The Osun election has come and gone, but there are business lessons to learn just as we did after the Ekitis made the difference between want and need clearer to us.
The first lesson is learning from the mistakes others have made. The Ekiti APC made a big mistake by not reacting quickly to the invasion of their state by Federal political arm twisters. They did not do anything to neutralize the effect of the loads of money brought through Akure. Whether to counter it Naira for Naira or sensitize the electorate to collect the money and still vote their conscience.
For sure PDP brought money as they did in Ekiti but it was neutralized. The big boys from Abuja were also there, Femi Fani-Power (I like that guy’s Yorubaness but hate his politics), Tompolo, Obanikoro, Adesiyan and others.
Again in this election, the APC leaders did not wait till Friday to move in. If they had done that, the Federal might would have prevented them from entering Oshogbo to render the last minute assistance which is so vital in politics. It is said that the last 24 hours to an election are the most crucial. People’s minds are so flexible and that is why delegates are holed up in hotels during congresses.
The business lesson is this. Do not invent the wheel. Learn from the forerunners and do not make the mistakes they made. Read autobiographies and write-ups on them. Business moguls such as Henry Ford, Adenuga. Bill gates and others like them.
Another lesson is that you must be able to know your strengths and weaknesses and use them to advantage. In business, there is what we call SWOP analysis. Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Strength. Omisore knew he had Ife and concentrated on that area and so got most of his votes from that block. On the other hand Aregbesola had his Ijeshas and Oshobo people to lean on. He had them in the basket and gave Omisore a big fight in Ife. You will notice that, even as Omisore’s bulk vote came from Ife axis, Aregbe was not disgraced there. The two candidates exploited their strengths and Aregbe strengthened his weaknesses.
Lesson #2. Learn where your strengths lie and what are your weaknesses. Put more effort on your strength and try to improve on your weaknesses.
As we said above, Osun people have clearly shown they not only need development, they really want it. In Ekiti, they did not want development.
The lesson here again is that you must really understand your customers. This is why businesses spend millions on customer research. An advertisement that does well in Ibadan mat lay eggs in Kano because of Cultural, Social and religious reasons.
Lesson #4. Know your customers.
Another lesson business should learn here is the value of contribution of managers and workers. Nobody is invaluable, but there are some utility managers you cannot allow to leave, especially to your competitors. This is why companies may double the salary of a critical manager just to retain him and not allow their competitor to hire him. It is also the same reason behind Executive poaching.
You may argue that all the ex governors arraigned against Fayose did not make any difference, but PPP will confess that Adeleke’s defection cost them a lot of votes. At the end APC would have won, but probably with less margin. The defection of Serubawon governor gave PDP a lot of problems in Ede and Iwo area.
Lesson #4. Know your utility managers and make them happy and make it difficult for competitors to snatch them.
In conclusion, we should understand that these things may look small but they matter much. I hope this has been helpful.
Otunba Jide Omiyale (MBA,FCIM)