1.Middle managers are often at the center of efforts to develop tactical plans to implement established strategies. How are tactical plans typically established? What challenges confront middle managers charged with strategy implementation? • Beer and Eisenstat identify what they call 'silent killers' of strategy implementation and learning. Provide concrete examples - preferably from your own experience - of how these 'silent killers' sabotage strategy implementation. Why do Beer and Eisenstat add 'learning' to the list of victims of these 'silent killers'? • What are the fundamental tensions that Dodd and Favaro identify? How does finding the balance among these tensions impact middle managers? Give examples from your experience.
2.How is it possible for individuals and organizations to fail to focus on customers? • [Remember that customers can be external - customers in the ordinary sense of the word - and internal, e.g., other departments are the customers of the corporate IT department.] Some functions can have both internal and external customers (e.g., marketing). What are the similarities and the differences between serving internal and external customers. Describe customer focus strategies - internal or external - from you own experience.
3.What is organizational design? How is it like and how unlike design of a manufacturing process (for example, automobile production)? [You might wish to consider Jeanne Liedtka's arguments here ("In defense of strategy as design").] • Organizations have both formal and informal (tacit) structures. How can we predict the effects of calculated and deliberate organizational change on informal networks and structures? How can we mitigate against unanticipated and unintended consequences of organizational redesign?