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Ramesh Jude Thomas

President & CKO, Equitor Management Consulting

Over a series of performance workshops we recently held, one of the elements being debated was the role of Employee Satisfaction in driving shareholder value. According to a Wharton Research, between 1998 and 2005 Fortune magazine’s “ The 100 best companies to work for in America consistently outperformed the stock market by a factor of 2. The outperformance was consistent in both booms and recessions, and held steady when the sample was pulled back to 1984.

If we agree that capital and technology are essential but not substitutes of people, then what drives people to drive value…?

We often hear responses like “ responsibility, empowerment, personal growth,compensation, enabling environment” et al. If you notice, each of these seem to re-inforce the notion that generating share holder value is the responsibility of the organization as some amorphous entity and not the individual. In which case why is it that winning organizations are always about a group of highly motivated individuals(Infosys, Nike, Virgin, Microsoft,) and the rest are about alibis for mediocrity.Why is that there are so many more of the second type than the first.

To explore the difference between these two types of organizations, I used to let loose the word “Co-creation” in the late afternoons . It certainly woke them up but they just rubbed their eyes and thought “what is this new consulting concoction”?

Just as they were ready to doze off again , I asked “have you ever heard of a dog that made a rocket, or a cat that wrote a piece of software?”

The fact is that of the 1.6 million odd known species that inhabit our planet, many share common Maslovian needs of Physiology, Safety, Intimacy and Acceptance. However the only species that ever been invited to “actualization’ is the human being.

The sad reality is that most of us choose “co-existence” over “co-creation”, i.e. managing our insecurities rather than our individuality. Two outstanding examples might help make the point:

Steve Jobs built one of the most influential organizations of all time around the notion that man was born to create. Then why do so many of our species prefer to stand by and watch?

Australia’s dominance of world cricket for over the last one and a half decades was founded on the premise that every player is and must be a match winner in his own right if he wants to keep his place in the team. How many times have we seen them pull out of impossible situations, with one guy each time taking the opposition apart.

Do we think organizations really understand the power of hiring and inspiring for individual contribution. Or will we always prefer to wait for one Tendulkar to deliver Shareholder Salvation?


Anonymous said...

Loved the idea. But is our Human Capital environment geared for nurturing individuality?

Unknown said...

Very profound, the co-creation concept. Worth looking at creating a programme to perpetuate this into organisations, particularly amongst their current and potential front runners.

Viki Chaudhuri

100rabh said...

Extremely interesting perspective.. I really liked this idea of co-creation.. but that should not translate to many drivers for a car...It helps to have some one who knows how to drive a car alongside while going on a long trip to share the burden.. but if there are too many ppl knowing how to drive a car.. they may spoil the ride and the completion of journey by airing too many opinion on how to drive the car and which path to follow etc... So I believe that though co-creation can/is/was differentiation btw. great and not so great organization.. but there ought to be a common theme governing all the co-creations otherwise it will be a symphony will all the notes in disarray..

Prakash Kamath said...

An excellent philosphy...which I thoroughly concur with. Though I am not too sure of the term "co-creation" is mot juste for this theme....

MandeepK said...

Absolutely agree with this, in fact straight through my heart...The delivery would automatically touch the pinnacle when your work brings you your, self actualization and they will automatically co-create. The challenge however is that how many people treat their profession as their pursuits for achieving the supreme need of Maslow's hierarchy. The one’s who simply do not grow beyond Physiological needs or getting struck on Self esteem. Organizations do device tools to cater to their needs in form of ER activities, compensations, performance incentives and great environment…etc to motivate them. Results: this gives birth to mediocre accomplishments, unhealthy practices, shortcuts and myopic solutions, which only bear results till upcoming appraisal/evaluation.
Can you guide how to move people up the value/need chain…May be that’s the next workshop we can have from you.