Thinking 'right' is not about 'correctly' or 'incorrectly', but more about 'inwardly' or 'outwardly'.

The Impatient Organization

Today, most of us work with businesses whom we can aptly describe as impatient organizations. Everyday, billions around the world experience stress that lead to several problems like headaches,insomnia, high blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases. The ‘stress’ we experience is our body’s natural response to every day’s physical, emotional and environmental demands made on us by these impatient organizations.

Most of us use the word ‘stress’ casually and confuse it with ‘being tired’. We could be highly stressed, but not physically tired.

We cannot avoid stress totally in today’s life, especially in today’s modern, complex workplace. It is a mental thing that has the potential to create complicated health disorders. It is a silent killer and creeps into a person silently.

It is difficult to identify our ‘stress generators’. But very recently, I ventured to do so and the aftermath was amazing! I used a simple technique – ASKING QUESTIONS TO MYSELF, putting myself in the shoes of my prospective consultant / doctor.

– Were the job requirements realistic in real world terms for what I am expected to do?
– Do I have the necessary tools, knowledge, resources, staffing, training and budgets to do what I am expected to do?
– Are the timeframes and budgets realistic or am I chasing an artificial deadline created by clueless people?
– Am I burning out chasing unrealistic expectations from impatient employer, colleagues and opportunist adversaries?
– Do I have to do everything myself? Am I getting the required help from my colleagues and other departments?
– Is a specific colleague(s) constantly working against my credibility by creating panic and terror by raking up the question of viability of the project even before it is born?
– Am I worrying about something that happened in the past related to new projects and the behavior of the organization then?
– Was my growth in the organization over recent several years causing me anxiety?
– Is my department understaffed and overworked and am I helpless in bettering the situation?

Identifying the ‘stress generators’ is relatively a simple exercise, if you know which questions to ask. The ‘Patience Index’ of an organization is an area which is worth exploring in today’s hectic world as one of the crucial ‘stress generator’ in corporate life. We are surrounded today be impatient organizations.

Patience is one of our most undervalued virtues. Yet it is one of the most desirable traits to look for in organizations. Patience brings to mind the organization which is composed, self-controlled, calm, level-headed, able to endure hardship, and does not lose hope. A patient organization reflects the ability to:

– Wait for an expected outcome without experiencing anxiety, tension, or frustration.
– Display tolerance, compassion, understanding, and acceptance toward those who are slower in developing expertise and building new businesses.
– Accept human frailty in the pursuit of personal, physical, emotional, spiritual and organizational growth.
– Accept the set backs and reversals inevitable in the quest for success in new projects and business.
– Believe in the concepts of permanence and commitment.
– Hang on to a relationship with the employees when trouble arises that may take some time, money and ideas to resolve.
– Temper enthusiasm, energy and excitement after experiencing a new surge of hope, success or insights.
– Accept that overnight reformations are rarely long lasting; gradual change and growth have a greater durability.
– Believe that long term horses do need their extra motivation to stay focused on newer goals.

Yet, when impatience becomes a dominant trait in an organization, it is seen as a character flaw. Impatient organizations tend to have people who are seen as agitated, high-strung, rash, intolerant, explosive, and the like. This has serious ramnifications on the business prospects of the organization.

The ‘Patience Index’ is a factor of several products and processes within an organization. Some of them are:

– Leaders and their leadership capabilities and methods.
– basic capabilities and value additions (if any) which leaders have gained over a period of time
– Internal process automation, learning framework and process culture in employees
– proximity politics in a geographically distributed and culturally varied organization
– sense of ‘ownership’ of all the ‘cost-centers’ by each employee of the organization.

One of my future blog will surely deal in ways by which employers can contribute and improvise the ‘Patience Index’ of their organizations.

Till then…endure with patience!

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Milind Wagh

Milind has been providing P&L leadership to MNCs, mid-stage businesses and new ventures over the last two decades and is credited for nurturing great teams for driving new self-funded initiatives from portfolio of ideas. 'Think Inward' attempts to explore matters of the mind that spur individuals and teams in addressing challenging situations and markets. It advocates the need to 'Think Inward' within ourselves. An Organization is all about human behaviour at work. The people; their mind-sets; their motivation and their emotions determine the nature of their 'emotional hooks' in that organization. 'Think Inward' attempts to decode these hooks and understand human behaviour at work.

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