The Law of Relativity As It Relates to Corporations by KadiyaRakeshkumar


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									All things are relative and we live this every day. A friend is quite tall; however he is dwarfed in family
photos next to his six-foot eight inches son. A colleague works for a major bank and is paid very well.
The CEO of the bank makes almost one hundred times her salary. Some people in our society seem to be
doing it tough. Around forty percent of the population of India live on less than $US 1.25 per day.

How does this Law Apply to Business?

This Law has a direct and profound application to business. It only exists because of variations within the
observer. In other words, the item or issue itself simply is what it is and it is each of us that make it

As an example, an engineer is looking into alternative systems to replace the automated product picking
system in the warehouse. He has priorities of reliability, ease of service and efficiencies. The Chief
Financial Officer is actually more senior to the engineer and has commitments to the Board to achieve
specific targets on return on invested funds and expenses to sales ratios. The warehouse manager is also
involved and has had previous good experiences with a particular manufacturer that is not being
considered by the engineer at this stage. All will have their own "filters" through which they will view
the exact same circumstances. It is because of this Law that organizations need to:

• Identify what is important

• Communicate priorities to all concerned

• Focus resources on issues of importance

You may well say that this is easy and we do this anyway. That is good, but what about the thousands of
times that employees are interpreting issues daily without any guidelines? There is a real productivity
issue around the corporate application of this Law that goes undetected every second of every working
day. A few examples are:

• A call-centre manager making a decision that call waiting times are acceptable

• An accounts clerk putting a customer's account on hold

• The marketing department determining the price of a new item

• A sales person deciding what tactic they will use to win a multi-million dollar piece of business
• The Chief Executive Officer making a decision on saving costs on an exploration project

All of these people and all employees every day are making judgments that are based on their own
perception, through their own "filters".

What should Corporations do about this?

An organization needs to be able to single out those decisions that are potentially high impact on the
corporation, customers, employees, the community and the environment.

For all high-impact items the evaluation and decision-making process must allow for:

• All items under consideration to be clarified and prioritized

• Input from various views, e.g. finance, marketing, technical, customer, employees, environmental,
political etc

• Minimise the effect of status or rank

• Allow enough time to evaluate all views

• The final decision to be arrived at via a democratic process

For all of the non high-impact decisions, corporations need to be aware of The Law of Relativity and
install the following measures:

• Train work-groups to facilitate outcomes from the group, rather than leave it to individuals

• Develop the work-force to the point whereby people know that they have more power collectively,
than individually

• Reward teams and work-groups for collective outcomes, not individuals

• Create a culture within which even severe introverts are happy to contribute

• Train people to listen to other's views without being judgmental

• Provide a technology solution to accumulate views and to act as a voting mechanism
In Conclusion

The Law of Relativity is one that can be utilized in business to produce extremely positive results. The
issue of seeking other views and discussing issues openly is one that is practised to some extent in most
organizations. The enemies of this working to perfection are:

• Autocratic management

• A political environment where employees feel intimidated

• Individual grand-standing and point-scoring

• An atmosphere of secrecy, as opposed to open communication

• Egos

Wisdom is within the combined knowledge, skills and unique view of every employee. Corporations
must become more aware of this and move towards creating an environment that is capable of
processing collective wisdom. The benefits for organizations that learn how to live in unison with The
Law of Relativity are:

• Better and safer decisions

• Cost savings

• Increased profits

• A happier and more stable work-force

• Environmentally responsible

• Customer retention

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