A World Without Work – NYTimes.com and Times of India

A World Without Work – NYTimes.com and Times of India

A World Without Work – NYTimes.com and Times of India

Came across this catchy head-line, even though a long one, with a good accompanying image:‘People are dropping out of work & finding ways to live without a permanent job’!

A well-written article. The story is in the American context. But relevant to India too, I felt. There is a trend where more people want to get out of their jobs and start something. The difference is to get out of the comfort zone and be your own boss. One of the key reasons to get out of a stifling corporate life can be the (Big) boss! Pun intended!

Recently Axis bank carried an ad where the protagonist evolves from a dedicated corporate resource to a successful entrepreneur. Same is applicable to a PSBank. The “H_AR_I S-A-D-O_O” tvc was very popular.

This is not being perceived as a progress, but ‘apocalyptic in the case of blue collar work and govt dependency is killing the American work ethic’. This is a trend I observe in the Indian context too. Over the last six to seven months, I am yet to come across a customer who is happy with his bank – let alone Customer Delight or Enchantment, we are not even expecting those. This is as chronic in the blue-collar jobs, where it is common to over-commit and under-perform. The gap is in quality of work, deadlines, basic discipline/work ethic. And where the Government programs are a back-up, the work force are a bit more lethargic. Heard some horror stories in Kerala recently, where the blue collar are very happy to work 2 days a week and be ‘blissful’! See similar trends in other parts of country and shared by others.

This is visible in other areas too, where admissions for professional education is through a hefty capitation fee/”other’ considerations, and not on merit, for example. It is not only affecting the work-ethic, but also leading to further slide in #Morality in Society.

The right to not have a boss is actually the hardest won of modern freedoms’, I thought was a bit too powerful. I still fully endorse the view the most important reason why people leave jobs are their (big) bosses. The bosses drive the ‘good-to-great’ mantra, not looking at things holistically. Still I was not sure if not to have a boss was actually a huge freedom!!

I was thinking on this, when I got a call from a good friend & former colleague. He spent more of the time sharing the horror at his new job. The case, of organization, culture, processes, etc., can be a good international case study. I tried to pep him up and discussing how to avoid the negativity impact on him. But after the conversation I wondered, more often we lag behind in our man-management skills. There are pockets of excellence/exceptions. But very few of them. Why are they not in majority ?!! It perhaps boils down to leadership.

Good that such issues are written about, but more in foreign press and not in Indian press. (We spent just too much time on unimportant and non-urgent issues and lot of blame rests with media, as well as followers of the media!) These are the issues that will have far-reaching impact. These are the areas corporate can not afford to miss.

A World Without Work – NYTimes.com