Corporate Treason

At the risk of uttering a generalisation, which has been said to be the true enemy of mankind, I daresay that if it were to be ever attempted to understand what prohibits intrinsic potential of human capital from converting to delivered reality, it’s the spirit of incompetence, FOMO and mediocrity mindset of the men/women set over them.

Incompetence begets Incompetence. Incompetence promotes Incompetence. Incompetence recognises Incompetence. Incompetence favours Incompetence. For its the most viciously lethal & a treacherously silent killer of excellence that organisations acquire in the form of extraordinary talent but nurture and acclimatising it towards averaged mediocrity. Incompetence is the harbinger of the corporate food chain which cannibalises competence in favour of its own ilk, albeit proportional to its owner’s absolute vested powers.

Incompetence in itself isn’t treacherous. It’s advocacy and subscription as well as its tacit promotion is treason. It’s the here and now crisis that comes forcefully between actualisation of an organisation’s intrinsic inherent potential and the actual abysmally accepted achievement of incompetent targets. No Organisation worth it’s salt ever hires an underperformer, knowingly. Only the good and the excellent make the cut in lateral hirings. What then goes wrong when over time these resources who were hired for their ability to deliver and perhaps a proven track record of achievements, go on to become average and underperforming castoffs. Who went wrong. What went wrong. Who is to be held accountable. Why does the perpetrator go scot free and the unassuming victim penalised in various forms.

In 1999 two Cornell psychologists – David Dunning and Justin Kruger, in their eponymous Dunning-Kruger Effect propagated a cognitive bias whereby people who are incompetent at something are unable to recognize their own incompetence. And not only do they fail to recognize their incompetence, they’re also likely to feel confident that they actually are competent. Mark Murphy speaks about this in a Forbes article where he analysed that it’s this very cognitive bias why some people think they’re great… even when their performance is terrible to say the least …

Once I stumbled upon this theory, a lot became crystal clear to me and many a vainglorious cavalier behavioural pattern of some people in positions of influence crystallised into a symptomatic trend of what is eating away the very pillars of values that any organisational entity propagates to stand on. However, We in the fraternity are yet to find a L,T & D or OD cure or worse .. even a behavioural vaccination that can insulate organisations from this treacherous epidemic. This… due to continual lethargy and inability and lack of intentions.. so to say.. of the decision empowered honchos over the decades… which has now acquired terminal stage of ailment in the corridors of corporate leadership…

Over a period of time… number crunchers with scant regard to ethics or processes or abilities, sycophants who crooned hosannas in glory of their masters, epitomes of mediocrity who with unenviable ‘abilities’ to please their masters, masters who themselves climbed the ladder on similar exalted grounds of incompetence and saw mirror images of their “competence” in these puppy eyed glorified fawners, have given rise to a decadent breed of swathes of averagers. In the swamp of this rot.. the superlative sparks of excellence have been savagely extinguished … sacrificed on the altars of mutual respect/empathetic comatose conscience of the leadership of the averagers ilk.

How long will the Ekalavyas have to chop off their thumbs to favour the rise of the Master’s Favourites. How long will the Karnas continue to be beheaded deceitfully in the garb of righteousness that is decided by the few. How long will the Ashok Khemkas of life keep getting booted out every six months to a new city to accommodate the vile… How long will the meritorious sacrifice his/her rightful due since he/she did not lower his/her standards of competence to kowtow with the incompetence of the majority… How long will the average merit the exceeded personal expectations ranking of the mighty against those who actually exceeded the expectations which were not aligned to the actual considered factors of the masters mediocre expectations.

