Today morning an interesting thing happened. While going for a morning bath, I noticed that the soap bar in the soap dish has worn off and I need a new soap bar for my morning shower. I took the new soap bar from the store cupboard and placed it in the soap dish. Now my soap dish had two soap bars, one which is a small piece, and one which is the newly opened fresh Soap bar
I was about to throw the small piece, but something stopped me, I thought the soap was still good and be used for a couple of more baths, how can I make the best use of this soap? So, I pressed it on the new soap bar and applied some water to it and the small piece of soap got perfectly glued to the new soap, and now I had only one soap in my soap dish which I can easily use for my bath, and extract the full value from the old soap
Isn’t it something that many of us experienced sometimes in our life. And now to think of it, many of us do this in our everyday routine. The interesting fact is, the soaps are same. They may be from different brands, different colour, different sizes, different fragrances, yet most of the times they seamlessly join and integrate. The small soap bar gets absorbed in the new soap. Over a period, it loses its colour, fragrance, identity and becomes the new soap. What remains then is the soap, which diligently fulfils its objective of keeping you clean.
Can there be any learning out of this?
All the times in family businesses we talk about the generation gap, and differences among the two generations. These differences are largely due to:
- The role we play
- The responsibilities we shoulder
- The growth perspective we have about the business and for self
- The way to do business and
- The reward expected from the business
Just like the soap, all of us are not the same, we are raised in a different environment, we have a different exposure and different life experiences. The elder generation has seen a slow growth era under the tightly controlled business environment, while the new generation is exposed to the new world which is of the liberalised business environment coupled with internet connectivity. They have heard of success stories of entrepreneurs, who have become industry leaders in a decade.
Just like the soap – which helps you keep clean; similarly, the common objective of any business is to grow sustainably and create wealth.
We have to understand that the external business environment is changing very fast. And to remain relevant in this dynamic world, we not only need to adapt fast but also need to be open to see the emerging trends and proactively prepare to change.
Like the old soap which fades and integrates with the new soap, our success formulas of yesteryears, should fade and get integrated into new ways of doing things, which may be driven by automation or software systems, using tools for online data entry at the source which can give us real-time data for improved decision making. That is the only way to stay relevant and succeed in the coming times.
So, next time when your bathing soap wears off, remember it is giving you a hint to change
By- Sandesh Mestry