Saturday, September 6, 2008

Management Styles matching to Business Cycle!

Situational Management has always been a favorite topic of a lot of successful Management people. What Situational Management tells in simple terms is " Do what the best given the situation" which makes it so open ended to commoners who feel this is as good as " Survive with your own wits" with no guidelines.
I personally believe that Management becomes an art with Situational stuff. As we know people can be categorized from different parameters in different ways (recent count says 3100 ways...maybe more) making it a complex subject. How can Management whose success is governed by people can be made simplistic...then people coined Situational Management trying to make sense to the few who can leaving others to grope interpretations in dark.
Politics in organizations, maturity of the organization, culture, networking and most importantly risk propensity will govern how right or wrong a person can be perceived. I have attended some meetings which starts quite well and then personal conflicts between two people shape the direction of discussions moving away from professional to personal situations quoting past experiences etc. Such meetings are a real waste of time. If your company culture allows you should walk out of such meetings so that there is some change in the destructive practices...if not your behaviour will be viewed as destructive practice (situational).
Now the Business Cycle is clearly turning and it is clear we can expect cost cuts, urgent actions to protect bottomlines, freeze of recruitments etc. Global economy offers fantastic opportunity to manage different phases of business cycle at the same time. Asia,East Europe, Latin America is growing with US in recession for sometime now. Western Europe is slowing down now.
For growth markets we require managers who are aggressive and have a passion to take the challenges the growth markets provide. The Management style needs to be young and bold. With high turnover issues and constant search for talents the leader should be able to manage a controlled chaos in a systematic way. Loud communicators and strong execution focussed personalities fit the bill well. To manage a recession is a different ball game. Especially when it is a continuity from growth to recession. It requires a lot of maturity to apply brakes at right places without giving an appearance of panic. Several leaders communicate with urgency but also communicate panic with a lot of employees getting stressed out. The energy lost by this will be felt for a long time as employees who got the signal of panic usually loose motivation though they still retain a lot of knowledge. They become liabilities later and the leader had played an active role in creating this though not very knowingly. Clearly Maturity differentiates leaders from Managers in a change of cycle. Let us see how many such Mature leaders exist as surely there will be some who will emerge from the fire soon in this business cycle too.

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Gothenburg, Sweden
Still finding introspecting to find who am I? Waiting for a Guru!