Humantalents Management byJayadeva de Silva

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This is the first ever publication that introduced the term "Humantalents" in place of "Human Resources"
Author is the founder of Humantalents International

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Humantalents Management byJayadeva de Silva

  1. 1. To My Father & Mother Late Mr.WolvindeSilva & Mrs.K. deZ. Wijeratne Silva de To whom I shall remain indebted for setting the foundation on which this work is based. 1
  2. 2. Human talents Management By Jayadeva de Silva 2
  3. 3. Contents FOREWORD..........................................................................7 HUMAN TALENTS MANAGEMENT...................................11 QUALITY IS IN PEOPLE.....................................................21 Leadership for Quality.................................................................23 Customer Perception.....................................................................25 Employee Involvement..................................................................26 Attitudes on Quality......................................................................29 Customer Service...........................................................................30 Customer care ...............................................................................34 COMMON REASONS FOR NON-PERFORMANCE ........43 COUNSELLING AS A METHOD TO UNDERSTAND YOUR EMPLOYEES.......................................................................49 WHY PEOPLE STAY AWAY FROM WORK.......................58 ‘The Bored Absentee’.................................................................60 ‘The Immature Absentee’ ..........................................................61 ‘The Frustrated Absentee’...........................................................62 ‘The Avenging Absentee’...........................................................63 MANPOWER SHORTAGE? (WITHIN AN ORGANISATION) HERE’S A WAY OUT...........................................................68 3
  4. 4. Symptoms of the problem.............................................................68 A solution from within? ........................................................69 Redeployment; A neglected area................................................71 Transfer of work .........................................................................72 What you can ..............................................................................72 HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FOR SMALL & MEDIUM SCALE INDUSTRY IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. 76 PRINCIPLES FOR HUMAN ................................................96 TALENTS MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT.............96 MILITARY LESSONS FOR BUSINESS MANAGERS......104 Influence of the Rulers in the Government..............................107 The Principle of Detailed Planning .....................................110 Mission..........................................................................................111 Values............................................................................................113 Choice of Battle Ground.............................................................114 The Principle of Concentration of Forces & the Need to Attack .......................................................................................................124 Swiftness in Execution of Plans..................................................126 Deceptiveness in Actions & Strategies......................................128 Anticipation of the Enemy’s Reaction and Changes in Environment................................................................................129 Planning for Victory & Combat Readiness..............................129 4
  5. 5. ANYWAY*..........................................................................135 “A VERY GOOD MOTIVATION FOR ONESELF”............139 RULES OF HUMAN RELATIONS.....................................143 FUTURE OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT........147 MANAGEMENT SKILLS CHECKLIST..............................160 HOW TO IDENTIFY GOOD MANAGEMENT POTENTIAL ............................................................................................174 EXTRAS.............................................................................197 “SYNOPPOR” – A New Thinking Tool to Discover Opportunities...............................................................................197 Common Training Terms...........................................................199 5
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  7. 7. Foreword This book is a collection of thoughts on some very important issues on management. During my career, I have trained thousands of people over the last two decades. Many whom I trained requested me to compile a book that could be used for reference. I have therefore decided to publish some selected works on mine under the theme Human Talents Management. This book is aimed at practising business managers & students of management. Any accomplishment requires the effort of many people and this work is not different. I thank my family Ranjika, Ranga & Nilu and on time my assistants Ravi Rajasinghe & Hiranthi. I am also grateful to Bradley, Preethi, Dulin and Vajin for the assistance rendered. My thanks are due to the publisher… 7
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  11. 11. 1 Human Talents Management A new concept of leadership is in the making. Successful Companies have already adopted the idea that Leadership is The Art of Managing peoples’ talents and not just getting things done. The expression Human Resources is misleading and dangerous “People are not resources and resent being treated as such” according to this Concept. They are not pieces of Equipment to move around according to needs Contrary to what some Managers claim, people are not “ Human capital”! Employee’s expectations have drastically changed over the last few years due to more knowledge- based business, social transformations and economic evolution. New psychological needs 11
  12. 12. are evolving inline with the new profile of people entering the workforce. New employees want: (1) To Know more about what is happening in the organisation. Who is doing what? New Objectives? New Priorities? New Strategies? Threats and problems? (2) To Understand why leaders have made decisions? Why not another decision? What is behind the decision? What are the implications of the decision made? (3) To Contribute their own ideas and ability. What could be tomorrow? (4) To Feel Important and have a meaningful role to play within the company. Who am I within the organisation? Do I count? Am I receiving the recognition and respect that I desire? Do I have a fair chance to grow and develop as a person? Effective leaders are looking at practical Ways to maximise the release of 12
  13. 13. individual, team and company talents. The Leader is becoming a nurturer of talents, a catalyst in search of Synergy. People are not resources. They have resources. That is not quite the same thing, as the table below illustrate. 13
  14. 14. Table 1: Human Talents Management (HTM) vs. Human Resources Management (HRM) Managing Human Managing People’s Resources Talents Basic • People are an People have Assumption important asset professional talents. that the Company They are not must use to the resources. They have fullest. resources i.e.: Knowledge, Skills. • They are Experience. The resources. Human release of individual Resources Planing talents is vital to both is Critical. personal fulfilment and organisational success. Role Of Set Objectives, Create the right The Leader appraise people’s environment so that performance on a people can perform factual basis and at the highest level. provide the right The leader channels recognition to the people’s energy right people- MBO constructively. He cares and shows it. How to understand people. 14
  15. 15. Leadership • How to recruit the • How to right people. support/Encourag e. How to manage • How to appraise job assignments People. so that people can perform and grow • How to promote to their potential. effectively. • How to listen and how to be understood Key Success Factors For Tomorrow’s Leaders Will Be (1) Behaviour Flexibility (2) Mental Innovation (3) People Orientation Behaviour Flexibility Behaviour Flexibility Effective Leaders are extremely sensitive to their environment and adjust (rapidly) to its changes. Watching them at work, we can say that it is critical for the 15
  16. 16. Leaders of 90s to learn how to learn. • Do what you think is right in a situation • Observe the impact of your behaviour on people (Collaborators, Bossed, Customers….) • Maintain your behaviour if you get what you want. Try something else if you don’t. Mental Innovation The ability to interpret reality in original and unique ways is becoming more and more pressing for corporate Leaders. They are learning that everything is defined and too often, artificially limited by “Mental Programming”. 16
  17. 17. Nothing is fully known or fixed. Everything is perceived through a Human Mind programmed by education, experience and training. Human mind can explain and control things meaningfully, however some mental constructions are more effective than others. Different situations require different mind reactions. Mental versatility is therefore important. • Be aware of how you construct things in your mind • Expand your repertoire of mental constructions. Try out new ways to explain things. Promote a mind expansion process among your people. • Use the mental Constructions, which are most appropriate for business situations. People Orientation It is amazing how ineffective Leaders are at tapping individual talents within their organisations. Many employees complain bitterly not only about how their Companies 17
