Always aim for a ‘win-win’ situation

How does one begin to think about 'win-win' when war is unavoidable? Radhakrishnan Pillai explains.

It was management guru Stephen Covey who had first coined the word “win-win”—now a common terminology in the corporate world.

But what does it mean? Can there really be two winners in a game? Well, yes! It is a paradigm shift in management thinking, based on the principle of live and let live.

In fact, this policy of avoiding war was written by our own Chanakya: “In war there are losses, expenses, marches away from home and hindrances.” (7.2.2)

When competition sets in, and if it’s not tackled carefully, both the parties can end up in a brutal war that causes heavy losses of time, energy and also resources. Huge expenses are encountered when we find one party trying to out-prove the other.

Now, the real question is how does one even begin to think about ‘win-win’ when war is unavoidable. Careful thinking of the following points will help us:

They should take guest lectures in business schools, do mentoring in their own companies and also take sessions in their industry associations.

We all can share

The biggest competition in the corporate wars is for markets. But, remember however best you may try, no single company can get 100 percent market share. That has never happened in the past and will never happen in the future.

So it is important to think about “How can I expand the existing market itself?” instead of thinking “How much market can I capture?” We all can get a bigger share if the pie itself expands.

All of us can teach

It may sound strange, but it really is important that the business leaders should get into the teaching mode. A business leader has a lot of roles to play—teaching being one of the most important. Therefore, with years of experience already earned, the top players should start teaching others.

They need to create an awareness of their own company and industry in potential markets. They should take guest lectures in business schools, do mentoring in their own companies and also take sessions in their industry associations.

Create more winners

The best way to think ‘win-win’ is to create more winners like yourself. As a leadership phrase goes, “A leader is the one who can create more leaders”. Invest in the ‘generation-next’.

Keep looking at various sources from where you can tap potential leaders. India Inc. today is in a stage of rapid change. As Divya Dayal, the Vice president (Human resources) at Japanse Bank, Mizohu pointed out, “In the next ten years, one of the basic problems we will face as a country is lack of good leaders.”

To tackle this scenario, many Indian corporate giants are now setting up world-class leadership and management training institutes.

This would go a long way in not only helping the industry itself but also the markets and the entire country. After all, if India wins as a nation, all of us will be winners—‘win-win’!

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.


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