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Article by Dr. K.Mamkootam.

 

(Dr. K. Mamkootam is the Dean - Faculty of Management Studies.)

 

In many ways our Universe is a creation of sheer timing and precision.  Land and water, rivers and hills, mountains and the seas, sun and the moon, day and night, nature and forest, seasons and flowers are all creations of timing and precision.  And man is in pursuit of imitating the creator of creations; and the pursuit of mastering timing and creation generates creativity in human pursuits.

 

All human pursuits, be it in the world of art, music, sports, literature or business, are based on timing and precision.  Timing and precision of colour and space creates art; timing and precision of sound creates music; timing and precision of hand and ball makes a sportsman; timing and precision of events, people and imagination makes a story writer and it is the sheer timing and precision of ideas and strategy that creates a businessman.

 

Goals and targets are rooted in timing and precision.  Goals and targets are pursued and achieved by those who understand and appreciate timing and precision. Timing and precision creates images of perfection in the minds of those who enjoy the pursuit of goals and targets; and the images of perfection challenges the inner most drives in man.  

 

The beauty of nature lies in contrasts and differences, diversity in unity, all synchronised through sheer timing and precision, generating a symbiotic relationship, which is often not visible to the common eye.  And nature is perfect and man must pursue the principle of nature to pursue his goals.  Contrary that it may sound, differences and contrasts increases beauty and strength, as it does in a good team.   But then, these differences and contrasts must follow the principles of timing and precision.   

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Article by Dr. Shyam Vyas.

 

(Shyam Vyas is Founder, The M.A.R.C. Group (The Marketing, Advertising & Research Consultancies Group), New Delhi. He has been a popular marketing faculty in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, USA and Western Illinois University, Macomb USA, for 5 years)

  

The importance of timing & precision in the pursuit of excellence in management cannot be overstated. Global as well as Indian business is rife with real world stories galore of the makings of great business and business leaders because they happened to strike at the right time, with the right precision – and achieved excellence.  Actually this is what makes a decision effective, strategic, and exhibits true leadership. One is advised to act when the timing is right and with adequate precision !

 

“Timing and precision” is the heart and guts of any great decision and the decision-maker’s ability to take decisions of far reaching and earth-shaking strategic importance. It calls for an astute judgment, thorough preparation, a disciplined temperament, and a clearly focused mind coupled with all that constitutes a well considered action.

 

Whether it is a decision to launch a brand or to participate in a relief effort, or to stand up and fight for a cause – the timing and precision of the decision will spell success or the lack of it. The probability of obtaining excellence, and the appropriateness accorded to any major decision (by history and by society at large), largely rests on its timing and precision. 

 

There have been major public figures that are credited with having had the knack of making decisions that transformed people’s lives for the better and changed the course of history. These were the true leaders that fine-tuned their vision and prepared well, and had the courage to take the decision with the appropriate timing and precision – that was required !  Yes – as stated - the soul of effective decision-making lies in its timing and precision – and may be nothing else !

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Article by Prof. Hari Parmeshwar.

 

(Hari Parmeshwar is Visiting faculty at leading business schools in India. He has done Masters in Business Law (MBL) from  National Law School University of India, Bangalore, PGDM from XLRI, Jamshedpur and B.Com (Hons) from Sri Ram College of Commerce, New Delhi.) 

 

In the organizational context the nature of Innovation is such that it is a process of developing a creative idea so that it can be put to practical use.

 

IDEATION
The management guru Gary Hamel talks about "corporate sperm count" -- the virility test of how many ideas your business generates. Many managers fear that too many ideas will be unmanageable but the most innovative companies revel in multitudes of ideas.

 

When BMW launched its Virtual Innovation Agency (VIA) to canvass suggestions from people all round the world it received 4,000 ideas in the first week. And they continue to roll in. If you go to their site, you can make your own contribution to BMW's idea bank.

 

The Toyota Corporation in-house suggestion scheme generates over 2 million ideas a year. Over  95% of the workforce contributed suggestions; that works out to over 30 suggestions per worker per year. The most remarkable statistic from Toyota is that over 90% of the suggestions are implemented.  Quantity works.

 

CULTURE
The best way to create value is to innovate your way ahead of the competition. You need to create temporary monopolies where yours is the only show in town. You can do this by harnessing the creative power of your greatest asset, your people. The goal is to turn them into opportunistic entrepreneurs who are constantly looking for new ways of doing business.

 

A copy-machine operator at Kinko's, a major chain of outlets providing copying and document services, noticed that customer demand for copying dropped off in December. People were too pre-occupied with Christmas presents to do much copying for the office. So he came up with a creative idea. Why not allow customers to use Kinko's color copying and binding facilities to create their own customized calendars using their personal photos for each of the months? He prototyped the idea in the store and it proved popular -- people could create personalized gifts of calendars featuring favorite family photos. The operator phoned the founder and CEO of Kinko's, Paul Orfalea, and explained the idea. Orfalea was so excited by it that he rushed it out as a service in all outlets. It was very successful and a new product -- custom calendars -- and a new revenue stream were created.