Leadership which keeps consistently turning a blind eye is equally complicit in the crime. This is organisational treason. This is corporate treason. Any wilful covert acts of treachery … which can be detrimental and devastating to the state.. country or an organisation is treason. Retribution for treason across ages and across geographies have been uniform, owing to the heinous and loathsome nature of the crime. History also has been testimony that those who turned a blind eye to injustice weren’t really spared the larger net of harm over time. Across the ruthlessness of timelines, infallible giants like PanAm, Kodak, Nokia, HMT, Enron, Kingfisher, Yes Bank, Polaroid, Yahoo, Motorola… and so many of them bit the dust as they were victims of consistent incompetence of some leader or the other there.. somebody who tolerated mediocrity of intellect… someone up in the hierarchy who was willing to accept low standards of delivery … and who slowly, gradually and consistently compromised on performance, excellence and foresight…. these are treasonous actions that merit the highest form of punitive accountability … for with their action millions of shareholders, employees and gigantic valuations had to succumb to obscurity and bear the savage barbarous brunt as a resultant of the actions of few incompetents.

However no amount of punitive action can ever suitably account for the murder of competent dreams, strangling of well deserved aspirations, culling away of slabs of time spent in the hope of justice someday… worse … the bestial destruction of innocence that all management theories or education ever propagated… that excellence is rewarded and competence will empower you to succeed in your chosen career…

Who will be held accountable for the defiling of the aspirations built on the foundations of delivered excellence or the promise of extraordinary latent talent waiting to be guided to deliver by the incompetent mentors who are entrusted with such competent team members. Surely not the conspirators who across ranks are in cahoots to acclimatise the eager ones who want to challenge the status quo.. live the organisational values and pursue the vision and mission with religious fervour…. for these innocent imbeciles are yet to learn to read between the incoherent lines of mediocrity that are chanted and disseminated by the entire heinous hierarchy.

As long as incompetence will continue to be deceptively rewarded in the cloaks of transparency that doesn’t exist except for in the devious opaqueness of the perpetrator’s minds… this treason against the organisation will continue to haunt the potential of the organisation… and the threat of gradual obliteration will continue to hang. Values of any organisation are to be treated as verbs by the top nouns of the management. Else … all indications in any case are predicting doomsday…

The only leverage that any brand has its ability to visibly translate its claims of integrity into action. And it’s the only legacy that any leader worth his salt can ever leave for posterity. And an organisation that doesn’t endeavour to keep its handful of employees happy in lines with its visibly practiced values … can never expect to gain the trust and respect of the proportional numbers of customers and stakeholders it wishes these employees to delight ..


Managing Toxic People

I was having a chat with a very dear friend who was narrating an incident where a toxic senior at workplace was becoming overwhelmingly unbearable. In line with the conversation, I tried explaining the management of both toxic as well as adorable people that we meet in the journey of our lives referring to a train journey in India. 

If you have traveled on a long distance train journey here, you will know what I am about to tell. Seated at a window berth ensconced in a small cubicle you are exposed to the vastness of this piece of continent of this planet. Large swathes of land pass by for hours at a stretch while you recollect how people quarrel back home for inches of land. In such interesting journeys, I have had the endearing opportunity of meeting some very interesting people. Be it the First class where I have met retired commanders of the navy now brokering arms deals, giving me invaluable insights on myriad topics ranging from the mindsets of the MOD babus at south block to how Kurian the father of milk revolution was eventually shortchanged at his own territories. In the second AC I have met plant heads talking about the intricacies of managing plants along with a ringside view of their insecurities which don’t differ much from the air conditioned corridors of multinationals or service industries, Pensioners with their woes of age and offspring management, astrologers who have raked it big cashing in on the human psyche, govt servants with diverse opinions on varied governments they served etc etc.. 

I have also sometimes had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with rude co passengers fighting ferociously over luggage space beneath the berth or switching the fan on or off as the case may be and ensuring that the remaining journey passes by enduring the emitted bone-chilling coldness of Siberian deserts. 

But why am I narrating all about a train journey in such detail. 

Well, Life is almost like a train journey, is what I told my dear friend. The journey is not the destination. Neither is the destination the only purpose of our lives. In varied circumstances and needs we undertake various journeys and reach various destinations for various purposes. We get to meet adorably wonderful people and abhorrently toxic people. When we meet the wonderful ones, you get a feeling that you have forged lifetime relationships and that may be true too. But that doesn’t mean you let go of the journey or your destination and become their guests for lifetime since you liked them a lot. And when you get to meet the toxic people, you eventually learn to ignore them almost like how your nose is not obstructing your eye from reading this article. It has learnt to ignore any impediment to its vision at a young age itself. The co-passengers of your journey do not define your journey or its destination or its purpose… they may add value or be an irritant as the case may be, yet they are nothing to your plan of things. 