  18. 18. have misused their Professional Skills, but also about managers who “do almost everything to make sure that employees do not perform to the fullest of their talents “! It is almost as if leaders are afraid of giving their staff a fair opportunity to perform. Many Leaders have apparently not yet learnt that their employees are frequently working far below Capacity. They do not realise that an employees success is also their own. Employees whose expectations are not met withdraw and star to invest their time, energy and skills outside the organisation. This may be healthy for the individual but not for the organisation. • Care about your people and show them that you as a Leader, are truly interested in what they do, how they think and feel, Be honest, Manipulation may succeed in the short term, but is inevitably discovered and resented. 18
  19. 19. • Know their Professional talents and give them a chance to perform at their highest level. • Expect a lot from them and provide the support they need to work well and grow on the job. Conclusion Managing talents is not the same as Managing Resources. People or human beings With feelings, ambitions and thought power, The effective leaders will care about people’s talents, adjust in a flexible way to various corporate as well as market demands and promote an organisational climate which tolerates or rather encourages a variety of mental styles. 19
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  21. 21. 2 Quality Is In People This paper tries to highlight that Quality and the customer care are primarily matters of attitude and 21
  22. 22. fall within the scope of Human Relations. It takes precision, patience and power to steer an aircraft in the opposite direction The same is true of any attempt to change hardened prevailing work attitudes. Apart from massive training and development effort a very strong corporate will to make hard decisions and supreme sacrifices, is required for attainment of 99.9997% Quality which will delight customers. Today’s customers are demanding more from suppliers. The key differentiator between successful companies and their competitors will be quality.Winning in the new market place requires finding a way to differentiate yourself from competitors, and competitive differentiation is not just a question of providing the right products or having the right strategy. It also means paying closer attention to customer care. In the long run,people simply will not buy from companies that are not prepared to go that “extra mile” in terms of looking after their 22
  23. 23. customers. Then the business that pays attention to quality, service and value is going to delight customers,who in turn will ensure that business remain successful. In this paper we will examine the people factor in promoting a Total Quality Culture within an organisation. Leadership for Quality Many companies both local and foreign however, are not satisfied with the pay back in their quality improvement efforts. We feel that the creation of a quality culture encompassingthe total organisation requires a revolutionary change. In prevailing work attitude, Surveys among various categories of employees reveal that many people are trapped in their jobs. Could we not, therefore, channel all that concern into quality improvement and make it a positive business process? Great companies who have great names acknowledge that they have great products but more importantly they have great people. 23
  24. 24. “We strive to give our best to the customer through the quality and reliability of our goods and services. Perfection is not easy, but we believe in setting high standards and we expect and demand from all employees superior performance and innovative qualities.We recognise, appreciate and reward a job well done by people who take pride in working for us” So states the business philosophy one of leading Groups companies in Sri Lanka. In a time of turbulence and uncertainty, we must be able to take instant action on the front line. But to support such action, taken at the front, everyone must have a clear understanding about what the organisation is trying to achieve. Effective visions are aimed at empowering our own people first. Customer second. The first task of the vision is to call forth the best from the company’s own people. Effective vision whilst honouring the past prepares for the future. Effective visions statements are clear, challenging 24
  25. 25. and are about excellence. Effective visions make sense in the turbulent world. Effective visions are lived in detail not broad strokes. Customer Perception Such Quantum steps of improvements can be obtained only if they can get the organisation to look at the issues in totally new ways, applying creative skills. Tomorrow’s winner must be entrepreneurial as a habit and will have to continually seek improvements in their ability to serve their customers. Quality is not only for up market products and suppliers who can charge accordingly. Quality can be built in to any business or service, whatever segment of the market has been chosen as the target. It’s a question of meeting the customers’ expectations and then giving just a little bit more. As an example, take two hopper boutiques. Both serve the same range of food, both provide a few 25
  26. 26. tables for customers wanting to eat at the premises, and both do most of their trade in takeaways. In terms of quality, they could differ on: a) The freshness of their hoppers. b) The oil, flour and coconut milk they use for preparation. c) The extent to which they can offer customers freshly baked hoppers rather than food that has been kept for a long time d) The courtesy and efficiency of their service. e) The cleanliness of their surroundings. f) The little extras that they provide, such as a paper serviette with takeaways, or a choice of sambols. Employee Involvement Goodyear, an American Company, is reported to have introduced an employee suggestion scheme under 26
  27. 27. the name “Decentralised Idea generation” and they have introduced the term “Associate” as a substitute for employees. Quality is certainly about manufacturing a product that people can depend on every time they reach for it. But according to Donald R Kellogh President of Coca-Cola, it is more than that. Quality, he says, is a way of life that must involve every employee every day. We know that quality improvement is about change. Which change you create fear and anxiety. To manage change and make it acceptable one has to build an atmosphere of trust and self-confidence. In October 1887, William Cooper Proctor, grandson of the founder of Proctor and Gamble, introducing a profit sharing plan stressed the core values of their business as follows: “The first job we have is to turnout quality merchandise that consumers will buy and keep on buying. If we produce it 27
  28. 28. efficiently and economically we will earn a profit in which you will share. But the profits can’t be distributed unless they are earned and the company must take care of its equipment, expand normally, remain in a sound fiscal position and part of the earnings must be ploughed back into the business”. It is clear from the foregoing mat. Leaders of the best companies profoundly believe in and promote the core values of customer-focused quality. Quality has been, and will, remain the key management imperative. Leaders see quality as the heart of the business. It is known that the rate of progress is slow in many Total Quality Management (TQM) Programmers. Leaders, however, could set demanding goals. Asia Brown Boveri’s (ABB) ’10 up Programme’ is an example. This plan calls for 50% improvement in 10 key areas each year in all business. All this amounts to being committed to meeting the expectations of 28
  29. 29. their clientele, all the time, and then going further. Quality doesn’t just happen. It has to be planned for and built into the way an organisation operates. This means that each person must be clear about what is expected of him or her and what they have to do to achieve it. Management by Objectives (MBO) could be used very effectively in this regard. Quality will only remain at a constantly high level if the organisation is proactive rather than reactive. This means that the emphasis must be on thinking ahead and on preventing problems from arising in the first place. Organisations need to develop ways of working that make these happen. Attitudes on Quality Maintaining high standards in quality depends on the attitudes of everyone involved. Standards will slip if mistakes and lapses are accepted as inevitable. The positive alternative is to do things right the first time and every time. However, if the 29
  30. 30. occasional lapse does happen, then there should be a positive way of dealing with it so that people learn from the mistake, rather than be blamed for it. This means: • Creating an atmosphere in which the people concerned are willing to admit that something is wrong. • Using it as an opportunity to review procedures etc. to prevent it happening again. Only under such conditions, much talked about quality circles can function. Making quality a reality depends on getting the right mix of Attitude, Skills, Communication Management and Expectations. Each factor should be related closely to the other and none can be considered in isolation. Customer Service 30
  31. 31. In order to provide total quality, it is very important that we pay special attention to customer service and customer care. Training of employees has assumed much importance in this sphere. There are some key elements crucial to the success of Customer Service Training. They are as follows: a) Training must be tied to a complete programme. Where Company wide Total Quality Concept (CWTQC) is practised, customer service could be linked to that process, as already stated above. b) Commitment of the top management is essential. Senior Managers too should participate in training sessions. c) Customer Service People should have freedom within standards. They need to be trained to pay attention to standards, and also to take 31
