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The Care Revolution

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The Care Revolution

Fifty years after independence every citizen of India is looking for a turn-around in his/her economic and social life. India needs to do something to change the attitude of indifference. Concepts and frameworks presented in this book arise from the realization that India needs a Care Revolution, NOW. This book goes beyond the theory of knowledge and uses the theory of values to build a care culture in business and society. The book introduces a new concept of Care Team to bring about this change.

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SATISH MODH

THE CARE REVOLUTION A NEW AGENDA FOR RESURGENT INDIA

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FOREWORD

Managing for change is the challenge before us as we head towards year 2000. This will be truly demanding and meeting them would require innovative efforts. A virtual revolution in work culture is needed to transform our ways of doing things. We need to make our

organizations

innovative,

integrative

and

evolutionary ones, where the learning process will be a permanent feature. As HRD experts champion the need for linking Human Resources with the strategy making in an organization, I am sure we will be flooded with requests for a book of this nature. I hope that this book

will

satisfy

the

demand

of

Managers,

Academicians, Consultants and general public who are yearning for a work culture change in their surroundings.

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I must congratulate Dr Satish Modh, an executive of the Engineering Department of Air India, for his innovative approach in writing this book. The author has penned his concepts based on the practices which were experienced in an airline which through these efforts did make strides in bringing about a culture change at its workplace.

Nov.16, 1998

N S Rajan Director-HRD, Air India

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PREFACE

For almost one thousand years our country was ravaged by power hungry invaders and business men. At the end of a long and tortuous struggle we earned our independence, which came as a breeze of fresh air. By that time the once golden bird of the world was a poor nation, full of misery, disease and bereft of any technological advantage. Instead of attempting to build the nation and taking care of basic needs of her people, the energy unleashed by nationalist fervour was wasted on ideological discourse and experimentation. Issues of day to day life were drowned in the din of emerging chaos. It had its effect everywhere in the society and what we see today is the culmination of these posturing. Events of past fifty years have shown that our high moral ground did not help it either. The culture of 8

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surviving on financial aids created a mind set in our social and political leaders to glorify poverty without making a serious attempt to utilise existing resources to their fullest advantage. Unfortunately, shoddiness and mediocrity became the order of the day. We seem to have mastered the art of being pessimist. Events of past few years have created prophets of doom in all walk of our life. Newspapers and magazines are full of articles painting the picture of an ugly Indian. Economists seem to be competing in projecting the worst picture of economy and political leaders are not willing to go beyond their short term goals. Somehow we have failed to create a frame work for a caring society, a caring business, a caring police force, a caring leadership, a caring motorist and even a caring neighbourhood. Now, the time has come to retire these ideas and to adapt a new set. If we do not change now, the alternative is there. Surrender our businesses and 9

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government to the dictates of P5 or G8. They will happily take over the reins. The choice is that simple and clear. After the series of five nuclear explosions, a hostile world has forced us to think and act. With a scientific and technological demonstration of highest order, there is no longer any scope for inferior quality, limited choice and unconcerned product and service. Today, every citizen of this country is looking for a turn around. One can see a visible expression on every body’s face, in their body language: CARE FOR ME. As we near the 21st century, India needs to do something to get out of this rut. The mind set of each citizen has to change from I don't care to I do. Fifty years after independence nuclear India's agenda has to change. India needs a care revolution. The Care Revolution is essential to usher in an era of economic development, poverty eradication, reducing social tensions. Even though wrecked by political

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uncertainty and global pressures, our economy can display a remarkable resilience provided we care. The present book has been written at a juncture when the whole nation is in search of pathways to tide over present crisis of indifference. People of the country are looking at political leaders to guide them. Leaders are also the product of same indifferent populace. None of them are willing to go that extra mile which can make a real difference. Many of the business organisations, and even some government agencies, are aware of this need. They conduct training programmes which cover topics like Total Quality Management, Attitudinal Change, and Transaction Analysis and so on to bring about this transformation. A couple of years back I was part of a special team set up in Air India to design, develop and conduct a one day corporate training programme to bring about a change in existing work culture. This training programme was a follow up of two day training 11

The Care Revolution

programme

conducted

International.

by

Time

Managers

Nearly 10,000 employees up to the

level of Managing Director participated in both the programmes. The programme was conducted in Mumbai,

Delhi,

Calcutta,

Chennai

and

Thiruvananthapuram. The training programme exposed me to the mind set of thousands of fellow Air Indians representing the whole spectrum of Indian populace. I began writing a diary to record reactions of the audience to the contents of the training programme. The training programme had focused on awareness of current environment, need for change, and breaking down barriers, team building and adding value. The programme used to end with a call for volunteers for setting up care teams across the organisation to take care of problems of internal and external customers. The response was always phenomenal and euphoric.

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I kept on working on this concept of care team even after the corporate training programme was over. The nuclear explosions and predictions of doom gave me impetus to enlarge the scope of care concept. I decided to share my views with a large readership with a hope that this may act as a catalyst to usher in a care revolution. This book has 23 chapters in 7 sections. First section analyses the current Indian social and business environment and emphasises the need for a care revolution. This section brings out the need for change in our attitude from I don’t care to I do. Second section deals with the process of change. It begins with the chapter ‘Change, we must’ and then discusses how we can change in the next chapter. This section traces types of changes we encounter in our life and give importance to flexibility as a key element in the change process. Section III deals with the perception of values and how we can add value to ourselves. This section also 13

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has a chapter on a need to build a care culture in our business and society. First chapter in section IV talks about the importance of team work and discusses team building in organisations. Indian concept of Sat, Rajas and Tamas is used to describe the role of team members and team leaders in team building. I have introduced the concept of Care Team in the fourth section. This concept is based on theory of VALUES as against theory of KNOWLEDGE used in most of the modern management discourses. The concepts

of

total

quality

management

or

re-

engineering the processes have treated human beings as a resource or as a tool for improving quality or productivity. The Care Team concept makes human values as the starting point and then goes on developing methodologies for improving care in business and society. The chapter on care team gives details on how one can launch a care movement in one’s organisation and 14

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later convert it into an integrated element in the organisational structure. In a separate chapter on training I have given a list of topics for training care team members which can be used for developing a training programme depending on the training needs of an organisation. This is based on my experiences in conducting corporate training programmes at Air India. Section V is about customer care. First chapter in this section deals with the care imperative of business. I have developed a prism model of customer care in the next chapter with organisation structure as the base and care as vertex. Four surfaces of prism are made of people, product, process and technology. Next chapter in this section talks about caring of internal customers and goes to the extent of renaming Human Resource Department as Internal Customer Service Department. Another chapter in this section deals with satisfying customer needs. Customer care is not delighting a 15

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customer or springing surprises on him or her. It is about giving best value for his or her time, money and effort in acquiring, possessing and using a product or a service. This section also has chapters on setting up care teams for product care, manufacturing, service industry, after sales service and looking into customer complaints. Section VI deals with care in decision making. It builds on the theory of organisation as an outcome of decision making processes. We should create decision support systems in such a way that every process reflects a caring attitude towards its internal and external customers. Section VII sets the new agenda for resurgent India. This section has two chapters titled Care Teams in Government and A society that cares. The chapter on Care Teams in Government talks about the role of Government in creating a conducive environment for the care revolution, setting a kind of example for 16

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others to emulate. The last chapter provides an agenda for setting up care policies to provide basic services, education and to create infrastructure to enable every citizen to develop his or her talent potential. The basic purpose of the ideas presented here is to provide a foundation for building a caring society. Section VII traces the evolution of democracy and socialism and builds theories for development of a resurgent India.

Satish Modh

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

A number of persons have contributed in my thought process for development of ideas presented in this book. I thank the top management of Air India for giving me this opportunity to design, develop and conduct

the

corporate

training

programme

-

Together towards Tomorrow - covering nearly 8000 Air India staff. Time Managers International had conducted the first phase of this programme titled Bringing People Together which had covered 10, 000 employees of Air India. I am particularly thankful to Mr N S Rajan, Director HRD for encouraging the Special Team for training to experiment with the content of the programme. I also take this opportunity to express my gratitude to other members of Special Team who have been a continuous source of support. I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Babu Peter, Mr. P S Ganapathy, Capt K S 18

The Care Revolution

Harnal, Ms Seema Andhare, Mr. S Ghoshal, Mr. Suresh Kumar, Mr. B Govindarajan, Mr H G Iyer, Mr D Jacob, Ms Nadia Prakash and Mr. Sheriyar Karim who contributed a lot in developing the concept of Care Team. Thanks are also due to other colleagues who contributed directly and indirectly in conducting organisation wide cultural survey and helped in developing and conducting the training programme. Words are not enough to thank my wife Sadhana who encouraged me and helped me in writing this book. I am also thankful to Mr. K S Shenoy and Mr Ratan Sharda for giving useful suggestions after going through the final draft.

Varsha Pratipada, March 18, 1999

Satish Modh

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SECTION I: THE CARE IMPERATIVE

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1 SAB CHALTA HAI

A set of habits and practices cultivated over a period of last 50 years have shaped the performance of individuals and organisations in independent India. Procedures and systems have developed in a way to sustain inefficiency and a casual way of looking at things. The behaviour of Indian people in modern India gives an impression that Indian thought system has no idea of economic and social development. In the race to succeed we seem to have lost sight of all ethics and morality. We may be at our best behaviour with people known to us but our personal interface breaks down the moment we are dealing with general public or institutions. Wherever you look around you 23

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will find that Sab smart ban-ne ke chakkar mein hain. Post - Independence, the attitude of indifference has invaded the country. This is something which pervades the whole of India. It is visible everywhere; in government offices, in manufacturing facilities, in post offices, at railway stations and airports, in public toilets and in the markets. We have converted the whole land mass into open toilets. We spit anywhere and everywhere, pollute our rivers and jump traffic lights. We seem to have lost all civic sense in our society despite our claims of oldest civilisation in the world. In spite of having laws for everything we do, breaking laws give us a hallowed status in the society. Once you succeed all your sins are forgotten and forgiven. We have become totally inconsiderate towards everyone but ourselves.

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Indian business is mired in mediocrity. It has built no defence against the tidal onslaught of global business organisations.

The

mediocrity,

the

casualness

manifests virtually everywhere; it shows on every shop floor, in every factory, in every assembly-line in the country. Breaking out of the barriers of bad products and services will not be easy as long as the attitude of indifference is there. Adding a new plant every time you want to increase your output is worthless if your plant is running at sixty per cent capacity. It is better to re-examine work processes and discover hidden capacities that are lost beneath layers of indifference. The all visible indifference is pushing its way through goods

and

services

designed,

manufactured,

marketed, and sold using old technologies and without any thought for quality. Thousands of crores of rupees worth of products end up on the scrap heap even before they leave the factory gates. Looked at from a different perspective, consumers pay an

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additional amount to compensate business for such losses. Indifference is sucking away corporate profits and destroying government offices. Consider the amount of money government spends in flood relief and cyclone relief measures. Consider the amount of money an airline has to spend on passengers who are stranded at the airport because of restlessness of their employees. Consider the amount of money a company spends on the inspection of finished products to make sure that they conform to specifications.

Add the

sums spent on repairing and recalling defective products from customers. Add the cost of advertising to offset such negative publicity and add the cost of indifference if all this is not done. Indian companies, with the present work culture of indifference, are finding themselves unable to compete with European, American and Japanese manufacturers

who

are

re-engineering

their

manufacturing processes to produce just what the customer’s need. 26

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The cost of indifference is causing colossal losses to Indian nation. Strikes by engineers, pilots, doctors, nurses, teachers, postal staff, municipal workers, cause heavy losses to the society. They occur either due to the indifferent management attitude or casual approach of union leaders. We have a notion that most of the strikes are organised for raising salaries. The moment salaries are

negotiated,

union

and

management,

both

overlook the basic drawbacks in the system which fosters dissatisfaction and indifference. We tend to believe that money solves all problems and people are willing to do anything to earn money. The Japanese had exactly the similar reputation about the quality of their products. When companies were unable to sell products, senior managers took charge for the purpose of making it possible to sell products globally.

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Sure, Japan's self-transformation from a producer of shoddy goods into the world's best manufacturer is a role model. But remember, Japan's quest began with a fierce determination among her people to be the best. Japan's culture had discipline, which they used effectively to achieve quality. Another issue is the way our people organise themselves and at the individual level how we conduct ourselves. For example, traffic rules in our country are violated with impunity. New drivers are taught to deal with situations where they can get away cheaply after breaking rules. Indian roads have turned into killing fields and vehicles an instrument of murder. Unless civic values are built into the pattern of our lives, we will find each one of us, someday very soon, at the receiving end. There is no sense of personal accountability. Let somebody else is held accountable for something going wrong. Loyalties are for individuals, who can protect them, who can safeguard their interests, and not to the organisation, or society or the nation. 28

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Government services instead of becoming a model for others to follow face the largest number of criticisms. Sab Chalta Hai has become our Rasthra - Mantra and no problem, Sir Sahebji our constant refrain. How long can Indian people tolerate such terrible indifference? How long will it take for Indian companies

to

be

elbowed

out

altogether

by

multinationals who use management principles which we have not yet even begun to grasp? How long will it take for all our systems to collapse? What can India do to change the perception that 'Indians just don't care'? Unfortunately, we have understood freedom as the right to stand in the middle of the road without caring about our obligation to safety. This whole definition of freedom has to change to an attitude of discipline, conformance and care. We need to think about changing our attitude of indifference and accept conformance as a part of life. 29

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It is possible that thousand year of suppression and struggle has created certain deformities in our mental makeup. It is likely that the history of not having been forced to compete may have created a mind set in Indian establishments and business organisations that is opposed to embracing customer care. The question is how significant a hurdle could such a mind-set present? It is true that mind set is a very difficult thing to change. This mind set is nothing but a kind of cultural resistance. Indifferent work culture is a very powerful negative force. It relates to the way we people were led in the last fifty years of independence. This is not understood well by the decision makers. The curriculum that we attend - whether at school level or college level - does not expose us to this harsh reality. Our education system is churning out able engineers, able doctors, able chartered accountants and able computer experts. We have to think whether

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this system is also making them a responsible citizen and a better human being. The elements of a culture are developed for logical reasons to create a rule of law, to explain mysterious things, and to defend society from adverse ideas. These elements have value and therefore they are perpetuated. So, the children born in the villages, or the new recruits in the organisations, are taught that this is the way we do things. And if they don't accommodate them, things get very unpleasant for them. India has a culture that, in many respects, has sharp differences with the West; to the point that many outsiders are absolutely mystified by some of them. Sometimes they are even presented as superstitions. There are superstitions in west too. In some respects, the superstitions of the West are greater than the superstitions of India. Just as we as individuals learn to strengthen our weak points and take advantage of our strong ones, so too 31

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must nation learn to do that. One of the strong point India has its past tradition of concern for others embedded in our Dharma, in our way of life. There is a sudden surge of sympathy for the underdog, for the downtrodden. A sadhu with nothing on his body commands more respect than a person alighting from a Maruti Esteem. If India is to reinvent her image as different from a producer of indifferent goods and services, a lethargic government and a sab chalta hai type of society, societal transformation is a precondition. If India, which has produced poor products and services for fifty years, is to survive tomorrow, a Care Revolution is essential. The truth, simply, is that India needs a Care Revolution. A sudden and catalytic explosion of caring attitude, extending across departments and functions, across companies, across industries, across business, and ultimately, across the fabric of the country - including the state, society and the

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individual. Caring will create an engine of benefits for all of them. As trade barriers go down, everyone has to realise that the attitude of care is going to be more and more necessary.

As

customers

are

becoming

more

knowledgeable, organisations following the care-path will certainly have an advantage. The earlier you change over to care culture the better you will be. If you have to do it ultimately, why not try and do it now. Every powerful change, whether political, social, or economical is the result of a movement. The Indian economy, including all its components- industry, government, bureaucracy and agriculture- will have to gear for this change. Not to be confused with attempts to provide just better product and services, the care revolution must span entire society. Business organisations should bring care in every activity - from manufacturing to marketing, from design to accounting, from personnel 33

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environment, from selling to customer support. Implemented everywhere, from suppliers through manufacturers, marketers and retailers, in public sectors and private sectors, in municipalities, right down to customers, it must forge a continuous chain girding the whole society. Customer satisfaction with care can be used to boost business, sometimes without additional investments. Besides the benefits on the improved image and possibly an improved balance sheet, one major gain from care will be strategic. For, the hallmark of care revolution will be that, being enterprise-wide, it can be imparted across the country. Care will be a qualifier and a competitive advantage for Indian business and for the whole country. At the heart of the Care Revolution will be the necessity to listen to others and to meet their expectations. The realisation that indifference will not be tolerated any more will immediately ensure that every

product

and

service

that

we

design,

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manufacture and deliver, will be according to the customer's specifications. The care revolution will ignite every enterprise and organisation. Today, caring exists only in our family environment. Small fires might already be burning in some pockets across the country. For a revolution to happen, it must spread across all aspect of our life. The driver, of course, must be people: people in business, whether private owned or government owned, people in the government, people in the society. The only bottleneck for bringing care revolution is within us. We will have to look within and do what we can. India's cultural roots have caring as its ethos. India and her people are famous for tolerance because they care about others. The Caring Attitude of us Indians manifest itself in our day - to - day family life. The point is, can we bring this caring attitude in the open? The time has come to reinvent ourselves and show that we care. 35

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A care revolution will help cleanse the inefficiency, the indiscipline and the immorality that characterise our government and our mediocre business. The recommended agenda for New Nuclear India should be care revolution in government, business and education. If the decision-makers in India get this simple message they can bring in the Care Revolution. Success tomorrow will emerge from the initiatives from all of us. A caring attitude will enable Indians to win whatever be the emerging opportunities. We will have to fulfil customer expectations on a new mantra of care as a core competence. India was a front runner nation a thousand years ago. The intervening years have been very difficult for our nation.

Now,

as

we

complete

fifty

years

of

independence, at this strategic moment in the history, the country has to start writing manifestos for the metamorphosis. To unleash a care revolution, let the mutiny against indifference begin. NOW!

