Friday, December 21, 2007

ANTI MANAGEMENT


As the management philosophies makes it forays into creative fields like arts , cinema , sports , there is strong need to question the fact that the traditional managements philosophies the six sigmas , the MBOs and above all the basic concept of creating surplus can be applied here . Is the management in this very form a misfit for these artistic fields.

One of the school of thoughts which basically consists of old players in the field are strictly against converting to corporates and cite fact that these fields have been working on principle of subjectivity and they have been creating or producing things for their customers purely on the basis of the knack of imagery that they had without thinking of commercial implications leave apart principles of creating surplus. Their very basic argument against it are that they always work on spontaneous imagination while management philosophies always want them to work on objectives and facts and figures .They argue that quantitative analysis of their work is not possible and only a artist can do a qualitative analysis.

One of the examples that can be cited from off late is cricket . Due to management trying to make the game commercially more viable the management gurus have changed the whole face of the game by making it more batsman friendly wickets , rules citing facts arguing that spectators just wanna see sixes being hit . That has eroded the very competition that used to exist between ball and bat.the skill based game is now fast converting into a power game and we see Dhonis outshining Dravids .Do we see any Wasim Akram or Shane Warne in making now .The very charm of the cricket , the skill is all getting lost and time is not far when it will be something like baseball .

In a recent interview noted holly wood film maker Shekhar kapoor said that due to the fact that all these studios have taken charge of film , the director has lost all the creative freedom he used to have on script and all decisions are taken on facts and figures from past . A reason for so many sequels and remakes these days. The argument against the commercial success they give is the fact that the audience is not left with any other choice due to the extensive marketing. So they all are arguing that all the great cinema made in 70s and 80 s throughout the world and not now .

Are we going over the board in criticizing managers . One counter school of thought is he very fact that they have equipped the directors with very powerful tools like better technology , funding reducing risk by creating alternative sources of income like merchandising , satellite rights , etc . They have been able to bring order in this otherwise mostly disorganised field. They have been actually able to create markets for them which never existed before . They are all armed with progress curves and on paper it all looks glossy and shining .They can talk for hours citing their achievements not all quantitative also.

Many already commercial organisations like apple , google have created one of the best arts of our times ..ipods .google search...looking closely we can see that these companies see themselves as artists and the management culture is such that they encourage all the time their maximum limits of imagination and facilitate them to all the levels of possibility . That is the reason that these are the few companies which have actually change the face of the world and shall always continue to do sowhich is end beneficial to the customer as well as the company.These have been the companies which have deified all traditional management philosophies , the result is too obvious to state .

Now the fact is that no matter whether its artistic field or whether its a commercial company like apple , all exist for a reason . The reason being to create something which is not there already .So management philosophies and corporate systems are only tools for them . You might become a successful company but u should ask whether your existence has any meaning other than making money . Dell today is the no 1 company in computer and other products sales and have just showed loss in just one quarter of their whole 3 decades of their existence!But just imagine if you delete Dell from the history of computer industry! You can easily imagine , it won have any effect in the very industry they are market leaders coz they have not created anything .They have just assembled and sold it the best possible way , never came up with revolutionary technology like the other companies like apple or ibm or google . Its not these other companies are just creative and not successful . They strike a great balance between both commercial viability and creativity.

So what is the answer . The best possible answer can be is that creative aspect should be completely differentiated from management and the managers instead of managing should be just a facilitating the creators especially when it comes to purely artistic fields. Given the pressure of investors and the big bucks involved managers will always have an upper hand for their ability to generate resources and improve performance but an attempt to quantify the unquantifiable should be immediately stopped and the philosophy of objective approach through subjective adjustment should be just reversed .

It is very difficult to convince managers to work on those basis because they have always enjoyed the highest offices in other field so to play a second fiddle to these creators is very difficult for them . But if we have to make sure that they don take away life and soul out of all creative fields , we have to address this fact and a whole restructuring of management in such fields is necessary . Only then will we be able to not only create better products but also the very friction between the two fractions can be avoided .

2 comments:

Garima said...

as u had told me about the content earlier so i wont b commenting on that..some grammatical mistakes..rechck b4 posting...and 1 more thing..it is too long..if possi cut short it...

Aditya Nair said...

A very very interesting post...
I agree with a number of points..
I believe that there is no question that in the end,all fields(Not only the creaive sector)...will gain advantage or suffer(depending on the usage) of the management sector
Because in the end,its all about making big bucks...ie:whether creative or not,critically acclaimed or not...a project will run or have a future only if it is commercially viable..and that is exactly where the management comes in...one imp point to notice is that in the movie industry that u mentioned,though in the present most of them do not have any originality or creativity,the budget of the movies and their respective profits have never been bigger....
fo eg:Consider Om Shanti Om and Saawariya....it has been claimed that saawariya is critically more acclaimed than Om Shanti Om as the direction in Saawariya is impeccable etc etc...
However the bottomline is that Om Shanti Om is a commercially a huge succes primarily because of its hype created and the brand image of SRK...
I think it finally will boil down to the owner of the particular institution...what he believes in...and how he goes about it...
Because in a company...the discussion what we are having is just that about what is the level of communication between one division of the company and the other(say marketing being one and RND being another)...finally some1 has to take a call on which should have a greater importance...or whose idea prevails....