The hare and the Tortoise: The race is not to speedy (XXVIII). Connecting the dots between Aesop fable, time and corporate strategy.
…”And when at last he (the Hare) did wake up; the Tortoise was near the goal.“The hare and the tortoise, a fable by Aesop
We are almost closing our second saga of 2021. Today’s’ topic is about “Connecting the dots between Aesop fable, time and corporate strategy”. I think we have already discovered this by ourselves in the last 4 publications. Don´t you think so? But let´s try to be brief and land into our subject for today.
First in the market (with the new technologies) is not necessarily the best long-term solution for all. I always share some of my personal thoughts about the status of the COVID19 vaccines and our efforts to regain our sanity after the last year. Eleonora Escalante Strategy was vaccinated against the Coronavirus, in May-June, with the Sinovac jabs from China, not because it is the top one in terms of efficacy. I am aware that the Sinovac (Coronavac) is a “lighter” efficacy version of the approved vaccines, in between more than 225 antivirus solutions that have been developed and are in route to be ready during the next months. Of course, there are other vaccines which are between 80 to 95% efficacy, particularly those invented with the mRNA technology or Non Replicating Viral Vector (Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford Astra-Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson and even the Sputnik) that are much better positioned when we land into efficacy criteria. But the vaccines do not have to be compared only by the efficacy criteria, but also by other factors such as common short-term side effects, how they work, number of dosis, availability, accessibility, affordability and particularly the long-term effects that no one distinguishes at the moment. My point of view wasn´t to privilege the efficacy criteria only, but to try to avoid the perils or risks associated with a promising or wonderful new technology (mRNA) that has not been evidenced and well documented, because it is a new technology, compared with the classical methods of vaccines. Please, do not confuse my corporate advise as if I am against the novel and innovative mRNA or the non replicating viral vector vaccines per se. I am simply a conservative traditional person that relies in what has been proved on and on and on for decades of our history when it comes to health. That is why I privileged the inactivated-attenuated vaccines, regardless the brands or their origin (country). It is a coincidence that Sinovac (manufactured in China) was the only one (of that classical method of production) that El Salvador got here. In these vaccines’ topic, the doctors privileged the emergency use given the nature of the pandemic, but all doctors and scientists recognize better than me that only time will tell us about the long term effects of all these vaccines (including Sinovac).
Moreover, we will need to wait for at least 15 years to observe if all these emergency use vaccines were impeccable or not. Fifteen years we will have to wait. Secondary effects will happen more to some, less to all (let’s pray for this latter scenario). Nevertheless, from the point of view of the long-term perspective, all citizens (including myself) will bear the conscious consequences of our vaccine decisions of today.
This example on corporate decision making (emergency use approved vaccines manufactured with new technologies), is one vivid example of how we connect a race in time and corporate strategy. If we are hares going rapidly, certainly true we can win, with our speed decision making is connected with higher dangerous risks. If we are tortoises going slowly, we also can win (long term), slowly but steady, without assuming the danger associated with the long-term effects of these vaccines. Both competitors have their pros and cons. But in terms of health, I believe it is better to go for the less risky one, even if the efficacy is not the top criteria to choose it. As I mentioned to you on my last publication, Eleonora Escalante Strategy beats for the slowly but steady option, particularly for the youngsters and those loved ones who we want to protect the most. At the end of the day, what we want is not to end up in the Intensive Care Unit of any hospital, but to at least have some protection that can keep us safe/alive, even if we are infected. The speed attitude of our corporate decision making will always bear consequences, regardless if we wish it or not. Inevitably we will have to tolerate those sequels on the long term aftermath.
Reset required. Over the weekend, reading the New York Times, I encountered myself reading an article from Sam Sifton. Sifton wrote: “I think you ought to clean your refrigerator today. It won’t take long, but I promise it’ll make you feel better, and that’s true even if you woke up whistling and ready to dance, and especially if you’re blue. It’s a reset. Take everything out and evaluate it for usefulness and age. Tip the parsley scraps out of the crisper. Wipe down the surfaces so they gleam or get as close to a gleam as you can manage. Then return what remains to its right place in the fridge”.
Cleaning the refrigerator is like surfing for a reset. I am not sure about you, but when it comes to clean our refrigerator, I am sure many of us do not even want to begin!. First, we need to disconnect the appliance. Then we need to wait until all the cold ice melts in the fridge, and exactly as Sifton wrote it, it is a reset for the box that protects our food. In similar conditions, we are in a stage of our civilization, in which the baby boomers (the older generation alive) let us “do whatever we wanted to do, at our quickest speed; and profit from it as soon as possible, no matter the consequences”. This philosophy of life has deep-rooted all industries and generations during the last 50 years and beyond that. All our lifestyle, and the new technologies (including NAIQIs- Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Supremacy and the internet) has been intended for the service of this premise. In such a world of “do whatever you like, no matter what, at your high speed and profit from it”, today, we are reaping the consequences of it. Add to this philosophy of life, that corporate strategists have not been fulfilling the role of the metronomes´ synchronization that I explained on my last post. Then of course we are completely lost. And we are living in an ugly and dirty refrigerator (our polluted planet) that needs to be disconnected, defrost, emptied, cleaned before proceeding further.
