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Understanding the Anatomy of an Organisation

by L. Aruna Dhir, Featured Contributor

ONCE WE ARE OUT OF THE somewhat carefree college and university days we end up spending a major chunk of our lives in professional organizations, quite until it is time to hang up our boots and retire to a slow-paced, less hectic twilight years.

Hence it is essential to understand what are these buildings all about where we spend anywhere between 10-12 hours of our waking time and 5-6 days of our week (depending on which part of the world you work in). As we all know, the buildings are much more than edifices of mortar, glass and steel, in sComplexity-Mazeo many cases, designed by award-winning companies. They are actually living things that breathe, inhale and exhale energy and embody characteristics and emotions mirroring all of us who come in and work here. What essentially forms the baseline of these buildings is three important constituent elements – the livewire organizations, the complex set of colleagues we work with and ‘WE’ ourselves who bring in our unique disposition to the matrix, sometimes maddening but always mindful of all these elements.

And hotels are a world into themselves – being so hugely people-centric, both on the inside and out. It is a people business like no other, such that for it to be a successful and harmonious venture there must be thoroughly trained and rightly attuned ladies and gentlemen serving discerning ladies and gentlemen (borrowing from and re-phrasing Ritz Carlton Hotel Company’s Rule of Business).

Livewire Organisations

Therefore, it becomes imperative to understand what kind of organizations would we like to work in – a progressive organization where we can achieve more or would we rather stay put in a mediocre one, striving to improve it? One that buzzes with happy employees and happier guests! Or one where the only thing that attracts the guests is the off-season discounts.

We all have worked in both kinds of organisations. There, really, is no ideal organisation and every place has its mixed dynamics as much as there are a mesh of people who work there and bring in their set of values, drives and energies adding to or depleting the corporate culture.

I used to lament about the deep-rooted politics, credit-stealing, clique driven and yes-man culture in one of my previous hotels. And now when my niece talks of her experience with a Swiss MNC or a progressively Indian Legal Services / Development sector and my husband brings his woes from the Consumer Durables line of business, I notice that things are not very different. And that the more the companies may be different in their areas and appeal, the more they are the same in their cultural dynamics. In the hospitality industry, the issue is compounded by the power of ten. After all, it is a business of the people, by the people, for the people; to shamelessly borrow from one of Abraham Lincoln’s famous thoughts.

I am sure, most of us want to work with wonderfully progressive organisations with utopian work environments without realising that each of us are essential cogs in the corporate wheel. We as micro components and as a whole make the hotel what it is – whether in tandem or in conflict with the hotel’s parent philosophy.

My experience says that we need to do a lot of internalization and introspection in order to make our organisations optimum places to be in. So, the buck must stop with us and not the Hotel owner, Corporate Training Manager, the General Manager or our Department Head.

Colleagues and the Culture they help Create

This brings us to the second component – our colleagues. How do we feel about the effect of our Co-Workers? It is, indeed, a mixed bag of thoughts and feelings depending on the personal and professional characteristics of the person in question.

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#D8D8D8″ end_color=”#D8D8D8″ border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]There are great and efficient workers with questionable personal attributes.
There are excellent people with poor set of work related skills.
There are pathetic workers with deplorable personas, AND
There are wonderful, top notch colleagues with exemplary attitudes.[/message]

No organisation is immune to this awesomely complex and intriguing foursome of categories.

Our response to them, our kinetics of equations at work and the interconnected web of relationships therein is a result of the chain of reactions set off by each of these conductors. Isn’t it???

We ourselves – The Power of One

This finally brings us to the most important component. We, ourselves!

What single-most important quality should underline the personality that defines our professional identity and that would help us row our career boat in smooth waters avoiding choppy waves?

Here’s my pick – It is definitely, Passion, Zeal, Enthusiasm, fire in the belly……..or any other name that you may call it by.

Passion for one’s work ensures that the tiller paves smoothly all the paths that lead to his work or Goal. Be it, then, the path of wisdom or desire or honesty or punctuality or efficiency or being not just able to lead but also always blend well with the team.

And because one has the passion, it certainly means that one has made sure that the essential requisites that arm him well for the road ahead – such as education or experience – are well honed.

Likewise, while passion can make people feel flighty, it still is going to ensure that for the success to be achieved again and again, shades of wisdom are roundly and squarely employed.

