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This article explores the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies discussed in the 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World.

The success stories of great organisaitons start with the dream and will of one single person. Started by him, even a little stream becomes a massive flow. Finally, the organisation reaches the summit of success due to teamwork.

As the organisation grows, work also grows and more and more people join it. From a one man army, it becomes a full fledged army with its own dedicated lieutenants and soldiers. Hence the key to success for a leader lies in effective delegation.

Why is delegation required? Kautilya says,

“Because of the simultaneity of undertakings, their manifoldness and their having to be carried out in many different places, he (leader) should cause them to be carried by ministers, unperceived (by him), so that there is no loss of place and time” (1.9.8)

Delegation is required due to the following reasons:

WORK HAPPENS SIMULTANEOUSLY

In an office various departments work simultaneously at the same time. Each of them becomes specailsed in that particular area. Sales, accounts, marketing, HR, R &D many other processes go on continuously.

WORK HAPPENS AT VARIOUS PLACES

These multiple tasks are carried out not only by various people but at various places. Some of the work would be happening inside the office while many outside the office. For a big organisation, work happens in various branches and also in various countries.

Decision making should get decentralised to various managers. The benefit is the saving in loss of time and place. As the famous saying goes, “In business -Time is money”. Delayed decision making leads to loss of time and opportunities.

A few are the tips for effective delegation,

1. SELECTION

Good decision makers should be made as managers and departmental heads. An effective manager does not get struck while taking decisions. He may make mistakes but having corrected himself with each mistake the work goes on in good speed.

2. SETTING OF MIS

The head of the organisation need to set up a good reporting system. In corporate language this is technically called as Management Information system (MIS). Lot of software tools is available in the market for this or one can create of their own.

3. TRAINING

The decision makers have to be trained to report all the activities using the MIS. This kind of training helps both the reporter and reported to effectively use of the reports being produced. With the internet revolution one can access these reports anytime and anywhere. It is also cost effective.

4. CONTROL

The leader can keep track of the various developments and shortcomings in each area on a daily basis. He can control the whole organisation with the help of such a well planned out system

Peter Drucker the father of modern management once said, “Initially delegation is not easy. It gives a feeling of insecurity. However one realises that it leads to one’s freedom”

Contributed by - Radhakrishnan Pillai


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