Management is to a large degree, an art. The
challenge is to turn amateurs into accomplished artists—the method
is acquiring updated tools and techniques. If a manager lacks an
understanding of the what's, how's and why's of complementary
organizations, it is predictable that their efforts will be
unilateral and/or counter-productive. Conversely, a solid grasp of
integrative complexities significantly increases success rates.
There are several simple and practical steps that can be taken to
define operational changes which necessitate updated skills:
• Changes in organizational structures. These changes will outdate
some long-standing functionally-based reporting procedures and
replace them with matrix-based systems.
• Changes in how work is accomplished. Re engineering is a process
necessitating retraining and skill enhancement to achieve expected
• Changes in roles and the culture they operate within. At the top
this means strong leadership throughout the enterprise to create
entrepreneurial groups within a large organization. The team members
within each group must receive training in new skills to allow them
to deal with complex changes.
Each of these types of changes will outdate certain longstanding
functionally-based procedures and replace them with matrix-based
systems. Matrix systems affect leadership styles and technical
training needs. The value of cross training can't be over emphasized
Managing complex changes, as always, calls for involvement,
creativity and initiative.
Traditional performance standards emphasize the individual and how
one's own actions impact corporate objectives and in tern personal
performance evaluations and pay. A shift to a team perspective is a
radical transition— causing emotional and procedural chaos.
Implementation techniques range from weekly peer reviews based on a
simple assessment of whether or not one was a "team player" to
self-assessment of team contributions.
Start by taking steps to ensure that standards
are consistent from the company's mission statement through each
level of management all the way through to working level
implementation teams. Everyone must clearly understand the criteria
and the way to facilitate understanding and buy-in. Employees who
are cooperative, well-liked and willing to put team welfare above
personal wishes are particularly valued.
Customers attain a new status in a multi-functional situation. This
may include participation in working teams and direct input to
Managers and professionals at all levels will benefit themselves by
improving their integrative leadership skills. More importantly,
these individual contributions create environments supportive of
cross-functional cooperation— a bottom-line essential in the
progression towards globilization and the next century. Companies
who are unable to compete globally will not survive as industry
leaders. External barriers to global expansion are falling, leaving
only artificial internal roadblocks. Successful enterprise
integration is a crucial first step.
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articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your
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