Strategy and management. Two phrases that are often mixed together in a mishmash of job descriptions. When I made the decision to move from practicing physician to consultancy I had the curious task of deciding my job title. A few sprung to mind:
Master of the Universe. No, too galactic.
Emissary of Tactical Implementation. Nah, too special ops.
Director of Strategic Affairs. I’m not in an episode of the West Wing or 24.
I mean I knew exactly what I and my firm’s objectives, services and goals would be. I had already spent years discussing and defining these but when it came to a job title it was strangely humbling. I had already seen so many describing themselves as:
Strategic Consultant vs Management Consultant vs Strategic Management Consultant vs Management Strategist
What all these people had in common is that they knew a lot of long, complex, jargon filled phrases but all seemed to have very little substance. I mean I’m fairly certain many just came up with their job titles based on which one they could charge a premium for!
As someone from a medical background and essentially being a scientist I thought let’s deal with this logically. My job title reflects what I do right? And since my team deals with both strategic and management issues, I suppose we should have adequately representative titles. So we had to define strategy vs management.
In my view strategy is the relationship of an entity to its external factors i.e. its relationships with its competitors, customers, suppliers and government.
Management by contrast is the alignment and re-structuring of the internal components of a firm or entity so that it can meet its strategic objectives.
Simplistic definitions. I know. But it adds a certain clarity.
The point is that you need to be clear about what you do before you can introduce yourself to any clients. Consultancy, is really a young field and even more so the fields of management and strategy as academic fields.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of skating by based on charisma and impressive job titles but when it comes down to it you’re judged on what you can deliver. When it came down to it the job title I decided on was the one that reflected what I did.
It might sound clunky. It might not make me sound like the President’s right hand man. It’s simply what I am.
A Healthcare Strategic and Management Consultant.
So what are you? How did you come up with your job title? Vote and Comment in my poll and comments section below! Don’t forget you can tweet me @Saif_Abed
Dr Saif F Abed
AbedGraham Healthcare Strategies Ltd