Finally, if it weren’t for passion, then serendipity, creative genius, excellence, going beyond the brief and the marvel in the mundane would well be lost.

And keeping all the three cogs of the big wheel well oiled and continuously serviced will ensure a smooth and long professional ride in a self-promoted conducive work environment; colour, caste, creed, character, cultural mooring notwithstanding.

Yet, having said all this, when the going gets really tough (and absolutely against your grain) then the tough get going (to find another place under the sun)! Perhaps that beach resort in Belize, a luxury Spa in Phuket, the mountain top hotel in Swiss Alps, a Palace in India or a Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa. A quick word of caution here – the essence of the hotel organization will be no different whether you are in an exotic land or by the banks of an azure sea. Remember what Abraham Lincoln said, albeit in a different context!


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L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhirhttp://www.larunadhir.blogspot.com
L. Aruna Dhir is a Hospitality & Feature Writer and Columnist for some of the world’s highest-ranked Hospitality publications. Her industry writings are syndicated to the finest global hospitality bodies and used as references in case studies and hotel schools. Aruna runs an exclusive channel on the award-winning media digest, BizCatalyst 360° called “Hospitality Matters” based on her hospitality industry insight and commentary. Aruna is a recognized and national-poll winning Corporate Communications Specialist, PR Strategist, and Writer. A seasoned hotelier, Aruna loves to present hospitality industry watch, insights, case studies, and analysis to her ever-increasing base of global readership. Aruna has over two decades of experience in Hospitality Communications and Brand Management and has worked with some of the best global hotel companies. In her last corporate role, Aruna was the Director – Public Relations at The Imperial New Delhi, where she was part of the core group and was responsible for re-launching The Imperial as one of the finest hotels in India and Asia. Aruna’s hotel experience includes leading the Marketing Communications and Public Relations portfolio for flagship properties at The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International. She also helped launch the Vilases as the uber-luxury experiences from the Oberoi stable. As an industry expert, Aruna has launched brands, developed training modules, created standardization dockets on business communication, written manuals, conducted Image Study & Positioning Analysis, and led media campaigns of Australian Ministers in India. Aruna Dhir’s successful work tenure with Australia’s Diplomatic Mission in India in the capacity of Media Relations Officer, saw her working on a host of never-done-before exciting projects including the hugely rewarding organisation of Australia-India New Horizons – Australia’s largest ever Country Promotion. Aruna Dhir is the first-ever Creative Writer for the Indian greeting cards giant – ARCHIES Greetings and Gifts Ltd. The milestone puts her in the league of Helen Steiner Rice and Amanda Bradley. While with the company she came out with several series of cards sold under her byline – an unprecedented feat that has not been repeated since. L. Aruna Dhir also dabbles in poetry and has to her credit two titles of Anthologies published and marketed by Archies G&G Ltd. Aruna serves on the Board of Association of Emerging Leaders Dialogues (AELD), a front-running Commonwealth Body that works towards developing leaders and influencers of tomorrow, with Princess Anne as its international President. Aruna has been engaged in freelance work for Doordarshan – the Indian National Television, All India Radio, and Times FM. Academically, L. Aruna Dhir topped at the All-India level in her PG Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising. Aruna has been a Ph.D. scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, akin to an Ivy League in India. She has earned a Senior Management Course Certification from the Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; V Dimension Management Company, London & Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines. Aruna Dhir has represented India to a select group of opinion-makers in the United States, as a Cultural Ambassador under the GSE Program of Rotary International. She has also participated in the IXth Commonwealth Study Conference held in Australia and chaired by Princess Anne. Aruna is a Life Member of the Public Relations Society of India A Freelance Writer since 1987, with articles that have appeared in India’s topmost newspapers and magazines, Aruna is also a blogger, a memoirist with works published on platforms like Medium and a Book reviewer on Goodreads. In her official and personal capacity L. Aruna Dhir has and continues to work on several social awareness projects – People for Animals, Earthquake Relief, National Blind Association, PETA, WSPA, Change.org, Friendicoes to name a few. Born at Allahabad (now Prayagraj), one of the world’s oldest known cities, L. Aruna Dhir grew up and did her schooling in Dehradun, regarded as a prominent seat of academia and literature. After being brought up in the sylvan surroundings of the verdant Doon valley, Aruna chose to make the Capital City of Delhi her second home.

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