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2 A PARADIGM SHIFT

All the developed countries are well versed in the understanding of demands of their people and they have created systems and processes to meet them to a certain extent. There have been many paradigm-shifting milestones in management

theory. It

was the American

Industrial Engineer Frederick Taylor's work in early 1900's using stopwatches to conduct time-andmotion studies that tried to optimise workers' actions and tools to heighten productivity and created scientific management. The technique has lost its glory over a period of time and new management concepts are coming and fading away since then. 37

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In its ideal state any non-traditional system tries to push authority down to the process owners: the workers. These systems try to remove knowledge disparities between managers and workers, and empower

people

to

develop

to

their

fullest

capabilities. But any movement to be successful, has to have support from the top and percolate downwards to involve every one. There are dozens of different techniques Indian managers can sink their teeth into. We should be clear about what kind of philosophy the organisation should adopt. Eventually, we may discover that while each of these philosophies, models and methods are by themselves, eminently implementable and would result in measurable benefits - there are very few evidences of their success in the Indian environment. Each organisation operates with different types of people, in different markets, in different kind of environment and has different levels of sophistication and maturity. No one has the universal answers. All 38

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these theories just become guidelines that need to be shaped according to each organisation. The reality of managerial life is that there is no system for anything in day to day managing tasks. There has been much noise about a quality movement in the media. Indian readers have been carpetbombed with imported ideas such as Quality circles, Kaizen, Total Quality Management, Re-engineering etc. Business magazines have been reporting about the merits and demerits of the quality models developed by the Gurus: Ed Demmiry, Joseph Jiran, Genichi Taguchi, and Philip Crosby. They have also explored how tools like Kaizen, Kanban, and Kansei- apart from process reengineering and a host of other concepts- would fit into our environment. Since each of these methods has definite strengths and weaknesses, they all seem complementing rather than competitive. Unfortunately, all these Gurus and practitioners are a combative lot, ever willing to 39

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debunk the next person. Add to that the undeniable truth that no one’s prescription is a panacea. All this noise has not resulted in a ground level acceptance by Indian managers and workers. Simple truth is, we will have to find our own path and our own solution. We cannot make our nation a nation of our dreams by copying what others has done. Merely giving old doctrines new names, creating artificial problems, or coining of new names as solutions of problems will not solve our problems. What, then, can save us; not all the mantras of globalization, not the most strategies of restructuring exercise; not a scrupulous adherence to core competence; not downsizing, not de-layering, not diversification. The world economy has become competitive, so has the need of competitive advantage in business. The only way India can achieve economic super power status is by integrating the basic principles of business along with caring attitude in each and every 40

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activity. It is vital for getting a competitive edge by implementing a care culture in our country so that we can not only compete globally, but also meet challenges in the home markets. The caring attitude, along with the efficiency of production, of productivity, will be the most critical factors for the survival of Indian industry and development of India as a nation. It is the negation of indifference and a surge of caring that will provide us a competitive edge. As we cope with the muscle flexing of self-appointed moral keepers of the world, the care imperative becomes crucial. To create a resurgent India, nothing but a care revolution is required. We Indians will have to work out, now, that care is going to be the one imperative for achieving our long term goals. Part of the care imperative will also be the compulsion of today's economic environment in the country. Many MNCs are poised to pour in crores of rupees into new infrastructure projects, by building 41

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care culture from now on we would be in a position to maximise our advantage. Care efforts are necessary not only in big industries but in medium - and small - scale industries as well. There are still many top decision makers who are keeping their heads buried in the sand, hoping that the storm will blow over. Only, it will not. All the traditional competitive advantages, like low personnel costs etc., will shrink in due course of time. It will only be the care factor that will differentiate between a successful firm and a failure. Only a handful of business organisations displays the signs that they have understood the demands of today's competitiveness. Many more need to imbibe care strategies. Companies know that they have to take care of customers but in the absence of clear care strategies and framework they do not seem to know where to start

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With the absence of any visible care movement in India, there is very little one can refer to. We not only have to build a framework but also reinforce it with caring attitude to have an edge. Care attitude is the result of compassion and action, not of some mystic system of procedure. Care attitude is reflected in the way people operate. Caring is actually

nothing

more

than

common-sense

principles. It is not goodness, it is doing what we said we would do. The basic failure is that many organisations do not adopt these principles. They do not realise that caring itself does not cost anything. What costs you is doing things indifferently and then correcting what has been done. Care should be perceived as more than just another concept or technique; it is a way of life that can transform a human being and free him/her. At a second more fundamental level, it will compel all of

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us to inject and reinforce our concern for others into our own lives before we take it to the outside world. Pause, for a moment to contemplate the power behind the paradigm of care as a core competence. If, for example, customer care is defined as meeting customer requirements, then, it covers everything. It encompasses not only the product and service but also processes and people. Indians need to be trained to realise that they must respect the customers. Postulating that care can be made the basis for every activity in daily life, it suggests that society itself can be transformed by the care revolution. For Indian society, care will bring a transformation that will force it to examine, first, its own efforts at maintaining and improving society’s living standards. But, if we want the care - revolution to be complete and comprehensive we will have to bring in a composite

change

which

can

take

place

simultaneously. We may mix and match any available

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ideologies but if we synthesise them with a care movement, it would be a unique Indian way. Once caring becomes a habit you will find it everywhere: at home, at office, in society. This way it will be entrenched in all spheres. Once a person succeeds in acquiring

care culture,

he/she will also begin to demand care from services like banking, communication, railways. This will push him/her forward finally to demand care in his/her environment - on the street, in his/her habitat, in community service. And the cumulative impact of all these make him/her demand and give care all around. That should really be our ultimate goal.

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SECTION II: NEED FOR CHANGE

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3 CHANGE, WE MUST

Human civilisation developed due to the effort of humanity to understand and overcome the forces of nature. The knowledge acquired at every stage was stored and transferred to their kin in the form of symbols. These symbols evolved into various scripts that helped in storing and communicating knowledge, ideas and concepts. Knowledge translated in action creates skills that ultimately consolidate as emerging technologies. Over a period of time technology emerged as a means for using and transferring resources from one region of the world to another and thus creating national wealth. The level of technology has played an 47

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important role in deciding the status of countries as underdeveloped, developing and developed nations. It became impossible for one individual to harness, control and manage technology. This necessitated the emergence of modern organisations in business, society

and

the

government.

Modern

society

developed as a society of organisations. These organisations vary from a family unit to community, from a small firm to large business units, from a club to professional associations, from a social movement to political parties. Structure of these organisations developed over a period of time. Earlier an artisan or an artisan was able to make a product and sell it on his/her own. But with advances in technology of mass production and mass transfers, large business organisations evolved which are now turning into mega corporations. With the discovery of electron and development of chip, information technology progressed in leaps and bounds. Again the power of symbols has over taken 48

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the power of technology. Organisations have become slave to tyranny of symbols. Year 2000 problem is one of such manifestation of power of symbols. Society is again being driven by knowledge, ideas and concepts. People have to change their ways to readjust to this new phenomenon. Organisation structures, systems and processes have to change to make best use of this age of symbols. This fundamental change brings back the focus from technology to people. It was the creation of symbols that differentiated the path of growth of humanity from other living creatures. Therefore, any strategy to cope with change has to deal with people and their values. The focus will shift from the theory of knowledge to the theory of values. Because of the explosion of information we see changes happening all around us. Social and economic changes are visible in changing demands and aspirations of people. Rapid technological 49

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changes have shifted priorities of government and business. In

terms

of

political,

ideological

and

social

management, political change has great and far reaching consequences for common man in India. The information age has greatly contributed in making people aware of their leaders and their philosophies. The political environment is in a continuous state of flux in our country. Even established political formations are unable to cope with change. Further, in

a

multi-State,

multi-party

system,

national

aspirations, regional ambitions and the happenings in a particular State have a direct impact on the life style of people. The political scenario has become so complex that it is difficult to anticipate what is going to happen tomorrow. To understand the political dimensions, intuition, creativity and a gut feeling are more helpful than data analysis, forecasting, and building models.

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The nuclear bang has further fuelled the process of change. All pressures are being exerted to test the resilience of our political, economic and social system. The world has challenged the country to show its greatness, if it has any, and be counted for it. There has been a new surge of confidence in the technological capabilities of our country. Advances in the atomic energy, space research and information technology are quite apparent. In the current post nuclear environment it is very clear that a new mix of Swadeshi and Videshi policies will emerge to build infrastructure, to encourage domestic industries to be competitive and give thrust to agriculture and small scale industries. Whatever will be the political colour of the government it will be very difficult to keep on playing politics with the basic needs of people now. Change has become essential to keep pace with the new era and to adapt ourselves to new realities. If we do not change now, the circumstances will take over us. The 51

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posterity will never forgive us for our inability to change and transform our society, our business and the way of doing things. The need for bringing about a planned change has become necessary. Recent pronouncements of the government indicate a qualitative change in the nature of industrial environment. A consistent policy of opening public sector to private equity participation by governments headed by various political parties may make the existing structure, practices or culture obsolete for the new situation. With increasing competitiveness in various sectors of economy the present bureaucratic systems will lose their effectiveness. Change, we must if we have to survive as a nation. We have to change the ways of looking at things. Then only we will be able to cope with the blowing winds of change. Only people with frog-in-the-well mentality would not attempt to change even now.

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Ultimately, environment,

it

is

a

which

question

of

creating

an

promotes

an

attitude

of

discipline and care. This can come only through building a caring attitude in all walks of our life. The question is: how we can bring about this change? Is it possible to change when various interest groups are operating at various levels? How do we overcome personal and organisational barriers?

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4 HOW DO WE CHANGE

We resist changes of any kind. Mornings when we get up we brush our teeth and then take bath. What will happen if we take bath first and then brush our teeth? Will it make any qualitative difference in our cleanliness? We also resist changes that we think will alter our established human relationships in our surroundings. There is a great resistance to change because benefits of change cannot be convincingly measured and demonstrated. We

resist

change

because

of

its

following

repercussions: 54

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 It may destroy our public image.  It may change the status quo  It may render our existing knowledge or skills obsolete. Any change is nothing but a perception of mind. Therefore the first stage in the process of change is awareness. Awareness of surroundings prepares us for change. It is a thawing out process where we see the need for rejecting old behavioural patterns and adopting new ones. Awareness helps us in breaking down of the moves, customs, and traditions - the old ways of doing things - so that we are ready to accept new alternatives. The maximum resistance to change occurs at the awareness stage. Because, people resist changes, which are against their habits, experience, perception, customs,

beliefs

and

values.

Thus

a

person

accustomed to a particular chair or, a newspaper may resist any change in his or her routine. A child accustomed to hearing a story being told in a certain 55

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way may resist change in the key words and phrases when the story is retold. While proceeding on the path of change rigidity of old patterns and behaviours have to be removed. If we desire to change we will have to be more flexible in our approach. We can learn advantages of flexibility from nature itself. For example, if we look at a coconut tree and a banyan tree our initial response will be that banyan tree is stronger than the coconut tree. But after a heavy storm it is most likely that the banyan tree will be uprooted because of its lesser flexibility than that of the coconut tree. The process of being flexible is most likely to occur by one of the two mechanisms: identification and internalisation. Identification is the process of identifying objects and people of desired behaviour and trying to be like them. Hero worship is a logical outcome of the process of identification. The process of change has to go beyond hero worship. 56

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If the new behaviour is learned only through identification, it will persist only so long as our relationship with the original influence model persists. This highlights how important it is for an individual undergoing a change to be in an environment, which is continually reinforcing the desired change. The effect of many a training programme has been short-lived when the person return to an environment that does not reinforce the new pattern or even worse, is hostile toward it. Training and development methods should be designed for the permanent rooting of the newly acquired behaviour into the individual's personality. If the new behaviour has been internalised while being learned, this will automatically facilitate adaptability because it will fit naturally into the individual's personality. What we are concerned about in adaptability is that the new behaviour does not get extinguished over time.

To

assure

that

this

does

not

happen, 57

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reinforcement must be planned in an effective way. Individuals adopting new behavioural pattern should be given a conducive environment and recognised every time they engage in the desired new patterns. This will continuously re-inforce the new behaviour. With continuous reinforcement the individual learns the new behaviour quickly. At the most fundamental level we encounter three types of changes every day. These are: discrete change,

incremental/decremental

change

and

continuous change. A discrete change manifests in the duality of nature of existence - good or bad, positive or negative, on or off. I care or I Don’t care. Without being pointed by anyone we know deep within the nature of our actions. A good example of discrete change is condition of a lamp. Whenever current flows through its filament it emits light and whenever there is no current there is no light. We can voluntarily effect such a change and 58

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experience the outcome. Sometimes discrete change in the condition of lamp could be involuntary also as it happens during summer due to load shedding and power failure thanks to our electricity boards. The second type of change is incremental or decremental. Recognising and managing incremental change is not difficult. When we climb the stairs we become aware of each step immediately. Looking at the height of steps we modify our response and we climb up without hurting ourselves. But sometimes when we are preoccupied in our thought we can miss a step and even land in a hospital. Change in micro-processor technology is an example of such a change. Most of us who keep pace with these changes modify our learning system to cope with them. The moment we lose sight of advancement in technology we may become outdated. Neglect of incremental change may convert your flourishing business into a BIFR case very easily.

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The third type of change is continuous change. It is very difficult to recognise continuous change. Fifty years back at the time of independence dominant mode of thinking in our country was liberation from oppression and concern for others. The common man was willing to sacrifice anything to build the nation. Today, we find that people are willing to go to any length to subvert the system for selfish gains even at the cost of national interest. The dominant mode of thinking today is power acquisition and money accumulation.

This

change

has

not

happened

overnight. This was a slow and continuous process and if we look back it will be difficult to isolate a single reason responsible for this change. Generally, we are not aware of continuous changes taking place around us. I always thought that I am doing my best for my children. In fact my three year old son had confirmed this to my friend when he told him that his father is the most loving person he has seen. But recently I heard him telling his friends that his father just does not love him and keeps on telling 60

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him that whatever he does is wrong. It really shocked me for a while. How did this change happen? When did it happen? Suddenly I realised that in the process of making him a gentleman I was going overboard in correcting him. The moment we are aware of the nature of continuous change we should try to manage them. The corrective process may be long and drawn out, but it is not an impossible task. In last fifty years of independence we have lost sight of the continuous change in our national perspective. A society full of caring parents forgot to take care of its social, economic and political environment. These nuclear explosions have brought reality closer to us. The time has come to accept our mistakes and adopt pro-active policies to correct them. Changes in people have a very significant place in the process of change. A person could change in three dimensions: Knowledge, Behaviour, and Attitude. Change in knowledge is the quickest and easiest to 61

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make. Change in behaviour is difficult. Change in attitude is most difficult. An important thing, therefore, is shaping people's attitude. So that they will always be willing to do the best work possible. Significant changes in human behaviour can be brought about rapidly if the people participate in deciding what the change shall be and how it shall be introduced.

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SECTION III: ROLE OF VALUES

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5 CONCEPTION OF VALUES

The basic problem the world faces today are centred on decision making at every level. We find that knowledge and skills are being rewarded whereas deeper values suffer banishment. Knowledge and skills will cause colossal destruction if values are not restored in everyday life. Values are integral part of any culture, and the operation of a society is very much related to such values. The source of values, their transmission, and integration, follows a pattern specific to a particular culture. The attitudes of people are conditioned by the value system of a particular culture.

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Every culture is an integration of social and religious practices. Components of religion are intrinsically meant to induce particular behaviour patterns leading to proper attitude formation for a healthy society. Indian culture operates at two levels; at individual level and at group level. At the individual level it talks of development of self and at the group level duties and responsibilities of individual towards social groups, e.g. family, community, are laid down. Indian culture is oriented towards harmonious group activities. Indian tradition of respect for the seniors and elders is reflected in all walks of life including business organisations. The liberal, secular culture is proving to be for less value - dominated and much vulgar. The prevailing state of business, society and polity is influencing long standing and cherished value systems and causing a drift. Should there be no limit to the ingratitude of the shallow present to the deep past? The Indian business is in a desperate search of adequate and productive strategies. They have been trying all kinds of experiments viz. Quality circles, 65

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Kaizen principle, core competency, Business process Reengineering. Indians have been made to feel that their

wisdom

is

irrelevant,

non-empirical,

prescriptive, abstract and so on. The theory of values is intended to initiate and stabilise new and functional attitudes and values for mutual co-operation, understanding. The word value is understood by many people in many different ways. Contrasting with that of another, viz. fact, we can best indicate the meaning of value. The immediate result of all knowledge is to make us aware of facts. The object seen directly or known indirectly is what we mean here by a 'fact'. If we look around us, we perceive some object or other. This is direct observation. We may also come to know of thing indirectly, as when hear a distant sound, and connect it with its possible source. The 'fact' need not signify a present existence; it may be what existed in the past or what will exist in the

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future. Ordinarily speaking, it is not even necessary that it should be a matter of certainty; it is enough if it appears, for the moment to be so. All that is required is that it should not be known AT THE TIME to be unreal. Knowledge of such facts may suffice, by itself, to satisfy our theoretic curiosity, but in everyday life it leads, as a rule, to action whose aim is the positive one of securing something we like or the negative one of avoiding something we dislike. Either way, knowledge lights up for us the path of action, which we pursue in order that some desire of ours may be satisfied. It is this satisfaction of desire or the achievement of ends, as the result of knowing facts that are to be understood by 'value'. The Sanskrit word used for it is 'ishta' that means 'the object of liking', and the term 'value' may therefore be defined as 'that which is desired'.

