Tata – the experience is a part of our lives, knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly when we might be buying our coffee, trendy jewellery piece or a watch, our first car, our five star stay, a pen drive or a packet of salt. It enters indirectly into our lives through their steel, chemicals, and IT interests spread globally.
The brand has stayed with many generations as a rock solid companion in rational and irrational ways. When I was a child and I came to know that Taj Group of Hotels belonged to Tata Group, I felt so happy.
As I brewed a passion for Parenting & Leadership, I found Ratan Tata to be an extremely exemplary Parent. He is my favourite Parent.
Remember, I always believe in Parenting to be an emotion and the most sacred form of Leadership.
Parents are emotional leaders who love to work with people – give chances to them, show confidence in them, encourage them and empower them.
Parents are also silent strategists who deliberately show that they have relegated all powers to their progeny when they actually keep track of overall family environment and the ensuing sentiments.
They are a dangerously determined lot who can lead any crisis at any hour when it involves their children in whom they have invested themselves.
The emotion that we experience with the brand TATA is far deeper than the rare crisis Tata Group has stormed into.
There are various theories being propounded at the moment about whys, hows and what nows. The imminent lessons learnt are:
- CULTURE IS STILL IMPORTANT: Culture doesn’t mean symbols. It doesn’t mean teary advertisements. Culture means the core values that you most certainly stand for.
Culture is deep rooted to have an impact. You cannot start fiddling with long standing norms in the name of staying relevant with changing times.
The longer a tree has been around, the deeper and stronger the roots are. The older the trunk of such a tree is, the denser the branches would be.
When it shakes itself even a bit, it causes a storm. It is pretty problematic to strive to re-engineer the roots of such a tree, even if it offers less shade or fruits.
Respecting the roots before championing change is required. Change for longevity and growth of the tree is needed but a young branch cannot steer a new action plan without taking the trunk into confidence.
- ACTIONS ALWAYS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS: No amount of verbal or written jugglery can explain the sudden and shocking action.
Such an action without words can only result when the danger is much deeper than what meets the eye.
Such an action goes against corporate ethics of the behemoth. Wouldn’t the conglomerate know that in certain terms?
If such an action is still taken which has a rippling effect forever, it surely means that it was urgently required for reasons that are unknown and will remain so.
A sensible and relevantly active parent like Mr. Tata who understands the present pulse of the new start-up energy, cannot falter in decision making with his first child.
His speedy, sudden, shocking action cannot be frivolous or without thought.
- SUCCESSION PLANNING NEEDS CAREFUL THOUGHT, LONG NURTURING AND OODLES OF LUCK: Succession Planning is a dark horse in our scenario planning. It suddenly becomes the most relevant decision for the road forward. A time consuming shaping up is mandatory. Nothing can replace ‘time factor’ in grooming the right person for the tough job. Starting something from scratch is far easier than fitting into famous, droolworhty shoes.
Despite of right genes and perfect grooming, a successor can fail to fulfil the expectations for a number of unexplainable reasons. Call it luck or call it market sentiment. A worthy successor is harder to find if the predecessor is a legend.
Anyone in this role could have faltered. The road ahead is fraught with ‘urgency to choose a dependable younger successor’ while humming “the once bitten twice shy” tune.
The experience called TATA will live. The story called TATA becomes more interesting and ground-breaking now.