Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) N.Chandrasekaran’s New Vision Statement" - Prof.M.S.Rao

“One must forever strive for excellence or even perfection, in any task however small, and never be satisfied with the second best….” - JRD Tata

Currently Ramadorai donned the hat of a brand builder and leadership mentor after having served for 13 years as CEO and MD of TCS. He successfully passed on the leadership baton to his mentee N.Chandrasekaran. He turned TCS from the employee strength of 6000 to 140,000 and revenues shot from 100 million to $6 billion under his helm which is a remarkable achievement in his career. We shall look at the strengths and achievements of TCS under his leadership.

Strengths and Achievements of TCS:

First of all, TCS has successfully weathered financial storms arising out global downturn. It is the top IT Company in Asia and the eighth largest IT services provider globally. The company has strong customer base with prestigious global clients like Citibank, American Express, Dell, GE, HP and others. It currently provides qualitative consultancy and information technology services to several global companies.

Challenges for Chandrasekaran:

Now N Chandrasekaran is at the helm as the CEO and MD of TCS at a challenging time where the global economy is reeling under downturn. It was like Jeff Immelt taking the reins from Jack Welch who successfully transformed GE from being a manufacturing conglomerate to services organization. It is indeed a tough task for Chandrasekaran too whose predecessor was highly dynamic and created several records for TCS and making it as the number one IT Company in India and making its presence felt globally. Probably Chandrasekaran may face the heat like Jeff Immelt who initially faced when he took over the reins from the legendary Jeff Immelt. Especially it is very difficult to take up the challenges when your predecessor was a legend.

To start his business aggressively, he wants to come out with an inspiring and challenging vision statement that stands out TCS from the pack of other IT companies. Besides, it must be prepared keeping the current challenges in view.

What is Vision and Mission?

Vision is all about seeing the invisible through imagination. However mission is all about executing the activities. Vision indicates where one wants to go and mission directs how one can go. Visionaries always look for what is possible by discovering the potential and missionaries adopt though right planning and execution. The visionaries are directors and the missionaries are actors.

Importance of Vision:

"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare." - Japanese proverb

Vision enhances organizational excellence and effectiveness. It enhances the commitment of employees towards organization. It helps employees move in a specific direction in which the organization is intending to move.

Vision statement is the highest order of goals that takes the organization to the tipping point. It is for long term that can transform the organization and keeps it different from others. In contrast, mission statement is different from vision as it may change from time to time as the strategies to reach organizational goals and objectives change from time to time.

A vision statement serves as a catalyst. It plays a pivotal for the success of any organization. It should be clear, crisp, simple and straight and above all jargon free. It must energize employees to contribute their best. They must be able to take pride and be proud of the organization. In fact, there are no fixed rules and regulations and no fixed formula for crafting a better vision statement. For instance, GE’s vision statement is “To become #1 or #2 in every market we serve and revolutionize this company to have the speed and agility of a small enterprise.”

Jack Welch wanted GE to be either number 1 or number 2. That was the vision he set out for his employees. And employees worked accordingly and delivered their best and led the GE to greater heights.

In fact, the idea of vision statement is to ensure that all employees have one visual image about the organization connecting everyone emotionally, ethically and energetically. Besides, it must undergo transformation with changing times and technologies. However the core content must remain the same and it should not be diluted because the company has been founded on fundamental ideas and ideals.

How to Craft Your Vision Statement?

Vision statement must preferably be below 100 words and in present tense to have effectiveness. It requires imaginative mind to craft one. We shall look at few tools to craft a better vision statement.

• Vision must spell out a clear and compelling picture so that there is a strong reason to pursue and persevere. It must be audacious and SMART which is the acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.
• It should be simple and straight and challenging and inspiring.
• It must convey company’s value system, culture, ethics and etiquette. It should never be a mere rhetoric but must be a realistic one.
• It must be challenging enough so that people can put in their energies and efforts aggressively.
• It must neither be too short nor too big. It must convey the ideals and ideas of the organization for which it stands and aspires to achieve.
• Avoid jargon and buzz words as it ensures better clarity.

When the vision statement is made to compete with another firm, the company must revise its vision once it is successful. Besides, if the company reached the target of magical numbers then it has to revise its vision statement.


"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet." - Theodore Hesburgh

Vision helps us to get prepared today for tomorrow. It is like goal setting. As individuals set their goals, the organizations also set their goals. It is like where they want to go. And mission serves as a roadmap to reach their vision. Succinctly mission spells out how they accomplish their vision.

Vision is closely connected with leadership. Legendary business leader, Jack Welch successfully articulated his vision and took GE to the tipping point through his visionary leadership. To put in the words of Peter F. Drucker, "Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations."

To conclude there should not be any gap between preaching and practicing so as to make vision meaningful and realistic. Companies must mobilize their people around a common cause by crafting better vision statements. The success of any company depends on its right presentation of vision statement and execution of mission statement.

1 comment:

sailesh said...

great blog thnks for the information and keep going.