Unlike an operation to catch rabbits, trapping an elephant calls for expertise over enthusiasm. Those who hunt rabbits are rarely able to rope in elephants. Many organisations, even those that may have a brilliant start, falter in their attempts to achieve transformational growth in their later phases. In The Elephant Catchers, Subroto Bagchi distils his years of on-the-ground learning to explore why this happens, and what such organisations and their people must do to climb to the next level and beyond.
Through a combination of engaging anecdotes from his experiences as co-founder, and subsequently Chairman of Mindtree Ltd, and insightful stories from our everyday world, Bagchi demonstrates a crucial point: Organisations with real ambition to get to the top need to embrace the idea of scale and then ensure that it systematically pervades every aspect of its functioning.
In doing this, he leads you to evaluate: Is your organisation’s infrastructure designed to evolve and ultimately mimic the simultaneity of a living organism? Are you constantly nurturing and renewing your brand identity or letting it stagnate and decay? Does your sales force have as many hunters as it has farmers? Or is it dominated by a grizzly who just waits for the salmon to land in its mouth? In a fiercely competitive environment, are you really stepping ‘out of the box’ and learning from unusual sources? Are leaders in your organisation truly building capacity or merely solving problems?
The book is arranged in six Parts. In Part I, Bagchi presents the need to build comfort with the idea of scale. Part II is about scaling business by getting large deals, about the need to stay away from certain customer engagements and business models that could prevent growth and the subject of mergers and acquisitions that invariably engages everyone at some time or the other.
In Part III, the conversation shifts to scaling intellect; after all, the enterprise is an intellect game. The capacity to get to the next level often depends on a leader’s ability to augment the organisational intellect by tapping into external expertise. Not everyone knows how to do it. Part IV deals with the idea of scaling reputation. Reputation is a form of capital and growing it right, beyond just good public relations (PR), helps an organisation get to the next level.
In part V, he has focussed on scaling people because the modern enterprise is all about people. Part VI deals with the aspect of scaling adversity. Here he talks about the need to focus on doing ordinary things extraordinarily well when extraordinary events overtake the enterprise.
Practical advice on real issues, from how to deal with consultants to the question of succession, words of caution on strategy traps and M&As, and invaluable insights into a whole range of growth-related issues -The Elephant Catchers has it all. Engaging, wise and thoroughly accessible, this book is a must-read for everyone in every organisation seeking breakout success.