Thought Drivers for becoming Thought Leaders

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How does an IT Services enterprise become a thought leader and reposition itself? And how do you measure the intangible aspects of growth?

It’s pretty common knowledge that the health of any business enterprise is determined by four most important and perhaps the most measured metrics – Revenue, Profitability, Customer Satisfaction and People Satisfaction. Every business strives towards improving scores in each of these areas and pursue for higher profits and shareholder wealth. I am not stating anything new with this information.

We also know that to achieve these four business goals and sustain that in a longer run, enterprises have to maintain stability and sustained upward growth curve. In order to keep the figures rising, it is absolutely essential to ensure the retention and enhancement of intellectual capital that works out through people satisfaction. So, should we think people happiness first? That’s what I would say is Thought Driver 1.

This brings us to the fact that the ambitious business goals or targets and the four metrics mentioned above do not tell the managers exactly what is it that they need to do to achieve them. These by themselves do not specify what to focus on or what to prioritize. They do not even provide a roadmap as to how individually and collectively business leaders should progress from where they are. Then, how to bring everyone in the company up to speed and align with the business vision? Let’s take this as the second thought driver; effective strategic planning and effective communication of that strategy.

Coming to an IT Services business perspective, often service providers’ out of India, focus only on customer’s existing needs. As partners, seldom do they try to envision the opportunities to create newer markets or developing creative and profitable products for their customers. We are ensuring effective delivery of projects and services which are the reasons behind the growth in terms of size and numbers, but in terms of thinking strategically – there remains a lacuna. Typically, service providers focus on (a) consultation-led solution selling – this needs to be backed up with strong execution capability demonstration failing which we create unhappy customers, or (b) operations support and service recovery – that needs consistent demonstration of ability to diagnose problems and remediate with minimal service outages backed with consistent, frequent and precise communications.

Customers often label Indian IT service providers as order takers instead of thought leaders who can co-innovate and enhance value.

What do you think we should do to differentiate ourselves and capture the imagination of our customers as next generation solutions providers globally? That’s a big Thought Driver that should make us turn in our sleep. Would you agree?

Should we not focus on developing a better and deeper understanding of the customer’s business? Should we not nurture the depth of technology capability and strategically advice innovative solutions that will truly help customers reach newer markets faster, further penetrate existing markets through constant innovations and improve their brand value? Should we therefore focus on fanatic innovation in our approach? Should we not do all of these with less?

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