Friday, 3 June 2011

The Paradigm of change

                            Happy working Environment is desirable

OKT was just about a year to retire from the holding company he headed as managing director for the past 10 years. Knowing very well the board of Directors might not renew his tenure, he wanted to leave an indelible mark to his service track before he left the company for good. It was going to be a stunning, impressive and long lasting policy that all the departments of the company would follow even after his departure. After calling his foreign friends and consultants with monies spent on company account, he launched the ludicrous program of “The Paradigm of Change”. He ordered that all staff - 300 strong, had to take turns to attend a session that would last for 2 days; the trainer and one and only speaker was none other than OKT himself.

“Paradigm of Change” what’s that? The managers, executives and the officers scrambled on their feet promptly to find the meaning of the words from the internet dictionary. ‘Nothing much…it just meant a need to change, what to change and how to change.’ Bernard Chan, one of the branch managers exclaimed loudly from one end of the office so that his team of middle aged sales executives could hear him. Nobody raised their heads as they continued their desk work, ignoring him. They knew too well that their section manager was a notorious loud mouth and nerdy nincompoop who had always disgraced himself and his department in meetings with the GM and the MD. The following week the sales and marketing staff would begin their unenviable rendezvous with the MD for his propagating of “The Paradigm of Change” session.

                                  Solidarity means to remain united
                                            for a common interest

After an awkward introduction by his personal assistant, OKT took over the floor as the only speaker cum trainer. He painstakingly inculcated loyalty to the silent listeners, knowing very well most of them had been with the company longer than him. Loyalty would only be solid as it was commensurate with a reasonable amount of raise everybody was hoping for. One foreman stood up and asked him bluntly: “Are you going to announce a revision of salary scheme soon?” OKT was quite embarrassed and mad. So he deviated very quickly away from the sensitive issue of salary adjustment for the staff. He told them that more than 10 years ago, he and a group of top management staff shut themselves out of the city and their respective homes for a sojourn at Fraser Hill, a cool mountain resort; to find a way for the corporation to enhance their market share for their products-the heavy machinery. After 5 days, the group of exhausted think tanks was back to their headquarters after they found the solution collectively for a healthy path the company would adhere to. “And the rest is history….” OKT proudly arrogated his achievement.

Group discussion to reach a collective solution is vital

The rest of the day went fast and smoothly as all the listeners were quiet in tacit protest that the MD was deviating away from the main topics. He was harping about his contribution and the many in-house awards he received from the holding company etc. The main issue “The Paradigm of Change” was superficially and briefly explained in 10 minutes. OKT did not invite any question from the floor; neither did he want anyone to suggest some changes in his management policies. He underrated his subordinates’ thinking power, intelligence, insight of the market trend, and their contribution for the past many years. He was so conceited that he was the one at the helm single - handedly built up the strength of the company as he was the MD for the past 10 years.

The 2 days of special session of “The Paradigm of Change” ended without conclusion and a dismal show of blurry direction. The managers and executives were shaking their heads unbelievably how they wasted 2 days of precious time. Inevitably they discussed among themselves and concluded that the Paradigm of Change session was just a platform to give OKT a final chance to display his oratorical skill. Imagine he got to repeat his hogwash and cant talk from Monday to Friday, for 2 weeks to 300 staffers. Wouldn’t he himself get fed up?

                                Some staff would just love to kick the
                                     ass of their self-centred boss.                             
OKT left the considerably large company a disappointed man the day he reached his 55th birthday. His request in a letter to the group chairman for another year of tenure was turned down, citing normal procedure of the company rules.

Alan CY Kok

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