Thursday, July 10, 2008


This comment is posted two years since the posting of the blog from Nandani. Therefore i have the benefit of the hindsight and the bias of how the world have adopted the "Flat World" concept. Nandan has given a lot of credibility to the tipping point started by Thomas Friedman.
Yes we are in a manner of speaking living in a flat world. But the dimensions and contours have evolved since the time we started to think flat world.
We are living in a "interconnected flat yet matrixed world and this has far more profound impact than living in a plain flat world.
The interconnectivities are akin to the neural networks and some of the networks are congnitive and self learning and healing. The synapse connecting the many nodal networks carry a lot of vital information content which impact lives of the individuals in far flung remote locations.
Few examples :
* Sensitivity trigger to the oil barrel price points in todays time more than ever before shoots the inflation point several notches northwards and determines fortunes of the ruling governments at several hundred countries.
Why ? Inspite of the decoupling efforts of the economists and politicos , economies are connect with several flat micro matrixed synapses. Resulting in ripple effect which even the most astute investment banker cannot predict.
Second, evolving a political consensus or dividing political mandates or electing a new president for the worlds most powerful economy are all in a way influenced and triggered by the individual clicking the mouse sitting at a corner table.
Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama with Facebook fought their contest as much as they did in the speaches , debates as they did leveraging the citizen right clicking their veiw sitting at home. An edge which Obama benefited greatly by the support from Facebook.
The news and impact of bird flew in a far flung remote village in china impacted poultry prices in the down town market in India as people buzzed the panic button rampantly.
Closer to home , the bollywood industrys films fate is sealed on the weekend release effectively by the deft penning of reviews by the critics both mendia, print and online.
As for the Indian IT Sector , we have thus far done reasonably well to absorb the shocks of the flattnenning. It time now to create and control the flat neural networks with micro synapses which can propel out now 50 billion plus India IT revenue to a trillion dollar mark.
Yes today more than ever before we are living in a MATRIXED NEURAL NETWORK COMPRISING OF MICRO SYNAPSES albeit a FLAT WORLD.
Lets see if future has more dimensions being added to the once Spherical Globle. From my end i am signing off on a very upbeat and optimistic note.

The above was posted in response to a blog by one of the most accomplished Business Leaders of modern india- Nandan Nilekani.


In a Flat World, Operational Excellence is Strategy
by Nandan M. Nilekani
Over the last 25 years, IT has been the prime mover in creating millions of jobs, not just in IT firms but in all the industries and services needed to support it.
Yet in many ways the next five years are going to be critical for the IT revolution. It is becoming increasingly clear that this is not just about a few back office jobs. The flat world created by the confluence of technology, globalization, demographics and the rising economic power of India and China is making companies fundamentally alter their business assumptions. What and where they produce, whom they sell to, at what price, and how they manage it all – the fundamental tenets of their business model are being entirely revisited.
This is likely to lead to the most dramatic transformation of firms in every aspect of their business, as significant as the role of mass manufacturing in remaking the industrial revolution in the early 20th century.
In this new environment, companies that are able to increase productivity, use technology intelligently, globalize their talent base and practice financial discipline will derive sustainable competitive advantage.
But achieving this will require from all of us who are in a position to effect change, a strategic view not a tactical response to get through the next quarter. It would require us to question fundamental business assumptions and drive long-term operational changes – for in a flat world, operational excellence is strategy.
Posted by Nandan M. Nilekani on July 31, 2006 08:07 AM

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Destroying the office of the CEO

Another one of Vineets thinking which treads on a radical streak challenging conventional and historic legacy of leadership practice. In a day where people exhibit inertia to protect their office and hang around this thought is quite a departure. Appended below is my response and comments for your reference.
Source :

Author : Vineet Nayyar. President and CEO HCL Technologies.
Destroying the office of the CEO
Often while evaluating the challenges and opportunities facing my organization and the industry on the whole, I am faced with a question of how to build a truly global organization having global leaders who essentially will come from the next generation. The changing environment indicates that what was true in the past is not true now. So what’s so different about the environment today than it was five years ago?
I believe the three Rs have changed - the Responsibilities are different, the Response we want from our managers is different, and Results expected from these managers are different. Keeping this in mind, would it be sufficient to just induct and manage leaders into a global culture?
What we need is a global organization- and I believe a global organization is different from an American or a European or an Indian organization. If you ask me to define this global organization, I would say a global organization is one that inverts the pyramid of the organizational structure. It is more entrepreneurial. And it has to create what I call “the democratization of the organizations”, where it is not people like us who are monitoring, managing, and hence, correcting what others should be doing. It’s all about reverse accountability- that we are responsible to help them achieve their goals, radically different than our conventional style of management.
And when we run an organization like an inverted pyramid, issues like that of cultural integration will be completely bypassed. That’s because our job will primarily be that of an enabler, a facilitator. Rather than running our organization in a military fashion with “command and control” (usually seen in manufacturing setups), you run it in an enabled fashion where responsibilities, responses and results expected are clearly defined. In an enabling environment, you create communities of interest, you create collaborative platforms, and you create sensitivity to global cultures. And you don’t intervene. At HCL, we have seen a large degree of success with this management style.
Some may wonder and argue that there is still a need of that one person to take the final decision. I disagree!
We are heading towards managing the next generation of employees who would shun away hierarchy and who would resist structures. This next generation is an internet generation and their key style is information-learning-collaborating. They would want more value, more innovation, and more collaboration. And they collaborate in unstructured formats, beyond our imagination and what we have seen so far.
Another point is, that unlike manufacturing and unlike an army, the value in an IT services company actually gets created in the interface between am employee and the customer and that interface is by far the most important in running (it services) businesses. So the global leaders have to manage these people who are different in nature, and he also has to realize that he is not the one creating value. The interface is doing that. In my mind, CEO being a “larger than life decision maker” or a visionary is some thing that belongs to the past. I strongly believe it is time to think of destroying the office of the CEO. The next generation business imperatives are about CEO’s accountability of creating enabling functions to bring about openness and build a learning ground. This will ensure that people create value in that interface where their leaders not necessarily participate. In today’s world when parents have repositioned themselves as “friends” of their children shouldn’t the boss rethink his relationship?
The relevance of leadership in tomorrow’s world is a question mark. My belief is that of shared leadership or shared accountability. A more provocative word is inverse accountability - where the leader is accountable to his employees. And unfortunately it does not exist today. We believe in democratic values in our day-to-day life, but we fail to run our organizations democratically. Reverse accountability of a leader to his employees will become a vital requisite and once it does, shared leadership will automatically emerge.

