Saturday, August 19, 2006

Gyan Prapti - Session 4

14 principles of Henri Fayol

Today I would like to take time to emphasise on 14 simple principles laid down by Henri Fayol. These he called the "14 essential principals of management".

I will try tackling one each day for the next couple of weeks.

Why am I doing this?

A few weeks ago the block I live in had a power cut in the middle of the night. Authorities informed us that it would not be back until late next day - so they had sent in temporary generators.

There were four guys who were responsible for hooking up the generator. I just looked at they way they were working and realised that had they known atleast a solitary principal of Henri Fayol - that of "Order", then they would have been far more efficient at their task.

They guys were working on it since 6 in the morning, and hooked up the generator only by 11.30 !!!

Anyways, today I will begin with "Specialisation of labour"

Specialisation of labour

According to Henri Fayol, labour should be differentiated on the basis of their various expertise. Furthermore, a group that is specialised in one task, should not be asked, required or expected to perform any other task.

Brilliant! But there is one catch. Imagine someone who is specialised in fixing screws on an assembley line - he has to do it day in and day out. Not really thrilling. Add on to that today's demand of multi-tasking where you HAVE to know how to jobs beyond your perview.

That does not mean that this principle is to be sent down the burner. One has to be specialised today to be different. Though I may know concepts of marketing and logistics, I differentiate myself by knowing my finance inside out (atleast that is how it looks on my resume).

There has to be something that you can do better than the others. Though being a jack of all trades is good, it is better to be king in one, and a novice in others.

Imagine if you are running a football team. Who would you prefer to have in your midfield - Phil Neville or David Beckham ?

The same example in context of cricket - Sachin Tendulkar or Sunil Joshi?

Agreed that all rounders do have a place, but the pack should be lead always by the specialists. The job of the all rounder is only that of a back up.


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