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LEARNING: HOW TO...

That retards the organisation’s growth.


There is a better way, though. I know an entre-
preneur who uses a vision test while hiring people.
A COMPANY’S Before selecting a candidate, he always asks himself,
AMIT GARG RE-STATED “Does this person help us get towards our compa-
DIRECTOR, MXV CONSULTING,
A STRATEGY AND MANAGEMENT CONSULTING FIRM VISION MUST ny’s vision?” The answer to that question is quite
instructive. No wonder he has built an outstanding
ADDRESS… team of professionals around himself.

The Vision Thing


A stated vision is also important for attracting the
Ó What the right employees. We find many established busi-
organisation will nesses upset about the lack of quality candidates
stand for. in the market. Yet, many start-ups attract fantastic
talent to their fledgling organisations. These start-
Ó What targets it ups aren’t necessarily offering better money. It’s the
Without a vision, any effort to professionalise a company will will work toward. vision and the opportunity to build something that
prove futile. Here’s part two of management consultant Ó What the role of
attracts people to the company.
Larger and older companies can also replicate this
Amit Garg’s six-part series on professionalising businesses. the entrepreneur excitement. Once Tata Motors stated its ambition
will be. to build the Nano, it positioned itself as the place to
be for bright engineers. NGOs and political parties
From Part I: Professionalisation has become an Throwing It Away are good at this, as they have to attract capable and
imperative for most businesses. Many companies A company, after years of hard work and some self-motivated persons despite low salary levels.
flounder during the process. They wrongly think luck, eventually breaks away from the pack and But for the vision to work, it must be ambitious,
that simply hiring a few professionals from large creates a distinctive position for itself. The own- well articulated, extensively communicated and in-
companies will do the job. What’s actually needed ers continue to reinvest during this phase, for they grained in the organisation’s actions. It should not
is thorough planning. are still short of their goal. Naturally, a company be restricted to the mind of the owner. It should be
prospers during this period and there is an excited a written document that everyone in the organisa-

T
energy around it. tion can understand and identify with.
But success can be its worst enemy. The achieve-
ment of goals—especially materialistic ones—can Ask Yourself
HIS VISION THING make an entrepreneur feel as if he has “arrived”. There’s also a personal question that an entrepre-
is over-rated,” a very He then takes his eye off the business. Reinvest- neur must address while setting the company’s
ment slows down as the owner finally enjoys the vision. And that is: what will be his role? If he
successful business- fruits of his labour. With strong cash flows and is going to be in charge of daily operations, he
man recently said to seemingly endless customer demand, it’s easy to may look for people who add complementary
me. “Nobody starts a business with forget one’s weaknesses and undermine the com- capabilities.
petition’s strengths. But few businesses are afforded The founding team of Infosys had strong delivery
a vision statement. We start with an the luxury of standing still. Some entrepreneurs skills but recognised the need for a strong sales and
opportunity and then build around learn this the hard way. marketing capability. It built accordingly. An inno-
it,” he continued. “Vision is just a fan- But there are others who understand this dynamic vative leader like Steve Jobs would want to create
cy management term, which has little well. They ensure the company is reinvesting and a strong execution team around himself.
AP
building its capabilities by professionalising the Alternatively, if the founder expects to move away
to do with the reality of a business.”
Entrepreneurs may not acknowledge it, but they
team. Only, it is sometimes unclear what they are
hiring for. Is it to “execute” instructions or to “man-
Start-ups are HR capability in their organisation. But they are
unclear about what they really need.
MAGNETIC: An
innovative leader like
from day-to-day operations, he has to hire and
groom people capable of making him redundant.
owe much of their success to an inner desire to age” the business or to “lead” it into a dominant able to leverage HR has many functions—recruitment, training, Steve Jobs would Some business groups are very good at this. They
achieve “something”. That “something” may take position? We find huge ambiguity on this subject. compensation, employee engagement, performance want to create a recognise that the promoter cannot be meaning-
many forms, and it may not be a publicly expressed Many entrepreneurs hire managers to provide lead- the excitement management and leadership development, among strong execution team fully involved in day-to-day operations and build
ambition. It’s there within them as some overarching
target. It may be a material target; or a target linked
ership but end up instructing them—hardly the
stuff that makes a professional organisation. Indian
over their other things. Specialists exist for each of these areas.
If a person is fuzzy about the kind of organisation
around himself. the teams at the business units accordingly.
To deprive a company of a vision at the time when
to market position, brand image, research capabil-
ity or even social standing. This target is typically
business history is replete with stories of business
groups that failed to professionalise themselves.
vision to attract he wants to create, it is likely that he is also unclear
about the role of HR in that set-up.
you are about to change its management culture, at
a time when the organisation is vulnerable, can be
ambitious and may even be the reason why the This is the reality: few entrepreneurs truly re-es- fantastic talent. As a result, the company may hire a completely a recipe for disaster. As the Cheshire Cat famously
entrepreneur has moved off the beaten path. tablish their company’s vision. Even fewer make a wrong person for the role. For example, hiring a said to Alice, “If you don’t know where you are go-
Not just that. This target acts as a guiding light serious commitment towards such a vision. Hence, recruitment specialist for driving cultural change ing, any road will get you there.” <
during the initial years of struggle that entrepre- there is nothing to direct and align the change proc- is clearly a sub-optimal choice. We also see many Next issue: Improving recruitment and
neurs usually go through. Think of JRD Tata build- ess. The professionalisation process becomes a se- instances of entrepreneurs hiring “amenable” man- assimilation processes for success.
ing Tisco or, more recently, Capt Gopinath setting ries of disjointed initiatives. For instance, we often agers, who essentially act as a mouthpiece for the Email us at business@outlookindia.com
up Air Deccan. They worked against the odds. hear business owners complain about the lack of leadership and rarely push them for tough choices. or SMS OLB <feedback> at 575758.

92 OutlookBusiness > November 27, 2010 OutlookBusiness > November 27, 2010 93

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