Author: Mohan Nair
Publisher: Wiley – 216 pages
Book Review by: Sonu Chandiram
We have often read that the only thing permanent is change. When organizations do not adapt to changed circumstances, they wither and eventually die. More important than changing is observing new trends and changes going on around you, and then proactively seizing those trends as opportunities to grow your business.
A very good example of an organization that ignored the ‘handwriting on the wall’ and kept on going about its ‘business-as-usual’ way is the U.S. Postal Service, which has been progressively losing more and more money for years, and lost about $8 billion in its last fiscal year despite its near-monopolistic position in the mailing business. Without taxpayer life support it would have been dead several years ago. Many wonder if it on the way to extinction.
While more and more millions of individuals and companies paid bills online, faxed instead of mailed documents, used other couriers to send packages, the USPS was experiencing shrinking volume but did nothing to cut costs. And as more and more publishers of periodicals and books cut back their printing volumes and created online or e-versions, the taxpayer-subsidized USPS went on about its ailing business, assured that the U.S. Congress will continue to cover its mounting losses.
But private companies do not have the luxury of tax subsidies and depend upon customers to keep them going. And most companies are not monopolies; they are constantly facing competition for customer dollars.
In his book Strategic Business Transformation Mohan Nair points out how companies can avoid such mistakes and others, and be leaps ahead of their competitors in their markets. He writes: “when markets transform, companies caught unprepared are left behind. But those who recognize that change is in the air, who are prepared for market shifts, not only prevail but soar to new competitive heights.”
He points out what he calls the ‘seven deadly sins.’ He devotes entire chapters to discuss each one of them at length and proposes solutions. He writes that CEOs and top-level executives commit these sins:
1. Ignore the new principles of business transformation
2. Drive without a cause
3. Miss market momentum
4. Ignore the two orders of value
5. Overlook transformational servant leadership
6. Mistake capability for strategic competence
7. Expect flawless execution without a performance platform
In the book, Nair lays out a roadmap that helps you discover what those business transformational imperatives are; think through a core cause for your company’s being and instill that way of thinking on your team; and understand your markets better and develop sales momentum for your products and services.
The book also assists you in formulating a strong and distinct message of value that makes your customers attracted to your company and stay loyal; provide transformational leadership and direction to your team to reach common goals; develop a strategy but also create an operational framework to execute it better than your competition to endear your customers to your company; build an effective platform, ensuring you have all the needed resources to deliver value to your target markets.
At the end of the book, Mohan Nair presents case studies of four CEOs who transformed their companies and made them stand apart from their competition. These are: Les Schwab Tires, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks and TriQuint Semiconductor. He also points out how several segments of the U.S. economy can transform themselves to better serve their markets more economically, namely: education, energy and healthcare.
Mohan Nair not only sets you thinking about the ‘sins’ you may knowingly (or unknowingly) be committing, jeopardizing your company’s present and future. He presents a plan to correct the path for yourself and your team; and keeps you on guard from lapsing into old, destructive ‘business-as-usual’ habits. Get this book today and start transforming your company.