Friday, April 11, 2008

The Corporate Pressure Cooker Environment: Pressure To Perform And Perform Under Pressure.

We have been listening that all job execution has to be done within a specified time period with a specific margins, with stringent cost and quality control.
Managers/Executives are really under continuous stress and strain. At any cost they have to execute and it should be perfectly done, which is a part of the Corporate Performance Measurement System.
Very often I find myself working and also many of my executive friends working for 12-14 hours a day. Putting long hours is the order of the day for all the executives and managers.
I was taught from my school days there is no short cut to success; just hard work can take you to your destination and make you successful. We are living in a pressure cooker atmosphere with two aspects Pressure to Perform and Perform under Pressure.

Pressure to Perform: Pressure to Perform is a great philosophy in management and also in life, as we are all living in the performance-oriented world. Performances are benched marked in different industry and existing firms and the new firm try to meet the standards and that are recorded, rather break the past records that are already being made.
Very much similar to sports, in professional management which emulates lot from the sports persons and sports team. All managers/teams channel their energies and keep their focus to fulfill the assignments/targets to match the performance matrix.
Any individual has to work hard to keep his up his track record and to excel in his career. It is his Absolute Personal Responsibility (APR) to out perform his competitors within the organization and rise up the corporate ladder

Perform Under Pressure: In a meeting room the VPs/Senior Managers while giving targets will create the pressure by giving the specific figure within a specified time period. Managers/executives will have to perform under tremendous pressure and it becomes a real pressure cooker environment to achieve those figures.
The quarterly order bookings and the quarterly profits are compared YOY basis.
Gap Analysis are made and introspection are made, warning are given, heads roll out if the gap is big, when the gap is small new targets are set with new pay hikes, with promotions and additional responsibility. Management deliberately creates a pressure cooker environment and in the process they get the job out from the concerned persons and teams. Of course at times HR Dept works as Safety Valve of the pressure cooker, in many cases in a highly competitive environment HR Department remains inactive, and the poor performer has to bear the burnt.

So to draw a conclusion we find Pressure To Perform is absolutely individual task it is a part of self-motivation to keep you going, and Perform under Pressure is an external positive and negative motivation, which may break you at times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Brahma, Nice reading your well thought out articles. But then all of us are aware of these so called 'pressure cooker' situations. May I request you take up a little more unimportant issue of ' how we are preparing our MBAs'. Let me clarify. During my college days and my advertising agency days I found most boys, joining the industry, whether it is Delhi University, PTU are all being taught basics which are quite alien to our society, life style. I wish you throw some light in these aspects, so that people like us benefit out by sharing your ideas. I feel time has come when we should be able to teach our young brains with Indian experience of the market.
Parag Paul Choudhury