Archive for the ‘Management Stuff’ Category

“Atasözleri” – A Friday Fare

March 29, 2013

Sometime ago, flipping through some airline travel magazine, I came across an interesting article about a wonderful country – Turkey…  An ancient land of rich, diverse culture… Whose melody I could get a glimpse of, when I read a quote of their novelist, Orhan Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006… Asked about his creativity, the writer said: “”I am just listening to an inner music, the mystery of which I don’t completely know. And I don’t want to know.”  (btw… Net Info says Orhan Pamuk is partner with Kiran Desai, Man Booker Prize winning novelist… Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -> वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् … The world is one family….. )

A statement like that of Pamuk surely invites you for more… And surfing around during moments of ‘creative pause’ in the workaday ‘fast-forward or perish’ mode of life, I came across some old Turk wisdom….

Ok… Proverbs time…

The Rig Veda says: आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः… Let noble thoughts come to us from all the world… And so, here comes…

Translations of some ‘Atasozleri’, the Turkish word for proverbs….literally means – “Ancestor Words” …

  • Do not roll up your trouser-sleeves before you see the stream
  • The person who holds the honey, licks his fingers
  • If dogs’ prayers are answered, it would rain bones from the sky
  • He who wants yogurt in the winter must carry a cow in his pocket (meaning: if you want something difficult, you must be willing to take the trouble to obtain it)
  • He who has burned his mouth on milk blows on yogurt before eating it
  • If they said there was a wedding in the sky, women would try to put up a ladder
  • It’s not a festival time, it’s not a pleasure trip, then why did my brother-in-law kiss me? (Meaning: There must be a reason behind this… daal mein kuch kaalaa hai…)
  • A defeated wrestler is not tired of wrestling.
  • Even if you know a thousand things, still ask someone who knows
  • Sharp vinegar only damages its container

  • A bachelor feels like a sultan
  • To a bachelor, divorcing a wife comes easy
  • The fly is small, but it can upset your stomach
  • The tree branch should be bent when it is young
  • Free vinegar is sweeter than honey
  • The one that falls in to the sea grabs even a snake
  • If you give him cloth, he’ll ask for the lining
  • Stretch your feet according to your blanket
  • I tell it to my daughter, for my daughter-in-law to understand
  • Reversing losses at whatever point is a profit
  • A village that you can see in a distance does not require a guide
  • The one who enters a Turkish bath, sweats
  • Demand a task from a lazy person, and be ready to receive advise
  • It is better to walk around a bush than fight with a dog.

Wanna hear the sound of ‘ancestor words’?

  • “Ben ağa, sen ağa, bu ineği kim sağa”

Meaning:  I’m a chief and you’re a chief, who will milk the cow?

OK… folks… Have a Thoughtful, Happy, Good Friday!

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BBM – The new management method

September 28, 2009

Move aside MBO (Management by objectives), and ABM (Activity Based Management)… Move aside Drucker, Kaplan… The old order giveth way to the new…  No more do we need fancy Harvard gurus… Corporate leadership has found a new tool to whack the world with… Enter BBM…

The background is this. The Information revolution that swept across the world suddenly put the spokes in the wheels of the rising leadership… New technologies to learn, new systems to ride … No more shouting at the bourse… Computer algorithms, sophisticated quantitative models, new management jargon… Life was complicated for the rising leaders… At heart they knew, all this is bunkum… If you can manage to shout, you can manage to lead… But then, the knowledge workers were challenging the shouters… The shouters were computer challenged… The world was running on computers and bypassing them… What do they do, except set up a PMO (a couple of MBAs in a group called the project management office) and beat them to prepare the presentations… Even draft their emails… Good written communication, which was never a strength of the shouters, became a real spoke in the wheel…

Not any more.

BBM has changed all that.

What is BBM, you ask?

BBM stands for Blackberry based management. No more problems. The world is a blackberry. Management made simple. Instant and terse. Let the clerks clash over attachments (PPTs, excels, and stuff). The leaders will send simple oks, no oks, ‘we need this deal’, ‘Good, congrats’ kind of messages. Brevity be excused, as message is being sent from Blackberry. Anything that cannot be done with brevity, use the phone. Shout.

So suddenly, old style leadership has found the right tool for operational excellence. Have an eye on the whole world, scan the sky, and issue your lightning bolts! Follow that up by a long phone thunder, if needed!