  32. 32. the initiative to provide services not specified in the standards. d) Service guarantees back-up customer service training and reinforce employee commitment to service standards. Employees will then know that unsatisfactory service has immediate consequences. Service guarantees send a message to customers that the employees are determined to provide quality service. d) Use of advertising to back up service training and reinforce employee commitment to service standards. Employee will then know that unsatisfactory service has immediate consequences. Service guarantees send a message to customers that the employees are determined to provide quality service. 32
  33. 33. e) Use of advertising to back up service training enhances the employee’s pride in their work. Very often it reinforces the message learned in training sessions that service counts. It also gives employees a public image to live up to. f) Monitoring of service quality should be undertaken as a feedback mechanism. Employees should know what they are doing wrong. The company can measure the compliance by employees with the service standards. However, providing consistent good quality service means that a customer must perceive something pleasant happening every time he approaches the company. g) It must be borne in mind that many service skills are simply not trainable. You can teach a person to say, but not how to say it. You 33
  34. 34. can teach a procedure for handling a complaint, but not the attitude that will satisfy the customer and bring that person back. To get superior customer service, it is crucial to have the right people. The following are some of the proven techniques for Customer Service Training: a) Film & Video for Modelling b) Group Discussion c) Competitor Observation d) Job Rotation e) Role Play f) Video or Audio Feedback g) Mass Audience Persuasion h) Stress Training Customer care Customer care could be judged only in terms of the feeling of the customer. If the customer is not satisfied with the service he or 34
  35. 35. she has received then that service was not good. The writer is of the view that this is the single most important truth about customer care. It does not matter how hard one has tried or how much one has done. The only judgement that counts is that of the customer. The other important factor about customer care is that good customer care has to come as a surprise! If the customers get what they were expecting, they will not be impressed. After all they expected to get that. If they get less than what they expected, then they will be disappointed. Leading Companies are continuously faced with this problem. Customer care is about detail. It is about getting lots of small things right as well as the big picture. Very often the goods and services offered by competing companies and organisations are not very different. The difference very often depends on the people who are employed. We can learn a lot from Japanese management in the area of 35
  36. 36. total quality management. Therefore, one is tempted to ask - Can we import not just Japanese products but the attitude behind them? Quality is practical. Factories, airlines and hospital laboratories must also be practical. But quality is moral, aesthetic, perceptual and subjective. It is about delivering above expectations. The famous Marketing expert, Philip Kotler, Calls this the delight factor. Quality and customer satisfaction should be measured. Rewards should be made on the basis of these measurements. There could be instances when one hears that a particular problem is not serious, because it happened only once and not symptomatic of a larger problem. At our training programmes we get detailed feedback from the participants. There is invariably some criticism. We have found the criticism to be symptomatic of larger and serious issues. Every Customer complaint is symptomatic of a shortcoming. Moreover, it usually represents a very good opportunity for improvement. Some 36
  37. 37. insist that certain parameters are subjective. Cleanliness is subjective. But it can be measured. We only need to add a question to our questionnaire- How clean is the place on a scale of one to ten where ten is ‘excellent’ and one is ‘very poor’ In our experience, by far the greatest influence on today’s employees are the people who have managed them. Thus manager have to set an example in whatever they do. Formal training can have an effect, but for the most part we emulate the managers we worked for earlier in our careers. In the selection of managers, organisations should be careful to give the required weightage for the candidate’s attitude towards customer orientation and the degree of commitment towards total quality management. In order to incite a “ Quality Revolution”, we in Sri Lanka can learn from the experience of other 37
  38. 38. countries, especially from Japan. We could pay closer attention to rework and recycling operations with a view to promoting the concept “ Do it right the first time and every time -resulting in zero defects”. We could deliberately reduce the level of all inventories, as overproduction, oversupplying, overbuying of anything can have a disastrous effect on promoting the Total Quality culture. We can start and do everything on time. If quality is about following standards, then we must admit that, in Sri Lanka, the most violated standard is time. We can pay more attention to cleaning up the work environment. Seemingly unimportant things like inspecting toilets, locker rooms and the floor will have to be considered important. If today’s managers set a good example in customer-oriented quality management then their subordinates will develop believing that this is the right way to manage, resulting in a steady improvement of quality. Then life 38
  39. 39. will be more pleasant for everyone. As stressed throughout this paper such a change in prevailing work attitudes and sentiments will eventually lead to greater economic success domestically and internationally bringing greater prosperity and quality of life for all. Thus, Quality is in People. 39
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  43. 43. 3 Common Reasons For Non-Performance When a new employee joins a company, he or she comes with full of hopes and lot of enthusiasm and he/she really wants to work. In any case, you would select only such people for employment, as there exists a fairly large pool of Human resources in the country to choose from. However, it has been observed by many managers that the performance of employees is not up to the standard they would like and the reasons for this can be many. We are presenting below the ten most common reasons for Non- performance according to a survey done by us among managers and executives of the private sector. 43
  44. 44. 1. They don’t know why they should perform a particular task or tasks. 2. They don’t know exactly when to begin or to end a task. 3. They don’t know what they are supposed to do. 4. They don’t know how to do it 5. They think they are doing it. 6. They think our way won’t work or their way is better. 7. They think something else is more important. 8. They are not rewarded for doing the things right, or not punished for not doing the things right 9. They are not punished for doing wrong things, or not rewarded for not doing the wrong things. 44
  45. 45. 10. They think they cannot do it. “Whatever, you experience a problem with performance of an employee, chances are such that the reason could be one or more of the above. Any good Human Resources Manager can recommend the course of action that should be taken to solve the problem.” 45
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  49. 49. Counselling As A Method To Understand Your Employees The most important attribute of human beings is their intelligence. This can be defined as our ability to make fresh, appropriate responses to each new situation. It may be impossible to prove that every one like this. However, one of the best sources of information about our nature is our small children. They usually show these qualities to a remarkable degree- highly intelligent, loveable and powerful in getting what they want. When we work closely with more and more adults we find that this is our inherent nature. People respond best and learn most when they know have the highest expectations of them, and yet clearly, people do not behave like this all the time. Some behave like 49
  50. 50. this more than other people. When we think about people around us at work places or elsewhere, we see that most of the time we function amazingly well. At other times we do not. It may be something like fatigue or some bad news that gets in the way or something occurs that triggers a response out of proportion to the actual event. When this happens the difficulty is something more fundamental, which the Behavioural Scientists refer to as ‘distress pattern’. This is a habitual way of reacting in certain situations, which is not a fresh accurate response but a rigid, patterned way of reacting. Some thing happens which reminds us of a past hurt. Our attention goes inwards and we reacting intelligently. This reaction may have been appropriate long ago when the original hurt occurred, but now completely inappropriate. Or we may react this way because of unhelpful messages given to us by our parents when we were small. These patterns 50
  51. 51. are sometimes major difficulties in highly successful and able adults. For example little boy who was told, “you will never make a success of anything” might become the man who tries to be successful at all costs. Patterns like these are often really important development issues confronting people in Organisations. These are usually more significant than deficiencies in knowledge or skill. We should be able to think about how this applies to our own selves and to people we know. What can we do about these difficulties? Ones again we can learn a lot from our small children. When they are hurt emotionally, they cry or express their anger. Afterwards they feel fine again. A lot of this can be quite hard on the parents, but it works well for the children. It is a natural healing process which the behavioural scientists call “discharge” Unfortunately we are taught not to do this e.g. Men don’t cry etc. Thus a natural healing process has been blocked. 51
