Enthusiasm and desire to move things at the time of youth employment in gas companies with majority state-owned capital are lost by the age of 35


by Dumitru Chisalita

Any company is driven by events distanced in time and space, connected to each other and following a particular pattern. Often there are years until when some events fully exercise their effects on others. As part of this structure, we find it twice more difficult to see the entire pattern followed by change. But we tend to focus on isolated parts of the system and then wonder that the major problems are never solved. Addressing the whole through judgment of continuous relations between the internal/external parts composing the system requires systemic thinking.

We find the existence of many problems in the gas sector, most often we ascribe them to chance, we react by eliminating the effects, we repeatedly change the laws and regulations to defend ourselves from various consequences etc., but they all have roots in the mediocrity of management systems.

But it involves a different way that people address the activity within a company, being necessary to transform from bosses and executants into colleagues, by focusing their energy on developing patience and through an objective understanding of reality.

Dedication and learning ability of an organization cannot be higher than those of its members.

People start working as persons with a certain degree of education, vigorously, with enthusiasm and desire to move things. Unfortunately, by the time they are 35, few are still on this path, the rest of them doing everything they need to reach what matters for them: daily – the 15:30 time, weekly – the week-end and annually – the vacation. They lose commitment, the feeling they have a mission to accomplish and enthusiasm with which they started their career. Thus, in work a little part of their energy is obtained and almost nothing of their spirit. Personally, I believe the employees of various gas companies, of ANRE, of the Ministry of Energy can do more than this limitation to the own daily, weekly and annual objectives, and they need a chance to clarify the things that truly matter for us: living our lives in the service of our highest aspirations.

Many valuable ideas on the evolution and development of the company/institution or changing the organizational practices fail when they are put into practice due to conflicts with the tacit and powerful misconceptions of bosses and subordinates alike.

Companies should encourage and appreciate people that look inside them and the organization, who have the power to surface them, who make a rigorous analysis on their actions, who develop even instructive conversations, who keep balance between questioning and supporting ideas, who stimulate conversations in which people openly express their way of thinking and who allow others’ opinions.

It is necessary to rebuild certain entities in the gas sector (companies, regulatory institutions etc.) able to continuously adapt to changing realities and which obviously require new ways of thinking and operation. Such an entity requires a strong weakening of hierarchies of today’s omnipresent management.

We will never transform a management system without transforming the current educational and organizational culture systems.

Entities in the gas sector, in order to perform, need to discover how to capture people’s commitment and how to boost capacity to learn at all levels of the organization.

Organizations that learn at all the management levels are not possible only because it is the human nature to learn, but also because deep inside people love to learn.  The organization that learns to be a team, so that team members – people – trust each other, complementing strengths and compensating weaknesses, having common targets far larger than individual targets.

Agitation in the management of state-owned companies will continue until we build organizations that are to a greater extent in line with the highest aspirations of people, rather than food, shelter, vacations and money in terms of employees and dividends in terms of shareholders.

In engineering there is a say that a new idea was “invented” when its possibility was proven in laboratory. The idea becomes “innovation” only when it can be replicated on a large scale with some reasonable expenses. Thus, my proposal for rethinking the management in entities in the gas sector is at the level of “invention” and we will be able to move to the level of “innovation” only together with all stakeholders, only when managers and employees alike are prepared.

The article was originally published in Romanian here.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net