It is evident that for businesses, organizational performance is of vital importance in order to be able to achieve organizational objectives and goals as outlined in a firm’s mission statement. As such assessing the ability to gauge the level of organizational performance, is a key component of ‘Strategic Management’. So the bigger organizational picture, is composed of the ‘broader’ aspects, related to the overall sense of the organizations direction and purpose, in being able to achieve its aspirations and desired goals and objectives.
While a vision, describes what an organization aspires to be an organizations mission, is grounded in the past and present and outlines the reason for the organizations existence. But more often, it is not enough to capture the organizational identity, but rather it is important to be able to assess the complexities of organizational performance through business tools such as the ‘Balanced Score Card’.Furthermore,it is essential to analyze the prospects of effective business leadership through delving deeper into the relevant type of Celebrity CEO’s and finally go one step forward, by building on key concepts such as building EO - ‘Entrepreneurial Orientation’.
Strategy is not so simple a concept and the complexities of this concept is linked to a multidimensional approach, that involves umpteen number of processes and activities within an organization. There are many ways and perspectives in lieu of capturing the complexities thereof, but one plausible interpretation, well-articulated is the one offered by a management expert Henry Mintzberg of Mc Gill University in Montreal, Canada according to which “ Understanding how strategy can be viewed as plan, as a ploy, as a position and as a perspective is important”. (Mintzberg, 1987)
According to Jack Welsh former CEO of General Electric “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion”. There are a few exceptional strategic leaders whose name stands out like Howard Schultz , from poor strategic leaders who do not have the ability to encompass diverse skills sets. Effective strategic leaders, also have the infinite potential to drive the organization forward by genuinely inspiring the work force to work hard to improve organizational performance.
Under the pretext of assessing organizational performance, it will be appropriate to contend and ponder on the parable of the “blind men and the elephant”as popularized in Western cultures through a poem by John Godfrey Saxe in the 19th century that proves useful for understanding the deep rooted complexities associated with actually measuring organizational performance. The Balanced Score Card, is a tool that was developed to provide a “BALANCE” between two important considerations such as
“Performance Measures” and “ Performance Referents” that are important for critically analyzing the organizational activities that lead to sustained long term performance. In a recent article, published by Bloomberg published in a local newspaper we can see that the CEO of American Express , Ken Chenault emphasizes on the need for “reinvention” and innovative measures to be adopted in broadening AMEX’s hunt for increasing its clientele base at a technology conference in Las Vegas in 2015.
So the exercise of tracking, a small number of key measures that collectively reflect on the four dimensions depending on what the right combination is; matters as different measures and referents may expose a different part of the overall story, in order to rightly adjudge the organizational performance. The performance metrics, in general might entail dimensions that provide a financial focus, customer focus, internal business process and learning and growth focus.
Periodic reviews of a ‘blue book of information’, on the ‘Balanced Score Card’, measures that ought to be adopted by the employees across all levels of the organizational structure , helps the organization to bounce back in order to regain the lost momentum. In this exclusive feature of AMEX, it is interesting to note that the organization had steady progress under the stealthy leadership of Ken Chenault who helped in promoting the brand of AMEX by re-inventing the credit card company many times during the last 34 years but having pushed his way into new frontiers the company seems to be suffering from serious setbacks.
Apparently enterprise growth back fired after one of the biggest acquisitions in the Company’s 166 year old history , buying payments start-up from AOL Inc and trying to utilize the underlying technology to build out a product line of reloadable prepaid cards , that has the ability to function as a digital alternative . In this case the ‘Customer Measures and Internal Business Process Measures’, enables to shift the focus of the organization towards customer attraction, satisfaction and retention and what more the proper alignment of the internal business process measures like incentives , on the new product would be the appropriate course of action in order to drive forward towards achieving organizational efficiency. So In August 2015 , upon review we can see that AMEX introduced a rewards program, letting customers earn 1% cash back on purchases being the first of its kind reloadable cards to offer such benefits.
So different perspectives and multi - dimensional approach in combining and permuting resources stops the propensity to falter amidst uncertainties in the market as it provides a parametric approach , to diligently dealing with the allocation of resources, with respect to industry structure, which includes firms of different sizes and types . Horace Secrets defines “ Statistics as aggregates of facts , affected to a marked extent, by a multiplicity of causes numerically expressed enumerated or estimated according to reasonable standards of accuracy , collected in a systematic manner for a predetermined purpose and placed in relation to each other” .
