Deloitte buys Monitor Global Strategy Consulting business

Monitor’s talent and assets will combine with Deloitte’s consulting strategy service lines and operate under the Monitor Deloitte brand, Deloitte today said in a statement.No financial details of the deal were disclosed. “This acquisition further enhances our ability to serve clients from strategy to execution – helping them solve their most critical challenges and capitalize on opportunities in a dynamic global economy,” Deloitte Consulting LLP chairman and chief executive officer Jim Moffatt said.

Revealed Satyam global strategy

In keeping with the changing global business landscape, Satyam Computer Services is realigning its client partnership strategy to substantially narrow the gap that exists between the company and global IT majors.

The company is renewing its focus on relationship management and domain competence by bringing on board senior level management with sufficient experience in varied verticals.

Speaking to The Economic Times , Satyam’s president for commercial and healthcare business Ram Mynampati said the next 2 to 3 years is a period of opportunity for Satyam to emerge as one of the major global solutions player. To achieve the goal, the company will continue to invest in its core competence and service the strategic partnership objective of the global customer base across 45 countries, he said.

The company has ramped up its strength of senior level management by hiring experienced domain experts as principal relationship managers for global clients for all its verticals. Typically, each vertical would have two or more such relationship principals. Such relationship management experts have been deployed across Satyam’s global operations, who guide the company’s growth strategy besides maintaining relationships with clients.

“We believe that by renewed focus on relationship management and domain competence, we can substantially narrow the gap that exists between Satyam and the global majors today. This focus, added to the services maturity and the global foot print of Satyam, can make us a truly global player capable of building strategic partnerships

Twenty Dumb Things Organizations Do to Mess Up Their Relationship With Employees

Even the best organizations periodically make mistakes in dealing with people. They mess up their opportunity to create effective, successful, positive employee relations.

They treat people like children and then ask why people fail so frequently to live up to their expectations. Managers apply different rules to different employees and wonder why workplace negativity is so high. People work hard and infrequently receive positive feedback.

At the same time, many organizations invest untold energy in actions that ensure employees are unhappy. They ensure ineffective employee relations results. For example, one of the most important current trends in organizations is increasing employee involvement and input. Organizations must find ways to utilize all of the strengths of the people they employ. Or, people will leave to find work in an organization that does.

According to former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, the number of people in the labor force ages 25 to 34 is projected to decline by 2.7 million in the next seven years. To meet this challenge, work places need to recruit new populations and non-traditional employees. And, workplaces urgently need to retain valued employees.

The book, High Five, by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles talks about building powerfully effective teams. The book emphasizes that “the essence of a team,” according to Dr. Blanchard, is “the genuine understanding that none of us is as smart as all of us.”

Teams allow people to achieve things far beyond each member’s individual ability. But teamwork also requires powerful motivation for people to put the good of the group ahead of their own self interest. Fortunately, the millennial generation grew up working in a team work environment. Valuing and appreciating teams, your youngest workers will lead the way.

Pull these workplace trends together and it is no wonder that the Dilbert cartoon is perennially popular. Consider that Scott Adams, the strip’s creator, will never run out of material because, despite what organizations want or say they want for effective employee relations – they often fail to:

  • retain valued employees,
  • develop empowered people working together to serve the best interests of the organization, and
  • create an environment in which every employee contributes all of their talents and skills to the success of organizational goals.

The next time you are confronted with any of the following proposed actions, ask yourself this question. Is the action likely to create the result, for powerfully motivating employee relations, that you want to create?

Twenty Dumb Mistakes Employers Make

Here are the twenty dumb mistakes organizations make to mess up their relationships with the people they employ.

  1. Add another level of hierarchy because people aren’t doing what you want them to do. (More watchers get results!)
  2. Appraise the performance of individuals and provide bonuses for the performance of individuals and complain that you cannot get your staff working as a team.
  3. Add inspectors and multiple audits because you don’t trust people’s work to meet standards.
  4. Fail to create standards and give people clear expectations so they know what they are supposed to do, and wonder why they fail.
  5. Create hierarchical, permission steps and other roadblocks that teach people quickly that their ideas are subject to veto and wonder why no one has any suggestions for improvement. (Make people beg for money!)
  6. Ask people for their opinions, ideas, and continuous improvement suggestions, and fail to implement their suggestions or empower them to do so. Better? Don’t even provide feedback about whether the idea was considered or why it was rejected.
  7. Make a decision and then ask people for their input as if their feedback mattered.
  8. Find a few people breaking rules and company policies and chide everybody at company meetings rather than dealing directly with the rule breakers. Better? Make everyone wonder “who” the bad guy is. Best? Make up another policy to punish every employee.
  9. Make up new rules for everyone to follow as a means to address the failings of a few.
  10. Provide recognition in expected patterns so that what started as a great idea quickly becomes entitlement. (For example, buy Friday lunch when production goals are met. Wait until people start asking you for the money if they cannot attend the lunch. And, find employees meeting only the production goal that will merit the prize – and not one bit more. )
  11. Treat people as if they are untrustworthy – watch them, track them, admonish them for every slight failing – because a few people are untrustworthy.
  12. Fail to address behavior and actions of people that are inconsistent with stated and published organizational expectations and policies. (Better yet, let non-conformance go on until you are out of patience; then ambush the next offender, no matter how significant, with a disciplinary action.)
  13. When managers complain that they cannot get to all of their reviews because they have too many reporting staff members, and performance development planning takes too much time, eliminate PDPs. Better? Require supervisors to do them less frequently than quarterly. Or, hire more supervisors to do reviews. (Fail to recognize that an hour per quarter per person invested in employee development is the manager’s most important job.)
  14. Create policies for every contingency, thus allowing very little management latitude in addressing individual employee needs.
  15. Conversely, have so few policies, that employees feel as if they reside in a free-for-all environment of favoritism and unfair treatment.
  16. Make every task a priority. People will soon believe there are no priorities. More importantly, they will never feel as if they have accomplished a complete task or goal.
  17. Schedule daily emergencies that prove to be false. This will ensure employees don’t know what to do, or are, minimally, jaded about responding when you have a true customer emergency.
  18. Ask employees to change the way they are doing something without providing a picture of what you are attempting to accomplish with the change. Label them “resisters” and send them to change management training when they don’t immediately hop on the train.
  19. Expect that people learn by doing everything perfectly the first time rather than recognizing that learning occurs most frequently in failure.
  20. Letting a person fail when you had information, that he did not, which he might have used to make a different decision.

