Hi Friends,
                                              Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.
                                                  There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"
                                       With regards,
                                       Hemen Parekh
                                       27 June 2013

Friday, 23 November 1984

THE DILEMMA OF MANAGERIAL UNIONISM

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

23 Nov 1984

To:
Chairman
Vice-Presidents
General Managers/Joint General Managers
Deputy General Managers



I  enclose herewith  an  article  that  appeared in  Business India (NOV 5-18) on

"The dilemma of Managerial Unionism"


To be able to  establish a rapport with our own  L&T Officers & Supervisors  Association (LTOSA), I have  started a monthly meeting with  their managing committee  (approx. 30 persons), where  I  also  invite   some of   our  Powai-  based  senior managers.  We have had 2 meetings so far.  I personally feel such a forum helps reduce a lot of misunderstanding.

In  case  you wish  to  know  the  issues  being  raised  and discussed at  these meetings,  please  let me  know- also  in case you wish to attend one of these meetings.

                            
H.C. PAREKH

Thursday, 22 November 1984

CONCEPT OF THE CORPORATION

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

22 Nov 1984

To:

Dear Colleague

CONCEPT OF THE CORPORATION


In the  enclosed extract  from the  "MIND OF  THE STRATEGIST" Kenichi Ohmae makes the following observations :

1.           When the Japanese say that  organisation is people, they really mean it.

2.           Japanese  top  managers  never  tire  of  reminding  the employees  that they,  the  workers, know  the  business best and that innovation and  improvement must come from the genba. (The meaning of "genba" is explained somewhere in the extract).

3.           Separation  of muscle  from  brain may  well  be a  root cause of  the vicious cycle  of decline  in productivity and loss of international  competitiveness in which U.S. industry seems to be caught.

4.           More  equal  opportunity in  training  and  promotion, regardless  of  people's  educational  and  intellectual backgrounds,  would be at  least  as  
important and pertinent to business performance.

It  is  fashionable  these  days,  to be  talking  about  the "Japanese  Style  of  Management"'. - and books  written  by Japanese authors  'sell like hot-cakes  (one more  example of the high-pressure American salesmanship, I guess !  ).

On  the other hand,  a close  look  at some  of these  books, reveal that the Japanese are saying nothing  new that has not been said before  - by the American and the  European authors 25 years ago !

The  truth is  that there  is no  such thing  as an  American style of management  or a  Japanese style of management  or a British style  of management.  There is essentially only one style of management all over the world viz.  THE HUMAN STYLE OF MANAGEMENT .'

Of course, the context is American or Japanese or British industrial climate.  (Occasionally there is a reverse flow of “know-how" as in the case of British Coal-miners having learned a trick or two from the Bombay Textile strike ! ).

But the underlying theme is the same - MEN have to be MANAGED - that is what management is all about - anywhere, anytime.

And whereas, the other business resources (money, materials, machinery, space and information) can be.

-      planned                    
-      acquired and                    
-      optimised,
the only resource which can be                    
-      organised and                     
-      motivated

is the HUMAN - RESOURCE !

And it is in the aspect of MOTIVATION where the Japanese seem to have scored over the rest of the world.

And in this respect, their “lead" over the others is so much that it is not merely a difference of “extent" -it   is a difference of “degree' ! - so much so  that it looks like an altogether different "style".

How have   the Japanese managers   succeeded so well   in motivating   their   subordinates,    their colleagues   and themselves  ?  (.Unless we are motivated ourselves,  I  don't think we can motivate others '.).

On page 4, Ohmae provides a clue when he writes,

" ........... in Japan every member of  the village (company) is equal and a  generalist ....... he interprets his  duty as somehow more encompassing  ........ he has,  in a way,  a top management perspective .............".

From  the foregoing,  it appears,  as though,  in Japan  they have  succeeded in  eliminating most  of  the barriers  which separate  persons   or  groups  of  persons   ("classes"  Vs. "Masses" ? ) such as,

-      salaries and perks
-      facilities and amenities
-      rank and designations
-      training and promotion opportunities
-      job security
-      punching attendance cards (?)
-      eating in different dining halls (?)
-      job descriptions
I am  not suggesting that  what works well  in Japan  (or for that  matter in any  other country)  will automatically  work well in India.

But our options are :

1.     To be bold, venture, try-out and risk failure                            

OR


2.     Keep  talking   of  "   alien  philosophy,   -  cultural      differences, - body
chemistry  - transplant  rejection -     5000 year  old caste  system  ", etc. 
etc. till  we get overwhelmed !

                                 
H.C. PAREKH

Sunday, 11 November 1984

TEMPLE OF NEW INDIA

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave).

11 Nov 1984

To:

Dear Friends

Indiraji  is no more  - physically.   I suppose she will be remembered for many years to come.
How many? Ten years, a hundred years, a thousand years?
Perhaps,
We  do  occasionally  remember,  great persons  who  lived  a hundred or a thousand years ago.
And  on such  occasions, we  do even  garland their  images -photographs  or statues.  Speeches  are made.   Their virtues are remembered,  people are told to follow their path.
And no  sooner the ceremony  is over,  everybody hurries home (surely  you  don't  expect people  to  WORK  on  a  day like that'. ).
Anyway  everbody  alive,  heaves  a sigh  of  relief!   Thank goodness,  the  birth-anniversary and  the  death-anniversary comes only once-a-year !
That  leaves us  clean  364 days  to go  about  doing exactly whatever  we  have  been  doing !  -  including  indulging  in violence.
Because Violence is O.K. !  - as long as it  is carried out to celebrate the memories of your chosen hero - whether he was
-      a religious saint
-      a political big-wig
-      a social reformer or
-      a trade union leader.
Jesus Christ might have said,  "Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing."  But ours is merely a land of
-  Buddha;     
Mahavir and     
-      Gandhi ! 
Ours is not the land of Jesus Christ!
So  it is alright with  us!  A  few people, here  and there -what does it matter?  After  all when we are about to forget, why someone  died 2000  years ago or  2 years ago,  we need a new martyr to  celebrate his death anniversary  and to remind us to hurry home! - of course grief-stricken!
So the vicious circle goes on and on.
No one stops  to ask, 'How come violence  has failed to solve the  problems  of the  world?   -  or  for  that matter,  the problems of a community or even a company!"
This is because  violence is the  language of the  uneducated and the cowards.
This is because people who resort  to violence are indirectly admitting "defeat" - an admission  that they are incapable of changing the  opponent by argument  and logic  and discussion and reasoning - if necessary even by
-  Sacrifice;     
-  forgiveness and     
-      Love.
As far as I am .concerned, I would say,
"We cannot  solve problems of the world or even  India - but while trying  to solve our own  small problems  at Powai, let us remember  not to  use the language  of  "defeat".  In this factory (Nehru called it  "Temples of new India"), let no one speak of violence - ever".

H.C. PAREKH