With us all getting ready to welcome the year 2011, I see quite a few news clips from various organizations bestowing the “person of the year/decade” awards to those individuals who have influenced certain fields in an outstanding way. More specifically, some of the professional awards include, but not limited to are – artist of the year, scientist of the year, engineer of the year, architect of the year, physician of the year and so on and so forth.
As I was looking at this list, I was surprised to see that there is no award called – “strategist of the year” – and so, wondered if it makes sense to propose a “STRATEGIST OF THE YEAR” award as part of our 2010 year-end blog. As I tossed this idea to my wife – she chuckled –“You aren’t creating an award for yourself? Are you?” Well… although I never meant it that way, it sounded like a good idea as well – given the 2010 career slogan being ”if you do not get the job you wanted – go and create the one for yourself”.
With all the pun aside, we decided to propose the “strategist of the year” idea to our fellow readers – with a noble goal of honoring the legendary strategists who have helped to shape the strategy agenda in the last few decades. As it turned out, developing the selection process to choose the top strategist from the list of 50+ legendary pearls – is not an easy task at all. But, then we remembered the song “no turning back” and so, created a mini panel (with me and my wife as members) and quickly scanned through the profiles of the top 50 legendary strategists from various sources (we have listed few links at the bottom of the page for your perusal as well) within the last 10+ years or so.The only key criteria we used was to honor those strategists whose thinking have helped to shape the world’s purpose agenda - given the theme of our blog being “ strategy with purpose” promoting the “collaboration driven purpose innovation”( http://strategywithapurpose.blogspot.com/2010/10/transforming-so-what-opposites-in-to-so.html).
To our surprise, we quickly learned that the list of renowned strategists who have been repeatedly being ranked in the top 50 list, year after year – by and large remained the same, except for few who have changed their positions relative to others depending upon the criteria in which they have been evaluated in those years.The question however is how to trickle down to the finalist - and that indeed turned out to be even more daunting task than agreeing on the process itself!
This is where we applied our intuition and decided to make the process simple – i.e. decided to honor C.K.Prahalad, who was called home in the year 2010. Although he might qualify to be the “strategist of the year” on his own merits- we decided to bestow the award – primarily based on the fact that he was the only one in the top 50 list who happen to be called home in the year 2010. And so, the Grammy goes to... Oops! the “Strategist of the year 2010” award goes to C.K. Prahalad. I hope you all agree with our intuition as well.
Twas the day of a solemn note!
‘Twas the Sunday morning like any other day, (April 18, 2010)
There stuck a solemn note in my heart as the news reverberated far and wide,
Stilling the clatter and traffic of the business world – and made them to pause and look around,
A new sense of new world order, at least for the time being- a new world without CKP,
In its sorrow - yet with its splendor, in its moment of loss -yet with its fortitude.
The light is gone, yet I whispered to myself - I wish I was wrong,
For the strategic light that shone the world was no ordinary light,
That strategy light that illumined this world for these many years,
Will continue to illumine this world for many more years to come,
And hundred years from now, I am sure, that light will still be seen around the world.
Not an ordinary one, the light that redefined the word strategy...
The praja that made strategy relevant for the bottom of the pyramid,
That gravitas that drew us away from the conventional thinking,
That compassionate heart that reminded us to do the right thing,
That simple soul that took the strategic thinking altogether to the new level – strategy with purpose!
The strategy Guru with his spectacled charm and of happy nature,
The champion of the once alien concept “core competencies” along with Gary Hamel
Among his virtues, sense of duty still stands out tall – as teacher and a servant
His courage to go against the odds with stronger conviction,
That is the character that won the glint of admiration.
That innovator who planted the resource based view (RBV) seed for the swallow-tails
And the milkweed plants where strategists of yester years would lay,
To make this April meadow grass green and the next round of caterpillar generation to grow
Beckoning the world to watch the mystery unfold
The metamorphosis of translucent prodigies (us?) giving our golden service for the needy.
The immigrant star smiling with his trademark embed spectacled eyes (from his place of resting)
Like a immortal who refused to be a mortal,
Realizing how quickly his insights are going to be consumed (for the betterment of the world)
Resting in peace with the assurance of his prodigies fulfilling his purpose,
Yet, rolling over from his grave once in a while (reminding us that purpose) with his spectacled smile indeed!
PS: The inspiration for this poetry tribute came from the scripture verse– “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do we light a candle, and put it under a bushel”