Inadequate Support from Senior Management

If communication gaps exist among managerial levels, the result is inadequate command and control. In turn, such a vacuum prevents senior management from providing timely support in such areas as approving additional investment to increase market share, shifting resources to secure a competitive position, or improving a supply-chain network.

In addition, timely support from management is required in the essential areas of technology sharing, new product development, and personnel training. Underlying all these issues, senior management needs to assure that there is an alignment of the company’s overall strategic direction with the mid-level business and marketing plans.

While we have heard of blundering swiftness in war, we have not yet seen a clever operation that was prolonged.

Sun Tzu

Disagreement and Open Confrontations among Line Managers about Objectives, Priorities, and Strategies

Where managers of equal rank cannot resolve difficulties independently, it is up to senior management to intervene. In a multiproduct, multimarket organization, disagreement is typical and understandable, as most contentious issues deal with power and the availability of resources.

That means resources must be allocated among many business initiatives, all of which are vying for attention. Inevitably, some plans get short-changed or receive an outright turndown from management. And even the winners suffer the effects of lost time that slow their efforts.

Painfully, the lapse in time may give the edge to an alert competitor, so that their “clever operation [is] prolonged.”

At the giant Microsoft, for example, there is intense competition among managers to tap its substantial resources. Beyond money considerations, the company’s huge divisions often act as rivals, pursuing overlapping technologies and quarrelling over whose codes will prevail in the markets where their products interact.

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