This book, written by a management consultant specialising in productivity improvement acceleration in corporate work environment, contains some real-life situations of mismanagement in the corporate world. This book acquires significance today due to the great fraud by Satyam’s CEO, Ramalinga Raju, who is involved in an over Rs 7,000 crore case of swindling. Its effect has been a major blow to Satyam whose 50,000 employees, thousands of international customers and millions of investors in India and abroad were affected.
The author, through this book, tries to drive home the point that Satyam is not the only culprit in the corporate world. He says, “There are several Satyams in India’s realty and infrastructure sector where those in the know say that top politicians have dirtied their hands and faces fairly substantially. They are awaiting exposure which will require whistleblowers of exemplary courage and resourcefulness.”
* Mismanagement situations can be varied and unusual like
* damaging corporate outputs, competitiveness and bottom lines
* creating varied levels of work environment-related stresses
* cutting short or damaging several bright careers
* leading to distribution of performance-related credit and discredit
* numerous other negativities breed performance-depressing manifestations
However, when an act of mismanagement is undertaken or planned to be undertaken, the inner thought process of the doer always activates itself to tell the potential mis-manager that what was planned to be done or being done is not right from the point of view of the larger corporate interests or the interest of society. No act of mismanagement, when taken by design, occurs without some internal conflict or warning which the mis-manager normally suppresses. Only such acts of mismanagement that occur by default, without prior knowledge or assessment of consequences, or in absence of skills and experience, are free of internal conflict or warning. The author advises that as soon as one comes to know the act-avoidable or undesirable is done, a conscientious doer should accept the mistake and take corrective action. If and when such an action is avoided, the element of participation or design creeps in. Only people with strong elements of righteousness are capable of such corrective behaviour.
The author classifies the managers thus:
* Those trained formally through management institutions
* Those who learn the trade through in-house grounding
* Generalists with no specific technical skills
* Technocrats moving into managerial positions
* Those who delegate work
* Others who accumulate work or monopolise it
* Some who righteously distribute credit amongst performing juniors
The managerial population landscape is dominated by pseudo-professionals endowed with tamasic nature – they being the ones with negative tendencies and who keep their self-interest ahead of the corporate objectivity. They misuse authority and promote inefficiency and corruption.
Here the author cites the case of an Olympian who happened to be a senior manager in a renowned MNC and the author had to deal with him. The Olympian was cunning and scheming but devoid of action. He would say that not a single subordinate in his department worked and he would never fail to grasp the credit for whatever good work emerged from his department.
The author concludes that the impact of mismanagement, mild or disastrous, is felt as initiating bytes by the corporate body and which develop into festering wounds. It is essential to shift the pressure of mismanagement, identify and isolate its causes and limit the resultant damages as early as possible. The book, based on factual experiences of the author and his interactions with classic mis-managers, is designed for warning the corporate world.
(Pentagon Press, 206 Peacock Lane, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi-110049.)