Every Indian begins learning with cardinal ABCD Principle of Indian Socio-Political Management. Giving credit where it is rightfully due the writer has to acknowledge guidance of Late Captain Chatterjee of Indian Army who was a colleague in a Bank for a couple of months. He was the one who pointed it out for the first time and this is the principle followed by all concerned whether it be the issue of a common entrance examination for Engineering or Medical students or setting up numerous upstream Hydroelectric power projects.
By now you must be wondering what this is all about. So, without further ado, let me tell you ABCD Principle in detail.
This is the all important first step of ABCD Principle of Management. Whenever faced with a decision or action, avoid it. “In God We Trust” may be printed on every dollar but we are an embodiment of this faith. So much is our trust in Him that we avoid taking decisions and decisive actions. We are sure that He through the passage of time will create a situation that would impose a decision or action. Just look at the chaos created by Indian politicians in their choice of next president after President Pratibha Patil or the number of topless public sector institutions / organizations at any given point of time. It emanates as much from a weak mindset that does not want to own responsibility as from a desire to please everybody.
At times simple avoidance could fail to work. Then the second logical avoidance mechanism comes into play. Bypass the decision. Confusing definitions and language in delegation of authority and discretionary powers come to the rescue. There is also a refusal to understand nuances of a foreign language that happens to be India’s official language. Thus the bosses will refuse to accept a simple sentence like, “In view of a growth in sales of 20% and of 40% in profitability, the performance of the enterprise is considered satisfactory.” Some of them would insist that the word “considered” be removed from the quoted sentence in board memorandum. Sometimes, excuses will be found by throwing the decision making to a subordinate or to a superior. The basic idea is simple. If you cannot avoid it then try to bypass it.
When avoidance and bypassing have failed and the file with its bulky collection of correspondence is back on your table, then comes the time for creativity. Look for the real issue and confuse it. It often takes the form of forming a committee to study related issues and make recommendations. In the present scenario of forthcoming presidential election it could have been calling an all party meet and forming a committee of leaders taken from all parties to list merits and demerits of all candidates while recommending a panel of three candidates. Or in the context of common entrance test for Engineering / Medical colleges forming a committee of members from each state’s education board, university and academic institution granted autonomy so generously in last two decades.
By the time you are through with the three stages of postponement and avoidance the chances are that a situation would have been crossed forcing someone else to take a decision of rendering the decision making a redundant exercise. But due to your misfortune if God has not been kind and the matter has come back to you after going round in circles for an intolerable length of time, then you might as well do it.
Now that you have become aware of ABCD Principle of Management universally followed by Indian politicians and most of administration, you would surely find their behavior and attitude a bit less frustrating than before.
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4) 2012 March issue of Astro-Finance at http://expertscolumn.com/content/astro-finance-r-k-vajpeyis-news-letter-dated-september-25-2011
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