The inaugural day of Disha 2015 saw some distinguished guests expressing their views in the panel discussion which focused upon the eternal debate of “Speed vs Efficiency”. The panel included Mr Jitender Panihar- the Chief People Officer from Healthkart, Mr Varghese Paul- Head of HR – Global Operation Centers & GGO India at Thomson Reuters, Dr Sushanta Kumar Sarma and Prof Ishwar Haritas from TAPMI.

Mr Jitender Panihar broadly touched upon various facets of organizational development. In terms of the development, he said that organizational design and capability went hand in hand towards creating a better future for the organization. Often, disruptive technologies would make the future uncertain for an organization. It was necessary to understand business in order to bring about agility. Talent, processes and capability had to be matched as he felt that often business was misunderstood. Business had to be translated into people oriented processes which aimed at adding value at every level. Also he felt that an ideal condition would be one in which the organizational capability was a sum of the individual employees’ capability.

Mr. Varghese Paul believed that though speed is very important in business environment but it’s not the only factor that brings achievement. According to him many CEOs often opted for speed, but unfortunately they failed. For him it was more about the right decisions that an organization took in the right direction accompanied with speed. Such a combination often led to a competitive advantage. He quoted an example of how global companies opted for local pricing strategies by understanding the market needs. This way decentralization of decision making does brought about speed, but it was still about the right decision at the right place.

Dr. Sushanta quoted that organizational development is never in isolation. It was a combination of all the functions. He said that structural changes were very difficult and should be based on trial and error basis, they could not be taken in a board room. As an example he said that if an organization is hiring a person, there should be enough supporting facilities to support his functions else recruitment would remain incomplete.

Talking about speed and efficiency, he believed that both were not dichotomous in nature. They went hand in hand. Rather efficiency included speed until we speak of a function in isolation.

Prof Ishwar Haritas who has vast experience in domains such as WTO(World Trade Organization and ITC(International Trade Centre) spoke about how bureaucracy in the system delays decision making and reduces the efficiency of the whole system altogether. Every time there is a change in leadership, either in government bodies or corporates, the leader at the top wants to change the way things function. He put across four points to summarize his views on the discussion of Speed V/s Efficiency –

Sometimes leaders work on intuition and not on hard factual data. This type of decision making may backfire in the future.

There is a tendency to lay emphasis on people and then on roles. Instead, roles have to be clearly defined and then people should be called in to fill those roles.

There should be a well-defined metrics both for the short term as well as the long term.

Do not go live with change if there is no clear risk mitigation plan.

Overall the session was an enlightening one as the students were able to witness both the industry experts and their own faculty discuss their varied opinions on a common platform.

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