Do You Know Your Mental Boxes Only Manifest as Startup Bottlenecks? [Article 7]

30th May 2012
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This is the seventh article in the series of 20 articles by Santosh SharmaWhenever I come across startup entrepreneurs, I am usually told about the obstacles, hitches, funding constraints, infertile ecosystem for new ventures and the difficulties they face to put their idea into action. If one goes deeper, one will realize that most of these difficulties are self created. The real life situations become worries, as we fail to design solutions. The moment we are able to design a way out of the same situation, it becomes an opportunity. Yes, startups and even established organizations don’t realize that these mental boxes translate into major organizational bottlenecks. The only way to come out of these limitations is to “Dissolve the boxes”.

Let’s analyze entrepreneurs who have tasted success on their way vis-a-vis those who met failures. The situation remaining the same, it is found that those less boxed have greater designing intelligence to absorb the shocks and design a way out compared to those who fiercely guard their boxes. A good case is Sarathbabu who started FoodKing unlike another entrepreneur Gaurav who wanted to start a similar business but gave up citing “unfavourable conditions”. In 2006, Sarathbabu decided to turn into an entrepreneur with just Rs 2,000. That was the start of ‘Food King’. Today, it’s a catering business across various cities and generates revenues of Rs 8 crore. SarathBabu’s story is about determination, a mother’s hard work and enterprise and a family’s fight against the odds. But there is something more behind all this and that is the ability to design solutions. This ability tends towards infinity if we are not hooked to our boxes but keep dissolving them. And this separates success and failures.

The case is similar with established organizations too. Take the example of Air India - the box benefitting the self is so dominant that it does not allow the organization to actually take off. Pilots are thinking of their own benefits, ministers are thinking of their own and the ground staffs are hooked to their own benefits not allowing them space to think of the organization, as a result the organization is suffering.

When entrepreneurs are boxed they have a narrow vision and fail to see the big picture. Some fail to scale-up, some scale-up but are not integrated with the society and some are integrated with the society too but only at the superficial level. These are the enterprises which fail to go global and sustain in the long run.

Entrepreneurs set the mood, capabilities and the grand design for their enterprise because they are the chief architects of their enterprise. If the DNA is healthy the immunity is stronger and therefore they overcome obstacles. But if they are hooked to something say corruption, then they tend to engage and employ people who are corrupt and this ultimately trickles down to many aspects of the organization infecting them. In many organizations you will only get bosses and not leaders so they promote bossism all around by trimming creativity.

Set the Universal tone for your enterprise by dissolving all your boxes. This will make your enterprise relevant, intelligent and sustainable in the short, medium and long term.

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