Take a simple scenario… A new prospect in an emerging market wants you to sign an NDA if you want to bid for their business.. Legal department finds eight serious objections to signing such an NDA. The sales fellow in the field is jumping up and down. The Sales head at HQ moves into the act… Has a discreet word with legal, and clears the NDA. The Geo-head declines to sign as CFO has not personally cleared. The sales fellow in field screams “Will someone please clear this NDA? If we dont sign this, we are out of the deal”. The Sales head, who is out fishing,  loops with CFO, says “I understand… I ought to have cleared it with you… Yeah, I’ll send you a mail that I have spoken with Legal… Hey thanks!”. CFO says “Sure. With you I have no issue. But these sales fellows in the field, they will sell the company down the chute, if we let them…” CFO then sends an ok.  All this transcontinental drama, finished within the hour. Oh, the power!

Hail BBM! Throw away the computer. No more the need to keep up with Windows and office updates and stuff… All that is for the nerds!

Use someone else’s laptop, only when needed. To read an important attachment, like your personal credit card bill.

For all else, its BBM. Rrrrrrrrrring…

Na tat satyam…

January 7, 2009

Today, the Satyam scam broke out… A sad day for Corporate India…

I am cut-pasting below,  an excerpt from a piece on “Corporate Governance” that I had written in 2005….

***

Good corporate governance is about setting strategies, structures and systems that ensure that there is a just and fair value system that reflect  in the working of an enterprise. That people are accountable for the work. And that the work is auditable by non-partisan agencies. And this continuum starts at the top. Yatha Raaja, Tata Prajaa…The values in the top floor has to be seen also in the shop floor. Purity of intent has to be seen in all the acts of the enterprise.

Many, many hundreds of years ago, Kautilya wrote the phenomenal treatise Artha Shastra. It is a remarkable manual on the practice of management, on the art of Governance. Kautilya identifies the two pillars of good governance as  Dharma, Ethics and Nyaya, Justice. He begins with Self Governance. He advises the leader to introspect to identify his atma doshas, i.e. deficiencies to improve or develop himself. He further advises the leader to study deficiencies of his cabinet members and take corrective actions. He states that Mantris could be incompetent. Senapati, or COO, could be over ambitious. Purohit, or Chief Ethics Officer, may not consider the present day practices or traditions while enacting laws or justice, which might lead to injustice.

Kautilya says that the a robust enterprise should have diverse economic interests. It should be active, efficient, and profitable. Efficient management means setting up of realistic targets and meeting targets without using over zealous means. Policies should be prudent and based on Dharma and Nyaya. Profitability should not only mean surplus over costs. It should also mean provision of investment for future growth.  He advises that the leader should have a limited span of control, and warns against centralization of power, saying “one wheel does not move a chariot”. He says that the advisors of the leader should be people with practical experience, character, thinking prowess, sound judgement and the courage to express differences of opinion to the leader.

All of which are recipes that seem as apt for this new millennium as well. A millennium where we are in very exciting times. A  dangerous time as well.

These are times where economic globalization is for real. And a time when at the heart of management is risk management, and the greatest of all risks is “reputation risk”. In the age of internet and worldwide media, bad news travels as fast as light. You lose trust of the stakeholders, you lose everything. A reputation that has taken decades and more to build, can be lost overnight, and we have seen multi billion dollar corporations reduced to bankruptcy – because of failed corporate governance. And how did such cases come to be? Some key people, somewhere, somehow forgot the fundamentals. Fundamentals such as the fact that business of company leadership is to manage the company, and not manage the stock price. That a leader thinks for the future, not for the quarter. That real balance sheet, real profits, real cash are important. That compromise of ethics would only hasten the end.

And in this millennium, more than ever before, the enterprises are seized by the need for speed and urgency. This brings tremendous stress to the systems that they have inherited. Good corporations of before surely had tried and tested business processes. But now, the need is for proving to the world that your business processes are good. You must explain the tests that you carry out, demonstrate the internal controls that you have in place. You must have these certified by external agencies. And last but not least, the buck stops with the Board.

When things go wrong, they go so wrong.

The consequences of wrong choices, of bad governance is well brought out in the ancient epic Mahabharata, that most of us are familiar with. Remember the scene when Duryodana and Shakuni defeat the Pandavas in a game of gambling played with crooked dice. Under the very eyes of such eminent and noble people like Bhishma, Kripa, Drona, Vidura and others, the evil Dushaasana drags Draupadi to the assembly. She pleads for justice in vain. And in anger, she proclaims:

Na saa sabhaa yatra na santi vriddhaa

Na tE vridhaa yE na vadanti dharmam

Na asau dharmO yatra na satyam asti

Na tat satyam yachchalEnAnuviddham….

