Hi Friends,
                                              Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.
                                                  There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"
                                       With regards,
                                       Hemen Parekh
                                       27 June 2013

Saturday, 3 May 1980


Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave).

3 May 1980

Dept. Heads (PGM-Group)                  


For  us the  time  is April.   (But  it is  better  late than never !. )

And it is serious business deciding

-    Where we are (data-base)
-    Where we wish to go (direction/objective)
-    Which path do we take (strategy)
-    How do we go (Tactics/Action plan)
-    When do we reach (Time/Target)
-    What shall be the guide posts  (Monitoring Progess)

But decide we must.

So how do we go about it?


Decide what is "our job" The job of the department (function - description) The job of an individual (job description)

Before  the  departments  can write  their  own  "function  -description", we must know the  "group functions" - the group under  GM(P).  What  is  the  "raison  d'etre"  (reason  for existence) of this group?

You will find this in Annexure A.

This  should  enable  the  department  heads  to   write  the departmental "function - description".

Dept. Heads will  meet me on  27.05.80 morning at  10.00 a.m. (C-4 Conference room) to discuss these.

Each dept.  head shall present  to the group,  the "function-description"   of  his   own   department   (use  O/H   Slide Projector).  After  all the  presentations have taken  place, we will discuss and decide if these descriptions are:

       -  Synergic     
-  congruent     
-  complimentary     

-    opposing
-    neutralizing
-    negating

STEP - 2

Department Heads  circulate their  function-description among the  Supervisory  Staff of  the  department, asking  them  to write down  their own  individual job-descriptions.  By  10/6 each Supervisory Staff to present  his own job-description in a  departmental meeting.  Once  again  decide if  we are  all pulling in the  same direction.   (If invited, I will  try to make myself available as an "observer").

Also use the departmental meeting to determine (write down)

CRITERIA               -   what  criteria (measurable)  would you  like others 
(mainly our  customers)  to use  for  evaluating departmental
Performances. -

DATA-BASE      -   what  data-base  exists   (or  needs  to  be created) for
Performance measurement.

objectives              -   in  light of  the foregoing  what should  be the
departmental   objectives  for   April  80-March 81.

At this stage,  you may wish to debate whether  the prevalent atmosphere  in  the dept.  is  "open"  enough for  the  staff members to  settle their individual  "objectives" right there in the meeting.  If not, in  the departmental meeting itself, draw-up a time-schedule for  individual staff members to meet you separately for settling his own objectives.

STEP – 3

Meet the  staff member to  settle his objectives.   To ensure that   the   objectives  are   less   "subjective"   &   more "objective", send out  the work-sheet (enclosed)  in advance. This is  the ACID-TEST.  For  practice, ask  your man  to rewrite  last year's  (79-80) objectives on  the sheet  and see for himself  how many  of  these withstand  this  test.  Only thereafter,  let  him  write  proposed  80-81  objectives  on another work-sheet and bring both sheets to the meeting.


Having settled  the objectives,  let your man  meet you  once again within a week.  This time ask him to bring with him:


The  onus of proving  ACTUAL vs.  target performance  is his.   Right at  the  beginning  of  the year,  he  must convince   you,   regarding   the   existence   of   the INFORMATION  SYSTEM  and  the starting  DATA-BASE  (over which  improvements are  planned).  There  is no  way we can measure progress without co-ordinates!

And you must carry your  own navigation-instruments.  Sure, a Satellite  can track  you in  the middle  of Sahara  desert -while you  are going in  Circles all the time!  This  is what generally   happens  when  you   depend  upon   the  Computer department or the Accounts department  or the Costing Section or some such external agency  to tell you that your assistant is  "off"  his  target.   Remember   that  keeping  you  well informed   every  morning  about  the   performance  of  your subordinates, may not be one of their objectives!!


