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Leaders of medium-sized businesses: Do not be afraid to adopt a pluralist management team!

2 August 2022

In France, 5400 medium-sized businesses employ nearly 3.4 million employees (METi, 2021). Due to their size, they have the characteristics of operating in an environment that presents them with the same challenges as large enterprises, but with more limited resources. 
In the face of the issues that this entails, how can managers build their decision-making and governance to support the strategic vision of their medium-sized enterprise and gain real competitive advantage from it?

Relying on the plurality of profiles within the management team: a guarantee of long-term performance

Being a medium-sized enterprise today means dealing with numerous challenges, in particular that of making a success of its ecological and digital transition, while remaining efficient and competitive.

Only collegiality in decision-making can help to provide constructive and sustainable solutions through the diversity of points of view. Mixing profiles from different professional backgrounds, age groups, genders and levels of experience is particularly useful.
Establishing such plurality while involving teams in this dynamic involves making room for the views of the “non-expert” while listening to the expert’s arguments. Through their different opinions, they will undoubtedly provide each other with a rich cross-section of views, building trust between teams and adding value to the company’s strategy.

Organising debate constructively 

When it comes to makingan important decision, having an exchange of your management team’s views is essential to the smooth operation of the company. Choosing the ideal moment with a team that is receptive to this exchange nevertheless remains a challenge in order to make this a constructive exercise.

In addition to be able to rely on teams, solutions exist to help leaders in their decision-making. Peer clubs is one, which enable the exchanging of experiences and good practices. 

Finally, using development tools such as the MBTI (personality assessment tool) can also prove to be beneficial and enable better listening skills and cohesion within the management team. 

The medium-sized enterprise: sustainable governance supported by its unique model

With their unique structure, medium-sized enterprises benefit from an approach that is patient and reasoned.  In particular, they have the capacity to support investments over time. This policy thereby helps decision-makers to more easily look into the future and find lasting solutions.
Alongside this, medium-sized enterprises enjoy a certain agility in areas where processes in large groups can be more drawn out. This enables greater speed in the implementation of projects that are considered to be developmental.

In the current context, the transformations required off medium-sized enterprises are profound and require foresight. Thanks to their long-term and agile model, medium-sized enterprises can deal with transitions, whether they are environmental, social or technological, in a more level-headed manner.

For the future, the forthcoming challenges awaiting these structures will mainly concern their governance model. The plurality of profiles within management teams will be key to their agility. But being able to reflect on the future and innovate by relying on new projects, is also a strength of medium-sized companies.

photo of Caroline Haquetby Caroline Haquet, member of the Management Board and Director of Human Resources of the Manutan Group

published by Forbes (July 2022)