The pre-ramble

by

Vintage typewriter and old books
Before I introduce you to strategic ramblings, I’d first like to thank you for visiting!  I do hope that you enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoy writing them, and I am certain that over time they will translate to more than just ramblings…
So, how would Webster define strategic rambling?
stra·te·gic [strəˈtējik]
  • relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them
ram·bling [ˈræmblɪŋ]
  • straggling or sprawling haphazardly; to move aimlessly from place to place
Thus, by definition, strategic ramblings could be “aimlessly identifying your long-term goals and haphazardly developing a means to achieve them”.  Makes sense, right?  Well, not exactly…
So what is a strategic rambling?  The intent behind strategic ramblings is truly bridging the gap between strategic thinking and thoughtful ramblings.  See what we did there, by adding the words “thinking” to strategic and “thoughtful” to ramblings, we are looking to provide this definition:
stra·te·gic ram·bling [strəˈtējik ˈræmblɪŋ]
  • conveying thoughts on various intriguing topics in an effort to spark a strategic insight to influence future decisions for the better
There you have it!
Now, to set the stage and to explain why this blog may be meaningful to you, let me begin by taking you through a past experience of mine and please do comment if this has happened to you in the past as well. I recall that several years ago while in my early 20’s, I met an individual that when asked “What line of work are you in?” they replied, “Strategy Consulting!” with a big smile on their face.  My first thoughts were: what does strategy consulting even mean? What kind of strategy do they focus on (brand, marketing, IT, operations,…)? For what types of companies (public, private, industrial, retail, service,…)? The questions in my mind that would come next were endless it seemed.  Alas, I followed up with “That sounds interesting, do you enjoy it?”  The individual then responded, with (close paraphrasing) “Yes, I’m a consultant with Bain & Co., we are a global strategy consulting firm and we focus on strategic projects which…”  Sorry for cutting this off, but the reason I stopped listening there, is that it didn’t really even answer the question that I has asked.
Okay, so that may appear to be me rambling and you might say, “The person worked for Bain & Co. and you weren’t interested in hearing more?”  Well, to me, there was a lack of passion in the response and when you lack that passion, it almost sounded too rehearsed.  As you may have read in my bio (http://www.thoughtensemble.com/parimal.html), you can see that I started off as an Electrical Engineer.  Usually, the first question I am asked is “Why / How did you go from Engineering to Consulting?”  My elevator speech has slightly evolved over time, from “I really wanted to learn more about the business side of a company” to “I want to influence the way that businesses view their landscape by establishing a reason for doing what they do.  In my mind, it starts with changing the ways that businesses define success, thinking long-term as opposed to short-term gain, wanting to help others and creating a situation they can be proud of.”  Yes, yes and yes!  That is why I moved into consulting!
Getting back to the story, if the consultant I was talking to had started with something less rehearsed, I may have engaged in the discussion a bit more.  And for the record, it really did not matter where the individual worked; it just so happened that they worked for Bain & Co.  I guess it goes back to my belief that an institution does not define an individual’s personal brand, rather the person that defines the institution’s brand.
Okay, enough with the rambling, I will leave you with that thought and please stay tuned as there is more to come by way of my strategic ramblings…

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