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Article by Prof. Nitender Dhillon. 


(Nitender Dhillon is currently a freelancer working closely with Wipro and GE. He is a former professor - Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon and XLRI, Jamshedpur)

 

There are persons whose genius has created an idea appealing to our senses. Ingenious thoughts of several others have provoked and rattled our thinking.  Personas of a few are role models for us. And there are products whose ingenuity and design have taken a significant share of our mind and wallets. Genius in ideas, thoughts, personalities and material products have given their creators worldwide admiration, adulation, a sense of achievement and propelled them into the ranks of the rich and famous.  If the ranks of the rich and famous were further segregated, one would notice a haloed set with the ability to commandeer high esteem bordering on awe for their achievements.  Simplicity would be one of the defining variables that marks out these few.


The world of stock markets and business has thrown up several rich and famous people known for their investment genius and entrepreneurship.  Warren Buffet is one such legendary investor consistently appearing in the list of the very rich.  It is a well known fact that Warren Buffet does not have the normal trappings of material wealth that goes with the rich and famous.  The halo that surrounds Warren Buffet and people of his ilk comes not from the wealth that they own, but because of the simplicity with which they have chosen to lead their lives.  Would he have reached this level of acclaim if simplicity was not an all pervading tool in his lifestyle and thinking process?  Ingenuity can propel you into another economic orbit but if it is coupled with simplicity it can mark you out for the heavens. As Leonardo da Vinci said centuries ago, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

 

Simplicity can be nurtured as a value system from the start or in some instances can be acquired even after one has become rich and famous.  There are several instances of persons born wealthy but have renounced in favor of simplicity.  Either way, simplicity must be built in thoughts for it leads to simplicity in words; simplicity in words will lead to simplicity in actions; and simplicity in actions shapes our habits and character which then marks us out for destiny.

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Article by Prof. Mirza Saiyadain.

 

(Mirza Saiyadain is Ex- Head of Department, HR, IIM, Ahmedabad. He has done his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and Ph.D. from University of Kansas, USA)

 

The notion that organizations should balance the interest of all stake holders including society at large began to blossom in 1960s. he core concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as it applies to business deals with the company’s duty to operate by means to avoid harm to stake holders and the environment and to focus on the overall betterment of the society. CSR is about how organizations manage their business process to create an overall and proactive impact on society. It also includes improving the quality of life of its employees and their families as well as their capacity building. These attempts generate wealth for the organization which can encourage them to invest part of it on CSR.


The contents and format of CSR may vary depending upon countries and cultures having different priorities and values. There is no "one single fits all". It may vary from village/school adoption to maintaining street lights. It may take the form of Grameen Bank as floated by Mohammed Yunus of Bangla Desh or Uniliver supporting sustainable fisheries approach. Toyota's focus on environment has made the company to create a hybrid vehicle (eco car). ABB in China developed a heating system helping one million residents to switch from inefficient coal-fired boilers to central combined heat and power plant. Samoa Consultant have implemented a project to improve sanitation in Apai, capital of Samoa. Microsoft and Johnson and Johnson support a wide variety of community art, social welfare and environment protection projects. McDonalds House Programme provides a home away from home for the families of seriously sick children who receive treatment at the nearby hospital. These are just a few examples. The canvas for CSR is vast and the possibilities are immense.

 

The pressure on business to play a role in social issues and conceerns will continue to grow. It is unthinkable to imagine a business that paid no attention to the ways by which it can pay back to society. Corporate darwanionsim would suggest that only those businesses that would show demonstrable concern for society would survive in the long run. Hence CSR make a good business sense.

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Our third faculty series blog posting from Sunil Gupta

 

(Mr. Sunil Gupta graduated in History from St. Stephen's in Delhi University, and in 1978 went on to obtain his MBA from FMS, Delhi University.)

 

Creativity, though its results may convey the impression of being something magical, is not the result of any magic at all.

 

What is Creativity? Many people equate it with ‘being different’. But one can be different for the sake of being different. Dressing outlandishly may make us stand out in a crowd, but perhaps not in the manner that we may want!

 

Actually, ‘creativity’ scares us as a concept. Many of us think that there are only some specially gifted people who corner the market on creativity.

 

And we cannot be more wrong.

 

All of us are, and must be, creative if we are to survive. Indeed the story of humanity is one of creativity, whether it be physical (striking two stones together to produce fire), or intellectual (inventing tools and weapons for hunting and farming), or even spiritual (creating religions and the concept of God).

