Disclaimer - the CEO and CFO of the company to which I might be referring to in this post are both readers. Any indications that you might be getting something right are clearly editing errors on my behalf; expect the the opening of the 9th orifice at the next board meeting.
In December 2005 I helped facilitate an investment in one of Moscow's retail Internet projects (yes you two). Reasonably successful but not a world-beater; maybe not even an egg-beater. I was, and am, enough of a believer to bet though to bet some cash.
The company had a record sales month in August; traditionally the worst month of the year bar none. September will easily beat August. Clearly something is going in the right direction. And here is my attempt to put my finger on it.
Cheech and Chong (above) inherited a 4 man-and-a-woman management team from my-friend-the-previous-Russian-owner. Definitely better than an egg-beater but world-beaters, or even Moscow-beaters?
Out at the new headquarters (don't even begin to think of shining new corporate headquarters, you're in the wrong dream) today with a potential investor (did I mention the Company are growing reasonably quickly?) the mood in the Company was very different.
There was a buzz, an air of professionalism in the office. I bumped in to 3 of the 5 original managers in the halls - different people. A new lease of life, or something like it. They would still fail in front of professional western investors - but now that is because they don't know the rules. They can however, do the job, at the right price and mostly without hubris. Oh so unlike Russian managers I have known.
So maybe that is the answer; empowerment. What was the question again?
[composed and posted with ecto]