New Strategists: Creating Leaders at All Levels

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 14, 2003 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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A pivotal shift in business strategy-making is taking place, assert Stephen Wall and Shannon Rye Wall. Strategy, once the exclusive province of senior management, is now the responsibility of people at every level in today's most forward-looking companies. Drawing on a ten-year study of more than 200 firms such as AT&T, 3M, The Geon Company, and Ritz Carlton Hotels, which included questionnaires and interviews with more than 4,000 line managers and human resource professionals, the authors demonstrate how companies can incorporate the experience of every employee to become more focused, more competitive, and more responsive to changing markets.

Challenging the conventional wisdom about leadership in the '90s, the Walls go beyond the boardroom to discuss how to get people involved in the strategic process by moving the responsibility for planning to lower levels and by building a participatory culture based on listening. Debunking the common myth that strategy must precede tactics, the Walls show how adopting a more flexible approach to the strategic development process can balance openness to new opportunities and the need to make decisions quickly with the need to maintain longer-term strategic focus.

Having shown how corporate structure can be amended to encourage participation within a more open planning approach, the Walls define new strategy-making roles for every employee -- from the front-line representative who serves as the voice of the customer to the senior executive who shapes basic purpose and direction. Key skills are presented to guide strategic thinking within companies at every stage of development, from new "eagle" ventures to businesses in "circled wagons" crisis mode. These skills are reinforced with a discussion of the core tactics needed to gain crucial support for strategic initiatives. Finally, the authors show how cross-functional teams are strengthening corporate direction by making inclusive and fully informed decisions on a cooperative basis.

As companies expand their thinking to accommodate the needs of the new global marketplace, they are recognizing the benefits of tapping the diversity in their own backyards: the insights, experiences, and recommendations of their own associates. By involving leaders at all levels in the art of collaborative strategy-making, more and more companies can discover the possibilities that can chart their path to future success. This book shows new strategists how to lead the way.

 

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The development of business strategy is becoming the responsibility of employees at every level as company structures become more linear and manager positions fewer. The authors of this study, the ... Read full review

Contents

Myths Misconceptions and Wrongheaded Notions
3
Why Strategy Is Everyones Business
21
Damned If You
35
Getting People Involved
47
Planning for Strategies to Emerge
63
The Role of the Frontline Strategist
83
The Role of the Manager
97
The Role of the Senior Executive
117
How to Think Like a Strategist
147
How to Gain Support for Your
167
IN CONCLUSION
185
B Strategic Planning Process
199
Developing New Skills
239
Notes
247
Index
255
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About the author (2003)

Stephen J. Wall is president of Manus, a U.S.-based consulting firm specializing in managing strategy and leading people. He designs and facilitates organizational change, strategic planning, and teambuilding sessions for strategy-making teams in a wide variety of industries. In addition to his consulting activities, Steve addresses conferences and leads workshops on strategic management and leadership at all levels. Recent clients include General Motors, The Tennessee Valley Authority, GE Capital, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Lehrer McGovern Bovis, Inter-Continental Hotels, and The Geon Company He is the immediate past president of the Instructional Systems Association, a group of 150 top training and consulting firms. In his free time, Steve rides his BMW R1100-GS motorcycle in remote and beautiful locations.

Stephen J. Wall is president of Manus, a U.S.-based consulting firm specializing in managing strategy and leading people. He designs and facilitates organizational change, strategic planning, and teambuilding sessions for strategy-making teams in a wide variety of industries. In addition to his consulting activities, Steve addresses conferences and leads workshops on strategic management and leadership at all levels. Recent clients include General Motors, The Tennessee Valley Authority, GE Capital, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Lehrer McGovern Bovis, Inter-Continental Hotels, and The Geon Company He is the immediate past president of the Instructional Systems Association, a group of 150 top training and consulting firms. In his free time, Steve rides his BMW R1100-GS motorcycle in remote and beautiful locations.

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