It is time to rethink business

Environment affects our culture. We observe and duplicate what the elders, the society does. We feel that it is the only way to live and behave. The others’ behaviors and actions seem a bit abnormal to us, if not downright ridiculous. Culture, simply put, is what we see since childhood and duplicate. It is not taught. At times, we may be reminded, though.

Similar is the case with the two most important aspects of our life – Thinking and Talking. It is my personal feeling that nothing in the world can beat these two, when it comes to success in life, whether it is material or spiritual.

Taking all the three in our perception, we may realize that in the organizations, we continue to act in ways contrary to profit maximization. Organizations are intended for profit maximization, whether to the individual or society. Leaving aside a small percentage of managers, very scant regard is given by managers to the environment, thinking, and talking. These three things have the capacity to change the fortunes of the company in ways that are even difficult to dream of. Yes, I am talking of growth in a positive fashion.

Let me ask you a question. If the management of any enterprise has an environment of trust, talks nicely to the employees, and thinks positively about the running of the company with suitable technical tools, what are the chances that the enterprises will not be profitable? Almost Nil. Let me remind the readers about the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, where the author affirms that if we focus on the right people in the right place, rest everything automatically falls in place.

I feel a similarity in thinking with Edward De Bono, the great thinker, as to why thinking is not taught as a subject in the curriculum all over the world. Thinking is supposed to come on its own, with the growth of the child. Of course, it does. But in a very haphazard way. Like in the case of speaking, we feel that if we can talk, the sensible and effective conversation automatically comes. We know this is not the case. Our conversations are so powerful that it has the power to change an individual and even, a society. But where have we landed? The world is full of chaos. Russia has invaded Ukraine, bringing the entire world into a very precarious state. We all do similar things in our own small circle.

But why do we do all these non-productive things? Because environment, thinking, and conversation is not a part of structured teaching. We are told about these things in a passing fashion, so we know, without internalizing the truth and importance about these.

I doubt that any manager in the world does not know that a good environment is more productive than a troubled one in any teamwork; that people want to be trusted as they mostly are; they want to be talked nicely, especially when they are afraid. The employees want to be encouraged, to be nurtured, to be trained so that they have the confidence to take the work they are supposed to do. The employees want to be trusted when they make a mistake that they were indeed trying to do something better for the organization, as per their current level of thinking. Treating them roughly in those times, literally stops innovation in the enterprise completely, not only in that specific individual.

Do our words encourage? Does our action seem encouraging? Does the environment feel safe for us to try to do our best or do we feel afraid and stick to a bare minimum, whatever is required of us? Do we ever go beyond our roles and responsibility? Are employees encouraged to try new things or stick to the process in force? Does a company grow doing the same thing again and again?

The answers to these are a direct indicator of the efficiency and profitability of the company. It is time for the management to understand the importance of environment, conversation, and thinking which are the framework of culture anywhere.

It’s time to rethink management in addition to the system approach so that employees feel like human beings and not like inanimate robots.

Thanks for reading till the end. Would be grateful for your comments on the above.

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