With term” Efficiency Enhancement” two terms are used simultaneously

– Leader

– Manager

The details and difference will be dealt with later; however, to start with we will call the individual Head of Department (HOD) and the group of sub department under him as AOI (Area of Influence)

Once a HOD has invested initial years in understanding the basics of resource management and logical flowchart of procedures he eventually comes across the question as to why out of same 24 hrs Obamas and Tatas extract so much more. A logical analysis of the question will lead to following conclusion –

– He doesn’t spend much time in repetitive work, rather sits outside the box keeping a sharp eye on what is happening inside the box, goes inside only when his intervention is required and then comes out of it again and quickly. – Being outside the BOX.

– HE couldn’t have been outside the box had he been doing everything by himself; he has a well trained and experienced team doing most of the work for him – Delegation

-HE couldn’t have delegated effectively had he not been a good human resource manager.  –Man management- Classification of human resource and their appropriate placement in hierarchy of responsibility

– Being MD though he spends less time but his output is worth him getting paid that much. High level of professionalism. (Ability to quickly pin point grey areas, performance enhancers and suppressors and being able to address those with high quality and permanent solutions)

– In spite of doing all the above his efficiency will remain limited if he cannot engage and disengage quickly and smoothly.

Having gone through the heads , let analyze each for better assimilation

To think out of box one needs to be out of box

Primary job of a HOD is to keep the oganisations efficiency to its optimum while observing the overall picture including what is happening in the environment , catch tell tale sign regarding changes that might take place and take decision to ensure that the changes are used for the betterment of the organization . In order to achieve this it is important to have a calm and clear mind , receptive enough to pick up all the changes in environment and take necessary decisions incorporating the same. This however is not possible unless HOD keeps his mind clear of clutter which can be handled by his staff. In other words , he should remain “out of box” for most of the time. To remain out of box, one cannot get involved with every aspect of the project completely. Nor can he get emotionally involved with situations. Not being able to implement this will limit his capability to engage – disengage effectively. There by proving him to be unworthy of being a HOD. A General who gets sucked into a battle is destined to lose the war at the cost of winning that battle. Moreover, he wasn’t a General to start with, rather just an over promoted Platoon Commander.



HOD cannot remain out of box if he cannot delegate effectively. Delegation is done for following reasons

–        Helps one remain out of box

–        Increases efficiency by saving time

–        Improves the quality of team working under HOD

–        This is how one prepares leaders.*

However in spite of such evident advantages, people are reluctant  to delegate for following reasons.

–        Inability to classify individuals correctly, resulting in incompetent people at higher echelon of hierarchy not doing justice to the delegated work.

–        Temptation  to do it  himself to save time in training new person especially when he knows that trainee will produce inferior quality output to what he is capable of producing himself. Here one fails to realize that minutes invested in training will save days. Secondly, it is important to have tolerance to acceptable range of inferior work at ten projects than to have 100% quality in just one. More over the degree of inferiority will keep decreasing with time, and if the selection of individual is right, it will soon touch 100% .Lastly, if one intends to be a HOD , he has no option but to delegate. That is the only way to extract more output from limited 24 hours of a day.

*Post correct placement, HOD needs to ensure their progress and improvement. Any leader who is not generating leaders under him is not a leader, and is destined to remain stagnated  where he is presently.

Human Resource Management

Its not possible to delegate effectively unless one can classify individuals in various types based on their capability. Taking wagon as the basic individual, who can work under supervision and a wagon with engine being a motivated one, following are the different types of individuals-

–        Wagon – Type A

–        Wagon + engine –   Type B

–        Type B with capability to Jump start others – Type C

–        Type C with GPS – Capable of limited navigation after co ordinate have been fed in. – Type D

Employment of the above mentioned types is self explanatory. However, this is THE area which decides competence level of HODs. Where a mediocre HOD is obsessed with procedures, Bill gates and Obamas have capability to judge the following

-To recognize one with GPS among others and nurture him in Green House.