Many Soul-satisfying  Objectives have turned  into pious platitudes  for   want  of  an   action-plan'.  Planning Commission will tell you  NOW, where we ought to reach by 2000 A.D.  - without having  the faintest clue  of where we will be  at the end of 1980!   But then Policy-makers cannot  be  bothered with  trivial  details  -  like the Harvard  Professor who  advised  the  cat-scared  rat to become  a  dog  and  got  angry   when  the  rat  asked, "but-how"?
So ask your man to write down  "how".


These are  all-familiar mile-stones - not  only you know that you  are on  the predetermined track  but  you also know how  well (or  well not) you  are doing.   Those of you who  are familiar  with PERT network,  know  them as "events"  (as distinct from  activities).  These  are so to  say,  "mini-destinations".   Along  your  "activity-track", have at least  2/3 of these and keep looking for them - and  looking at the calendar.  You  will know who needs more steam and when!

STEP - 5

Let your man  loose.  From this point  onwards, he is  on his own -  to be judged  solely by the  "results" and not  by the "noise".   Let him know  you are available  for  "guidance" -but only  if he  asks for it.   Your only  concern should  be with regard to use of unethical means  to achieve noble ends, - or  sacrifice  of departmental/Group objective  so that  an individual may achieve his own.  This is strictly forbidden.

I am  sure dfp (dgm-hrd) would  be only too glad  to help at any stage of the exercise.


                                                                                           Annexure - A                   


Let  us  not  look  upon  L&T,  as  a  mere  manufacturer  of machinery and equipment.

Let  us say,  India is  waging a  war  - war  for removal  of "wants"  - a  war  for  a  better  tomorrow for  its  teeming millions.   And better  tomorrow  means  different things  to different people.  For  a man who sleeps on the  footpath, it means being able to sleep inside the 96" diameter pipe!

Let us say, L&T is  on the forefront of this war  - right out at  the frontiers  of  "Technology".  7000  people of  Powai, constantly  learn new  technologies, and  where  to apply  it with ever-increasing efficiency to their own daily tasks.

These are

·     Designing new war-machines (the Equipments)
·     Preparing Production plans
·     Acquiring resources of Man/Material/Machine                                Buildings/Facilities
·     Utilizing these resources optimally
@    Manufacture the equipments
@    Despatch/installing/commissioning the equipments
@    Servicing the equipment to keep them going
     (so that)
o    The war on "want" may go on & on
o    And such a war cannot be fought
o    with borrowed ammunition
o    The machines we make are
o    The muscles that matter


To the people of Powai we cater. We are the "logistics" people (The unsung heroes - if you like) we are "prominent" when absent and self-effacing if present

Our Job

Our  job is to  ensure that our  investment at  Powai remains fully productive  at all  times,  around the  clock, all  the days of the year.

And when I say  "investment" I mean all types of investment -including "people-investment" - the most important of all.

At Powai, the company has invested in     

(The land - buildings - equipments - utilities)     

Mfg. materials/W.I.P./Finished Goods/ Maintenance Materials


Systems & Procedures
Organizatonal Manuals
Computer-based Data Management
Communication (Telephone/Telex/Mail/Printing )
How can we ensure that these RESOURCES  are kept "productive" at ail times?

Right from the  starting point where you  "Envisage" the need for a resource, all the way  to the final stage of "Auditing" whether a  given resource is being  efficiently 'utilized, you have to subject the  resource to various  kinds of treatment. This will become clear from the following matrix.

Type of Treatment
Type of Resource



-    Feed
-    Transport

Utilize (optimum)


Develop (Train)

-    Physical
-    Mental



Clearly the "ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP" is     

Partly/wholly responsible     
For a few/all of the "treatments"     
For one/more than one resource     
Individually/jointly with unit managers

And THAT is our job !

I  have purposely  left the  matrix  blank so  that, you  may attempt to fill it in:

1.   From the view-point of your particular section/department
2.   Using your own "self-perception" of your role
3.   Using  the  "perception" of  the  others  in Powai  (and elsewhere) as to your