Instead of continuing his predecessor’s practice or scaling back on his big potato chip business (as the financial vice president recommended), this GM invested a small fraction of his resources in process and productivity improvements that raised the margin on chips. This list shouldn’t be surprising; the fundamentals of a general manager’s job should sound familiar after all. The second element of the work environment that GMs consistently influence is the basic business concepts the company adopts. Matrix. They understand the “money mechanics” of their business: how costs behave as volumes shift. In a projected organization, the project manager … General Manager Duties & Responsibilities, Training Manager Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More, Research Assistant Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More. He centralized merchandising concepts, priced aggressively, eliminated loser departments, built strong execution-driven local managements, and got control of costs. In his business, however, fast, local decisions aren’t particularly important—and his company was already regarded as a fast mover, not a laggard. It isn’t a question of more information; they simply use information better. They demand reports on what’s important, not sheets and sheets of data from MIS. Engage with corporate officers in broader organizational strategic planning. In short, this overview defines how the company is going to be different—and better—from a collection of totally independent businesses. It also reduces complacency, encourages personal growth, and yields better results. But successful GMs are better at seeing the interrelationships among these six areas, setting priorities, and making the right things happen. They also understand the impact of concentrating on a few things at one time. These activities can include rules, roles, … Contact information for general inquiries and feedback. The sales management organizational chart displays the sales structure in a small company. Responsible for leading global HR organization, including Talent Management, Leadership Development and Learning, Compensation and Benefits, Employee Relations and Security. To avoid these problems, Johnson envisioned a supermarket of 50 to 60 funds that offer customers every conceivable investment focus plus superior service. I doubt the company would ever have achieved those results without that tangible goal staring management in the face every morning. In short, he was planning a major reorganization for generic problems that didn’t apply to his company. They must typically: An individual in a GM role is a generalist who is familiar with all areas of the business and can coordinate processes and operations across the organization. Next, high-impact GMs regard competitiveness gaps—in products, features, service—as crises. Great objectives if they’re realistic. Even as he reduced the company’s work force by 50%, he carefully thought through how to make cuts in a way people would understand and consider fair. What do we have to do to attract, motivate, and keep these people? They also refuse to let weakness in one or two areas (like control, R&D, or engineering) neutralize their strong departments. A restaurant organizational chart will show employees in an organized chain of command. Instead of just looking inward, they get their competitive information first-hand by talking to knowledgeable customers and distributors. Amazon organizational structure has the following three key features: 1. The matrix structure is a type of organizational structure in which individuals are … The company, which has a fine corporate track record over several decades, wants to be the leader in the lower-tech growth segments of health care, so it has a broad-based business, facing diverse smaller competitors all around the globe. Organizational Structure: General Manager at EA Nick Earl , Arcadia Kim and Erin Turner , Electronic Arts Nick Earl, General Manager of Electronic Arts Redwood Shores Studio, talks about how the General Manager… Everyone knows that promising ideas often fail in the marketplace. Another organizational bias worth noting is that the best GMs organize around people rather than concepts or principles. Finally, the best GMs invariably surround themselves with good people—achievers, not cronies or loyalists. To sum up, outstanding GMs affect their companies in six important ways. But they don’t sacrifice competitiveness just to look good in a bad year. Then managers feel more responsible for results simply because they are more responsible. Despite its overall success, J&J now faces a new set of competitive conditions that are forcing managers to rethink long-standing business concepts. The best GMs establish goals that force the organization to stretch to achieve them. Most difficult to understand are general management job titles such as "regional manager" and "divisional manager." A tough task, but he was convinced the goal was essential because he expected their chief competitor to cut prices to regain market share. In time, however, character flaws or even shortcomings like inconsistency do catch up with people—causing serious problems for both the GM and the company. Updated Jan 05, 2021; Posted Jan 05, 2021 . Yet many GMs are perfectly willing to bet the company before they know if a new strategy will work. Such a simple organizational chart helps improve department management … That means running the business day-to-day by producing sound plans, spotting problems and opportunities early, and responding aggressively to them. In small … What makes it important is its status as an organizing framework for the vast majority of activities general managers perform. The result of this process is a set of business concepts that shift in small ways in a consistent direction. In both cases, the GM’s strategic vision, which took into account the industry, the customer, and a specific competitive environment, led to innovation targeted at a particular competitive position. Recently, for example, I saw a consultant’s report comparing the cost structure of a major U.S. electronics components producer with its Japanese competitor. In Projectized Organization, the entire company is organized by projects. Above all, they get line managers deeply involved in the upgrading process by forcing periodic, tough-minded appraisals of individuals and groups. A horizontal or flat organizational structure fits companies with few … These changes mean that HR departments play a more strategic role within an organization, and that manager and director-level HR roles are interacting with the CEO, CFO or COO of the company. The role of a general manager isn't an easy one. 