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There is one point in the above conception of value to which is necessary to draw a particular attention. It has reality only in its fulfilment, and therefore it needs to be actualised before it can become truly a value. This is the reason we characterised it as the satisfaction of desire or the achievement of ends. If facts are apprehended, values are realised. It is only realisable, or on the supposition that they are so, that we call them values. To state the same otherwise, an object of final interest does not usually exist already, but has to be brought into being by deliberate EFFORT. It is a 'to be' which is 'not yet'. Existent objects are, no doubt, necessary for its realisation, but they merely serve as means thereto. Since values are thus of the future, the question of their present existence does not arise. Unlike facts, they are not given. But we have, instead, another question in respect of them, viz. whether they are feasible or possible of achievement. Ordinarily speaking, the possibility of their achievement need 68

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not be a matter of certitude. As in the case of facts, in the case of values, it is enough if they are not definitely known, ' at the time', to be impossible of achievement. The cognition of a fact leads to the realisation of value, through arousing a desire for it. Strictly, however, the arousal of desire is mediated by an idea of the value to be realised. It is always associated with a feeling of pleasure, owing to the past experience of the valuing subject; and it is that feeling which awakens the desire for realising the value in question. That is, we should not only have an idea of value to seek it, but also prize it. In fact, a value is enlisted to be called so only when it is thus prized or appreciated by us. Thus, while value, according to our definition is the object or content of desire, it is grounded in FEELING. It begins with an idea of value which, being tinged with a feeling of pleasure, arouses a desire for it; and that desire, by prompting in its turn appropriate activity, culminate in the realisation of the value. 69

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When we go to buy a soap, we buy a value, a desire rather than soap. The function of the soap is to clean the dirt from the body and any soap will do the job. But because of advertisement they have attached different values to different brand names. When you buy Hamam, you are thinking of yourself as a hardworking person, who is doing a lot of physical work, so you need to remove all sweat and dirt from your body. When you buy Lux, soap of film actresses, who are at the top in the industry, you are buying a dream, glamour. When you are buying Dove, you are a middle aged women and you want to make your complexion glowing and young. Hence all the three aspects of the mind - cognition, feeling, and will - are involved in the process of valuerealisation, and they operate in succession. We should add that it is not always the end aimed at which is termed a 'value', the 'means to it' also are often described so. But as sub serving ends other than

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themselves, they can only be 'instrumental', and not 'intrinsic', values like them. That is to say, though the term 'value' is primarily applied to the ends that are sought, often the means to their attainment are also secondarily called so. Thus wealth is an instrument value, while the fulfilment of any life's needs to which it leads, is an intrinsic one. But the distinction between the two is not a hard and fast distinction, for the one may come to be conceived as the other by a change in the attitude of the valuing subjects. Thus, money, which is commonly taken to be a means, becomes an end in itself in the eyes of the miser. On the contrary, the satisfaction of hunger, which is at first looked upon as of intrinsic worth, may come to be valued as a means to bodily health or power. It is clear from the above, that notions of fact and value are clearly connected with each other. If the idea of a value presupposes the knowledge of some fact, almost every fact, of which we become aware, is associated in our mind with some significance to life. 71

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Though thus interconnected, each remains distinct by the circumstance that their appeal is to different sides of our 'mind' viz. the cognitive and the conative respectively. If a fact is given and is to be appended, a value is appreciated and required to be achieved. The opposite of value, 'disvalue', may be taken as 'that which is shunned or avoided'. But modern pragmatism tries to explain facts in terms of value saying that, when analysed, they all turn out to be values; and pure science does the reverse by virtually eliminating values and retaining only facts. The truth is that both the conceptions are needed for a proper explanation of the world, as we know it and the life we lead in it. Even then in the absence of human values, pragmatism and science would not be able to give happiness which we seek all the time. Values play an important role in the process of change. Our beliefs are based on the value system we follow in our life. These beliefs are formed on the 72

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basis of our experiences in life and also what we perceive as acceptable norms of behaviour in our immediate environment. If the philosophy of I don’t care is firmly planted in our routine activities it is because we have learnt that this is the only way to survive and progress. The moment we leave the security of our home we encounter so many hardships that we want to go ahead at any cost. To get in to the bus one has to break the queue. One has to risk his/her life every day to occupy a good seat in the train. Even if you have made reservations in the train there is every possibility that someone else will request and occupy a corner of your birth and slowly spread all over. To escape this inconvenience, one may even refuse seating place to old and sick. Each passing day reaffirms your belief that one has to be insensitive and selfish to enjoy your comforts. Age old values of truth and goodness find no place in your daily life. In such an environment it looks absurd to 73

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talk about caring and sharing in our social life. The facts of life are very cruel. The world survives not because of unethical action. The world survives because someone somewhere is alive to the needs of others. You continue to live peacefully because there are majority of people who still believe in Ahimsa. There are certain universal values that everyone aspires to achieve. Some of these are love, honesty, truthfulness,

compassion,

goodness,

empathy,

calmness, equipoise. These are the values that are appreciated by everyone and the humanity is sustained because of presence of such values. When we believe in these universal values and try to act accordingly, we add value to ourselves and the society.

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6 ADDING VALUE

When soap is sold as Hamam or Lux, or a Dove then brand identity have added a value to the basic fact of cleaning dirt from the body. When we go to watch Hum Apke Hai Kaun after paying Rs.100 for a ticket and still feel satisfied we say 'Paisa vasul ho gaya'. The movie satisfies an urge to have a good family entertainment, and a feeling of belonging to an ideal family enhancing our cultural value or desire. This adds value to your time and money and we go again and again to watch the same movie to feel good again. The efforts of the production team and actors have added tremendous value to the silver screen.

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Since childhood we have been adding value to ourselves. After birth the first teacher is the mother, who feeds and enables a child to survive. The next teacher is father, whom along with mother builds a support system around the child and teaches him/her lot of things necessary for existence. The learning continues with the help of brothers and sisters, friends, formal teachers and the society. From a toddler to a discriminating adult we add values to our self by learning to use symbols in the form of script, and then leaning science, arts, medicine, engineering etc. and add knowledge and skill. With or without education, one can add economic value to oneself. The skill and knowledge acquired over a period of time enables us to earn our livelihood and gain status economically. To enhance one's value, one needs a backdrop. A stage actor needs beautiful, massive sets to enhance the value of his/her acting. A police officer needs his/her uniform and a motor bicycle or a jeep to enhance his/her value. A politician needs to wear 76

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khadi or a Gandhi topi to enhance his/her image. A doctor wears white coat or a stethoscope and a lawyer wears black coat to identify themselves in the surroundings and increase their value. When a fact is identified with a person, this fact increases the value of the person. This adds a value to his/her persona. When Amitabh Bachchan was only an actor, he needed a backdrop to perform and be recognised. Today, he is a corporation, a legend, and a showman. He added great values to his name by his effort. Some people add value by fancy sounding designation and want a promotion so that their visiting card becomes impressive. An Assistant General Manager, a Deputy General Manager or a Vice President, a Director added to a name enhances the visiting card value in this modern age. Some

people

use

educational

degrees,

not

synonymous to knowledge acquired and assimilated, to enhance their value, a LLB, a MBBS, B.E. and BA

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together to a person shows that he/she is very good in passing examinations, may be nothing else. One need not go to school or become a rich person to add value to him/her. With or without all these trappings' one can add empathetic value to one self. Empathy is 'your pain in my heart'. Many of the great personalities of the world have become great because of the empathetic value. Great saints have become immortal by adding empathetic value to their self. One may have to work very hard to become rich and earn money but one has to be just good, just care about others' feelings to add empathetic value. One has to care for others in their heart and show that he/she cares. We have to only feel others' pain, be in his/her shoes and show that we care; show this by our words, our body language, our actions. This will add empathetic value, the real value to our self. And that will be the beginning of a Care Revolution.

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7 BUILDING A CARE CULTURE

What does care culture mean? Is it humanising the work environment, concern for people, and welfare? Is it providing opportunities for employment, job satisfaction and growth? Is it creating an environment in which each responds to his/her role and copes with the realities of life? Is it creating a climate for people to be productive and proactive? Our home environment has a direct bearing on our behaviour patterns. Somehow we have managed to isolate the caring behaviour, which we display at home, to manifest at our work place and our outside interactions. A loving spouse and father or mother suddenly turns into a tyrant the moment he/she 79

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occupies his/her chair. People who spend hours together in cleaning their house throw the waste just outside their door or sometimes even in front of the neighbour's door. To build a care culture in all walks of our life we need only to be reminded of our true-self and be aware of these pitfalls. Once social awareness is there we will find a change all around us. The following check list of questions will help in understanding the effectiveness of care culture:  Do people love and enjoy being together?  Does everyone take pride in his/her surroundings?  Do you find people helping each other?  Do you see less criticism of others?  Do people trust each other?  Do you have faith in the system? One should look at care concept not as a mask you put on when you step on the shop-floor, but as something that is all pervasive. 80

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We find formal and informal systems and procedures everywhere for day to day functioning. These systems generally reflect the culture of the society, implying ‘this is the way we work here'. These systems and procedures come in the way when bringing in a cultural change. One should understand that no system is sacrosanct since it is manmade. Old processes and traditions continue because of the feeling of ‘why wake up a sleeping Giant'? Leaders and decision makers, occupying positions of authority and responsibility, find it difficult to change.

They do not see any need to introduce

change. They have a strong conviction that they are following the best methods and practices. Any modification and the consequent favourable or improved result make them feel insecure. Due to these reasons, they are, even, likely to sabotage the efforts of few who want change. Even if the common man is keenly interested in promoting a change, the move will be looked at with suspicion. 81

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The absence of trust and credibility makes it very difficult in introducing the change. One can direct the change in public behaviour using authority and law enactment but it will create resentment and hostility. Mere use of power and authority to bring on a cultural change is not likely to yield the desired results. Nowadays people are able to see clearly the attempts to manipulate their behaviour for temporary gains. One should not be aggressive with the care concept implementation process. It has to be done in a subtle manner. If you try to impose it, there can be an adverse reaction. Any exercise to change the culture and the mind set of people should be done with the people's concurrence. They should be totally involved with the process of change. The care culture cannot be a top down thrust. Once the scenario is made transparent, people themselves will come up with the ideas. As a result, their

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commitment will be natural and they need not be convinced about it. Our present state of affairs promotes both satisfaction and dissatisfaction. But if more people are dissatisfied and for a longer duration, it will cause damage to the smooth functioning of the society. Reasons for dissatisfaction are:  Prevalent Adhocism.  Lack of recognition and importance.  Unpleasant surroundings.  Public dissection of disputes.  Stagnation.  Misuse of authority and power.  Mounting economic pressure on living style and standards.  Disparity in treatment Though dissatisfaction within limits is necessary for improving the quality of life, it should be based on rational and clear policies.

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If more people are eager to seek security in their jobs and develop a sense of complacence, it indicates a high level of human energy loss in the society No other factor will be as powerful and damaging as the one which emerges from this kind of tendencies. Building a caring society, a caring government and a caring business is what building care culture is all about. We are talking about shifts of mental models completely. With no local model to help plan their way of life, Indian organisations, and business or otherwise, have to evolve their own philosophy: A customer focus and business orientation are implicit in this cultural change. One has to leave the baggage

of

unhealthy

values,

practices,

and

assumptions of previous era, the era of indifference. People facing change in their routines should not be left to flounder. They should be mentored.

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Through

role

playing

and

recreating

reel-life

situations, one should train employees in business and government organisations on aspects of customer interaction, like professionalism, politeness, body language, how to handle tricky situations tactfully. The key is to enhance and strengthen the channels of communication. One must have as many sources of information as possible to give feedback on what is happening in the society. So long as we are open to receiving feedback, we will find ourselves open to change. And having got the feedback, we must be ready to demonstrate that we are willing to take action. Or else, the process will stall. Practically, it may be difficult to satisfy all groups at all times, but it is essential that all groups of people perceive this change positively and develop a sense of belonging in the change process. The care philosophy believes that people care is the key to build a care culture in our business and government. We should advocate care as a way of life. 85

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Our Indian minds do not lack flexibility and adaptability but some kind of trigger is required. Instead of breathing down their necks, people should be allowed to work in their own pace. I do not agree with the view - point that Indian attitudes are a hindrance to our success. Indians are adaptable to new ideas if they are given the proper lead by an enterprising leadership. When new ideas are offered, ensuing benefits are going to be examined to see how much damage they do to the existing system, what price has to be paid to accept these benefits. The same applies fully in trying to introduce change in our society where we have different work cultures. Engineers, doctors, farmers may all have different work cultures. Each of them develops what anthropologists call a pattern of culture, a selection of beliefs and habits and practices, things they must do - the rituals - and the things they must not do - the taboos.

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But, we can learn from the simple conviction that customer care can come only from people care. One has to intertwine product, process and people seamlessly to produce a homespun care strategy that will work by tearing down communication barriers between haves and has nots and linking all activities to customer satisfaction. Every one, in some measure, is concerned with the wellbeing of others because his/her wellbeing, in turn, depends on that. Constant review of processes, coupled with teamwork and training can lead to a resurgent India. There is no doubt that we have a lot of ground to cover and there is no room for complacency. Slowly but surely, we will have to build a care culture to survive as a nation. There are six attributes every one of us must cultivate and commit:  Whatever we do, we must do our best. 87

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 A commitment to bring in care revolution.  A determination that customers must be satisfied.  A resolve that the customer must feel confident about our good intentions towards him or her.  A sense of honour and pride in our work.  A firm mind.

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SECTION IV: BUILDING CARE TEAMS

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8 TEAM BUILDING

There is a general perception that the Indian psyche is essentially individualistic and each person is expected to seek truth for and by him/her. This is very much reflected in Indian philosophy and classical Indian thought. Even intellectual discourses and debates are based on a one-to-one relationship. Over the years, giving importance to an individual's contribution and excellence has been institutionalised in all spheres of our activity, be it education, sports, politics or any other. All rewards and punishments are individual-based and very little recognition is given to group performance or the group role.

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Every Indian seems to excel as an individual rather than in teams. We have heard it very often in management seminars that each individual Indian worker or executive is better than any other. But as a group Indians fail miserably. But it is also a well-established fact that teams are more powerful and capable of achieving better results in any set up. A group of people working together will produce better results than by working as individuals independently. Human Being by nature wants to belong and at the same time likes to be recognised as an individual. To promote team working we will have to provide opportunities for individuals to work as a group to generate better performance and greater efficiency. We find that most of the performance evaluation systems

largely

take

care

of

an

individual's

performance. This means that we have not yet tried to evaluate and understand the full potential of

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individuals who want to be independent as well as dependent. An undue emphasis on individual performance has given rise to a feeling that the society and business can only be run by few heroes. The contribution of an individual to group effort should receive more than marginal weightage in performance evaluations. By concentrating on the tangible results delivered by an individual, the system ignores intangible criteria which helps in achieving the goals. Individual performance oriented systems are bad for promoting teams. An individual could be appraised highly with no attempt at discounting the team's contribution to his/her performance. This system discourages risk-taking and pitting people against each other in pursuit of incentives. Net result is that individuals work in their self-interest rather than the larger interest.

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Added to this, there is a feeling of anti-groupism in our system. Many feel that encouragement should not be given to groups because of the notions that 'groups become powerful and destructive', 'groups are generally bad and time wasters', 'groups kill the initiative

of

individuals'

and

'groups

mean

competition and conflicts'. In fact, 'divide and rule' and 'split the groups and make them weak' have been some traditional practices in all spheres of our activity. Though it is also true that groups are capable of producing both desirable and undesirable consequences. Therefore, the task before us is to channelize group work towards desirable results. Instead of looking at the group's negative side, efforts should be made to consciously promote group tasks towards achieving objectives. A single individual cannot achieve a wide spectrum of goals whatever may be the superhuman capabilities of that individual.

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A team is a formal group created for achieving a specific objective. It differs from an informal group whose members themselves decide to form a group to achieve their own interests. Therefore, a team is built by members, who are selected on the basis of their individual excellence to achieve a specific goal. These members have to co-ordinate their activities, build rapport among themselves and abide by the team rules. This

team

receives

support

from

its

support

organisations to achieve the set objective. Support organisations, with the available resource and expertise, contribute immensely in achieving team goals. Therefore we find that to support a national cricket team we have a cricket council, to support a local team we have clubs. These support organisations take care of organisational and managerial aspects so that team members perform at their best. Without these

support

organisations

results

cannot

be

achieved on a sustained basis.

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The team has a leader who gives directions for better performance and knows strength and weaknesses of each member. He/she ensures that strategy is evolved in such a way that group excellence comes to the fore. The team leader has to be a person who can command respect from team members otherwise there will be informal leaders within the team and the team cohesiveness will be seriously affected. If we discover that team members are not tuned to group work, it is desirable to understand the reasons for it. A series of training efforts will help in building trust among team members and develop mutuality of purpose.

During

these

training

sessions

team

members should be told about the importance of group work, team building and participation. Fostering team spirit is a challenging task. It is a continuous

endeavour

and

requires

constant

nurturing. The involvement of support organisations, team leaders and team members in the total effort is integral to success.

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We will have to recognise that the only key to survival is people within; working not in isolation, but together, not as individuals, but in teams. In spite of selecting best and highly skilled team members many a time we discover that such teams fail to achieve their goal. If we analyse the reasons for failure we are certain to discover that team building and team work is much more a function of values than of skills. Values, again, are much more a function of obligation-orientation than of rightorientation. When values disappear, skills replace them and begin to masquerade as professionalism. Skills-based training programmes, though easier to be imparted and communicated, are of little help in restoring team- work. Therefore, it is common that a few teams do not even take off in their mission because of the conflicting interests, perception and values of team members. As far as possible, a team should be formed in such a way that members are capable of vying with each other.

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If values are profound and non-self-oriented, the supposed lack of formal skills is always likely to be much more than compensated for. Every true team and its leader have always demonstrated that pure values, even without so-called skills or knowledge, provide a much stronger base than skills sans values. Indian thought system, specifically theory of Gunas, can help in building values in the team to make it effective and balanced. The theory of gunas is founded on the psycho-philosophical system of the Sankhya school. Sankhya system postulates, and the Vedantic school almost wholly accepts that every phenomenon, every atom, every human being and his/her actions, is a play of prakriti (e.g. primordial nature, not the physical). The dynamism of 'prakriti' is due to the continuous lure of the three gunas, namely, Sattwa (Balanced), Rajas (Passionate), and Tamas (Dull). These gunas are variously called attributes or constituents or elements or qualities, or principles, which underlie every empirical phenomenon. 97

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Each human being, at any point in time, represents an amalgam

of

these

three

attributes

in certain

proportions. He/she may have the predominance of one of them or the other at different times. These three Gunas can be explained by some similar meaning words as well as by describing the qualities of knowledge, work and doer in these classifications. Sattwa or Balanced:  Quality:

Purity,

serenity,

poise,

calmness,

discrimination, transparency, compassion, clarity, goodness, altruism, dispassion, contentment etc., or in sum Balanced  Knowledge: One imperishable, indivisible whole is becoming all and everything  Work: Action, which is rightly regulated, done without any desire of fruit for himself/herself.

