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Maximizing Return on Investment Using ERP Applications by Frank J. C. Andera, Thomas R. Weirich, Arthur J. Worster

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LEADERS AND THE LEADERSHIP GAP

The leadership needs for business planning include

  • A business must establish a vision for how these capabilities can be used to produce business results.
  • The leadership team must be aligned to that vision, including integration skill sets.
  • Tools must be identified to support the transformation.
  • Leaders must understand how these tools and the vision align.
  • There must evolve a shared understanding of logical relationships in the business.

With this background and approach, it is easy to see that leaders who are able to understand the operational level in each discipline and approach, as well as the toolsets, are in short supply. Business leaders generally gain their positions by excellence in one or two disciplines at most, as well as through their ability to work with others to achieve corporate objectives. Thinking back to Kotter’s three components—create a vision, align people to that vision, and then motivate/inspire them to develop programs to execute that vision—works well as long as the collective knowledge, experience, and collaborative relationships of the leadership team are sufficient. A problem arises, however, when this level of understanding doesn’t exist, a common situation today.

We have to recognize that cross-functional methods of viewing, analyzing, and correcting business issues have evolved only during the last 20 years. Most of this collaborative understanding came only in the last 5 or 10 years, and for most of that time, the ...

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