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. Moreover, with so many funds operating, Fidelity always has four or five winners to brag about. Everyone knows how important it is to attract talented managers, develop them quickly, and keep them challenged and effectively deployed. 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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. They also understand how critically important job rotation is and break down functional empires that get in the way. General management is more common in smaller, more versatile, environments where the general manager can actively engage in every facet of the business Functional Management Besides the … Finally, the best GMs use staff people well and expect them to make positive contributions, not to nitpick or “gotcha.” They appoint strong functional leaders (not line-manager rejects, politicians, or tired old pros) who can provide innovative, idea-driven leadership (not just ask good questions) and can transfer ideas across the 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. The success of an organization will depend upon the caliber of the manager in utilizing the … When David Farrell took over May Department Stores, several “experts” advised him to diversify out of the “dying” department store business. But the GM told them to come back with a plan that kept the same volumes but cut base cost levels 5% below the prior year’s, instead of letting them rise with volume. As a result, their activities in these areas make a coherent and consistent pattern that moves the business forward. Great general managers do the same thing. All rights reserved. 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. Their managers have to know the details of their business or function, not just the big picture. So J&J is figuring out how to maintain its traditional decentralized divisions—and all they stand for—yet compete with companies that offer broader coordinated product lines and services. A general manager, sometimes simply called a GM, has broad, overall responsibility for a business or a business unit within a larger organization. They don’t try to rationalize inaction by hoping that more experience will somehow transform a weak manager into a strong one or a solid performer into an outstanding one. The best GMs willingly make the tough calls it takes to upgrade an organization. These six responsibilities don’t tell the whole story, of course. To marshal resources for winning strategies, they’re willing to postpone or rethink high-risk investments or shortchange low-return businesses. Instead of following the crowd, he focused his company on becoming the merchandising and operating leader in the department store business in each of its markets. Figures and facts mean something to them because they know their customers, products, and competitors so well. One general manager, for instance, asks key managers to rank subordinates yearly on a scale from one to nine. They know that sustained superior performance can’t be built on one-shot improvements like restructurings, massive cost reductions, or reorganizations. An organizational structure where the owner is the general manager responsible for the activities in all the functions. Naturally, those reorganizations accomplished very little. For years, for example, Heinz prided itself on introducing more new soups than Campbell did. That’s what one new GM did when he took over Frito-Lay in the late 1970s. Implicit in achieving that is something most GMs don’t do well, namely understanding in detail how their costs, products, services, and systems stack up against their competitors’. Below the vice presidents come … 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. But whatever the environment a general manager inherits from the past, shaping—or reshaping—it is a critically important job. 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. This doesn’t mean they are risk-averse—far from it. In short, no strategic focus. The degree to which a functional manager is involved in the project depends on the form of organizational structure. They train themselves to ask “so what” and “why.” Field visits to plants and offices provide them with firsthand information. There are few things that managers can do alone; they must usually rely on the support, cooperation, or approval of a large number of people. 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. If we can’t figure out how to improve the situation promptly, we start to look for ways to get rid of it.”. Unlike less resourceful GMs, they don’t miss their profit plan every year because of expected unexpected events. Today you cannot write about strategy without talking about giving customers better value than your competitors do. They have all the challenges of running a business, plus the challenges of reporting to a corporate group that is most likely focused predominantly on financial outcomes. They avoid projects where everything has to work 110% to get a decent return. 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. But when the idea doesn’t succeed right away, this flat-out approach produces nothing but a big write-off. Great coaches stress fundamentals—the basic skills and plays that make a team a consistent winner. ... capital structure, cash management… This is the most traditional of the organizational structures that businesses use. GMs generally work during business hours, but depending on the employer and the demands of the job, they may work some long days, late nights, and weekends. Organizational Structure Organizational Structure. But focusing effort in these six areas will help any GM become more effective. Review ideal examples of management resumes to make sure you stand out among other candidates and include everything employers want to know. The role is particularly common in large global or multinational organizations where businesses are organized along product lines, customer groups, or geographies. They know that sustained superior performance can’t be built on one-shot improvements like restructurings, massive cost reductions, or reorganizations. James Robison, the former GM of Indian Head, expressed this perspective in a colorful way. Without a general manager in place, Wood … The authority is embedded in the hierarchical structure and it flows in a direct line from the top of the managerial hierarchy down to different levels of managers and subordinates and further down to the operative levels of workers. Assistant General Manager – Engineering and Operations Construction Inspector I/II/Sr Intern - Engineering. General Manager. 