Incremental Change Analysis


Most business focuses on the current situation, with changes defined on an iterative, cumulative basis. In this context, issues represent problems or opportunities for change from the current situation. The gaps represent ways that a company may achieve or enhance a competitive edge.

The most common way to define issues is to assess the changes that are expected t occur. These are derived from either internal or external changes, intended by management or occurring as a result of uncontrolled forces (as in workforce changes). Issues are identified in the way that people normally think—incrementally from the present toward future.

In this process, managers identify and evaluate human resource issues by sorting through available strategic planning, competitive, and environmental information for evidence of changes having human resource implications and then define human resource issues that may be addressed. Such analysis may examine employee productivity issues, service quality, staffing surpluses or shortfalls, succession needs, skill requirements, utilization, costs, turnover/retention patterns, or employee attitudes.

Managers also obtain and consider perspectives of relevant constituents, such as other managers and employees, vendors, suppliers, and customers. Companies solicit inputs from managers at various levels through their participation in the planning process or through interviews, focus groups, or surveys with key managers. Many companies survey employees, either specifically for planning inputs or more broadly as an assessment of organizational climate and human resource practices. Companies may involve employees through interviews or focus groups to help define issues and alternative strategies. Some also interview or survey customers, contractors, and other business partners regarding human resource issues to be addressed.

Environmental scanning is used to identify prospective human resource issues deriving from changing external conditions. Scanning the many changes occurring in social, political, legislative, demographic, economic, technological and other areas yields a wide array of issues that may be considered.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

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Managing Redeployment


A policy of employment security carries with it the task of managing the steady movement of employees out of redundant jobs and into jobs that have come into demand inside or outside the firm. Otherwise the employer faces mounting costs and the danger of carrying surplus people on the payroll, in addition to the costs and turmoil of hiring new employees. Uncontrolled, these costs jeopardize the policy of employment security, the viability of the firm, or both.

Managing the redeployment of people is not accomplished by merely setting goals and urging managers to pay heed. Specific responsibilities have to be assigned to individual managers, and specific routines for anticipating, planning, and implementing moves must be instituted. In a large organization, these arrangements will be put into place at site level, division level, and corporate level.

Retraining is and will continue to be an essential step in the process. Concrete methods that companies (and unions) have devised to ensure that retraining serves the purpose of employment security.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Luminous Analogy between Cholesterol and Overhead


Overhead is a lot akin to cholesterol. Both have been targets of severe criticism. Both can induce fatty deposits; one clogs the insides of human arteries, the other congests a corporation’s metabolism.

Both have been severely misunderstood. Cholesterol plays a very important role in human chemistry. It forms the nucleus of the vitamin D molecule, the neutrient that builds strong bones. It is a component of several sex and regulatory hormones and contributes to the fluidity of cell membranes. Often thought to be fat, it isn’t. Actually it helps make the bile salts that emulsify fats in the intestine.

Cholesterol is manufactured within the body. Problems arise, though, when it is ingested. Its internal production goes on regardless of the amount taken in, and its chemistry is such that it is hard to break down once a surplus occurs.

Cholesterol comes in two types, depending on how it is being transported in the bloodstream. As those who have had tests for cholesterol know, one of these types (called HDL) is sometimes dubbed “good cholesterol” because it moves to the liver where it can do something useful for the body. “Bad cholesterol” (identified as “LDL”) tends to stay put, thus resulting in deposits on artery walls. Heart attacks are often associated with high levels of the LDL variety, and decreased risk of having coronary disease with concentrations of HDL.

The relative balance between HDL and LDL is, in part, controllable. LDL increases when diets are rich in animal fats; regular aerobic exercise leads to more HDL.

Overhead like cholesterol is something that naturally occurs to make effective functioning possible. It plays a key role in regulating the proper balance among a business’s diverse activities. As with cholesterol, problems arise when too much overhead is imposed on the business from the outside. It is hard to remove once in place and, like some people’s dietary limitation regimes, it can be painful to cut back. Corporate aerobics, such as workout, can keep overhead in check, but only temporarily.

There are also two kinds of overhead: good and bad. Good carries its own weight, and then some; bad only contributes bulk. The processes workout and process reengineering, are good tools to help make these distinctions. But in some cases, a deeper, more thoughtful, examination is necessary than can be provided in the gungho, take-no-prisoners atmosphere of these outplacement mechanisms for work and time.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact www.asifjmir.com