Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Converting 'expert practice' into 'labour'

That term 'labour' sounds demeaning, condescending. It seems to me though that's the route to one of the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs: scalability.

Working at the hospital in Bhilwara has made me realize that firstly getting good (by 'good', I mean 'thinking') talent to get things done is tough. Even if the guys are willing, somehow they fall short when it comes to skills.

Making people skillful is definitely a long term task. So is helping them think well at an individual level. Perhaps they might think well as a group. But to work in a group requires appreciation and respect of other people to some degree. Out here all are kings!

So?

Perhaps making the same burger over and over again is tough. So the right man at McDonald's turned it into a series of such simple steps that employees don't have to put their mind to making a right burger. They simply undertake a few mechanical steps (even when they are numb) and churn out right burgers. Now since they churn out the burgers which are relished by people all over the world, do we call them 'burger making experts'? It's labour.

On an car manufacturing assembly line, engineers put the parts together and churn out cars? Are they 'car making experts'?

Indeed, the other word made popular for such arrangements is 'process'. Process repeated mechanically without much mental effort is nothing but 'labour'.

Does your business need it?