Monday, December 24, 2012

RICHARD BRANSON"“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”



Mr. Richard Branson's Management style is one of the most unique style , in which Mr. Branson manages his business empire. He is considered to be one of the most successful business leaders in the world. He started his entrepreneurship by publishing a school magazine , where he wrote the the U.S. troops should withdraw from  Vietnam.  The school magazine sold like hot cakes , he got 8000 pounds, and that was his seed money for building Virgin.

The Management Style
Richard Branson started his working life in the 60’s by starting a magazine called, ‘Student’ and has never looked back. He is an entrepreneur that defies the usual rules of business. He sold his record label and company and started Virgin Atlantic defying convention and established business practices as he not only had no experience of the airline industry but was also stepping into a hugely competitive marketplace. He also took on the might of British airways when he claimed that his business had been the victim of a ‘dirty tricks’ campaign. In both cases, he proved that he could ‘win’ and has since gone from strength to strength.
Let’s see what CIOs and general management can learn from this icon of modern business. (In no particular order and a few other sources utilized):
1. Succession planning and his reputation: RB – “The company must be set up so it can continue without me.”
Richard Branson has created autonomous companies under the Virgin umbrella, precisely so that these companies can operate without him. Succession planning has been ‘built in’ to the very core of Virgin. As such, it is important for CIOs to have succession planning in order that the business has continuity in the unfortunate event of a CIO not being able to provide management.
2. Spotting opportunities: RB – “If something is a good idea, consider it, then work out how to make it happen.”
As someone who has created 200 plus companies, the lesson that can be learnt is that within IT we need to spot opportunities for improvement. It is not enough, however, just to spot them, the onus is to spot them and then to create an environment to leverage that opportunity and to make it happen.
3. Focus: RB – “Whatever you sell, first identify your market.”
Richard Branson has always identified markets where he can add value. That has often happened in an already crowded marketplace, with existing competitors. The secret to his success is that he enters these markets and creates and delivers products, better than his rivals, usually through value for money and a better customer experience.
CIOs needs to focus on the most important issues that are relevant to the business and to shy away from the issues/projects that do not add value to the business but may just be a ‘nice have’ or appear to add value. Learn to say, ‘No’.
4. Talent acquisition: RB - “Employees think for themselves. They have good ideas to listen to. What is the point of hiring bright people if you don’t apply their talent?
Richard Branson believes in empowering his employees to make the decisions and to make it happen.
A CIO needs to trust their gut instinct and allow his/her staff to get the job done and to believe in their capabilities. I think, the strategic fit, is a very good measure. How will a new hire fit into the culture of the company? Will they enjoy it here? Have they worked in a similar culture before? The danger is that the culture could be so alien to the new hire, that they find it difficult to adjust.
5. Handling barriers and roadblocks: RB – “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them”
It is hard to stop someone who knows how to tackle barriers and roadblocks. CIOs need to know when to intervene. For example, in many cases that could mean stopping projects altogether to take stock of current situations or to change the direction. Create challenges for your employees and set them targets that ‘stretch’ their capabilities.
6. Successful innovation: RB -. Pioneer, don’t follow the leader, Drive for change  
CIOs need to think how they can do their jobs differently to provide competitive advantage for their companies. As IT becomes standardised across many industries, it will become harder to differentiate the IT offering. Look harder, competitive advantage is still achievable through innovative uses of IT. The question is whether you as the leader can locate and exploit it?
Virgin has proved that such success is achievable. Many businesses lack of innovation is due to their fear of failures.
7. Earn respect: RB – “Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”
CIOs need to care more about their staff and have to understand and overcome any difficulties that they face in their everyday jobs. Caring managers will always be able to deliver better results.
8. Family commitment: RB – “Divide your private life from your work life. The break down in family live has played a big role in lack of social cohesion and skills.”
This is an aspect of life that I firmly believe in as well. Time cannot be turned around or replaced. It is very important that we spend time with spouses and spend time with our children. As they grow up we have to ensure that they become responsible and active citizens. A work/life balance is crucial and ensures that we work optimally.
9. Learning: RB – “People don’t leave their jobs through lack of pay – they leave because they aren’t valued. Many companies leave people in boxes; encourage them to be adaptable and innovative.”
All great leaders have made it a habit to constantly learn. RB constantly interacts with his employees and is always open to suggestions on how to improve the business or to welcome ideas about new business.
10. Business reputation: RB - ‘ Detached from values, money may indeed be the root of all evil, but linked effectively to social purpose; it can be the root of opportunity.
Richard Branson believes in the power of money to achieve a better world and he constantly strives for that through his Virgin unite charity. As he became involved with the airline industry, he started to look into ways of offsetting the carbon footprint of Virgin through the usage of eco-friendly fuels etc. Companies’ need to support the eco system that they operate in.
CIOs need to understand that IT systems can enhance and assist companies to become better corporate citizens and need to look for these opportunities
11. Follow your instinct: RB – ‘Never let facts get in the way of a good idea. If something is what you really want to do, just do it. Whatever your goal is you will never succeed unless you let go of your fears. It’s easy to give up when things are hard but we have to keep chasing dreams and our goals; once we decide to do something, we should never look back, never regret it. I rely on my gut instinct more than thick reports.”
CIOs need to listen to their inner voice and recommend changes accordingly.
12. Create and nurture ‘the correct culture.’ – RB-“Staff first, then customers and shareholders, Shape the business around the people. Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them. For the people who work for you or with you, you must lavish praise on them at all times,” Branson says. “If a flower is watered, it flourishes. If not, it shrivels up and dies. People don’t need to be told where they’ve slipped up or made a mess of something.”
13. Develop a Clear Vision–and Stick to It. – RB – Around the world we’re looking at taking the brand into a number of different industries. Our criterion is, will it fulfil the Virgin yardstick of being good value for the money? Will it enhance the brand by bringing great quality? Will we have fun doing it and can we make it profitable? If those criteria work, then we’ll seriously look at a new industry.”
Above all, you want to create something you are proud of…. That has always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing
14. Relax and feel at home – RB –“Work should not be a chore and should be fun. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?”
CIOs often forget to create a culture of fun within their department. This results in a high turnover of staff. Create strategies such as allowing staff to spend a percentage of their time on projects that they want to do. The more staff enjoy work, the more productive they will become.
15. ‘Image’ is everything. – RB – “Outstanding brands are built around great people who deliver consistently great customer service every day.”
CIOs need to change their images from just being technology leaders to leaders who understand business and can apply their strategic IT and business skills to the wider business.
16. Employees’ performance: RB – “As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back.”
Branson hires the best and brightest people that he can and then allows them to have a stake in the ownership of that business. CIOs need to become better at delegating tasks, trusting employees to get the job done.
17. Earn respect by ‘listening’: RB – “You learn more by listening to other people.”
18. How do you run this company? RB – “I’ve had to create companies that I believe in 100%. These are companies I feel will make a genuine difference. Then I have to be willing to find the time myself to talk about them, promote them and market them. I don’t want to spend my life doing something that I’m not proud of.”
19. Time ManagementRichard Branson spends an equal third of his time on trouble shooting his businesses, new projects (business/charity) and on promoting and marketing his businesses while creating time for family and vacations.

