Share |

Management Poem - 5

Vision
Every company needs to spell out its vision
To guide every department and division.
It won’t do if the message is dull and drab
That does not imagination and attention grab.
Spell it out in dramatic and memorable fashion
To mobilize every employee in the organization
In the direction of your dream of the future
Making the company in every way richer.
If the company’s aims and goals you know
Only then towards them you can slowly go.
 
Mission Statement
Mission statement is a company’s vision
Concretely spelt out and clearly written,
Setting the tone for purpose and direction
At the same time firing their imagination,
In a few short, pithy and catchy paragraphs
Which then the progress over time graphs
Defining the boundaries of its operation
And ethical behavior in the organization.
Every employee should know this mission
By which he can then objectives fashion.
 
Organizational Structure
Every organization needs to optimally arrange
People and jobs to get work done and meet goals
Which arrangement is the organizational structure
That specifies the responsibilities for every level
With task allocation, coordination and supervision
Captured graphically in an organizational chart
Allowing you to know who reports to whom
And how tasks are efficiently departmentalized.
 
Designing the best organizational structure is an art
But one that can be derived based on these factors:
The work that is being done by the organization
Its size in terms of employees, revenue, dispersion
And the degree of diversification across markets.
Once it is decided upon it acquires a great inertia
That is resistant to changes with passing time.
 
Entrepreneurial pre-bureaucratic structures are
Centralized and in standardization of tasks lack
Leader communicates all decisions he makes
To the employees by one on one conversation.
 
The traditional or classical organizational structure
Owes its origins to Taylor, Fayol and Max Weber
Who introduced to the field several new concepts
Like Taylor’s “one best way” to accomplish given task
Fayol emphasizing chain-of-command, specialization
Max Weber contributing his ideas on bureaucracy
Where power is attached to positions than individuals
All these leading to vertically-structured organizations
With distinct job classifications and top-down authority.
Being a job-specialized hierarchical reporting structure
With a tightly knit chain-of-command and rigid rules
That flowed through functional departmentalization
As typified by the Ford Motor Company in early 1900s.
 
Growth picked up and companies grew post World War II
Into more complex units of greater size than earlier
And studies began to be done on employees’ motivation
Which slowly shifted the focus away from Taylorism
So as to foster creativity and innovation to move forward.
 
Nowadays it is more unstructured, informal and organic
With departmentalization being based on various criteria
Such as functions, geography, products and markets.
An innovation on this front is to combine the structures
Resulting in what is called matrix organizational structure
Wherein you could combine functional departments
With product groups to form cross-functional teams.
 
Yet another innovation on this interestingly evolving front
Is the creation of what are called strategic business units
Which encourage new ways of thinking and doing things
With the reorganization into largely autonomous groups
Functioning as separate companies with their own heads
With full profit-and-loss responsibility to the whole
Grouping based on product lines or geographic markets.
 
The move now is towards horizontal, flatter structures
Eliminating in the process middle layers of management
With sometimes as few as four layers of management,
Which improves communication and decision making,
The process also being aided by modern technology
In the form of computer networks and softwares,
Giving rise to virtual and boundaryless organizations.
Which way the organizational structures will evolve
Perhaps only time can tell, but it might be the case
They are likely to be responding to market forces.
 
Organizational Culture
Organizations take on a life of their own
Depending on the cultural seeds sown
Such as their beliefs, practices, attitudes
Their underlying assumptions and values,
Often shaped by the vision of the founders
And that of their other top, senior leaders
Not discounting industry and business milieu
And the customs acting as the national glue.
 
As pointed out by Jehn and Chatman
Corporate culture has characteristics seven:
Innovation, stability, attitude, people orientation,
To outcomes, detail and team their orientation.
 
Once established, the culture perpetuates
Through acculturation of incoming novitiates
Either through policy statements explicitly
Or through their rites and rituals implicitly,
While novitiates themselves being selected
Through culture-conforming norms erected
By the human resources practices followed
As to how much leeway from norms allowed
And those who cannot to the culture conform
Being eased out or resigning from the firm.
 
Many management writers have found
That excellent companies rally around
A strong predominant culture prevailing
And over all countercultures dominating
Conveyed through their styles of working
Or mission statements, logos, advertising.
 
Power in the Workplace
Power is the capacity to make someone dance
To whatever tune you might choose to play
That capacity being more potent
When that someone is dependent on you
Though you may choose not to exercise it
But lest it be thought that power is all bad
It also has a positive role to play at work.
 
French and Raven say the bases of power are five
Coercive power exists when one can affect another
Either through dismissal, suspension, or demotion
And elicits compliance through a feeling of fear
So get out of the way of such a person if you can.
Reward power as the name itself indicates
Is exercised via money, appraisal and promotions.
Legitimate power depends on one’s position
In the organization’s formal hierarchy
Broader than coercive and reward power
Influencing often through their mere suggestions.
Expert power is generated and exercised
Through one’s expertise, special skills or knowledge
Which is becoming increasingly more significant
Living as we do in technologically oriented world.
Referent power spawns from your desire to emulate
The person you ardently admire for his charisma.
 
People respond to power exercised over them
Usually in one of the following three ways:
They may show commitment to carry out requests
They may show compliance by doing but grudgingly
They may show resistance by stalling and arguing.
 
Organizational Politics
Politics is a fact of life at work,
Whether you like it or not,
With some having more power
Based on hierarchy or influence,
Some trying to maneuver their way
To get promotion or other goodies.
 
Politics can sap your morale
As people jockey for advantage
But you can make it work for you
By practicing “good politics”
To further your interests and cause,
So know the organizational chart
In terms of where real power lies
And the social networks that span
The whole of the organization
Then start to build relationships
With the people that matter,
Based on trust and respect,
By being friendly with everyone
Cutting across all the networks,
Then have an ear to the ground
And make the most of your network
To gain access to information,
Build visibility for your achievements
Improve difficult relationships,
Attract opportunities where you can shine
And make you and your team look good.
 