  52. 52. Of course it would not be appropriate to give immediate vent to our feelings in most situations. We have to learn function well despite how we feel. However, we have to recover this natural healing process. It is much healthier than repressing our feelings, taking them out on some one else or resorting to alcohol. Furthermore feelings can impair our judgement in ways that are highly detrimental. Then, counselling can be offered as a far better solution. When we are distressed, what we need is a good listening to. We need to “discharge” i.e. talk about in an appropriate way & express how we feel. We can then re-evaluate the experience and think and act intelligently again. Our patterns prevent us functioning well. They stop us from getting our work and the rest of our lives the way we want it to be. Patters need to be contradicted. For example man, who was told as a little boy that he would never make a success 52
  53. 53. of anything, needs to contradict the message and accept that as a mature man “I can make a success of anything “. This is a simple process and does not require expert skills through it will require some training. This is not theory. It is simply a basic human process, which help us to live and work well. Now let us consider the implications of the above for the management and development of human resources. • At the very least we can use this as background information to help understand why talented people sometimes behave less than intelligently. It may help us to respond more appropriately when they do this. (What is the difficulty? What would help? ) • It explains why listening is often the 53
  54. 54. most valuable thing we can do. • We find this is very useful to distinguish people and “patterns”. It becomes much easier to like someone when we realise that they are fine and it is only the “pattern” which is thoroughly obnoxious. When realise it is a “pattern” it is easier to stay rational. • It gives us an extremely valuable developmental tool and provides us with a way of working with people We work in Organisations where the culture does not usually make it easy to be open about our difficulties. Frankly there is usually a lot of pretence. In this environment we have to approach the introduction of counselling as a key leadership development tool 54
  55. 55. with a good deal of sensitively. It requires judgement to decide whether and when to introduce counselling to an individual or group of people. The key factor seems to be safety. When there is enough trust and safety people may be ready to use counselling. 55
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  58. 58. 5 Why people stay away from Work Absenteeism continues to be a serious problem in Sri Lanka. This problem is extremely acute in the case of Manual Grade employees. In this article the author suggests a new approach as a solution to this problem Before analysing why people stay away from work it is worthwhile to identify four major steps that should be taken in controlling absenteeism. These steps are so simple that the tendency is to ignore the importance of following them. 58
  59. 59. 1) Analyse the situation to determine the type of absenteeism. 2) Confront the employee with the problem 3) Enforce the rules relating to absenteeism 4) Document the occurrence of absenteeism for each employee. Absentees could be categorised in to at least four major groups and they should be dealt with in a manner suitable to their specific problem. 59
  60. 60. ‘The Bored Absentee’ He is bored with the work, work is not interesting or challenging; he often stays away from work to participate in something more interesting. You would observe his absence to be sporadic. He tends to keep away just before holidays or after holidays. In dealing with such ‘bored’ employees you should ask the employee for his true feelings about the job. You should point out the problems his absence is causing to the factory or office. Ask the employee to agree to correct the problem and obtain commitment from the employee. You may point out the advantages of good work record. To him and also the disadvantages of high absenteeism. 60
  61. 61. ‘The Immature Absentee’ He feels that a day off is a fringe benefit and gives no thought to the consequences of his absence. He is often influenced by others and does not take his work seriously. Such persons may be just after school.. Frequently one meets immature or old people also in this category. Dealing with such ‘immature absentees’ should be the way you deal with a lot of patience as you cannot expect such persons to know or do things you do not personally show them. However allow them to retain their dignity as adults. You may ask them to deal with the problem in a mature way and refer 61
  62. 62. them to the more attitudes required in the business ‘The Frustrated Absentee’ He gets habitually absent in order to relieve his frustration. He is likely to have a long history of aggressive behaviour. Very often these persons find the pressures of the day too difficult to cope with. They usually have more number of days absence and a long record of absence. Their tolerance limit would be normally low and they do not see that they are causing problems to other employees and to the workplace. Here again the person should be made aware of the consequence of his absenteeism. And shown his own record of absenteeism and point out the specific problem and have a follow up on the matter. 62
  63. 63. ‘The Avenging Absentee’ This situation is the most difficult to deal with. The person feels victimised or taken advantages of. He usually perceives a lot of injustice and discrimination or favouritism a lot of injustice and discrimination or favouritism in the factory or in the office. Usually these persons are prepared to defend them selves and like to argue. It’s not merely the staying away from work that gives him satisfaction but the thought of the disruption that is caused by his absence. These persons too could be persuaded to come to work. Do not show any weakness. They themselves resent it. Be firm and discuss the problem of absenteeism only. 63
  64. 64. Finally, the following 10 points will be helpful in controlling absenteeism in the workplace. 1 Determine whether the employee notified you as soon as possible that an absence was necessary. 2 Record the absence in an attendance record book or printed form. 3 Analyse the absence through in depth discussion; don’t accept phoney excuses. 4 Decide through your analysis which of the four types of absentee you are dealing with. 5 Maintaining an alternative work plan to ensure smooth production when absences do occur. 6 Confront every absence so that the employees know that you consider absence serious. 7 Keep a record of added costs that resulted from absenteeism. 8 Indicate a satisfactory programme to avoid absenteeism due to accidents. 64
  65. 65. 9 Discuss the moral value of “legitimate absence” only with your subordinates. 1 Remember that even the most abusive violator can have an absence that is legitimate. • (Condensed from the materials presented by the author to an In House Training Workshop). 65
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  68. 68. Manpower Shortage? (Within an organisation) Here’s a way out Most companies have no means of dealing effectively with the development of people from an under-utilised area to an area, which is short of people. Symptoms of the problem If you are suffering from a shortage of manpower in your department or company a visible symptom will most likely by subordinates who come to you in increased numbers for direction and guidance; The reason being the workload in a particular area increasing by leaps and bounds. Faced with such a situation it is essential to ascertain first and foremost whether it is likely to remain that way for a significant 68
  69. 69. duration before deciding on what action need to be taken. A solution from within? Regrettably the action taken by most managers is to create more work roles and to fill them up with new recruits. What is often not recognised is that there may also be a reduction in work-load occurring in certain other areas is usually quite difficult because there is no automatic gauge for indicating the under load. One exception however is direct production work where production managers soon recognise shortage of work. Even then it is only recognised when the fall off in work-load is large enough to be significant in terms of actually finding it difficult to give people work to do. Spreading work 69
  70. 70. In direct work (work not directly involve with production) the organisation and the system is quite capable of generating additional work or allowing the existing work which has reduced in quantity to be spread in such a way that fall off is not perceptible in throwing up spare people. This provides an ideal opportunity to improve the quantity of work and services provided. Thus it is a major management task to be recognised and identified areas where there may be fall off of work. For example in area such as the provision of information the real work involved in providing the information gradually decreases while requests for information remains at the same level or increases. The need therefore is decisive and firm administrative decisions to be able to realign the resources from the areas of work reduction or intended work reduction in to areas where workload is patently increasing. 70
  71. 71. Redeployment; A neglected area Moat companies have an effective system of recruitment with printed forms indicating requisitions for personnel and specifically selected staff for interviewing applicants. Bat sadly most companies have no means of dealing effectively with re-deployment of people from and under-utilised area to an area which is short of people. Some times the re-deployment cannot be done directly but must be done by a series of moves. A company which can effectively grapple with this realignment of resources increases the security of their work force by keeping numbers down to the bare minimum necessary and at the same time increasing the experience at the employees can gain by the sheer necessity of moving them from one type of work to another. In order to facilitate this type of move many personnel policies will need to be made explicit such as the maintenance of 71
