The basic principles of managing a company are the same for both large and small companies. A company is managed by having an organization, a large company simply has a larger organization than a small company.
Communications make the difference between acting as one organization and many individual groups. With poor communications, development may have developed a new product, only to find that manufacturing will not be able to produce it for a year.
While direct tactics are used in the actual competition with a competitor, it is by indirect tactics that long term success will be achieved. A direct tactic is an action which is anticipated by your competitors. An indirect tactic is one which is not anticipated.
There is an infinite number of combinations of direct and indirect tactics that may be used.
It is important to be both sudden and forceful in entering a market. Slow and gradual tactics are to be avoided.
- Novell, by not getting its customers to rapidly convert from NetWare 3.1 to NetWare 4, created a window of opportunity for Microsoft’s Windows NT.
The best direct tactics are when it would appear that your company is operating in chaos, when in fact there is no disorder.
Indirect tactics include the art of concealment and simulated disorder and weakness.
Much can be gained if you can mislead and deceive your competition. But bear in mind that there is little point in showing chaotic behavior unless your company is well controlled. Making your company appear weak will provide you advantage over your competitors only if in fact you are very strong.
- Sun Microsystems has been called “Camp Run-A-Muck.” While it appears to operate in continual chaos, its tactics have allowed it to consistently achieve success in its markets.
Be pragmatic in how you execute your tactics. Adapt your plans to circumstances. Remember that the goal is more important than appearances.
- Management — Will determine the apparent order or disorder of your company.
- Tenacity — Let it depend upon circumstances.
- Positioning — Will determine the strengths and weaknesses of the product in its marketplace.
The Right Man for the Right Job
Remember too that success often comes from circumstances. Do not expect your employees to accomplish your objectives alone. There is no substitute for opportunity and expediency.
It is important that the proper task and responsibility be given to each person in your company. Responsibilities should be given commensurate with their abilities.
Do not overwhelm any one individual. Take individual talents into consideration, and use them accordingly. Leverage the energy of the company by having all of the individuals acting in concert to achieve a given objective.
- At Tandem Computers, when it was growing rapidly in the 1980s, the corporate philosophy was that “everyone sells.” Closing a sale often required manufacturing to assemble demonstration systems, development to review special customer requirements, and meetings with Tandem’s executives.
The objective of properly positioning and introducing a product is to make maximum use of the employees of the company, given the market and competition in which it will compete. When you are taking advantage of the weaknesses of your competitors, you will experience tremendous results from your company’s employees.
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