Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

StrategicManagers200x233Another day, another manager telling me that they want a job ‘that is more strategic’, or a CEO asking me to help a manager to ‘be more strategic.’ I have no problem with such desires, but what does being more strategic mean?

If we look at the definition of strategy, we find it means: “A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Being more strategic must mean more time spent planning things, but doesn’t a manager tend to do that on a regular basis? Is it not the very core of effective management to plan and organise? If planning is the key, then a project manager must be incredibly strategic and yet I doubt that’s what managers mean when they talk about being more strategic.

Does the day-to-day get in the way of innovation?

While the dictionary might guide us towards planning as being a key aspect of strategy, managers tend to think of strategy as being more forward-thinking and broad ranging than operational planning. It could be looking ahead years and involve that wonderful ‘blue sky thinking’. It’s spending far more time thinking and mulling over possibilities and far less doing stuff. Day-to-day operational management involves dealing with crisis, customers, and listening to the concerns of employees. Management involves having eyes in the back of your head, being able to predict the future and dealing with the stress and strain when things go wrong, so a more strategic role must mean far less of all of this. Read the rest of this entry »

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There are many definitions of leadership, but the consistent theme through all of them is influence.

Leadership is the process of social influence in which we enlist the support of others in the accomplishment of our vision. All successful people know that their success comes as a result of other people, so whether you’re an HR professional, a manager, a trainer, or a parent, your success is dependent on your ability to influence others.

So, how do we influence others? The first thing is to accept is that leadership is not about skills, but behaviour. People aren’t influenced by what we can do, but by what we say and how we say it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is doing more with less starting to wane in organisations? Recent figures from the Bank of England showed that productivity levels have fallen by 0.5%, lower than countries such as Spain and Italy who are still struggling with significant economic challenges and waves of public protest about austerity and unemployment.

For UK managers in the workplace, 76% say the economic climate remains their biggest challenge according to our Management Agenda survey. There’s no doubt that managers are between a rock and a hard place – motivating their teams to achieve their goals while at the same time pairing back the resources with which they have to do it. And then of course, there’s the HR function, which historically has been seen as out of touch with operational reality. In our survey, priorities for HR professionals continue to be change management, managing workloads, staff morale, reduced revenues and budgets. But are these priorities what managers need? Read the rest of this entry »

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