Posted by: nuleadership | April 13, 2015

Valuing Servant-hood for Today’s Leaders

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When I was growing up, my mother was the youth director of our church.  In elementary school, there are pressures about being cool.  I was an active church member (and yes, a choir boy in the literal sense).

My mother expected her children to be the model young person, which involved participating in church required activities.  For me, that meant participating in morning worship where the youth were required to lead devotion periodically. A call for volunteers would go out to the youth.  Of course, most of my peers felt comfortable rejecting those requests to participate.

Sadly, I was expected to accept these requests.  My mother told us (her children), “If no one else participates, I expect my children to (lead devotion) because I’m the youth director.”  I was forced (obligated) to participate because of my relationship to my mother and a direct request from any youth advisor.

In doing these volunteer services out of obligation, I had an internal resentment about participating in church functions as a youth that carried on for several years later in life.  As a more mature adult, who is a church leader, I now participate in church activities because I have a love and passion for serving others. Likewise, many managers interact with their employees out of a sense of obligation and not due to their internal desire of helping others.  This article examines the value of servant-hood in today’s organizations.

Employees want leaders that care about them and their well-being as individuals.  In the book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey discusses the competitive advantage of having trust in organizations: “The ability to establish, extend, and restore trust with all stakeholders – customers, business partners, investors and coworkers – is the key leadership competency of the new, global economy.”

A Watson Wyatt study indicated in high-trust organizations there is almost three times higher return than in low-trust organizations for shareholders.  However, one study noted that only 51% of employees have trust and confidence in senior management. Some of the reasons that workers are so cynical and apathetic of today’s leaders is the lack of personal interest of managers in their workers’ welfare.  Most managers are self-absorbed in getting ahead and doing things that are in their own self-interest. Unfortunately, some people do not want to subscribe to servant leadership.

In order to climb the corporate leader, some individuals become ruthless and take advantage of others. Not every manager wants to be a giver, and many would rather take from others.  Dr. Richard Daft, the author of Management, argues the importance of knowing your own personal motivations: “…the first requirement for being a good manager, is understanding oneself.  Managers’ characteristics and behavior can profoundly affect the workplace and influence employee motivation, morale, and job performance.”

Dr. Draft went on to explain that when managers operate from a higher level of development by focusing on the needs of followers and empowering workers to be successful that these managers are exercising a form of servant leadership.

Many leaders operate under a sense of servitude.  Servitude relates to the obligation required due to the position and other. Yet, servitude speaks to a forced behavior that is filled with negative connotations such a bondage and involuntary labor.  On the contrary, servanthood involves an internal willingness to help others out of choice and voluntary commitment.

Kenneth Haugk, author of Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life, argues that servanthood has more positive benefits when dealing with human beings: “At best, the person snared by servitude acts out of a sense of duty and fear, but the person living in servanthood acts out of a sense of commitment and love.”

When there is an obligation rather than an internal compass when making decisions involving others, an individual may be captured with the internal instinct of doing what’s in their own best interest.  The outcome can be negative to the organization.  For example, a new manager is in charge of a new organization.  Instead of getting to know his new employee, the manager starts hiring people from the outside to fill positions internally. Morale tumbles. Trust is lost, and the opportunity is blown for this manager to build healthy relationships. 

On the contrary, servanthood is about meeting the needs of others.  The concept is very foreign to a society fuelled by selfishness.  Servanthood injects into leaders a strong desire to serve and work for the benefit of others. Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, explain the merits of leaders serving their followers.

They explain, “When leaders empower their subordinates, the subordinates typically take over some of the responsibilities that used to reside with the leader or manager….Empowerment increases a manager’s ability to get things done because the manager has the support and help of subordinates who have special knowledge of the work tasks.”

Employees want leaders who are looking out for their self-interest. For example, a senior manager must downsize her workforce in order to be competitive. She seeks to empathize with the downsized employees and opts to inform them early and personally, talking with each affected employee about their circumstances; she leveraged her network and got all of the affected employees job offers from other companies.

The employees’ situation did not change due to the manager’s behavior. However, their perception of that manager and organization changed.  Servanthood is a much better attribute than servitude given the cynicism about today’s employees.

Finally, managers need to change what they are doing if organizations want to achieve higher performance. Doing things in the best interest of their employees is a good start. Yet, leaders must begin by digging deep within themselves to discover a servant-oriented character.

This article examined the value of servant-hood in today’s organizations in order to provide a competitive advantage. Most managers are indifferent to their workers.  With servanthood, leaders can rewrite the organizational direction and instill a teamwork attitude.  Pray that it’s not too late.

© 2015 by Daryl D. Green

 

Posted by: nuleadership | March 9, 2015

The Great Global Talent Search

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Globalization is a reality that’s not going away. Having the right management strategy can elevate a country’s financial well-being. India and China flex their mighty muscle due to the dominance of their outsourcing efforts. Thus, globalization provides a disruptive change to established paradigms. The National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends Report has been monitoring global trends across two decades.

