The objective of this paper is to apply CIRM
concepts and principles to develop an Integrated Enterprise
Management Team that supports a customer focus by melding
functional resources at every level—from the top level management
team setting policies and strategies to the project teams
implementing product introductions.
Top management must acquire a firm grasp of critical operational and
support activities and their dynamic inter-dependencies. Executives
directly impact the corporate culture via official policies,
objectives and strategies. Additional influence is exerted
indirectly in the perception surrounding official actions. While
subtle, this underlying support or lack of support is extremely
powerful. This unspoken aura surrounding the influence can be the
overriding factor in success. This comprehension leads them to
create an environment fostering cross-functional cooperation
throughout the entire enterprise.
IBM's shift towards a team approach is championed by CEO Louis
Gerstner who views his role as convincing employees that this
strategy migration is a winning move. The key is to make it occur
"naturally" which implies that informally created perceptions mirror
Pre-1990's managers, who frequently operated in a
functionally-driven business environment, were both the products
and the propagators of divisive tactical strategies that are no
longer effective. Today's "lean and mean" businesses are rapidly
evolving and an integrative organization is emerging. Today's
managers must be capable of adapting to new and complex conditions
encompassing a greatly expanded knowledge base to support this
IBM CEO Louis Gerstner, Jr., views getting people to work across
organizational boundaries as the top priority and sees his role as
leading the cultural evolution.
A successful transition manager generally has effective
interpersonal skills, the respect of everyone in the enterprise and
the organizational power to initiate action.
It's a safe bet that without the support of the entire workforce,
any cultural evolution will be in name only. An integrated
enterprise owes its success to summoning the skills of every team
member. Methods used include:
• Including the entire workforce from the beginning. Making everyone
aware of the reasons change is necessary, what changes will occur,
when things will happen, and most importantly, what results are
expected and how each person can contribute.
• Assuring that each person receives training to cope with the
changes—both in general areas such as problem solving and team
building; and job specific retraining such as cross-training.
The three critical areas for the general workforce are then
knowledge, training, and participation. If these are supported by
strong transition leadership, building new cultures is achievable.
To be Continued
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