Managing Operations (Institute of Management Series)

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Assessment is normally via practical work-based assignments provided by your Approved Centre.

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On successful completion of a Level 5 qualification in Management and Leadership, a number of progression opportunities become available:. To order please call or email publications managers. However, terms may be negotiated with non-approved organisations on a individual basis. Gain recognition for enhancing your knowledge, understanding and practice of management. Display your post nominal as a commitment to continuous professional development and accomplishment as a manager. For managers who want to sharpen their professional edge and enhance their effectiveness, membership offers access to qualifications, courses, mentoring and unrivalled support resources.

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Level 5 in Management and Leadership The Level 5 qualifications in Management and Leadership are designed for practising middle managers and those aspiring to senior management who want to develop their core management skills such as managing resources, recruitment and information management. Award Our Level 5 Award in Management and Leadership lets you strengthen and develop your knowledge of middle management by focusing on specific management areas that are applicable to your job.

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Extended Diploma With a more comprehensive structure, our Level 5 Extended Diploma in Management and Leadership RQF develops you further to give you all the key skills and competencies you'll need to become an effective manager. Important though the exercise is as a first step, do not dwell too much on these questions.

There is often a temptation to do a great deal of research—documenting what your organization is doing in detail, what functions in competitors are doing, and so on. Exploring ways to solve a problem is far more valuable than obsessing about it. A reasonable expectation is that a group of smart people, using their existing knowledge, should be able to answer the two questions to a good-enough level after a few hours of discussion.

Once consensus has been reached around the status quo, the next step is to consider alternatives to it. This involves answering another pair of interrelated questions:. For functions, this question is relatively straightforward. It might determine that its primary customers are business-unit CEOs, its core value offering is recruiting and developing young designers, and its core internal capability is design talent scouting.

It might choose to outsource learning and development to top-flight business and design school partners, and rely on outside agencies for administrative recruiting and training. In determining where to play, different functions may focus on different parts of the corporate strategy. Consider a digital-platform company pursuing aggressive growth in China and Asia.


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General Electric needs to figure out how to provide better value to its business customers than Siemens does; Coca-Cola needs to provide better value to soda drinkers than Pepsi does. In each of these cases, the competitor is easy to identify, and its value proposition and business model can be deduced by observing its products and prices in the marketplace and studying its financial reports. With functions, the how-to-win question is more challenging. HR might be hugely valuable for one company, whereas finance is hugely valuable for another. Likewise, it would make no sense for HR and finance to benchmark each other.

Often, the appropriate benchmark is an outsourced provider.

The functional team should emerge from its inquiries with a number of possible strategies that answer the questions of where to play and how to win differently from the way the existing strategy does. At this point, the team has to make a choice. It cannot know for sure which of several potential strategies is the right one.

But with the slate of possibilities in mind, functional leaders should ask themselves, What would have to be true for each of the strategies to be successful?

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The One Thing You Need to Know About Managing Functions

They should articulate the capabilities and systems required and ask under what conditions the firm should invest in building these capabilities rather than those. With a clear idea of what the enabling conditions are, they can devise tests and experiments to help narrow their options still further.

And our ability to attract, develop, motivate, and retain such people made our…culture a rare advantage. If we look back at what Sharp and the talent team did through our lens of functional strategy, we can see how they defined their problem and the choices they made to solve it. Accordingly, most hotel chains treat labor as a cost to be minimized.

Frontline hotel staffers are treated as replaceable cogs in a massive, fast-moving machine. No wonder, then, that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annualized employee turnover rate in the industry was Since turnover of frontline employees is so high, most major chains focus their hiring efforts on getting good general managers who are likely to stay longer and then building mechanisms to quickly hire lots of new entry-level employees each year.

They rarely invest much in frontline retention because it is seen as a lost cause; the huge turnover rate is treated as an inevitability. Instead they focus on cost-cutting to address labor issues: minimizing staff hours, standardizing to boost productivity, and so on.


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  5. But beginning in the late s and continuing through the s, most shifted to a structure organized around product-centered business units, in response to the need for each product line to have a clear strategy and accountability in order to win against competitive products and brands. As firms grew in scale and scope, it became unwieldy to have the head of manufacturing, the head of marketing, and the head of sales all juggle their particular piece of each product line. A new corporate structure emerged, in which product-line business units developed their own independent functions.

    Each business unit or product team now performed its own HR work, financial accounting, research and development tasks, and logistics support services, giving rise to the conglomerate form of business organization popular through the s and s. Over time, the pendulum swung back, as it became clear that the conglomerate structure failed to add enough value to the businesses to outweigh the costs of maintaining all those individual functions. Corporations began to recentralize many functional activities, enabling greater specialization, efficiency, and consistency in each area.

    These centralized functions were purpose-built to create cost efficiencies or to add value in ways that would not occur if the services were performed in a decentralized and smaller-scale way. Marketing, HR, and finance would be more consistent across the businesses. Unfortunately, through this evolution, the questions of what these functions should and should not do and how they should think about strategy were largely left unanswered. As a consequence, strategy theory and practice focused entirely on product lines, and the functions were the territory that strategy left behind. When Sharp entered the hospitality business, he saw all these norms in operation.

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    But he slowly began to push back on them. Sharp believed that luxury was not just about space but also about how people were treated. And frontline staff would be the key to delivering a new form of service that was warm, welcoming, and capable of filling in for the nurturing support system that guests had left at home and the office. As the company grew, the talent team needed to make a set of choices that would align with firm strategy and build frontline service capability.

    The Four Seasons talent team identified the frontline staff as its internal customer and focused on hiring, retaining, and motivating those employees in ways that set it apart from competitors. This process produced a more thoroughly vetted cadre of hotel staff, hired for attitude rather than experience.

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    The talent team also invested in extending staff tenure, making its entry-level jobs the starting point of a career rather than a dead end. This produced a virtuous circle: If the average tenure at Four Seasons approached 20 years, the talent team could invest 10 times the resources per person in hiring, training, and rewards than could competitors, whose employees tended to stay for a year or less.

    The result for Four Seasons would be far better trained and more experienced hotel employees, without higher talent costs overall. Under Sharp, Four Seasons enjoyed happier, more loyal, more capable, and longer-serving workers—enabling it to deliver superior service and earn leading-price premiums.


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    It built rigorous systems to ensure that its service capabilities were always present. Its recruiting and hiring system was formalized and scaled. Its training systems became legendary. Four Seasons thrived under Sharp, becoming the largest and most profitable luxury hotel chain in the world. And its talent strategy was a crucial element of this success. Not all functional strategies are as directly tied to the competitive advantage of a firm as is the talent function at Four Seasons. In cases where the connection is more tenuous, it is still very important to understand the choices of the function and the role it plays in helping the company win overall.

    In the simplest terms, supporting functions need to operate in efficient and cost-effective ways that enable the firm to invest in its sources of competitive advantage. Consider a typical risk-and-compliance function. For some companies, superior risk assessment and mitigation is a source of competitive advantage. But for most, that is not the case, even though the function is essential to keeping the firm in business.

    For a typical risk function, the strategy problem can be defined in any number of ways. It might be a matter of standards: How do we ensure our compliance training is sufficient to prevent disaster and keep the company out of the news? Or, How might we help our managers understand and quantify operating risks?

    Introduction

    The function also has choices regarding whom to serve and with what offering. For instance, it can choose to serve frontline employees or the business-unit leaders; the CEO or the board of directors.

    It may see all those groups as potential customers, but it must determine which is the core consumer with whom it seeks to win. It might choose to focus on providing expertise to managers making operating decisions about factory layout, say, or choice of equipment to be used or compliance training for workers.