While you are thus enmeshing yourself
In the organizational politicking
Make sure you also govern
Your own behavior in the process
By not gossiping or spreading rumours,
Be positive, confident and assertive
 
And maintain integrity at all times
By not sacrificing the organizational interests
For your own selfish goals and purposes.
 
Entrepreneur’s Song
O entrepreneurs with 4E’s
Become alchemists
Powering yourself by
Envisioning, Energy,
Execution, Endurance
And magically turn
Raw resources
Into products and services
For the chances they are a-knockin’.
 
Come ye entrepreneurs
Waiting in the wings
It’s time to dare and dream
For the chances they are a-knockin’.
 
Come ye who dare and dream
Throughout the land
It’s time to draw up a plan
And take the plunge;
Now is the time
To play your song
And have the investors
Nod their heads
For the chances they are a-knockin’.
 
Come ye who have plunged
And are creating wealth
Do foresee the trends
And mitigate the risks;
Keep moving on and on
Without a backward glance
For the chances they are a-knockin’.
 
Come ye who have wealth
And have it made
 
Share it with the world
Wherever you see a need
For the chances they are a-knockin’.
 
Business Plan
In business it helps to know where you are headed
Let your intentions in a business plan be threaded
Along with facts and figures of the matter on hand
So that you and the banks know where you stand.
 
“Plan your work; work out your plan,” is an old adage
So, write out the business plan, one of under 50 page
Setting out the company’s vision, mission, and values
Which can be put by all those concerned to use.
 
Take care to write the plan in a formal tone
And not in any flowery poetry of your own,
Covering all aspects like product or service on offer,
Costs, cash flow projections and timeline you prefer.
 
These things are also in the business plan required:
Market, technology, human resources to be acquired
And not to be caught on the wrong foot in future
Tune into sociopolitical and legal scene, and nature.
 
Capital budgeting techniques should be employed
State also clearly the assumptions deployed.
Lastly, there are no guarantees, and risks abound
For which, mitigation measures should be found.
 
If your plan succeeds, society you should thank
While you may laugh all the way to the bank.
 
Corporate Governance
O Corporate Governance, lead us on the right path,
So that we do not earn our stakeholders’ wrath.
Corporate Governance in a friendly tone said
You should listen to common sense instead –
A corporation is recognized as a legal person
And its good offices you must have won
To be able to act on its behalf day-to-day
With board of directors leading the way
And management setting the goals,
Principles, responsibilities and roles
Of themselves and each and every worker,
Accountability to ensure there’s no shirker;
Though the bottom line is quite important
Trust and equity, too, are not impotent;
No rule should be broken under some ruse
And resources should be put to best use;
While internal audit and controls following
Space also be created for whistle-blowing;
Disclosure norms, transparency of decision-making,
Leeway with procedures and practices not taking
There should be checks and balances in place
And whosoever the errant, must the music face.
Such is what common sense will tell you
And I am not telling anything new,
So spoke the no-nonsense Corporate Governance,
Which, if followed, would lead to great abundance.
 
Glass Ceiling
Ours is the age of democracy
Intolerant to the ways of autocracy.
Every institution and every nation
Is quick to declare its passion
For extending equal treatment to all
Into whatever sex, race or creed they fall.
 
This has meant good news for women
Long suppressed by the bigoted men;
Halls of learning to them were closed
Their footfalls in marketplace opposed;
Confined were they to household chores
Putting up with society and unjust mores.
But as the ideas of Enlightenment spread
With works of Voltaire and the like read
Debate on the issue began to seep in
That setting women free was no sin
And they were every bit as competent
As any man in any country or continent.
 
Gallant chivalry has had its heyday
Now women begin to have their say;
Beloved as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters
Beloved they are as friends, peers and bosses.
No glass ceiling can long bar their way
As they are throwing every shackle away.
 
Business Ethics
It’s the view only of a moron
Business ethics is an oxymoron;
But we know better, you and I
That it is not so and why.
 
Whether it be business or pleasure,
Without ethics, leads to displeasure.
All your words, actions and moves
Should be free from rank abuse
Of power and decision-making,
Free from unfair advantage taking.
Greatest good of the greatest number,
To respect rights of people remember,
Honesty, caring, equity, justice,
Is what business ethics just is;
And for it you should make room
In the boardroom to the showroom.
 
Social Media
To tweet, or not to tweet: that is the question 
Whether 'tis prudent in the business to prefer                              
Old-fashioned and time-tested routes to customers,
Or to take Twitter and Facebook accounts
And by logging in end innocence? To tweet: to log in;
No more delay, and by social media branding we end
Relative anonymity and tons of missed opportunities
That traditional way is heir to; ‘tis a Web presence
Devoutly to be wish’d.
 
Corporate Social Responsibility
Above all,
Pay your dues:
To those whom you affect
By your actions;
To society, which is interwoven
With what you were, are and will be;
To Nature
For, life thrives when Nature thrives;
And last but not the least,
To the moral law within,
Which bids you
To rise to the occasion.
 
Triple Bottom Line
Elkington called it "triple bottom line"
Which, many say, is a concept just fine
Traditional "bottom line" eyed only profit
That idea is now, all agree, quite unfit
To judge how exactly a company is faring
With people and planet we are sharing.
 
We ignore the 3Ps only at our great peril
So every corporation need conduct a drill
To see how fair are its business practices
To stakeholders or community it services;
To account for externalities it is imposing
Such as the climate change it is causing,
But it is difficult to place exact fiscal value
On how very much the planet we devalue,
Yet we must be accounting for the same
To know how corporations we can tame.