Transformation is often misconstrued as undertaking certain specifics only such as moving to

adopt new technology or reorganization of structure or adjustments post mergers or acquisition.

This would be a myopic view of the entire effort of transformation. Transformation is an

opportunity to simultaneously build Intangibles of the organization. Focus on intangibles alone

guarantees sustainable business outcomes.

Intangibles are those that cannot be measured in rupee or dollar terms. Yet they can provide a big

boost to business. It is now well recognized that intangibles such as human capital, brand marketing

and leadership contribute significantly to the market value of a corporation. Delivering financial

performance is one thing and creating a healthy organization is another. Soft strategy initiatives are

the foundation stone of hard side strategy …..

Investors are beginning to ask questions about such intangibles. Often, the market value of scrip moves

up with the appointment of a recognized leader at the top. Analysts today increasingly comment on

intangibles while assessing the value of a company.

Booker Institute of USA estimates that about 50% of the market capitalization of any company is

attributable to intangibles. Further research has shown that market value is becoming less and less

correlated with earnings. Two firms in the same industry with the same earnings may have

dramatically different market value. Well known researchers, Creelman and Ulrich, observe that it is

intangible that drive market value other than earning. The core issue in developing the architecture of

intangibles, apart from clear strategy, is building capabilities – those things that make a company

stand out in the minds of customers. It could be a shared mindset, speed, learning, accountability and


It was my clear sense that to prepare my Bank for long-term competitiveness and developing the

bank as a powerful brand, we could not have worked with existing operational mindset which always

focused on achieving short-term targets. We needed to be far-sighted and take some foundational

steps. These include a renewed emphasis on building human capital, leadership pipeline,


introduction of technology, improving performance culture, taking customer-centric initiatives,

rebranding and re-engineering internal processes, to mention a few.

We did not allow ourselves to play to the temptation of short-term business results. Interestingly,

our unwavering emphasis on building the architecture of intangibles brought dramatic business results,

accelerated movement of share price and movement of ranking among peers. I am much more

convinced that CEO’s main role is to continuously improve building intangibles to bring about long

term sustainability of their organization ( Dare to lead, Sage 2011)


Get your copy here: