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STUDENTS’ CORNER – 21

Principle of Initiative

The Principle of Initiative suggests some very fundamental facts regarding finding new ways of doing things or new ways of approach to an issue or taking a fresh look at the problem so that a fresh way-out may emerge.  In other words, the instinct to take initiative at different levels of living is in-born in man and it must be given opportunity to come out.  No discoveries in the world, be it in the field of science or technology, would have been possible without this play of the initiative. The very world of business is no exception. Diversification of business and upgradation of any business depend on the kind of initiatives taken with commitment.

Another most significant fact about the initiative is it is not restricted to any academic excellence which means the routine acquisition of knowledge in higher educational institutions. Nor is it the prerogative of those who invest money in a business.  It can come from an ordinary man as well.  When the engineers were baffled when they were asked to remove a very big rock lying semi-buried in the middle of the road obstructing traffic as they did not have equipments fit enough to remove the rock, an ordinary man, watching them, said that they used to dig trenches around such rocks in their villages if they had to deal with such a situation, the answer came from the ordinary common sense.  Marketing literature abounds with such illustrations.

It only proves that any management that aims to improve its business enterprise must be on the look-out for new ideas for their business and such newer plans of action may come from any of the employees and they must be open to acknowledge and accept them for trial. In other words, Fayol said that the organization must encourage the employees to come out with their ideas for developing the business. Periodic brainstorming with open mind can be organized to tap the hidden potentials of the employee.  And this practice reflects sound common sense.  The man on the spot with his work is experiencing hi s work and therefore he knows where the shoe pinches. His work experience can be the basis for his new ideas which the management can take for action or even reject them finding them unsuitable for business interests.  Decision may rest with the management; but, the desire of the employee to express his point of view must be recognized. It has long-lasting effect on the relationship between the employer and the employee. First of all, the employee being listened to by his employer feels that he belongs to the organization where his ideas are considered though they may prove ineffective. This sense of belongingness to the institution is a must for any good business enterprise that aims at commanding social credibility.

And when the management finds the ideas expressed by the employee are not fit for adoption, the management must see to it that the employee is made to understand why his ideas are not accepted by the management. Of course, there is no need to convince the employee but all the same his attempt to find new ideas must be respected. Possibly, he may come out with workable initiatives next time.

For a healthy and successful institution, there must be the environment where the employees freely come forward to express their views with confidence that the management will understand them.  Taking initiatives when necessary must be encouraged at any cost by an efficient administration.

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