Two words: Natarajan Chandrasekaran

On value for the customer:

At TCS, our focus is on staying close to our customers, understanding their business challenges, helping to address them and making the investments needed to remain relevant to our customers…

On managing through the cycle:

Conventional wisdom says that companies loosen the reins and decentralize decision-making in good times to pursue growth, often at the risk of building up some inefficiencies in the system. When times turn bad, they tend to do the opposite — centralize and take tighter control on operations to optimize profits. …

On what comes next for management and strategy:

In a world where the default is digital and everything is real-time, it is important to have a flat structure with no artificial hierarchies and where the people are empowered. That’s the only way we can have faster decision-making and faster response times. We have to create an idea-sharing network, as opposed to hierarchies. We have to push the right data to the right people across the organization.

 

The whole idea is to kill workflows – which are an anachronism. Work should not flow; work should just get done. Workflows were created at a time when the data to make decisions was not available with one person. As a file skipped from desk to desk it got populated and then the “manager” made the decision. Digitization only removed the paper but kept the workflows. But, with real-time data, any person who sees data can make decisions. So workflows are no longer needed. What is needed is a way to communicate these decisions to the whole organization and have processes to mitigate responses as required. It’s a journey we have started on.

 

One thing is now clear: A digital strategy is not about building mobile apps or using the cloud. It is about building new business models. It’s about changing the whole way of working, the way you understand and interact with your customers as well as the products and services you offer.

^^Knowledge @ Wharton

Note: I ran the 8K of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon in 2014

Typical HBR jargon, but useful nonetheless

Effective executives also make sure that problems do not overwhelm opportunities. In most companies, the first page of the monthly management report lists key problems. It’s far wiser to list opportunities on the first page and leave problems for the second page. Unless there is a true catastrophe, problems are not discussed in management meetings until opportunities have been analyzed and properly dealt with.

^^HBR: What Makes an Effective Executive

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