Crucial lessons about successful management
Behind any successful organization, there is an outstanding manager. Just like Elon Musk made a change for Tesla, Joe Hinrichs became a symbol of success in General Motors. Hinrichs had to take a path of trials and mistakes, but in the end, it became apparent that his attempts were not in vain, and the outcomes of his actions were the most advantageous for General Motors.
There are several key lessons to take away from the case study in terms of planning, organizing, and leading. First of all, I was impressed by the way in which Hinrichs planned the changes for the company. To make a productive plan of a company’s development, it is necessary to perform a comprehensive analysis or present and past situation in every aspect of the organization’s activity. It is not enough merely to scrutinize the most problematic sector.
As the experience of Joe Hinrichs shows, it is a good idea to check all the departments and all the possible pitfalls. A company is a single organism, and every part of it is dependent on the other parts to some extent. Therefore, when there is a problem in one sector, there is a very high probability that other sectors have troubles, too. The case study teaches us that it is necessary to check all the constituents of a problematic organization instead of paying attention to just one zone of risk. By doing so, a manager can find small troubles and prevent big problems.
Another takeaway message from the case study is connected with organizational issues. I was impressed by Hinrichs’s way of organizing the company’s activity. Not only did he include the internal problems of General Motors in his plan of improvement but he also took care of external factors such as customer values and expectations and the state of things in other branches.
For instance, Hinrichs took into consideration a Union strike at another General Motors plant and included in his development plan the actions dedicated to eliminating such a strike at his plant. I find such an approach rather effective. Indeed, the managers who only see the work of their employees and do not bother to care about the customers, as well as the prediction and prevention of problems based on the analysis of other departments, miss a lot of chances for improving the situation in the place where they work.
The third lesson from the case study concerns leadership features. I understand now that to become a good leader it is not enough to have deep knowledge and experience. Being a good leader is, first of all, knowing how to find an approach to these particular people in this particular situation. A leader has to know more than his subordinates do, but he should know when to exercise his authority and when to communicate at a level understandable for any employee. Only by staying on the same level as the employees will a leader understand what their needs and worries are.
The case study gives several crucial lessons about successful management. A good manager should be able to plan the company’s activity taking into consideration the lessons from the past and the predictions for the future. Also, a great leader should be good at the organizational level and have excellent intercommunication skills. By combining all of these features, a manager will be able to make a positive change for the company and people working at it.