Corporate Entrepreneurship: Top Managers and New Business Creation

By Vijay Sathe | Go to book overview

18 The effectiveness of the division's top
management team

This chapter examines how the effectiveness of the division's top management team (TMT) influences new business creation (Table 18.1).


Members of the TMT are not committed to new business
creation1

Members of the division's TMT influence new business creation directly, and also, through their subordinates, indirectly.2 Lack of commitment to new business creation on the part of a TMT member is therefore doubly destructive. Art Malone, prior marketing director for Astroturf, felt there was lip service but no commitment to new business creation among many of his former colleagues on DGM Dan Stewart's TMT at Monsanto Fab Products. Malone was highly regarded by Stewart and others; he spoke about this problem after he had been promoted out of Fab Products:

There wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for new products and commercial development
in that team. Spray Guard was kind of interesting, kind of nice, but there was
a lot of skepticism … One key player was a cynic. Another tried to be a good
soldier, but I don't think he understood what was going on. He didn't make a
lot of waves. Several others on Dan Stewart's team didn't buy into the approach,
didn't see the overall strategy. But they played along.


Unresolved conflict within the TMT3

Five patterns of unresolved conflict within the division TMT that hinder new business creation are (1) open conflict, (2) submerged conflict, (3) aversion to team conflict, (4) failure to achieve team consensus, and (5) no real debate or dissent permitted.


Open conflict

There were several open conflicts concerning new business creation in DGM Buddy March's TMT at 3M Micrographics. An early one centered

-270-

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