One needs to learn to learn from the experiences and keep moving. The toxicity of any individual can only impact you if it is allowed an entry into your scheme of things. And this decision is yours to make. People will come and go in your life. What you choose to do with them, the learnings they give, the experiences that they impart is absolutely your decision. How much importance you may want to accord to their endearabilty or despicability is totally your choice. And your choice will have its bearing on the quality of the journeys you have to make. At the end of the day, we cannot ignore the fact that the destination will come and you have to alight from the train and carry on chasing the purpose of your journey. Nothing is really more important than you, your journey or your purpose. 

Enjoy your journeys, chase your purposes with passion and learn to exhilarate while having great experiences and ignore any meaningless temporary toxicity of any other passenger. You are the owner of your feelings. You are the owner of your mind. Let the mind not dictate to you what you ought to feel or not… As you saw through the window, it’s a very large expanse of universe that we are living in and there are so many places we do not know of or so many people and dialects and nature that we aren’t yet exposed to. What is for sure is that if this journey wasn’t up to the mark, the next one will be. Hope and opportunity are actually infinitely provided by the infinite source. Choose to own your experiences, journeys and destinations. 

Bon Voyage!!!

Most of the things YOU desire ARE actually Possible

I was contemplating about the line “Nothing is Impossible”

Now every time I think of that line I invariably remember the scene in 3 Idiots where I inadvertently remember Aamir’s friend squeezing out the toothpaste from the tube and asking him to put it back… just to prove the impossible nature of certain endeavors. Then my belief on the line starts diminishing.
This morning a nice thought struck me as I was caught up in the legendary traffic of Mumbai enroute to office. Actually, even putting the paste back into the tube is possible. .. Eureka! !
You just need the right tools and the right skillset. And I take pride in belonging to a profession that precisely does that. Training people on the right skillsets and exposing them to the right tools to fulfil their ambitions. Reaffirming their beliefs that if you put in your best and are willing to try… then. . Hey Nothing is Impossible.
The limitations of possibilities are just the limitations of your own belief in your capabilities and the power of universe in assisting you to achieve whatever you set out to achieve. .. Just begin by believing YOU CAN and set out to find ways and you will experience that Most of the things that YOU desire is actually POSSIBLE.

Is Happiness a Destination

Taking Suo Moto Cognizance of Life

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon

Now that I have set a context of what I am introspecting on, I feel nice. I sat for about an hour thinking what do I share with the anonymity of this universe where I might have been assigned a guardian angel and who must perhaps be the only one reading it. Come to think of it, wouldn’t he be already knowing it given that he resides in my intellect 🙂

That’s when the introspection threw a thought; Life. Isn’t this consciously or subconsciously always there in our mind.

“Suo Moto” seems to be the buzzword these days. Every authority worth its salt is hell bent on taking suomoto cognizance of something or the other these days and the act seems to be in vogue. Even the otherwise slumber inflicted cops also now have awoken to this word, mercifully. Now with with such brouhaha over this phrase inflicting the intellectual beings in epidemic proportions, I have started thinking that its time that I take suomoto cognizance of the existence..of life. For in the struggle to survive we overlook the living part of it. In a drunken stupor, a sophomore friend of mine had once uttered “We are all Human, We are not Beings” I bet he wouldn’t have ever fathomed the profound intellect behind this seemingly innocuous statement, But then the truth remains… We are not beings… 🙂

What am I talking? Well I am just trying to sculpt my thoughts into a meaningful work of collective introspection. Attempting to give a concrete shape to otherwise wandering purposes of living.

I came across this beautiful quote of Lennon as I have begun this discourse with, in which I too have found a destination. Don’t we all want the same thing outta the journey that we have embarked upon this birth; Happiness.

I definitely do. Do You???