management, sensemaking

Leading counter to stereotype


Executive Folio

In my last post, I set up Daniel Isenberg’s stereotype of senior managers, published in 1984 in HBR.  It ran in contrast to most of what he discovered when he researched how they actually thought and acted.  The stereotype looked like this:  people governed by strategy and clearly formulated and foregrounded (in mind) as goals and objectives.  They are efficient in the pursuit in a way that reflects good planning.  I asked what you thought about this variance.  Was the minority who conformed to the stereotype the ones most likely to be effective?  Or the majority?  [Note: Isenberg doesn’t rigorously define “senior manager,” and I am of the view that the way you contribute should matter based on how you are positioned in an organization.  So I will focus on those who are responsible for line operations through others who report to them rather than directly, but not C-suite in…

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