The Corporate Pressure Cooker

Author: Alok Sood   |   Date: 02 Oct 2016   |   Comment: 0 Share:   |     |     |  

We all know that the job of a pressure cooker is to cook food efficiently, by conserving the energy spent in cooking. This is achieved by making optimal use of the energy by containing the steam produced in cooking and building up pressure for its utilization in faster & healthier cooking.

Let us consider its major components and their individual roles.

The components –

  1. The main body – is the container for the food to be cooked in, so it holds the food while it is being cooked.
  2. The lid – is meant for the primary role of creating the basic system for holding the steam which is so critical to pressure cooking.
  3. The vent – in the lid is meant to release the pressure irrespective of whether the ultimate objective is met or not.
  4. The rubber gasket – is meant to hold the pressure from leaking irrespective of what the consequences can be.
  5. The weight – placed on the vent is meant to release the pressure after a certain limit in order to maintain safety and deliver optimum cooking at the same time.
  6. The safety valve – is often the least noticed component but when a critical situation arises, it helps to release the pressure built up beyond the designed limits to prevent an explosive situation.

Now let us compare them to the members of a corporate team which is meant to deliver the organizational objectives.

The main body is the frontline executive who is there to deliver the basic components of the overall delivery, and will be able to deliver the objective in a limited way in its own right even if other components simply do not function. Just that the efficiency will not be there.

The metal lid is like the first-line functional manager, who delivers the basic efficiency framework.

The vent is akin to the HR manager who ensures that the pressure is not developed beyond the reasonable limit whether or not the team’s objective is met.

The rubber gasket is akin to the peers who add value to the delivery of the objective by building pressure but also play politics in the system irrespective of what the results might be of the pressure being built continuously.

The weight is akin to the team leader who regulates the delivery of the final objective while keeping the process in control.

And, the safety valve is like a top level manager or the CEO, who watches all that is happening and holds the final key not just to ensure that all components of the final objective are correctly delivered but also in case of an explosive situation developing, it prevents a blow-out.

All the components of the pressure cooker are like the members of a corporate team. They are all meant to facilitate achievement of the ultimate objective working collectively, and they are all important just like the members of an executive team meant to achieve the team’s objectives.

For rising up in the corporate ladder, it is not only important to experience some of these roles individually but also to learn from what is happening around you. Build your capabilities by having the appropriate and enabling beliefs.

And most importantly, recognize not just the roles and responsibilities of all individuals correctly, but also appreciate the capabilities and contributions made. Some of these while seen with a limited perspective might appear to be negative, but they also add value in the system and in our learning.

Learn to appreciate contributions from all. Cheers!


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