Daily Post 1434
CIVIL SERVICES MINDSET
Every employment is a job in this country and so is civil services. The urge is not for deciding for a job based on understanding the job description and the ecosystem and how well you would fit into it. What you thought you would take up as a career at the 12th level is literally thrown to the winds after getting professional degrees in it. How and when you decided for a change and based on what new found traits and skills remains unknown. What would you be able to contribute in specific terms is unknown. The standard refrain is that they want to work for the country beyond that everything is as nebulous as nebulous can be.
The Indian job market has it’s own rules and is not complex at all. Job security is on a premium; first is to get a job and then of remaining there with least amount of effort. Why large chunks of Indian bureaucracy comes out of professionals who are already assured good jobs is for the simple reason that they did engineering etc only as a job guarantor. Having achieved that, they go for a second kill, the Indian Civil Services. There is a clear cut hierarchy of jobs in this country and nearly all follow that informal structure. It is difficult to say if Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai have been able to make a dent in the current job market mindset in this country.
Having come through the process and methodology as stated above, a job mindset and that too ensconced in a permanent one; learning takes a back seat, basically it’s the pleasure of being in jobs of power and ability to necessarily flaunt as much. Long time back the Indian Civil Services was advertised as, “if you want more than a job, join the civil services.” The delivery in the last three / four decades are known and fresh in everyone’s mind and so is the talent – output connect. The mindset or the mental attributes which are presumed to be there in every civil servant should emanate out of the the ecosystem, what and who you are governing, the state of development of the country, the complexity to be navigated, resource crunch of every kind and then be able to deliver tailor made solutions like a true professional.
Civil service first demands civility. The next to follow is service mentality. It is easier said that done. An urge to serve. It has to be inculcated. Customer obsession in Amazon’s language. Differentiate between Govt servant and public servant, the latter to have clear cut precedence over the former. Mindset to acquire the skills of an executioner and keep improving upon. Delivery being the only touchstone. Failure has to be called a failure. Humility to accept. Country is in a hurry, defence and evasion is case of failure has costed as dear. Approachability is critical, would give a clear signal to people of a post feudal and post colonial governance. Mindset of being in a learning mode permanently; expertise on field documented, reading, some relevant research, necessary understanding of required technology, assimilation, capability to analyse, plan and use it for public good relentlessly and successfully.
CHANGE MINDSETS TO TRANSFORM GOVERNANCE.