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 Doer: Free from attachment and egoism, full of a fixed impersonal resolution and a calm rectitude of zeal, unelated or undepressed by success or failure.

Rajas or Passionate:  Quality: Love of fame, passion, lust strife, impatience, jealousy, pride, display of power etc., or in sum Passionate.  Knowledge: Seeing multiplicity of things only in their separation and variety.  Work: Action performed under the dominion of desire, with an egoistic sense of own personality, done with inordinate effort.  Doer: Eagerly attached to work, passionately desirous of fruit, impure, often violent, cruel and brutal in the means used, full of joy and grief in success or failure. 99

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Tamas or Dull:  Quality:

Anger,

offering

greed,

resistance,

ignorance, inertia,

stupidity,

forgetfulness,

confusion, darkness, brutality etc., or in sum Dull.  Knowledge: Small and narrow way of looking at things, which has no eye for the real nature of the world.  Work: Action undertaken from delusion, in mechanical regarding

obedience the

strength

to or

instincts,

without

capacity,

or

its

consequences, involving a waste of efforts or injury to others.  Doer: Works with a mechanical mind, are stupid, obstinate,

cunning,

insolent,

lazy

and

procrastinating. Just as each individual at different times could be impelled by the three gunas mutually interacting in 100

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varying proportions, so could different individuals possess the distinctive predominance of any of the gunas in their respective basic make up. Someone could be relatively more sattwic, another could be essentially

rajasic,

and

a

third

could

be

predominantly tamasic. Again, the same person is likely to be more sattwic in the morning, more rajasic during the day and more tamasic at night. Behavioural traits like empathy, team spirit, and openness in communication, essential ingredients for teamwork can flower only in a Sattwic or SattwoRajasic personality. To make a balanced team, besides considering technical and other skills and experience, it has to be ensured

that

team

members

share

amongst

themselves the Balanced or Balanced/Passionate personalities also. Without such members, a team comprising Passionate, or Dull members only are bound to be explosive, wasteful and ineffective in making decisions and implementing them. Balanced

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or Balanced/Passionate members will be required as shock absorbers and perspective- providers. The kind of values, which can make for enduring and constructive teamwork stems mostly from the balanced quality in human nature. Mere Passionate quality without the temperance of Sattwa cannot build good teams nor sustain them for long. The history of the rise and fall of team-work in any walk of human life could invariably be traced to the rise and fall of Sattwa or Sattwo-Rajasic guna within the team - be they cricket teams or Management Teams. When we look around us we find team members who have very narrow perspectives, who indulge in actions beyond their capacities, and who are insolent and procrastinating. They are every inch Tamasic. Can teams with such members thrive for constructive ends? The people heading Internal Customer Services i.e. Human Resource Development, Corporate Planning, Finance, Research & Development and other staff 102

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functions should be more perspective oriented, more balanced, patient and more tolerant. Hence, the head of such departments ought to be dominated by the Sattwa Guna. In manufacturing and marketing functions, leaders should have Rajas guna to be more dominant, though tempered by sufficiently strong Sattwic guna. Generally, when it comes to bigger causes, say for example making some sacrifice for national interest, most of us tend to lapse into Tamas unless goaded by patriotic or nationalist feelings. We dream of Shivaji and Pratap being born again but not in our homes. But when it comes to purely self-centred goals, the same Tamasic people tend to become Rajasic. How do we identify people with balanced nature? Is there any method to judge reactions of people in different situations? The question is: 1. Can we find out for each individual what his or her underlying guna composition is?

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2. Even if we can find out the dominant gunas in each individual, what can we do to alter their composition for him or her for the sake of effective human response? This is a challenge Indian thinkers will have to face and

find

solutions.

But

one

thing

is

clear.

Conventional methods will not help. The training programmes will have to be designed to make individuals aware of their dominant gunas. When they are aware of their dominant nature and tendencies they will have to be shown the path of selfdevelopment so that can rise to the occasion and at least do not stall the functioning of the team.

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9 THE CARE TEAM

A couple of years back I had conducted a work culture survey in an organization. While analysing the results I found that the number of people who want to devote their time and effort sincerely for the growth and prosperity of their organisation is significantly higher than pessimists and trouble makers. But the people with negative tendencies are better organised and form temporary teams to further their self-interests. Whereas people with positive attitudes do not come together as team. They are less flexible and escapists. They try to channelize their energy in outside commitments and are distracted by them.

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When opportunities are not available in their own work environment people try to derive satisfaction by engaging in some work whether social or commercial outside their normal place of work. If opportunities are given within the organisation people will perform at their best abilities without being distracted by outside commitments. While designing the corporate training programme these findings were used as a guiding principle. We gave a lot of emphasis on making people aware of the changing environments of business, need for change, importance of flexibility in the change process and how to add value to ourselves by taking care of others’ needs. To consolidate the gain arising out of this training programme we developed the concept of Care Teams. We asked for volunteers to be part of these care teams and there was an overwhelming response from participants.

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When I shared the findings of culture survey with many of my friends and associates they all generally agreed that this is the case with their own organisations. To further generalise I feel that many of the ills of our society is because those with positive attitudes do not come together and keep themselves occupied in their own world. They think, ‘Akela Mein Kya Kar Sakta Hun?’ I feel that the findings of the culture survey can be generalised to the whole spectrum of our business and society. To bring a care revolution there is a strong need to organise people with caring attitude in all walks of our life. To begin with if we can implement this concept in organisations

-

whether

business,

social

or

government - it will be a step forward in this direction. Every organisation has its mission defined which is conveyed to all. The primary goal for any business organisation should be customer satisfaction both 107

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internal and external, while not losing its aim of generating profit. These goals should be clear to everyone in the organisation. The success or failure of the care concept greatly depends on the top management; importantly the top executive himself/herself, his/her skills, approach, organisational philosophy and support he/she gives to the care concept implementation teams. Leaders of the organisation will have to spearhead the care movement. Managing Director or chairman or Chief

Executive

must

commit

personal

time,

organisational resources and senior personnel to lead care movement. They will have to establish a care vision and translate it into mission statements. Their role is not only participative but they have to get involved in the whole process. The role of the top management in implementing care concept would be:

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1. To examine and evaluate the parameters of success of care concept; 2. To consistently strive to improve the environment for launching care movement; and 3. To lead the care revolution with total commitment and dedication to achieve success. One should launch care movement with a pilot project: Choose a small but important problem dealing with customers. Involve front-line staff and deploy a selected team, called Care Team, to deal with the problem with perseverance. Care Team implementation will be learning by doing. It has to be two way approaches. The front-line staff has to be trained and enthused. They must continuously try and improve service and find ways by which it becomes easier for the customer. All other staff should support these front line staff in taking care of the customer. Most of the major problems in organisations are multi-functional and one function alone cannot solve 109

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them. If the symptoms of a problem shows up in department 'A' and the cause is in departments A, B, C, and D, it takes a special kind of co-ordination to solve that. Someone has to take the initiative, but he/she may lack the authority. In the absence of care team structure, there is no legitimacy for one function to go to the others. And say that we have this problem, let's put together a task force to solve this. Because each of the other functions may say that this is something we are not responsible for. Or that we are very busy. In the absence of a care team structure, the volunteer who tries to do something is forced to beg, borrow or steal. It is very difficult for him/her. That's why, often, it won’t succeed. But if the leadership comes from the top, and supports creation of such ' care teams', these care teams

will identify what needs

improving and that will become part of the organisation's business plan/long term plan in the various divisions. It won't be a matter of volunteerism any more. It becomes mandated in the organisational culture. 110

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The top decision makers, in the process, have to ensure that members of the organisation are treated as internal customers rather than resources. Human beings are not machines, or materials, or capital to be treated that way. We will have to change the perception of sceptics about the whole programme. This can be done by sharing the outcome with everyone. miracles

can

convert

sceptics

far

Prototype faster than

proselytization. Managing this change is the real challenge before us. Care Teams could prove to be an excellent tool in this change-management. We may encounter three types of resistance to the care movement. There may be some resistance because the whole concept is so new. Some people may feel loss of power. The third type simply will not believe that it could be done. We can win over the first type completely, and say, 70% of the last group through communications, 111

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training, and by showing them the results. The second group will become smaller and smaller once they realise the tremendous benefits from the movement. When they see that even the top man is taking active part in this care drive, a lot of scepticism will vanish. With time all the initial apprehension and cynicism in the minds of employees would disappear. For successful implementation of care team concept what one needs to do is to create an identity and an infrastructure that would signal not just the intent, but also the seriousness of the exercise. People need to be convinced that this is not a new fad of the high command. Drastic changes need to be introduced to promote the concept of teams. Organisations will have to try to create a team-working culture. It should be done at different levels in different forms. But certain care needs to be taken while forming a team. Following points will help in such an exercise:

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 Forming a team in which two members with strong divergent views are present should be avoided, if possible. If this is unavoidable, the team should

consist of a highly esteemed

member who is capable of containing dissent.  Those who have strong likes and dislikes, though experts in their own function, love independent work and consider group work a waste of time. To start with, it is desirable to form teams without their participation; the team leaders can elicit the views and suggestion of the individuals later. Gradually, effort be made to induct them into the team.  By forming teams with different levels of authority and power, those members who are likely to affect the functioning of the group may be contained. But if a group/team consists of vast differences in hierarchy, then promoting openness and trust becomes more complex and time consuming. Therefore, teams should be constituted with minimum levels of hierarchy. 113

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 Team may be allowed to split further if members feel that the group process has been constructive. By forming sub-teams, tasks to be achieved may be divided and pursued. Subsequently, the subteams may

meet together as the original team

and finalise their work.  The intensity and degree of participation in a group differs from individual to individual. This should be recognised and the resources of the group utilised accordingly, without any CRITICAL reference to anyone.  An informal leader emerges in any group. The formal leader should recognise this additional resource and mould it effectively to mobilise the team's efforts. The informal leader should not be perceived as competition.  Each

group/team

develops

certain

norms

regarding its members' behaviour, performance, dress, and values. One has to be sensitive to these 114

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issues. These norms should be monitored carefully so that such norms do not deviate drastically from the team goals and priorities.  The size of the team is very relevant for its effectiveness. It should not fold below six or exceed ten members.  Team should be reinforced on their performance; otherwise they gradually loose interest and become unproductive. Efforts should be made to ensure that teams are reinforced periodically through

praise,

appreciation,

bringing

an

honoured guest to group activities, providing concessions like rest, pauses, breaks and outings.  Periodic feedback regarding

successes and

failures should be built in to make the team aware of the direction in which they are going.  There should be a time bound target. Individual members in the team tend to drift initially from the main task in the initial stages. This is a natural 115

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phenomenon. The team

could be directed

accordingly if it is observed that the group is wandering aimlessly.  Generally, the management of the organisation forms formal groups.

But informal groups do

exist in the organisation, and also in every team. This should be recognised and efforts should be made

to

gear

informal

groups

towards

team/organisational objectives. Further alternatives can be thought of to ensure that efforts to promote team-work are vigorously pursued. But at the same time organisations have to exercise little restrain in team building efforts. There are certain don’ts in team building. These are:  Several tasks are individual based and some are group based. Teams should not be formed for those tasks, which have to be carried out individually.

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 Teams should not be formed as an escape from problem solving. Any team formed without specific purpose, agenda or direction is useless.  The credibility of the management will be eroded if the recommendations of the team are not implemented. A care team should not be formed if its

recommendations

are

not

likely

to

be

implemented.  A team should not be assigned a task, which it is not capable of

achieving whether due to

limitations in experience, resources or authority.  Teams cannot function effectively under fear and coercion. Team formation is likely to boomerang if the members perceive that they are being manipulated.  The relative achievements of different teams may vary. Over reacting to any single achievement of a team and drawing comparison should be avoided. If not taken care of, this may promote rivalry 117

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among them rather than developing a competitive spirit.  Some members may develop groups (activity with vested interests) within the team. Such attempts should not be encouraged.  Organisations are already divided into various functional departments and sections. If some teams are likely to further divide the organisation, then such teams should not be formed.  Each team is unique and perform differently. Hence generalisation about the performance of all teams,

based on specific experience, should be

avoided. To drive maximum team advantage, one should understand the principles which governs team behaviour, the difficulties which are encountered in forming formal teams and changes needed in the organisational systems to promote team building efforts. 118

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Care Team approach would be successful by involving all the areas of the organisation. It means translating customer wants into parts and processes in support systems; into manufacturing; operation; and delivery and service; linking up everything done by every member of the organisation directly to customer satisfaction. Customer Care Teams can be built around specific customers or customer groups. Crossfunctional teams can also be set up to encourage group efforts. Care

Teams

should

encompass

all

levels

of

organisational members. Then only such Care Teams will be of help in fostering team spirit, and employees will be able to see the results for themselves. The key difference that care movement can make is in the mind set and attitudes of everyone working in the organisation. The care culture would be reflected in every aspect of the organisation, be it product/service quality, costs reduction, or service to the customer.

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To bring in a care-revolution, we may have to build pillars on which the organisation's care movement would rest.

The first pillar: To foster systematic problem solving by people, involve every employee from front-line supervisors to top decision makers in the care process. Objective is to inculcate the habit of caring, together with improvements and reduction in the cost of indifference. The second pillar: To build balanced teams and involve workmen on the shop-floor, organised in small groups, in problem solving. Such teams being voluntary and relatively unstructured, would help to change worker's attitudes about the care effort. The change has to be voluntary and not directly linked to any benefits. The third pillar: Review and audit organisational processes to make the organisation healthy and

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competitive. This will also make employees aware of what they are doing and why they are doing it. The fourth pillar: Training. It is a precondition to any care-movement in the organisation. There is hardly any training an average Indian worker receives other than the skill training. It is something to be ashamed of. Not only more training is required to make a skilled worker multi-functional but the workers also needed to be trained for team building. Certain steps will be helpful in inculcating care culture within the organisation:  Understand the existing systems and procedures.  Consolidate those systems, which are necessary.  Introduce systems, which do not exists.  Involve

people

before

finalising

the

Care

Revolution Plan.  Conduct

periodic

surveys

on

organisational

climate and health.  Prompt purposeful participation of people in the organisational activities. 121

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 Form teams in all functions to generate ideas for growth related activities.  Promote openness and trust in interpersonal relations and help people to develop ways of dealing with conflicts using team approach.  Create an atmosphere where people enjoy their work and perform better by working together.  Research worker's requirements to design benefits and rewards.  Adapt objective appraisal in employee assessment.  Link 'we care' in the workplace to 'we care' in the worker's lives.  Eliminate communication barriers.

Organizations have to drive home the point that if an individual wins, the organization does not necessarily wins. But if the team wins, the individual also wins.

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10 THE CARE TEAM STRUCTURE

To formalise the care team structure, organisations may set up a separate body, a secretariat attached to Chief Executive's office to bring a care revolution. The secretariat may be called `Care Team Secretariat '. Its chief should be a father figure, whom the workers and the managers respect and relate to - who has been with the organisation for a number of years. In addition sufficient number of other senior members from other functions and divisions should be nominated and made part of the secretariat. The CTS should work as round - the - clock Care Team experts.

Their

function

would

be

continuous 123

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monitoring of the organisation wide Care Teams, ensuring mid-course corrections, guiding the careteams for the implementation of care movement in the

organisation.

And

crucially,

also

manage

organisation's need-based training system. The CTS should meet at least twice in a week. At its brainstorming sessions, they should decide which process or area should be looked into first. Meetings including times and dates - of these care teams should be structured and any deviations should not be allowed. The secretariat will help set up Departmental or Functional care teams (FCT) - in each function or department of the organisation - with a leader, a facilitator, and an evaluator whose task will be to promote the functioning of care teams at the ground level. The benefits of such care teams should be so tangible that we should be able to reach out and embrace them.

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The FCT should meet once a week to review the performance of the care teams in the respective areas. Each team member may be given few minutes to present reviews including difficulties if any. At least one member of the CTS should attend every such meeting. This enables the CTS to decide whether the Care Teams are on course or not. The effort should be made to see that the members never miss a single meeting. At the middle management level, Cross Functional Care Teams (CFCT) should be created to address major issues arising from operational requirements. These teams should be problem specific and therefore, highly focused in their deliberations. At the senior management level, we can have a corporate management team, an Apex Care Team, with a representative from each head of department, to give overall policy guidelines. There should be a monthly Departmental Care Team meeting,

which

should

go

through

targets, 125

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improvements, customer complaints, and possible remedies. The inputs from various care teams may culminate into a customer care plan; a roadmap that documents the operation to be performed, the parameters to monitor, the frequency with which they should be monitored, and the instruments to test the customer satisfaction. There may be some individual specific cases where service delivery gap may remain - and even in cases where it takes time to build care culture in the system - the selective care teams can contain the negative impacts. Slowly, Care Teams will shift the focus to the prevention of errors. Care Teams may be constituted to help rework manufacturing processes to forestall the problem before they occur. An improved product will reduce customer/user complains. This will result in reduction in the costs of repair and compensation.

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Care -Teams can be constituted to purge wastage, to analyse inventories, movement of goods, to keep in touch with external customers, to help internal customers

in

dealing

with

inter

and

intra

departmental matters also. Small care teams can look into areas which were not looked into before. The biggest advantage will be in reducing the costs of indifference. The total effort may add up to jawdropping savings. Since indifference is pervading all walks of our lives, the care attitude will pay off for almost all organisations in the short and long term. Care Teams will also help in deglamourizing titles and delink power from positions. It will also help individuals develop under peer influence. In a large organisation one may set up about 130-150 such care teams over a period of one year, each consisting of about five or six members, building long-term relationship with customers and to find solutions to shop floor problems.

