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30 August 2011, DNA

Management lessons from Anna’s movement

DNA - Daily news and analysis, republished in their analysis section, a piece by Gateway House’s Geoeconomics Fellow Akshay Mathur, who writes on the highly efficient management model behind the anti-corruption movement in India.

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It is not often that you can draw lessons in management from a mass public initiative. I went to Azad Maidan in Mumbai in August to join the thousands others in the fight against corruption. But the business analyst in me couldn’t help marvel at the management spectacle that was on display, which would put most business school case studies to shame.

Mission: Speaker after speaker made the mission of the movement crystal clear: it is a fight against corruption. Not land acquisition, not food inflation, but corruption. Team Anna was taking on the mantle of leadership of a cause for which demand was high but supply almost zero. To confirm a tangible outcome, a measurable and achievable success criteria was defined — passage of the Jan Lok Pal Bill. This laser-sharp focus enabled the organisers to march in step and direct all the firepower towards a single goal.

Lesson: Focus is a prerequisite for fighting a large more empowered competitor.


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