  72. 72. the income of people who are transferred to work in a place with which they are unfamiliar. The provision of effective training is also essential. Transfer of work It is sometime possible however to transfer work instead of people from an overload area to an under- loaded one. Where this can be done and it can be seen to be advantageous then it is preferable to moving people since the continued existence of working groups and managerial feel of individual performance is important. What you can When the workload in a particular area increases each manager at whatever level must search within 72
  73. 73. his own resources to find ways of re-deploying people or to adjust work in such a way to take care of the work level. When it reaches the stage where this becomes impossible he must then refer to his own manager indicating the steps he has taken to attempt to deal with the problems and ask his own manager to see if within his wider area of resources the problems can be resolved. This process must be repeated until the whole of the company has been considered with regard to re-deployment. Finally the necessity of additional work must be reviewed with care before new roles are created and the alternatives of achieving the same results by other means such as capital investments should also be fully explored. 73
  74. 74. 74
  75. 75. 75
  76. 76. 7 Human Resources Development For Small & Medium Scale Industry In The Private Sector Human Resources Development (HRD) has to be, first and foremost linked to the Strategic Planning of an Organisation, as the letter provides vital foresights and needs of Human Resources, in future. The Strategic plan of an Organisation has to be based on the macro level plans of the country. The government strategy for industrialisation is to create an industrial structure capable of operating in a competitive environment, thus supporting the country’s export base whilst meeting the demands of the domestic 76
  77. 77. market. Production for export markets will require competitive advantage over other competitor nations if it is to be economically visible. The quality of our products also should be of such standards to be able to complete in the international markets. An Organisation has to then answer the following questions. What is it that an organisation is required to produce? What are its outputs or results? What skills are required to produce those results? The function of HRD is to help people to do their jobs to the set standards. For this purpose all employees should have clearly defined objectives. Total comprehension of individual roles, responsibilities and standards of performance required of them is of paramount importance. Employers have to ensure that the employee compensation is compatible with their contribution, so that desired employee performance can be stimulated. Whoever has developed 77
  78. 78. his ability to the extent where he can meet or exceed job requirements, he should be equitably compensated for his contribution. A gap between the desired performance and the current actual performance could mean interalia a training need. The important point about identification of training needs is that the Organisation must know what constitutes the standards or desired performance and what the current actual performance is, at sufficient level of detail. Thereafter, systematic training and development could be initiated, which is really a cyclic process consisting of the following element: • Identification of training needs. • Determination of the outcome expectations. • Implementation of training strategies. • Measurement and analysis of results and feedback. 78
  79. 79. It may not be possible for a Medium or a Small Scale Industry to have full time specialised trainers. Even otherwise, the final responsibility to train and develop employees should be with the line managers. Reproduced below is a policy compiled by the author for a large Group of Company. • Human Resource is the most valuable asset of the Company. The only real advantage we have over competitors in the increasingly tough business world is in the quality and quantity of our human resources. In order to increase our advantage over competitors, we must do everything we can to improve their skills, effectiveness and their motivation. • Put the right person in the right place and develop such employee’s ability to utmost so that both, the employee 79
  80. 80. and the Company would benefit. • Assign maximum possible responsibility for the human resources management and development, to operating managers. • Selection and evaluation based upon actual achievement of the individual. Human Resources Development should be carried out to achieve development objectives of the individual and the company, to a matching process, which will result in a satisfactory relationship between the two. Human Resources Development should be therefore, based on employees self-enlightenment supported by management. This can be achieved by creating the right working environment providing necessary motivation towards the development of their personal knowledge, skills 80
  81. 81. and abilities. Human Relations thus become an integral part of this process, as the personnel the Organisation has recruited, trained and compensated have to be integrated into jobs in such a manner that they work together productively and co-operatively with a sense of economic, social and psychological satisfaction. Opportunities for training and development should be given to all employees contingent upon their capacity for development. The private sector in our country has identified the inadequacy of management expertise, specially at the middle and supervisory levels, as the major constraint facing them.. Government has undertaken to provide every encouragement to training institutions and firms to develop the required human resources. The National Institute of Business Management, originally conceived to train managers for the public sector, has been converted by amending the law, to a general management training institution with emphasis on private sector 81
  82. 82. needs. In order to further facilitate training in management and technical skills, the government is preparing proposals for funding skills development by assisting firms and teaching institutions with loans and grants. This scheme is likely to be based on similar successful schemes in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea. At the organisation level, one must consider three major inputs into its management development process, as follows: 1. The overall requirements of the organisation and its associated strategic business plan. 2. The mutually agreed needs of the individual managers arrived at as part of their performance appraisal and goal setting process. 3. The requirement of the organisation for career and succession planning to cater for requirements and/ or resignations, 82
  83. 83. (Please see Annexure 11 for a suggested Development Model on HRD). Some Companies use the Assessment Centre method to evaluate as objectively as possible, the general management ability of their future managers. At the Personal Assessment Centre the behaviour of potential managers are observed through a variety of standardised performance situations. The centre staffs uses a comprehensive rating scheme and a system of inferencing thereof. Some of the dimensions used are defined below. 1 Oral Communications To what extent can this individual express himself (in English)? Executives have to present oral reports at various meeting. 2 Written Communications To what extent can this individual effectively express his or her ideas in writing 83
  84. 84. (Language is English of course)? 3 Leadership Skills How effectively can he lead a group to accomplish a task without arousing hostility? 4 Forcefulness To what extent does this individual make an early impact on others? 5 Energy To what extents can this individual continuously maintain a high level of work activity? 6 Likeability To what extent does this individual make a likeable impact on others? 7 Awareness of Social Environment 84
  85. 85. To what extent can this individual perceive subtle cues in the behaviour of others towards him or her. 8 Behaviour Flexibility To what extent does this individual, when motivated, modify his or her behaviour to reach a goal? 9 Self Objectivity To what extent can this individual realise his or her own assets and liabilities? 10 Inner Work Standards To what extent does this individual want to do a good job, even if he or she could get by with doing a less acceptable? 11 Managerial Identification 85
  86. 86. To what extent does this individual relate to Management’s views and problems? 12 Resistance to Stress To what extent can this individual’s work performance stand up in face of unusual pressure? 13 Range of Interests To what extent can this individual interested in a variety of fields of activity, such as science, politics, sport and art etc.? 14 Organising and Planning To what extent can this individual effectively organise and plan his or her work? 86
  87. 87. 15 Decision Making To what extent can this individual make decision of high quality and how likely is he or she to make decision when required? 16 Scholastic Aptitude To what extent does this individual compare to other individuals in his or her ability to learn new things? Author does not claim credit for the HRD System outlined here. The paper is an overview of the Human Resources Development effort that should be undertaken for small & Medium Scale Industry in the private sector. In conclusion, what is needed is work within a sound strategic plan based on economic realities and set within the cultural, social, environmental, religious and political aspirations of the Nation, we should compare where we have the comparative advantage and develop our resources 87
