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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

From Craftsmanship to Company

             Our day at class today, began with Dr. Mandi walking in his usual manner, with his sandal-colored bag by his side. While we were intrigued by what could be inside this time(he had brought  simple toys to explain us the concept of marketing the previous day), he casually opened his bag and took out two wooden boxes. Small wooden cubes containing various symbols, which had been inside the boxes, were thrown at different students in the class, who accepted them with feelings of glee and curiosity.

             While we were looking at those cubes, Dr. Mandi explained to us that we would be going ahead with a Tower building exercise with them and called out for volunteers. Being an instant volunteer, I was taken aback when he asked me how much I would pay for making these budding managers watch me build a petty tower. One's loss was someone else's gain as a bidder finally put an end to the auction by agreeing to sponsor his friends with chocolates. Minutes of concentration passed as he was kept busy by trying to stack the cubes into a single tower and he eventually stopped at 16 blocks, which was quite an achievement in my opinion.
                    Now Dr. Mandi wanted to test us on our basics. He questioned us if this activity had had any organizational principles. We all wanted to identify every single organizational and management paradigm that we could associate with this activity and decided to tell it out loud. This was when he explained us about the concept of 'Craftsmanship'. We were explained how a craftsmanship activity like the 'Tower building exercise' had 'zero management and no organization'. Even though high satisfaction can be associated with craftsmanship activities, traits like delegation, decentralization, hierarchy and norms can not be associated with a craftsmanship, we were explained. 

                     This was followed by a similar activity but with multiple participants. About 8 of us volunteered, but we were told that only one would be allowed to build the tower. On top of this, he had to be blindfolded and could only be guided by the other 7 of us. This demonstrated to us, how a substantial amount of mid-level management lacked purpose. It is mandatory in any organization that there is the identification and clear cut specification of the roles. 

 More in the coming posts!

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