Experts have called the current pattern of rapid and unpredictable changes in business conditions as the New Normal. In order to lead in these conditions, it is critical to constantly innovate business at an ever faster pace. And to obtain the desired responsive capabilities, organizations significantly rely on a process or function called operations. They are therefore under an increasing pressure to make Operational Excellence central to their core strategy.
In their aspirations to achieve superlative operational performance, organizations have often rushed to adopt a large variety of tools and techniques. However, a vast majority of attempts to cut and paste such tools and techniques has made their journey painful, exhausting and costly. Not surprisingly, over 70% of well intended initiatives to achieve breakthrough performance in operations have either stopped midway or given suboptimal results.
'The Path' presents a way to achieve dramatic growth on an ongoing basis without taking costly trade-offs and burn-outs. It emphasizes that dealing with the New Normal is not so much about running after an overwhelming number of improvement skill-sets, rather it is about 'improving the process of improvement' itself. According to the book, an organization of a reasonable size has enough intuition, experience and logic to figure out its own way of Operational Excellence. It shows that in today's environment, an actionable approach of 'learning by doing' provides a strong option for achieving rapid, yet sustainable growth.
The book is set in an operational warzone and it describes the saga of teams in dealing with the New Normal. Since, intuition and emotions are hallmark of day to day operations, it is written in a semi story driven format and contains operational dialogues between players in the field.
Notwithstanding its story driven approach, 'The Path' attempts to provide a business solution to one of the biggest social evils: the skyrocketing cost of medicines. It derives its content from the pharmaceutical industry to which every reader is a customer. Like the great debate of global warming, the book recognizes the growing tension between drug manufacturers on one hand and governments, regulators, social media and patients on the other hand. It places non-availability of drugs at the center of discussion and pinpoints ineffective and inefficient way of doing business as a core problem to the conflict. It shows how a high availability of drugs is achieved by dramatically improving operations of pharmaceutical organizations, while lowering the cost.
From the industry domain point of view, the book is unique because it moves the popular literature on organizational effectiveness beyond automotive and engineering centric industries. By doing so, it provides opportunity to professionals to relook into Operational Excellence from a very fundamental level and then, build their own way of achieving quick and dramatic growth on an ongoing basis. In fact, no industry is untouched by the type of changes taking place due to the New Normal, although at different and varying intensity. 'The Path' is therefore as much applicable to a well matured commodity business as it is to the one in the new product intensive Hi-tech industry.
As a book, 'The Path' is also unique in the way it was created. In fact, it was co-created by over 100 professionals online. These professionals from different industries have provided insights from their years of experience in making organizations more effective. And in doing so, they have offered a direction to dramatically improving the way organizations need to operate in today's world.