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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dreaded Symptoms!

Sometime back I wrote about the tendency of the railway officials to invariably jump on symptoms, without any concern whatsoever about the disease that may have caused the same. Today's accident near Anantpur once again had my mind rattled on the issue. When shall we ever learn?

Learn what? That in an HR dominant organization like the railways human mistakes are bound to happen and the environment of fear that the railway babu's have created is only hastening the impending disaster. My mind has quickly travelled to the site of the acccident and I  can easily visualize the scenario there. With almost everyone who considers himself a somebody on the railways, and there is a fleet of them, trying to use his phone to find out details of what happened, not for remedying matters but to rattle out the details to his superiors when asked for, the men manning the field would be having a very tough time. All those somebody's would be trying to browbeat the others in seeking the head of the delinquent staff and offficers who would have committed the heinous mistakes leading to the accident. The ground truth and also the reason behind the staff committing mistakes while on duty would be lost in the chorous claiming the head.

Everyone out to impress the boss and in the race to bag the coveted "sycophants trophy" even at such moments when the organization and its mandarins should be seeking and facing the truth, is indeed sickening. The race also to be the first one to tell the bosses about what happened and commiserating with him on the perceived demise of commitment in the field staff is also a trait amply visible in the officers, who are regarded as rising stars in the organization, even at moments of disaster.

When shall we ever realize that almost all the so called ills of the system are no more than mere symptoms of various deep rooted malaise shrouding the officialdom. The core of the disease lies in the inability of the management, the upper crust to be more precise, to provide the right kind of leadership to the organization. Even a casual study of the bureaucratic practices of the railways would reveal the obvious, that we have adopted a conflicting variance with all that is written down in management books and case studies of repute. Moreover any organization, the upper crust of which consider ridiculing and pulling down their men as the solution to its ills is living in a fool's paradise and therein lies the tragedy of this great organization.

A rudderless organization, not led by, but headed by officials at various levels who have no vision or direction to convey to their team, but whose focus always remains fault finding and rendering unsolicited advice on all matters under the sun. "Dispense advice when asked for support" has emerged as our gurumantra. An organization based on mistrust is what we are rearing and therefore the regular recurrence of all those symptoms that jolt us out of our blissful sleep. A jolt that damages the organization more than it helps the situation.

May God help  us!     

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