June 20, 2011

It Depends !!

It has been exactly a couple of months since I came to Joka Management, 
as IIM C , situated at Joka in Kolkata, is known among the taxi walas. And it has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride beginning day zero. Sometimes these two months seems like two years and at other not more than two weeks. 

There is no single way of doing things, no right solution. The very first lesson we had on day zero when we were introduced to the nuances of case methodologies. With each passing days there were some aha moments and also challenges to our structured, rational and straight jacketed thought process, mainly shaped by our background in science, technology and engineering. But unlike technology life is not predicable and so does the business, and people who are at either side of the business. As they say at times one has to unlearn to learn. Now I can vouch for it. When at the end of case analysis you find all 44 people have come up with different solution for the business issues presented in the case and prof says that there is no right or wrong solution and all these solutions can be correct then the engineer brain becomes very uncomfortable. Every technical problem has a single solution after all, even though ways to getting to the solution can be different and every way of solving the problem can be logical justified. But business is not technology. In these two months my brain , which tried to rebel initially, has understood and accepted the fact that management is fluid. Technology is not the indicator of life,  business and management surely is.

Among all procedural pre-readings, lectures, quizzes, assignments, exams, projects there have been quite a many aha moments. You start to understand and appreciate the reasons behinds seemingly incongruous things. Like, why cokes and pepsis of the world spend fortune on their advertisement. 

By the way do you have any idea that the cost of your Dell laptop can depend on who uses, workers or managers, the staff canteen at assembly plant at Dell? Things in business are not as straight forward and simple as it is in engineering. For quite a few questions the answer is "It Depends!!". And as you'd realize in business and management things really depends on many factors. 

Even though BCG and HBR attribute Honda's success in US in 1960s to Honda's well crafted strategies when in fact it was by fluke Honda tasted initial success, and answer for quite a few things is "It Depends" I am loving it !!