We can now ask ourselves the next set of questions – how do we want to play? What capabilities do we have, and what gaps exist? Do you have the ability and the will to close the gap?
I will stay with China for this piece as well. There is a consistency of purpose in this.
In the last two posts, I had mentioned that we had spent about two years preparing the organization for growth. That is at least, how it seems to be in retrospect.
Much of what we did in the first part of this two year journey, was to simply take actions to survive. Once we had crossed the immediate emergency, we started to rectify many processes, build the team, the culture, confidence and a history of successes.
An organization must be able to sustain growth, else it will implode. I will use an example from Indian history to illustrate my point.
The last of the great Mughal emperors, Aurangzeb, spent the second half of his fifty-year reign, fighting wars in the southern half of India. As a result, he had no time to look into the administrative machinery of the empire, which lead to a dwindling in resources, as many provinces simply stopped sending in their taxes, as they saw that the Emperor was otherwise engaged. He did not have the time to groom a successor, and the wars drained the treasury.
He is said to have gloomily predicted, towards the end of his life that there would be chaos after his death. Indeed, there was, and because of this, the Mughal Empire gradually imploded and shrank over the next one hundred and fifty years, until it ended with a whimper after the Indian Mutiny of 1857.
The wars that he fought, were to accomplish the dual aim of expanding the empire, and quelling the rebel forces.
At the end, he discovered, that he had not achieved either aim. He had not prepared his kingdom for growth and, as a result, it imploded.
It is essential to prepare your organization for growth. The team, the processes, the culture, the vision, the communication channels must be set up before you embark on the growth journey.
Without laying these essential foundations, growth can only take place on a shaky ground.