The hardest thing in business: building an efficient organization (Part 2)
Talking a good game is not enough.
I was meeting with one of New York’s most successful bankers, when he quipped, “In my business we don’t rely on intellectual property. There’s nothing we do that’s so special; we’re just damned good managers of businesses!”
I could immediately understand what he meant because when, for instance, you stop to think about a business like McDonald’s, you ask “What’s so special about a hamburger?”
But somehow out of that humble hamburger they’ve built a $96bn business… a global business bigger than the GDP of Kenya ($70bn)!
They are “just damn good managers of business!”
When we launched our Mobile Money business in Zimbabwe, it wasn’t a new idea in Zimbabwe, or in Africa. To be honest, one of our competitors was a year ahead of us, but it really didn’t matter to me. I knew that when we finally launched our own service, it would be bigger and better because “We’re good managers of businesses! It’s not all IP and innovation!”
Whenever I see a business, as a management practitioner, I’m interested in how it’s run. I’m always asking myself, “How are they organized?”
We hear a lot spoken about good leaders, but a good leader who doesn’t know how to manage effectively, using the latest management techniques, is a total waste of time as far as I’m concerned.
You’ve heard the expression, “He talks a good game, but he can’t play.”
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are like that. They can talk a good game, but they cannot manage an organization. Talking a good game can be important, but it’s not enough!
If you want to build a profitable and growing business organization, you must first have an acute awareness of the role that organizational management plays. Your awareness must extend to an appreciation that it is a “technical discipline” which must be learnt.
It doesn’t happen naturally: Good management is something you must apply yourself to. Never fool yourself into believing that if you have a good idea, and some money, you just hire the right people and “Hey presto, you have a big successful business!”
I want you to be different: I want you to be able to pick up an idea, any idea, and turn it into a successful business organization that generates profits, and can grow into a national, regional, and continental champion, even a global one.
To be continued. . .