on reviews and opinions, you will encounter a customer or audience member – maybe even a reviewer – who wants to tell you how to do things better. It can be hard to deal with; after all, nobody likes to be told they’re wrong. But it’s not all bad news because sometimes you can use criticism to give you a competitive edge.

8. Time tested principal: Give & take.

Proper compensation and reasonable periodic enhancement too were taken care of. If a person is not able to meet family expenses, there would be some kind of pressure which dissociates and breaks the bond. Give and Take highlights what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common. This landmark book opens up an approach to success that has the power to transform not just individuals and groups, but entire organizations and communities.

9. Delegation has a new name- Out sourcing.

All organizations need to outsource some of their activities. In times gone by the owners would allow the senior managers to start such small ancillary units and use the services or products. It would provide additional income. This also served to strengthen the bonds.
In the competitive business environment today, organizations which are hungry for growth have to adopt aggressive policies. Performance, sales and the bottom line are the chief parameters for appraisals. Generally, the CEO is engaged with clear understanding of producing some specific results. His/her compensation is fixed as per the promised results. So, it becomes their duty to live up to the promise. Fat compensation command fat results. Here, starts the story of Greed and Fear. For many organizations these two tools work as the chief motivators.

Greed had its toll, as always!

Fear and greed are two primal emotions which have been used as strong motivators for people to act. Normally insurance business relies on fear, stock market on greed. But today every CEO tends to use these.

The CEO who is hired the by the management using the above two tools, he/she uses the same for their subordinates.  How else they would achieve some deadly targets? Due to fierce competition in the industry CEO and all have to slog and work like automatons 24×7. The good packages become just enough to meet the growing needs of the upscale lifestyle fear of losing the job becomes rampant. The situation has its heavy toll on the working people. Meeting impossible deadlines become deadly and people suffer. The story doesn’t end here. It only begins.
Most people engaged in the enterprise work under constant pressure and become stressed. Whenever genuine results are possible, it happens, but where the situation looks impossible, window dressing is employed. Manipulative reports and figures resembling mirage are displayed. An illusion of reality is created, which may last for a short time or at times even for a longer duration. But how long can illusory, self satisfying techniques last? The best known example of deceptive reporting is the story of subprime loan sanctioned in USA due to which some of the biggest banks fell.

Thanks for reading.



Enemies of Happiness – Greed

Yet another enemy of happiness may have entered in the mind of some of us. This is greed. It keeps on growing unabated when not controlled. The end result invariably is a disaster. It can be greed for money, it can be greed for power or fame, respect, sex or even attention. Greed for food is also not uncommon. Greed has a tendency to grow faster when you achieve more. Unfortunately greedy people lose the perspective. If the human wanted more for happiness, it may be considered normal. But greed invariably makes you unhappy. In this case the desire is never controlled.
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In fact one can be rich without being greedy. Making more money should not be the objective. Enjoying what you have and of course aspiring for more can be a legitimate goal of successful people in a competitive world. But greed does not allow you to enjoy what you have. It only reinforces your anguish on what you don’t have.
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The great English Victorian explorer – Sir Richard Frances Britten once said: ‘conquer thyself till thou have has done this, thou art but a slave; for it is almost as well to be subjective to another’s appetite as to thine own.’
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Shakespeare the great dramatist discussed these characteristics of human mind in great detail when he created the character of his play Macbeth by the same name. Hunger for more power keeps on increasing until Macbeth is pushed to the wall of disaster.
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Thanks for reading.
 

Enemies of Happiness 2

Yesterday I had talked about 8 enemies of happiness which resides in human’s body or soul. I had detailed 4 out of these that is anger, fear, jealousy and indecision. If you have contemplated as suggested, am confident that you would have found sufficient relevance of this discussion. Today I shall talk about attachment, hesitation, procrastination and greed. These are also happiness spoilers. Greed if goes unrefined, can cause disaster.
Attachment: Bhagwad Gita advises that any human should not be attached to anything. By attachment I mean you should never have such proximity that separation to that particular object may cause distress. Change is the law of Nature. Everything changes. These changes are bound to bring some objects (including people) close to you and some other away from you. In both situations you have to maintain your poise realizing that this is how life is. It was like this. It is so now. And it will remain the same in all times to come. So for our own happiness we can start practicing non attachment.
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Hesitation: Hesitation for anything must be avoided. Your expression is important. If you hesitate to express or to take any action, the opportunity lost will never come back.
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Procrastination: It is malady which inflicts some of us. Postponing tasks or decisions do not allow one to grow. Self esteem is lost and guilt inside the mind grows. Therefore it’s best to eradicate the habit of procrastination.
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Greed: Greed grows like cancerous cells. Ambition is not greed so therefore both these terms must be understood in their proper perspective. Without ambition you tend not to set your goals and follow them. But greed of any kind mostly takes human to a disasters end. In life, we have example of Hitler. In literature, we have example of Macbeth. The character of Macbeth in Shakespearean play by the same name is nothing but an embodiment of Greed. So banish Greed, altogether!
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In my next posting I shall talk about ‘Enemies of Happiness’ outside.
Thanks for reading.

Lessons of Life from Shakespeare.

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Any great literary writer is invariably a great teacher. Writer will not sermonize. Life of the current time (normally) is beautifully portrayed. Yet, one could draw great inferences and learn very useful lessons that help humans to live life better. I don’t claim to have read much of Shakespeare, but I am one of his great admirers.
Works of Shakespeare transcend the limits of time and space. He is as relevant today as he was in his time. He is as relevant in India as in England. I have picked up 4 of his tragedies. According to me these are eye openers for common people like us. The four plays I have chosen to talk about are: Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear.
When we read these plays thoughtfully and contemplate, we are able to identify short comings of similar nature in our personalities. We may be quite surprised. How and why these did not receive our attention. We would like to remove these faults even though they may be in very small measure. The classified blemishes I am talking about are:
1. Suspicion, Jealousy (Othello)      
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2. Greed that led to extinction (Macbeth)  
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3. Credulity Prone to flattery (Lear)
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4. Indecision that reaches tragic proportions (Hamlet)
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As I said above reading these plays, we observe that all these weaknesses were foolishly repetitive in the tragic characters. We might find that similarly we too harbor some habits that make us do something which we don’t want, repetitively. It is here that we learn a lesson. One can purge one’s personality if so desire. Undoubtedly, the exercise will require a mentor or a guide.
Thanks for reading.