Outcomes Versus Results

Outcomes is the “Means to the end” which is results. So why do enterprises focus on the latter and ignore the former? The fly on the wall would say “everyone likes to take the path of least resistance”. Is it so and if it is, does it stick in the long run? If this nitpicking is confusing you, let me illustrate some examples here.

A personal level illustration could be one where ‘outcome is happiness and result is getting rich’. It is extremely important to be happy in life to enjoy the wealth one creates but the contrarian is not true. True happiness does not spring from money alone. At an enterprise level, outcome is the joy of generating intellectual capital and results is the cumulative success in harnessing that intellectual capital to Revenue. Where Intellectual Capital may be defined as the “Threshold of Capability” of an Enterprise while Financial Results that combines Revenue and Profitability.

In their zest to create globally viable companies, Indian software vendors have exploited the individual skills of engineering education, english speaking, globally mobile, aspirations to build a better lifestyle for the family and ingenuity to adapt among the global workforce qualities to great advantage. But now that balance has been achieved with a critical mass at both, individual and enterprise ends. Now what is there to exploit? Under ideal conditions, the outcomes of all these years of exploitation must result in areas that can be harnessed for further growth. But alas, that is not the case. Here is a litmus test; how many Indian companies can register a 15% new revenue Q on Q in the next 4 quarters in any geographical market? If the challenge were to be more specific, then I would name the US and European markets specifically.

In these market conditions with labor arbitrage being a sensitive issue, the only way to earn new revenue would be to find new markets, products, processes and services. In the software parlance, this would mean deploying  business components that can be plugged and played to the customer’s existing business to grow them worldwide; outside their current scope of markets, products, processes and services. Are those capabilities available with the Indian software companies? How else can new revenue be generated, either by the customer or by the vendor if they have to deploy fresh resources to create this enabler for business that will facilitate growth?

These are going to be difficult times for Customers too in the US, Europe or UK markets. New emerging consumer markets demand their products, processes and services delivered innovatively and competitively. These customers need to embrace global cultures, much different to the military and monopolistic attitudes of the past histories will teach them and focus on a string of sustained outcomes to find their place under the rising sun of global commerce. This is the reality of a new world with new channels, medium and devices to reach consumers, share information transparently across the Value Chain and balance global as well as local markets with equal panache from the epicenter of the customer universe one creates for the enterprise. Global boundaries can be erased by processes to seamlessly create the synergies of the global and the local. Partnership and Co-Creation far from being a slogan can truly become the catalysts for the organization of tomorrow; which is now and the immediate quarter. Not some distant future.

At the cost of sounding repetitive, let me re-assert – the true meaning of global commerce is that, the age old headquarters and regional branches has no significance in the organizational design anymore. Organizations have a need to be headquartered in the epicenter of their customer universe. This is the new paradigm that needs to be addressed by businesses all over the world, irrespective of the vertical industry sector they belong to.

About Subbu Iyer

Subbu Iyer is an Innovation & Transformation Leader as with 28 years of serving customers globally. He is currently the Chief Designer & Transformer at Energizing Innovation, an enterprise that is being founded to facilitate continuous growth in enterprises and as a consequence create societal wealth. The Radical Shift that this enterprise intends to employ is focusing on the Potential rather than the Performance of a business. He has been a serial entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in his past life, having founded Nihilent Technologies and Nandaki Systems besides being associated in senior leadership roles with firms such as Coopers & Lybrand, Cambridge Technology Partners, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and Steria.
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