Middle-week thoughts: solidity of "workers" or solidarity with "workers"?

Tags: business model, Yevhen Pentsak, business strategy

At the time of big changes that occur in the global economy, many people wonder where to move on, what to do, which new business projects to start, etc.? Where to go, which economic sectors will generate profit, where the core values of customers will be focused, how to provide for their future developments, what the key competencies are required for a company - it is an incomplete list of issues, which must be answered by a top manager of every modern company.

What we celebrate - does no matter what, but at least we have an opportunity to spend time with family, to relax in the fresh air, and to cheer up with spring shopping, and perhaps it is a high time to think and to develop the further strategic plans of action.

At the time of big changes that occur in the global economy, many people wonder where to move on, what to do, to start new personal and business projects or not, etc.? At the time of critical moments every person asks themself these questions and tries to find answers among their friends. Once, in the distant 90's, we call it talks on the topic: «Is there life on Mars?» And then it turned out that our dreams and desires have begun to come true. Our own previous experience, the experience of friends, drawing analogies with favourite hobbies, sport and gambling often become very useful.

Today I would like to talk about chess; they provided me with the intellectual drive that I was lacking in the school (during the school years). Sometimes I read bestsellers of renowned financial analysts, where they share with their views about the building of investment strategies. They always remember their childhood, their first teachers (not necessarily school teachers), who gave them their first life rules: the basic rules of behaviour that helped to succeed.

One of my friends told me: «If you want to succeed, start to worry over what you do. Do not be indifferent and you will achieve results!» Recently, another friend said: «In order to achieve success - you have to want it very much. And for this you need to get a shock, the sooner the better». The following question shocked him: what do you do really good in order to be a favorite of fate?

Ideas live in our head with their own independent life, and then ideas are implemented. The most difficult part is the moment of their birth. It is impossible to convey in words a sense of the birth of Idea - you need to experience it. In my opinion, a chess game allows you to experience a sense of discovery, a sense of real time, when you «play» you feel the breath of your adversary, the real struggle of ideas, the psychological tension. Once the chess officially were recognized as sport, but many people were joking: «if chess - sport, then fishing is weight lifting». I think that chess is the first school of life, sometimes the school of survival, but mainly the school of joy and inspiration. That is why many countries are considering the suitability of introducing chess into the school curriculum.

Many business schools today are implementing analogies of business strategies’ development with a chess game when studying business strategy. And leading business magazines are using a checkerboard and the chess pieces as illustrations for business publications. People say that in the 60-70th business resembled American football (fast contraction - score - victory), in the 80's - basketball, every player had to be not high but fast, and in the 90th - intellectual games. Heads of companies had to be quick to master the new rules of the game. The execution was an important part, but still it was not enough.

Management is increasingly beginning to resemble a game in chess. Where to go, which economic sectors will generate profit, where the core values of customers will be focused, how to provide for their future developments, what the key competencies are required for a company - it is an incomplete list of issues, which must be answered by a top manager of every modern company.

Chess – is a set of moves and responses of adversary. Every move includes a position rating, abilities of every figure, strategy. Also the head of the company must assess the situation: a field, his own figures, adversarys’ figures, consumers’ figures. The thinking of manager should be focused in the place where the value for the customer is situated and where it move in the future.

Business model is the way a company selects its consumer, propose an offer, allocate resources, identify the tasks for realization without outside help, and which have to be «outsourced». Values of business model can exist in one of three phases regarding the migration: inflow, stabilization and outflow of the value. Managers need to step aside from the concept of a premium to the price to the added value for the customer. Company management should implement various measures for value retention to the consumer.

The value does not disappear - it moves quickly from one priority to another. To determine the direction and speed of values’ migration is the primary goal of the company. In order to act correctly in the changing values, the manager should ask himself the question: where will be the profit, what changes will occur, what will be their driving force, how to create a dynamic image of their client. Consumers make choices based on their priorities and therefore there is a need to understand their hidden motives, the usefulness of alternatives for it, and the functional relation between the factors that create the consumer needs. It is rather difficult to understand consumers at the level of their decisions, but it is worth trying, otherwise we will not be able to predict changes.

Here are some examples of large values’ migrations: a transition from a homogeneous product to a wide variety (20’s), from gastronomy to the supermarket (30’s), from radio to television (50’s) and to the computer and the Internet (90’s). All these changes in Ukraine occur much more quickly and with a considerable time displacement.

Why do business education is turning to chess as to an analogy point of running big business? Standard textbooks on business education is full of huge amount of structured information. Managers are not able to experience the effectiveness of business models in practice. Only practice, their own mistakes and experience can help the manager to feel the beauty of management theories and concepts.

Chess beginner is glad when he gets a full freedom of his own actions on the chess field, when he gets a possibility to create without limits, just following the rules of the game. However, he begins to understand the feasibility of using someone else's best practice of reference the chess struggle after the first defeats. The gained knowledge does not become a dogma for the chess player, he must practice them all the time and strive for success. The knowledge that is not consolidated in practice lose its value and then forgotten. If you cannot put yourself on the adversary’s side and do not take into account all his actions in response then it is impossible to achieve success in chess.

Chess is not an abstract set of the game rules, but a language of expression of opposition and struggle in real life, which has passed the evolutionary selection. Chess, as well as business, absorbed a large number of ideas, images and feelings.

There are many approaches of teaching to play chess. Also there are lots of methods of studying the business, which are used by leading business schools all over the world. In particular, the Harvard Business School is known of using the case method. An analysis of the parties, which were played by leading chess players, can be the analogy of case technique in chess. Only experienced coaches who can share the ideas’ conflict and dramatic events in the analysis of one set may conduct these classes. The highest level of perfection achieved coaches who can together with the participants «deal» the played sets and build a unique style of play, which takes into account the strongest parts of the players.

Epochs, generation, views, paradigms and world outlooks are changing. And we are experiencing these changes very quickly, sometimes we have not enough time to reconsider the features of the new environment that surrounds us.

Today I asked my daughter, whether she knows why today is a day off in school?

«Today is a day of solidarity of workers. When I was studying at school and university it was obligatory to took part in the parade, once even not taking into account an explosion at the Chernobyl NPP», - I said.

«Dad, but what does it mean «solidarity» of workers? Today we have to be in solidarity with the workers? Or maybe it is a holiday of solidity of workers? »- asked my daughter.

It was difficult to answer, but I liked the idea of solidity and sense of self-esteem with workers.


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