It seems like every time I turn around these days, another firm that I work with has just launched a new campaign to cut costs. Call it “Operational Excellence”, or “Leanness”, or just plain cost-cutting – a fool’s dream for most. It’s not that it’s not a good idea, it is, of course; who could ever be against cost-management? The big problem is that cost- control, not to mention cost-leadership, requires great and consistent discipline, and most firms that I see lack the requisite discipline. They also lack the vision, and the leadership, that are central to this, and, so, their efforts reaffirm the old adage that: “You can’t save your way to greatness.” Read more

This originally appeared as:   “You Can’t Save Your Way to Greatness,” The Times of India (Mumbai), April 3, 2007