She says:

“That is not an assembly which does not have elders (In our context, we may take this to mean “that is not a Board that does not have wise directors, including independent directors”).

They are not elders who do not speak Dharma (they are not Directors who do not speak of ethics)

That is not Dharma which is not the truthful. (That is not ethics, which is not based on ‘Satyam’ – Truth…)

That is not the “Satyam” – Truth – which is crooked and devious (Needs no explanation)”.

***

Why Woodlands Drive in was special…

April 17, 2008

One of my friends, Sowmya Simhan, who founded and runs an NGO that deals with Disability issues, wrote to me about the restaurant.

Physically challenged, she drives around in a specially designed scooter, and is more active than most people.

Sowmya had this to say about the ‘old reliable’.

I give her mail below.

***

dear kamesh,

actually i am very sad today. You know why. because
of the closure of woodlands drive in. You know it was
such a wonderful place. I have been going there for
the past 20 yrs because they used to serve in our
vehicle. I used to sit in my scooter and eat. Even
when you had to go inside there was no steps etc. so
it made things very easy for me.prices were also very
cheap. no parking problem. i cld go there all alone
also.you can be as long as you pl. it was so very
wonderful. we can never get something like this again
in chennai. its a great loss to the glory of chennai.
all that i hope now is that these polituicians dont
mess it up by making it another concrete jungle.

sowmya

****

Sowmya runs an organization called Sukriti Social Foundation.

You can see their website at http://www.sukriti.org/

And you can know more about Sowmya at:

http://www.sukriti.org/about/people

Let them meditate

January 9, 2008

This happened on 27th Dec too.

A far-seeing CEO called his colleague and gave him the breaking news – he’d just heard  the horrible news that Benazir-B had been shot dead.

The CEO was in a state of shock.   

“How could anyone do this?” he spluttered. “Why is there so much unrest in the minds of people?” he frothed.  And after much fretting, he prescribed “People at large should be taught meditation, pranayama”. His unspoken core-complaint : ‘We cant have arbitrary people going around putting an end to the life of leaders!’

Nothing like the news of a sudden death to unnerve a man of success. Imagine! A life of great worth being stopped cold! Infarc (the insiders word for heart attack), a fell disease, an accident, or whatever. How is a man to be safe?

Fie upon these invisible killers! If only Infarc is ‘man’ enough to come in front, a CEO can pink-slip it, or depute it to some hard country, and empty it’s in-tray. If only ‘accident’ could surface with a fair warning, say in the graph of the Chief Corporate Risk Manager’s weekly report, some mitigating steps could be taken. As such, it is not clear what the Risk Management group is doing to earn its wages.

This brings to mind a question from Yaksha Prashna of Mahabharata…The Yaksha (apparition) asks Yudhisttira: “What is the greatest of all wonders?”

Yudhisttira answers: ” Day after Day, countless creatures die. Yet those, who are left behind, believe themselves to be deathless. What can be more wonderful than this?”

Well perhaps the quote is unfair. It is not that the man thinks he is deathless. But he sure wants life to be long, if not longer. One top-brass corporate honcho once mentioned to me that in the 21st century, we should be able to live upto 125 years, if we can do the right things. And then there is Professor Michael Zey, author of ‘Future Factor’, and consultant to top American companies on future planning. He believes (see here ) that advances in stem cell science, genetic engineering, and nano technology will enable human life-span to increase to 125-150 years by 2050 and by 2075 we will be “on the verge of immortality”.

Which is all very nice and fine, but what do you do if a sniper has a shot at you? What must be done to avoid this.

That was the question that troubled the far-seeing CEO. And his suggestion: ‘Teach the masses to meditate’.

Which is a noble suggestion, and quite literally takes the cake, when compared to the statement of Queen Marie-Antoinette, who, when told that the French populace had no bread to eat, had replied “Let them eat cake”.

Some goose and gander sauce

December 14, 2007

One of the email forwards brought this news item   about a CII-AT Kearney report on the growth of the Indian Film industry. The news items says “The Indian film industry is worth around $1.8 billion in 2006 (around Rs 7,500 crore) and is expected to grow at 25% per annum in value terms for the next four years to reach $4.5 to $5.1 billion (around Rs 20,000 crore) by 2011, said a report by CII-AT Kearney on ‘The new economics of the Indian film industry: creativity and transformation’.

