Management: Of, By and For the People

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that, despite the dot-com frenzy, business leaders must continue to deal in traditional business fundamentals; and that a company's value is still found in an effective management team.


The desire to collaborate is common among seasoned executives. Individuals who seek out others to achieve a specific goal or solve a problem are the ones best suited to management. Mavericks who are set in their ways or disrespectful to others are to be avoided. Within managements ranks, collaboration not competition is what makes winning possible. Within the industry, the term c-commerce [collaborative commerce] has entered the lexicon. We view collaboration between companies as the next phase in e-business. I view collaboration between management as a core building block for a company.


Though some chief executives shy away from wanting a management team to have a shared sense of values for fear that homogeneity will stifle creativity, I believe that common purpose and values are essential to building an effective management team. Management must speak the same language. At Procuri, several executives coach Little League baseball teams, work at their churches and volunteer for non-profit organizations within their communities. Dedication to and respect for family is a sign of stability, balance and character, not a sign of weakness. A management team that intuitively understands each others' values leaves little room for resentment to creep in.


Building Your Own Value


There are many different ways markets measure the success of a company: return on equity, market capitalization, return on assets and price to earnings ratio, among many others. Depending on the type of business, different scorecards apply. Common to each, however, is the concept of value. A management team that understands how to increase the value of its company is ahead of the game. The common, collaborative drive to build real, tangible value for key stakeholders is what a management team should share.


As we look back on the past year's New Economy follies, it's refreshing to see a renewed appreciation for how a management team impacts value creation. Indeed, ideas matter. But without a solid management team to take them from the drawing board to reality, long term prospects for success are dim. The old adage survives: invest in the management team.


Mark Morel currently serves as president, CEO and a director of Procuri, a provider of e-procurement services based in Atlanta, Ga.
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