The quantitative aspects from this empirical science thereby provides ample data on the relative progress of organizations who have the innate ability to lead strategically and hence the importance Entrepreneurial Orientation. EO ( Entrepreneurial Orientation) is a key concept, that adds value to organizations when executives are able to transform themselves into enterprising individuals who are able to maximize their own career prospects and utilize the opportunities to bring novel ideas to fruition. Therefore entrepreneurial orientation refers to the process , practice and decision-making styles of organizations that venture to act entrepreneurially and the five dimensional aspects of examining the level or degree of entrepreneurial orientation is Autonomy , Aggressiveness, Innovativeness , Proactiveness and Risk-taking.
The value of entrepreneurial thinking and acting entrepreneurially is immense, as it is a key a factor in increasing the enterprise value even from a capitalistic point of view . The ability to increase sales revenue and profitability that shows in the net worth potential of an organization can be directly attributed to the people in such large organizations who are filled with passion and dedication to champion a new idea, product or a service and work hand in hand with key players in the organization to build up a constituency that would cater organizational efficacy and long term performance.
Excerpts from an article, called ‘Small Business -- Sometimes you need a macro scope’ written by Jim Kuba suggests a detailed account of a new business model , championed by an employee that brings in relative ease in utilizing the immense potential hidden within the scope of providing an entrepreneurial focus by using a ‘macroscopic approach’. Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvass (BMC) is a relatively new business tool incorporated to make good business decisions that has the ability to bring a profound impact on the whole organization in a highly dynamic manner. The macroscope originated in 1979 when a molecular biologist Joel de Rosnay introduced the macroscope which ‘filters details an amplifies that which links together and is not used to make things larger or smaller but to observe what is at once too great, too slow and too complex for our eyes”. Similar initiatives is known to be taken in large corporates like Google where an engineer first suggested two notable features of Google in Gmail namely thread sorting and unlimited email archiving as employees are given free time to utilize their creative potential on projects of their choice that would add value to the firm.
This is a good example of the multi-dimensional EO concepts of ‘Autonomy and Innovativeness’ that combines together in order to re-inforce one another. In this instance the creative splurge of producing a built-in business model works wonders as it provides a macroscopic view and the BMC (Business Model Canvass) comprises of visual charts with elements that describe a firm’s value proposition , customers, customer relationship , resources, key activities , logistics and finance.
Last, but not the least the organizational performance and organizational health also has a unique correlation and acts like a continua that is a vital link which bonds or intertwines in the event of effective ‘situational leadership’: Bazigos,M; Schaninger,B; Gagnon,C; (2016). Leadership and stewardship of the organization are important gradients that provide steepness and sharpness to the ‘enterprise growth’ potential . There are business leaders, who insist on obscurity but provide that very tangible framework to encourage and steer the rudder of organizational growth and success in the right direction and they are the ‘Hidden Gems’ of the type of celebrity CEO’s who manage to bring in drive and vigor and infuse shared values within the firm!. They hate to be the ‘moth in the limelight’!
Barby Siegel, the CEO of Zeno Group an award winning multi-disciplinary public relations firm, is an exemplary example of a leader, who was a willing risk-taker and believed in ushering in fearlessness and a prudent collaborative approach to take risk with concerted efforts in order to add ‘ value to the organization at large’!.
Posner, B; Kouzes,M.J (2012):The Leadership Challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations : Fifth Edition.
Kuba,J; Small Business- Sometimes you need a macroscope – Strategic Finance Magazine.
Bloomberg: Article–Amex chief goes back to the strategy drawing board:Gulf News.(NewsPaper)
Ketchen,D; Short,J; Try D: Mastering Strategic Management (2012)- 1st Canadian Edition by Janice Edwards is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-Share A like 4.0 International License.
NPR Books.(2011, March 28). Starbucks CEO: Can you “get big and stay small”?Retrieved from http:// www.npr.org/2011/03/28/134738487/Starbucks-ceo-can-you-get-big-and-stay-small.
Mintzberg’s 5 Ps of Strategy : Developing a better strategy: http://www.mindtools.com