Doughnut Structure


Although most organization charts are constructed in the shape of a pyramid, extending downward from the board of directors or president, some firms have doughnut structure—an organization chart made up of concentric circles that represent top management, staff personnel, and functional areas and that reflect a more flexible structure—people see themselves working in a circle as if around one table. One of the positions is designated chief executive officer, because somebody has to make all those tactical decisions that enable an organization to keep working. The doughnut design is made up of concentric circles, in which the center ring consists of top management. The second ring is composed of important staff personnel, such as legal, personnel, research and development, and electronic data processing, whose services are used by all departments. The third ring consists of managers of functional areas, while remaining rings comprise department and other supervisory managers

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, and my Lectures.

People and Jigsaw Puzzles


People are like jigsaw puzzles. Just as a puzzle is a picture assembled by putting various pieces together in a certain way, a person is composed of various attributes fitted together in a particular manner. And just as puzzles have pieces that fit together to form a whole, each of us has a unique set of attributes, or characteristics, that together represent the essence of who we are. Furthermore, although a person may resemble some people more than others, no two persons are exactly alike.

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, and my Lectures.

Identifying Target Market Buyers


Not all consumers are likely to buy all products. Al though a firm must consider all prospective buyers, it must focus its efforts on its target market—the specific group of buyers it intends to reach. Thus not in the target market are less likely prospects, and so efforts to reach them are generally not worth the expense.

The target markets are composed of ultimate consumers—the individuals, households, or families who buy for their personal needs. In contrast buyers in purchasing departments represent other target markets—organizations like business firms, government agencies, and educational institutions. These groups are often called organizational buyers.

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, and my Lectures.

Basic Organizational Structures


Although there is an almost infinite variety of structural forms, certain basic types predominate in modern complex organizations. There are three basic organizational structures. The conglomerate structure is a variant of divisional structure and is thus not depicted as a fourth structure. Generally speaking, each structure tends to support some corporate strategies over others.

  • Simple Structure has no functional or product categories and is appropriate for a small, entrepreneur-dominated company with one or two product lines that operates in a reasonably small, easily identifiable market niche. Employees tend to be generalists and jacks of all trades.
  • Functional structure is appropriate for a medium-sized firm with several related product lines in one industry. Employees tend to be specialists in the business functions important to that industry, such as manufacturing, marketing, finance, and human resources.
  • Divisional structure is appropriate for a large corporation with many product lines in several related industries. Employees tend to be functional specialists organized.
  • Strategic business units (SBU)are a recent modification to the divisional structure. Strategic business units are divisions or groups of divisions composed of independent product-market segments that are given primary responsibility and authority for the management of their own functional areas. An SBU may be of any size or level, but it must have 1) a unique mission, 2) identifiable competitors, 3)an external market focus, and 4) control of its business functions. The idea is to decentralize on the basis of strategic elements rather than on the basis of size, product characteristics, or span of control and to create horizontal linkages among units previously kept separate.
  • Conglomerate structure is appropriate for a large corporation with many product lines in several unrelated industries. A variant of the divisional structure, the conglomerate structure (sometimes called a holding company) is typically an assemblage of legally independent firms (subsidiaries) operating under one corporate umbrella but controlled through the subsidiaries’ boards of directors. The unrelated nature of the subsidiaries prevents any attempt at gaining synergy among them.

If the current basic structure of corporation does not easily support a strategy under consideration, top management must decide if the proposed strategy is feasible or if the structure should be changed to a more advanced structure.

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, and my Lectures.

 

Board: Checklist


  • Who is responsible for ensuring that the board is effective and composed of directors that individually and collectively are competent?
  • Does the board evaluate its own effectiveness at least once a year?
  • What does the board do to benchmark itself against other boards.
  • Is the nature of the board and how it conducts its operations appropriate to the situation and circumstances of the company?
  • Is the board aware of its accountabilities to various stakeholders?
  • Does the board fully understand the requirements of the various stakeholders in the company?
  • Have the cross-functional and inter-organizational processes that deliver these requirements been identified?
  • Are the individual members of the board aware of their legal duties and responsibilities as directors?
  • Has the board identified a distinctive purpose for the company, and agreed and shared a compelling vision?
  • Has the board agreed and shared clear goals and values, established measurable objectives and put a performance management teamwork in place?
  • Have the ‘vital few’ actions that must be done been identified, and roles and responsibilities relating to their achievement been allocated?
  • Does the board pay sufficient attention to the implementation of objectives and policies?
  • Are the enablers, critical success factors and resource requirements for implementation in place?
  • Are the people of the organization motivated, empowered and equipped with the necessary skills to make it happen?

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

The General, Industry, and Competitive Environment


Through an integrated understanding of the external and internal environments, firms gain the information they need to understand the present and predict the future.

 The general environment is composed of elements in the broader society that influence an industry and the firms within it. These elements can be grouped into six environmental segments: demographic, economic, political/legal, sociocultural, technological, and global. Firms cannot directly control the general environment’s segments and elements. Accordingly, successful companies gather the types and amounts of data and information that are required to understand each segment and its implications so that appropriate strategies can be selected and used.

 The industry environment is the set of factors—the threat of new entrants, suppliers, buyers, product substitutes, and the intensity of rivalry among compititors—that directly influences a firm and its competitive actions and responses. In total, the interactions among these five factors determine an industry’s profit potential. The challenge is to locate a position within an industry where a firm can favorably influence those factors or where it can successfully defend against their influence. The greater a firm’s capacity to favorably influence its industry environment, the greater is the likelihood that the firm will earn above-average returns.

 How companies gather and interpret information about their competitors is called competitor analysis. Understanding the firm’s compititor environment complements the insights provided by studying the general and industry environments.

 In combination, theresults of the three analyses that are used to understand the external environment influence the development of the firm’s strategic intent, strategic mission, and strategic actions. Analysis of the general environment is focused on the future; analysis of the industry environment is focused on understanding the factors and conditions influencing a firm’s profitability; and analysis of competitors is focused on predicting the dynamics of compititors’ actions, responses, and intentions. Although we discuss each analysis separately, performance improves when the firm integrates the insights gained analysis of the general environment, the industry environment, and the compititor environment.

 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

Planning your Slide Presentation


Great slide presentations are visual experiences backed by audio to enhance the drama and make important points. Most slide presentations are audio presentations, in which the spoken word is backed or reinforced by a visual display. There is a big difference between those two approaches.

For business meetings, most managers work out the text of their remarks, then compose slides to fit those remarks by illustrating main points or clarifying concepts. This puts the person doing the presentation into the foreground, and the slides projected onto the screen in the background. There is nothing wrong with this approach, except the final product isn’t imaginative and tends to become dull after a few minutes.

If this is the use to which you wish to put slides, the overhead projector is probably a better choice. Especially if the material on the slides consists of numbers, graphs, tables, or words.

Good slide presentations are more visual than verbal. Or, at the least, the audio portion of the presentation is enhanced by the visuals projected onto the screen.

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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