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Michael Syrett is the author of this invaluable handbook in business management. It gives a detailed chapter by chapter analysis on winning strategies that are intended to keep business goals on target. The folly of most companies lie in their failure to track their performance against their set long-term goals.
Syrett’s in-depth analysis is aimed at giving theoretical strategies with practical applications using real life companies as case studies (Syrett, 2007). The facts and anecdotes from these case studies set the backdrop for other companies to implement what works for them.
Setting the scene
Having a vision alone for a company normally does not propel it to success. Vision goes along with execution. Execution of strategy is not complicated. It simply requires that one develops an idea and carries it through to fruitition.A case study of Hewlett-Packard and British airways shows how the management made a complete turn-around of the companies using well-known ideas such as budgetary cost-cutting, breaking down barriers, focusing on the main goal, workforce empowerment and setting high standards for performance.
Despite the concept of breaking down boundaries being a contributing factor in success strategy, it may not always be easy to achieve. This is shown through the case study of General Electric’s relative ease in breaking into the American Market.
On the contrary, they had a problem breaking into the Hungarian market due to culture and economic traditions. For a business to become ‘boundaryless’,considering the needs of the workforce is paramount in creating a united front so as to avert friction.Co-ordination is a winning strategy that ensures working together towards achieving the same goal.
The previous chapter on friction reiterates that everyone must be assigned their roles that when executed, works together in achieving a common goal.However,this freedom to perform roles works as many parts of a machinery that is focused to do one job. Focus is imperative in setting up objective company goals and sticking to them until success is achieved.
The right focus gets people engaged. The focus goals must be clear and allow for individual employee input, right from senior management down to the lowest employee. Having a clear focus ensures that everyone understands their roles and takes responsibility over them.
This sets a foundation for accountability that ensures transparency. The style of leadership is also an important strategy in enabling command of the team. The leader delegates roles and has to ensure that there effective communication and mutual respect for the chain of command.
Communication is an important business strategy. Investing in effective communication is a tried and tested way of motivating the workforce into delivering the business objectives. Effective communication wins the trust of the business stakeholders, right from management, employees to investors.
Communication also involves keeping in touch with the current trends in the market and responding to them. A good example is social networking. This is true especially in this age of fast changing technology. Subtle gestures, such as rewards for exemplary tasks that meet company objectives in order to motivate the workforce are also effective ways to communicate success to the team.
How a company handles itself sets precedence for its success or failure. It is common knowledge that competition undermines business performance. However, positive competition is encouraged in a case where employees are to be motivated and also to set employee attitudes such as sharing the company values and commitment to the company. Consistency in these positive behaviors is a winning business strategy.
Measurement techniques are the key drivers for gauging the performance of a business. Such tools as corporate cartography are used to measure the extent of achieving strategies in line with the business goals. The results of these measurements will show how successful a business will be.
Good leadership is an essential tool in executing business strategies. Leadership roles go beyond the senior management levels and involve focus, resource allocation and collaboration.
We are living in a fast changing world of technology. The winning strategy involves shifting with the current trend as circumstances demand (Kourdi, 2009). Change can take place within an organization to structure the company towards focused goal achievement or externally, to merge with the trend. Some of these changes can be extreme, like in the case of mergers, but they may ultimately turn out to be profitable for the company.
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Using old knowledge to create new ways is the basis for innovation. This goes hand in hand with change, where businesses are expected to conform to the market expectations in order to come out winners.
To enable innovation, it is paramount to have all the other strategies in place, namely resources, good leadership and operational freedom so as to cultivate creativity, all aimed at achieving he company goals and objectives (Economist, 2009). Taking risks is encouraged as they are unavoidable and success can only be achieved by those who try and fail, but still have a winner’s attitude of trying until they succeed.
A pathway to successful strategy execution is like creating a roadmap to the success of a business. There has to be focus on the right strategic goals, and the workforce given the chance to participate, share and make innovative decisions aimed at a common goal. This is why good leadership is required to spearhead effective strategies.
Generally, this book makes an effective guidebook for businesses as they make strategies that they hope will chart them forward into success. It is also a good learning platform from the failures and successes of highlighted case studies right from top-level management to the ground.
Economist, T. (2009). The world of business. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Kourdi, J. (2009). Business Strategy: A guide to taking your business forward. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Syrett, M. (2007). The Economist-Succesful Strategy Execution. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.