Can the king lead the revolution?

February 20, 2008 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

According to C.K. Prahalad, the University of Michigan management professor who coauthored the book “Competing For The Future,” this concept is based on the incorrect assumption that top managers can develop strategy and force everyone else to implement it.

In effective organizations, he says, real change is enabled by the people lower down in the organization who are closer to new technologies, to customers and competitors. 

In an interview with strategy+business (3Q 96 p84), Dr. Prahalad said, “If you think about strategy as a revolution, as discovery, as innovation, as changing industry norms and industry patterns, then you must acknowledge that no monarchy has ever fomented its own revolution. In other words, senior management does not have a great propensity for change.” 

So, how can you get the best ideas from people throughout your organization? Try this… 

Form two (or more) groups of employees, advisors and/or consultants with several years of experience in the industry, people who have accomplished something, are respected by their peers, and have a contrary streak. 

Have them compete with each other to develop a point of view about the future of your industry and how your organization should position itself; then invite them to make competing presentations.

With two views of the future, you will have an opportunity to lead your people toward consensus and make them feel more like valuable members of the team. 

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Entry filed under: key executive coach, management, marketing, strategic planning. Tags: , , , , , .

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