I know someone who got married at the age of 22. When I heard that, for a moment I almost started laughing. And suddenly, I was impressed. The most common discussion we used to have among friends while growing up was, what is the right age to get married and finally, when to start a family? The number of people I have had this discussion with and the number of times I have had this discussion, 22 yrs was no way close to the age we ever finally agreed upon.
I keep thinking when is the right age to start, well, anything. When should children start going to school? When should one start tuitions? When is a boy/girl ready to start body building, dating etc. When does one decide to get married or start a family? Someone who is settled financially, has a supportive family, no or minimum personal liabilities and ready to take on more responsibilities. In effect, s/he is ready to move onto the next level of existence, the higher orbit of living, the next stage of maturity. Does one get married the day/month/year one gets into a job? Or wait for a reasonable bank balance, a fair amount of soul searching for the soul mate, a considerable research on prospective partners? Does all this depend on a certain age? May be or may be not.
Since the time I have started working, the most common phrase hear is, “we are not ready for this.” Companies are wary of many “new” ideas. Well, not exactly new, per say. Many of them are being practiced by big companies. I call them, “best practices”. Any practice when repeated over numerous time intervals becomes a habit. Proper documentation supporting this habit makes it a process. A process is a document with a valid scope, consistent inputs, logical flow, quantitative and measurable outputs. When these measurable outputs over time are linked to business imperatives assisting to increase productivity, generate revenues or cut costs, in the long run is called a “best practice”. Nothing is achieved in a jiffy. Neither 90% marks in exams, 6-pack abs or creation of an MNC.
Why are people apprehensive of following best practices? When is an organisation ready for the next challenge? When a start-up, an organisation will have the ‘ignition’ issues. Management gurus call it the gestation period I think, so be it. Six months to a year, they have the teething problems. A year to a couple of years down the line, they have to do the balancing act between a start up and a rapidly growing company. Next comes a new set of issues of becoming a successful brand and hence people and promoters leaving the organisation leveraging on the new found success. So, when does an organisation start following best practices? One year of starting, two to three years of running and settling a business or right from the word go? Does it depend on the age of the company? May be or may be not. By the way, I don’t support the term “Indian MNC”. All Indian companies are “lala companies”.
There is nothing ready made. Everything is made ready. Even a so called ready made trouser needs alteration. Customization of processes may be necessary. What is important is ‘intent’ and ‘value add’. Best practice organisations have an ‘intent’ to institutionalize processes with business metrics which ‘add value’ to the organisation. Long run is the key here.
One mother and nine months make a baby. Nine mothers and one month do not make anything.