Sunday, September 28, 2014

Responsibility! Karunakaran Strikes Again!!

My God! There is one more topic matching! Responsibility!!  I sure want to meet this person! I was reading 11 Sep issue of Puthiya thalamurai today.  Karunakaran speaks about very same things I wanted to cover! The only differences is, I would have given examples from IT industry or coaching / teaching while he is giving examples from journalism. Given that we are working in two different industries, it is quite natural I suppose!

I have seen a few individuals who will just deliver what is written in their job description. They would even stay late to deliver what is required as per their JD. But, if it is not defined, even if it is the right thing to do for the welfare of the organization, department (sometimes themselves too), they will not do and they will simply reject saying, it is not for them to do. It need not even a complicated, high effort or high risk task; just not being in their JD is sufficient for them to refuse doing the task!!!

This has been a disturbing point for me! How do we make people add value and not just go by JD! Of course all the JDs / RACIs are quite useful in large organizations to avoid conflicts and ensure smooth functioning; but if the employees depend only on these tools, we would end up in "Operation success, patient died" situations. How do we make people respect the boundaries but still go the extra mile to deliver? Can this be taught how we teach programming? Is this teachable at all? Shouldn’t the organizations focus on recruiting individuals who would own the outcome instead of a piece of work? How do you assess this quality of interviewee? Not sure if psychologists have an answer for it!

In the 2008 Taj attack, all & each one of the Taj employees placed safety of the guests over their own. How could Taj do it while other organizations are struggling to make employees support customers - with something as simple as providing a user id to a legitimate user? Is it their century old conventions and wisdom? Not all century old organizations exhibit this behavior… Another organization with such heritage  I know, struggles to make their employees fix the production failure instead of fighting whether it is due to their applications or due to their hardware or due to the way someone launched the code!! Isn't it not bigger than the job descriptions and which department was at fault!!! How can we make people understand that their power lies in providing the service and NOT in denying the service!!! I am searching for my answers!!

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