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Dealing with dilemmas
For his new book, Frank Buytendijk, visiting fellow at Cranfield University School of Management, is running a world-wide survey on ‘Dealing with dilemmas’.
Western managers do not like dilemmas, according to Buytendijk. They put you on the spot and make life difficult. This management culture is worrying, as strategic decision making is full of dilemmas. Strategic choices have to be made, different stakeholders have conflicting requirements, not all members of the senior leadership team may agree.
In the meantime, management gurus point out the need to create an and/and culture, instead of either/or. The opposites of dilemmas need to be reconciled. This style of strategic thinking is considered creative but the process can be analytical. ‘Dealing with dilemmas’ will describe how.
One of the tools developed as part of the research is an assessment that describes an organisation’s ‘strategic space’. One can be strategically stuck (you’re not good in either end of the spectrum of a dilemma), one can be strategically biased (you excel in one end of the dilemma, but not the other) or you have created strategic stretch (you found a way to deal with both ends of a dilemma).
The survey tests how well you have been doing from a strategic, operational and cultural point of view. Take the survey on Buytendijk's website. Taking part in the survey is completely anonymous.
After filling in the survey, you can download a paper on ‘scenario-based strategy maps’, another related piece of research. This paper was recently accepted by both the Performance Measurement Association, and the Academy of Management. Also, if you email the author, he would be happy to send you the background of the model that is being tested through the survey.
Buytendijk is employed by Oracle, however Oracle is not in any way part of the survey, the research or the results. The view described in the research, survey and outcomes are the personal views of the author. No association is funding the survey.
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