Thursday October 21, 2021

Organisational matrix

September 25, 2021

LAHORE: Businesses are mostly operating in Pakistan without proper professional management. The succession plan in even the best companies is like that of a kingdom, where the successor comes from the family.

In developed economies even the most powerful persons like Bill Gates or Steve jobs are succeeded by equally competent professionals and not by their family members. The family members inherit the wealth, but rarely the management of the company.

As a competent person takes the company to new heights, the wealth of the family also increases. It is in the supreme interest of each enterprise to foster meritocracy and engagement throughout the company, particularly with the top talent. When nurturing talent, it should be kept in mind that the leaders should involve not just the HR team, meaningfully and regularly in people development.

Businesses in Pakistan are passing from first generation to second or third generation. Most of them started operations in protected era that lasted for almost five decades.

The businesses flourished on protection, special licences and permits. The generation that operated in that era is still calling the shots. They still desire undue favours. But the business culture has transformed at a very rapid pace during the last three decades.

However, the shots are still called by am family member, mostly the sons or grandsons, instead of dedicated professionals. The role of experts or professionals is limited mostly to advise or in presenting a plan that could be vetoed by the non-professional juniors of the owning family.

All the big conglomerates in the country are actually owned by families and managed by first or second generations. A few have inducted third generation in their ranks, but most split after the second generation.

Companies in Pakistan need to develop according to the current times, and hire the best talent to operate an enterprise on a sustainable basis. The sooner the culture is adjusted to modern times the higher would be the chances of sustained and transparent growth in local enterprises.

Pakistani entrepreneurs would have to come out of the “Seth mentality” and accept the fact that there are more talented people outside the family that could take their businesses to new heights.

Every company that makes an effort to improve the quality of its human capital experiences a distinct, measurable, and meaningful business performance return. It is essential that top executives give priority to talent hunting.

It should not be confined to external candidates, but even among available workforce companies could unearth hidden talent if a transparent, efficient, and enterprise-wide talent management process is in place. A proper system would prepare a line of successors.

There are certain cultural traits that are universally favoured as every company desires its employees to be ambitious and accountable for their actions. The company would look patronisingly on employees that care about their assignments.

However, these attributes alone do not constitute a high performance culture. Employees in a manufacturing concern for instance may be motivated and doing a good job but they may lack the behaviour essential for a company's strategic needs such as ensuring on time deliveries.

The engagement of the employees with their work could not resolve this problem. In the current day competitive environment, organisations need ambitious and involved employees fully committed to not only their work but also to the strategic goals of the organisation. They should be willing to go an extra mile to achieve organisational goals.

A design company for instance would like its workers to take certain risks in line with the company's strategy, but risk-taking cannot be permitted in a pharmaceutical manufacturing process. The culture required by each company is a combination of the behaviours required from employees as per company’s growth strategy.

The basic goals of the strategy would decide as to what extent the risk taking can be allowed. Developing ideas or doing work, transparent or tolerant, solo flight or collaborative work are the behaviours that have to be determined keeping in mind the strategic goals of the company.

To change the organisational culture, leaders’ should take the lead. The way they communicate in reinforcing desired behaviours and how they manage their priorities is very important.

Competence of employees recruited is crucial for a successful change in the working environment of a company to optimise benefits from high tech opportunities.

Companies that manage their talent through strong leadership outperform those with weaker capabilities. Most of the weaker companies meticulously manage their balance sheet, but rarely manage their talent that is hard to quantify.

Key performance indicators that are used by the organisation for rewards and penalties, accountability and appreciation are crucial to ensure a meaningful change in organisational structure on modern lines. The nature of peer to peer interaction is equally important in this regard.