In the Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report, the study outlines the global landscape ahead for millions of unsuspecting international participants. For example, individual employment will accelerate due to poverty reduction, growth of the global middle class, greater educational attainment, widespread use of new communications and manufacturing technologies, and health-care advances.

Yet, power will shift to networks and alliances in a multipolar world. The U.S., European, and Japanese share of global income is projected to fall from 56% today to well under 50% by 2030. Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe in global power; China will probably have the largest economy.

Countries coming into prominent include India, Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Turkey. Leadership consultants Ernest Gundling, Karen Cvitkovich, and Terry Hogan understand the challenges faced by organizations attempting to go global:  “…the years ahead will most probably bring discontinuous events that cannot be accurately predicted based strictly upon extrapolations from the present, as with unanticipated and transformative events of recent years such as armed conflicts, terrorism, financial crises, piracy, epidemics, and environmental disasters precipitated by either natural or human causes.”

Going global is not an easy process. Countries attempt to invest more into their education system in order to better manage their own talent management system. Countries seek to find strategic gaps. For example, foreign countries now hold more than $12 trillion in U.S. assets, including stocks, bonds, real estate, and more financial elements. In fact, Japan and China are very motivated to support the American dollar so that Americans will continue to buy their goods, thus keeping their citizens working. However, some executives feel that going global is the same as domestic business. It isn’t.

In the 2012 Quarterly McKinley report, author Pankaj Ghemawat pointed out the weaknesses of global competency for business. According to a research study of senior executives, 76% believe their organizations needed to develop global leadership capabilities; yet, only 7% of them thought they were currently being effective. At a low scale, companies attempt to search for this talent with a lens of also attracting more cheap labor.

In fact, multinational businesses search the world for the best talent to fill their vacancies; some executives hope they can find the next Steve Jobs of Apple. Therefore, professionals need to equip themselves with the necessary skills to be marketable in a global environment. American companies realize they can ensure future profitability by marketing products and services abroad.

Global competencies will better secure the future for many.  Thirty percent of U.S. companies acknowledged that they had failed to exploit their international business opportunities fully due to insufficient internationally competent staff. Peter Cappelli, author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, explains that even with over 23 million people unemployed, companies argue they cannot find qualified workers. Cappelli further notes that employers are looking for specific talent.

Moreover, Marshall Goldsmith, Cathy Greenberg, Alastair Robertson, and Maya Hu-Chan, author of Global Leadership: The Next Generation, utilized a 2-year accenture study of over 200 global organizations to produce a general framework for global leadership. The five global competencies included global thinking, appreciation of diversity, technological savvy, a willingness to partner and an openness to sharing leadership. In the past, CEOs did not consider the importance of global leadership competencies. The reality of globalization has changed this mindset. In order to build these necessary competencies, the following strategies are provided:

  • Obtain global awareness (i.e., daily environmental scanning).
  • Become fluent in a foreign language.
  • Seek coaching and/or mentoring with global leaders.
  • Participate in study abroad programs or find cultural immersion opportunities.
  • Search for international job assignments.
  • Take global leadership/global management at a local university.
  • Participate in diversity training in your local community.
  • Treat individuals fairly and with respect.
  • Seek ways to work with a diverse team/organization.
  • Conduct research, writings and publications on global issues.

Uncertainties and high risks will continue to plague businesses that seek to conduct business abroad. As the article has demonstrated, executives are in a quagmire due to the lack of sufficient international experience among current employees. Management Strategist C.K. Prahalad notes, “This world is one beset with ambiguity and stress.…Managers have to deal with these often conflicting demands simultaneously.” Rather than panic, employees and the unemployed should view international turbulence as unfiltered, innovative opportunities. Therefore, individuals who are prepared can position themselves with greater employability by acquiring the necessary global competencies for the future.

© 2015 by Daryl D. Green

 

Posted by: nuleadership | January 5, 2015

Working Professionals Need Goalsetting for Their Families Too

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In these difficult economic times, more and more working professionals are forced to spend time away from their families. Other professionals are advancing their personal agendas in hopes of getting to the top of their profession. This blog discussion examines how working professionals can implement goal setting for their own families despite their hectic schedules.

Like many professionals caught up in my work life and work family, individuals often do not take the time to use these proven principles in their own homes. Many couples are more selfish than their children are and don’t provide a healthy, nurturing environment for them.  This reality speaks to the personal ambition and priorities of the individual within a family structure.  Writer J.A. Littler speaks to the material motives and priorities of our society: “Everyone worships something.

While there may be no official religions or cults devoted to cars, money, fashion, or music, these pleasures of life and facets of society are all too often the overwhelming focus of people’s time, energy, and emotions.”  Our society tells them they can have it all—money, power, and fame without any sacrifices.

