When we talk about changes in management, we normally talk in context of business! But the point is that eventually business is a social entity, a subpart of a bigger canvass called society. If we look around, we will find that suddenly society seems to have got transformed. Gone are the days when it was all about suppressing your wants through a framework of judgmental righteousness! It is the era of desires getting unleashed, the dreams getting bigger and more hands chasing the same resources. It is about pace, crispiness and leanness. And it is this change that is getting evident in the business and as a result in the practices of management. Yes! Management has got transformed but when you look at the BIG picture you will find that it is more of a reflection of what is going on around us in general.
When we talk about management, the word itself has two important words contained in it: ‘Man’ & ‘Men’. Quite aptly, if we talk about the contemporary and future scenario, a great challenge for the organizations would be to manage the ever-changing work-atmosphere and work ethic. The era of palmtops and e-CRM is very aptly playing a precursor to a world where organizations would be amorphous. There would be concepts like ‘work-from-home’ or ‘on nodes’ (we in India have already started doing business with people who we barely know or have hardly ever seen). In such an environment, the whole concept of HR will get metamorphosed. It is possible to manage organizations of a few thousand people by human touch but to manage organizations of Lakhs of people working at multiple locations, belonging to different nationalities, following different cultures and transiting at the speed of thought; the only way is to create infallible “Systems & Processes”.
It is not possible to manage people through cult like cultures. They are to be connected by virtue of top-lines, bottom-lines, KRAs and deliverables. Over here, there is another very important point, the new culture in the society is staring us in our face and telling us that now the individuality is taking a lead over collectiveness. Be it the rebel inside the kids or the instinct inside adults, the disillusionment with the identifying is giving way to resurrection of identity. In such a social setup, it is very difficult to ask 30 year and 40 year olds to blindly follow a set of unexplainable regulations created by management in ivory towers, or to feel a moral obligation to live up to the expectation of an inspired individual or entrepreneur. It becomes even more difficult when we talk about the knowledge-workers. They are the Homo sapiens in the literal sense and thus their individuality is very strong; in fact that’s where their value lies. To manage their behaviours or to want them to have similar lifestyles, habits and cloned moves is a pretty utopian idea. Organizations have to understand that they are supposed to manage the people’s actions, not the people.This leads us to a pretty big question. What would then happen to those much sought-after values and ethics? Will they die their natural death? Or are we talking about their altogether removal from the scene?
Well! Not even in one’s wildest dreams should one think about absolute exclusion of values from business and management. It will be hara-kiri. But then what is the solution? First let’s understand the term ‘values’ well. Values are different from morals. Morals are more universal; they are more human, more generic and more existential; thus they address the basic virtues of being in a society. They cannot be changed by personal whims and fancies. After all, ‘to have respect for human life’ will have relatively more proximity to consensus than other factors.
On the other hand, values are more personal, more subject to differences and more governed by personal priorities, likes and dislikes. They are more of beliefs of founder members or top-people asked to be followed by the people who want to breathe under the same roof. Values try to form ‘cult like cultures’ with a lot of cultural Do’s while morals and ethics try to form a human environ with a set of cultural Don’ts. So the organizations are supposed to have their souls intact and their spine upright. In a way, it is more of MBO (Management By Objective) than MBWA (Management By Walking Around).
Doing this becomes even more important in context of the growing consolidation in the business milieu. When organizations merge or get acquired, then the cult-like-cultures make it very difficult for the two entities to work well in tandem. There is a fundamental incongruence caused due to the extremes traversed by the people whose elongated shadows the organizations are. This causes a great deal of resistance and the outcome is neither good for the organization nor for the customers who are the Raison d'être (reason for being) of the organizations. If in turn, the organizations were system-driven then it would have been easy to establish an apparent WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) rather than waiting for the ghosts to come out of closets at their own whims. Thus it is important for management to build a culture of fluidity as a body; with a brain of systems and a soul of morals.
Moreover, these morals and ethics are not supposed to be enforced by a series of speeches, photographs of founders on the walls or emotional appeals made by top-management. The systems should take care of this by laying down the processes based on factors of the likes of feedbacks, appraisals and procedures. But then another question arises, where will go the socializing, the warmth of togetherness? If everything would be done so objectively then it would be a challenge to bring people closer and thus the organizational-belongingness would be a concept difficult to bring in. For addressing this problem, system has to create occasions to kindle that togetherness. You might feel that all this is getting too manufactured and fabricated but before getting satirical about this, try to understand that why don’t we celebrate Diwali everyday? If you would observe then you will realize that religion (at least the ritual side of it) is the best working phenomenon and its management is superb because there is a system at work. Everything is almost religiously defined and there is pretty less one can change. The system has created occasions when the togetherness is solicited. In organizational terms, be it month-end parties or town-hall meetings, they will facilitate the camaraderie.
