Have you ever had to be part of one of those giant exercises where some manager has decided to go through an intricate process for determining the vision, mission, goals, objectives, strategies, etc.? It gets even worse if they’ve hired a consultant to help. Typically the objective of the consultant is to make this a fairly long and complicated process (that’s how they generate fees).
Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog
Archive for October, 2012
What’s amazing about reading “The Art of War” is to realize just how relevant it is today. While much of it is in military language, the principles are clear. For example, in one section he describes the “command” of a leader. He says “By command I mean the general’s qualities of wisdom, sincerity, humanity, courage, and strictness.” Those five characteristics are a very good description of what the character of a leader needs to be to gain the respect of his or her people and exhibit worthiness of being followed.
Actually, this kind of thing happens all the time and we have had a whole bunch of examples emerge in the past couple of years. Kodak, the traditional king of photography, is today in bankruptcy proceedings. Nokia, the dominant player in cellphones in the 2001-2011 decade is today struggling to avoid the same fate as Kodak. They simply didn’t take smartphones seriously. RIM, the maker of the Blackberry, is a similar story (it failed to take touchscreens and apps seriously).
Many organizations have fallen into the trap of having functional groups like finance, manufacturing, human relations and purchasing being able to veto a proposal to change a product. This is referred to as a matrix organization. The problem with such an organization is that nobody is really in charge.