May 2011: Policy and Management

A good manager must make his work forgetting his own political ideology because, government change every four years, but his enterprise does not. Although different governments can have different effects on the result of a company, he must consider that the political party of a government is only an exogenous variable in his management activity. This does not imply that a manager cannot have personal convictions and ideology, and, of course, it is important to not confuse political ideology with political competences.

It is evident that a manager must have political competences, especially in a large enterprise. I always said that the higher the position you are the bigger the number of bosses you have. I must recognize that many people do not complain with this sentence, although I always said that these people are not very important in their companies too. I will try to illustrate my sentence with the following example: In an electoral process, the higher manager of the government needs the approval of all people, he has millions of bosses.

We can think that an enterprise is not a democracy, then the Chairman of the Board cannot be compared with the previous example but, in a stock company markets will judge his performance, and nowadays, markets can be a set of people greater than a country.

But, I want analyze a more practice situation outside the board. Modern organizations are not hierarchical; this situation implies that many decisions inside a company must be resolved among different managers. All of us know that almost all managing time is dedicated to negotiate. A departmental project can be done with the approval of a few managers but strategic process management has an influence in many areas of a company. When a corporate project manager kicks off a broad strategic project needs the approval of many managers above him and the collaboration of a lot of managers below him. That is the reason why we can think that high level managers have a higher number of bosses than middle level ones.

Why this is an important point? Well, professionals of human resources know the difficulties to select a candidate for a promotion. Negotiation abilities are more critical in high level management than in middle ones because of the importance of the projects, but the relevant point to consider is that every step up requires a bigger capability to integrate different orders from the different implied departments. Although this issue could seem odd, this is a common issue when we are working on innovation because large organizations can have directorates with two contrary visions about a new strategic action. In the initial phase of a strategic project the CEO could not have established a final decision on some matters, waiting feedback from the initial stage of the project. Although the CEO has a perfect defined vision of it, probably he prefers to analyze different viewpoints of his directors.

Management is more related to negotiation than obedience. That is the reason why the higher the level of management the lower the level of accuracy in the instructions of our superiors.

This last sentence must be read carefully. All organizations have not the same organizational schema, and our direct superior must always trust on us.


Mr. Luis Díaz Saco

Executive President

saconsulting advanced consultancy services 

Nowadays, he is Executive President of Saconsulting Advanced Consultancy Services. He has been Head of Corporate Technology Innovation at Soluziona Quality and Environment and R & D & I Project Auditor of AENOR. He has acted as Innovation Advisor of Endesa Red representing that company in Workgroups of the Smartgrids Technology Platform at Brussels

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