In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
Controlled Development & Optimum Efficiency Model of Subliminal Management
“Inna mul aamal-o-binnayat” (“Sayings of Hazrat Muhammad PBUH)
“Surely your deeds purely depend on your Intent”
There are many aspects which have been discussed over the past few decades feverishly by management gurus in an effort to understand the dynamics of the factors which underpin human psyche in relation to development. These factors in turn enable a manager to have an insight for motivating a worker in the required direction for achieving the needed level of output. I may appear to be a bit fundamentalist to the reader since I have started the article with a Hadith but it is the most important factor for development in any given direction: Intent!
Intent could be defined as the principal state of mind in response to a given state of affairs whereby the crucial decision is taken whether to be in unison or discord with it.
Intent Commitment Optimum Level of Performance
This concept is coupled i.e., Development & Efficiency.
Others might disagree and consider other factors such as motivational factors, work environment, level of education / background, Training & Development etc. as more important than intent. However, from my standpoint, Intent which in turn gives rise to Commitment, both combined are the most overpowering Core Drivers for achieving Optimum Efficiency levels.
It could also be noticed in our daily lives as if you wake up a child from his/her sleep and tell him/her that you want to play his favorite game he would willingly do that and night not even care about his sleep. Same is the case with the situation at work. If you can connect to the intent of the personnel working in an organization, they might even ignore some genuine problems.
The relationship between Core Drivers and Optimum Efficiency is explained in the diagram on the next page.
Optimum Efficiency Flow Diagram (as I have e-mailed this earlier, no diagrams are getting copied)
Flow diagram shows the relationship between the Core Drivers (Intent & Commitment) and Optimum Level of Efficiency.
Now the question remains how to inculcate and cultivate Intent and Commitment in the working environment even if it is established that these are the central factors around which performance revolves.
A very important factor which cannot be overemphasized in harnessing intent is evaluating the aptitude of the candidate at the very outset. Assigning the area of work closest to the interest of the candidate would enable him/her the most in channeling his/her INTENT for doing that job with all what he has i.e., if the candidate is to be given a place in the field of Marketing, it has to be very carefully ascertained where he is having the strongest inclination to i.e., Brand Management, Trade Marketing etc.
Low Performer High Performer
On the other hand, as generally the case, how to channel Intent in an ongoing established system of already placed employees in an organization. Coming back to the Diagram shown on page 1 above, the relationship between Core Drivers and Primary Motivational Factors could be explained as follows:
Intent + Commitment Empowerment + Self Accountability (Delegation of Authority) (Exercise Values)
Delegation of Authority and exercising Self Accountability (top to bottom) could be considered vital tools if used with a clear vision of achieving Intent and Commitment in the desired direction. It is a Two-Prong Strategy.
In the first instance, if the worker is already a high performer; Empowering such an individual would be the best primary motivator for him/her since it would enable him to deliver his best as he would be having the required level of authority and resources which would also instill a sense of responsibility resulting in Self-Accountability, at a more improved stage, if made solely responsible for a set of functions.
In the second instance, if the performer is not willing, the mere sense of sole responsibility of ultimate outcome would coerce the worker to achieve the targets. In this case, Accountability would play the part of a Passive Motivator.
It needs to be highlighted here that increased resultant efficiency in response to the above is the litmus test that Intent has been initiated if not brought on into action with full thrust.
A manger’s job in this scenario is to introduce and actively exercise Values. By exercising Values rather than implementing it externally through the system, a manager would be introducing the concept of Subliminal Management Technique which is passive yet a much stronger tool than imposing external controls.
VALUES could be a Company’s Code of Conduct, Generally accepted norms at work place etc.
Since Intention is an internal force it needs Controls which are also intrinsic in nature. By exercising values, a manager is required to send clear, coherent signals to the minds of the employees of that strong and well structured almost tangible system prevailing and flowing throughout the organization which is to be followed by all. Such somewhat docile controls will support in channeling Intention per’se. Values could be categorized into two groups. Firstly, generally accepted moral values in a given society, and, secondly, organization’s code of conduct.
For example, it is practiced by various consumer goods producing companies to convey a stronger message through a rather unconventional mode to influence the target market. As certain companies in cigarettes retailing do since advertising of tobacco related goods have been banned in various countries, to reach their target audience through somewhat hidden messages i.e., generally known colors linked to that particular brand at areas which is perceived to meet the demographics of their target market, specific signs or conveying it in some other indirect way which would not be consciously registered by the audience but will be retained in the subconscious. The consumer may not readily recognize the connection between the product and the message but the mind is believed to register it in a way that it results in a favorable change in the subsequent buying patterns of the targeted consumer.
