Lampert has decorative materials taken a very hands

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But they also want to be treated as people (customers) first, not numbers on a balance sheet.The first, PriceaterhouseCoopers' annual CEO survey, found that organisations are first and foremost looking for senior executives with hard technical and business experience. Lewis was an expert in the fast food industry, not retail.. Hedge funds managers are investment experts.The message here? People who run organisations such as active directors and CEOs, at the very least, need to be expert in the business of the business. Is this a case of not "sticking to the knitting", or a lack of business acumen?The recent press reports of one such fund manager, give some clues. As was reported in the International Herald Tribune (Tuesday, 29th Jan 2008), "Stores . Dozens of products . For instance, are CEOs aware of the power generated by effective leadership and management or is it just getting harder to find experienced people?The second however, is a more robust study of actual behaviour of managers within organisations. In some cases they have closed up shop altogether (e. look shabby next to those of rivals like Target and JC Penny. Those that moved away from their original investment strategies into taking a direct role in not only ownership but also management of organisations, ran into trouble. Much of the commodity merchandise that was in stock was more expensive than nearby competitors. were sold out.. It seems that Lampert has found that actually managing an organisation is a bit different to investing in its stock. They follow the financial markets in an endeavour to predict fluctuations and invest accordingly.. Their failure to manage financial risk, has seen their performances plummet. 2, 2007), they found that in addition to cognitive and interpersonal skills, business skills and in particular strategic skills actually became more important as a manager progressed through the organisation. People are simply going elsewhere for their shopping experience.Where should the balance be in management development - business or people skills?My own observations over the last 20 years as a designer of management development initiatives, suggests that there has been a greater emphasis on people skills in training and development than pure business skills (I know my own efforts have often been in this direction). Those involved in retail, know that people want an "experience" when they shop. This seems particularly so at the higher levels.Since gaining control of the organisation, Lampert has decorative materials taken a very hands on approach to management. That is until recently.However, even before the current financial crisis brought on by the sub-prime failures, some fund managers were having difficulty in another area. Sailfish Capital Partners, a $2 billion fund closed in January). People skills, whilst considered relevant, were not as high on their wish list. Sure they often want the best price.. They generally represent a small group of very wealthy people and organisations. Carried out by Mumford, Campion and Morgeson and reported in The Leadership Quarterly (Vol 18 N0. However, one needs to be careful to read too much into this finding. Is it our expectation that managers at this level know all there is to know about business, but need to be made aware of the people power they can harness through effective leadership and management?If we are to look at some of the recent business failures, particularly in the finance industry and at the Mumford et al findings, it would appear that:- Organisations, when appointing senior managers need to look for both technical business expertise and good leadership skills- Designers and providers of leadership and management development need to focus equally on the development of both strategic business skills and good leadership and management skills. Sears are not providing this. First set up as far back as 1949, hedge funds principal areas of investment have been:- Short selling stocks they think will decrease in value- "Fair value" - using computer systems to calculate the relative value of one stock against another and then shorting the more expensive one and buying the cheaper- Taking on a bankrupt company or merging companies where a profit can be seen- Trading stocks by taking positions on the direction markets, currencies and commodities are likely to moveAs investment funds following these strategies, they have been extremely successful. This has been supported by two recent studies. For example, the key underpinnings of his strategy have been to:- Raise prices- Cut capital spending- Cut marketing budgetsTo head up the new organisation, he also appointed as CEO, Aylwin Lewis.The result? Customer visits and sales are down, and so are profits. Edward Lampert, a hedge fund maestro, masterminded the takeover and merger of Sears and Kmart in 2005. The authors tracked over 1,000 managers at all organisational levels. And that approach has been based on his own expertise (finance), not the expertise of the business - retailing. Often people buy based on their emotive response to the retail experience and then support their decision with reason and logic, such as price. However, Lampert still maintained his hands on approach to management..At the top of organisations, which are more important - management skills or business skills?Take the case of hedge fund managers who have been in the news lately.g