  88. 88. the most important being the human resources. I would summarise what I have covered in this paper as follows 1. The vital link between strategic planning and Human Resources Management and Development. 2. All employees must have clearly defined objectives. 3. Process of Management Succession is intimately linked with Management Development. 4. Use of assessment Centres to evaluate employees objectively for general management ability. 5. Human Resources Development should be based on self- enlightenment. 6. Line Managers have the final responsibility to train and 88
  89. 89. develop employees under their purview. 7. Human Resources Development should be carried out to achieve the development objectives of both the individuals and Group 8 Need to improve and develop each individual’s ability should be emphasised. 9. Human Resources Development should be made an integral part of the performance appraisal 10. Development of young executives with potential for managerial development. 11.The opportunity for training and development should be given to every body. 12. Employee compensation has to be compatible with their contribution. 89
  90. 90. 13. Human Relations to be considered as an integral part of the Human Resources Management. 90
  91. 91. Annexure 1 Developmental Model For Human Resources Management And Development ORIGANISATIONAL NEEDS MATCHING PROCESS INDIVIDUAL NEEDS Primarily initiated & managed by the Organisation Career or job choice Planning for Staffing, Job analysis. Recruitment & Strategic Planing. Human selection Introduction, Resources Planning & Socialisation, Initial Human Resources Early career issue: Training. Job Design & Job Inventorying Locating one’s area of assignment contribution. Learning Supervising & coaching performance how o fit into Planning for growth & appraisal & judgement of potential development, Inventory Organisation, becoming Organisational rewards. Promotions & productive, seeing a of development plans, other job changes. Training & follow up & evaluation future for one-self in Development opportunities, Career career. of development plans counselling, joint career planing and Mid career issues: follow-up locating one’s carer Planning for levelling Continuing education & anchor & building off & disengagement retraining, Job redesign. one’s career around it Job redesign, Job enrichment & job rotation. Alternative Late career issues: patterns of work and becoming a mentor :using Planning for replacement rewards. one’s experience & and restaffing wisdom Updating of Human resources inventorying. Information systems for job openings new New human resources from cycle of recruitment . inside or outside the Organisation . 91
  92. 92. Human Resources Development System TRAINING PROGRAMS & COURCES PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL & CAREER DEVELOPMENT COUNSELLING Orientation courses for new comers In-house training programmes Joint evaluation of conducted by the Human performance based on Resources Development participatively pre-set Personnel Assessment Support for Self Development Department based on the objectives. Center. general training and development needs of the Company Rating scale is also used for performance appraisal. Management dimensions Specific training programmes Under this method appraisal Evaluation by the arranged by the Human is done by evaluating Group Executive Resources Development skills, qualities and Directorate. Department depending on the specific needs of the characteristics of employee such as Initiative and f Company/Department concerned drive, attitude to work, Inner work standard, Succession Plan. Training programmes and leadership skills etc., courses conducted by outside Training Organisations. Use of counseling to maintain constructive employee attitude and to Overseas Training assist them to overcome problems related to their work performance. Training and Development Needs 92
  93. 93. 93
  94. 94. 94
  95. 95. 95
  96. 96. 8 Principles For Human Talents Management And Development 1. We recognise the vital link between Strategic Planning and Human Resources Management and Development (HRMD). Strategic Planning provides our management with vital foresight into the problems and needs of human resources, of them. 2. We recognise the need for all employees to have clearly defined objectives for their total comprehension of the individual roles, responsibilities and standards required of them. 3. We ensure that the process of management succession is intimately linked with 96
  97. 97. management development. Accordingly, a manpower succession plan is useful tool for ensuring that top management positions can quickly be filled whenever there is a vacancy at that level 4. We are committed to the use of Assessment Centres to evaluate employees objectively for general management ability- through behaviour observation, a variety of standardised performance situations, a comprehensive behaviour rating Scheme and a system of inferencing thereof. 5. We believe that Human Resources Development should be based on worker self- enlightenment supported by Senior Management: by creating the right working environment and facilitating management of oriented motivation of individual 97
  98. 98. workers towards the development of their personal skills, improved performance and enhanced career prospects. 6. We believe that line Managers have the final responsibility to train and develop employees under their purview. Accordingly, we ensure that Line Managers undertake full responsibility for developing the potential of subordinates, while Staff Managers, in turn, do not deprive line Managers of their competence. 7. We believe that Human Resources Development should be carried out to achieve development objectives of both the individual and the company through a matching process that would bring the company and individuals together in a mutually satisfactory relationship. 98
  99. 99. 8. We emphasise the need to improve and develop each individual, ability to keeping all the managers and executives abreast of the latest developments in the technical and management fields through mandatory attendance of a selection of training and development programmes sponsored by the Group, NIBM, SLBDC and other Organisations each year. 9. We believe in making human resources development an integral part of the performance Appraisal, so that no Manager or Executive may be promoted unless he/she has successfully trained another to take over his/her job. 10. We are committed to the development of young Executives with potential for managerial development by giving them every opportunity to advance their careers 99
  100. 100. (through training programmes and counselling sessions), simultaneously fulfilling the needs of the company. 11. We believe the opportunity for training and development should be given to all employees equally, Contingent upon their capacity for development. 12. We believe in making employee compensation compatible with their contributions in order to stimulate the desired employee behaviour. Whenever an employee has developed his/her ability to extent where such a person can meet or exceed job requirement, he/she should be equitably compensated for his/her contribution. 13. We consider Human Relations to be an integral part of Human Resources Management, so that the personal we have recruited, trained, placed 100
  101. 101. and compensated may be integrated into a job in such a manner as to motivate them to work together productively and co-operatively and with a sense of economic, social and psychological satisfaction. 101
  102. 102. 102
  103. 103. 103
  104. 104. 9 Military Lessons For Business Managers The Art of War by Sun Tzu is the oldest military classic known in Chinese literature, Sun Tzu’s Art of War is in fact a very short book. It contains less than 6200 characters of classical Chinese literary writing. The book has only 13 chapters with each chapter barely a page long. The fact that the original work of Sun Tzu was in literary writing has created many problems for scholars in capturing the full meanings and implications of his thoughts. This is largely attributed to the complexity of the Chinese Language. Prof. Wee of the National University of Singapore in his book, has provided the closest meanings in English for the terms used in Sun Tzu’s original writings. The idea of an analogy between the 104
  105. 105. world of business and that of the battlefield is not a novel one. One would hear of car wars, cola wars and such economic wars almost daily. Various studies relating to the application of military strategies to business practices have been published. For example Marketing Warfare by Rie’s and Trout (1986) has been based on the works of the German General Karl Von Clausewitz, which were written in 1832. The word strategy comes from the Greek word strategos. Originally referring to a general, the word came to refer to “The art of the general” or “What the general does”. Today, strategy refers to the art and science of directing resources to optimise the chances of victory and reduce the effects of tactical defects. The business world is like the battlefield. In fact businesses have collapsed through poor planning, resulting in the loss of capital and employment. This is no different from war, where poor 105
  106. 106. planning can lead to the loss of men, equipment and the battle itself; in the case of Companies in the business world, the impact of losses can at times be felt throughout many other sectors of the economy, just as losses in war can literally tear a nation apart. Thus the challenges facing a Military Head of State and the CEO of a Company is comparable. Please refer Table 1. Table 1: Comparison between a Military Head of State and a CEO of a Company Military Business 1. To consolidate 1. Protect the his present Market Share of government business. within a defined territory and 2. Finding new to protect it markets whose from external needs might be aggression met by the current 2. To expand his products. 106
  107. 107. present territory either by 3. Exploring and conquering developing new neighbour products for states existing markets. Or 3. By embarking 4. Developing new on more businesses with ambitious new products in expeditions to new markets. far away lands and territories. Influence of the Rulers in the Government In war, people should be in perfect accord with their Ruler and be willing to accompany him in life and in death without any fear of danger. If the leader is wise and capable he will be able to gain the moral support of his subjects so much so that they will be willing to 107