Though it is not considered ethical in most of the countries since it tends to deceive the potential buyer, however, if carefully exercised to practice positive values, it could be used as a potentially strong tool to convey a very strong message for establishing values which are needed to work as Controls in the system. Controls introduced in such a way in the system are much more efficient and inherent than the ones introduced by conventionally used methods.
Secondly, in Value Based System (VBS) negative impacts of external controls could be avoided such as paranoia, depression, fears. Furthermore, controls or changes introduced in the system and running the system itself in this manner would tend to reduce the disparity between senior officials and the workers and would bring them closer and thereby making the system stronger.
Furthermore, it would give rise to an Integrated Value Based Culture. Every corporate entity has a code of conduct. By practicing that set of values on daily basis, employees not only get connected to the Vision/Mission of the organization by virtue of values being a component of the vision but also develop a universal management system within the company which will give a boost to the culture itself. The values will be commonly shared by the whole organization which would strengthen it in all of its operations in a 360 degree manner.
Vision is generally not retained by the work force in the organization in daily operations but treated as some sacred document to make an impression on the outsiders. Whereas by exercising this system, it becomes a force which is driving and accountable to at the same time.
Empowerment and Accountability would take the development one level higher of defining Functional Territory in the system which is coherent with the phenomenon of Distribution of Labor in nature. Once given a certain sphere of work, he / she would use all resources available and devise more efficient systems to achieve targets rather strive to go beyond.
Ownership of Work / Ownership of Company
Functional Territory would in turn indoctrinate ownership of work creating a strong bondage with the Company itself at a later stage which is again a very strong motivator and carries the performer to the level of advocacy without him being aware of the fact.
Optimum Efficiency Level
Once this system is fully adopted and ownership of work prevails as the norm in the organizational culture, it would completely turnaround the efficiency levels. As explained earlier, this will give rise to functional teams which would put in all possible efforts to achieve targets given to them. This would not end there, in fact it would have a Ripple Effect and spread in the whole Company to reinforce the efforts taken by various departments to produce much enhanced outputs and would synergize the activities independently undertaken by various individuals to teams to departments to the organization as a whole.
Domino Effect: Openness, Healthy Competition, Achieving Goals, Bringing About Change is Easier
This results in Openness, creating and maintaining a Healthy Competition and a Positive Approach and Attitude in the Culture facilitating achievements of goals.
One benefit is a plausible solution of a problem which is glaring in the faces of today’s management is how to bring about change in Company’s functioning, way of working, performance evaluation procedures, introduction of Technological advancements vis-à-vis today’s changing corporate environment and competitors competitive advantage.
By adopting this model, the employee himself becomes Agent of Change and facilitates adoption of various changes being brought about in the Company by advocating the new concepts since he has his intent connected to it. Manager is to maintain the overall direction and empower the employee to Implement the Change rather than enforcing it on the latter. When implemented through the employees at the grass root level, in whatever magnitude it is applicable, the fears related to change tend to diminish since he / she feels to have a relative Control over the situation and is not forced to do it even at time against his will.
Retarding Factors: Vested interests, Human Filters, Insecurity Due to Lack of Competence, Other Fears
The factors which inhibit this kind of development are personal interests, Blocking the Flow of Information (Vertical as well as Horizontal) and lastly, Insecurities in supervisors due to Lack of Competence.
Another important factor which needs to be checked in the adoption of such a system is that it should not encourage development of egoism on personal as well as team level since it tends to create walls which would retard overall efficiency and synergy of the organization.
Interventions Required for Sustained Controlled Development
In such a model, management has to Maintain Direction and take corrective actions for any deviance. Secondly, Keep a Balance in the overall organization between Experienced performers and more knowledgeable / competent New Recruits.
Continuous Process of Development
This Model is not a one directional function but a continuous process since following Achieving Targets for a considerable time and exercising a set of responsibilities, the performer is ready for the next level of Development.
This concept could be helpful in succession planning of the employees subsequent to analyzing the capabilities at a certain level and ascertaining the competency for the next.
It could be further extended to the field of Marketing and to find out a possible relationship between Intent and the Process of Need Development and by incorporating other management model techniques to further expand this concept.
Lastly, strategic importance of the Integrated Value Based system can never be overemphasized for the life of the organization since it would make it almost a living and breathing organism in which no action would go unchecked since such system becomes the predominant force in the functioning of the Company.
“You can stretch only to the extent of your horizons”
Controlled Developmental & Optimum Efficiency Model of Subliminal Management
By: Mirza Tauqeer Ahmad