Win- Lose or Win –Win – Actually it is much beyond that

  • I am sure everyone is well familiar with ‘ Win-Lose ‘ , ‘ Win-Win ‘ scenarios and that everyone understands / enlightened on , how Win-Win is better , including in negotiations situations
  • However it is likely that you may not have heard that there is something beyond ‘ Win – Win ‘ & better and in fact worth striving for – though not so easy to reach there . You are unlikely to have known this before because no one told you , what I am going to share with you .
  • I do not know what to term this as , but it is a scenario which sees self win , as a subset of other’s win .
    • Can you envisage your win as a part of your customer’s ( or any other party , you are dealing with ) win & not separate from it , to be counted as ‘ Win – Win ‘ — it is NOT Your Win and ‘ his ‘ Win as two ( may be interrelated , yet ) distinct happening ?
    • Can you feel as happy with the other person’s win , you are dealing with ; as much as you would be ( /would have been ) happy with your win – regardless of how you define your win & regardless to whatever happens to what you defined as your win ?
    • Are you willing & happy to ‘ dissolve ‘ your win into someone else’s win , like sugar into milk – so that you can single mindedly focus on achieving only One WIN , that is of the ‘ other person ‘ and feel overwhelmingly & genuinely happy about the remarkable outcome ( like sugar made the sweetened milk ) you helped create , without really bothering to count – ‘ what did you get ‘
  • If you have experienced any of above or if you can relate to the scenario above ; you will understand the concept I am bring to you . Those now enlightened but skeptical about its ‘ practicality ‘ will ask me …if anyone in this world does this , except God & the kins thereof …. I would say YES , Very Much . Each Mother I know , practices that every time with her child
    • I am not aware of any mother , who in any scenario , operates with her child in a ‘ Win –Win ‘ scenario , forget about ‘ Win –Lose ‘ !
    • I am not aware of any mother , who has any ‘ own ‘ agenda , separate from her child’s that makes her count her ‘ win ‘ or  ‘What did I get for what I did ‘ .
    • I have not seen a mother who is not single mindedly focused on her child’s win – that being the only win for he in that situation . And her life is an endless Sum of all such situations
  • I took ‘ Mother ‘ analogy , because it is so visible , happening in each of our lives . However practicing this concept of Win within Win ‘ is not restricted to ‘ biological ‘ mothers . It applies to each that person , who ‘ Mothers’ whatever he / she is involved in – be it person , product , process , cause , nation , entity & I have seen it being practiced
  • Now I will tell you , why I am fascinated with this concept , why I consider it a higher level concept , where can it be applicable & who are well poised to practice it
    • The flaw in ‘ Win – Win ‘ concept – however flaunted & promoted is that … whether ‘Win –Lose ‘ or ‘Win –Win ‘ ; both are ‘ Transactional ‘  …. It has to do with “ What do I get for what I did “ . Even if you are conscious about & calibrate to see each party gets happy , the mind set is still “ What do I get for what I did “  . “ Win within Win “ , goes much beyond to be a ‘ Relationship ‘ approach
    • Other shortcoming in any transactional v/s relationship approach is that in the former ( like in Win –Win ) there are two entities , in the later ( as in Win within Win) there is only one entity . This does not only afford single minded focus of your efforts & energy – quantitatively leading to outstanding outcome ; it also attains ‘ purity of purpose ‘ & qualitatively too attains higher level
  • This concept – rather a Life Approach has not only universal application in whatever you do , but more particularly potently useful in Service industry – for better customer focus . And with its purity of purpose , every step you take on this path enhances your enrichment & happiness quotient
  • Having said that let me caution you that practicing Win within Win is none too easy . Win-Win itself is difficult to practice . Practicing Win within Win will take much more level of mental strength , conviction & determination . I am not sure how many can , but it is certainly very desirable – aspirational journey
    • It will come easy to those who are convinced about & dedicated to creating “ Greater Good “ for the world and have deep intrinsic faith that their share of “ Greater Good “ will be Greater than the ( usual )Good , without having to separately count . It is for those people who take as their obligation to contribute to creating a better World and take themselves as inseparable constituent of the better world , than the other way round
    • It is for that “ Sugar “ who unquestioningly dissolves into the Milk with deep commitment to make the World a better place with it than without – it is not for that ‘ sugar ‘ who refuses to lose its identity by dissolving & in turn makes , self & the surrounding – unfulfilled
  • This piece is therefore dedicated to All Mothers & to All Those who take themselves as Mothers to Whatever they do . This World is a better place , essentially because of them !


  • Customer is the King . Ask any one who has had some exposure to formal college education or who has heard of ‘ Consumerism ‘ , he will surely say , Consumer always comes first
  • And yet you see what most organizations invariably do exactly the opposite – they are inwardly focused . They pursue their pre set financial goals , not customer needs , they are structured to suit internal admin logistics not aligned with serving customers , they produce what suits their abilities not customer needs & their use of technology is towards internal convenience and cost optimization , not for serving customer better ; it doesn’t make customer’s search or life easier
  • That is why the non – human way ( voice command operated , automated teleservice ) is increasingly becoming inhuman … may times you do not get across or have to hold on to it for long or you have to cross 6-7 levels of filtering commands , in the garb of guiding you …. It is actually a deterrent for the customer to continue . Many times you find that the option or issue of service you are seeking resolution for is not even listed in the menu . This is distancing from customers .
  • As if this ‘ distancing from customers ‘ was not good enough , I’m seeing a new trend of ‘ hiding from customers ‘ . The trend I see in at least 2 major service sector companies : One is a big ‘ Tel – Tel ‘ company in Telecom & another DTH company operating from the sky ; is to say tata to customers by closing down visible service centers . When earlier they had a physical presence in the form of service centers where customers had some recourse to issues and grievances have fast disappeared . In my recent experience when our telephone sustained follow up did was not responded to despite promises we did not know where to go , as even on company’s website there is no address , except the HO in Mumbai one can approach . Denying access to customers to me is a Cardinal sin , especially in the Service sector
  • In India most Organisations , in the name of customer service , serve own interest ; that is because they see themselves and customers as on two opposite sides , they suspect their customers — that is why they seek ‘ protective ‘ measures from customers & build a fortress wall around themselves . They see Organisaion’s interests & Customer interests as two & often clashing entities … that is why service standards in India are so pathetically below standard . In the end these organizations neither serve their customers well nor themselves .
  • If you ask me who comes first ; I’m very clear on the attention hierarchy , it is : Customer à Organisation à Employees . It’s always customers first , who are the reason businesses are created Hence it is the Organisation who needs to be aligned to serving customers & not the other way round . It is my conviction that there is no better way to serve organisation’s interest except via serving customer interest . The beauty is ( which most organizations and managements miss ) that if you are truly aligned with your customers , you will always be on your customer’s side & when both are on the same side , there are no two ( clashing ) sides to service ; there is only one cause left … the common cause of serving your customers . Those companies who have internalized this spirit have long sustaining & flourishing businesses , because they know no better way of conducting business . These respectable organizations do not chase business or numbers ; they only run with their customers because of which the business chases them .