In the year 2001, the then Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha changed the time of Union Budget presentation from 5 pm to 11 am
The practice of the budget presentation at 5 pm was started by Basil Blackett in 1924 to provide relief to officials who had worked all night
Prior to independence, the budget for India was, as a rule, presented in the British Parliament immediately after their own budget was presented
Once India was free from British rule, the tradition was continued even if the British Parliament had, no longer, anything to do with the Indian budget and that the ‘relief’ to officials, technically, was not relevant
Imagine, for the first 53 years into Independent India, no one bothered to question the rationale of a practice and continued to follow it blindly
If you look at the workplace around you, you will find ‘n’ number of bureaucratic, traditional practices which are now dispensable as the underlying reasons they first became practices no longer hold true.
Take the example of a company, where every year at festive occasions like Christmas, the HR function sticks the same hanging swirls since decades – maybe never even questioning whether employees really even value the same
When we started CAJobPortal.com in the B2B space in December 2014, one of our well-wishers suggested that we print calendars and diaries for the New Year and send it to all HRs. This would help in brand building and help us get clients. It sounds like quite a wise idea. But when we probed a bit more into it, we realized that calendars and diaries have become obsolete in the digital era ; they might not even reach the target HR, and even if they do, they will be handed over to some peon/junior staff. We saved quite some money
In Finance, we used to make so many reports
I ask my parents that with all of us leading sedentary lives, is it wise to offer laddoos as prasadam to God and then consume the same. Can’t we offer fruits/dry-fruits instead? She said , its always been sweets that are offered . How can we question the tradition ? Same for the loads of boxes full of sweets my mother sends on Holi and Diwali – I ask why? She says – Its always been so
We instinctively defend our traditions. We learn them when we are young, and when we grow older we naturally want to protect what our elders taught us.
Same in organisations when we follow SOPs blindly
So many times, we at #CAJobPortal.com ask our clients whether, on candidate joining, we can send them digitally signed invoices on email – they reply that a hard copy will be better – it has always been so 🙂
So many MIS Reports have been prepared for years before some confident visionary came and questioned the rationale – found the underlying reason as no longer relevant – and so finally stopped the tradition
Summing up, when it comes to any ” Its always been so” practice, can we question
1) When and why did the tradition it start?
2) What problem was it intended to solve?
3) Whether the the problem it was intended to solve still a problem?
What do you think?