Creative leadership

TATA Steel – Toilet Story – Creative Leadership

As the story goes : Russi Mody, Chairman of Tata Steel from 1984-1993, was once holding a weekly meeting with Tata Steel staff at a football ground in Jamshedpur.

TATA Steel – Toilet Story – Creative Leadership 1
Russi Mody

A worker took up a niggling issue. He said the quality and hygiene of toilets for workers was very bad. Whereas, he pointed out that the cleanliness and hygiene of Executive toilets are always very good.

Mr Mody asked his top executive how much time he needs to set it right.

The executive asked for a month to set it right. Mr Mody said

“I would rather do it in a day. Send me a carpenter.”

Next day, when the carpenter came, he ordered the signboards to be swapped!!!

The signboard on the “Workers” toilet was changed to “Executives” and Executive toilet to “Workers”.

The Tata Chairman then gave instructions to inter-change it every fortnight!

The quality of both toilets became on par in 3 days’ time.

A solution that was immediate and lasting for both!  

Creative leadership Debrief:

Today we are being faced with urgent and important problems at work and at home. How do we tackle them determines our leadership ability and attitude?

Creative Leadership – in today’s world is not a luxury but a necessity. Leaders are prescribed to be creative and provide a solution to the problems. The above story depicts a permanent and faster solution to the problem which was urgent as well as important.

Leaders are required to be solution providers and great thinkers. Only the one who can think over the problem can provide a creative solution to it. Corporations today need great thinkers as good executioners are available in dime a dozen. What is rare is the thinking of creative leaders. Think of any pressing problem you have in-home or work and think over it for some time don’t indulge in thinking anything else, only focus on the problem. I am sure you will find more than 1 way of solving the issue.

TATA Steel – Toilet Story – Creative Leadership 2
Creative Leadership

Let’s try to be like Russi Mody, who has taught us this important lesson in “Creative Leadership”

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