Tag Archives: Bloom

Beauty and Banes of becoming or being Big!


Size and figures matter to all of us. Notion of what size or figures are appropriate or optimal varies from things to things. We would try to explore whether there could be a universal definition or norm for what is right.

Companies, which are small in size, find it hard to survive in face of bigger ones. When these companies start to do it right, they get success and grow to become big. But, things that they do to get success are precisely what are put by them on the back burner after becoming big! This is what has happened with several companies like Dell, Ford Motor, Siemens, BlackBerry etc.

What is orchestrated below may not be new; but what is surely new is extent of damage the banes can do to the beauty of an organization or even individual!

What bring small size a success

Everything is small in size to start with. Size should not deter anyone to pursue what delivers results. Experience shows that if small organizations focus on following, apart from sound skills and initiative, success do chase them:

  1. Personalized touch
  2. Flexibility to changes
  3. Identifying with customer issues
  4. More listening and less leaving things to chances
  5. Courtesy and openness

So, if you do it right, reward comes as a matter of your right. No one can prevent you to grow and take a prime position.

Blooms and glooms of becoming big

Becoming big has a beauty and bliss! It has a trail of success stories. There are many positive aspects – cost competitiveness, growing opportunities, talent development and several others. I would sum up these in just 2 points – a. Ability to set trends and traditions b. Breadth of product range and depth of services.

But, nature does not allow anything to survive unipolar! So, a beauty has its ugly side too; right is accompanied with wrong and positive can’t exist without negative. So, a big size organization (or even an individual having big image) has its share of shortcomings. Things like greater inertia due to hierarchies and structures, loss of transparency, life becoming more mechanical and rule oriented, work-life imbalance, financial figures and on line forms ruling more than 80% of employees’ life, rivalries and politics are some among many, which big size companies struggle with. Let us deal with 3 issues, which in fact mushroom into many.

Loss of Simplicity

Complexities increase in direct proportion to the size! It is very difficult to “keep it simple”, despite sermons of top CEOs.

Organization’s structure and systems to quality assurance assume a complex form with increasing size. After all, there are experts for everything and their jobs can’t be justified without making things complicated. Loss of simplicity is gain for inertia and loss in decision making.

Problems of one bring privileges for another! This is how consulting firms have also become big in backyard of their big clients!

Loss of human touch

This is single biggest cause of employee frustration.

I have been privy to 2 organizations growing from smaller scale to large scale. Employees in these organizations increasingly found their top bosses inaccessible. Feedback system and most development programs going online stimulated their isolation and fury. Their fate would hinge on a single yearly appraisal system. Story is no less grim on touch with customers and hence market!

Gain of arrogance and ego

Let us face this bitter reality – size of ego and arrogance of many employees, especially with sales and marketing or customer facing functions, goes hand in hand with size of the organization they serve! If successful organizations start to face heat and heap of problems, this is one major factor to blame!!

Supervisors and subordinates alike are vociferous in defending their delays, slippages and mistakes. Moreover, as an example, I have observed employees of big consulting firms exploiting faith put on them by their customers, securing business by creating fear psychosis and demanding undue premium on their services. Fault, no doubt, also lies with those organizations, which have love for size, but not skills; swear by name, but not by merit!

How to accentuate Beauty!

Most companies worldwide boast of hosting numerous programs for development of leadership, personality and various other attributes. Factually, these are all aimed at developing a style but not a character. It is for this reason that these programs trigger euphoria but not a change.

What we need is a program to build character of every employee, whose output should be measured by “degree of Seriousness, Simplicity and Sincerity”. It is absolutely plausible to do it.

When this is done, size of an organization would not matter. Imagine charisma of a beauty (of any organization or individual), which is preserved without time line; but its banes managed all the time!

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Best people put together don’t produce the Best; proper Blend does!

Look at Manchester United, Barcelona or Real Madrid soccer clubs. Their teams give great performance, which has catapulted these clubs in top 10 slots in the world. However, during World Cup Football or other international matches, when U.K. or Spain builds a national team drawing the best players from various clubs, statistics show that such team does not put as great a show as what club teams do!

That is precisely true for a company or country! The combination of Bests culminates into Bad! Yet, we keep chasing and collecting the Best!!

Look at the confusion, most companies are in. Chasing Best can only be costly, complicated and consumes time and efforts, which are not commensurate with the returns. Yet, companies don’t dare to follow a right strategy.

Why combination of best talents bungles

  1. Poor definition
    On paper, organization or institutions put impressive definitions of what construe the best; but in practice, these are poorly understood and followed. The result is below on how best is (mis)understood:
    By Companies                            By Countries or Communities
    Ability to trigger imagination        Ability to trigger emotions
    Outspoken                                  Rhetoric
    Dynamic and dashing                Aggressive and arrogant
    Ability to give big talks                 Ability to give big promises
    Communicates well                   Criticizes well
    Flamboyant                                 Fierce
    This is precisely the practical life all over the world and no one is too concerned about its pitfalls!
    So, when individuals graduate through above qualities and qualify as best, they become individualistic, self-seekers and self-servers!
  2. Best is not a team player!
    One, who is identified as best, has lot of pre-conceived notions and own agenda. That prevents him/her to be good team player.
  3. Identical characters can’t pull together!
    Like identical polarities or electric charges, they would only pull apart.
  4. Too many top performers together only create chaos!
    If time clocks were to still have 1 second as its least count, then in a 100 meter race, several runners would be registered as touching finishing line at the same time and there would be a chaos in identifying who is the actual winner.
    Likewise, several top performers in a team would individually race to take credit to be winner by creating chaos at the cost of cohesiveness, killing dissent rather than encouraging and managing it and listen to own voice, instead of others!
  5. The bests can compete; but can’t complement!
    This is the biggest bane from the presence of too many bests in the team! The best by above definition does not know to compromise or complement; so team has eminent risk of losing motivation to monotony and drive to despondency.
    Non-compromising and non-complementing features of the bests break couples or partners, though individually they may be highly successful, strong personalities and well accomplished in their respective areas of activities!

Why a blend blooms!

We are not alone; therefore, to blend with others is a necessity of our life!

Here is one of the key secrets of science behind our life:

Our life is borne out of two opposites! Take any pair of parameters – one does not exist without another, like positive and negative, north and south poles, good and bad, light and dark, pleasure and pain!

Our conventional understanding is these are contradictory in nature; but in true sense, these are complimentary! Otherwise, why positive would be attracted to negative and if that was not to happen, no mass or matter would have formed in our universe and we would have not come to existence! Hence –

  1. Blending creates the synergy.
  2. It promotes unison and cohesion.
  3. It teaches team spirit and acceptance of dissent.
  4. It blunts our ego and edges, which are sharp!
  5. It inspires compromise and conflict management!

So, to talk about having the bests in class is like being in fool’s paradise! Companies and institutions must focus on creating a right blend of achiever and average, performers and under performers, male and female, young and old, juniors and seniors! Such a blend would be most effective in terms of efficiency, energy and cost!

Need to redefine the Best!

Most in the world have been confusing best by clamor and not by content!

Best is never the best, unless it imbibes Acceptance, Mutual respect and being Complementary or Congenial!

It is just above 3 elements (A-M-C) and the Best would start to Blend, even with worst, yet produce the best results!!

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