The Androgynous Manager


Clearly, the corporate world is still a man’s world. Under this male-bastion model, corporations, for a number of reasons, are losing out as much as women. Every corporation wants the most competent people woking on their side. But companies which permit themselves the luxury of unconsciously sexist attitudes lose out on a wealth of talent which resides equally in men and women. That is simply bad for business.

 When women and men are segregated in the workplace, formulating stereotype of each other’s behavior, they can become blind to genuine abilities each possesses. Women, for example, are rarely considered great-deal-makers.

 But women are actually more flexible, less deceptive, more emphatic, and more likely to reach agreement, while men are just the opposite. When a man visualizes a negotiating situation, he sees it as a one-shot deal to win or lose, like a sport or a game. A woman sees it as part of a long-term relationship. Since most business situations involve long-term relationships, the female approach is more productive.

 But in the information society, as the manager’s role shifts to that of the teacher, mentor, and nurturer of human potential, there is even more reason for corporations to take advantage of women’s managerial abilities, because these people-oriented traits are the ones women are socialized to possess.

 The problem is that most women feel that they must be more like men if they are too succeed in a male-dominated corporate environment and that is a mistake both for women and for companies.

 The appropriate style for the manager of the 80s was an androgynous blend, one that combined the best of traditional male and female traits.

 Men and women should learn from one another without abandoning successful traits they already possess. Men can learn to be more collaborative and intuitive, yet remain result-oriented. Women need not give up being nurturing in order to learn to be comfortable with power and conflict. Women can transform the workplace by expressing, not by giving up their personal values.

 My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

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Empowering People


Empowerment gives people more control over – and responsibility for – their work. It is based on the idea that those most closely involved with operations are in the best position to make decisions about them. So it delegates responsibility as far as possible, with people using their knowledge and abilities to manage the details of their own job, free from the instructions and control of a more remote supervisor.

 

You can see the difference when you go into a shop to exchange some garment. Marks and Spencer has empowered employees, and the first person you meet will happily refund your money or change the garment as you prefer.

 

There are five main types of management style:

  1. I decide and you do – which is the traditional authoritarian approach;
  2. We discuss and I decide – which involves some discussion but responsibility remains at the higher level;
  3. We discuss and we decide – which is more collaborative and has some real delegation of control, but ultimately authority and responsibility remains with the senior manager;
  4. We discuss and you decide – which delegates most control of the decision;
  5. You decide and I’ll help if needed – where the senior manager hands over control, and acts as a coach and consultant if needed.

 The last level is closest to empowerment and is the approach that is becoming more widely accepted. As Bill Gates says, ‘Empowering leadership means bringing out the energies and capabilities people have and getting them to work together in a way they wouldn’t do otherwise.’

 

Empowerment gives more authority to people lower down the organization, and it also puts more demand on them. They must be willing to accept this responsibility, be able to make good decisions, work without supervision and probably form part of a team which completes in identifiable part of the whole process.

 

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Connoting Business Opportunity


What is being offered with businesses is usually an idea which may work, depending on your business or sales abilities. It is up to you to establish an area or your clientele. You are usually provided with the tools, such as the vending machines, the inventory, or the samples and the business opportunity. For this, you will pay a price—the rest is up to you.

Many of the businesses will present you with an idea that is made to sound so exciting and profitable, you can’t wait to sink your teeth into it. Caution! Do not proceed or pass go without sound, professional accounting advice. Remember: you are usually buying an unestablished business using someone else’s ideas, for which you may be paying too much. You are starting from scratch, and those promises of big money usually don’t pan out. Warning! You must be especially diligent about so-called business opportunities that offer huge, quick returns. There are people who are ready to take your money and run, or sell you a business that is either non-profitable, not quite legal, or makes money for no one but the vendors. You have to reach not only the market, but the business, the business owners, and the history of the products they are selling. Before making any final decisions, consult with a lawyer and have an appropriate agreement for sale drawn up. If problems arise between you and the vendor your agreement will become a valuable document in court.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

The Profit Chain


Starting from end of the chain, a firm makes profits by offering  products or services at a lower cost than its competitors or by offering differentiated products at premium prices that more than compensate for the extra cost of differentiation. The question is , how do low cost and differentiated products come about, and why is it that some firms can offer them better than others?

A firm’s competencies, or skills are its ability to perform the activities that underlie the offering of low cost or differentiated products or services to customers. These abilities can be in anything from designing high performance automative engines to finding attractive markets and locating the right products in the right position in these markets. Endowments are attributes other than skills, such as brand names, patents, reputation, geographic location, client relations and distribution channels, which allow a firm to leverage its competencies and get more out of them. Competencies and endowments reinforce each other and together underpin the firm’s profitability. They are themselves a function of technological and market knowledge.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir.