Lessons To Be Learned From The CE’s Experience
With the benefit of hindsight being 20-20 we are always wiser. Obviously, the CE in the case made some fundamental mistakes in attempting to grow the business and take it in new directions. New CE’s will want to start raising performance levels through a strategic change initiative. That being said, this particular CE’s course of action was something that many Chief Executives do everyday in business, especially as it relates to making a strategic vision their vision and not a wider, group vision, with the appropriate inputs and support from key people. Often, the consequences of such actions means having the CE’s head on a platter i.e. he is fired, in spite of whether or not the new strategy ends up working and yielding profitable results.
The first step would be to look at some of the resilience-questioning put forth in the Margolis article (Margolis, 2010). Specifying: What aspects of the situation can I directly influence to change the course of this adverse event? Certainly, the CE felt that he was very much hands-on and believed that he could directly influence the whole situation. I think in that sense he over-reached and did not appreciate that he could only directly influence some aspects but not others. The CE also did not step back and do Visualizing: What would the manager I most admire do in this situation? And, a big problem was as it relates to Collaborating: Who on my team can help me, and what’s the best way to engage that person or those people? Granted, the CE did spend some considerable time addressing the problems, gathering data, talking to people, and shaping up his plan. But, his plan was not being fully or properly implemented because it was seen as the CE’s vision, and lacked support from key people in many different ways and places. That is, regardless of his unfailing efforts to shape this particular definition of the situation, the range of random response from key players was too great (Pye, 2005). Clearly, it was impossible to sustain because it was not supported through the structures, systems and working practices of the organization.
In terms of the issue of impact, the Margolis article raises this additional question concerning Collaborating: How can I mobilize the efforts of those who are hanging back (Margolis, 2010)? Now, clearly, the CE failed to ask this question initially, although he clearly asked it the second time round when he realized that his strategy was failing to generate the necessary widespread support which it required. Pye talks about how a good Leader requires “support from key people in many different ways and places” (Pye, 41). To avoid the trap of the CE-only vision, a smart CE needs to engage in shared sensemaking because this is a “much more effective and successful way of ensuring a shared definition of reality, which generates ownership of and commitment to the definition (i.e. shared sensemaking), and it is subsequently fully...