-To figure out if the one who gives jump start is using negative or positive motivation or a healthy mixture of both.

–  To keep searching for that rare breed who have a bit of philosophical bend of mind who can appeal to the brains of workers directly , and there by relate organizations objective to the spiritual / intellectual objective of the subordinate. *

This kind of motivators  own the very soul of workers , and no one can beat the efficiency of such a team, as the core of the work force belong to the target , they need no supervision , just guidance.

9. The Obamas and Steve Jobs know what Air Force believes when it comes to fighter pilots – “ Ultimately , its not about the machine , its about the man behind the machine” Thus they invest their time in finding these self propelled individuals , put them in “Fire n forget “ mode , and then they have all the time in the world to remain out of box , visualizing , analyzing and deciding further course of action

*When Steve Job wanted the Coca Cola MD to join his team , he didn’t offer him more money or better position, he just appealed to his intellectual faculty and asked this one question  – “Do you want to spend rest of your life selling sugared water?

Wisdom is to know what to overlook

Having ensured that one can remain out of box, to keep one’s mind clear of clutter , one needs to be good at separating 20/80 of performance enhancers and suppressors. It takes years of experience to see through the mist of day to day activity and locate dominant variables in an equation full of constants and not so influencing variables. Professionalism of an HOD depends upon how quick he is to identify above mentioned aspects and how effective and permanent his solutions are to the same. Unless these issues are addressed, HOD will remain inside the box and remain ineffective.

Stating the obvious is waste of time. Output isn’t there, improve efficiency, team is not meeting deadline ect. If they knew how to do it, they would have. Problem is that they don’t know what is wrong. Every workplace has its own performance enhancers and suppressors. HOD is supposed to, by virtue of his experience and exposure *, quickly locate the problem area from so many confusing but ignore able data and address it. The problem might be an incompetent individual, faulty procedure or target beyond the capability. Every visit of a HOD to his AOR has to be short, crisp and decisive**. Any second spent extra in AOR will limit his no of engagement/ disengagement per day. Also, if he ends up leaving AOR without identifying the problem area and addressing it he will be a failure as a HOD.

*- When a person looks at a situation, his brain pops up aspects that are falling out of line, with in seconds. How rich this feedback is, depends upon his understanding of subject and his overall exposure. All the aspects he has been exposed to ever has made channels in his mind. Thus when he looks at something , his brain analyses that situation from all those channels all those angles and offers its feedback . That is why, the more exposed a person is, the better analyzer of situation he will be. This is why an engineer and MBA is preferred to a plain MBA in business. This is why music and dramatics and engineering drawing etc are taught among 21 subjects a cadet has to pass before he becomes an officer.

** – It is with in seconds that our brain throws  feedback  at us regarding things out of line when encountering a new situation . The quality and no of same decreases considerably with time spent in that environment, because brain starts to make a mental map of situation and start getting comfortable with the whole picture. Thus it is important firstly to be out of box and secondly not to spend more time than required inside it.

For better supervision and mental picture of situation it is important for HOD to get consolidated report from rest of the unvisited departments . His professionalism depends upon his ability to get all the 20 out of 80 performance effecting data covered in the report he is asking for.

Leaders and Managers

12. So far, term HOD can be interchanged with manager at almost all the places but one. The place where it can only be Leader. Term Leader is always and every time preceded by unspoken suffix “ TO?” Leader is the person who is author of the aim , who feeds his own co ordinate in his GPS and on the GPS of other who have everything that he has except one  – Capability to shoulder the burden of freedom. Willingness to accept responsibility of outcome. Thus to start with, a leader is one who has an absolute crystal clear image in his mind as to where he is going and why . Followers are welcome but not a must. He has no desire to lead , people have desire to follow . And follow for the reason , any one follows someone else ie Because they believe that behind him they can extract more from their efforts than what they can on their own. Because he knows where he is going, and they don’t.

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