  108. 108. accompany him through the thick and thin of a battle and the ups and downs of the state. While this may seem unthinkable, in reality there are examples such as suicide bombers who are willing to lay down their lives for their leader (although this may evoke some uncomfortable feelings among us). This kind of influence can be observed outside the battlefield when one examines the role governments have played in the success of industries in countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea. For example, the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI) is known for charting the overall industrial policy for the country. The Japanese government will also not hesitate to support their industries in various ways such as through government guarantees and financing similarly in NICs, the governments have greatly encouraged their companies to have an outward orientation and have packaged various incentives to help them achieve such objectives. The result is that these countries are export 108
  109. 109. driven. On the other hand one witnesses corrupt and weak governments that are responsible for the decay in their national economies. It is well known that many African, Asian and Latin American countries suffer economically because of incapable governments that are unable to exercise leadership. In today’s business world, many countries including Sri Lanka rely on foreign investment to stimulate economic growth. One key determinant of the inflow of foreign investment is the level of political stability, which in turn depends heavily on political leadership. An enlightened ruler will create the climate for the rise of the nation. For business a capable government will provide political stability and hence attract foreign investments and stimulate economic growth, while a corrupt government will only sow the seeds of economic decay. The first step in the strategic decision making process whether in military or business is Situation Appraisal. This involves assessing the 109
  110. 110. desirability of engaging in combat. Having thoroughly appraised the situation, one would next proceed to formulation of goals and strategies. The choice of strategies has to be compatible with the goals selected and has to be appropriate to a given situation. Next would be the Evaluation of Strategies at which the strategist has to assess the effectiveness of the proposed strategies. Once they are evaluated as feasible and effective, the next stage would be Implementation. During this stage the tactical & operational aspects of effective implementation is considered. Finally to ensure success, there must be Controls with Feedback Mechanisms. The Principle of Detailed Planning Strategic Management must begin with detailed planning. Focus is not whether a Company or an army plan or does not plan, rather it is how detailed the planning is. This would encompass consideration of 110
  111. 111. facts, which are micro as well as macro, controllable as well as uncontrollable, internal as well as external, static as well as dynamic, human as well as non-human, tangible as well as intangible. In short, detailed planning has to be exhaustive in coverage and consideration. Detailed planning cannot be carried out on the basis of intuition, gut feeling, calculated guesses or other subjective means. It must be based on intelligence, which can be obtained by men who have knowledge of the enemy or the competitive situation. Thus there is a need to actively collect, store, analyse and utilise information for the development of more effective strategies. The successful acquisition and utilisation of information for strategic purposes is an important factor, which determines the competitiveness of a country or a business. Mission 111
  112. 112. In the days before radio and other forms of modern communication, ancient armies solved the problem of keeping the combat unit together and moving forward with a ‘standard’ or ‘ensign’. This device was simply a tall pole with a flag or other symbol representing the combat unit that could be seen above the dust and confusion of the battle. Soldiers used this standard as a rallying point, giving them a focus and helping to ensure unified efforts in combat. The mission and mission statement, we believe, serve the same function for the modern enterprise – to provide a sense of guidance, orientation, and direction in the complexity and occasional flurry of the enterprises day-to-day existence. In an era of discontinuous change, the Mission Statement takes on even more importance as the single statement that provides long-term focus for the efforts of the enterprise. Thus it should have a vision component, describing what the enterprise needs to accomplish, what business it is in (or intends to be in) and what 112
  113. 113. significant contribution it expects to make. Then the mission statement should have a ‘theme’ component describing how the enterprise intends to achieve its objectives. This theme component helps to distinguish the enterprise from others by defining its unique characteristics. Values Like in the battlefield, in business too people have to operate under tremendous strains. It may be the ‘religious faith’ or ‘faith in their ruler’ which provides the support and guidance for the military general in the battlefront. Similarly, in business management, we need to believe in something. It has to be a belief in something more important and immortal than ourselves that will give us a will to succeed and a kind of serenity in stress. What we mean here is a set 113
  114. 114. of values which communicates itself to those are who are being lead, and helps sustain their determination to be successful. This is extremely important in difficult situations, because people who are so inspired and motivated really can do the apparently impossible. Choice of Battle Ground In military combat as well as in business one of the important factors to ensure success is to choose battlegrounds carefully. Choosing the right battleground enables the army and the Company to exhibit its strengths better and camouflage its weaknesses. In addition it will also enable the firm to exploit opportunities in the market – for example through niching strategies one could cushion the effects of threats in the environment. In choosing a 114
  115. 115. battleground to compete, a Company should opt for one in which it has distinct advantages over its competitors. It can also look for areas ignored by the competitors. An understanding and appreciation of the characteristics of different battlegrounds will help decide the appropriateness of a given strategy. Let us examine the different types of battlegrounds. Dispersive Ground This is a battle situation in which the army is fighting in its own territory. For example, one of Israels’ military strategies has always been to avoid fighting a war within her own territory. Its occupation of the Westbank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip typify her resolve not to fight in her own territory. In the business world one observes that the United States is facing a problem of exports from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hongkong and Singapore. The US has chosen passive and defensive strategies by 115
  116. 116. trying to fight on its own soil, rather than concentrate on a more aggressive and offensive export drive (which would be analogus to fighting beyond one’s territory). On the other hand a Firm competing with two many brands in the same market could be in a dispersive battleground. In such cases, Company has to ensure the unit of purpose among all personnel involved. Accessible Ground This is a ground that is open and equally accessible to the enemy and yourself. In such grounds ancient war strategy was to prevent the enemy from entering your territory. In the business world one finds businesses where the market entry and exit are very easy. There is then the need to protect market share by building up strong defenses through improvement of the total system that include production, marketing, advertising and promotion, inventory control, 116
  117. 117. planning and distribution outlets – so much so that the walls become thick and impenetrable. Frontier Ground When the army has made only a shallow penetration into the enemy’s territory the ground is considered frontier in nature. Military strategy would be not to stop in frontier ground and to keep the forces closely linked. In the area of foreign market entry, the Japanese can be hailed as gurus of this strategy of never stopping at frontier ground. With the coordinated efforts needed in a frontier ground situation, without rushing into foreign markets simultaneously, Toyota entered the US market followed by other Japanese Automobile Companies. Entrapping Ground One in which it is easy to get in but difficult to get out. It is a type of ground that is filled with boobytraps. Businesses with low 117
  118. 118. capital but high operating costs can be entrapping too. This is especially so where there are strong labour unions or labour laws that prevent management from retrenching workers. At times the unions may even obstruct any modernization or mechanization efforts. Constricted Ground In essence, a constricted ground is one in which the access route is narrow and retreat route is tortuous. It is the type of ground that is difficult to get into and at the same time difficult to get out. To survive in a constricted environment, resourcefulness is required in the design of strategies. This is because the competitive advantage enjoyed is often very narrow and at the same time this advantage is vulnerable to attacks. If technology is the competitive advantage it becomes very important to build on this strength and defend it as much as 118
