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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Opportunity amidst underperformers

"Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."—Warren Buffett

I guess the quote by the great man says it all. Mtv & Ipod, both were born during recessions. What is it that make some people view a difficult situation as an opportunity while to others it’s a dead end. We all have heard of the glass half full & half empty expression signifying optimism to some while others being pessimist by it.

So where am I heading:

Check this out. If you look at it, the general tendency of most business channels, newspapers, magazines is to discuss sectors & companies which are growing & promise to offer better returns. In short, such sectors/ companies offer returns which can be reaped.

Hang on…. but what about the companies which are in declining sectors & are being looked as unattractive. Do they offer any opportunity.

Let s take an example of Circus Du Soleil. In a time when the circus industry was being looked as an unattractive industry with a wide variety of alternative entertainment options (TV, playstation, multiplexes) available, Circus Du Soleil re-wrote the rules of the game. Inshort it made circus cool again.

So whats the point.

I think Industries/sectors/companies which are not performing well or are being written off offer a greater incentive & opportunity to Innovate & re write the rules. I think the problem is not that people don’t need goods & services of companies which are not doing well but in most case it’s the conflict in the alignment of whats the company is offering & what people wants. Through Integrative & Design thinking one can relook the value that is being desired & what the company can offer & thus think of models which satisfy human needs &rewrite the rules.




Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Hi everybody

Writing in after a long time..........

So what i have been upto.......

Well been to my hometown in Delhi. Its been around 4 years since I have been staying away (Mumbai & Pune) from my hometown. In past couple of years, I have had the privilege to experience different cultures of these two cities (Mumbai & Pune) which I find are quite distinct as compared to Delhi.

Immediately after landing on Delhi airport, I felt a change in culture. Although it wasn't alien to me as Delhi is my hometown, but somehow I felt certain change in the environment, sounds, behavior.

I started thinking about culture & began to ponder over questions like

- What constitutes a culture of a city/company.

- Can we define culture of a city/company.

- Is it possible to recreate the culture of the city/company.

Although I am still finding answers to the above, but I truly believe that culture of a company/city play an important role in deciding its success. While on a visit to Toyota's factory in Japan, I noticed their culture embracing user centricity & continuous improvement. One of the senior manager of Mattel once told me that it is culture that differentiates the good & great companies.

But how cultures are created & for that matter what constitutes a culture.

I think culture of city/company originates from a Purpose. Some call it vision but i think its the purpose which clearly shapes the culture of the company/city.

A company whose purpose will be to Innovate & bring new products/services will have a very different culture from the one focused on efficiency.

I guess HR managers pay a lot of attention in developing & harnessing a culture of their company which is aligned to their company's purpose.

But can we analyse a culture of a city/company.

Ethnographic research provide excellent tools for analyzing culture of a city/company & determining whether it is aligned to the purpose.

Some of the areas in which I think one would want to analyze a culture :

- Post merger/acquisition inorder to align cultures of two companies

- Company undertaking a new vision

- City, wanting to bring social change & improve image

I think culture is an important aspect of city/company & the right culture can channelize the energies of people to fulfill the higher purpose.

Got this ad of HSBC describing importance of understanding different cultures. Check it out.



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