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. Oversee daily operations of the business unit or organization. The result: while former key competitors like Allied, ADG, and Federated were stumbling, May emerged as the largest, best run publicly held company in its chosen field. They must typically: Oversee daily operations of the business unit or organization. The same kind of thinking is apparent in the comments of a top Japanese CEO who was asked by a U.S. trade negotiator how his company would compete if the yen dropped from 200 to the dollar to 160. If business drops off sharply, they move faster than others to scale back costs, cut discretionary expenditures, and eliminate losers. Do we still have viable positions in each? Ensure the creation and implementation of a strategy designed to grow the business. … Top of the Hierarchy Regardless of what kind of construction company you run, the organizational structure begins with who's at the top. The best GMs concentrate more resources on situations that provide the opportunity to gain an important competitive edge, or at least improve on one they already enjoy. He is a planner, coordinator, producer and a marketer. With so much emphasis today on financial restructuring, strategy formulation, and technology, it’s not surprising that many executives get ahead by spearheading successful projects in their particular functional areas. Sure, they’ll take such sweeping actions if they’re in a situation where that’s necessary or desirable. An organizational structure is a system that outlines how certain activities are directed in order to achieve the goals of an organization. During the next few years, the company dramatically changed its cost structure through a series of innovative cost reductions in production, distribution, purchasing, corporate overhead, and product-mix management. And of course, there are always a few whose own values are flawed or expedient, but who are nonetheless successful in the short run. They charge each business unit with managing its balance sheet and carefully measure its return. Recognizing that lasting competitive edges are hard to generate, the best GMs build on existing strengths while searching out new sources of advantage. Naturally, that same pattern won’t apply to every company. For example, one aggressive, growth-oriented company decided it needed: a mix of high-potential managers, not a few good managers at the top with implementers below; innovative managers who act like owners, not administrators content to pass decisions up the line; and ambitious quick learners, not people content to move slowly up the corporate ladder. Managers throughout J&J know exactly what they’re trying to do and how they are to do it. All general managers say they allocate resources to support competitive strategies, keep the company economically healthy, and produce high returns. A manager’s job is very crucial in an organization. Even one-time owners often invest in marginal projects they’d never have dreamed of financing when the business belonged to them. In several major parts of the business, customers have decided they want fewer suppliers and better integrated distribution and administrative services. The best GMs set tight deadlines and enforce them. Then, having made the match, they delegate responsibility without hemming the person in with a tight job description or organizational constraints. 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. You can’t ignore organizational logic or strategic fit, to be sure. And the company’s superior service makes it easy for customers to switch to another Fidelity fund. Ensure the development of tactical programs to pursue targeted goals and objectives. To begin with, they have a strategic vision for each business, or they develop one quickly when they’re appointed to a new job. Seleta Reynolds is General Manager … In fact, very few companies do. Oversee key hiring and talent development programs. Above all, they are impossible to satisfy. 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. The Lions are shaking up their organizational structure, could hire coach before GM. These managers are also bugs on costs. The leaders of the company can include a board … They know the numbers and what’s required to meet them. In return, it got fewer rejects, better products, more market share, and higher earnings per share. 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.”. Otherwise, managers will postpone action, rationalize marginal performance, or mistake the recruitment of one or two outsiders for real upgrading. Top GMs are usually very results-oriented. That’s what distinguishes a useful vision from the bunch of meaningless generalities some GMs use to describe their business strategies. The best GMs also do lots of little things—like farming out pilot runs and renting plants and machinery—that limit their front-end exposure. They add overhead grudgingly. General Manager responsibilities include formulating overall strategy, managing people and establishing policies. Not in every market, of course; but overall, it’s the best—which is a long way from the medium-sized, lackluster performer Farrell inherited. How should we be reshaping the business? They use challenging job assignments to speed high-potential managers’ development and eliminate blockages to open up spots. As the textbooks say, they “get things done through others.” Managing relationships at that level in the organization, however, is a threefold task, requiring middle managers to act as subordinate, equal, and superior: upward, they relate to their bosses as subordinat… To do this, they follow up on big capital expenditures to be sure the projected benefits are realized. They don’t commit the company to more things than it can handle or—at the other extreme—to a pace that falls short of its capacity. Figure: British Airways Organizational Structure British Airways has a unique organizational structure led by a general manager, who is answerable to the Board of Directors. A general manager's duties and responsibilities cover a lot of ground, but these are some of the most common. Long before restructuring came into vogue, they were prepared to shift emphasis to get more bounce for their bucks. Too many GMs—not just the ones in Detroit—build their strategies around unsupported assumptions and wishful thinking about their comparative performance. Great general managers do the same thing. Guess who changed his views—five years