Thursday, October 28, 2010

Work et al

Do you consider your job to be a very special experience? If so, then you have researched enough and done a lot of homework and financially very stable and if not, you are one among 80% of the world's population, working to first Survive and meet your basic demands in life!! And often times we are troubled by this special beast called "Corporate politics" It has become very common these days and each one of us need to be thinking on strategies to combat this game and not get affected or belittled by stupid people around you trying to bring your image down and crisscross on your path by working against the nature of LIFE.

We are all bound by universal laws and same holds true at work as well. Firstly, a corporate is a legal entity and is bound by the laws governing the state or the country in which the company is located and/or its engaging in business with. So before even bringing our personal emotions into this whole picture, as a fist measure of safety, we need to be operating according to the law -and step aside from any activities that can get us in trouble. Take the case of some of the famous ENRON scandal or the Worldcom fiasco,  we all know that there have been several fradulent activities that led to a systematic collapse. Noone cared at the end of it, its a social disgrace of course for a day or two or for a year or two and everything will go on normally, if you are smart enough you will be hired by another firm or you could survive on your own. But if for some reason, you were responsible for stealing or double dealing with multibillion dollars which you owe to the Taxpayers or to your stockholders, your ass is certainly on fire and  you will be behind bars. At that time when the court gives a ruling, and identifies people who were in charge of crimes committed in the name of Trading, or tweaking balance sheets and statements of accounts - Everyone who consented to this action would be punished, irrespective of whether or not you were forced into such a situation.

Guilty/not guilty is a very thin line and sometimes even innocent people fall prey to it. Thats why we need to respect our peers and our bosses but do not always fear them, for if we play their wrong game, we would be in a trap and get into trouble. 

Back to office politics. There could be several hundreds of ways of violating company policies and wrong transactions that could be committed. If its a multibillion dollar enterprise, then there will be a huge possibility of some fraud happening somewhere in the company since there would be multiple layers within the organization and the numbers would mean that things can become vulnerable. Hiring and Firing becomes the only way to eliminate the Bad Apples in the organization.

After a point. it becomes one's own individual responsibility and an universal trust that this whole world is operating. Whats very critical and important to always keep in mind 'the people's lives might be in danger, if we fail to deliver. For instance, someone whos designing a bridge, cannot afford to make even a smallest error when it comes to its load design it. Or if its an airplane, every single electronic chip, mechanical parts, the engine, the aerodynamics and all of it should be throughly tested before releasing it to the public since safety becomes the primary.  Even while testing, there are a few gifted souls ready to take such risky jobs and trust the workers who constructed the plane from scratch and take a test ride before it becomes commercial.

However when we break down these mission critical products into multiple parts and consider each supplier as a separate entity - For example, a tyre manufacturer of an Airplane. Have you ever thought of the fact that compared to the gigantic size of an airplane, the tyres are so small in nature that there cannot be room for any error in the material, design, finish, wear and tear and also the rubber used in the product. Also there has to be durability and extensibility for the product. Take another example. Like a simple software solution that is designed for a bank. Even if there is one minor flaw which results in a loss of several thousands of dollars lost, it would be huge problem for the bank and loss of money, time and other things for people affected by it.But at a 30,000 foot level, it would all be happening through out the world day in and day out. Mistakes are unavoidable, but its very critical to fix them and make things work in a better fashion.

Coming back to the Airplane, it is the best example of a machine which uses all possible fields that you can imagine to fit together a product. Chemical, Metallurgical, Mechanical, Civil, Physics, Electronics, Electricals, Computers and what not, all talking to each other to assemble and make the plane function in the safest manner possible in the best of the comforts one can imagine for such a machine travelling at god's speed!

Everyday work may be a pleasure activity only if everyone around you has a sense of responsibility to carry each task with complete care and attention and making sure that there is no room for error in the final product that is delivered. It is for this reason that most often people compete, fight, and create such tensions at work.