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Organisations will have to set-up systems to support individual initiative. There should be guidelines and checklist for functioning of care teams. To bind organisational workforce to care concept we will have to give them freedom. They must have the powers to execute the solutions that they develop. Front-line staff must be able to redress complaints without running for approval to the boss. Workers should be empowered to solve problems independently. To build a care empire, empower. Care Team member should not be looked at as a floor worker or a foot soldier but he/she should be looked at as a knowledge worker; a strategist; not a mere specialist but a general. Organisations should develop systems to measure and verify the effectiveness of improvements. One should gauge the efficacy of each initiative, not just the money saved, but also indicators like service delivery, and customer satisfaction. One should broadcast the findings, and use them as starting points for further

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improvements. If you don't want your care teams to evaporate, evaluate them. If we want to be successful

in implementing care

concept, care teams have to be monitored at all the times. Because, in the absence of monitoring, the level of care may go down tomorrow. Just monitoring the same level of caring may not be enough, we will have to improve it. Remember: Caring must be practised on the shop floor, in the canteen. Everywhere! Even if all your people leave tomorrow, operations must be continued by their replacements at the same care levels. In essence, the care movement can be easily defined: Taking care concept out of the personal lives to encompass

every

conceivable

activity

in

the

organisation. The Care Team should become the eyes and ears of the care movement for the organisation, with the customer at the centre of all thoughts, processes and decisions. There should be no ambiguity about the role of these care teams. 129

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One should not be aggressive with the care concept implementation process. It has to be done in a subtle manner. If you try to impose it on the staff, there can be an adverse reaction. Any exercise to change the culture and the mind set of people should be done with the people's concurrence. They should be totally involved with the process of change. One can derive the maximum advantage by keeping few rules in mind:  Do

not

stick

dogmatically

to

any

one-

management model.  Customise every management theory to the corporate needs.  Create and empower CARE TEAMS to overcome indifference.  Train and retrain workers and managers in care concept.  Review the performance of each care team regularly.  Get the workforce to manage itself

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 Get people to perform mundane activities with care focus  Turn employees from skill hoards to care team members.  Focus on the objective of customer satisfaction

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11 TRAINING THE CARE TEAMS

Advancement in technologies coupled with rapid pace of change and international competition makes continuous learning a crucial element for growth. Most of the organisations have training divisions for imparting skill training to their new members and also for upgrading knowledge of existing employees when

new

equipment

or

new

technology

is

introduced. Very rarely we come across organisations who have establishments for regular training for strengthening conceptual, mental and interpersonal skills of their employees. Once in a while they are sent training institutes

for

some

management

development 132

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programmes but in the absence of any integrated approach these programmes hardly serve the desired purpose. Many executives treat these programmes as paid holidays. Organisations

should

prepare

strategies

for

development of their employees at all levels. They need to understand what will be required of their future leaders in the fiercely competitive markets of today and beyond 2000. What managerial skills should these individuals have and what knowledge must they acquire? There are challenges ahead due to increased globalisation

of

markets,

continued

movement

towards liberalisation and structural adjustments. Consumers also have the same kind of information and desire value addition in goods and services. Caring becomes critical in the era of tough competition and low margins. The era of value added managers has arrived. They will have to assume more responsibilities.

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The question is what type of training do we need? The corporate training should cover wide conceptual and behavioural skills which are not obtainable in narrow work environment. The training should encourage cultural integration and should focus on human aspect of the enterprise. The training should develop a corporate manager with solid understanding of the economics of business, its technology and ability to cope with the frequent and continual change. It should develop excellent soft skills (people skills) with a caring attitude. Therefore the training for care teams should focus on developing a caring nature towards all aspects of the organisation. The caring attitude will be reflected in people care, product care and process care. A higher understanding will come over a longer period of time through a range of contacts and experiences. This training is a long process and will need an equally long planning horizon. 134

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The organisation needs to develop care culture from the recruitment stage itself. All new recruits should go through intensive care training and team building workshops in their first year. Once an employee is inducted into the organisation, his/her lifetime with the organisation should be mapped out as clearly as a manufacturing process, with each successive step delineated. Proper practices and checks at each stage should ensure that the employee is suitably equipped to discharge his/her duties. The training should be such

that

there

manufacturing

are

process,

no

rejections,

once

the

as

process

in

a

gets

underway. Several in-house workshops need to be conducted in a year to assimilate the care team concept in the organisation. Critical in this system, is an open dialogue between higher management and other organisational members. Training courses should be designed to encourage participation and process ownership. Unlike the usual 135

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classrooms, where trainees face the trainer, care team training centre should comprise a cluster of round tables, each with its own presentation kits - a sitting design, which promotes teamwork. Care training should be given top priority for everyone in the organisation. The programme for leaders may cover a gamut of team building initiatives and discovering their own self. The training methodology should ensure:  Role clarity and rapport building between a team member and a team leader  Counselling

for

personal

and

professional

development.  Enhancing

an

individual's

contribution

by

building team-functioning skills.  Internalising the concept of customer focus, both internal and external. It is the individual who will be in the forefront of this care movement. The training has to be designed in a 136

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way to make the individual a better person so that he/she can cope with stress and develop a better understanding of others.

Every member of the

organisation should be made aware of using nonverbal communication effectively, giving positive strokes in interpersonal transactions, be positive and assertive to help develop a better relationship with internal and external customers. Participants of such training should be made aware to use creative and analytical aspects of their brain. The corporate training may cover following topics:  Understanding

the

external

and

internal

environment  Self-development and Interpersonal skills,  Need for change and Breaking Down barriers  Conception of values and Adding Value  Organisational culture and values  Concern for people  Care Team concept, its structure and functions  Team Building  Customer focus and market sensitivity 137

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Every person in the organisation - not just the frontline staff - should be trained to interact with the customer. The customer must configure the organisational function - not just marketing, but also manufacturing, finance - to work directly to fulfil his or her needs. Customer care should be the focus of every process not just selling, but also budgeting, planning, strategy making and training. For this, four critical steps needs to be built into the ongoing corporate training process:  Build a chain of internal customers  Institutionalise the process of care  Expose every part of the organisation directly to the external customer.  Support hierarchies with Care Teams. Corporate training would help in breaking down barriers and everyone in the organisation would realise that management is serious about the issue. 138

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The training should be conducted by staff drawn from various operational areas and trained for this purpose. As they get involved, they would be able to develop home-grown symbols and metaphors with greater appeal. The training process must expose every employee to the need of its customers and suppliers. In customer care the paradigm has to shift with emphasis not only on excellent technical skill - but aptitude of service and certain warmth. Organisations have to build the intrinsic capability to value what customer wants. Organisational members should be educated on the necessity of listening to customers by developing networks of teams that assemble themselves as a slim, all pervasive layer atop the functional structure. The care team training should be able to build selfmanaged and self-directed teams that can deliver the maximum customer care. Through this training process the values of customer care will cascade all over the organisation and an organisational culture of 139

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customer care will blossom. This will empower the organisation to leverage its resources to achieve customer focus.

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SECTION V: CUSTOMER CARE

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12 BUSINESS THAT CARES

Multinational

companies

are

using

various

international forums to press their competitive advantage through their respective governments. Even the issues of human rights violation, child labour and intellectual property rights are used as the tools of global business to push their products and services. To penetrate global market multinational companies are designing systems that eliminate defects and rejections entirely. In case a component is out of specifications,

the

remaining

components

are

adjusted to accommodate the deviation.

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In

comparison

with

the

world

standards

of

infrastructure facilities India's present infrastructure and industrial standards are truly underdeveloped. No one has seriously attempted to build these facilities. The era of license - quota - permit raj allowed Indian business to produce poor products and shoddy services. After

liberalisation

Indian

industry

is

facing

competition for the first time in a big way. There is a demand for protection from the government. It is a fact that sudden opening of economy did not give enough time to business to realign and restructure their business. Earlier if someone wanted to grow there was no choice but to expand or diversify wherever opportunities were available. Many of the industries diversified in unrelated segments. Core competency was just not possible. With available limited protection for the time being, Indian business has to accept the gauntlet and rise to the global competition. The government can provide protection - the level playing field - for few years. But 143

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only those business organisations will survive the century that can restructure their business and upgrade their standards. Most customers weren't dissatisfied earlier because they did not know that anything better or different was available. Now that they have choices, customers no longer tolerate indifference. Customers demand products and services to fulfil their needs. Individual customers demand that they be treated individually. In the service sector customers expect and demand more, because they know that they can get more. Earnings, in both organised and unorganised sectors, are rising rapidly, generating increasing amounts of disposable income. Extra savings in the form of reduction in income tax rates is also available for spending on consumer products and services. Majority of Indian customers are conservative and discriminating in spite of changing personal, social, financial and cultural influence due to the advent of satellite TV and Internet. We have a customer who 144

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knows what he/she wants and he/she has a choice too. We have a customer who will buy only that product or service which cares for him/her. What everyone has to do is to diligently build relationships with customer and believe in customer care. In past twenty years rules of the game have changed beyond recognition. Increased movement of Indian citizens and advances in electronic media have opened the eyes of Indian consumers. They are no more willing to shell out hard earned money on inferior products and services. A new middle class has emerged with a large appetite for quality goods and services. Demands of customers are also changing. Customers now tell the sellers what they want, when they want it, how they want it, and what they will pay. This new situation is unsettling to organisations in India that have known life only in the protected market. Customers don't need to deal with organisations that don't understand and appreciate this startling change in the customer-service provider relationship. 145

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More competition has changed the nature of market. Organisations compete on the basis of price, selection, quality and service before, during or after the sale. Indian business has to change and adjust to new market realities. Otherwise, it is not only the Indian market, which will yield to foreign firms, but battling in the global market will be impossible too. Business

organisations,

which

use

indigenous

strengths to understand future requirements, can only dominate the markets tomorrow. For Indian companies aiming the products and services at the global market, that is not an academic issue. They have to show the world that they care. Every employee in the organisation has to show that they care. To rejuvenate India, Indians must throw out their old notions about how businesses should be organised and run. Service-delivery gaps exist all around. Most organisations in India today, no matter whether 146

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business or non-business, can find that their work styles and organisational cultures are almost same without many exceptions. The reality that organisations have to confront, however, is that the old ways of doing work are simply not acceptable to general public any more. If the customer says that this is the best, it is the best. Therefore a good product is different from a perfect product. Every commitment made to the customer must be honoured. Once the customer has been promised certain standards of product and service quality, they must be delivered without any deviation, however difficult it may be. The customer must be cared for at whatever cost. Goodwill is dependent on the strength of the organisation in external customer's mind. A single unpleasant incident between front line staff and an outsider can create a very damaging effect on the organisation's image, which cannot be compensated through fabulous advertisements, films etc. People 147

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media is more powerful than the media created for the people. Front-line staff, who has to deal with outsiders, should carry out their tasks with dignity, tact, poise, concern and care. Promoting the goodwill of an organisation is like nurturing a plant to grow into a tree bearing fruit. This is extremely time consuming process and basically depends on the organisation's products and services. If people perceive that organisation's products and services are providing value for their effort (time and money), the organisation's goodwill increases. The image of the organisation is the fundamental criterion for its future development and growth. The image can be built up only over a period of time. All employees of an organisation have significant roles to play not only in establishing a good image for the organisation, but also in maintaining and improving that image year by year.

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Everyone in the organisation must personally take charge of leading the change related to care revolution. One cannot delegate care. The results of care revolution may cross our expectations. As studies across the world shows satisfied customers will always pay a premium. The population of India is willing to pay the price for good product and service today.

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13 A PRISM MODEL OF CUSTOMER CARE

The customer is the cause of our existence. We will have to make it simpler for customers to interact with us. Once this philosophy is internalised in an organisation, the structure and systems will fall into place. Focusing on the customer will force them to set their house in order. While interacting with participants during the corporate training we developed a Prism model of customer care (Fig. 13.1) with organization structure as its base and care as vertex. Four surfaces of the prism are:  People care  Process care 150

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 Product care, and  Technology care. The customer, when he/she is approaching the organisation will go through one of the four surfaces: People

Care,

Product

Care,

Process

Care

or

Technology care. Whichever surface he/she interacts with he/she must experience bliss. A customer who is interested in your product/service will approach the organisation. The first point of contact will be a front line staff, may be a telephone operator, or a sales person, or an enquiry officer. If any one of them does not care and is rude the first impression is going to be bad. Even if you have designed the product with best of intentions the customer is going to be apprehensive about the product or the organisation. By virtue of the role played by front-line staff; they are more visible to the outside world than others in the organisation. They are in essence the real ambassadors in projecting the image and goodwill of 151

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the organisation. Front-line staff have to focus on the changing needs of customers and the way in which they perceive good service. A good judgement by front-line staff is required to meet customer needs on both the outcome dimension as well as process dimension. One must design service delivery systems that are customer and employee friendly. If the customer is able to cross this first point of contact and chooses your product or service he/she will be exposed to organisational processes which are nothing but your decision making system in the organisation supported by people and paper work. If he/she finds that attractive enough he/she will go for your product or service. By focussing every aspect of its processes on the customer, the organisation will be able to serve up unmatched value and also enable it to make greater long-term profits.

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Organization should use appropriate technology while designing the product. The selection of technology is very important and it should be right and cost effective for the business of the organization. Finally, the product or service has to be good for him/her to come back again or spread the good word about it. If product or service is not designed according to customers’ needs and specifications the bad word will spread and it will be difficult to sustain the product in the market. The care revolution in business requires focusing on the customers' needs. If we want to focus on customer care, the product or service is the primary vehicle for fulfilling the customer's needs. No product that does not meet one or more identified - and relevant requirements perceived by the customer will offer a source of value to him/her. What we have to focus on is the core product, the additional features, and the service envelope. Thus, whenever a customer comes in contact with such an organisation there will be a rainbow effect on 154

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him/her i.e. he/she will be able to experience all the facets of quality of the organisation. It is something like a white light passing through a prism and because of diffraction you can see the beautiful rainbow of colour emerging out of the prism. The organisation will be truly on its path of ushering in a care revolution.

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14 INTERNAL CUSTOMER CARE

There is a massive underutilisation of the potential that people have. Most of the time, we want people to do what we tell them instead of asking them to use their brains. This may be useful for short term results. But for a revolution to happen one has to bring about an urge from within and to channelize the goodness within every one. Organisations have to make a beginning in driving home the point that if an individual wins, the organisation does not necessarily wins. But if the team wins, the individual also wins. This realisation can take place through developing individual and group behaviour. 156

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The main objective of care drive is to achieve maximum

possible

customer

satisfaction,

and

employee satisfaction - because only a happy staff member will go out of his/her way to offer satisfying services to the customer and making the organisation, profitable. Most organisations go on and on about customer satisfaction, but talk very little about employee satisfaction. Only happy employees make for happy customers and bring the customer closer to the organisation. The future of any organisation depends on its people. The institutionalisation of care team concept will help. But how do you foster team spirit in an environment where individualism is so high? Most organisations manage people, using the carrotand-stick policy, when you use a carrot on one side and stick on the other, what do you imagine in the

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middle? A Donkey? Our so called human resource processes have made donkeys out of employees. Employees should be looked at as an investment and not a burden on expenditure. Somehow, due to priorities in the day to day functioning of any organisation, top decision-makers do not give their people the attention and care they deserve. Ironically, it may be true that those very problems stem largely from people. If proper orientation and perspective to care culture exists, the health of several organisations will change dramatically for the better. For any organisation, main asset is people.

One

should believe in providing customer satisfaction by having a pleasant relationship with employees, who create wealth, who create products for customers, and who use and operate the equipment, processes and systems. At every point, one should ask question: Is this going to make life better for our employees? How do we create wealth for our employees? How do we ensure 158

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that they have a roof over their heads? How can their spouses and children be happier tomorrow than today? Are we doing anything that discriminates certain employees? One crucial concept that is very important for care revolution is that of internal customer. Every organisation needs to service its internal customers at the same level it seeks to do to its external customers. Hence the organisation needs to service every link that constitutes each process in its value-chain. Manufacturing becomes the internal customer for finance when the latter is required to service its budgeting

requirements.

Manufacturing

is

Administration's internal customer when the latter has to service the support needs of the manufacturing process. Every step should be defined as a transaction between an internal customer and internal supplier, setting up a chain which, ultimately, culminates in the external customer.

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Internal

customer

service

concept

should

be

crystallised in the organisation over a period of time. This enables every employee to focus on his or her immediate customer, rather than the end user alone, so that the finer details are not missed in the attempt to get the big picture right. The focus in this method is on meeting customer needs through an internal backward integration process so that each link in the chain is strengthened and existing conflicts resolved.

Problems can be

solved

transaction

by

re-examining

each

and

intensifying the customer client relationship in each case to ensure that the step receives extra attraction. This could be possible because the chain makes it a point to provide the infrastructure, ensuring that equipment cannot be blamed.

Nevertheless, if

something goes wrong, it can only be because the system is not delivering. Members

from

various

functions,

and

across

hierarchies should be put together as a team to listen 160

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to internal customers and solve each other’s’ problems. The new Internal Customer Service paradigm has to focus on employees in such a way that it brooks no functional and hierarchical barriers. Key points in this concept are:  Redefine every employee as a customer for everyone else in the organisation.  Treat the owners of every stage in the workflow as customers of the previous stage.  Create several chains of internal customers, leading up to the external customer.  Use internal customer satisfaction as a gauge for measuring effectiveness.  Evaluate every employee on his/her success in servicing his/her internal customers  Ensure that every employee realise the importance of this concept Personnel department may be termed as Internal Customer Service Department (ICSD) in this new perspective.

ICSD

should

treat

employees

as

customers, using research to ascertain and verify their 161

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needs. This data can be used to design appraisal, compensation, and other rewards, with special emphasis on providing unexpected benefits as well as to improve working conditions. Employee lifelines should be clearly mapped out, with checks exercised at each stage of an employee's progress through the organisation. Once you accept the principle that organisation's employees are your customers, ICSD has to practice well-defined processes at every stage: Recruitment, Reinforcement,

Rewards,

Recognition,

and

sometimes Resignation. Once the ICSD is satisfied that their parameters have been communicated to its customers - the employees - it should set about satisfying them identifying their needs and catering to them. Acting as a facilitator it should interact with other departments to mould the skills of each individual to specific departments and teams.

