It s About Strategy, Stupid

It's About Strategy, Stupid

Strategic conflicts among Goliaths are not only the most deadly but also the hardest to resolve. Most senior managers simply do not have a great depth of experience in setting strategy, much less resolving directional disagreements . Most upwardly mobile managers, after all, have been rewarded for their superior operational accomplishments rather than for their strategic prowess.

Figure 2-1 depicts how the skill set required by managers changes on the way up the corporate ladder. [1]

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Figure 2-1: Required Management Skills.

First-line supervisors typically have little, if any, strategic responsibility. Although they are expected to demonstrate a certain degree of leadership ability ”whether on the assembly line, in the sales office, or at the help desk ”they have generally been promoted because of their excellent technical and operational skills.

Supervisors who move into middle management are expected to be not only technically proficient but to possess stronger leadership skills and some understanding of, and responsibility for, implementing company strategy.

Most managers who reach the executive suite do so because they have demonstrated operational success, technical knowledge, and the leadership skills needed to motivate others. But, the higher they climb, the less need they have for hands-on operational skills and technical knowledge, and the more they are required to think strategically beyond the current product-market configuration to the next round of competitive advantage. For many executives, this is a significant challenge. They arrive in the ranks of senior management wondering how to ensure that their organization is not only well run but also well directed.

[1] Based on the work of Robert L. Katz. For further details, see Robert L. Katz, "Skills of an Effective Team Leader," Harvard Business Review , September 1974, pp. 90 “102.

When Goliaths Clash. Managing Executive Conflict to Build a More Dynamic Organization
When Goliaths Clash: Managing Executive Conflict to Build a More Dynamic Organization
ISBN: 0615198686
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 99

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