7 Thoughts on Preparedness for a Slow
Guys, the outlook is dull, right? The market is bearish, the growth is just OK and consumption is just minimal. The overall recessionary trend is prevailing and it seems would continue. Can we do anything about this? No. It will happen anyway. But we can be prepared…
How do we prepare for a slow technomy or a technology economy as we see around us? Few point to ponder from my personal and professional stand point.
1. Stay where you are: Probably this is not the right time for the stone to roll! Work around the current role adding more visibility to you delivery. Enrich the job. Be ready for extending the arm bit more to ensure organizational goal is met in projects and tasks coming up.
2. Fitness at all levels: Practice a one hour fitness regime every working day. Spend in Gym if you are below forty. Walk about 5 km if you have crossed the forty. In case you are spiritually yoga oriented, do some simple yoga postures followed by breathing thru Pranayama. If one hour is challenging 30 minutes would be essential. Along with this is the aspect of right food and good sleep. Trying to live in the present and not allowing stress to develop at its will is very important. Holistic activities like Yoga will ensure the distressing part also.
3. Enhance Knowledge: When is the last time you seriously read a technical journal? In most cases the answer could be weeks. Assuming that we are technically fit all the while, could be a wrong one that can bring you down in an important meeting without you sensing it. Scanning the latest technology space helps. What are the new APPS that you installed in last one year and why did you install them? What was your way to do the same activity earlier? Is there an asymmetric advantage in some of them? How relevant are these to my role and organization? This learning on a positive spiral is required in the current context.
4. Practice Openness: In a growing organization, it is possible that new people keep coming and often new ideas come in. Sometimes these are of an upsetting nature too. Listen to them. While following processes is important, it is also important to be agile. We live in a disruption economy and sometimes small ones happen in meeting rooms. We need to be OK with such changes that can on cumulative basis add value to you, your function and organization as a whole.
5. Rigor of Review: In a hypothetical case, everything happens at right time! But in most cases we are paid to make sure we do what we need to do as well as make sure results are achieved in time. To do this, reviews are a pre-requisite. Doing such reviews around a calendar increases the visibility of the team and helps in a coordinated work plan being developed in sync with overall objectives as the goal.
6. Delegate and Build Capability: At every level it is possible to delegate the job to team members. But this has to be done with care. A delegation activity cannot stoop down to “passing the buck”. At every level in your function you need to see the present and future role of an employee. To what we feel is fitting in present role, an immediate delegation is suggested. For the activities which fall more into future role, we need to factor in the Capability Building part of our role in mind. Hence in such activities delegation translates to mentoring and handholding. Through a studied approach this can be practiced at levels which give maximum output at overall levels.
7. Think of the person too: Beyond designations we need to see the person behind. When someone is on unplanned leave, while we need to check how it impacts the work, it is also important to ask what happened and how the employee could be helped. One of the biggest lesson I have learned is a Manager who asks a certain percentage of personal queries during an all official agenda, is the one who is trusted more. Employees give their maximum output to such bosses.
To sum it up, it is prudent to stay where you are unless you have a compulsion on either side. Following a physical and mental health as a steady goal is important. Knowledge enhancement is key to staying relevant and for this practicing openness and being receptive is crucial. What is not reviewed is not seen! Have regular publicly visible review practices to ensure overall results.