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Authors:
Published by:
Harvard Business Publishing (2003)
 
in "Harvard Business Review"
Length:
7 pages

Abstract

The events of this past year have prompted intense soul-searching in many quarters and led us, in this year's list of the best business ideas, to reassess some of the most basic assumptions about strategy, organizations, and leadership. We began by reconsidering the role of the leader. Discussions of leadership focus almost exclusively on the CEO. But attention also needs to be paid to the other people who make organizations work: the followers--to their responsibilities, their power, and their obligation not to follow flawed leadership. And we considered the fate of soft issues, like emotional intelligence, in hard times. It's tempting to dismiss them when your employees will do anything just to keep their jobs. But hard times are good times to employ such tools on yourself. Despite valiant efforts to lead change and eliminate inefficiencies, organizations stay messy. Perhaps it's better to learn to live with messiness. There's growth potential, too, in considering the company as a portfolio of opportunities--but only if managers can sell off poorly performing business units as easily as they've been shedding ailing stocks of late.

Topics

Corporate governance; Divestiture; International business; Leadership; Organizational behavior; Strategy formulation

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