Let me continue with my Incredible India campaign.. (The experiences aren’t incredible as yet..!!)
The picture to your left is the newly packed police station of Satellite area, Ahmedabad where I live. As they say, never judge a book by its cover – pictures may be deceptive. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to visit (Quote me for visit. I am choked when I write this. Laughs.. I will not announce the reason for the visit in public forum) this so called state of art police station.
Indian police, I understand, is changing – improving like any other government department. However, like any other Indian patriot, I am not satisfied with the ‘pace’ of improvement. There is wide rift in the world class performance (recently coined jargon which is very much true) and the pace at which our systems are developing. (I am not complaining/ whining about the systems. It’s we, somehow, who are responsible for the entire system.)
Anyways, I was pondering if there is some way of putting the basic technologies to practice in our primitive systems. Forget technology, can we have better processes. Simplified procedures..!! Now here, I am not promoting my organization – Kaizen. But change is called for. You can coin any damn term for it – process improvement, process re-engineering, Kaizen. But the underlined concept here is Evolution (as coined by Charles Darwin). As it’s always highlighted change is the only constant thing in this universe. No one will dare to argue with it. My big question to you is can we have better paced evolution?
May it be any government department – police, education board, law and the list goes on. The entire system is full of redundancies, non value adding activities, erratic processes (again the list is limitless). I have seen departments maintaining ‘dual entry accounting systems’ –By dual entry, I am not talking about the traditional book keeping system but departments maintaining & updating the accounts on paper as well as on the computers. And if I may mention the reason it’s just due to improper change management systems or total lack of change management.
Out of all states, Gujarat is one of the most progressive Indian states. Recently (in quarter 1, 2008), it launched a novel concept of eFIR. Now if we consider this as the pace of improvement & development, it gives a unclear picture of the actual truth. The police stations are still following age old procedures, with hand written heaps of papers (should I dare to call it papers ‘cos most of them are hardly acted upon), carbon papers, etc. So, the next question that arises is the evolution uniform throughout the system?
Everyone is aware of the snail paced Indian judiciary system which is one of the pillars of Democracy. The number of pending cases almost exceeds 4 million. The system calls for improvement, change for betterment – rather than following traditional methods which were inherited from the British rule. Many of which suited their way of working or needs amendment with consideration to changing times. Can we question the age old practices/ procedures? Can we have better improved processes in place? I can continue writing, but let me cut it short. I understand, it’s easy said than done. But something should be started from somewhere.
(I understand, it would appear that I am contradicting my thoughts in the earlier post. However, the previous post is correct in the context and this one is extension to it. I am speaking about government departments ‘cos I feel (which will hardly be questioned) that they lag way behind in terms of change management)
The entire post reminds me of George Bernard Shaw who said - People see things; and say, 'Why?' But I see things; and say, "Why not?"