High Performing Organizations

Much has been dealt on these subject by subject matter experts but today I will try to capture my thoughts and observations on this topic. As this is a treatise from someone with firsthand experience in many types of organizations in social and corporate fabric, please expect this to be bereft of the theoretical jargons and research based theories.

Establishing myself a people oriented person -believing in ultimate team work and mutual collaboration, on one hand, I have seen from very close quarters that a set of people performing out of their skin  and on the other side, smart players taking the cake away. Not going to the details  related to tradeoff between hard work and smart play and associated charismatic positioning of one’ self, I will allow myself to put my thoughts around three very significant aspects of a higher performing organization in my view. It is the manager’s fine capabilities to extract the very best out of his team members and below points play a much bigger role in that aspect. They push one to overcome his/her shortcomings to take that extra stride for his manager to perform. As a manager or captain in as good as his team, careful look at nurturing the individuals is very vital for a team to outperform itself.

Reduction of blame game: Accountability and responsibility are two key elements of any decision making process and the results they produce in the context of time, resources and environment vary immensely. Sometimes the decision taken after much careful jurisprudence of facts in a certain context do not yield the required result and vicious cycle of finger pointing starts towards the decision maker or taker. This results into a situation of defensive argumentation in short terms and she/he stops short of any such actions in future. In the long run, when decision making is lingered, organization suffers. The way to come out of the situation is taking a stock of the situation at hand, minimization of further loss if any and chalking out the turnaround story as a team. This kind of environment allow people to think, take calculated risks for success and back up the failures as a team as and when needed for the next hurdle to be overcome or milestone to be achieved.  The organization moves forward with sharing success and failures, win and loss in the almost in similar if not same stride.

Positive reinforcement   is another very important factor that helps many a time individuals and team to outperform one’s capabilities. A pat in the back or appropriate recognitions often creates wonders beyond expectations. This is something to be done whenever possible and very often rather waiting for a special moment.  Crediting someone only on special and exceptions occasions are all fine and good but they being few and far between do not act as a tonic to motivate a sagging mind. Dwelling more on the positives and as less as possible on negatives improve the overall work environment for high performance. Don’t get me wrong that I am ruling out factors like “root cause analysis” as they are very much important for best practices implementation and elimination of path of error but the spirit that they should be looked at makes all the difference. The art of sharing success in public and divulging failures in private during a day to day work process have a quite significant impact on performance.

Fostering Innovation is the third point I would like to discuss and very much related to above two aspects. For a company to stay relevant and bring more and better value to its consumers, continuously innovating itself and innovating the offerings are a must and a company has to be wild into that philosophy.  There is no scope of conservatism or skepticism in the path of innovation as it often deals with unknown and hence uncertainties. One needs to allow and create a culture of thinking out of the box helped with lateral thinking and thinking in every direction completely out of the systemic thoughts and out of this world forgetting the boundaries of practicability and if they are fit to be implemented.

Effective Resource utilization and making sense of profit and loss are the thoughts exactly opposite the culture of innovation and do not go hand in hand. From that aspect, the innovating companies need to have a big heart and courage to take risks allowing employees to take decisions- some of them might turn into big duds and should not blame them for that. Pushing the bar and continuously fostering that culture not taking a step back or blinking an eye in the journey of innovation create great products completely out of the blue.

To my views, these three aspects, if cultured with belief and conviction in an organization, will certainly propel the same to the next orbit of performance pushing everyone a notch high. Ultimately the organization would benefit.

–Jayanta Tewari


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