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Issue of July 2004 

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Trickle down management

In an age where companies are more willing to spend on management consultants rather than essential systems, senior management needs to study their company and come up with solutions that are suited to their business, say the authors of Play to Your Strengths. Furthermore, it is important for each company to base their actions on relevant facts. Assumptions, like the one that a pay raise will increase efficiency, do not always work. That is possibly because there is a discrepancy between what employees say and do.

In every company, employee behavior must be analyzed over a period of time. Thereafter, the company has to decide what kind of people are best suited to further the organization's goals. Based on the analysis of the Internal Labor Market and results of Business Impact Modeling, the company can create appropriate human capital strategies.

Sometimes, to change strategy, you need to change personnel, which is why Voluntary Retirement Schemes (VRS) can be handy. This will help in not creating bad blood by giving people pink slips. If the employees are happy, they are likely to be positive towards customers. Hence customer loyalty and satisfaction will improve.

The beginning of the book might seem to contradict the end. The authors start out by instructing every organization to break free from the stereotyped approaches adopted by other companies. Mid-way through the book they ask each company to discover other companies. However, what the authors really mean is that it is important to find solutions that are tuned to an organization's specific needs.

Expressed in the same smooth and candid manner that the book is written in, the bottom line of the book is: for competitive advantage over others a company needs to analyze its “economics, psychology, communications and management.”

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