 

So I believe that though Creativity is possible everywhere, we do not want to understand what makes it happen. I often ask the question: “What did Shakespeare/Mozart/Van Gogh have that we do not?” Were they super-humans, or possessed of magical powers denied to all of us, or born with innate talent that made them what they were and are?

 

And the answer is ‘of course not’. Talent they might have had, but surely that is not enough in itself to succeed! How often have we heard the term ‘wasted talent’? So what did they have that we don’t?

 

Think about it: Shakespeare had only the letters of the alphabet (as we all do), his historical knowledge and understanding of human emotions and relationships. Don’t we have all of these? And we even have the internet! The argument holds true for Mozart and Van Gogh and all the other icons of our world.

 

Then why can’t we write/paint/compose like them?

 

Creativity is simply how we combine our resources in ways that produce different, relevant, inspiring outcomes again and again. It follows that the more resources one has, the more combinations we can create, as any student of mathematics will tell you.

 

But to get more resources takes effort and time. To use them requires even more…Sachin Tendulkar, even though he might be blessed with abundant talent, still practices and trains regularly. Imagine if the first humans sat back after inventing spears and axes…would humanity be where it is today?

 

The difference simply is that all of them saw ‘Creativity’ as the relentless pursuit of ‘Excellence’. All stories of human Excellence, whether industrial, commercial, cultural or social are actually stories of Creativity in action. As they say, “the more one knows, the more there is to know”.

 

Indeed, it is no coincidence that both ‘Creativity’ and ‘Excellence’ comprise ten letters. For both are the two sides of the same coin, and both are infinite…the issue is how prepared are we to continuously leverage one to achieve the other.

 

But we must agree that ‘Excellence’ is a goalpost that we ourselves must keep shifting: only then will we understand that ‘Creativity’ is our only means of even reaching close.

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Continuing with our Faculty Series, here's Noni Chawla on 'Living in a Networked World'.

 


(Mr. Chawla completed his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta in 1970. After 33 years in the corporate sector, he set up his own consulting practice – OMNICONSULT Management Advisory. Noni Chawla’s experience in industry includes Tourism & Hospitality, Healthcare, International Business (exports), Executive Search and Consulting. His functional experience ranges from Marketing, his core competence, to New Project Development, Management Consulting, Business Strategy, and Human Resource Management.

Mr. Chawla is a visiting faculty member at various Business Schools in India and regularly publishes articles in business and general press.)

 

From the beginning of time information has been vital to man’s survival, safety and prosperity. Even in the days when we were hunters and gatherers, it was necessary to know where prey was plenty and where sufficient food was available to sustain the tribe, and where danger lurked. Networking was necessary even then, only it was severely limited by physical limits. Babur owed much of his success in conquering Hindustan to successful networking which enabled him to advance through the best routes and strike the right alliances. Even the American War of Independence was won, at least partly, because of Paul Revere’s “midnight ride” – an example of networking.

 

Over the millennia, the importance of networking has remained, but the depth, width and purpose of networking has changed drastically. Networking is now a part of the daily life of almost all individuals living in modern society. Networking has now “flattened” the world, if I can use Friedman’s term. Networking had democratized the world, in a way.

 

The advent of the worldwide web and e-mail was the “killer” application that opened up the world to anybody who had access to a computer directly or indirectly. For most of us today, life without e-mail and access to the web is unimaginable. But more that just keeping in touch with people, the ability to “network” has provided people with opportunities and access that would have been considered a fantasy barely half a generation ago.

 

Not long ago even to get a job it was an advantage to have privileged access to people. Today, privileged access is not really important except to politicians, wheeler-dealers and crooks. Everybody else can get access to the people who matter if you have the right idea. Silicon Valley is an excellent example of a world where anybody with a good, viable idea can get a hearing and an opportunity to try out his idea without any “sifarish”.

 

From a limited world that was defined by how far you could travel or see or communicate either physically or through wires, we have now reached a stage where the world is both limitless and also accessible to all. Our lives are now lived on networks, whether they are business networks, or social networks (Facebook, Orkut, etc), or networks of people who share an interest - photographers, car buffs, you name it and you have a group for it.

 

However, with unlimited access to information, people and knowledge, is the human race any wiser? I don’t know. I would tend to think not if you just look around the world and see what is happening. Is the world a happier place? I don’t know. Can we harness networking technology for the greater benefit of mankind? That is the challenge for future generations.

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Dear Universe of Infinites!

 

We are pleased to unleash the official blog for Infinity Business School.

 

This will be a place to catch up on the news and happenings on campus. A place to showcase achievements and successess of our Infinite Stars. An area to share some of the latest thoughts and trends around the profession of management. So all you bloggers out there - we're keen to hear from you - If you would like to get published on this blog, write to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Happy Reading!

The Editor

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