Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A week full of Mondays !

I wrote this one after I heard of the untimely demise of Ranjan Das, CEO, SAP India. It appeared on TechTarget on November 9, 2009.

Manic Monday was a song for me from the music band Bangles, until I entered the corporate world. In the world of IT, I was told that every day is a Monday, the IT organization is always running to stay at the same place. In the initial years I thought I was missing something and maybe as I move up the ladder, the realization will happen on how bad Monday can be. I used to see many wrinkled faces with worry written all over. I was told stress causes that.

IT was required to ensure that systems worked round the clock, week, month, year, millennium and IT did. Monday was weekly review meetings, MIS reports, higher load on the system, IT under pressure ! Most CIOs bend backwards and some forward to meet the challenge. Innovation became a basic expectation, change management, know the business, the list is endless. Start running faster ?

Why should Monday be any different ? Because it comes after a weekend of relaxation ?
If so, then people who work 6 days a week (there are still some enterprises who work 6 days a week, at least every fortnight) should be less stressed over Monday, but that is not the case. Or that stuff piles up over the weekend which requires quick attention on the first day ? If this indeed is the case, in today’s smart phone, wireless laptops and many other ways to remain connected, typically events do not wait until Monday to seek attention.

So what causes Monday days ?

As I moved companies and up the ladder, the Monday phenomena remained elusive until I attended a training course that helped me understand human behavior and how people react to different situations. Slowly I began to realize that the Monday Blues are a self-inflicted disease by the corporate world which comes out of need for action, activity and attention. Work pressure is here to stay, Stress is purely optional, and that applies to the Monday phenomena too.

Whenever I fixed external meetings on Monday mornings, people wondered whether I had nothing to do or how I manage to “manage” Mondays. My comment to them was and continues to be that: When process is set, and the team knows their roles and dependencies, the Monday chaos is minimized to a large extent. Do not focus on the activity, focus on the outcome, delegate the task, do not abdicate, or else pressure only rises. There is no magic formula or Holy Grail, but planning and discipline that helps you overcome the flurry of activity demanding your attention.

1 comment:

  1. "Monday Blues are a self-inflicted disease" & "There is no magic formula" couldn't agree more with your views. The hunt for silver bullets specially in the IT department, I believe, is a problem with many organizations. Your solutions to that problem are simple yet not simplistic. Kudos!