Ram Charan was born in 1939 in Uttar Pradesh, India. His introduction to the business world was through working in the family shoe shop in that small Indian town where he was raised. Soon, he was offered a job in Australia and then in Hawaii. Through these jobs his talent for business was discovered and therefore he was encouraged to pursue it. He acquired an MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School; and after that he worked as part of the faculty of that same university.
Charan is a highly sought business advisor and speaker. He became a famous man among the senior executives thanks to his facilities to solve the toughest business problems. He has worked behind the scenes and shared his insights with the top executives of the world’s most successful companies.
He is well known for giving relevant and down to earth advice; he is also well known for knowing the real-world complexities of business and giving advice about them. Executives seek his advice on how to plan their companies and on key hires. Because of his teaching he has won several awards like for example; the Bell Ringer award at GE’s famous Crotonville Institute and the best teacher award at Northwestern.
Through his life, this man has written a lot of books capturing his business insights, some of them are the following: Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, and What the CEO Wants You to Know. But he has not written books only, he has also written articles in very important newspapers like for example; Financial Times and The Harvard Business Review.

This extract from the book Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty by Ram Charan talks about the new rules for getting the right things done in difficult times. This text talks about how the economic crisis is spreading globally and moving beyond the financial industry; apart from this it talks about how to take action and how to make employees should react upon this crisis, and finally he talks about his reactions.
The first clear sign that came up to him was while he was visiting a mayor customer in Japan. Dr. Charan through this text describes the story of DuPont CEO Chad Holliday and his meeting with the CEO of the Japanese company. Because of the crisis Holliday was worried and therefore planned a meeting with his six top leaders of his company to discuss the following questions: “How bad is it?” and “How bad could it get?” What seemed to be a crisis of confidence in Wall Street now seemed to be a global crisis in Western Europe, Russia, and most of Asia. The crisis was making credit disappear leaving companies struggling to finance their operations.
It was time to make a plan to solve this crisis. And DuPont makes up procedures to solve the crisis. The plan seldom is called up. This plan was used in the 9/11 attacks and in the aftermath of the most important hurricanes. The plan brought together 17 standing teams that always assemble when a crisis is declared. But eight of these 17 teams were stood down. The plan had several stages that involved communication with the employees.
The employees had to be communicated and these communications took several forms. The first form was through the chief economist and the other 14 top leaders. After that, the company would inform its employees through meetings with its managers. And through these measures of communication the employees could be informed about what was going on in the company and what was occurring. Through this they could see how well employees understood the nature of the crisis and later on, determine their psychological reaction.
Finally, this text talks about DuPont’s initial reaction to the spreading of the economic crisis that took place in less than six weeks. Holliday predicts that inflationary trends that preceded the financial crisis will reassert themselves. DuPont will be ready for that too.

Mark = 7

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License