16Feb2017

Can optimism be an impediment?

The mood was upbeat with positive vibes in the recent Make in Karnataka conference organized by the Government of Karnataka with presentations from Union ministers, Karnataka ministers, Government Bureaucrats, Top Managers from Foreign and Indian MNCs as well as Founders of Start-ups against the backdrop of the share of manufacturing in Indian GDP being 16.34% in September 2016 probably shrinking further with the Month on Month Industrial Production reducing by 0.73% in October 2016 and further by 1.29% in November 2016. I am sure the mood will be equally upbeat in the other Make in India conferences around this time.

This cultural strength of seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel and creating optimism for moving on might as well be an impediment to disproportionally growing the manufacturing sector to a GDP share of 25% from a stagnant share hovering around 16-17% for over 4 decades.

Why should optimism be an impediment?

Manufacturing is all about PEOPLE consistently repeating simple routines with zero defect while continuously improving the productivity of the resources employed and continuously reducing the undesirable effects on the environment.

  • The only way to achieve consistency is by performing a routine subconsciously. Regular practice leads to learning any routine subconsciously.
  • The only way to continuously improve the productivity and reduce undesirable effects is by constant craving for perfection. Competing with self combined with experimenting/learning creates the craving for perfection.

Inspiration/Enthusiasm/Involvement even for simple routines and not just optimism is needed for competing with self while experimenting/learning with regular practice.

A fair measure of Inspiration/Enthusiasm/Involvement would be employee engagement. I have compared some numbers between Germany and India.

  • Manufacturing share in GDP (World bank data): Germany 23% | India 16%
  • Engaged employees across all industries (Gallup Study): Germany 15% | India 9%
  • Engaged Manufacturing/Production workers (Gallup Study): Germany 13% | India 4%

I have personally experienced the Inspiration/Enthusiasm/Involvement Germans have even for simple routines in manufacturing while constantly craving for perfection. No wonder they have been hovering around 23% for more than 2 decades.

I believe that we generally tend to like those activities we are good at or conversely we generally become good in those activities we like. The first step to achieve this state is to start thinking of those activities in a focussed way.

You may want to think through of your experience and feelings in Aggregating demand for forecast stability/predictability, Exploiting installed capacity before expanding and Understanding market and buyer's decision factors the best possible way that you can imagine. I chose these three areas, since the companies with the April-March financial year would probably be establishing the 3Y market forecast for approving the FY18 business plan as well as surveying the customer satisfaction during this month.

These topics are part of our doHow™ APP, a real-time personal performance coach for enabling all the people you care for. I will write in detail in the next journal. You can of course check it out in the meantime.

Happy thinking and learning!