This post is from 
Mr .Amhed's Blog :http://mubbisherahmed.wordpress.com. 
Courtesy & Thanks  to Mr Ahmed.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Measurement and Management: Contemporary concepts and Change management. All measurement is not management.

All management is measurement. More you do accurate measure, more you accurately manage. We have been doing management or a long time before the word management came in to field more in to the professional field, and in the fields of academics. Now all firms are things to take stock of themselves globally about the management practice that they do. Now taking a stock in management is measurement. Smart individuals, firms manage properly and perfectly, be it health related , Blood pressure, Blood sugar, Blood count , PSA count or regular go for heath checkups in the case of individuals. Similarly in the case of the firm they take a weekly budget, monthly targets, quarterly un-audited Balance sheet and P&L A/c., just to measure the health of the firm’s business activity. And at end of the financial year declare results which make all the stake holders happy. Even if we talk about the Stretched Goals or Targets(Pioneered by Jack Welch) which is a part of the change management, very much measurement is required. Make mistakes and measure the mistakes that you make, learn from the mistakes that you have made. Even if you want to” Fix it “you have to measure it masterly, be it in Organizational Development, Finance, Marketing, HRM, other facets of management and facets of management change strategy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

McKinsey's CEO, Dominic Barton On The Role Of CEO..



A very interesting recent interview by McKinsey's Boss Dominic Barton.
What will be the role of CEO and the myth of CEO a very interesting interview.

Courtesy: Washington Post.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Management Lesson from Late.Prof. Peter Drucker



Late. Peter Drucker, as described as the ‘Father of the modern management” as his contribution has been stupendous and many of the modern thoughts are basically followed through of Peter.

He predicted knowledge economy .In 1959, and coined the term “knowledge worker" and later in his life considered knowledge work productivity to be the next frontier of management.

His passion for management writing was absolutely phenomenal .His out of the box thinking and deep knowledge and close observation in situations and with diverse industries is mind blowing.

In 1954 his book “The Practice Of Management” was absolutely an incredible piece of work , even if you read 100 times still it’s ever green.
His approach has been very humble, very much in line with Henry Ford as Ford said “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. “I read many his books his inspirations ware from Henry Ford.

His work has been more with people and the betterment of the society and business should give back to the society , which is giving a place to do and operate the business.Betterment of the society and responsibility towards the society, which are the most pivotal role for any business.