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The goal is to ensure as high a degree of fit as possible between an employee's natural abilities and mind set and his or her assignment. For this the ICSD should keep dossiers on all employees. These can be used to re-deploy the manpower in the organisation whenever necessary. Each employee should be given clear guidelines, such as to do things right the first time, satisfy both internal and external customers, don't go back on commitments and make commitments carefully. These could be the operating guidelines, after they have the freedom to work the way they want to. The organisation also needs to reorganise its internal dynamics to be sensitive to the same sort of feeling and aspiration that its own employees have. It needs to extend the personal touch to every employee to facilitate the unhindered emotional transmission that adds value to every transaction. The policy on rewards should be to create and strengthen the sense of joint ownership of the 163

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organisation's fortunes, creating partners-in- progress rather than just people on the payroll. And the method is to reward systems, choosing the most effective ones, and implementing them. One method, to foster this feeling among employees, is the system of stock option in the form of warrants which could be converted into shares, Another method is to create a comfort zone at all levels for employees. One requirement which most of the employees have is housing. Organisation should design a system that enables employees to fulfil this ambition. The organisation has to be a very family sensitive because employees work better when they are happy with their families. Other unasked for benefit which can be evolved are:  Transit flats for married employees who have to travel a lot.

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 Transport facilities to protect employee from the nerve-wracking

peak-period

public

transport

system.  A flexible working hours- from the traditional 10 to 5 to a flexible 8 to 6 keeping constant working hours daily - to make allowances for his/her personal needs.  Eating facilities.  Recreation facilities. Another critical factor in the employee mind-sets is the need for objective appraisal. Each employee should

be

judged

by

himself/herself,

his/her

superiors and his/her peers, as well as his/her juniors. To strengthen the objectivity index ICSD should review each and every appraisal. One has to establish credibility. And these things will reflect in customer care. Internal Customer Service Department's goal is not only to set new standards of monetary compensation, but also to provide small-unexpected benefits that are designed to communicate to employees their real 165

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value in the organisation. Even the small things make a world of difference. To achieve this goal, the ICSD should carefully monitor working conditions and employee's work habits, using observation, informal listening and, of course, employee surveys at regular intervals. The process of tackling resignation, voluntary retirement and retirement should be well defined, with

involved

understanding,

counselling,

negotiations, resolutions and report. Thus, when an employee leaves the organisation, the ICS department should analyse the reason why the move has been made. Direct interaction with the employee should follow. With a problem solving mechanism being used to iron out the issues of mutual concern. At the same time, the individual's needs and abilities should be assessed systematically. And the wisdom gleaned from the process of managing an employee's life cycle should be used to improve employee care levels. Like technology, human needs also keep 166

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changing. So, ICSD's ability to quickly adapt to new work environment and employee's needs will prove to be crucial. The ICSD function is strongly linked to the customerfocus programmes. This is because the success of customer

focus

depends,

largely

on

employee

involvement in all processes aimed at ensuring customer satisfaction, both internal and external. At the core of this process is the reorientation of performance appraisals so that teams performance and not individual performance, is rewarded. This new appraisal system could be called Team Oriented Appraisal (TOA) system. The idea is not to evaluate performance as it is conveniently known, but to identify the team working capabilities

of an

individual, build training needs around him/her, and help him/her acquire or update his/her skills. In the new scheme of things the ICS department should be treated as a line-function and not a staff function

that

is

directed

from

organisational 167

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headquarters. The concept of Internal Customer Service Department would fulfil

the following

objectives:  To increase the level of interpersonal trust among people.  To increase openness of communication.  To increase employee's level of satisfaction and commitment.  To increase co-operation and collaboration among employees.  To confront problems instead of avoiding them.  To effectively manage conflicts.  To

increase

organisation's

self-renewal

capabilities.

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15 CARE TEAMS FOR CUSTOMER CARE

Customer care is all about giving the customer the product or service he/she needs at the right time and at the right place. It is:  The fulfilment of needs that the customer is aware of.  The fulfilment of latent needs that the customer is not yet aware of.  An unexpected benefit.  Solution to problems offered by the organisations at their own initiative. You don't have to merely satisfy the customers' needs or to the extreme, going out of the way to delight 169

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him/her. You must be prepared to do it again and again, consistently. That is customer care. We have crossed the era of silent customer of the past who, bereft of alternatives, bought any product or services without any complaints. Today it is the customer who decides the fate of a product or service. In the changing circumstances organisations will have to continuously monitor and meet changing customer needs,

streamline

processes,

cut

costs,

and

restructure for quicker response to the customer's demands. The aim should be to provide each customer with a unique, distinctive, and sustainable value proposition. Further, we may provide a quality product, customer service cell may meet the customer expectations by responding to his/her complaints promptly, but not building a long lasting relationship with him/her means wasting a golden opportunity. We should be passionate about holding on to our customers. Winning customers and retaining them 170

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should be one of the major objective of any organisation. In this age of cut - throat competition and charming product-lines, a lot depends on elementary and enduring relationship between the organisation and the customer. A satisfied customer who brags about the product/service is sure to bring in more buyers. It is not enough to have good intentions. Today, we have a value-conscious customer at one end, and an indifferent salesman at the other, who is more interested in business than customer care. Without building a care culture in the organisation it would be difficult for the organisations to have a lasting impact. An organisation that lives, breathes and exudes care culture from the time a response is initiated in the form of an enquiry to the time the product is manufactured, supplied and commissioned is a true care organisation. When this care relationship is continued a repeat order is the most natural outcome.

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Organisation must allow the customer to dictate performance standards. Efforts must be directed at meeting customer needs. Customer needs must be tracked continuously and responded to immediately. All

planning,

processes

and

people

must

be

configured around the customer. Organisational strategy must be aimed at delivering customer care. It's the confluence of several economic forces that has made the customer care the central focus of a corporate destiny. Advantages that well-entrenched players had built up over the previous decades have been all but eroded. It is no more possible for business organisations to hide their high costs and inefficiency under absurd pricing. Every company, every organisation has to maximise the value they offer to their customers because that is the only way they can care for their customers, they can keep their customers happy. Organisations across the country will have to go beyond product or service quality; that is only the basic foundation, on which they must stand and fight. 172

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Being fixated on the customer will force organisations to constantly track his/her changing needs and expectations. It's an era of fast-moving consumer tastes. You can't sell the same thing for six months while earlier you could go on selling the same product for years. As the organisation responds to shifting requirements with constant adjustments in its basket of benefits, the customer-focused organisation will be able to match its product/service specification to what the market wants. And in order to do that, it must develop

flexible

manufacturing

and

marketing

systems that can respond in real time to its perceptions of changes in the market place. It is not just important to understand who your customer is today, but to identify the drives of his/her behaviour and how they are changing, his/her future needs and wants, and anticipate his/her needs even before he/she does so himself/herself. In a liberalised economy, the customer is the king. It is the customer who will determine the type of system 173

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and people you should have. The customer will give the final verdict about any product and service. The difference will be the level of customer care each one offers. If someone does not take care, he/she will go the way of the dinosaur. We will have to focus on dimensions that help in adding value to the customer - cost, quality, and delivery. One should conduct random field checks to gauge the customer's perception of its performance. To add value to the customer, you have to offer him/her service on his/her terms. Focusing on customer care will compel organisations to

create

value

without

over-stretching

their

resources. The customer makes a trade-off between quality, price, and the resultant return on the spent unit - time, money, and effort. When you do this, the customer sees a humanistic organisation, which treats him/her like individual - not a faceless, nameless parcel of pre-programmed consciousness.

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A commitment to providing consistent quality of product and service can come about through Care Team

Management.

It

creates

a

team-driven

environment where scientists, engineers, marketers, and salesmen understand customer care and use it as a manual for continuous improvement. At every contact point, what the customer goes through, what can be cut out, and what can be simplified can be realistically assessed by care teams. And the lessons learnt can be institutionalised through various care teams in the system. Members

of

the

organisation

should

aim

at

capitalising on their interaction with customers to strengthen loyalty. It is basically employee’s efforts in contacting

prospective

customers

and

making

promises which attract them to company's offerings. Delivering

on

those

promises

is

difficult

to

accomplish in the absence of effective care culture in all aspect of the organisation.

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To ensure that proper customer care takes place, one has to keep ones’ ear close to the ground to listen to customers. The three conditions that the process of customer listening must satisfy are:  It must serve to identify customers and determine their requirements. These act as all-important inputs for the care-teams.  It must define measure of success with which the performance of the organisation can be judged.  It

must

indicate

the

extent

of

customer

satisfaction in absolute terms. It also requires determining the precise form of the feedback-gathering mechanism. In other words, customer listening attempts to segment the market, to identify emerging customers need, or to analyse dissatisfaction factors. Using this feedback from such listening processes, one should develop new product and services. Care teams can map the process flow of customer interactions to devise new forms of gathering 176

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customer feedback. When the analysis of customer interaction reveals that there were several instances when the organisation is forced to deny a customer request, the care team should use this information to device a test to measure why and how many times this is happening. One

should

convert

every

point

of

customer

interaction into a listening post. Each front-line employee should be asked to fill in the customer's responses in a structured manner. Care teams can use a variety of mechanisms in order to listen to the same customer. Thus, a customer may be asked for feedback four times; through formal market research; a visit from a front-line staffs; a mailer and follow- up telephone research. Every month the customer care teams should make a presentation to top management on problem areas and response-times. This will help in identifying critical parameters.

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We are all customers in one form or another. The care revolution can spark off a movement, bringing in an awareness of the rights and forcing business and government to think of caring. We can list few care commandments for us to follow:  Care

through

consistency

of

purpose

and

continuous improvement  Making care an integral part of the organisation, not as an accident.  Using problems as sources for improving care.  Understanding

care

as

conformance

to

performance.  Making care culture an all-pervasive influence.  Removing all factors that can cause indifference in performance and building safeguards.  Providing service at the correct and useful place and at a time when the need arises. During the corporate training programme one of the team members came across a story which he termed as Ultimate Customer Care. A man was attacked by robbers. They stripped him and beat him up. Left him 178

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half dead by the side of a lonely street. A traveller who was passing by saw the man. He went over to the man, comforted him with physical touch; attended to his immediate needs by applying some medicines, gave him a glass of water. He then carried the man to a nearby Lodge where he looked after him. Before leaving for his urgent work, the traveller took out some money and gave it to the owner of the Lodge to take care of the anticipated needs of the injured man. Before he actually left the Lodge, the traveller made it a point to speak to the Lodge owner to take special care of the man in need and promised to visit the Lodge on his way back and make good any additional expenses which may be incurred by the Lodge owner in making the man comfortable. The hospitality and service is almost second nature to us. Using this second nature productively is a crucial aspect to provide customer care. The humane and caring atmosphere created in the organisation by implementing care team concept for both employees and customers can make the real difference. 179

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16 CARE TEAMS FOR PRODUCT CARE

Technology has advanced at an accelerating pace. First internal combustion engine for motor cars was developed in the beginning of this century. Electron discovery has just completed one hundred years and the way it changed the world is beyond imagination. 20th century can be categorised as a century of change with characteristic speed and is reflected everywhere. The growing use of technology in product planning, design and manufacturing has provided a great deal of opportunity to modern business. Technology provides a cutting edge in designing a product or a service. Organisations have to give careful thought to 180

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their choice of technologies. Experts have to evaluate technology before using it. Many critical issues may be swept aside by organisations enamoured of technology. But, once a product is designed, developed or adopted one should adhere strictly to the specifications of the materials and the components in the manufacturing process, without any compromise. Product quality of international

standards

requires

constant

up

gradation of technology, either in-house through research and development, or through collaboration. Sometimes we are fooled into buying a product, for example, a music system. The speakers may not work properly. Power switch might be intermittent. When we ask for another piece, we are told that it is out of stock. Sales persons are interested in only pushing the product, not satisfying the customers. Worse, the after sales service will be extremely time consuming. Why do organisations sell products that need to be serviced or repaired soon after they are purchased?

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Our domestic market is so huge that whatever manufacturers make, however inferior, it sells. So far, the customer has accepted anything. So, why should the manufacturer spend more money in product planning and development? If we want to bring product care in practice there is a need to get at emotional and unarticulated customer needs and building them into product design and customer service processes. We need to get objective insights into the customer psyche. An organisation keeps track of macro-economic trends and key economic parameters to forecast household and industrial market characteristics. Once a product idea is identified, a cross- functional care team should translate the product idea into a project brief. There should be strategic filters so that unworkable ideas get sifted out without too much money down the drain. These filters can be provided by cross-functional care teams that make sure that the concept works at all levels: product idea, customer

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research, marketing, finance, distribution, operation, logistics et al. If an idea goes through, it should be tested out. After the product hits the market one should track the performance of the product to provide customers wants, needs, and desires even as they are being shaped. Is the customer demanding more from the product? Is he/she ready to spend more on improved product? The first step in the product care process is to regulate the flow of product ideas, which comes from myriad sources. Then comes consumer research to home in on consumer's tastes and habits. One can use several product teams working concurrently on different aspects to absorb the technology and to adapt new system. Small teams of managers /employees should visit related exhibition/seminars in the country and outside to study current trends, obtain as much information on product features as possible as well as 183

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customer feedback and counter moves by the competitors. In addition it is advisable to conduct surveys in the targeted market to check customer satisfaction levels that are presently available. By probing the experience of customers one may try delineate features that may add to product/ service satisfaction and catch trends that may just be taking shape. One must get feedback all the time from after sales services staff about the perceived shortcomings in the product. Importantly, these frontlines, which are closest to the customers, also provide data as which feature could be improved and what features customers like in the product sold by rivals. The information should also go to the respective care teams which can analyse the detailed proposals. The care team in this case also functions as the availability- marketability- consumer need check post.

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Then begins the process of technology relation. Product development or improvement teams should be set up comprising of in-house R&D staff, industrial design group and departmental care team members. After examining the technological opinion, the best suited technology should be selected. Following this, the process breaks up into three concurrent activities with three independent teams working on them. Team one accesses the product features and identifies the equipment

for its

processing, assembly, and component manufacture. Team two works specifically on the technology. Team three works on the training to absorb the technology. The aim is to make people ready for the new /improved product in all respects even before actual work starts. And this three pronged strategy is critical for the success of the product. One should believe that product care comes only by taking care of the whole process of product design,

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development and improvement and then controlling the quality of input materials that go into it. One should also investigate whether the technology suits the infrastructure realities of the market, for example the power situation. If someone is designing a product with constant voltage condition in India, customers are going to face problems. To take care of sudden surges in voltages, the design should have a built in surge protector to safeguard the equipment. And to cope with power cuts, the products, like computers should have back-up systems that can keep the power on till the ongoing work is saved. Such innovations do not require major technological breakthroughs; all it needs is a common sense, understanding the basic requirements of customers, and the ability to make quick change in product features. One should also investigate whether the technology suits the consumer's usage habits. Vacuum cleaners are the best cleaning device if you are using carpets extensively in your house. A normal Indian household 186

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is better off with traditional broom. Just by playing on consumer's psychology, you can sell some products but you cannot win them over. One should also investigate whether the technology suits the customer's aesthetic tastes. Only after the product development goes through such checklists one should proceed further. The user manual should be scrutinised for simplicity, clarity, and user friendliness and should be written in a local language along with Hindi or English. Product development must incorporate activities that increase customer care. Brand-building, advertising, distribution, sales- every single activity must focus on generating additional customer care. Any activity that, on surveillance, turns out not to be adding customer value must be revised, revalued, or rubbished. Organisation can redesign their internal and external processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness and perform each activity better than before.

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Yet, while possessing the potential to woo customers, new products also pose managerial challenges. If inadequately addressed, they may frustrate rather than fascinate the customers. Therefore, we have to:  Validate every marketing step through customer feedback.  Obtain feedback on features from after sales service teams.  Measure customer satisfaction levels to generate ideas.  Identify specific business needs for every new product/service.  Use

cross-functional

teams

to

filter

out

unworkable ideas.  Deploy teams in parallel to cut idea-to-product cycle time.  Control input materials for set specifications and standards.  Select technology to match local condition and customer’s needs.

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The only unquestionable source of unique value for a customer is a product or a service served up to him just the way he/she wants it, and no other. Societal and cultural factors play a significant role in buying decisions. As with societies, so with cultures. They change with passage of time. Only those organisations that can adapt to these changes and innovate to serve the evolving needs of customers can hope to survive. What one has to do is tracing change and jumping in at the first sight of an emerging need. Now there is very strong rural market in India. Urban markets are getting saturated. The urbanisation of rural India is a reality of 1990's. Rural India is catching up, when it comes to attention and aspirations. Anyone who believes that customer in rural India is less demanding and does not need the kind of customer care required for urban customers would be doing so at his/her own peril. Rural customers buy products not brands. They are looking for functional value- not frills.

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Social moves and norms impact the rural customers in a big way. That is why opinion leaders - like the Panchayat head or the school teacher - play a crucial role in their decision making process. Even a simple change from ‘datoon’ to toothpaste requires social sanction. The care teams will have to commit themselves to implement all action necessary to ensure that expectations of all segments of customers are honoured to their complete satisfaction. Similarly, the decision making for a low-involvement product/service is based not on an extended evaluation of opinion, but on a quick judgement of whether it meets the customer's immediate needs. Schemes like money back guarantee gives an incentive to a customer while reassuring him/her that if he/she didn't feel comfortable with the product, he/she could always return it. Exchanging old product for new one at reasonable trade off creates an additional demand for product and at the same time customer loyalties are developed on the feeling of mutual trust.

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Sales and service personnel should be recognised as intelligence gatherers. Since the entire sales and service function entails managing both product and service we have to look at the whole chain of product creation. It means involving everyone - from engineers to managers to sales and service reps. in understanding the customers and identifying his/her needs. It means nurturing flexible Care Teams from various parts of the value-chain that designs, develops, tests, and sells new products based on the information gleaned from the marketplace. Cross-functional teams should manage marketing. It should not be structured. In product care advertising plays a significant role. A person tends to buy what he/she sees around himself or herself. The higher the degree of exposure to information, the higher will be the aspiration level. Advertising is not entertainment. It may entertain, but all advertising must necessarily lead to increased product awareness. 191

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Advertising is a two way process. To who and what to say is the most important part of any effective ad campaign. And then comes the how. One should simplify and demystify the process of communication.

