The principal role of Executive Management is to coordinate people and implement procedures in order to facilitate an organization’s progress toward achieving measurable parameters, set with reference to a Business Plan which in most cases promotes productivity, excess revenue over expenses, growth and Value.
That Business Plan should be a documented map of strategy which evolves from Strategic Planning – a process in which organization stakeholders develop focus for: (1) Where a company should be headed; (2) What the picture should look like if/when it gets there; and (3) How to get there. After clarifying consensus goals, objectives, timetables, and developing financial Forecasts to ascertain realistic potential for achievability, the Plan then should delineate operational tactics like Who, When, Where and Which people, processes and procedures are necessary to implement the Strategy.
Implementation requires an organizational structure which both promotes Efficiency (doing things right) and Effectiveness (doing the right things). This requires consistent monitoring and control of critical factors including:
- Coordination of Authority for management decisions with Accountability for their outcome;
- Accounting and Reporting systems & procedures which provide quantitative and analytical metrics to determine whether activities are on course;
- Personnel committed and focused to provide reliable information on a timely basis, in the manner most useful to management;
- Policies for training & motivating personnel, evaluating their performance, and fairly compensating them;
- Managing Strategic Risk related to the inexactitude of Assumptions which underlie the Business Plan, and the volatility, complexity and ambiguity of Change in the future.
The most critical factor of all in achieving business success is effective LEADERSHIP in all phases. Core priorities and strategies are critical to managing the unprecedented acceleration of information and competition in today’s digital economy. In my experience, these include:
- Recognizing that ‘Change’ is the only certainty and that organizational culture has no alternative than to adapt to Change in a coordinated and timely manner. Leaders press for Change, prepare the organization and help it cope with the struggle.
- Having genuine confidence in personal expertise & experience to rely on intuition in gauging appropriate timing and course of directing adaptation.
- Acknowledging that Uncertainty and Ambiguity are the ‘new normal’ and, accordingly, building a Management Team empowered to timely implement adaptation. In order for Managers to cope with complexity and promote stability, Leaders must delegate appropriate authority, budget, absence of bureaucratic obstacles, and feedback mechanisms to encourage creative collaboration.
- Maintaining the trust of Team members as an inspirational role model – by positive attitude and consistency in setting priorities, communicating fully, timely responsiveness, constructive coaching support for innovative ideas or actions, praise for success, and empathy when necessary.