Friday, July 18, 2008

The Curse of Growth...

I am looking for books/articles/sources of information that narrate real and genuine stories of large companies that manage to be agile, efficient and effective. I am aware of "Who says Elephants can't dance?"...but are there any other worthwhile books to be read? And, btw, is "Who says Elephants......" a good book in this context? Thanks in advance for sharing your views. I am keen to learn how large organizations manage to grow and decentralize their operations and yet manage to retain a single inspiring vision, a wonderful connectedness, overall efficiency (cutting across processes and departments), and knowledge - undiluted and reliable - that flows through every node in the organization.

It's another thing that I've always believed that an organization that is high and genuine on vision and not a run-of-the-mill, crude profit-making machine should actually try and retain an optimal size rather than focus on growing to an enormous size and satisfying the stock market's whims and fancies. On a related note, I'd, for example, partially expressed my thoughts on MindTree's business strategy many years ago.

There's another very relevant and current example that I need to mention in this context. Though I've been a bit slow in terms of catching up with the latest business stories, a friend recently brought up the topic of Starbucks' current plight in one of our conversations. The very next day, I also, coincidentally, bumped into an article in HBR on Starbucks. The article opines that Starbucks' problems started when they went public and subsequently diluted their brand while trying to expand in conventional ways. Sad, eh?

PS: Kung Fu Panda is likely to shake his cute head in disagreement if he reads this post...."There is no such thing as the curse of growth!" he might say.... ;-)

5 comments:

cOOL_aLIEN_fRM_mARS said...

hey..would be a great book idea for you to write :)

and yea MindTree does seem to have deviated from the "right path" :P

but then people want individual growth but the company to not grow...is that a paradox?

Nimmy said...

Hey Cool Alien From Mars....CAfM....!! :) Thanks for giving me that idea....who knows...maybe I will...but who on EARTH will read it? ;) Only people like you....(i.e. from Mars) might dare to take the risk! LoL! :)

I like your final comment. Makes me think. But then, individual growth does not necessarily mean in terms of the bank balance, right? I would imagine invididual growth is more in terms of knowledge, learning, character, achievement, excellence, love, friendship and what not. The organizational growth that I am referring to in this post is more of size in terms of employees, customers, revenue, profit and the like. Nevertheless, your comment on the paradox stunned me for a few seconds! ;) Cool.

And your Blog is great! I like aliens' blogs... hee hee :)

cOOL_aLIEN_fRM_mARS said...

Hi Nimmy

thx for visiting my blog... and yep I would surely read a book like that...and some other crazy earthlings might too...u never know :P

as far as your definition of growth...i think its too idealistic...esp when you think in terms of the background (and avg age) of people in the Indian IT industry... when I was with mt..thats one area where I felt mt was loosing...( my view only)

currently am with FMS Delhi pursuing MBA...am interested in KM...planing to check out your blog in detail...so beware for some more unearthly comments :P

Nimmy said...

ideaistic. not a new accusation for me. ;-). but u being from mars, i would have thought you'd understand such views better! hahaha :)

yes, i realized you're from mt and are now in FMS...good luck! and i am glad you are interested in KM. yeah! (how did u develop the interest? because of mt?)

and, aliens are more than welcome on my strange and alien blog...! go ahead, shoot those unearthly comments whenever you feel like. :)

cOOL_aLIEN_fRM_mARS said...

Yeps...the KM function at mt was an inspiration.....something more than the one that comes with novelty :)