management by matrices

a fresh perspective on management.

Innovation at the bottom of the pyramid

Most organizations conceptualize strategy in a top-down manner, where senior management expects the managers down the levels to execute without questioning. What often gets ignored, are little process improvements and even major innovations undertaken by managers, in an attempt to tackle uniquely local issues. For instance the response to a marketing initiative in a saturated market like Mumbai may not be the same as the response in a less saturated market like a Madurai. This may mean that local managers need to devise customized solutions.

While, it is appreciable that managers lower down the line come up with such innovations, and indeed feel empowered in the process too, what is disappointing is that most organizations have no mechanism to capture these local successes. I would like to see every organization have a Knowledge Manager in each location where it operates, who documents local successes and failures. A central repository of such 'cases', would go a long way in ensuring that the wheel is not reinvented each time. Knowledge management need not be a fad followed by multi-national organizations. I see it being relevant even for the smalles entrepreneur.

Organizations would do well to develop a bi-directional strategy setting system, where macro-strategies are formulated at the higher levels and micro-strategies are formulated at the lower levels, and together they would form a part of the organization's roadmap for the future.