His pioneered the thought “Management by Objectives” it is still relevant, many management Guru’s and pundits criticized it, but again it’s evolving out in a newer for as the competition has increased globally. Much organization becomes directionless and is in the crossroads where we have to go back to the “Management by Objectives”. Objectives changes with passage of time as business has got perpetual existence

Peter Drucker had a similar way of introducing himself - I write - is how he used to introduce himself.

The most important lesson he has give to the managers those who follow him still today are as follows:

The purpose of company is to create a customer.

A business is defined by the needs, wants, desires a customer satisfies when buying the company's product or service.

To satisfy the customer is the most important mission and purpose of every business.


The recent book that I'm reading is " THE ESSENTIAL DRUCKER" all his sixty years of experiencing management, the maestro's knowledge has been well depicted in this book and a great tribute to Late. Prof .Drcker.

I can make out Management is an infinite science and is indebted to all fields be it in Physic, Mathematics, or Literature even Military Science.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CASE STUDY: OIL Price Rise And World ECONOMY.



Recent soaring crude oil prices over time have proved ruthless in their treatment of the global economy as well as the global economy, every time there is a spike in the crude oil price the whole world has to pay for it.

Recession has always followed after a spike in the crude oil price spike. Powerful Oil lobbies manipulated the price and the demand supply mechanism has been staged managed by these powerful lobbies, and the whole world has paid the price for this.

As of date there is no alternate to the fossil fuel, still the global economy has to heavily depend of the crude.

Recent uprising in the ARAB world and particularly in Libya, one of the largest producers of the oil in AFRICA and a powerful member in the OPEC plays a pivotal role in the global economy recovery.

Apart from the G7 nations the emerging economies like India and China are major consumers of oil; their middle class aspiration with income growth along with GDP growth has played an important role in the petroleum consumption.

The BRIC nations are front runners as fur as consumption of gasoline and they too are imports, except Russia has got enough crude reserves which can sustains it’s growth.

But the like the gravitational pull of recession, which the world is still trying to overcome in spite of huge bail out the U.S. Fed has given the U.S firms to come out from recession , there is nothing left out which the U.S. fed can give to U.S. firms.
If again the U.S economy slows down the whole world economy will loose out , as the multiplier effect will not work any more. The U.S economy as predicted has missed the target

Of its GDP growth rate of 3%, it has grown 2.45-2.55%. India and China as are growing at a level of 9-10% but the inflation is about 19%, which is equally a very bad sign for the economies is growing at 2.2 % annually .

China on the other had is taking a smarter move instead of being an export driven economy it’s like India looking to boost the domestic consumption. India has been least affected by the last recession as it’s an inward domestic consumption was very high.

But as our global economies are very much interwoven if there is a leakages in any part of the global economy, other economies starts to slow down.

According to some pundits the barrel will cost US$140 even in worse scenario the speculators and manipulators may rally up the price per barrel to US $160 by end of this year.

I’m enclosing a PPT done in YouTube where every thing has been explained very carefully.

So again in 2012-2013 we are in look out for a double dip recession? What your opinion on this?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

GREATEST MANAGEMENT ADVICE-From somebody unknown.

INTEGRITY - A MATTER OF ETHICS

EXCELLENCE - A HIGHER STANDARD, TAKE STRETCHED TARGETS.

TIME MANAGEMENT - WORTH EVERY SECOND, THE MOST PERISHEABLE RESOURCE.

OBSTACLES - ANOTHER CHALLENGE SMARLTLY OVERCOME IT.

DELEGATION - ENTRUSTING OTHERS INCREASING PROFITABILITY.

GOAL SETTING - CREATES THE FINISH LINE

PARADIGMS - THE FUTURE IS NOW, JUST DO IT.

EMPOWERMENT-DEVELOPING CAPABILITIES. HIRE SMARTER PEOPLE THAN YOU.

ACHIEVEMENT - BELIEVE YOU CAN, YES WE CAN.

PROBLEM SOLVING - CONNECTING THE DOTS TUNE YOUR MENTAL SOFTWARE.

TELEMARKETING - PHONE FOR SUCCESS

PRESENTATIONS- DYNAMIC AND MEMORABLE

FEEDBACK - COMMENTS WELCOME, ENCOURAGE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.

Last But Not The Least:
COMPUTE,TAKE DECISIONS,COMMUNICATE.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Prof. Robert Kaplan.Internal Communication Plays An Important Role In The Implementation of The Corporate Strategy.

Found an excellent piece of interview from Prof. Robert Kaplan regrading communication, and how to communicate with all the layers of the organisation to make things happen.
Balance Score Card has been talked about for a long time, it's implementation is difficult, many a times in practice we fail to implement BSC.
Prof .Kaplan has been very successful in doing that after the famous work and pioneering Activity Based Costing and subsequently Balance Score Card systems.
This interview is a very clear cut thought about communication , and how it's percolates down the bottom layer so the new strategy gets implemented.
It's more of a direction oriented one , instead a direction less one.