Walking on Water- Part I



In one of my previous jobs I was part of a team that evaluated and recommended investment and money managers to investment banking clients.  During a meeting with one of the money managers I asked the relationship manager about how their performance compared to X Investment Management.  Without hesitation, he replied: ohh, these people can walk on water!


I was bedazzled not only by this gentleman’s honesty indorsing a direct competitor in front of an important client or by the strong phrase used to describe X’s super abilities but rather by knowing that there was actually a money manager who could consistently beat the market.  I was brought up to believe that there was no such thing as beating the market!


Since that incident I developed a freaking obsession over why underperformance within the corporate sector across the region is not only widely tolerated but also rewarded for by in large.  Literally, several top executives are simply evaluated by the number of mistakes they do not make!  Imagine how it looks when your performance, and hence, employment contract is governed not by your success but your avoidance of mistakes.


That is why none of our corporations is represented in the S&P 500.  Our companies are content with local competition and have no urge to compete regionally let alone on the global level.  Yet they seem very happy during good times as they attribute the performance to their talents and abilities.  However, falling oil prices and strict government regulation, also known as nationalization of jobs, are among the excuses they offer when the bottom lines are in red.  They never mention that oil prices were high and government regulations were lean 90% of the time during the past half a century.  Why did your talents and abilities fail you during bad times?!


My obsession about walking on water led me to start my consulting firm First Capital Financial and Management Consulting.  My practice is based on a single philosophy; seek to walk on water.  When dealing with my clients, mostly, SMEs, I focus on showing them how they should set everything around to walk on water as opposed to surviving bad times.  I thought writing a series of articles and, hopefully, combining these articles into a book would help me to a) learn your perspective, and b) convey mine.


I will start the discussion within the HR domain since www.jobibex.com is the crown jewel of First Capital as most of you already know.  Later on, I will highlight why the majority of local and regional corporations are simply happy fishing out of a barrel and has no or little interest in rubbing shoulders with the big sharks out there.  After that, I will highlight some successful and aspiring models of Omani companies that have realized the urge to walk on water and have actually taken serious steps to be there.  Finally, I will help SMEs develop strategies, tactics and techniques to move from merely surviving to walking on water.


As mentioned earlier, this will be a long series of articles and discussion.  Longer than any Mexican soap opera.  Your contribution and comments are highly appreciated.  SME owners/managers are most welcome to contact me to exchange views.

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