A RING FOR
To the Editor:
However, no reference was made to Dr. Patrick Crecine, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who directed and personally contributed to the development of the interactive video extravaganza selling
The Georgia Tech administration and faculty, under Dr. Crecine’s guidance and responsibility, have accepted an assignment to develop a strategic plan for the massive movement of spectators and athletes to and from the many venues throughout the
Without the influence of Dr. Crecine and the availability of the Georgia Tech campus for the Olympic Village, the odds are high that
L. Terrell Sovey
Georgia Tech, Class of 1952
CAN THE COMPARISONS
To the Editor:
I enjoyed participating in the “Getting To Team” roundtable in January [CE, April 1992], and I have a few comments. I think the analogies that business people make are quite often inappropriate. We have overworked the use of military and/or athletic comparisons. I say this because, to my way of thinking, the results of an individual’s participation in a military endeavor (for example, landing aircraft on an aircraft carrier) or playing on the winning team in sports (“no stars, we all played as part of the team”) is almost immediately recognizable to each participant. This is not the case in the world of business.
One other point on teamwork: The “leader” must be honest in his words and deeds, otherwise his communication link to the members of the team will be ineffective and perhaps even shunned with cynicism. I put this value of honesty even higher than visibility which is often referred to as “management by walking around.”
Richard M. Clarke
Chairman and Chief Executive
TAKING THE INITIATIVE
To the Editor:
I found your roundtable article, “Getting To Team,” particularly interesting, since the process of top team-building has been the thrust of our work for over 20 years.
I would like to comment on some of the topics raised at the roundtable. A change is now taking place, bigger than anything in
These executives have learned that good decision making requires the initiative to act in three distinct stages. The first is the initiative of attending, which represents the preference for definition, research, analysis and study. The executive who follows this initiative only is a careful, long-term planner who measures the risks against the benefits before taking action. He is well-prepared when he decides to act, but he risks losing business to lightning-fast competitors.
Finally, there is the initiative of committing, which represents the preference for taking the opportunity now in terms of buying, selling, signing and spending. Here, the chief executive deems the risks to be secondary, and he rushes to capture the prize, the contract, the sale before his competitors can. This type of chief executive has been the hero of American business for many decades, but that state of affairs is slowly starting to change as more long-term planners move into chief executive offices.
Finding any one individual who takes equal initiative in all three stages of the decision-making process is rare. In most cases there is a definite orientation toward one of the three stages. Action profiles of 20,000 executives in a variety of cultures show that each executive has a pronounced disposition toward one or the other initiatives. It is, therefore, in the chief executive’s best interest to have other managers in the team who complement-not copy-his attitude toward decision making.
Once companies recognize the need for more CEOs who can build a well-balanced team, there will truly be a transformation in American business and a transition to a new stage of world leadership.
Warren Lamb Associates