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Knowledge Management over a cup of tea!
On February 23, 2013, in Knowledge Management, by Rudolf DSouza

I am back from an unannounced sabbatical! I took time off to think! I needed to figure out what I wanted my blog to be. Rather than contrived articles, it needed to reflect what I felt most about. I read a lot- on Business, on Management, Leadership, Knowledge Management, Environment Conservation etc. I felt that my blog could reflect more of my interests and concerns. So here’s hoping that you like the new blogs that come through- straight from the Gut! (What say Jack?)

Today, I want to share a simple story I came across recently in the newspaper. It has a lesson for KM. The article is about an Income Tax Commissioner in Mumbai, who ‘shares a cup of tea with his subordinates’! What’s so great about it? You may be tempted to ask. Well, in the Indian Bureaucratic hierarchical mentality the senior bosses do not invite their juniors to their room for a ‘cup of tea’. This gentleman officer does this regularly for a purpose- to recognize the Junior for his exemplary work. In a Government organization there is no system to Incentivise, recognize or award an employee on the spot for a task well done. By being invited to ‘Tea’ with the Commissioner is a great honour and word spreads quickly. The ‘tea session’ serves another purpose. The Commissioner gets suggestions from the evidently motivated junior on improvements required. So, a simple technique that achieves so much!

I think businesses have forgotten that it is these simple touches that can mean so much to an employee. KM Programs create elaborate ‘rules’ for ‘spot’ incentives which are soon reduced to rituals. So, how about ‘a cup of tea’ with the CEO? Or a quick presentation to the Leadership team by this employee? What an impact it will have to boost the employee morale and charge the others to also vie for this deserved honour?


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