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Cover Story
 

Enter ‘Tactical’ Strategy
In a Superlative & most Insightful analysis, B&E Documents how Corporate Leaders have Transformed their Organisations & Implemented continental strategic shifts that have Rewritten Global Management case books
Issue Date - 17/02/2011
 
As we enter a new decade, the structure of the global economy has changed dramatically. There is no doubt that heightened competition, fuelled by the inextricable march of globalisation, has shaped the early part of the 21st century and helped define the changing world.

But, as companies looked out, they saw a different picture – an undercurrent of fundamental change. As they worked to understand the deeper meaning of events, they came to believe that shifts that would reshape our economy and, the global economy, were underway. These were:

Evolving Business Outlook: The lowering of trade barriers, the rise of the developing world and the emergence of the WorldWideWeb unleashed the flow of work on a global scale. Booming M&A activity around the world, with key focus on developing economies helped centralise investments, this helped bring out the “Best Practice” within companies. We believed these changes were powerful and irreversible, and that they would lead to new business models and a new form of the corporation itself – what we came to call the globally integrated enterprise.

Changes in Technology: At the same time, a new model of computing was replacing the PC-based, client/server approach. Computational capability was being put into things no one would recognise as computers: phones, cameras, cars, appliances, roadways, power lines, clothes – and even natural systems. All of this was being connected through the Internet. And we now had the computing power, advanced analytics and new models to turn mountains of data into insight. As a result, the economic, societal and physical systems of the world were becoming instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. Our planet was becoming smarter.

Changes in Client Demand: Compelled by the new opportunities and competitive demands of these first two shifts, enterprises and institutions were no longer content with cost-savings from off-the-shelf technologies and solutions. They now sought to innovate – not just in their products and services, but also their business processes, management systems, policies and core business models. To accomplish that, companies needed to integrate advanced technology far deeper into their operations.

All countries must develop the skills and aptitude to work with the world. The system that worked well for a few decades after the end of the Second World War needs to be reformed in a fundamental way. Going forward, all companies need to articulate a vision for a new global economy in which the economic capacities of other nations are heightened and where leadership is centralised in promoting an open, connected globe.
 
India’s defence: the shifts we are truly missing
Nations across the globe have always focussed on the state of defence and military preparedness as a defining feature of their national policy. Col. harinder singh, discusses why India needs to change its approach towards this issue which needs utmost attention.

Maintaining India’s territorial integrity, ensuring its socio-economic well-being and resisting overt and covert acts of terror are the country’s principal national security concerns. Securing the nation calls for a capable and responsive military component. Qualitative changes in the field of technology, doctrine and culture are likely to significantly transform the country’s conventional war fighting capabilities in the future. Clearly, the Indian armed forces will have to be optimally equipped, and the troops well trained, motivated and “prepared” to fight across the operational spectrum – conventional or sub-conventional. The expression “defence preparedness”, as often used in the Indian context, is ambiguous as it does not explicate the relevance and importance of military readiness for contemporary requirements. “Military readiness” is quite distinct from “defence preparedness,” which is how the construct is commonly understood in the Indian context. The latter is a self satisfying concept, whereas the former postulates the need to be always ready and relevant to tackle unforeseen threats.

preparedness for what?
The future of conflict will always be uncertain and unpredictable. However, in contrast to this operational reality, military engagements are often seen in linear terms. But then, faced with hybridised adversaries and situations, there is a need to recognise the emerging nature of military conflict, and it is pertinent that the armed forces offer relevant and precise choices for application of military force across this expanded spectrum of conflict. To achieve the desired levels of military readiness, the build up of both actual and potential military capabilities will have to be foreign- and security- policy led, and resource informed.

Military readiness involves an understanding of the subject issue at several levels: the problem of `un-readiness`, the concept and components, the standards, metrics and measurement, and the concerns and strategy. The country’s readiness posture needs to be viewed through inter-related frames of national security strategy and defence policy, doctrines and strategy, funding and technology, force structures and capability, training and culture. India’s exaggerated reliance on ensuring defence preparedness through defence acquisitions and its inability to perceive readiness deficiencies together inhibit it from objectively addressing its military readiness concerns.

          

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