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Hard Work vs Smart Work - Valarppom Thannambikkai - 13

Discussion in 'Sundays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, May 27, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Hard Work vs Smart Work

    You would have seen this happening in schools and colleges. Some students would be studying almost all the time. They will just scrape through in the exams. And some would never go near the book till the study holidays.

    They would plan their time, select the portions and focus on their presentation skills. These guys would score much more than the first group. People would blame the education system, the standards of valuation and several other factors not realising the difference between hard work and smart work.

    In the 70s and 80s they all preached that hard work is the only route to success. But now they have understood that it is smart work that does the trick.

    Hard workers do not mind working for long hours. Whereas smar works constantly think various answers to the question, “Why should I suffer like this? Is there not a better way to do this?”

    But for these people and but for this line of thinking we would still be writing our accounts in large calico bound ledgers using fountain pens. Computers would not have come in. The progress in every field is the direct result of ‘search for a better way’ by the smart workers.

    It was one of the largest soap factories in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Japan</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Everyday millions of soap cakes came out of the factory. It was a popular brand among Japanese.

    Once the company received an unusual customer complaint. The customer had bought their soap at the local super market. When he went home he found that the soap box was empty. The company sent him a soap along with a letter of apology. Then it went deep into the problem. ‘How come empty boxes go out of the factory?’

    The engineers reviewed the manufacturing and packing process. In a huge conveyour thousands of soap boxes were coming out. In another conveyor perfectly synchronised to the first, the soap cakes were coming out. A

    t the crucial point, a machine lifted the cake, put it into a box and sealed it. The machinery did an excellent job. But about one in ten thousand cases it let go a box without the soap cake in it. The engineers found out that it may take a lot of money to correct this minor lapse. Now their objective was to identify the black sheep – in this case the box without the soap – and eliminate it from the production line.

    The company was doing very well. And there were many brilliant engineers in it. So they brainstormed the problem and came out with a fail-proof solution. They installed a huge X-ray machine which was connected to two large computer screens. Two skilled workers were appointed to constantly monitor the movement of the soap boxes. As soon as they found out the empty box they would throw that out of the assembly line.

    This arrangement cost several lakhs of Rupees but ensured that no empty box reached the customer. A function was organised to congratulate the engineering team. The engineers made a presentation to the shop-floor workers about the working of the monitoring system. After about an hour of technical explanation the Chief Engineer sat down in his seat exhausted.

    A worker raised his hand and was asked to speak.
    “Sir we could have solved the problem in a much simpler, cheap way.”
    “Really? Can you explain?”

    “Sure. We can instal a powerful blower, a huge fan, near the conveyor which carries the packed boxes. The air coming from the fan will simply blow away the empty boxes leaving the other boxes undisturbed. There would be no need for an X-ray equipment, two computers and to cap it all, constant monitoring by two skilled workers.”

    Now that’s smart work. We should work hard like the engineers; but also think smart like this worker.
     
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  2. Nischel

    Nischel Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar ji,
    Good Morning. I have gone through ur post "Hard Worh vs Smart work" just now. you have conveyed a very good idea through this post. smart work
    no doubt relates to the intellegent way of work,Hard work relates to the crude
    method of tackling work
    I have also gone through your post SHE-4 about Shalini.But I could
    not understand the idea in it.So i could not comment any thing on it.
    Any how I always show love and respect towards you as my son.
    Than Q very much .
    With best wishes
    Sd/sastry
     
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    These middles in Valarppom Thannambikai serial are very interesting and inspiring Sridhar and thanks for bringing to us who otherwise may miss them. Not everyone have your books and it would be sad to miss out on them.
    Enjoyed reading this one...it was simply air! And none of the clever engineers thought of it....air heads!!

    L, Kamla
     
  4. kswati

    kswati New IL'ite

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    Hi Sridhar!!

    U r right again, during our time in the 80's we were taught hard work will earn u fruits. But we were not taught the concept of smart work. Things have changed we should teach our children s hard work combined with smart work is success. And smart work means no short cuts. Because children may take it, that short cut measures means smart work, its a very thin line.

    Swati
     
  5. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Enjoyed reading this weeks article. Yes i too agree with smat work vs hard work. The incident with the Japanese sopa makers was too good.

    Thanks for taking the time to translate for all of us ILites. I know how busy you are and this is indeed nice of you.

    Rgds
     
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sasthriji,
    Good Morning. Thanks for your kind words which come with your blessing. SHE is a serial story and unless you read from SHE 1, it will be difficult to understand.
    Thanks for reading SHE 4
    regards,
     
  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    This incident figured in the convocation address given by a young man in an American University. Of course this incident has been well documented as a powerful business case study.
    But we have examples of this in our mythology as well. Do you remember the Thiruvilaiyadal story? Where the fruit is to be given to the one who returns first after going round the world? Lord Murugan took the hard work route but Lord Vinayaka, the smart work route.
    I loved the way you punned with the word air, simply air and airheads.

    Thanks Kamla,
    Love,
     
  8. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Swathi,
    Hard work is nevertheless important. I know many intelligent people who have not done anything in life because they simply did not work hard.
    Smart work is applying our intelligence fully to the problem at hand and coming out with out of the way solutions.
    Hard work is linear thinking; Smart work is lateral thinking. Hard work pays. Smart work pays more and pays fast.
    Shortcuts, especially if they are going to tamper with the values system are not to be adopted.
    Thanks swathi for the participation.
    regards,
     
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  9. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vandhana,
    Happy to note that you enjoyed this article. By translating the article I achieve several things at the same time. When the matter is delivered in English many ILites are able to read it. And I avoid the etiquette issue of providing links to another newspaper without reciprocal links to our site.
    Thanks once again,
    regards,
     
  10. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Must give it to you Sridhar! Your reference to the Thiruvilayadal story is very apt as an example. I have become a 'mandu' these days. Very forgetful:( A sure indication that I need to jog my brains !!

    L, Kamla
     

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