Contrast this with the other great Indian industry – the IT Industry. For one, the CII-AT Kearney report could just as easily have been about “The new economics of the Indian IT industry : innovation and transformation”, and with a few deft global changes of “box office” by “US Market” and such, the report may stand up quite well (perhaps better than a blog automatically translated by Google from one language to another). But if we look at the numbers, they tell a different story.

The IT Industry is growing at more than 32 percent YOY (see here ). Mr Kiran Karnik, President, Nasscom, announced that the industry will achieve a revenue of USD 60 B by 2010 (see here ).

Surprising, isn’t it? For all the ritz-and-glitz, the film industry is rather small! That is one difference between Films and IT Industry. The difference in scale!

Picture this.

Companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, are all making more money than the whole Indian film industry!

Move aside Dev Anand! Make way for Narayana Moorthy?

Which brings to mind the advice that Mr Narayana Moorthy gave in his valedictory address to the film and entertainment moghuls in an entertainment industry summit a few years ago. Do you remember reading about that? No?

Well, its worth reading all right. Check this

The Chairman of Infosys gave a 5 point Mantra to Moviedom. He said Globalize, Benchmark, Corporatize, use project management techniques, and go for quality certifications. But I wonder about the wisdom of all this cross pollination, esp the last pollen. Imagine making a movie using procedures conforming to ISO 9000 (or whatever) standards 😦

I would rather try the reverse. For eg, from IT industry perspective, I wouldn’t mind checking out the best processes of movie-making.  I am not sure, but I suspect that the film industry is pretty good in project management. I read of massive productions being completed in record time. It may well be that we in the IT Industry need to check out film industry benchmarks! Also, in terms of staff assignments, I quite like the specialization of roles in film industry – Producer, Director, Actors, Playback singers, music directors, stuntmen, visual effects folks etc. Compare that with IT industry where, generally speaking, the same person tends to be fungible across all kinds of roles! I am sure there  are more learnings!

What say you?

Zaint

June 15, 2007

I dont know if this is peculiar to the Eastern world. We have this tradition in primary-school, to memorize Math tables. You can hear a musical drone of childrens’ voices, singing / chanting the multiplication tables….”Two-two zaa four…two-three zaa six….two-four zaa eight” etc – and each table, for some reason, would extend upto “sixteen zaa”…. and the tables themselves would go upto “sixteen”..so the end of road for rote is “sixteen-sixteen zaa two-fifty-six”…

‘zaa’ above is short for ‘is-equal-to’ or ‘s-are’ (three-three’s-are-nine)…or just ‘is’.

On that note comes the subject of ‘zaint’.

It would on first sight appear that ‘zaa’ is to ‘is’, as ‘zaint’ is to ‘aint’.

So two-two zaint three.

But ‘zaint’ is more than just aint…The letter ‘zee’ points both sides, on top and bottom of a Pisa like slant.

‘zaint’ has non-definitiveness on both sides of the zee-quation. There is the indeterminacy of mystic “maya”…

Lets illustrate that with a story. Albeit an old one…a recycled version, a ‘green’ story, if you will.

A top-notch Swiss watch manufacturing company was having some problems with the software systems in the watch, and the ‘time’ displayed was not meeting the Swiss standards of accuracy…and so they had to recruit a top-notch software engineer to fix that. They shortlisted a few candidates, and the final interview was being held in Barnhoffestrasse in Zurich (one of the most expensive shopping experiences in the world)…

First candidate was a Britisher. A team of Swiss-Germans were in the interview panel. They asked the candidate – “So, what is two-two zaa?”

The Britisher software engineer was quite outraged that he would be asked such a silly question – one that any British student who has completed high school could answer. He walked out in a huff.

Next candidate was a Frenchman. He was asked the same question – “what is two-two zaa?”. He too was “le suprized”…but he did his surprize well, smiled that most charming smile-francaise and said “Iz four”…

“Good” said the panel, and promised to get back to him after ‘zee two weeks’.

The third candidate was an American. He breezed into the room, jerked the hands off the interview-panel folks in a series of hearty handshakes. He too was asked the same question. The American whipped out his sleek all-in-one handheld gadget, invoked the calculator function, ran the numbers, and said “Ha! Four”, and showed the panel the proof of digital display. The panel was impressed…..”yaa, yaa….technology….exzellent”…And they asked him to wait in the next room, while they saw just one more candidate…..

