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Happy New Year!



new year,economic,downturn,downsizing,businesses
Friday, January 1, 2010

Rajit Nair

Another year unfolds amidst reports from businesses recovering from the aftermath of the economic downturn or economic slowdown or economic crisis or recession depending on the geographies or region or country. ‘Smarties’ endured the bad phase, and survived the US mortgage-initiated ‘calamity’ through converting the opportunities such a crisis would present. A few did whatever possible to cut costs, including downsizing and adopting extreme austerity measures and survived the current. Others simply gaped at the losses, whined about the crisis, blamed the policy makers, challenged the banks and ensured that the business shuttered in an unpleasant style.

This was true for employees’ (individuals) thinking or behavior during the crisis, as well. Due to irrational downsizing and layoffs, too much talent was available at lesser price tags than ever before. Forward thinking Business Owners took this opportunity and hired quality talent. Those employees who got hit by the crisis particularly in select industries (construction, real estate, automotive etc) was forced to take severe austerity measures as many of them lost their jobs or salaries slashed were forced to send their families home (mostly from the Gulf Countries) or send their children back to their home countries. Others who even though got hit, simply blamed the fate and wasted their time and effort waiting for those ‘dream projects’ in the ‘pipeline’ that was dried much before the crisis hit the bay.

Well! New Year is the best time to rethink, restructure and redefine the strategies, organization and objectives of businesses as well, as to set certain resolutions that may look impressive in the eyes of others (at least). Whether it’s a CEO determined to convince the board or employees trying to convince their supervisors, resolutions have only a short span of life because the resolution taker or the other party will fail to remember it’s existence either voluntarily or involuntarily. In case of emergence of adverse episodes, revisiting would occur.

The biggest dent the crisis made is in the minds of investors, stakeholders and every other corporate citizen is the doubt factor. Trust is now a very expensive commodity as investors don’t trust their boards, boards doesn’t trust their CEO/GMs, CEOs don’t trust his/her team and infiltrates all the way down to the tip of the funnel.

I thought of formulating two relevant Charters, one applicable for the ‘aristokratia’ group of CEO or Chief Executive or Board of Directors or Employers (as case be) and the other for the petit-bourgeois group comprising of employees. You can add/delete and frame the charter at a place of your convenience to make this a part of your daily life. Remember! Investors and employees prefer Organizations that are honest, ethical and transparent.

Charter for Corporate Behavior (CCB - 'aristokratia':

In this New Year, I/We will,

  • 1. strive to protect or safeguard shareholder or investors’ money;
  • 2. ensure integrity of data and never order my employees to manipulate data;
  • 3. not misuse the power entrusted in me;
  • 4. not use the power or company’s money for my personal gains or fame;
  • 5. strive to keep my promises to my clients, suppliers, service providers and employees;
  • 6. not lie or compromise on issues related to quality;
  • 7. treat employees as ‘military generals’ with delegated authorities rather than just hired soldiers;
  • 8. make my team appreciated and aligned with the organization;
  • 9. do my level best to retain my top talent at any cost;
  • 10. ensure that all employees are provided with adequate salaries, deserved benefits and once they leave, will ensure that they leave the company with a smile;
  • 11. not get carried away with past glory;
  • 12. enter new markets only after much research and groundwork;
  • 13. become more humble;
  • 14. be true to myself to the end;
  • 15. stand to my task without whining;
  • 16. be right as a man, as a friend and importantly as a human being.

Charter for Corporate Behavior (CCB – 'petit-bourgeois' for Employees:

In this New Year, I will,

  • 1. dedicate 100% of the working hours for work or for the benefit of the employer only;
  • 2. not access social networking websites or chat programs during my work hours;
  • 3. not waste time and money of the company by forwarding worthless emails, which has nothing, related to work;
  • 4. not take longer breaks or exceed legitimate break times or misuse leave entitlements;
  • 5. not infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights;
  • 6. not show any preferences like religion, nationality or caste or color while hiring and at all times strive to ensure opportunity was given for the suitably qualified and experienced candidate only.
  • 7. strive for knowledge acquisition and knowledge management.
  • 8. not conspire or backstab my colleagues or coworkers.
  • 9. say ‘No’ when employer or supervisor pushes to do unlawful practices or tasks that is against the company laws or ethics;
  • 10. be true to myself to the end.
  • 11. stand to my task without whining.
  • 12. be right as a man, as a friend and importantly as a human being.
Let this be a beginning to be good corporate citizenship and also make the organization a better workplace ‘at least’ for this year. Happy New Year!

Please keep visiting http://stateoftheartconsulting.blogspot.com/ (every week) for more on the series “Fearless or Shameless”.

Do post your comments


U.V.S.Menon from India:

Since when I read an article by Rajith about to say NO, I have been thinking of penning my comments down, even if those were somewhat dissenting type. Here in the CCB, the point no. 9 has caught my attention once again. What is this, Rajit, do you expect an employee to be more loyal to the company than the Supervisor or even the Boss himself? If I were one of these two, I do not know how long I could tolerate an employee of the sort. But for all other positive decisions, he shall end up a square peg in a round hole.

Rajit Nair comments:

I think one thing our readers are missing out is that the setting in which my blog is revolving is my experience in the Middle East where much remains to be done in quality audit.

In the current scenario, the role of corporate governance and the role of the whistle-blowers are very much relevant as we need to have employees who oppose Bosses or Supervisor's manipulative tactics, especially when they 'use' employees to amend the data, financial data in particular to suit the boss! If the executive does not have a heart towards investors, we can't stop an employee having one! If it is a family owned biz and the data is manipulated to save tax (as in India) or to fool other family members regarding profit, it's up to the conscience of the person.

Moreover, I think, Mr. Menon is a business owner, may that's why you disagree.





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