Showing posts from June, 2013

There is a Hole in the Ship! - Missteps in Strategic Directions

We had flight to catch at Delhi. And we were running late. We took solace in the fact that we had a real fast MUV and could rush to the airport in double quick time. But that was before we had factored a difficult clutch. While our initial thinking was correct we were slowed down by a faulty clutch which made the distance seem longer than usual.

There is an interesting anecdote about Dr. Gil Amelio (that’s how he liked to be called), the erstwhile CEO of Apple. In the late ‘90s, in a conversation with a journalist he said that Apple was a ship loaded with treasures, but it had a hole at the bottom, leaking water. And ‘my job is to get everyone to row in the same direction’. It gives a good laugh and Steve Jobs used it as a joke with many people including Larry Ellison, who needless to say could not control himself.

Many companies draw up grand plans giving it euphemisms like XXX 3.0 and so on. Strategy is a sexy word in the business world. How many CEOs would like to known as a good…

Back to the Future - The Comeback of the Old Boss

Steve Jobs, Howard Schultz, Charles Schwab, A.G. Lafley, Narayana Murthy, Micheal Dell, Kenneth Lay, Jerry Yang & Paul Allaire - The Comeback Bosses
And to spice it up - Jose Mourinho, Nawaz Sharif & Indira Gandhi

Back to the Future it is, in the corporate world. In the recent days both Procter & Gamble & J.C. Penney replaced their sitting CEOs with his predecessor. It is strange that this back-to-the-future approach had to happen. Whilst the boards may speak of it as a step in the right direction and make nothing out of this brouhaha, this kind of succession isn't common. Closer home, Narayana Murthy is back at the helm at Infosys albeit in an exalted manner as Executive Chairman.

No matter what the board opines it suggests a few issues –
a) Poor evaluation of the present CEO
b) Poor succession planning
c) Desperation
d) Lack of time to look for a new CEO

 On the flip side what the board gets is
a) A known person with successes to boot
b) Understanding of his skil…