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17 CARE TEAMS FOR PRODUCTION

Indian manufacturing industry is suffering from the problem of high manufacturing inflexibility. Many a times the manufacturers find that though the turnover is rising, their profits are dipping. Since production is based on demand, not on forecast, every production run should start only when marketing asks for a certain quantity of a certain product by a certain date. Then, production asks for the raw materials it needs and will be acquired. Any discrepancy between reality and virtual reality serves as an alarm. Otherwise the result will be overproduction and wastage and increased break-even levels. If proper forecast data is not available one may 193

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find that the more production rise, the less profitable operation became. So, one needs a new strategy. What is required is to set up a task force from operations, maintenance, production

and

finance

to

investigate

the

manufacturing processes. Problem in the products may be askew stickers and loose nuts, or rusting of some of the items. There has to be a willingness to constantly upgrade the product to higher standards. The task force of operation, maintenance, production and finance may come out with solutions, which may look radical by normal standards. But by tackling these issues, one would be able to streamline his/her production. It would mean delivering goods on time; ensuring that they match product standards as determined by the customer and by minimising cost you add to your bottom line. Every organisation needs to perfect a product traceability system. In the eventuality of a customer complaint, one should be able to trace the entire 194

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history of a product through just its batch number, or serial number. For, that number is a pointer to everything that there is to know about that product. While documentation is an integral part of any manufacturing system, the emphasis on maintenance and double checks if possible- is very essential. Every organisation needs to build a care culture into its production activities. Automation in areas where it is not strictly needed is not good for Indian environment. The organisations will have to create an environment where each individual's skills are used for the best results. The focus in manufacturing has to be of customer care. Every organisation should have a corporate training programme emphasising need for change and flexibility, continuous improvement and care team management the aim should be to change the way the employees work.

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For this one has to change the mind set of people. The Indian mind has been working on the premise that we make what we want and the consumer has to buy it. But now, we are selling to customers who are more discerning and they all want products which satisfy their needs. After all, product care and technology care in manufacturing is impossible without care in the mind of every manager and the worker. In this process the top managers have to send out the clear messages that they are serious. They have to demonstrate through their time, commitment and obvious involvement that care revolution is not just a slogan for them but they actually mean it. Large-scale exposure to imported goods have made Indian consumers more aware. Indian manufacturers will have to pay more attention to painting, welding and improving storage and transportation. There could be a likelihood of an impact on manufacturing costs, overheads, deadlines, employee morale, and product itself. The organisations will have to learn to take care of them. 196

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Care practices should begin with the delivery of raw materials to the warehouse. As soon as a consignment arrives, it should be stored in a designated area and the data is keyed into a computer network, if possible. Samples should be tested and rejects are sent back to the vendor. All the in-coming materials will represent one of the four states: Under test, Sampled, Approved or Rejected. While stocks are labelled and colourcoded according to one of the four states, they must be stored with their labels visible in an area that has been approved. As a result, raw materials simply cannot be missed in the stores area. Environment at every level of storage to production should be under control: the temperature and the humidity at which the material is handled. These factors

should

be

continuously

measured

and

recorded throughout the production cycle. In the production area, the machines and the clean rooms should be maintained clean. Cleanliness and proper paper work in time is very important. There 197

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should not be areas where dust is being collected e.g. corner of the wall, ceilings and floors. Total care, clearly

encompasses

every

part

and

place

of

manufacturing areas. Breaking down each shop floor process into value adding and non- value adding activities is the first step for production care teams. The care team can identify non-value adding activities in manufacturing process along with value adding activities. The next step would be to cut down the number of non-valueadding activities. In addition, the care team can also redesign or restructure the manufacturing system into clear, identifiable models. A production care team may look into:  Cutting lead times in order to keep pace with the customer's changing requirements.  Boost product quality and performance as per the customer's requirements.  Minimise costs by bringing down wastage levels and inventory. 198

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 Identify common parts used in various products.  Packaging Such care teams can focus on everything from the procurement

of

raw

materials

to

ascertaining

customer satisfaction. This may replace the system of centralised kingdoms in the organisations. This will result in flattening of the organisational structure,

quicker

empowerment.

decision-making,

Production

control

system

and will

become much simpler, leading to lower overheads and less wastage. You will be manufacturing to order rather than to forecast. There will be no overproduction either. Care teams can act as a customer-supplier depending on the involvement of other departments. Some care teams will be a customer to the previous one. And each team will take on the role of a supplier as well as a customer, with the focus shifting to improving capabilities. This will introduce a significant change in the whole production system. 199

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This will have an impact that goes beyond profit. To make things work, one may have to invest initially in nurturing these care teams. Is this worthwhile? If you believe in manufacture care, then, Yes! The first step in this direction would be to communicate the advantages of such care teams to your employees. The next step would be to set up these care teams and encourage them to do it. The information, which was so far privy to some people should permeate through the entire shop floor if the experiment is to succeed. Every manufacturing process should be supported by Cross Functional Care Teams. The care team would be in a position to identify the problem areas for a particular process based on the feedback, and can prioritise its tasks. The care team will institutionalise the new process as new system in the organisations' manufacturing function. The team's goals should be integrated with the organisation's goals.

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Organisations should extend the care drive to suppliers as well. They should export their care practices to suppliers. One should use customer's tastes to determine standards for suppliers and care teams should be formed to educate them about it. Care means more than merely laying down acceptable levels of products and services. Management must create clear requirement describing the product and service, and then, help people understand their job in creating it. Customers just want what they have been promised. The role of technology and product care will alter organisation-customer interaction. Important point to note are:  Educate employees about customer requirements.  Break

up

centralised

manufacturing

into

autonomous units.  Eliminate non-value activities from every process.

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 Make every worker an external customer of the previous one.  Set up and monitor parameters to track processes.  Create completely process-driven manufacturing systems.  Establish a system of colour-coding to manage raw materials.  Document work processes and post them at all work places.

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18 CARE TEAMS IN SERVICE INDUSTRY

Top management support is needed on all fronts for organisational transformation to achieve service excellence. One hundred percent hospitality that is the simple care target a service industry can have. It is good business to be care-conscious. It is a direct relationship. If you care, not only will your customers not leave you; you can charge a higher price because customers are willing to pay for their care. The service priority will lead to reorganisation that will, in effect, invert the hierarchy pyramid. At the top will be the front-line staff, who will creatively respond to customer-needs with the rest of the organisation 203

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supporting them. The top management's job: ensure that the system-interaction between front and back offices- works smoothly. The chairman is at the bottom of the reverse pyramid. Providing any service - be it a core service such as offering advice, a peripheral service such as answering queries about products, a supplementary service such as after sales maintenance for a machine - invariably involves interaction between customers and company personnel. Recognising the human-intensive nature of service, and the opportunities it offers for fostering customer loyalty, there should be a broadening of marketing to encompass the role of customer-contact employees. A care team can work on customers dividing them into different categories, based on performance and educate them on how they can get the best out of their product. This would build the relationship with retailers/distributors, even up to the level of direct customers and bring about a transparency in dealings with them. 204

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There should be service manuals detailing each step to be taken by employees. Care Team concept should be implemented in the form of system rather than individual initiative. The care practices should focus on providing the extra, unexpected touch in order to get a competitive edge, along with the routine demands that every customer makes. When a mistake is committed and a customer complains, the employee must not only apologise and rectify the error, but also report to him/her the precautionary steps being taken to prevent its recurrence.

This also makes it mandatory for the

problem to be traced to its root-cause. To ensure this, the process should be analysed to determine peak check-in hours/customer hours, which, in turn, should be used to determine the staff strength required at difference times of the day to meet this deadline. And to support the system with 205

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infrastructure proper equipment should be provided to all the staff. With the crucial components of the process in place, the organisation should also empower its employees to innovate as much as necessary in order to delight customers.

Since

such

empowerment

makes

grounding mandatory, employees should be educated constantly using a training cycle of technical skills. To ensure conformity and carry out measurement of care practices, internal audits should be performed with unbending vigour to ensure that the customer care remains high on the agenda of every one. Then,

they

measurements

should of

be

results

validated by

by

giving

external customer

satisfaction through customer comment and market research. In service industry, ushering in care revolution is not a one-man job; it is an organisation wide process. The top plays a big role in implementing care concept management.

The starting point is the clear 206

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establishment of a vision of what you have to do instead of bumbling through, as happens in many organisations. It is vital to create a strong leadership to communicate priorities appropriately. A fair amount of role modelling as a leader is expected. You have to do yourself what you expect others to replicate. This is the key element. The leader's responsibilities are communicating and propagating, role-modelling, allocating resources for this system to permeate effectively, and reprimanding those who don't follow. We have to make sure that everything we do fits into our set of values and beliefs, behaviour, procedures, customer interface et al. We have to build the confidence of the customer by ourselves. This requires a certain amount of consistency in terms of alignment, beliefs, and value system following by everybody

in

the

organisation.

It

builds

TEAMWORK.

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The model for service-care could be envisaged at three levels: 1. At its heart are the care attributes of the product, which meet the customer's basic requirements. 2. The second level companies the support services, which serve to satisfy the customer. 3. The third level comprises enhanced care, which is normally the outcome of caring behaviour from employees. However, it should be the effort of care-teams to institutionalise these add-on services into the second level. In the services business, providing good service is the only barrier to entry and survival. Institutionalisation of systems help increase both internal and external customer satisfactions.

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19 CARE TEAMS FOR CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS

Urban life is getting more and more complicated. Our sensitivity in gauging how the customer feels has to be great. Any mechanism that can make their life easier will win them forever. When we, Indians, feel upset with a product or service, we simply don't go back next time. We don't usually give bad news, we generally play it down. It is different from other western cultures where the customer fights for his/her right and systems exist to support his/her claim. Indian customer gets more subtle, polite and diplomatic.

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Indian business has begun to feel the heat from dissatisfied

customers.

In

the

face

of

rising

competition and customer dissatisfaction the first area an organisation has to look into is its after - sales service. An ad-hoc arrangement may not really stem the rot. In the new care paradigm service should extend beyond the product/service sold and should aim at the wellbeing of the customer. The need for aftersales service is sorely felt in the service sector, the white goods industry as well as Industrial products. Consumer electronics items and industrial products are

susceptible

to

indifferent

maintenance

by

customers. But if they stop, all hell breaks loose. Industrial marketing needs a personal relationship rather than a faceless transaction. Problem solving services add value to products. Most of the tangible product benefits are similar, service can be a potent differentiator. Industrial customers equate service with solution.

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Ensuring up time of an industrial product is proving to be difficult. For one, despite training centres for buyers, refresher courses, and troubleshooting guides, one can realise that its customers pay little attention at maintenance. Secondly, component quality used for replacement by customers cannot be controlled. Or

voltage

fluctuations

would

wreck

sensitive

instrumentation. It is very clear that organisations have to revamp their service philosophy completely. Industrial customers do not have the focus or the manpower to deal with maintenance. Companies have to work out the breakdown point for components otherwise customer may suffer delays because parts will be invariably out of stock. In the specific context of after-sales, care means a new focus on preventive maintenance. Only if problems are pre-empted one can minimise the level of customer complaints.

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Never discourage customers to complain, if he/she has any. For, in the course of voicing his or her complaints, his/her awareness of the need gap will be heightened, encouraging him/her to articulate the requirements that matter most to him/her. And exposure to his/her frustrations will help you identify what to avoid and what to follow while developing the product or service. Therefore, customer listening plays a crucial role in customer care. One should employ methods of customer listening which, importantly, involve not just choosing the right devices, but also using them in right combinations. One has to listen to him or her doubly carefully. Internal customers should also be encouraged to complain about product and processes. We will discover that it will lead to solving service-delivery problems. Every complaint from internal or external customers via telephone, fax or mail should be registered not as 212

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a complaint but customer expectation, categorised according to date, product and problem. This should be communicated to everyone in the organisation. Some key points in addressing customer complaints are:  Listen to the customer continuously and not at discrete intervals.  Use feedback to identify new segment and customer expectations.  Design varying customer-listening devices.  Convert every point of customer interaction into a listening post.  Use feedback to update, monitor, and correct complaints. Each piece of information that originates from customers,

particularly

complaints,

should

be

handled using a precise algorithm. After being logged into a computerised, if possible, to facilitate retrieval, a complaint should go through two 213

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stages. At one level, it could be assigned for analysis. The problem can be clarified according to nature of complaints: product, service, process, operational etc. One can plot a frequency distribution table of customer

complaints

to

spot

where

customer

dissatisfaction is the highest. Once, the pattern emerges, the organisation can initiate a process of tackling the problem. At another, it becomes part of the input for complaint analysis that is carried out at regular intervals in order to create a check – list of pitfalls to avoid. As an individual piece of information, of course, each unit of data gathered from customers becomes input for product design and redesign. But more importantly, all the information that is gathered is used for a more strategic purpose too. In addition, response times for complain redress should be fixed. First thing is to get back to the customer informing him/her that his/her problem is being looked into? While this ensures that the customer knows that his/her problem is being 214

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addressed, the employees also have to figure out why the problem has even occurred. Over a period of time, every organisation has to standardise a management information system for ensuring customer care. The primary objective is to monitor performance against the vision and strategic objectives;

increase

loyalty; introduce purchase

incentives; and build the organisational product or service image. Responding fast is very essential in the concept of care revolution and care teams have a very important role to play in redress of customer complaints. Cutting through the chaos, care teams will see to it that

the

external

customer

should

be

any

organisation's single focus. Regular follow up in meetings by care teams would ensure that there is no backlog in customer complaints redress. Care team members should be empowered up to certain amount if the fault is with the company. 215

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Initial reaction to such meetings by senior personnel would be: “I have better things to do." But if it is converted to "I insist that this be done." we will find that a number of issues are resolved right away. Care teams would ensure that problems are tackled jointly and promptly. When we don't have operationalised care teams and you receive a complaint about some spares, it might remain pending for weeks. Managers in the customer support would chase their counterparts in every other function in order to find out the reason for delays. Soon, we find managers are either shirking the process, or passing the buck. Would everybody embrace care culture warmly? One has to:  Ensure that the care drive reaches to customers.  Empower employees to take decisions.  Focus on preventive acts.

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 Log, monitor, and analyse customer complaints every day.  Stipulate deadlines within which problem must be fixed.

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SECTION VI: CARE IN DECISION MAKING

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20 ORGANISATIONAL DECISION MAKING

Streams of problems appear in organisations. The life of a decision maker is a continued round of switching from one problem to the next. The process of making a decision in organisations is a response to these problems. There are interests inherent in the matter for decision, some eager, some indifferent, some reluctant. The decision becomes a continuous matter on which those involve exert conflicting influences because of their different perception. In organisations decision makers see their moves towards each other as right or wrong, depending on the consequences and on their own positions. Those on both side of the argument are adamant, due more 219

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to having to argue a different case than to confidence in the basis for the case. Move by move, step by step, actions accumulate into processes of fits and starts, of phases of rapid progress or of inertia, of clarity or confusion, welcomed or developed. Each process will have a character that may be similar to that of another or may differ from it. Decision processes have different character according to the topics. Many topics may be a crystallisation of long-standing deeper and wider issues, such as sales volume or departmental responsibilities, which now and again become active as a matter of decisions. There could be topics on technology, customers, markets, products, etc. Each problem is known to those involved in the subject, which may be a ‘our new product problem' or 'the complaints of a customer', or whatever. Most decisions are tackled in a piecemeal way, a bit at a time. Just a few possible alternatives are compared 220

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and if a marginal improvement can be made then that does for the time being. Aims are reduced to what seems feasible rather than what might be desirable. The constant Indian tendency is to 'muddle through' as safely as possible. It is possible for the outcome to be exactly what somebody wants, but it can also be something different from what anyone anticipated at the outset. Various interest groups have their preferred outcome ready beforehand. They look for an opportunity to attach them to a problem. An organisation is a collection of such decision making, which are made one after the other. Often more than one decisions are made simultaneously after much bargaining. An organisation is therefore less the result of deliberate design but is a result of decision- making processes over the years. The hierarchy of an organisation means that those at the top have power that those lower down do not have. Organisations keep on changing their internal 221

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structure, distribution of authority and power, delegation based on the current decision problems. Most of the decision making in organisations implicate interests of individuals and departments. These interests range from some, where stakes in the decision are comparatively negligible, to others who have a great deal at stake. How big a part each interest plays in determining the decisions depends on its power, its potential to influence the outcome? Exercise of influence is power in action, but it is not the same as power. Power is the capacity or ability to attempt to influence, for the capacity may not achieve anything. What happens on the way to the making of a decision, or choice, is a response to these problems and interests.

These

interest

groups

within

the

organisation try to further their own interest which leads to groups and group politics.

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Decision makers represent different interests from among the shifting coalition of interests that sustains an organisation. This coalition includes not only internal departments and divisions of many sorts but also owners, customers, suppliers, governmental and other public bodies, trade unions and others, depending on the organisation. Their interests are there ready and waiting before any particular topic for decision arises. Though conflicts persist within organisations, the organisation too persists, since interests are rarely pushed to a point where the whole organisation disintegrates. Because, continuation of organisation is necessary for interest groups to derive a range of interest benefits. Organisational performance is constrained by such influence of interests internal to the organisation. Departmentalisation of an organisation many a times feeds such interest groups. Their internal interests derive their influence from the expert knowledge, the prestige or the financial or material resources, which they control. In a business such as airline, the flight 223

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crew assumes importance because of their skill, or the maintenance

engineers

may

become

important

because of their ability to deal with unpredictable snags that may cause a delay. In the beginning, the individuals who join the organisation do not have any prejudices about their roles and functions. They pursue their own personal and career ends. While conducting the corporate training I came across many responses where participants said that they joined an airline so that they can see the world, or many joined because they had no other job offer! Slowly these viewpoints start getting coloured by their departmental

interests.

They

start

identifying

themselves with their department such as finance, or technical or commercial, and so on. During this process

they

develop

prejudices

and

biases.

Departmental conflicts affect operational efficiency and ultimately lead to groups and group politics.

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Right from the beginning management theorists tried to create a balance among various interest groups in an organisation, because organisational conflicts would affect operational efficiency and ultimately the organisational objective. Even if individuals in every departments have specific goals and priorities they need to work for the organisation to mutually reinforce each other's values and goals. Group work and team building concepts need higher priority for organisational growth. If these

departmental

conflicts

are

not

properly

managed, they become counterproductive. In general, managers and administrators feel satisfied with the methods by which decisions are attained in their organisation. However, if we desire a change in the way things are being done to bring in a care revolution, then the most effective move will be to change the basic premise of organisational decision making.