Lessons Learned From Enron

We all get complacent sometimes. We have comfort zones. We do the things we enjoy, that feel good, that come easily. That’s why many people surround themselves with people who agree with them, think like them, and support them. The CEO of a large company does not have that luxury.

In return for the outlandish compensation being heaped on them by the shareholders, the CEO must immerse himself or herself in the uncomfortable, the unfamiliar, the different opinion. Only in that way can they keep the company strong and growing. Only then can they earn what they are being paid. Only then can they, and their shareholders, avoid a debacle like Enron.

There are many lessons that can be learned from the collapse of Enron. Any organization has an obligation to all of its stakeholders, not just its shareholders, and those obligations were not met in this case. Executives at Enron made decisions that were wrong. Some of their decisions may have involved illegal activities. Many people also are beginning to question the professional conduct of auditors Arthur Andersen. Did their interest in preserving their income cloud their judgment? We will leave those discussions for others and focus instead on the key management failure – curbing dissent.

It starts at the top
It is the leader’s job to provide the vision for the group. A good executive must have a dream and the ability to get the company to support that dream. But it is not enough to merely have the dream. The leader must also provide the framework by which the people in the organization can help achieve the dream. This is called company culture.

When your company culture allows people to challenge ideas, suggestions, and plans, you create an organization of thinking, committed people capable of producing the kind of innovation and productivity required to succeed today. However, if your company culture does not allowed dissent, if people who suggest alternatives are castigated for not being “team players”, you produce an environment of fear, stagnation, and antipathy. Not allowing appropriate dissent will kill your company.

Discuss and debate – up to a point
You’re smart manager. You encourage your people to challenge you and suggest alternatives. But are you a good subordinate? Do you challenge your boss? Or do you sit back and protect your job by agreeing with everything the boss suggests? Such agreeing won’t protect your job, as Enron’s employees have learned.

Every manager has a boss. It is our responsibility to our bosses to be honest with them, to tell them what we really think, even if we disagree. Especially if we disagree. You, and everyone of your peers, need to discuss issues openly, frankly, and with the best interests of your area clearly visible. You need to give the boss as much information and as many options as possible. Don’t be afraid to fight hard for what you believe to be right. Be professional about it, but be candid too.

However, once the boss has made a decision, the discussion and arguing and dissent must stop. Once the decision has been made you have an obligation to support your boss in that decision. You expect it of your people; you should do no less.

Disagree without being disagreeable
You think your position is right. You want what is best for your people. You want things done in the way that works best for your department. So you argue your points strongly. That’s good, but don’t overdo it. You won’t win every battle. After all, your boss is looking after the best interest of his or her entire organization, not just your part of it. Recognize the aspects of negotiation involved. Remember you will be working with these people again in the future. For those reasons it’s important that you “disagree without being disagreeable”.

Dr. Suzette Elgin, an expert in psycholinguistics, wrote the definitive book, “How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: Getting Your Point Across With the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense”. The next time you have to give someone a bad performance evaluation or a co-worker verbally attacks you in a meeting you will wish you had read this book of practical, real-life techniques.

There are many other resources on the Internet. Here are two more:

  • Fast Company calls this their Starter Kit on Managing Disagreements.
    Using Mark Twain humor and common sense, they suggest ways to deal with the most common types of disagreeable people.
  • Disagreeing Without Being Disagreeable
    Professional trainers Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon, writing for “The Industrial Physicist”, recommend these conflict-solving steps to help you “become as proficient at resolving people problems as you are at finding technical solutions.”

Challenging the status quo has to be a top priority in any organization. Accepting the status quo leads to stagnation. Stagnation will kill any organization.

Being a yes-man is damaging to the individual, not just the company. The classic movie “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” chronicles the stress Gregory Peck’s character endures by agreeing with everything his boss says just to keep a job he really doesn’t even want. If you find yourself in an organization that does not encourage dissent, move on to one that does.

The Internet Search Engine Google has “never settle for the best” as one of their goals and puts that at the top of their corporate information page. Their performance recently, in a very tough market, is testimony to the value of that plan.

Manage This Issue
Foster a culture in your company where differing opinions are encouraged. Avoid the temptation to surround yourself with individuals who are so similar to you that they can’t offer a different perspective. Don’t surround yourself with people who are so afraid that they won’t dissent. Reward creativity and original thought in your decision-making process. Hang on to those people who have mastered the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Maybe then you can avoid being blindsided by events such as Enron has encountered.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, or if there is an issue you would like us to address, please post them on our Management Forum to share with the entire group.