Friday, February 13, 2009

From The Driver's Seat!

Noticed something while driving?

Picture this; you had to drive from Point A (Home/Office) to Point B (intended destination). We always find that the journey from home/office towards your intended destination, always seems to take more time than while returning along the same path. Right? At least, I feel that way when I go on vacation/work; the travel back home is a lot faster! The distance remains the same, but then what is exactly happening?

I suppose that the route that we are familiar with (in this case, it’s the route home) helps us estimate the time and effort required to get home. We know the direction, the travel conditions, et al. On the other hand, even after lots of preparation when we start out to a new destination, we are not sure on the time and effort required to get there, not sure of the surroundings leading to that place or not knowing the road-blocks. So we tend to be over-cautious and might even slow-down repeatedly to double-check on the direction. Right? It does happen!

Now, that was an analogy for what happens at work on a regular basis! Really! If you don’t know where you are headed at work, it’s as good as driving along an unknown direction. This could take-up loads of time, efforts and money. Ever wondered, why there is so much emphasis on planning? It’s because folks have driven down unknown roads before and don’t want the remaining of us to do the same.

Here's a potential scenario:

‘Employee Relations’ in your organization is at rock-bottom. The recent lay-off hasn’t helped either. There’s a lot of resentment with the company, productivity is very low and R&D is taking a hit too. Senior management has the belief that the company will bounce back and doesn’t want to let go of its top-performers. They turn to HR for help to sort this out. It’s not that HR can wave a magic-wand which can improve things. However, if you have been asked to do it, then maybe you are the best equipped in the organization to handle the situation. However, imagine you did nose-dive into the situation without any planning! You could end up losing the remaining folks quicker! It’s time to make some plans (quick!) and execute them too - like an all-hands meeting.

Action is needed. Agreed! Planning will only provide you the direction to expend your energy for right purposes, while taking action. It considerably reduces of your chances of hitting a road-block at 100mph!