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What Is Your Management Model?

One could argue that “what business are we really in” is the most important question a leader can ask about his company. But perhaps right up there with the classic Peter Drucker interrogatory is this one: What is your business model?

So argue the authors, who correctly point out that firms searching for forms of competitive advantage — sources of distinctiveness that are enduring, hard to copy and valuable in the marketplace — should take a look at their management model. That is, they should examine the choices made by the top executives in how they define objectives, motivate efforts, coordinate activities and allocate resources. How they define the work of management, in other words.

Not only do the authors provide a framework for this discussion — dividing companies’ business models into four possible choices — but they supply a list of questions leaders can ask to determine which management model may be right for their company.

Clearly, when it comes to management models, one size does not fit all. And it is equally obvious that
even similar-size companies in the same industry may choose differing models, depending on their own
particular circumstances.

While the model they choose is of extreme importance, so, too, is the process they follow — and the
thinking they use — to select it.

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