Management goes beyond just telling others what to do. It is a process of setting goals and getting the right people together to accomplish objectives by planning and organizing all the relevant resources effectively and efficiently. Essentially, the management process encompasses four imperative functions that include planning, organizing, directing, and controlling. Enrolling in a general management course offers extensive knowledge about these four functions and allows one to better understand the responsibilities of a general manager.
However, to provide you with a brief, following are those functions (in detail explanation) that every manager must execute efficiently in order to achieve the company objectives:-
Planning – Deciding the Course of Action
Planning is a function in which the managers set certain company objectives and develop a course of action to accomplish those goals. A set plan in place helps in maintaining managerial effectiveness as it acts as a guide for the employees’ future activities. It also helps in ensuring that resources are implemented in the most efficient manner. Managers continue to analyse the plan at every step and make necessary modifications. Evidently, it is an intellectual function that helps avoid uncertainties, confusion, risks, and wastage of resources.
Organizing – Allocating Activities and Resources
Organizing can be interpreted as the process by which outlined plans are executed in order to achieve the objectives. Within this process, the managers allocate physical, human, and financial resources in the most effective manner. The steps in organizing involve identifying the activities, categorizing the tasks to individuals and groups, creating responsibilities, and delegating authorities. On the whole, the purpose of the organization structure is to develop a productive environment in order to get the best out of the workforce.
Directing- Leading People Towards the End Goal
Directing is a process that requires managers to motivate personnel to achieve business objectives. It emphasizes leadership, motivation, supervision, and communication that facilitates employees to perform their task with optimum efficiency.
- Leadership entails instructing and guiding employees with regards to methods and procedures
- Communication is two way to ensure that the information is conveyed to the personnel clearly regarding methods and procedures
- Motivation includes encouraging the workforce to deliver effective performance with minimal direction from the seniors
- Supervision is a continuous process that results in generating regular progress reports and ascertains that the directions are being followed
Controlling – Monitoring the Activities
Controlling encompasses measuring accomplishments against the standards. Control ensures that every task is completed with quality matching that of the set standards. Furthermore, efficient control also assists in predicting deviations and making necessary modifications at the right stage. The function of controlling includes:-
- Setting up performance standards
- Measurement of actual performance with set standards and identifying deviation (if any).
- Implementing corrective action.
The above were the primary functions of general management which also lays out the responsibilities of managers. It is the duty of the top-level management to execute each of these managerial processes with fidelity in order to accomplish the predetermined company objectives and ensure continued growth for the business.
Now that we already know that General management is the process of creating a collective performance that is superior to that which would have occurred naturally. General management matters because by improving collective performance it creates value.
General management is like steering, involving the drive of the mind as well as the energy of the body. Management intervention:-
- Needs to be systematic and purposeful
- Needs to be based on principles and disciplinary knowledge
- Should be applied with rigorous methods of experimenting and learning
- Should be practiced with a meticulous language
The EOS Model
The EOS model states that the performance of a company is the outcome of the result of the complex dynamic interaction between its environment (E), its organization (O) and its strategy (S). In other words, a company’s performance depends on where it is, what it is and what it does. The general manager is a part and parcel of EOS. What sets a general manager apart is the inherent faculty to directly influence each and all of these three elements. The ability to shape the environment, organization and strategy distinguish the general manager.
A business environment is made of customers, shareholders, partners, suppliers, government, etc. General Managers may change the environment in two ways- directly or indirectly. They can directly change the environment by adding or removing one or more elements of their environment. They can indirectly alter the existing elements of their environment by impacting the behavior of elements of the environment.
The element strategy signifies what the company does. This includes the product, position, business model, technologies and resource allocation. This is determined and monitored by a general manager.
The elements of the organization are people, managerial mindset, structure, processes, performance metrics, and incentives. These are elements that general managers modify to shape the organization directly.
General Managers change the course of company performance by intervening to alter one or more elements of such performance.
Managing for long term prosperity
External factors that are unpredictable and uncontrollable affect every economy and industry sector. A high level of management expertise and management quality enables organizations to develop internal dynamic capabilities and sustainable competencies. Fostering of capabilities in general management smartly and swiftly will translate into higher productivity. It is clear that investing in education and skills is a key requirement for those performing managerial roles now and into the future.
Certified General Management Course
There are several certified general management courses that can help develop the core competencies required by a general manager.
IIM (Raipur) offers a general management executive course which is a live and interactive online certificate program designed for functional managers aspiring to move to a general management role. To develop core business skills and competencies. This program would equip them to handle issues involving cross-functional areas. It seeks to introduce contemporary business models and practices to the participants.
Similar general management executive courses are offered by IIM (Kozhikode) and XLRI.
General management matters. It ensures the proper development of an organization towards its ultimate future goals.