Business demands innovation, of being on the leading edge of any field. Intellect, intelligence or graduate degrees will never be substitutes for common sense, people sense and street smarts. This article is about business and its components and the role street smarts plays in business life- the ability to make active, positive use of your perspicacity, instincts and perceptions. Street smarts is simply applied people sense, the basis of any business association. Essentially, it involves assessing people and using that knowledge to get what you want. Its a talent you can learn...
A common phenomenon these days is that soon after a Psychologist or eminent scholar publishes a finding in the form of a law or principle, others jump onto the bandwagon with corollaries and riders. Take the adage first printed by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in 1955, which was so widely accepted that it became a law. Parkinson’s Law states, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” He derived the dictum from his extensive experience in the Machiavellian manipulations carried out by the British Civil Service. Those who have seen the superb TV serials Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister will agree that the British Civil Service, like most Civil Services round the globe, is guilty as implied by Parkinson. Parkinson noted that bureaucracies expanded over time, at a rate of 5-7% per year "irrespective of any variation in the amount of work (if any) to be done." The number of employees at the British Colonial Office increased even while its overseas empire declined!
By sweetened virtue I start out, dashing as the cavalier Knight:
The butterflies cut from the paper from the womb of a Beautiful girl’s diary:
And I read her out under the sun, as I wait for the bank robbers To drive by:
This night is pillaged by lucky horses, while I have never Been by Sarah’s grave,
Or my grandfather’s grave, but I know that my one good grandmother
Is buried atop the hill underneath the welded cross at the northern
End of the summit of the Springerville Cemetery:
Sharon, she is buried just above her little house, across the churches
And the swings that I have articulated back and forth on the Other side of her;
And you never even saw or knew her body’s warmth, Sharon:
Sharon: but your body is still sparking like a wish culled from A cloudy day:
And I wonder what is was that made you choose the man you love;
And if I had just one wish rubbed from the gilded belly of a genie,
Then Sharon, that wish would be for you love,
But I still have to go back to work on Monday.
“We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy” Anon
Within the past decades, the design of organizations and how they operate have changed in the face of new international regulations. In some cases, employees have resisted these organizational innovations and often have developed self-protectionist attitudes largely due to what observers call “downward communication flows in organizational hierarchies.” As many organizational scholars have stated, imperfect and non-recursive communication can cause organizational conflict, reducing group effectiveness. Trust in organizations is crucial in promoting group performance.
There is an old saying that “Opportunity knocks on your door just once. Seize it with both hands, else you will flounder forever.”
Louis L’amour, the well known ‘Western Novel’ author also said something similar. With all respect, I would like to differ. Opportunity is what you make of life. It will be there, just behind the arras. Slide back the drapes, locate it and grasp it deferentially with both hands. Uh-Oh! As always, there is a catch to it, lurking thereabouts.
Justus Daniel Eapen is a policy level Organizational Transformation Consultant with over 25 years experience in Banking & Government.