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Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002

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`Keep to the core to sustain success'

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NEW DELHI, March 19

THE Chairman of the Organisational Behaviour Unit and Professor, Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Prof Nitin Nohria, has identified four fundamental practices that leading corporates must follow in order to sustain success.

In an interactive session on `How winners sustain success,' organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), he said that these practices were identified during a study conducted on a group of 40 industries, consisting of 160 US companies operating globally and representing both high and low-tech areas.

Further, these companies were classified as superiors, winners, losers and climbers on the basis of the total return offered to the shareholders, he said. One of the four fundamental practices, as highlighted by the Professor, was that corporates must follow a narrowly focussed growth strategy and invest heavily into their core business first. The losing corporates, on the other hand, ignored the core businesses, tried to break new grounds and in the process, incurred huge debts.

The second fundamental practice, according to Prof Nohria, was operational excellence leading to quality and customer branded products. An aggressive, exciting, value-driven culture with high expectations and rewards was the third fundamental practice underlined by the Professor.

Besides, a simple, flat and lean organisation structure, with little or no bureaucracy, fast decision-making process and effective coordination between units is another important requisite for corporate success.

Along with fundamental practices, he identified four complementary practices and stated that it was mandatory for each corporate to adopt at least two of them.

Prof Nohria further said that along with talent, insightful leadership in the form of an extraordinary CEO and board of directors was the second complementary practice the corporate needed to follow.

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