Jagdish Sheth at MMA – What a treat!

Filed Under (Business Books) by Rajesh Kumar on 16-10-2007

Dr Jagdish Sheth, renowned thought leader was at Madras Management Association on 15th Oct and as a member I had the privilege of attending his talk, which I can describe as simple and mind boggling. Dr Sheth spoke on Seven Self Destructive Habits of Good Companies which is published as a book. Dr Sheth pointed out at the beginning of his presentation that a third of the companies listed in Fortune 500 in 1970 had vanished by 1983!

Dr Sheth spoke about the seven habits as:

  1. Denial (of realities)
  2. Arrogance (Often success breeds this)
  3. Complacency (When companies have tasted the fruits of success and don’t feel the need to better themselves)
  4. Competence Dependence (When they have something they have identified as a core skill which seem to have worked for them – the requirement for the skill may get washed out due to disruptive change, maybe technology led)
  5. Competitive myopia (Identifying your competition incorrectly and then refusing to see the truth)
  6. Volume obsession ( “Let’s give this freebie so that we retain this customer or else..”)
  7. Turf wars ( Organizational behaviour)

The talk was compelling enough for me to buy a copy of the above book, which I discovered in the course of my reading, is full of examples of giants who continue to be giants, or those who have fallen by the wayside.

A nice session and the book sounds promising too. However, I have a word of caution on the book. Do not consider this as a pass through book. You would feel the need to reflect and think after every few pages, maybe even try to relate to what you have read earlier, and even Google about some corporate history.

Thanks Dr Sheth!

(PS: Dr Sheth, in response to an answer to an audience question, said that if there were an eighth habit he had to mention, he would say talent plateauing is that eighth organizational habit. Essentially, companies do not want to experiment by giving their employees the chance to work in newer areas, but to retain them in an area in which they have demonstratively performed in the past)

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