Thinkers and Doers

Posted by Venu Payyanur     Category: Practical Management

 

In our society or in organizations you will find two categories of people, thinkers and doers. Thinkers realize what is right and wrong and have a sense of rationality. They also tend to be excellent planners. Whereas doers are action oriented and excellent in execution. Generally it is difficult to find a thinker who is doer or vice versa. Only when both these qualities reside in one person, progress happens with equality and justice.

A Professor of Management could be a thinker who can teach great theories but not necessarily execute those theories into practice and make a team and company successful. Even in organizations a thinker could at times paralyze day to day operation due to continuous analysis. At the same time creative ideas can only be generated by thinkers, which absolutely crucial for continued success in a highly competitive environment. Thinkers are open to new ideas, new concepts and are constantly trying to improve or change the way things are done. They are willing to experiment and change and try new things, new processes, invent new products or services. Doers are the people who get things done. They prefer an efficient, optimized process and don’t appreciate tinkering with the process or with people who introduce a lot of change. Doers don’t like change as change is disruptive to the existing norms and processes. Clearly every society and organization needs both “Thinkers” and “Doers” and people who can be the bridge between the two camps. A firm composed completely of Thinkers is basically a research lab or a think tank, while a firm composed completely of “Doers” is ideal for military at the junior ranks and not evolving business. We need both of these skill sets to be effective in any operation.

At the national level, we had the planning commission, who are great ‘thinkers’, but if the commission consists mainly of academics and scientists, their plans may not be suitable at the ground level for implementation. In fact ministries responsible for implementation, hates planning commission because many plans are un-implementable. That is the difference between ‘birds eye view’ and ‘worms eye view’. At 30,000 feet above the ground, the bird can see complete picture and give directions to the ground team in which way they must proceed to reach the destination successfully. However they may not see the real obstacles that are on the ground that inhibits implementation. Hence one need both bird’s eye view and worm’s eye view to make a great plan that would be successful.

 

 

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