A few thoughts on strategy…

I read somewhere that strategy is not planning ahead. Strategy is adapting to change. The faster one adapts to change, the better the strategy.

And so as I sit back this weekend and think about my strategy for the coming 12 months, my focus is on adapting to changes.

It is exciting and challenging at the same time. Back in early 2020, we started working from home – and just didn’t return to office since. It has been a great 2+ years, more productive and engaging that it has ever been.

But there are challenges as well. How does one collaborate as a unit, without in-person interactions that define human social behavior? Non-verbal cues form 60%+ of our communication – so how is one to get these subtle cues from a phone call or a Google Meet?

I have seen that we tend to collaborate in bunches, rather than having the whole office sitting together and working on a single task or assignment. So it makes sense to provision for a more flexible and collaborative space, where different teams can come in on different days or at different times – quick, agile, productive.

Adding to the mix is collaboration with our colleagues in India, with whom our daily interactions are increasing by the day. We have a couple of teams that comprise of staff from Dubai and India, so another level of complexity.

And then there is the business itself – constant reinvention and retaining the good parts that make us successful, adding new elements that increase our advantages, and finding new and efficient ways to get tasks done and obtain feedback mechanisms such as agile reporting and analysis.

Yes, one can get this done well with 50 people, but how do you get this done with 5? Here is where lessons learnt from stalwarts such as Google come in.

They have smaller teams that collaborate to think of new products, build and test them out and work towards an implementation schedule – all in five days!

They move this fast precisely because of a) smaller decision making pockets, b) focused approaches and c) excellent processes. It’s not about the budget or the number of people – intent defines the elevation here.

The tools are all out there. Most of them are free too.So is information. All one has to do is search (err the contextual reference to search when speaking of Google wasn’t intended!).

So it boils down to focus and intent. Both of which need a clear mind, free from distraction. Thoughts need to flow, and once that happens, work of exceptional quality results. My best times are in the morning, fresh after my morning shower and puja, ideally at 5 am (before sunrise). Evenings are the worst, and hence I avoid any type of planning post 6 pm.

Find your own best focus time, since it varies from person to person. Don’t buy that “billionaires wake up at 4” crap. Most of that is PR. If you an evening person, stick to the evenings.

The world is changing rapidly, and we are at the cusp of an impending recession. Let’s plan ahead…no, strategise. And be open to changes as and when they are required. Someone famously said – Elephants can’t dance – implying big institutions are too big to adapt rapidly.

While we are not a big organization, I do believe that elephants can dance. Just that the music has to be good enough:)

See you tomorrow!