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The traditional mind set says that people produce output; so, we hold people responsible if things go wrong. But we need to be saying – ‘what is the process by which this particular output is created?’ If the output is not satisfactory, we need to ask – ‘where is the process breaking down?’ ‘Where does it need to be improved?’ Rather than looking at decision making process as a move to further interests of various groups the decision process should be looked at as furthering the care of internal and external customers. The concept of care team will be helpful in breaking down these departmental barriers in organisational decision making. Cross Functional care teams can play this role very effectively. Organisations can also allocate to their various care teams task areas which reduces the impact of uncertainty on decision making activities. Such care teams will function as shock absorbers, coping with situation by prevention, or by information, or by absorption. 226

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21 A NEW ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE

We need to take a fresh look at every process in the organisation.

While

doing

this

we

can

drop

unnecessary ones, put in processes where there are none, and redesign the processes which are necessary to reduce dependency on one another. If we look at any organisation in our country, we will find that a lot of things are run and driven by paper and processes, many a times, which are unnecessary. Customer focus in an organisation with poor processes will only translate into how to say sorry to customer in hundred different ways. To solve the problems in processes, a problem solving technique

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like re-engineering the workflow can be used by care teams. The existing pyramidal structure of the organisation is driven by the top, who lays down the standards while the processes remain flexible. But while analysing

processes

we

should

imagine

the

organisation as a living tree. The tree structure of the organisation (Fig. 21.1) defines customers as stems defining the existence and the process-owners acting as the roots of the tree, supplying resources to ensure that the output of the processes conforms to customer specifications. The principle of care should be applied to all the existing processes. Then the processes become selfnourishing, self-perpetuating, circular, yet constantly metamorphosing processes. The degree of success depends on the systems. If systems are not too bureaucratic, it will work.

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Based on the process-to-results formula, one should begin identifying the processes that are irrelevant. That entails tracking and analysing data with the help of flow-charts to determine where exactly the lacunae lay. By breaking down every activity into discrete, sequential steps, the organisation may attempt to eliminate indifference. One should start with breaking down and analysing each and every function - manufacturing, advertising, internal

communications,

even the holding of

meetings - into distinct processes. Each of them is a sequence of explicit, unambiguous steps detailing what is to be done, and how it is to be done. The reasoning behind the brilliance may come from innovation, but consistency can be produced only by design - if it is not to be left to chance. A strong insistence on system is understandable when it comes to processes like manufacturing, after sales service, or even addressing customer complaints. In subjective functions like advertising, marketing, communication etc. a flexible approach may be 230

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applied. For example, the process of selecting an advertising agency could be done after considering inputs originated from the creative and strategic brief. The checks that must be administered to ensure that the agency can deliver advertising of the required standard and the requirements are being met. Likewise, the simple process of eliciting employee suggestions for improvements could be systematised by including in every care team functions a stipulation that employee suggestions would be dealt with in a particular manner. To ensure that the systematic approach is followed scrupulously by all its employees, suitable training programmes can be held for every worker when he/she joins the organisation. Care team can carry out the audits of how well systems are being maintained, upgraded and followed. Once the systems are in place an employee does not need to be supervised, he/she just needs to be supported. And the support must came from processes and procedures- not commands from the top. 231

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Like other functions, the care team practices should not be an exception to the system approach. Every customer complaint (internal or external) should go through

exactly

the

same

cycle

every

time,

culminating in a solution to the problem it refers to. For example, the organisations on its own or by a customer

complaint

may

discover

customer

dissatisfaction. Following the systems laid down for treating such complaint, the problem can be sorted out by the care team responsible for corrective action and handed over for a solution to a cross-functional care team -if required- using a step-by step problem solving process. Each step should be clearly codified in the process map. The problem can be validated and a root cause analysis generated. After solution generation, it should be watched for a few days for evaluation. Systems are something that stay behind and can be used irrespective of who comes and who goes. Therefore, the knowledge of the individuals in an 232

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organisation must be translated into formal, codified structures, creating systems that can be followed to achieve the same effect without dependence on the personal expertise of individuals - who will, after all, enter and exit the organisation. These systems and practices become emotionally loaded with the passage of time. People may react either positively or negatively to them depending upon the circumstances. Because of the value attached to such system, no one appears enthusiastic to bring about change when the situation arises. While it is true that tradition dies hard, it is essential to

review/monitor

systems

and

procedures

constantly, introduce changes where necessary, update where required and discard what is not relevant. The older the organisation, the greater is the resistance to any innovation or change. As an organisation grows, its size becomes unwieldy and difficult to control. While organisations may grow, the challenge lies in converting the size into manageable 233

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operational units and at the same time promoting a distinct identity and oneness. The organisation is not a closed system and it has to keep on modifying its response to internal and external environment. The implication of rigidity could be disastrous and will act as a barrier for organisational performance. While we strive for change, these barriers must be torn down. Rigidity of systems and procedures play havoc in the effective functioning of an organisation. The organisation should be tuned to the changes taking place on the technological front. It should make use of advances in information technologies to help decision making process. Otherwise it may create problems for change leaders. For this one has to change the mental make-up of people to prepare for new technologies. The example of public sector employees resisting introduction of computers easily comes to the fore. Many of the ills of government decision making can be traced to delays in decision making in the absence of information. 234

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An organisation should be geared in such a way that it is in a position to anticipate these barriers, assess the extent of the consequences, deal with it in a planned way and generate a climate wherein more and more people become tuned to deal with such issues with an air of optimism and commitment. A rudderless ship drifts in any direction and slowly sails to its destruction. Though the process is slow, its ultimate destiny is clear. The ultimate aim of breaking down barriers is to remove the drift in the organisational decision making. When you start breaking down these barriers interpersonnel and inter-departmental relationships may see some upheavals. But that should further reinforce the commitment to change. Basically, care in decision making means respect for human beings. The decision-makers role should be to get

this

new

philosophy

acceptable

in

the

organisations, whether in private sector or public 235

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sector. They can then start making money instead of being a drain on the country's resources. The same concept can also be applied to the government itself. There is a need for giving attention to public relation exercises or image building along with the need to improve our processes.

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SECTION VII: A CARING SOCIETY

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22 CARE TEAMS IN GOVERNMENT

In the prevailing post-independence environment government thought it fit to enter all kinds of business to meet needs of the common man and the industry. Government created commanding heights of economy to meet the demands of various sections of society. Various regulations were invented to manipulate the buying behaviour of people. The contradictions and confusions in the governing philosophy were apparent in the day to day life. I still remember long queues of customers falling over each other to buy new HMT watches in select stores in seventies, or the boasts of my friend who bought Chetak scooter out of turn by making dollar 238

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payments. Once free from interference a caring business would work on meeting customer’s needs by improving current quality and productivity levels. Through

liberalisation,

competition,

the

which

government

has has

resulted

in

created

a

marketplace that will force industry to be efficient whether in private sector or public sector, focus on the customer, and on quality. If this care drive is to don a national character, then the government's own working, its processes, and the leadership, which it provides in the political, societal and administrative arenas must show it. The government's role is to create both a push and pull for nation to focus on care. While the push is liberalisation, the pull must be improved government efficiency, with a caring attitude. In the government departments, banking systems, public sector undertakings and even in private sector, there are lots of redundant activities, which have been going on for years, where value-addition is nil or very low. 239

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Do we see any sign around us that a movement may be gathering force against the gross indifference displayed everywhere? If not, then the time to begin the care revolution is ripe. The care revolution has to be characterised by a stronger focus to the point of being a passion. Then the care revolution can meet the challenge. We will have to overcome the tendency to have quickfix solutions to every problem. Firefighting is often due to carelessness, poor housekeeping, and a chaotic style of functioning. If the decision makers take care of their work processes, the product and the service, quality would automatically improve. This can also bring in a more systematic customer focus, which many of our organisations, whether in government, public sector or private sector, seem to lack. The role of the government would be to create a conducive environment for this care revolution, setting a kind of example for others to emulate.

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Government may set up care teams in its various departments to serve its citizens. Undoubtedly, there is a crying need for the government to upgrade and in-build caring in its inhouse decision making processes, the way it conducts itself, and to achieve a higher degree of resource- use efficiency. At many levels of business-government, people-government interface, there is valid criticism that governmental attitudes need change. This attitudinal change is one of the key things we have to bring about. The 'care movement' has to spread. There is a need for its awareness in the country. The government can play an active role in certain ways to add momentum to the process. The government should be looked up as a role model of caring services. The focus in government and public agencies has been more internal than external. People in organisations worry more about what is going on internally than focusing on their purpose for being there. The purpose of the care revolution is to serve the society. But the whole concept of care philosophy 241

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of saying you need to understand peoples' needs and expectations and then aligning the system and people to meet those needs - has traditionally not happened with governments. The role of the government has been crucial in the turnaround of many countries like Japan, the US, Germany. Paradoxical as it may sound; government and business strategic evolution has, historically, gone hand in hand. It was Emperor Hirohito who helped initiate Japan's quality revolution – with the Demery Prize acting as a catalyst - it was a drive by the US government - and the creation of the Malcolm Baldrige Awards in 1978 - that triggered off America's drive to regain its global competitiveness. What kind of a role then do we see for the government in the care movement in our country? What is also necessary is government support, government initiative to increase care awareness in their

own

departments

because

government’s

influence can be felt in all activities. The government is a homogeneous bureaucracy created over long 242

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periods of time. We don't expect it to be able to shift to care philosophy overnight; but some day it has to begin the process. There has to be effective consumer protection. Once we have laid down standards of product safety, we must enforce them. And the consumer movement has a role to play in educating customers about quality, technology and safety. There are non-government organisations, the government should provide them with funds to create consumer awareness and create consumer courts, where complaints can be received and grievances redressed. The government has responsibility to protect the environment. Farmers and villages, where the plants exist, view the business house as a monster who would eat up their land. This can overcome by the commitment

to

the

rural

development.

The

confidence and trust of the villager is very crucial. The government should have a clear policy for environment management and ensure the corporate 243

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commitment

to

maintain

the

ecology

of

the

environment in which it operates. All the important steps for environmental protection as well as energy optimisation should be validated through both intensive and extensive measurements. Care objectives should be set at the top level and deployed throughout the organisation. Public sector organisations should develop and implement new means of identifying customer needs and expectation, and for translating them into promised goods and services. Government should invest heavily in educating their most valuable resources, the people. Care teams of employees will continuously improve their own performance and drive cross-functional improvement throughout the country. Government will have to use training as a strategic weapon. Government must train all their people in the basic concepts of care, tied closely to job function and individual needs.

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The life of the common man can become easier if following points are taken care of immediately:  Reduce paper work to make it easier.  Reduce the time spent while waiting in offices.  Identify steps that can be merged or eliminated altogether.  Provide information and reduce transaction times. There is no doubt that we can do it. The government, industry and education managers in India have open minds and the ability to comprehend. There is no problem with the individual Indian either. They are bright and quick. Any people who can make lunch box distribution scheme in Mumbai successful can compete anywhere and run anything efficiently.

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23 A SOCIETY THAT CARES

Early societies were totally dependent on the environment for their survival. In response to their existential needs human beings started using past experience as a guide and eventually primitive nomads settled into the sociological structure of towns and villages. With this arrangement came the division of labour: individuals being responsible for specific tasks within the family and the community. Then evolved craftsmanship, where the customer relied on the skill and reputation of experienced craftsman. With the growth of early technology customers started looking for products and services beyond the scope of their basic needs.

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The industrial revolution created the factory system. Power was harnessed and machines did the jobs once performed by craftsmen. Small craft-shop became obsolete, craftsman became a factory worker, and masters became factory foremen. The industrial revolution also changed the character of society. In the beginning, every nation had a king as its head but there was a gradual awakening in the minds of the people against the autocracy of the royalty.

The

industrial

revolution

and

the

international trade resulted in the rise of a business community in all nations. There was a conflict between these new centres of power and the established kings and feudal lords. The fundamental principles of democracy became the pivot round which this conflict revolved. The common man was attracted by ideals of equality, fraternity and liberty of every citizen. Every individual got a vote but real power stayed with those who led the revolution. Industrial revolution had generated faith in the new methods of production 247

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and workers started working in the factories instead of home. Workers migrated to crowded cities where there was not enough provision for housing. There were hardly any rules in the factory to protect the worker. He/she was economically weak and not yet organised. He/she became a victim of exploitation, injustice and harassment. A number of people led movements in protest against this injustice. They called themselves socialists. Karl Marx was one of them. In an effort to lead the movement against injustice, he studied the entire history and structure. According to Marx’s analysis Dialectic Materialism - the root cause of exploitation lies in the private ownership of the means of production. If these means are made the property of the society, in Marxism it is synonymous with State, then there will be no further exploitation. In some countries of Europe there was socialist revolution. Even where socialism was not accepted, the politicians had to accept the right of workers. Welfare State was accepted as an ideal. 248

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During all this time we were struggling for our freedom

and

India

passed

by

the

industrial

revolution. After

independence

Western

life

and

thought

continued to dominate our country. India adopted best of both the systems. We accepted a constitution proclaiming ourselves to be a socialist democracy. Though at fundamental level these ideas run counter to each other. Democracy grants individual liberty, but the same is used by capitalist system for exploitation and monopoly which are now visible in the form of mega-airlines, mega-consultancy firms and so on. Socialism was brought in to end exploitation but it destroyed freedom and dignity of the individual. Even after fifty years of independence we have still to decide what direction we should adopt to realise our dream of all round development in our lives. Today when economic problems are of great concern we are making an attempt to resolve them, and at other 249

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times social or political problems come to the forefront and we are busy finding solutions for them. Not knowing fundamentally the direction in which we want to go, these efforts remain ad-hoc and do not give a feeling of satisfaction to those who are engaged in them. As a result these efforts produce only a fraction of the results intended. These Western ideologies evolved in certain special situations and times. They are not necessarily universal. They are not free from the limitations of their culture which gave birth to them. Every country has its own peculiar historical, social and economic situation. It is illogical to believe that what has succeeded in West will succeed here. At the same time to ignore altogether the development in other societies will certainly be unwise. We should absorb the wisdom of other societies while avoiding their mistakes. We must absorb the knowledge and gains of the entire humanity and adapt them to our conditions.

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The Western life and thought system remain within secular parameter of Artha and Kama. Artha includes political and economic policies and Kama relates to the satisfaction of various natural desires. The difference

in

western

philosophy

and

Indian

philosophy is in the concept of Dharma. Dharma includes all those rules, fundamental principles and ethical codes in accordance with all the activities in respect of Artha and Kama. Whereas west thinks that individualism and socialism cannot coexist we think that they can coexist under the guidance of Dharma. Therefore

Indian

constitution

makers

had

no

hesitation about it. Somewhere along the way basic premise of Indian way of life was lost and Dharma became a taboo. This resulted in a drift in the whole society and today many of the ills facing us can be traced to the neglect of Dharma in our life. This process of deterioration can set in due to a variety of reasons. If the soul of the society weakens, then all the different limbs of the society will grow 251

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feeble and ineffective. Individual, family, community, business,

trade

union,

State

and

other

such

institutions are various limbs of the nation. All these limbs

should

have

a

tendency

of

mutual

accommodation rather than conflict or opposition. One of the major reasons for the problems of today is that almost everyone thinks of the State to be synonymous with the society. Other institutions have declined in their effectiveness while the State has become dominant. The State exists to

protect the

nation, and to produce and maintain conditions in which ideals can be translated into reality. In our socio-economic set up the State was never considered supreme. There were other important institutions to regulate and to help carry on the social life. The function of the State was to see that these rules were observed by the persons concerned. The state never interfered with the affairs of these bodies. The state was concerned only with some aspects of the life of the society and its protection.

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Similarly, in the economic field we must have an economic system which creates such infrastructure and frames such regulations in which and by which the inherent potentialities of man may find their highest fulfilment. This economic system must provide for the minimum basic necessities like food, clothing, drinking water and shelter to everyone This realisation is slowly emerging in the Indian society. Indian people have become aware of contradictions inherent in pure secular way of nation building. Dharma is coming back as a guiding force and philosophy. This will result in re-establishment of trust between business and government and between the individual and the society. Due to this change in attitudes government may again trust businessmen and industrialists and its excessive control

over

business

will

go

someday.

The

government will go back to its task of being a facilitator of business. Thus freed from running commercial establishments the government will be

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able to give attention to building infrastructure and providing for basic needs of its people. The concept of Dharma is so deep rooted in our society that at no point the freedom of enterprise will turn into exploitation of have-nots. In this new situation

the

care

movement

assumes

a

real

significance. The society must enable the individual to carry out his/her obligations to the society by properly educating him/her. Care has to become integrated to strategic plans in all spheres of our life. Managing with care would become a way of life in every function and at every level. We will have to overcome the attitude of indifference and eliminate the associated costs. The desire to give our best has to be paramount. It is just not enough to believe that the principles, elements, and components of care philosophy are solid strategies for India’s turnaround. It should not

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be viewed as a hobby - a programme, an extra thing to do - rather than integrating it. The agenda for the nation would be that the leaders in government become personal example of care. That they create facilities where there is no scarcity of basic services. That they provide education to all. That they create infrastructure for nation’s development. That they become facilitators - not administrators - in economic progress. That the leaders in business issue care policies for their organizations saying, “We will deliver products and services to our customer on-time, as promised and with care. That they provide education and training to the people working with them. That they go back to their cultural roots and recognize the concept embedded in “Atithi Devo Bhava”. With the support of universal knowledge and our heritage, we shall create a caring society which will excel all its past glories and will enable every citizen in its fold to develop his or her manifold latent 255

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potentialities. We will have to undertake the task of awakening our nation’s soul. The care revolution would give us strength to succeed in this task. And this Care Revolution will never end.

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To The Reader: Do You Believe That India Needs a Care Revolution?

If yes, then think what you can do about it. You can start care teams in your neighbourhood, in your locality, in your organisation. You can become the first

volunteer.

Your

valued

contribution

and

participation in this care revolution would change the way we perceive ourselves. You may also expand on the ideas presented in this book. Your participation would help in formation of a network of care teams across the country. If you need any help in implementing the concept or if you want to share your experiences, you may kindly write to the author at publishers’ address or e-mail: [email protected]

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