An Indian….His name was QWERTY Rao.

QWERTY Rao walked in uncertainly, looked at each member in the panel and said “Good Morning” as many times, and fixed his gaze on the one he figured was the Chief of the panel. He too was asked “Mr Rao…what is two-two zaa?”

He walked up and whispered  to the panel chief “What do you want it to be?”

It can be four, zero, forty whatever…It is not material…It is all Maya….its software….

Thats the stuff of “Zaint”…

When you say  “two-two zaint four”, it has mystic connotations on both sides of zaint.

Neither side has anything fixed about it. Two means differently in different contexts….So does four.

If you have understood this, you are ready now to prepare the Balanced-score-card for your department, business-unit or corporation. You are ready for the world of ‘management by metrics’.

What is “Zaa” for science, is ‘Zaint’ for business.

Raising the bar in a flat world

June 8, 2007

Looks like the barons of bangalore are running out of ideas.

Press has it that the Infy management is asking its employees to give an undertaking that they will not join any of its competitors for a period of six months after their job termination at Infosys. It seems that the employees have to sign this when they receive their annual hike letters.

According to the reports, the non-compete agreement specifies Infosys’ competitors as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Accenture, IBM Global Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Wipro.

In one stroke, the step seems to have spelt out an “us” and “them” divide between the Company (leadership) and the employees. Doesnt sound like good HR at all. One wouldnt expect to find employees falling over each other to sign this pledge of fidelity.

In this day and age, why would a professional company want to take such a step? Surely the company’s intellectual capital comprises far more than just employees. Surely the sum of employees is more than the parts. The corporation’s core competence, knowledge bases, process assets, innovation culture, education infrastructure,organization network, the brand, the customer relationships – these and such are the ones that ensure that business moves ahead despite people moving out – to named competition or elsewhere.

Seems that the Emperor of Electronics city is worried. The usual panache hasnt been spilling out of national and world media screens. Last couple of quarters results have not been super-duper. Facing the music has been coincident, perhaps, with what looks like a game of musical chairs at the helm of affairs. And in the background, the recent instrumental music at mysore…

But then, why would a company zero in on ‘bind the employee’ kind of strategy for protecting its business? It sounds like the old story of searching for the lost coin under the brightest lamppost. Its the easy thing to do – although not the wisest.

Ho-hum…The world doesnt seem so flat after all, does it? At least not as far as employees go.

Uncle Sam

May 8, 2007

Sam Palmisano dropped in today…

He came in to Delhi, for a CEOs forum hosted by CII (Confederation of Indian Industries).

Perhaps the fact that IBM is an old warhorse that has been around for a hundred years or so, touches a chord in all those who have some aspiration to immortality, and sure enough, the audience had a large percentage of people with salt and pepper hair. Lessons for longevity for the new Indian CEO. 

It was a full house, and the audience trooped in well in time.

“Have you heard Sam before?” asked someone during the tea prior to the talk. “Nope” said I. “Aah…he does a good act” said this someone. India has arrived.

 True to tradition, the dress code was formal, and the front row was taken by IBMers, I suspect, if their dresses were anything to go by. That was one sitting opportunity to innovate!

Sam sure did a good act.

In twenty minutes or so, he summed up a few centuries of management models. 19th century, he said, was the time of “international” corporation. When companies set up sales offices overseas and thrived. 20th, he said, was the time of “multinational” corporation. When companies opened up full scale offices overseas. Had their manufacturing,  supply-chains and even the ‘so called’ back-office operations done locally in the respective countries. This century, he said, is one of the “globally integrated” corporation. Where functions had no rigid binding to point of use, and were carried out wherever it made sense….And these functions could be carried out remote, and be massively integrated horizontally, delivering to their points of use world-wide. Supply-Chain in IBM, he said was one such function, where technology has enabled just this to happen. 

(One wonders though, about this technology enabled super-management….this super-connectivity that enables total centralization….)

Sam spoke of three drivers of this globalization. First, economy….Do it where it makes economic sense…No one can argue against economics…Second, expertise…Just economics wont do….You got to do it where you get real expertise…which is why TCS sets up its RFID lab in USA…or Motorola sources for employees in India….And third, openness….By that he meant the openness of operating environments, in terms of free trade, good infrastructure, good laws, intellectual property protection etc….

