Jan 01

As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Leadership, Structure/HR Comments Off on As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Kicking off 2016 with good Ted talks. This is good one on organizational design and how to simplify it.

Feb 11

There are 4 types of professional practices

  1. Pharmacist: Where customers know what like an aspirin and they want it at lowest price.
  2. Nurse: Here the focus is not just on providing aspirin but on ability to council and guide the client through a process. Customer wants to be involved in decision making process
  3. Brain Surgeon: Here customer has a problem and he wants a solution from a expert. He does not want to know how you get the solution.
  4. Psychotherapist: In this case customer has a serious problem for which he needs and expert but he wants to be part of the process of solving the product.



Standardized Process

Customized Process







Hiring: Interpersonal Kills stressed

Training: Formal including role plays of client situations

Promotion: Limited if remain in this box

Ownership: Profit sharing, but little equity sharing


Hiring: Very Selective experienced experts with industry experience

Training: Experiential if any

Promotion: Up or out in short time frame

Ownership: Broadly shared







Hiring: Paraprofessionals and other low cost resources

Training: Formal, Structured

Promotion: Few Opportunities

Ownership: Closely help

Brain Surgeon

Hiring: Best and brightest from top schools

Training: Informal, apprenticeship

Promotion: Fast track, up or out

Ownership: Partnership or “Open Equity”


Source: What kind of provider are you? (True Professionalism). Free Press.

Feb 09

Following are approaches to determining pay

  • Merit Pay – pay for the job; based on the role an employee plays in the organization and how well s/he performs the role
  • Person-Based Pay – pay for the person; based on what an employee brings to the job
  • Results-Based Pay – pay for results; utilizes variable pay to reward results

Most important is to strike the balance between cost perspective, employer perspective and employee perspective.












Source: Mercer Human Resource Consulting, 2004

Feb 09

Another model for employee compensation that links Business results to employee compensation is Rewards of work model.












Source: (Segal/Sibson, 2006)

Feb 09

One challenge facing every organization is compensation of employees. Following is Total Rewards Framework which provides a framework to look at compensation as a complete package.





Benefits & Services

Performance Rewards

Cash or Cash-Related

  • Health & welfare
  • Broad-based stock options
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Child care / eldercare
  • Wellness programs
  • Base pay
  • Variable pay
  • Stock options
  • Spot rewards
  • Hiring bonuses

Workplace Opportunities

Performance Recognition

Noncash or Symbolic

  • Specialized training
  • Career development
  • Flex hours
  • Informal dress
  • Company events / parties
  • Promotions
  • Special assignments
  • Recognition “stars”
  • President’s Club
  • Recognition trips / tickets


Source: Wilson, T. B. (2003). Innovative reward systems for the changing workplace

Jan 02

Following are 2 primary approaches in human resource management

Control Approach: The goal is to reduce labor costs or improve efficiency by enforcing employee compliance with specified rules and procedures and basing employee rewards on some measurable output criteria

Commitment Approach: This system shapes desired employee behaviors by forging psychological links between organizational and employee goals. The focus is on developing committed employees who can be trusted to carry out job tasks


I think Control approach never works, this was the traditional approach used in core manufacturing units. Commitment approach is the one companies should be using.

Jan 01

Progressive Bundle System: Each operation is done by a single worker operating a stationary sewing machine. Each worker receives a bundle of unfinished garment. Worker then performs a single operation on each garment. This system creates high level of Pace and labor productivity. The side effect is creation of huge WIP inventory. 90% of times inventory is sitting for worker to act upon.

Modular Production System: This groups tasks and assigns them to members of a module. Although most operators in the module still spend the majority of their time on a single assembly task, opeators do move to other tasks if work is building up at some other step. Compensation is based on module’s output. Modules are partially self directed and operators determine task assignment, pace and output targets. This systems reduces the buffers between assembly steps.

Nov 30

It’s not vision that makes a company successful. What sets the top performers apart is the organizational models they develop to realize their aspirations.

Organizational performance is the result of all the effort and activity that goes on inside a firm. Concept of Decision rights helps in defining: who gets to make what decisions; and what information, constraints, tools, and incentives affect the way they evaluate those decisions?

Jul 22

Clear Reporting/Organizational structure is key to success of a business. Lack of clarity creates total chaos in the organization and reduces accountibility. U never want company CEO questioning a developer about what he/she is doing…:)