Of trends and the­o­ries

The Smart Manager - - Editorial - poorn­ima sub­ra­ma­nian | se­nior edi­tor

Each day, a new con­cept, trend, or must-adopt prac­tice de­buts in the man­age­ment world. Soon af­ter, case stud­ies and ar­ti­cles abound, elab­o­rat­ing how a com­pany achieved suc­cess by fol­low­ing one such prac­tice. Once this be­comes vi­ral, the trend spins off an en­tire industry—a se­ries of books (DIYs and tes­ti­mo­ni­als), an army of con­sul­tants who claim they can hand-hold you through the new­found process, com­pa­nies that can train your staff in this re­cently dis­cov­ered prac­tice, and so on.

Many a time, lead­ers and man­agers, de­spite know­ing that a cookie-cut­ter ap­proach may not work, fall prey and force-fit th­ese trends in their com­pany’s work cul­ture. Need­less to say, most such ini­tia­tives are qui­etly con­signed. Given this con­text, Aker Solutions’ ex­pe­ri­ence in im­ple­ment­ing the lean method­ol­ogy to achieve op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence has many valu­able lessons, the pri­mary one be­ing how they cus­tom­ized it to suit their re­quire­ments, rather than choos­ing a ready­made so­lu­tion.

An­other widely dis­cussed trend is that of work­place de­sign and its im­pact on pro­duc­tiv­ity. In our lead fea­ture, Aparna Pi­ra­mal Raje writes about how the much-feted open-plan of­fice de­sign can also be un­pro­duc­tive due to noise and con­stant in­ter­rup­tions. Break those walls, yes, but en­sure that pri­vacy is not com­pro­mised. Sonal Ras­togi talks about how new work­places need to ad­dress a state of con­stant con­ver­sa­tion and em­pha­sizes that while one can ad­mire dif­fer­ent kinds of workspace de­sign, com­pa­nies need to adapt one that will help in­crease em­ployee pro­duc­tiv­ity.

But some trends never fade; they go on to be­come fun­da­men­tals of build­ing a good busi­ness. In our cover story, Anant Gupta, Pres­i­dent and CEO of HCL Tech­nolo­gies, talks about how their phe­nom­e­nal growth is due to their ob­ses­sive cus­tomer fo­cus. He also tells us there is a real pos­si­bil­ity that a job we pur­sue to­day may cease to ex­ist to­mor­row. Yet an­other rea­son to not blindly fol­low pop­u­lar trends while choos­ing our ca­reer paths.

Do write in with your views and sug­ges­tions.

Happy Read­ing.

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