Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Right people in the right places are assets

A business corporation is a living, dynamic organism, and it sustains itself on periodic injections of excitement through acquisition of new technologies, assets and so on, writes R.P. Singh in ‘Grids of Change: Managing power games and power lines’ ( This is the equivalent of consuming vital nutrients for enhancing blood circulation in the human body, he likens. “At PowerGrid, we kept the excitement alive through diversification into telecom and consultancy and incorporation of new technologies in transmission, load management and so on.” 
A key lesson for CEOs that Singh lays down is to manage people loosely, but to manage performance tightly. Give co-workers space to perform, and functional autonomy, so that they are ‘driven to deliver their best, to stretch stated goals, to push every envelope.’ Yet, leeway is not licence, he clarifies. “Recurrent recalcitrance cannot go unpunished. If it requires harsh admonition or transfers and suspensions, so be it.”
Dismissing as a cliché the statement that ‘people are an organisation’s best assets,’ the author says that the right people in the right places are assets. It is not training alone, but putting the right people in appropriate positions through a process of differentiation and an assessment of their aptitude, energy levels and other parameters that works, he explains. “Seniority cannot become the benchmark of differentiation in a corporate ecosystem.”
Also, it is orthodoxy to believe that all wisdom belongs to the corporation, as if effacing the role of the individual, Singh notes. He urges companies to envision themselves as knowledge universities, and to invest in employees who want to go back to the classroom, earn diplomas and degrees at top universities and come back and share what they had learnt with the corporation.

Full report here The Hindu

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