From Lao Ban’s desk – Week # 17-2
I would like to move away from writing about retail and marketing this time and focus on the India growth story. It is true that India still has its share of problems but then the mood today is so very upbeat that while one used to earlier hope for a better future, today it looks certain. The ruling Government appear to be going from strength to strength and one can visually see a nation on the move. India used to all along work with antiquated Five Year Plans which were soon forgotten the moment the ink on the paper dried. As you will see from the below article which I came across this morning, the Government has a clear vision in place and modern management tools (and jargons) are being used to achieve that. India’s growth story is not a mirage but a reality in the making.
Now read on …
A ‘CEO’ is building a different ‘Team India’. And, here’s why we must take note!
For the longest time that one can remember the term, Team India, referred to India’s men in blue, the fabled cricket team. Other sports have tried to latch onto that phrase, but in the popular imagination Team India is etched into cricket lore. All that is set to change if a certain meeting that took place in New Delhi this Sunday, 23 April, is any indication.
On that day the Governing Council of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog met to discuss the long-term policy related road map for the country. Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the meeting deliberated on a 15 year vision for the country’s development and on several immediate measures for action. But, what caught one’s attention is the signage on the backdrop that dominated the meeting hall. It announced, very simply, “Team India”. And, the PM himself led the way when he told the gathering of heads of India’s federal units, the states and Union Territories, that he wanted them to work with the Central Government as TeamIndia.
So, what makes the idea of this “Team India” so radical and trans-formative? The field of governance and politics, a field in which teaming of this nature had never been imagined before, is what makes this unique. It is a disparate, often conflict-driven field in which the default mode is for individual players to play the ‘me’ rather than ‘we’ game, where competition takes precedence over cooperation. Where, if you are not one-upping the other woman or man, you could be drowning. A good enough reason for those who deal, build and deliver with teams to note the method which is being adopted to architect this Team India.
In developing this team, India’s Prime Minister has projected himself as a CEO more than a politician. A CEO is distinguished by her/his focus on a sharp vision and granular results. If vision and results occupy most of your mental shelf-space then you are a CEO, whether in Marketing, Finance, HR or any other function, whether or not you actually enjoy the title. Building and deploying the team to work for results has been a huge challenge for most CEOs. That’s why the way Narendra Modi is going about this task may yield useful leads for all of us, and it has to do with three highly-focused management processes: developing the banding, creating the bonding and messaging the branding.
As Prof Andrew Carton of Wharton School said in his study of mobilisation of the workforce at NASA for the moon mission in the 1960’s “ The criticality of articulating a common goal , not just to galvanise collective energy but also to help people build a connection between their work and organisation’s highest aims….Always keeping in mind the importance of not only selling a grand vision but also helping people see a connection between their work and that vision , the usage of sub goals . “
Certainly, India’s ‘CEO’ is cued into the process.