Can Managers adapt!
The Adaptive manger
Can a good manager manage anything?
The traditional answer is No. to be truly effective, a manager had to be familiar with the business of the company, with the industry, with the product or service. That’s why a lot of recruiting was and still is done within the industry. The 1990s answer was he must be above to market and competitor profiles are changing so fast that mangers are required to be adaptive, flexible, and multi focused. To be successful in different situations, a manager must be able to continually find and integrate a number of things. Here’s a partial views of this:
i. Finding similarities: Mr. X has reached the top in both shipping and property. These two are distinct businesses. But Mr. X prefers to emphasize the similarities, – both involve big capital assets, and in both one could earn from lending and leasing.
ii. Finding skills: cultivating a set of skills is high on a manger’s agenda. One is to become a generalist. He must be familiar with different disciplines to be able to work well with them. A second is functional knowledge. For his to add a value, it helps if he is an expert in a particular function, like marketing, finance, or production. A third is process skills- the ability to work well in teams for instance.
iii. Finding continuity: a good manager collects techniques and integrates these into his own style. To come to grips with banking, Mr. Y excercised a skill he used effectively at Z company- Listening. He had more than 200 hours of intensive talks with key people. He finishes work at 9pm everyday, reading all the market reports and mails that come in an old habit. In shipping you never know what will happen overnight, so you don’t stop until everything is finished for the day.
iv. Finding yourself: on his way to finding all these things, a manager makes a critical discovery- himself. Walter Kiechel III, writing for Fortune, summed it up neatly – “The most critical knowledge may turn out to be knowledge of yourself”.
Innovative or losing business:
Intrapreneurship is coined by Gifford Pinochot III meaning internal entrepreneurs – those who take hands on responsibility for creating innovation of any kind within a large organization. The intrapreneur is the dreamer who figures out how to turn an idea into a profitable reality.
The big firms use this technique to have the R&D cost lesser and competitive with Quick response approach.