too late—about where his company stood and what was required to regain market leadership? When they have a strategy or business problem or a big opportunity, they turn to the individual who has the right skills and style for that job. As soon as the sales or production or R&D department reaches one standard, they raise expectations a notch and go on from there. Trite as it may sound, somewhere along the line, the best GMs have learned the value and impact of teamwork. Moreover, building on strength keeps competitors so busy responding to your initiatives that they have less time to launch their own. The responsibility of every fragment is as the following: Create Your Own Org … A general restaurant organizational chart looks like this: The business belongs to the owners, and … The Japanese company had spent more money and a higher percentage of sales in just two areas—R&D and quality. They reject long-winded, poorly prepared plans and “bagged” profit targets instead of complaining but accepting them anyway. The prerequisites to becoming a general manager vary depending on the requirements of the business and may include a minimum level of education, experience, and certification. The matrix structure is a bit more confusing, but pulls advantages from a couple of different … Sure, they’ll take such sweeping actions if they’re in a situation where that’s necessary […]. “Every Friday evening we start a whole new ball game,” he’d say. As a result, they get more out of every strategy and every program than their competitors do. Finally, top GMs use information better than their colleagues do to spot problems early and to identify potential competitive edges. But when you have good people, make darned sure you listen to what they have to say.”. Of these three, performance standards are the single most important element because, broadly speaking, they determine the quality of effort the organization puts out. “That means every business, plant, machine, and job is open to question. How many GMs, for instance, would have disassembled a competitor’s entire car to show production people what they were up against, as Honda’s U.S. president did? At May Department Stores, for instance, David Farrell achieved almost miraculous improvements in shrinkage, inventory levels, labor costs, and store-level merchandising simply by focusing the entire organization’s efforts on these mundane operating problems. Then he reminds everyone that the same performance it took to get a six this year will earn only a five next year. Yet not everyone does what’s required to achieve this. And they do that by focusing on the six key tasks that constitute the foundations of every general manager’s job: shaping the work environment, setting strategy, allocating resources, developing managers, building the organization, and overseeing operations. Finally, they directly influence important appointments by exercising a veto or offering subordinates a slate of candidates to choose from. They do regional rollouts to test the market and control costs. While GMs have a great deal of autonomy in operating within their business unit, they typically must justify significant investments as well as changes in key strategies or personnel. In contrast to the GM who is satisfied to have one or two high-performing departments only, they demand superior execution in every function. “We are already prepared to compete at 120 yen to the dollar,” he replied, “so 160 doesn’t worry us at all.”. 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? They pay their best performers considerably more, even if that means paying the average performers less than they expect. But they don’t use that prerogative as an excuse to dabble in everyone else’s territory. Want to Understand the Basic Job Description and Duties of a Manager? In contrast, outstanding GMs think like owners. As a result, despite substantial price erosion, it racked up record profits and share-of-market gains. And they don’t let cost percentages get out of control however “reasonable” the explanation may be. Yet if you analyze the way the process works in most companies, you find excessive support for marginal businesses, low payout projects, and operating necessities. Finally, top GMs are always searching for unproductive assets to get them up to par or off the books. There’s an executive at the top of the heap, people responsible for each area (the director tier is for bigger businesses), and teams of people who do the work in each department.The advantage of this type of organizational structure lies in its simplicity. As for a small company, the organizational structure chart must be concise and complete so that the whole company can move forward, with the least expense, normally and smoothly.. If the GM’s standards are low or vague, subordinates aren’t likely to do much better. Individually, none of these things is totally new or unique. Seleta Reynolds, General Manager. Clearly one of the most important standards a GM sets is the company’s goals. Also called as the executive level, the top management guides the overall functions of a business. Being a global company, the British Airways has several branches across the globe. Then they use the resulting faster payoffs to help fund the search for future edges. A keen sense of the organization’s capabilities separates top GMs from less able executives. At the time, the company was building new potato chip plants every year to gain market share in the low-return business. Vice presidents stand below the C-suite executives. And they put constant pressure on the organization to improve productivity. But people are usually the dominant consideration. But their priority is avoiding that kind of situation. He has a keen sense of the kind of organization he wants Cummins to be. This doesn’t mean arbitrary, unrealistic goals that are bound to be missed and motivate no one, but rather goals that won’t allow anyone to forget how tough the competitive arena is. Rewards are linked to performance. Line organization is the simplest form of organization and is most common among small companies. The third element in shaping the work environment—the company’s people concepts—is closely related to the other two. 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. But it goes beyond that. To reduce hurt feelings, they make sure—in advance—that subordinates understand how the system works and why intrusion is sometimes required. Outstanding GMs seem to be personally committed to serving customers better and to producing better performing products. 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