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8 Tips for Successful Growth

Ideals we could live by!

1. Stop Looking Back If you keep looking in the rear view mirror, there is a good chance that you will miss what is in front of you. People who live in the past develop a mind-set that assumes that yesterday's realities will continue and in a predictable fashion. The road ahead has no resemblance to the one that has gone by. In order to sense future pro-actively, you need to look for not only different answers but different questions to ask. The old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" needs to be turned on its head. That is the slogan of the complacent and the scared. In the world of tomorrow, you need to change before it becomes necessary to do so. Don't wait for it to break, it may be too late to do anything about it.

2. Create a Powerful Vision You must articulate your own Vision of the future. Make it powerful enough to ignite the combined imagination of people. Let it become a rallying point to create a positive stretch. The Vision must always be beyond reach but not an impossible dream either. You must communicate the Vision in a way that it generates enthusiasm. Use Vision to drive change.

3. Create The Right Muscle Tone Strategy equals execution. All great ideas are meaningless if they are not implemented rapidly and efficiently. For this, the organization must develop the right muscle tone. Big commitments are a series of small commitments and if one gets into the habit of meeting small commitments, there is a good chance that the larger Vision will be achieved.

4. Improve Your Speed The winners of tomorrow will not be those who have more resources or who are bigger but those who are faster. Speed will be the overriding success factor. This will be true of both the Old Economy and New Economy organizations. Both need to have information at their fingertips, use whatever technology they have at their command so that they can organize themselves to operate at lighting speed.

5. Never Compromise on Values There are absolutely no quick routes to sustainable success. That would be my sincere suggestion to the new entrepreneurs. At Wipro, we defined our Beliefs long before it was a fashion to do so. Values provide a moral compass to guide you over stormy seas. They give the necessary resilience to face adversity. In the beginning at Wipro, our Values were more a reflection of personal Values. But we soon realized they made eminent business sense. Once people realize that they are dealing with an honest company, they do not expect any thing dishonest from you. It saves their energy and yours. It also pushes you to give your best to your Customer, since that is the only reason with which you can command business.

6. Learn to Manage Paradoxes You may not always find clear black and white answers to all situations nor have at your command all the data to make a perfect decision. If you wait for perfect data, you may be too late to act. Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases it. You will have to learn to take each situation on a case to case basis, make a judgment on available facts and move ahead. In fact the essence of managing is managing paradoxes.

7. Attract And Retain The Best This tip will not be applicable to individuals but will be useful if you have a small business. The most important challenge will be the war for talent. This war will become only more intense with the widening shortage for talent world-wide. You will have to think out of the box to attract and retain knowledge workers. Organization structures will lose their meaning. Even today, if every one acted exactly as per the organization chart, the business will close down. While roles need to be defined, people ultimately define what they can contribute. Give them the freedom to do their best.

Retention will require more than compensation and stock options. People need to feel that the organization cares and that their opinions count. You must learn to really listen to people. This means that you must work closely with them, take note of the choices they make, the way they interact, who supports them and why. It is this personal touch that will make a large company have the look and feel of a small organization and help people to build bonds with their organizations.

8. Play To Win Playing to win is one of the finest things you can do. Playing to win stretches you and everyone around you. It gives you a new sense of direction and energy. Ultimately, your only competition is yourself. Playing to win does not mean playing dirty. If you cut corners along the way, you will miss out on the personal satisfaction of winning. Because, winning means reaching the depth of your own potential and utilizing it to its fullest.

Ultimately, our only competition is ourselves.

Source: Azim Premji, Chairman at Wipro Technologies, under whose leadership sales grew from $2.5 million to $1.4 billion annually.

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