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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Workplace Citizenship

Workplace Citizenship

Often times coaching clients and other CEOs have asked me as to what corporates need to be focusing on in a peculiar paradoxical market situation that they find themselves in. Their dilemma is as under... On the one hand uncertain, complex and volatile market conditions randomly throw-up at the Corporates uncertain, volatile and complex challenges, at an unheard of pace. The Corporates find themselves constantly suffocating and frequently struggling for survival in this situation. The only way they have a hope to win in such a situation is through maniacal commitment, tireless efforts and total passion of their talent-edged people to the on going success of the enterprise. The only tool the Titans have is to build a dedicated and committed team which reflects an abundance of passion whilst fighting for success in the market. That is at the demand end of the equation. On the other hand is a supply-side reality. The market dynamics have seriously eroded the emotional 'people-to-people' bonding. An unintended victim of this unfortunate reality has been the strong relationship and bonding that the Employers and Managers used to have with their teams. 'Work-place Relationships' have become very casual. They are more influenced by economic considerations and the real emotional bonding is continuously seduced and regularly tested by a multiple of very attractive ( in a way adulterous !) career options that are literally flung at people!. The umbilical chord is now very weak. Employees do not feel as strongly duty-bound about their organisations as they did a few years ago. Their desire to standby their Company in its hour of need and adversity is questionable. Crisis of equilibrium in the Paradox : Demand for the Corporate is for maniacal commitment and passion from its talented people particularly leadership in the Company so that it can fight adversity and continue creating value in challenged markets...whereas the dynamic talent market situation, as a contrast, has badly eroded the workplace relationships which has in the new context become more 'economically computed' rather than 'emotionally bonded'. Thus making it very difficult for the Corporates to fight market adversities shone of long-term commitment of their most passionate and critical resource - talent. My recommended response in the equation is building 'Work-place Citizenship'

'Work-place Citizenship' is an evolved new-wave rubic to break the Code of Change. It is possibly the only logical way for an enterprise to win in the dynamic market reality. Organisations need to build robust Work-place relationships with the talented people in the enterprise to ensure that they are maniacally married to its vision and strategy...and who will stand committed to the company like a sturdy rock of Gibraltar fighting . Such teams of people who are fanatically associated with the Company and so committed to their vision that they would standby and fight along-side the company through its adverse moments, constantly charting & supporting its re-emergence without even as much as flinching an eyelid as they would discard other very attractive alternate career options as and when such be thrown at them. In a way, 'Work-place Citizenship' is like nurturing corporate patriotism. The five pillars on which the edifice of Work-place Citizenship is built are...

1.unconditional belief of the constituents in the Corporate Vision

2. authenticity in practise of its Corporate Values,

3. its genuine desire to meaningfully Engage People in the Value Creation journey

4. Inclusivity & Organisational Sponsorship as in-built values in its culture.

5. Alignment & Seamless integration of the Enterprise success with economic prosperity and progress of the People through a strong and rich reward mechanism

Think about it. However negative the purpose may be, I have always been enamoured with the idea of breaking the code of knowing as to what goes on in these terrorist organisations that they are able to so successfully generate an army of mindlessly loyal 'fidaheens' so committed to the purpose of their enterprise ?They would not hesitate to indulge in such heinous acts and at times fully knowing that they may have to give up their lives for the cause of the enterprise..!!! How do they so successfully build such fierce Work-place citizenship ?

Two dramatically different approaches and theories in use exist to understand organisational change in the world today (Beers & Nahoria) . Theory E and Theory O. Theory E focuses on creation of economic value as the top-driven source purpose of change. Change is structurally planned and programmed by top management in this approach. It does not focus on building human capability of the enterprise as a preconditional step to support change.Theory O, on the other hand, has as it's purpose the development of organization's human capability to implement it's change strategy . It focuses on development of a highly-commitment based participative culture. If you look at the current nature of volatile and uncertain markets, leader led structured planning for change as perceived in Theory E, is not only unsuitable but also not sustainable. Theory E thrives more in a steady state. The peculiar character of the market renders itself more suitable to Theory O. Systematic investments in building commitment and passion of its talented people to the vision, its strategy and the journey of the enterprise seems to be the righway forward. Working towards nurturing 'Work-place Citizenship' seems therefore just the right medicine that the doctor has prescribed for way forward success in continued value creation journey of the enterprise. Workplace Citizenship is about seamless integration, alignment and strong emotional bonding. It is based on relationships that lead to passion and authentic care. An enterprise develops a strong character and bonds that as a consequence with talented people with strong character. And that is the only way to win and continue creating value in volatile times.

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