Anita worked in a branded apparels company as a product manager. She knew that most trends originated abroad through films, but more and more through TV serials. She used to spend hours watching films and some recorded episodes. Usually her team would discuss ideas by sitting around projected images. Most her colleagues thought that the quickest way to launch new styles would be to just copy what they had seen in those images. Her boss was no different. She used to frown on Anita’s ‘habit’ of spending a lot of time in just ‘ogling’ at those images -as she would put it.
One day Anita’s company had some visitors. They were from a big fashion retailing company. During an informal chat over lunch the visitors asked for some fresh ideas in women’s clothing. Anita’s boss mentioned about their product team in a general way. The visitors listened politely, but it was clear to Anita that they remained unimpressed. At this time Anita described some of her ideas. She gave some examples, talked in detail about the fabric and the stitching. One of the visitors joined the discussions and soon Anita was sketching various ideas and finer aspects on the white board. Anita and the visitor were lost to others during a lengthy discussion that followed. The visitor complemented Anita for her knowledge and thanked her for delightful discussion. The visitors went away after some more discussions.
Anita was thrilled and elated. She felt good about herself. Such discussions were rare. She felt that one of the visitors had asked many detailed questions and was very knowledgeable. It was nice. Her boss thanked Anita for her information and for impressing the visitors but said that they don’t have the contract yet. Anita’s elation evaporated.
Do you think that Anita’s boss was wrong in being result oriented? Do you think that Anita should have been more mature to accept that results are important and that she shouldn’t have allowed her boss’s remark to affect her negatively?
Whatever are the compulsions of Anita’s boss, we know that the talented people love appreciation of finer aspects of their work. They also love informed criticism. These are their rewards. They thrive on such rewards.