And then, there comes into play the core enabler to play in this ‘globally integrated’ workplace. Thats “Trust”. You gotta build trust, he said. And that comes out of the behaviour displayed by employees. In IBM, they had embarked on pushing the ‘centre of gravity’ of the company down, so that employees in the front-end of the compamy would feel empowered to deliver this ‘trust’….

IBM has bet big on India, said he. It now has over 50000 employees here.

They had an open house in Bangalore last year, where they had around ten thousand employees assemble….Mr Sunil Mittal, Vice President CII, and Chairman Bharati group made a mention of this during his ‘welcome address’…He said that the gathering was nothing short of a ‘political rally’, and was a ‘near riot’ situation! Sam was all smiles…

In the Q&A that followed, Sam did mention that ‘India had been discovered’….that China, Latin America and others were watching closely. And that competition was bound to hot up. Which indeed would be a good thing….(For whoever wins or loses, IBM, I guess, being on both sides, would be on the winning side….like Milo Minder Binder of Catch 22)…

Oh, the usual questions were there….Global warming, WTO, Digital divide, China, ‘but what about SMEs’ etc….And he answered them with aplomb….

Long live IBM! God bless America! 

Partha Principle – 1

April 26, 2007

When you see some of the shining Sultans and Begums of Corporate-dom, one does sometimes wonder how they got  to where they have…..And heres my tentative theory….

This is a principle that Peter missed.

It is called Partha Principle, and suggests that in some contexts, Peter was off the mark…Got it upside down, in fact….

Remember Peter Principle? It says “In a heirarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”….

For eg. X is a great salesman…and over the years, he keeps getting promoted till he reaches the level of “Head of Sales” where he is a misfit. He is simply incapable of spreadsheet calisthenics and would much rather go do cold calls than manage a bunch of hot salesmen…He has arrived at his “level of incompetence”, long live Peter Principle.

Does this happen often? 

I am not too sure. If we look around, we find that most Corporate Honchos are doing a reasonably good job. Ok, once in a while there is an Enron kind of fiasco, but otherwise they are quite competent at their levels, and that would seem counter to Peter Principle…and thats where Partha Principle comes in….

Partha Principle says “In a heirarchy, incompetent employees tend to rise faster, and rise till they find their level of competence”….

Here is how it works….

Take Kassa Nova….He starts as a programmer in an IT company…He is no good in programming…He is scatterbrained and restless….He has been assigned to a high pressure software project…In next to no time he is a millstone around his Project Leader’s neck….He keeps raising all manners of issues, says that the ‘role assigned to him is not clear’, and has four reasons why his work is not on speed…..Recognize him?

He speaks confidently and at the drop of a hat….Just because he speaks like that doesn’t mean he speaks sense….But considering that not many people can spot the difference, he is not considered a bad egg….But he manages to waste the time of most of his team members, and is a general pain …He frequently meets senior managers in the company for some reason or the other, and is willing to share ‘inside info’ on the ‘bad state’ of the project…..Finally there is no option for the Project Leader but to let him go….He is benched….

The company is doing well, and the management always has use for ‘proactive’ people….There is this new project for which they don’t have a Project Leader. They assign Kassa…..

There he somehow gets a few deliverables out, although much behind schedule. In the process he creates a lot of noise, and makes several powerful presentations to his ‘senior management’ that the whole project was a nonstarter and was always heading South…He is so good with numbers (What does it matter if his numbers are all suspect in the first place)…..He juggles charts and shows whatever he wants to show…..He helps create a few skeletons and plants them in cupboards, and manages to get off from the project long before the first serious line of code is delivered….

He meets the CEO many times, because of the issues that he escalates….The company needs someone to head their new outpost in Asia-Pacific. The CEO thinks of him…Whether he delivers results or not, he manages to ‘buy’ a high profile slot for his CEO in a big industry event there, and gets the local Mayor to present the key of that city to his CEO…He gets him interviewed on TV, gets a local newspaper do a report and a sport a big photograph…Makes his CEO feel as if he is the statue of Liberty……

For all this buzz, there is not much business from that region, but of course the ‘pipelines are promising’….there is ‘great growth potential’….There is a lot of action….Kassa appoints some shady companies to commission local sales….

Fast a forward a few years.

Kassa Nova is moved in to Head Quarters, as Head of Operations….A role in which he gets to shuffle ten issues per second, which suits his scatterbrained approach rather nicely….

He loves the confusion….He is at ease….He does well….He has found his level of competence….

That is Partha Principle at work….

                                ………………….To be contd (hopefully)…..