Moreover, top GMs carefully protect the downside on major investments. General Manager responsibilities include formulating overall strategy, managing people and establishing policies. Finally, the best GMs invariably surround themselves with good people—achievers, not cronies or loyalists. But focusing effort in these six areas will help any GM become more effective. The third element in shaping the work environment—the company’s people concepts—is closely related to the other two. Marginal performers don’t stay long in pivotal jobs. Report key results to corporate officers. When David Farrell took over May Department Stores, several “experts” advised him to diversify out of the “dying” department store business. A general manager, sometimes simply called a GM, has broad, overall responsibility for a business or a business unit within a larger organization. As a result, each year they have better managers in critical spots instead of a group that’s merely one year longer in the tooth. In fact, very few companies do. And they never stop trying to read those facts and figures for clues to an edge in the marketplace. Lack of management talent ranks right behind low standards as a cause of poor performance. That way, if a particular fund doesn’t have a record year, customers usually blame themselves, not the fund manager. The best GMs willingly make the tough calls it takes to upgrade an organization. He has a keen sense of the kind of organization he wants Cummins to be. Consequently, Heinz shifted its focus from “beating Campbell” to making money in soup; it cut costs and concentrated on the low-price niche that didn’t interest Campbell. Then managers feel more responsible for results simply because they are more responsible. A general manager (GM) is responsible for all or part of a department's operations or the company's operations, including generating revenue and controlling costs. A horizontal or flat organizational structure fits companies with few … But their priority is avoiding that kind of situation. To avoid these problems, Johnson envisioned a supermarket of 50 to 60 funds that offer customers every conceivable investment focus plus superior service. How should we be reshaping the business? In Projectized Organization, the entire company is organized by projects. I’ve seen many GMs who thought they were solving major problems with logical sounding reorganizations that left out the most essential ingredient—the appropriate leader. Worse, its managers were convinced it was easier to build a 5% market share to 10% than to grow 30% to 35%. Naturally, that same pattern won’t apply to every company. Provide direct management of key functional managers and executives in the business unit. Being a global company, the British Airways has several branches across the globe. In the 1970s, for example, Pepsi concentrated on its heartland markets, grocery chains, and new large packages—all Pepsi strengths. Great general managers do the same thing. One of the most innovative GMs I know once proudly told me about his plan to reorganize and decentralize his business in order to make faster decisions, improve execution in local markets, and reduce costs. In short, this overview defines how the company is going to be different—and better—from a collection of totally independent businesses. Harvard Business Publishing is an affiliate of Harvard Business School. They’re also willing to take the heat by cutting bonuses in a poor year instead of pretending the bad year never happened and rewarding everyone for “trying hard.”. To determine what does apply, a GM focuses on two questions: What kind of managers do we need to compete effectively, now and in the foreseeable future? Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. I vividly remember one general manager who astonished subordinates by rejecting a plan that showed nice profits on a good sales gain for the third year in a row. Their operating plans are commitments, not just something they’re trying hard to achieve. But successful GMs are better at seeing the interrelationships among these six areas, setting priorities, and making the right things happen. A GM is accountable to his or her boss or corporate group for all the activities of the business unit with an emphasis on financial results. Ensure the overall delivery and quality of the unit's offerings to customers. General Manager Duties & Responsibilities, Training Manager Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More, Research Assistant Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More. They’re also tough-minded about who gets what because they realize outstanding returns don’t come from parceling out money to subordinates who promise the best numbers (despite low odds) or to key managers to keep them happy. The top management includes positions such as Chairman, Vice-President, Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer.Chairman: A chairman is the highest rank holder in a company. They develop a distinctive work environment; spearhead innovative strategic thinking; manage company resources productively; direct the people development and deployment process; build a dynamic organization; and oversee day-to-day operations. Then its managers discovered they were playing Campbell’s game, not their own, since Campbell would routinely copy their new product and use its superior brand acceptance and distribution muscle to overwhelm them at the point of sale. Every company has its own particular work environment, its legacy from the past that dictates to a considerable degree how its managers respond to problems and opportunities. The second element of the work environment that GMs consistently influence is the basic business concepts the company adopts. And that knowledge gives them the conviction they need to