Those of you who have practiced surf, understand what is the meaning of a reset after the wave ride that takes you out of the shore. Every time a surfer fells from the wave, has to swim and return way back behind where the waves begin, as in the gif picture above. Go behind into the ocean, waiting for the next wave to be mounted. And this is a cycle that repeats on and on and on. I think we need to reset our civilization (probably the pandemic came for this), and then we need to go back in time way into the ocean of our past, and keep the good things that we were doing before the Smartphone and NAIQIs era. In that discernment voyage, we will require to throw away all the things that we are not doing well (including those technologies that are going to destroy us in the future) and once our world (box refrigerator) is completely cleaned, then we can start to pick up the things that are valuable and beautiful for our health, world equilibrium and well-being, discharging everything that is hurting us, and is going to damage our societies later.
Connecting Aesop-time-corporate strategy. The lesson of Aesop fable is precious to our times. It has instructions of keeping a metronome at an appropriate speed, it has teachings about the importance of our regulators in every industry and government; it has vibes for raising the arduous efforts of people who regardless their slow speed, do not give up in their quest to win. It has trainings for those tyrants who maintain their velocity high and bully the deprotected or the sluggish who seem to be out of any possibility for success (the tortoise). The nap (of doing nothing) represents in our times all these years in which humans have run their products and services at high speed without doing what it needs to be done to regulate themselves. Even if governments show weak regulators, it is a duty for the same industries to push or provoke instances of tough regulation at their headquarters ‘countries. Aesop´s fable (in between other tales) is outstanding to comprehend the importance of time.
Time in our corporate strategy decision making is seen as if we can play with it. And if something humans have not been able to own is time. Not even the top scientist Einstein, neither the top billionaires could own it. And we are simply apprentices of what is the meaning of time according to God, our creator of the Universe. Time and speed are interconnected, no matter if we perform dynamic or static activities. And corporate strategists are here to help us to use the correct metronomes for our endeavors. Please remember that a metronome is simply a metaphor of the speed and frequency in which we are selling our products and services. In the case of multi-business companies or organizations, corporate strategists need to take back their role of balancing the different metronomes (pacesetters) of all the SBUs involved in that organization. The corporate strategists of the world do not know yet, the importance of keeping the classic metronomes, and balance them with the digital metronomes. And how to keep the pace in between the different metronomes that utilize the new NAIQIs society (including the digital endeavors and robotics).
Business schools need a reset and start teaching the importance of time and speed in corporate strategy. Probably business schools will have to assume the role of counterbalancing high speeds and crazy tempos. Regardless of the framework utilized for growth, portfolio analysis or corporate parenting; the privilege of being a corporate strategy advisor is about understanding time and speed in the context of integral strategy. Corporate strategists also need a reset (they need to clean their refrigerator of theories and frameworks, not just the new ones but also adapt the old ones) before proceeding with the best of the past, to embrace the best of the foreseen future for our wellbeing and consistent future racings. Digital natives (those who were born with the Internet in their life-style) also need to embrace the past without the internet, because humans need to be prepared to face the truth of their destinies with or without the NAIQIs. That is why corporate strategists (particularly those who lead the industry as BCG, BAIN, Price Waterhouse Coopers, McKinsey) are required to keep the past ways and melt them with the new discoveries, throwing all the wrongs out (clean their fridges) before proceeding further.
Corporate strategy will be at its best only when organizations´ metronomes are calibrated. The purpose of the metronome is to help keep track of time and beats of the music that the user is performing. It is the ultimate aid for any aspiring or experienced musician or athlete/artist to use. Now let´s pass this metaphor to our entities. An entity without a metronome is a disaster. It is impossible for any band or a group of musicians playing together to excel without a metronome. The same applies to organizations. Without metronomes, we end up as we are living at the moment. In a total chaos, searching only for efficiency at high speed through global value chains, and using the Internet tools available, crushing industries and leaving local unprotected SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in total poverty. Or destroying the existing middle class that was not even robust before, thinking that by adopting the NAIQIs there will be an equality of future for all. Nope. It is a fallacy.
The good corporate strategy offers the synchronization system in which all the organizations and their respective SBUs metronomes are all spontaneously beating at the same speed (BPM) and tempo, all harmonized. It also provides lower and upper limits of speed, and companies need to avoid to overpass them.
This is it for today. My next publication is the epilogue. We are going to reach this saga closing day, next Friday. Please remember, we will take two weeks’ vacation, only to return back, fresh and steady for the inauguration of the third saga of 2021: “Portfolio Analysis: Igniting a long term spirit into a short-term world” on August 10th.
Thank you for reading to me. Blessings.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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