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

Thursday, 14 August 1986

A NEW CORPORATE WORLD

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).

14 Aug 1986

To:

Dear Department-Head


A NEW CORPORATE WORLD

Rosabeth  Mose Kanter,  in  her book,  "The  Change Masters", writes:

"The  sad  thing about  many  older  and  tradition-bound American Companies  is that they  may recognise  the need for innovation as' a matter of corporate survival but not know how to go about getting  it.  Accustomed to setting-up controls  and to avoid  risk, they may  have forgotten how to  permit experimentation.   Used to  setting policy at the  top, they cannot easily free the  levels below to contribute new ideas".

Later  in the book,  Rosabeth does  speak  of a few  American companies  that not  merely  "permitted" experimentation  but had a definite policy to  "encourage"—Innovation and "invite" ideas  from the  bottom-most  levels.   These companies  were greatly successful.

In case you wish  to read this book (with all  my underlining and remarks in the margin  - for me reading a  book is a kind of dialogue with the author.!, please phone me, or send me a small note.

One  such successful  company is  "AVIS-RENT-A-CAR".   In the June issue of "Kirloskar" magazine,  Anand Bhave writes about this company  -  (you will  have to  tolerate  my translation from Marathi  to English!).  Apparently most  of the thoughts expressed  by Anand  seem  to have  been  taken  from  a book titled  "Further-up-Organization".  If anyone  has a  copy, I would like to borrow please.

Although, I  do not agree with  all that has been  written by Anand  in his article  -  "A New  Approach to  Organization", (enclosed),  it is  nevertheless  thought-provoking.  Leaving aside  Anand's attempts to glorify  Townsend, in  Avis, there are   glimpses  of  the   same  innovations  which   Rosabeth considers essential to a company's survival and growth.

When we,  at L&T, ourselves  are struggling with  our Economy Drive,  can  we  learn  some  lessons  from  AVIS,  and  make innovations  a   corporate  life-style   rather  than  merely chance-incidences   ?   Can   we   liberate  ourselves   from ideological strait-jacket to chart a  new course ?  Those who call  their  vehicles  "space-SHIP",  -  can they  cross  the galaxies  ?  Can  we forget  past  experience and  change our Terms-of-Reference?

H.C. PAREKH

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