My response : Posted on April 15th 2008
That organsations need to be lead and lead towards an agreed goal is a defined practice of management in the past. This isnt going to change in the near future as well.
However the thoughts presented are a distnct departure from the past but in my view nothing radical. Instead the view one get is that of the treatment of managing and leading having evolved with the attendant forces of industry dynamics.
Darwinism has more relevance to the business of today that it ever had in terms of impact. And organisations which have survived have by sheer instincts coped with the changing dymanics of the business terrain. Some which havent have withered into the oblivion.
Successful Organisation of the future will have a distinct inclusive DNA nonetheless evolutionary DNA. For the short term investors will reward initatives involving innovation and transformational corporate renditions. The life blood of these enterprises will be Vision,Strategy,Execution,Delegation,motivation,inspiration and creating what has be dealt in your blog as ” Integrating Cross Cultures” and ” Enabling Functions”.
While i am in agreement with the several changing paradigms about employees and organisations , CEO are not going to be redundant in a hurry. Business world apart ,planet earth is still in Command Control mode. Albeit Changing to a pluralistic shift in thinking inclusion of several myraid constitunents.
How else could one explain the Military powers impacting sharing of ecomomic and welfare programs by vitrue of the ” So Called Sanctions”. How do we explain the G 8 and its strangle hold on the close knit ecomonies.
The CEO of today , many like your self have the ardorous task of being market makers , rain makers and transformation managers. Importantly as cheiftans one who can clearly articulate a vision and predict a future to the several thousand waiting to be inspired to higher degrees of productivity. Focus on inclusive programs to distribute wealth evenly amongst the societies around the world.The CEO of today has a richer charter of creating several CEO’s in pipeline to carry the entreprenurial engine chugging along definitive paths.
Its is my kind submission that with all the good points taken into consideration we should foster for a grander purpose for the office of the CEO instead of destroying it. Evolve it into a position where mere mortals can look forward to. Look forward to a future with certianity.
Comment by Aravindan Umashankar — April 15, 2008 @ 11:17 am

Management Innovation

One of my initiatives is also to propogate and broadcast thoughts of some of the most interesting and accomplished leaders those i follow. These set of thoughts in many cases i agree and some cases differ. But then this is a medium with facilitates pluralistic commentary or so i believe !

Here's presenting the views and thinking verve of one of the high achivers and a genuine champions and visible advertisement of transformational leadership. My bias being the fact that i too like Vineet albeit with far lesser accomplishment is a product of the simmering altar of HCL entreprenuership.

Source :
Vineets Profile:

Management Innovation
As I travel to MLabs’ inaugural conference on “management innovation”, my thoughts drift back to the first time I interacted with the brain behind this unique initiative. Ideas that I have nurtured since long came up as I spoke with Prof Gary Hamel and along with it the delight that some of these ideas have successfully been implemented in HCL. But as always, I am excited to learn new ways that others have of “reinventing management” for the 21st century.
Reinventing management is fast becoming the necessity today. More so because we stand at a threshold of welcoming the next generation of employees, who do not want to work in organizations managed in ways of the past. Gary has made an apt mention in his book “Future of Management” that Management innovation matters a lot and for CEOs, who other wise claim to be champions of innovation, there is a barn sized blind spot when it comes to management innovation. Managers don’t see themselves as inventors any more but as pragmatic doers.
I believe management today is missing the bold sense of experimentation. This is because it is historically based on obsolescence and unfortunately continues to do so. Dig deep in an organization and you will see there is an obsession with the past, obsession with ways that have no relevance to the future, ways that are now OBSOLETE. An obvious paradox, but that is what many leaders do. They talk of innovation driving the future of businesses in the coming times but stay stuck in past ways of managing their organizations.
Hierarchies and layers of paralyzing bureaucracy, command and control style of management are no longer important. What matters is finding ways to support collaboration, problem solving, and open discussion in communities of interest. The future demands experimenting with new ideas. My question is -are we ready to innovate and experiment or will we continue to speak about change and do little else?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This is a group/blogspot created to fuel unbriddled and passionate radical , creative , pluralistic thinking. a thinking verve which has a distinct departure from the limiting past and gravitates to a limitless future.

Such thinking paves way to a lot of DOING and BEING and therefore resulting in sesmic shifts in world order across faculties and walks of life.

The kind of breed of thinkers and visionaries who have consistantly proved the world wrong at the risk of losing their lives ..

We have a few every century like Socrates , Archimedes , Plato , the wright brothers , mahatma gandhi , steve jobs , bill gates , martin luther king , the google guys, and look i am already hitting a cealing due to the paucity of my limited horizon..

this group is to find such fellow humans and engage in a journey to trancend from ordinary living to a life filled with greatness.