  119. 119. possible through continuous upgrading. Key Ground Is one which is equally advantageous to the enemy and yourself. Owing to its importance, it is highly contentious and the forces of both sides are likely to contest bitterly for it. For example, with the opening of China many multinational Companies view the Chinese market as a key market owing to the vast business potential. It is therefore, not surprising to witness many Companies rushing into Chinese markets. If one were to apply military strategies one should avoid attacking the enemy on key ground. Rather, it is important to improve your supporting skills – rush up all your rear forces and elements. The way the Japanese have handled the Americans and Europeans in the world markets is a good example. Focal Ground 119
  120. 120. When a state is surrounded by three other states, its ground is considered focal. In such a ground the enclosed state forms the key to the other three states in that the one who captures it can have a commanding situation over other states. Thus it can be expected that the focal ground be always under threat of siege. The strategy here is to be-friend neighbouring states and to strengthen ties with the allies. The small producers in an oligopolistic market structure are in focal grounds. If you are the small producer, it is very important not to agitate the larger competitors. It is better to follow the leader than to lead them. To survive in such a business situation, there is a need to also strengthen ties with allies. These allies would include the suppliers, customers, bankers, labour unions and government bodies. One remembers how the strong support received by Chryslers allies prevented it from going bankrupt or being squeezed out by much larger 120
  121. 121. Companies like General Motors and Ford. Indifferent Ground Indifferent or indecisive ground is a situation that is dis-advantageous to both the enemy and yourself. In such situations, there is absolutely no advantage in making the first move. When China first opened up, many Companies were hesitant to go in as they were uncertain about the Chinese Policy. Many Companies sidelined themselves and preferred to gain from the experiences of the early entrants. In the same way Japanese concentrated on applied R & D and Production Technology of American and European Firms. Treacherous Ground When the Army is travelling in mountain forests, dangerous passes, marshy swamps or other difficult 121
  122. 122. terrain it is in treacherous ground. In such a situation the Army does not encamp but should move swiftly. In the mature state of the product life cycle, the market is saturated with all kinds of competitive products. It is therefore, important not to stay too long in matured markets. Desolate Ground In war, as the battle progresses, grounds that were originally captured and deemed valuable might lose their appeal as they become less crucial to the subsequent conduct of war. One should not linger on that ground. Much the same way Companies should not stay in declining markets. Japanese Companies abandoned labour intensive industries such as textiles, once they realised that the other developing Countries are able to operate more cheaply than them. 122
  123. 123. Distant Ground In distant ground both sides are away from home base and are equally matched in forces. It is to the best interest of both sides to avoid direct battles which would confer little advantage to either side. The Japanese penetration of foreign markets again provides a very good example of this avoidance of direct battle in distant ground. Serious Ground It is one on which the army has penetrated deep into the enemy territory and has left behind many of the enemies fortified cities and towns. In this case the army normally plunders the resources of the enemy but protect its supply routes to ensure a continuous flow of provisions. In the same way, a Company operating in a foreign market should seriously consider relying as much as possible on local resources, which include all factors of production like labour, capital, 123
  124. 124. technology, management, raw materials and other supplies. Death Ground This is a situation in which the army can only survive if it fights with the courage of desperation, where the only way to survive is fight. Chrysler Corporation of United States was on the verge of bankruptcy between 1978 and 1982. Lee Iaococca made it abundantly clear to his employees that the only way to survive was to fight. His efforts resulted in a drastic change in the behaviour and loyalty of the workers towards management. The Principle of Concentration of Forces & the Need to Attack This means economising of forces; In other words application of minimum of strength to a point other than the decisive one in order to pave the way for the application of mass force at the point of decision. The 124
  125. 125. idea is to use one’s limited available force to strike at the enemy’s weakest point where victory can be better assured. What is important is relative strength and not absolute strength at the point of contact. Relative superiority can be achieved by clever choice of battleground, maintaining strict secrecy of one’s battle plan and using deception. In war, the invincibility in defence depends on one’s own efforts, while the opportunity for victory depends on the enemy. It follows that those skilled in warfare can make them invincible but cannot cause the enemy to be vulnerable. In ancient times, those skilful in warfare first made themselves invulnerable before waiting for opportunities to defeat the enemy. Even when one is playing a competitive game like football, the only way to win is to kick the ball into the opponent’s goal, as one cannot win by only defending one’s goal. Similarly in competitive business, one has to compete openly for market share, rather than defending one’s own 125
  126. 126. market share. This may be specially done when the market is not growing and in times of recession. Over the last two decades, countries like Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong had been pursuing attacking strategies in international trade. However as in war, in any corporate planning decision too, it is essential to have a contingency plan. Swiftness in Execution of Plans Once a detailed plan is developed based on information gathered through intelligence and the battleground chosen, it is important that the plan be executed swiftly. Swiftness includes perfect timing (as it catches others off guard, and hence minimizes opposition), the maintenance of momentum and the avoidance of protracted campaigns. It also demands that the co- ordination be perfect. All these are equally valid in business 126
  127. 127. situations. Like in war, throughout the business one should maintain adaptability in manoeuvres. Adaptability in manoeuvres entails, provision for creativity, innovation and the exercise of initiatives. To move ahead of competitors, a Company must encourage the flow of innovative ideas on all fronts – products, service, marketing strategies etc. The company must be capable of capitalizing the opportunities as and when they arise. When large-scale integrated circuits (LSI) first appeared, western countries quickly explored them for usage for missile and space development. Whereas the Japanese saw the opportunity for the use of same in pocket calculators and watches. Price of the LSI circuit dropped, due to large-scale use in the Japanese industries, and the product quality was also stabilised. 127
  128. 128. Deceptiveness in Actions & Strategies All warfare is based on deception. The enemy should not know where you intend to attack; If he does not know where you intend to attack he must defend in many places. The more places he defends the more scattered are his forces and the weaker his force at any one point. In order to achieve distinct advantage in combat, one must choose the battleground that is more advantageous to oneself than to the enemy; and bring the enemy to where you want to fight through the use of baits and deception. At the same time one should not succumb to enemy’s baits. While the term deceptive tactics seems very unethical the truth is that baits are used in the business world too. One of the commonly used methods for less developing countries to attract foreign investments is the offer of incentives such as exemption from taxes through pioneer status, unlimited repatriation of earnings 128
  129. 129. etc. Even among developed countries, baits have been used for economic and political reasons. Anticipation of the Enemy’s Reaction and Changes in Environment It will be naive to assume that when one embarks on an offensive, the enemy will not react. In other words, it is dangerous to assume that the enemy is not capable of strategising nor is developing effective responses. In essence, there is a need to modify a strategy that may be carefully evaluated and implemented because of the reactions of the enemy and the changes in the environment. Planning for Victory & Combat Readiness One over-riding principle for victory in war is that of unity. To win there must be unity of minds and hearts from the ruler to the subjects of the state. To make the war a successful one the appointment of the generals must be based on the 129
  130. 130. ability of the skills of the candidates. Just like in the army, the way a business is structured and organised will have a serious effect on the success. This aspect includes effective policies, programmes, operating procedures, channels of communication, lines of authority and responsibility. The organisation and structure of a company is one area that must be considered in strategic Planning. What would be the best way to organise the Company to face the future. Very often the strategy is decided based on the structure. The structure should follow the strategy and not the other way. If a company wants to encourage creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, what is the best way to structure the company? The strength of an army does not depend on large forces. Army should not advance relying on sheer numbers. What is more important is the training of men and officers in the army as well as in the business. The quality of the people is definitely competitive and it is very interesting to note 130

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