The system goes even further. It is not only about regulating or for that matter only connecting; system has to work beyond that. Let’s look at the contemporary business scenario again. What’s happening around? It is not the bigger that is beating the smaller; in fact it is the faster that is beating the slower! With liberalization and globalization, the fear of losing has increased because till now we were regulating the competition but now when we have thrown the fringes open, nobody knows who will enter tomorrow. As a result, the first-mover advantage has been replaced by the fast-mover advantage. Capital is not scarcer any more! If you have an idea, there are people waiting to get bought into it. With advent of technology and the open-source culture in the air, technique is no more a differentiator either. So then, what’s the differentiator?Well! We shall answer this questions in the next part of the article…stay connected!!!
Saina Nehwal (born March 17, 1990), is the new Indian name on the International platform who by clinching 3 consecutive Super Series Titles has given new heights to Indian Badminton. She is currently ranked number 2 in the world by Badminton World Federation. Saina is the first Indian woman to reach the singles quarterfinals at the Olympics and the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships.
Saina Nehwal made history on June 21, 2009, becoming the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by clinching the Indonesia Open with a stunning victory over higher-ranked Chinese Wang Lin in Jakarta. (The Super Series tournament is roughly equivalent to a Grand Slam in tennis).
Saina won her second career Super Series title by winning the Singapore Open title on June 20, 2010. She completed a hat-trick in the same year by winning the Indonesian Open on June 27, 2010. This win resulted in her rise to 3rd ranking and subsequently to No. 2. This remains her highest career ranking.
When it comes to BWF Super Series ranking for the year 2010 (which only considers the performances of players in the elite world super series tournaments), as on 27 July 2010, Saina is ranked No. 1 with 29860 points leading her nearest competitor Bae Youn-joo of Korea by nearly 1200 pts.
Previously coached by S. M. Arif, a Dronacharya Award winner, Saina is currently coached by Indonesian badminton legend Atik Jauhari since August 2008, with the former All England champion and national coach Pullela Gopichand being her mentor.
Her foray into the world of badminton was influenced by her father Dr. Harvir Singh, a scientist at the Directorate of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad and her mother Usha Nehwal, both of whom were former badminton champions in Haryana.
Childhood and early training
Harvir Singh and Saina, who was 8 years old at the time, would wake at 4 AM every morning and head to the stadium which was 25 km away. After two hours of practice, Singh would drop Saina at school on his way to work. Saina would often fall asleep on these journeys which prompted her mother to accompany them for the next three months.
In order to keep up with the rising cost of her training, Saina’s father withdrew money from his savings and provident fund. The tight-rope walk continued until 2002, when sports brand Yonex offered to sponsor Saina’s kit. As her status and rankings improved, the sponsorships increased. In 2004, BPCL signed the rising star onto their payroll, and in 2005 she was spotted by the Mittal Champions Trust. She is also supported by Olympic Gold Quest.
In 2006, Saina appeared on the global scene when she became the first Indian woman to win a 4-star tournament, the Philippines Open. Entering the tournament as the 86th seed, Saina went on to stun several top seeded players including number 1 seed Huaiwen Xu before defeating Julia Xian Pei Wong of Malaysia for the title.
The same year also saw Saina as runner up at the 2006 BWF World Junior Championships, where she lost a hard fought match against top seed Chinese Wang Yihan. She did one better in the 2008 by becoming the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships by defeating ninth seeded Japanese Sayaka Sato 21-9, 21-18.Saina Nehwal was rewarded with Arjuna Award in August, 2009 and her coach Gopichand was also rewarded with Dronacharya Award at the same time. Saina had been awarded with Padma Shri Award in January 2010 & had also been awarded with the highest national sporting award given to players, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna to be awarded on 30th August 2010.
Current projection of present estimates indicate that the expenditure on the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010 would be around Rs. 7907 crore. This was stated by Dr. M.S. Gill, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, in a written reply to a question by Jai Parkash Aggarwal in the Rajya Sabha. The details in this regard are as under:
For enhancing the playing capabilities and medal prospects of Indian sportspersons in the context of the Commonwealth Games, 2010, an amount of Rs. 678 crore has been approved by the Government towards training; domestic/international competitions in India; foreign exposure; equipments and scientific back-up for the sportspersons. The target of providing state of the art training is to about 1280 players belonging to 18 sports, in which competition would take place during CWG 2010. Out of total of Rs.678 crore, the amount likely to be incurred under each of the three components is as indicated below:
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