- - by Thomas Beerepoot
Do you want to innovate? Invest in your managers first.
Why is it sometimes difficult for multinationals to develop and implement innovative strategies? The Board of Directors see the need. Business unit managers also stress the importance of an innovative long-term strategy. It is even the reason why they chose their profession: to create an inspiring vision for the organization and give it substance on a daily basis. However, the reality is that they are under constant pressure: their responsibilities are many. There is always a crisis to manage. Every quarter, another increase in turnover is required. The speed at which they make their decisions is reflected in the course they follow. Usually this means going full steam ahead.
The pitfall of short-term focus
Because of the short-term focus that managers are forced to develop, they sometimes just watch the store until the next career move presents itself. Meanwhile, the strategic goals that they deliver each year during budget rounds often do not go beyond the hard facts and figures: a higher revenue target, higher customer satisfaction and lower margins. Especially when a number of departmental plans are combined, a so-called strategic plan emerges, but often this gives little real direction. It is a plan that is not really believed in, one that nobody really feels responsible for.
Invest in your own people
How can multinationals escape this vicious circle? How can they innovate? The key lies in their own people. Everything that is needed lies hidden within them. Their organization can benefit enormously by investing in leadership development, coaching managers in strategy execution and supporting them in this. This creates a strategy that really matters, that makes a positive impact, that gives a great deal of energy. This is why management development forms the best basis for strategy development.
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