make things happen and gain a competitive edge. The leaders of the company can include a board … This is the most traditional of the organizational structures that businesses use. Since the general manager is the only executive who can commit the entire organization to a particular strategy, the best GMs are invariably involved in strategy formulation, spearheading the effort, not just presiding over it. This highly decentralized organization is skilled at marketing and product innovation and supported by a corporate credo that glues everything together into a very humane yet competitive company. Matrix Structure. They know that sustained superior performance can’t be built on one-shot improvements like restructurings, massive cost reductions, or reorganizations. They charge each business unit with managing its balance sheet and carefully measure its return. They try to avoid processes that can’t be converted to other uses. The role of a general manager isn't an easy one. As is shown in the picture, you can find detailed information of any employee as a glance, including the 0name, photo, position, department, phone number, and email address. But when you have good people, make darned sure you listen to what they have to say.”. Projectized Organization. But they also know that surprises will occur, so they keep enough flexibility in their spending to allow for competitive threats, good new ideas, or softer volume. Then he reminds everyone that the same performance it took to get a six this year will earn only a five next year. Recognizing that lasting competitive edges are hard to generate, the best GMs build on existing strengths while searching out new sources of advantage. They must typically: Oversee daily operations of the business unit or organization. They use challenging job assignments to speed high-potential managers’ development and eliminate blockages to open up spots. They know that sustained superior performance can’t be built on one-shot improvements like restructurings, massive cost reductions, or reorganizations. Assistant General Manager – Engineering and Operations Construction Inspector I/II/Sr Intern - Engineering. And they don’t let cost percentages get out of control however “reasonable” the explanation may be. Do we still have viable positions in each? To that end, they make sure the process produces better results each year and that it gets pushed farther down in the organization. They plunge ahead and build a factory, hire lots of overhead, and launch new products quickly and aggressively—presumably to beat competitors to the punch. But whatever the environment a general manager inherits from the past, shaping—or reshaping—it is a critically important job. Then, when they’re sure the idea will work, they go to war for it. The term organizational structure refers to how the people in an organization … The best GMs also know that compensation is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Instead of just looking inward, they get their competitive information first-hand by talking to knowledgeable customers and distributors. Whether they’ve written it down or not, top-notch GMs have a broad overview of the fields they want to compete in and the way the company will succeed in those chosen fields—the balance between centralization and decentralization, the role of line and staff, the kinds of rewards that will motivate people to achieve their goals, the skills needed to become an industry leader. Are we in the right fields? Amazon organizational structure has the following three key features: 1. It also reduces complacency, encourages personal growth, and yields better results. Moreover, with so many funds operating, Fidelity always has four or five winners to brag about. Engage in key or targeted customer activities. In contrast, the best GMs routinely bring managers together to talk about the business, to get multiple inputs on important projects, and to line up their support. Engage with corporate officers in broader organizational strategic planning. Oversee key hiring and talent development programs. The matrix structure is a bit more confusing, but pulls advantages from a couple of different … They also understand how critically important job rotation is and break down functional empires that get in the way. The matrix structure is a type of organizational structure in which individuals are … Then they use the resulting faster payoffs to help fund the search for future edges. The general manager in the hierarchy usually falls below the vice president of operations. The best GMs also get deeply involved in determining their company’s values—“what it’s like to work here.” Henry Schacht, the CEO of Cummins Engine, is a good example. To remain a leader, CEO James Burke feels that he and his managers have to excel at spotting promising new market segments early, tailoring products to serve them, and getting those products to market quickly. In larger organizations, individuals viewed as having general management potential often work in a series of assignments, rotating through the various functions and gradually growing their expertise and responsibilities over many years. To be successful in this role, you should be a thoughtful leader and a confident decision … Above all, they get line managers deeply involved in the upgrading process by forcing periodic, tough-minded appraisals of individuals and groups. These branches are led by branch managers, who are in turn answerable to the general manager. Yet talking about the concept and making it live are two different things. The degree to which a functional manager is involved in the project depends on the form of organizational structure. Want to Understand the Basic Job Description and Duties of a Manager? 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