Trust – The Flipkart Story


Gaurav Dalmia’s article on the Flipkart story in The Times of India dated 15th May 2018 makes a pertinent statement.  I quote:

“Flipkart’s heady growth would not have happened if managers were not empowered to take decisions.  It was a two-way trust.  For the company, it was faith in its army of techies and marketeers that they could deliver in the high stakes game.  For managers, it was the confidence that wrong decisions – inevitable in any business – would not be held against them personally.  Political commentator Francis Fukuyama’s pioneering study on culture shows that prosperous countries tend to be those where business relations between people can be conducted informally and flexibly, on the basis of trust.” 

As stated several times in my earlier posts, high-performance teams are not formed by transforming people.  Instead it is about creating an environment where people as they are, with their egos, and strengths as well as inadequacies, align to a common goal and collective success.  And the most critical ingredient of that environment is Trust.  As experienced and demonstrated by participants in the “CorporateTheatre” workshops, it is not about trusting or even liking each other as people.  That would be a welcome and desirable bonus.  More important is trust in each other’s clarity and commitment on this project now.

Trusting that everyone involved is equally clear and equally committed empowers people to take decisions, even risky decisions to aim for performance beyond the ordinary and the predictable.  While such risk-taking does create the possibility, and consequently, the fear of failure, there is no fear of being blamed for failure.  Failure actually becomes a learning and integrative process that makes the team stronger, more interdependent, more receptive to each other, and wiser. This is the two-way trust that Gaurav Dalmia mentions in his excellent article.


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