Thursday, July 4, 2013

The power of dissent

The best service that a company (striving to become great – if it’s already good) can do to itself, is to allow dissent. More than often the culture ‘my way or highway’ stems from the top, driven by the success or falsely assumed success of entrepreneurs.

When God made man, it’s most unique and efficient creation, he whispered into the man’s ear “you are my best and most intelligent creation amongst all” and every human being lands on this planet with this whisper embedded deep in ones consciousness and really believes in God’s this statement.

And this belief forms the culture of most organisations.

Culture of unilateralism in styles of management, business decisions and decisions pertaining to asset management (read HRM) embeds so deeply amongst one and all that it not only stifles creativity but also embeds a deep sense of fear and everyone in the organisation merely operates at a LCM level of creativity and initiative.

This is the best way to sow the seeds of a below average organisation. Companies must work on its culture very early in their existence because while the alleged change managers might profess and sell their ability to make a difference, the difference is impossible to make-ever. Culture is the hardest thing to change.

Dissent is great tool to cultivate creativity. Allow the junior most guy to walk upto his senior and make the stupidest suggestion and to disagree with something. Develop a culture where everyone has a voice. Create platforms for people to ideate.

There are just 2 basic fundamentals for the success and sustenance of an organisation. The happiness of its associates and the satisfaction/delight of its customers. Everything else (topline, bottomline, cost control, product lifecycle) are subsets of these 2 variables.

Google wasn’t made in a day. But it was made in merely 10 odd years. That’s culture.

Success is a dangerous thing. It makes seemingly smart entrepreneurs to believe that they can’t go wrong. 

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