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The 'How' factor

May 1, 2013 | the times of india
Which of the statements in the
    following pairs do you think is more relevant from a business perspective?
How much did you contribute towards your business vertical? v/s How can I help you to increase your productivity? Or how much market share can we gain? v/s how can we outdo the competition? “The real issue is not about having measures – the ‘how much’is important in any business endeavour, but the real need in 21st century businesses is to shift the focus to ‘how’and achieve the ‘how much’as an outcome of getting the ‘hows’right,” Devraj Shetty, managing director, LRN India explains. Manu Arora,VP-HR, Nucleus Software Exports Ltd adds, “Today, organisations across industries in public or private sectors have realised the need to bring in effectiveness along with efficiencies, that make it imperative for us to drive the ‘how’of the business.”
    Though the shift of ‘how much’to ‘how’has been very recent, it is certainly gaining ground. Shetty points out,“The shift is a path to self-governance, thus

manifesting high trust environments where decisions are made on principles based on a set of core values.We can no longer operate in a 21st century world using 20th century management thinking. Companies are now realising the value of forging a deep connect with their employees through a large purpose-inspired mission, thus triggering sustained innovation and growth through principled performance.”

    So, what else can organisations do in order to keep their focus, so that employees and organisations both benefit? KA Narayan, president – HR, Raymond Ltd asserts that the key is to find a balance between the two.“The ‘how’provides a path, but you need to have milestones (‘how much’) to assess whether you are moving in the right direction.Yes, there is always a tendency for the ‘how much’to take precedence over the ‘how’. However, a lot of performance assessments today not only

focus on absolute performance measures, but also the behavioural aspects. Companies are not only assessing ‘how much’of sales were achieved, but also ‘how’they were achieved,”he suggests.
    So, the next time, before you start evaluating the ‘how much’of anything, it’s vital to understand how much of the ‘how’actually matters.