Category Archives: Etc.

“Aussies, 434 ain’t enough”:Proteas

Looking at 434 on the scorecard, one thought Aussies had not only posted a record total but also registered a de facto win. South African innings was a mere formality to the majority of the 32,000 plus crowd and the seasoned TV commentary team. Never before did a team post a total more than 400 and never before did a team chase such a big score. One miracle happened, odds are stacked heavily against the second.

But to their credit, they sat through and carried on through their motions. The fans cheered their team and the commentators braced themselves for the capitulation of South Africa.

Just after 10 overs, when South African team reached the 100 mark, it appeared a chase was on and Tony Greig, the old war horse of TV commentary, remarked that if Proteas were on to something special he would like be in the box when it happens. And that special, South Africans sure did and Tony Greig was there to see it all.

Superbly led from the front, Smith made a fabulous 90 and Gibbs a memorable 175. Finally, when things went to wire, Boucher took them home. The crowd went berserk in the stadium and so did cricket fans all over the world. They had all seen unbelievable happen twice.

Many records were broken, and the past was questioned, yet again. Most importantly, the bar has been raised. And on a day like this 400+ isn’t enough.

The fizz of a startup

Startups are exciting. Exciting for the people working there, and exciting for the people running the show and a lot of fun for consultants like me:)

Fun because, of the contrast one observes between an established company and a startup.

Right from approvals to invoices, things move at a brisk speed in a startup. There are no  layers to cross to carry the usual business. No hangups, and no ‘this-is-not-my-job’ attitude. Often, you see the CEO rolling down his sleeves and get down to fix a computer or hammer a nail on the wall.  You order a tea, it does not come in and the manager almost runs to the pantry to check out why. It sure does remind you of our young cricket team members closing in the ball on the field. 

Youth is the catchword in a startup. It shines either through age or the atitude. And if you ask a serial entrepreneur, he would say  a youth-like attitude matters more. As if to make a point, in the recent past several seasoned professionals in their late 40s/early 50s have decided to go all the way, yet again.

Having made case for startups, what about the huge, elephantine companies, where it takes half an hour at the front desk and another half hour to reach your contact person.
Worse still, what if the entire organization has been running on the business-as-usual-and-that-too-in-a-very-slow mode.

Are they beyond redemption? Well, they could sure could take a cue from Jack Welch and his ‘boundarylessness’ and take a leaf out of his his best seller ‘The Winning’.

So, do you have a behemoth and lookng to create a startup within? Here’s what Jack Welch has to say.

  • Spend plenty up front, and put the best, hungriest, and most passionate people in leadership roles.
  • Make an exaggerate commotion about the potential and importance of the new venture.
  • Err on the side of freedom, get off the new venture’s back

So, isn’t this a good time to start something new, within or outside?