Saturday, April 23, 2005

Chronic conundrum of corporate caprice

The corporate world is a strange planet with its own set of conundrums that emerge due to a variety of reasons, including but not limited to its history, its current performance and of course the players who consistently conform or remarkably dont reform. What are these conundrums and how does one identify them. Here are a few ones:
1. 'Corp'ulent Imbalance of 80/20: This usually happens with companies that have been successful through serendiptious sincerity or sublime slices of inspired creativity. The most common traits of such cos would be 80% of revenues coming from a single product . Here everything about that 80% would be opulent and larger than life. Great sums would be spent on every small victory of that product.20 sweaters would be ordered for a small sneeze. Life will be great if you are part of that products team. Be anywhere else and u will be asked to justify why the company should spend 1 buck on the tissue paper you use everyday. You can keep asking all the smart questions of is it not prudent risk management to focus on the remaining 20% and you will be faced with such stares that you will really believe you have come from Alibag. Jo bikta hai wohi sab ko dikhta hai. Unfortunately no body has the time to read Clayton Christensen's "The innovators dilemma" where he clearly established the pitfalls of having extreme focus on the elephant which leaves enough space for nimbler deer to surge ahead.Its very necessary for anyone to understand the center of gravity in a company because that can give you the answer between a free fall and a great rise.
2. Carbonated wisdom or Open source strategy: Corporate curves would not be as tough as treacherous mountain routes if it were not for the carbonated individuals who forget that the diet coke they keep drinking not only removes the natural sweetnes everyone is born with but leaves them bloated with wisdom that is as interesting as the corporate screensavers that are forcibly installed on most PCs of the company. And the sad part is that such individuals would be in places of authority . Their words of wisdom can only be described as "open source strategy". Downloads from business tabloids(yes the most popular economic newspaper in the country) would be bandied regularly " we need to add value" "work smart not hard" "we have to create markets" . Moreover any attempt by you to create such value by thinking or doing would be either dismissed as academic or in most cases lacking in depth. Well the puddles are everywhere and even if you have worn knee length gum boots nothing prevents anyone from jumping and spoiling your shirt. The only way to escape this is to have a paunch so that u can also drink diet coke or be on the sales side in the initial years where no one can say anything forget strategy if the targets are achieved.
More on this space later.....


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