Old-school charm at work

Transform yourself into a distinguished manager of substance instead of following the Friday dressing brigade 24/7
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First Published: Sun, Feb 17 2013. 04 59 PM IST

Updated: Sun, Feb 17 2013. 05 48 PM IST
Over the past few years, offices have loosened their dress codes generously. No longer are formal trousers and neatly ironed shirts required in our cubicles. Neckties, suits and saris are seen but rarely. Shocking bright colours have replaced light and sober tones, in dress and in office decor. Neatly combed hair and tidy cubicles are passé.
All this has happened for the ostensible purpose of encouraging creativity, productivity and an overall sense of libertarian happiness—though it is entirely unclear if those objectives are being met.
On the other hand, what is clear is that workspaces have begun resembling Woodstock. Often there is just no way you can visually tell apart a learned marketing manager from the lead guitarist of a punk rock band.
Cubicles resemble cluttered junkyards of useless bric-a-brac. I believe that all this degeneration of office gravitas will just not do, because it takes away from the ordered and civilized environment we require for sound decision making and serious official interaction. For instance, how can you even begin discussing a million-dollar deal with a man dressed in frayed jeans, a pink T-shirt and a slicked-back ponytail?
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This column therefore proposes that well-meaning executives should take immediate steps to counteract all this “dressing down” nonsense. We need to transform ourselves into the distinguished managers of substance (DIMS, for short) that we deserve to be.
Below are eight bright and easy steps to becoming a DIMS. Of course, these are in addition to the act of wearing an elegant dress to work, which sets the basic tone. Take your pick.
Harish Bhat is managing director and CEO of Tata Global Beverages and author of the book Tata Log: Eight Modern Stories From a Timeless Institution.
He thinks the best route to becoming a distinguished manager of substance is to roll up your sleeves and produce consistent, excellent results at work.
Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com
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First Published: Sun, Feb 17 2013. 04 59 PM IST
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