Not my fault

Senior Manager A is with the CEO, for his annual appraisal.

CEO : So, how has the year been ?

Senior Manager A : Reasonable, I would say. Could have been much worse.

CEO : How long have you been in this role ?

Senior Manager A : Exactly a year.

CEO : That’s a good long stretch.

Senior Manager A : Yes and no.

CEO : Hmmm. Anyway let us begin. Firstly, your Net Profit has gone up and you are meeting the target numbers. Well done !

Senior Manager A : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on this. It is a result of some key initiatives I was able to deploy during the course of the year that have yielded these results.

CEO : I see. But then your Revenue numbers have slipped. Both against last year and against the target for this year.

Senior Manager A : I know sir. The Sales Plan that was in place before I took over had a residual impact during the year which impacted on overall achievement.

CEO : I see. So you could implement hey initiatives to impact the Net Profit but you could not implement key initiatives to impact the Revenues.

Senior Manager A : No sir. It takes time to fix Revenue isues. Profitability reacts faster to tactical measures. I assure you that we will perform much better next year.

CEO : I am sure you will. Coming back to this year, the client survey done in the middle of the year of the year has shown a marked improvement over last year. That is a good sign.

Senior Manager A : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on improving client perception. The survey results are on expected lines I would say.

CEO : I am glad you identify so closely with this measure.

Senior Manager A : I do sir.

CEO : On the other hand, the employee survey done around the same time as the client survey paints a fairly dismal picture of the internal work environment.

Senior Manager A : The policies practiced by the last Senior Manager, unfortunately, have had a trailing impact. We are working on it and I am sure the survey next year will have much better feedback from employees. You know how hard it is to change the work environment.

CEO, after a deep breath : I see. Thanks anyway for your inputs. I will let you know the final assessment in due course.

Senior Manager A, getting up : Sure sir. Thank you.

The CEO takes a bio break and calls Senior Manager B for his annual appraisal.

CEO : So, how has the year been ?

Senior Manager B : Reasonable, I would say. Could have been much worse.

CEO : How long have you been in this role ?

Senior Manager B : Exactly a year.

CEO : That’s a good long stretch.

Senior Manager B : Yes and no.

CEO : Hmmm. Anyway let us begin. Firstly, your Revenue has gone up and you are meeting the target numbers. Well done !

Senior Manager B : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on this. It is a result of some key initiatives I was able to deploy during the course of the year that have yielded these results.

CEO : I see. But then your Net Profit numbers have slipped. Both against last year and against the target for this year.

Senior Manager B : I know sir. The Budget that was in place before I took over had a residual impact during the year which impacted on overall achievement.

CEO : I see. So you could implement hey initiatives to impact Revenue but you could not implement key initiatives to impact the Net Profit.

Senior Manager B : No sir. It takes time. I assure you that we will perform much better next year. Revenue reacts quickly to tactical measures. Profitability, on the other hand, is slow to react.

CEO : I am sure you will. Coming back to this year, the employee survey done in the middle of the year of the year has shown a marked improvement over last year. That is a good sign.

Senior Manager B : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on improving employee conditions and perception. The survey results are on expected lines I would say.

CEO : I am glad you identify so closely with this measure.

Senior Manager B : I do sir.

CEO : On the other hand, the client survey done around the same time as the employee survey paints a fairly dismal picture of our standing in the marketplace.

Senior Manager B : The policies practiced by the last Senior Manager, unfortunately, have had a trailing impact. We are working on it and I am sure the survey next year will have much better feedback from clients. You know how hard it is to change perception in the marketplace.

CEO, after a deep breath : I see. Thanks anyway for your inputs. I will let you know the final assessment in due course.

Senior Manager B : Sure sir. Thank you.

You can depend on me….

Of course I will be able to do it sir. You need not worry. I can do it with my eyes closed. With my hands tied.

The only situation that can prevent me from delivering, sir, is :

If the supplier does not provide the raw material in time.

If the material received is not of requisite quality.

If the Labour Unions of our staff decide to initiate Industrial Action before completion of the assignment.

If the power situation takes a turn for the worse and we are strapped for power.

If the machinery breaks down.

If employee attrition spikes up and we are not able to backfill in time.

If the Steering Committee responsible for taking decisions on the Project is either not able to meet or not able to reach timely decisions.

If I fall ill or run into a speeding truck.

If there is any manmade event like civil strife or industrial action that paralyses vast sections of the country.

If there is any unforeseen natural calamity like an earthquake or tsunami.

And, by the way, the above does not purport to be an exhaustive list.

Other than the above, I have the situation well under control. You need not worry. Thank you for showing confidence in me.