February 29, 2008

A battle is never won with good Generals and mediocre troops.

Some companies suffer from a deadly corporate mentality that espouses the belief that if you appoint a few good Generals, you can sail smoothly even if you don't give much care to your troops on ground zero. But the question is – is it possible to win a battle with well fed Generals sitting in teak paneled offices while under-fed and mediocre troops fight it out?

Generals can use their experience to give direction, but it is the entire troop that executes the strategy by using their brain and brawn. The quality of execution of a strategy not only depends on how good the strategy is but also on the quality of the troop that will execute it. A troop that is sharp, agile, motivated, well-fed, and empowered to think and act on its feet is bound to execute much better than a troop that is mediocre, under-fed, demotivated, and disempowered.

The truth is very simple. For superior performance, you have to keep the strength, motivation, and empowerment well distributed across your organization. Any intention to concentrate them at one point at the expense of other points is bound to spell disaster sooner than later. A healthy body is one which has all the parts of the body working together in a well synchronized manner. If any part of human body ails, performance of the whole suffers.