Friday, February 17, 2012

Policies, Rules, Processes and Culture

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With the BCCI, it is probably hard to report anything with a straight face but almost all reports covering the predictable reunion of Sahara India Parivaar and the BCCI started off quoting Rajiv Shukla that "no rules were broken".

I am not sure if the intent of these reports was to induce a roll of the eyes, a scoff, an uncontrolled involuntary laugh or it was just plain old reporting the news as it happened. However I was curious as to why the BCCI would want to stress and communicate that it has broken no rules in mending relationships with Sahara.

The BCCI is run by smart, successful leaders in India, be it politicians or businessmen. A lot of intelligence, real world skills and dollops of cunning is plentiful among the BCCI elite. Over time, I have realized that nothing the BCCI bigwigs do or say should be dismissed as nonsense, however strong the urge to do just that. So when the BCCI says the they are rejecting the Woolfe report or want us to know that "no rules were broken" or they are unwilling to take a "leap of faith" with the DRS or they make statemements like "players are free to request rest" there is more to it than mere words and the meaning it conveys.

For an organization that makes up its own rules and accountable to no one, why the sudden need to convey that rules are important to them? I don't know. Maybe the message they wanted to send out was that the BCCI came out tops in spite of Sahara threatening to do a BCCI on the BCCI but could not quite pull it off.

Moving on...its been a while since we have heard Mahendra Singh Dhoni or any of the guys who care to front up to the media use the 'Process' line. "It is important to follow the process. The results will take care of itself", was a line frequently used in South Africa, through the World Cup and I think even in England. Lately however with the advent of some public airing of differring views on finishing wins, the process line has been rotated for a new term...."The rotation policy". But before that, I must say that the way Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni openly presented differing views on finishing off games has been refreshing. It is healthy. I don't remember any Indian team who were open about their disagreements.

I don't know if there is any meat to reports that Sehwag has captaincy aspirations. If he does, I am only happy. If he disagrees with Dhoni and he believe he can do a better job, he should go for the job. There is no value in having someone like Anil Kumble. In hindsight he would have been a great captain after Saurav Ganguly but who knew?

Lately there has been much talk about "The Rotation Policy". I don't know what the fuss is about. All knowing, presumptuous, cynical cricket fans like me can see through it. Sachin Tendulkar needs to score his 100th and preparations to dfefend the World Cup have to start. These are conflicting goals. In classic management consultant style Dhoni has coined a term... "Rotation Policy"... to do both without addressing the problem (to be specific about the problem - What to do with the the biggest whiteset elephantest elephant in the room). Watch how the policy disappears once Sachin gets his 100th. Something convenient will happen for the policy to be rotated like the 'Process takes care of the resullts line'

In a recent tweet, Harsha Bhogle had this to say..."i believe england's woeful record in asia can change if they embrace the continent and its culture. they have the team to do it". It got me thinking. Firstly it implies that England haven't embraced the continent and the Asian culture. Secondly, would he implicate India with doing the same? Do we lose in England and Australia because we don't embrace the 2 countries? Do Indians appreciate the English / Western culture? or do we still believe Gandhi's joke about it being a "good idea" as a serious opinion.

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