It’s time to fix Satisfactory Underperformance

The new year is almost here and some corporate bullshit still thrives. The more courageous will clean-up this year.

1. Vision: If you can explain it and are able to dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s, this is obviously not it. If the vision is not BHAV (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Vision) you can forget BHAG. Yet, many don’t get it and many won’t get it. Here are two important Vision horizons – December 1, 1955 (The day Rosa Parks stood up for Black Rights) and January 20, 2009 (50+ years – The day Barack Obama became the first Black President of USA) and 1757 (The year the decisive battle of Plassey sealed India’s fate for the next 200 years, 1857, 1947 (190 years with a Vision reset in 1857 – Violent uprising and again in 1920 – Non-Violent struggle). So, if you want to call it a Vision, make sure IT and YOU, are visionary.

2. Innovation: Innovation is about character. Innovation is about thinking differently and rewarding attempted successes ending in failure. If safe, tested, everyday effort is what your company all about, do everyone a favour, get rid of this word. Innovation space has no space for pretenders, only pioneers.

3. VUCA: When man first sailed the sea without fully realising whether he would fall off the edge, it was VUCA. When Neil Armstrong set foot on the Lunar surface, it was VUCA. In comparison, there is nothing VUCA about the world today when your GPS can tell you the route to your toilet. Stop throwing important sounding inanities around and get on with it.

4. Diversity: You have a word called culture already in your bullshit dictionary. Take that word out, dust it and you will fix diversity. Diversity is about recognising differences and yet treating everyone the same. Diversity therefore starts from diversity of thoughts. That is about culture. Culture takes effort not policies and metrics. 50% of the world is Women, establish a world order where they have their due (not get their due, because it is not as if someone has to relinquish it) and the world will learn to treat everyone the same. The colour of your skin, your sexual preferences, your gender have no bearing on your capabilities unless they have been used as weapons in the past to prevent you from exploring and experiencing the full spectrum of your capabilities.

A word on Maternity leave (which is a secret weapon deployed by men to not do their fair share of child care duties) – Women need Maternity Leave for two reasons (1) To breastfeed which a man can’t do, at least not yet (2) To rest and recover from one of the most difficult journeys of 9 months. The second seldom happens and can’t happen unless the man is around to do the non-breastfeeding part of the assignment called parenting. On diversity, when in doubt, go back to point number 1.

5. Leadership: There are two words here. Lead and Ship. A ship needs a captain when it is in trouble. At other times, the men and women get on with the job. If you are in a leadership role, check whether you have leadership goals. If not, you are not a leader of men; You are a lumberjack keeping the Logs floating.

Finally, it’s the institution of Family, that keeps the world going, not organisations. Spare some thought for that.


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