Sadly, many working professionals provide their children a great standard of life; however, these parents are often setting their children up for failure.  Many times the results of their labor are children who feel entitled and materialistic. The truth is something is being sacrificed in lieu of a successful career…your family. The following strategy is provided:

  1. Evaluate your family situation based on how family members’ priorities are spending most of their current time (i.e. work, community activities).
  2. Establish the desired vision for your family (the ideal family model).
  3. Develop priorities for the family in which all family members will comply.
  4. Create a family mission statement.
  5. Develop family goals each year from a holistic viewpoint (family, career, spiritual life, finances, etc.).
  6. Monitor results based on the desired family vision.

Families are the foundation for thriving civilizations, and strong communities are built by strong marriages. Consequently, working professionals need to challenge themselves to provide a more holistic approach for their lives. In this discussion, we evaluated how working professionals can implement goal setting for their own families.

Often, this reality is about balancing competing priorities. Les Brown, author of How to Become the Person You Always Wanted to Be-No Matter What the Obstacle, notes, “Your values are not set by government or church leaders. Your values give you consistency in the way you approach life…By holding to your beliefs, you can always stay on track toward your dreams.”  Hopefully, working professionals can make these life changes for their families before it is too late.

Please feel free to share your insight on this subject.

© 2015 by Daryl D. Green

Posted by: nuleadership | October 20, 2014

Rethinking Caregiving Strategies for Today’s Organizations

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There is an increasing need for individuals to provide caregiving services.  Social changes, such as financial crises, growing unemployment, job loss, homelessness, family break-ups, relationship issues, and other problematic concerns, place huge demands on government and community-based support services.

Pastor Richard S. Brown, a community advocate in Tennessee, talks about the pressing need of churches and other service organizations that are reaching out to the needs of people:  “Everyone at one time or another will face giants in life. Giants represent those insurmountable problems, challenges, and obstacles in life.”

Often times, these giants of life cannot be solved without direct intervention from others.  For example, the aging population is a growing problem for organizations providing caregiving services.  According to the U.S. Census, 13% of the population is over 65 years old.  The average life expectancy is 77 years. Women live longer than men.  Seniors over 85 years old are the fastest growing segment of the population. Seventy five percent of people over 65 have one or more chronic health conditions.

Today’s organizations need to rethink the concept of caregiving in today’s society.  First Lady Rosalynn Carter noted the importance of caregiving: “There are four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” A caregiver can be defined as ‘anyone who provides assistance to someone who is incapacitated and needs help.

Caregiving can be performed informally via unpaid (family members and friends) or formally (volunteer or paid caregivers associated with a service system).  Currently, there are over 50 million caregivers.  By 2020, caregivers will number 80 million.  If one was to profile the typical caregiver, it would be described as the following: female (75%), over 50 years old (51%), sole provider (37%), and a relative (i.e. adult children- 57%).

Many organizations seek to address caregiving with generic solutions for their constituents instead of applying holistic approach to the specific person.  The generic approach is faster and cheaper in many cases.  However, Dr. Kenneth Haugh, author of Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life, argues the importance of understanding the needs of those individuals you are serving. Dr. Haugh observes, “Treating people as objects, as territory to be gained, is not only bad manners, but also completely fails to meet their unique needs and to respect their spiritual dignity before God.”

Organizations should value the welfare of the caregiver.  Many people who provide care to others are overworked, stressed out, and on the verge of quitting.  However, the organization that they are serving does not see this taking place.  Some organizations treat their caregivers like objects.  Caregivers suffer a variety of problems associated with caregiving.

In fact, caregivers have higher levels of stress, depression, fatigue, burnout, and lower levels of well-being and physical health.  Furthermore, 49% of females and 31% of males experience depression as a result of caregiving.

High performing organizations understand that they must continuously re-assess their processes in order to sustain success.  Yet, many nonprofit organizations and community-based organizations like churches that serve society forget about the mental and physical welfare of their caregivers in offering needed services to the area.

Here are some methods to use: (a) communicate the objectives of your organization and the desired outcomes, (b) train the caregivers so that they deal holistically with clients, (c) determine what the caregivers needs in order to perform an outstanding job and sustain this performance, (d) look for creative ways to prevent caregiver burnout and fatigue, and (f) provide an mechanism where caregivers and clients can provide feedback on continuous improvement in the caregiving area.

The pressures of life will continue to be problems for many people.  Some individuals cannot overcome these giants in life without interventions.  Caregivers play a critical role in assisting people in solving their problems.  However, today’s organizations cannot continue to take caregivers for granted.  Many caregivers are stressed out and underpaid; perhaps even on the verge of giving up their jobs in caregiving.

Therefore, this article maintains that today’s organizations must rethink their strategies for administering caregiving in the near future. Organizations that can make the necessary changes will be better prepared to sustain future success.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Posted by: nuleadership | August 23, 2014

Better Decision Making for a Better Life

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Have you ever wondered why some people continue to make bad decisions? You see million-dollar celebrities doing it. You can see this action in government officials and business leaders. There are no discriminators. From the very rich to the poorest of the poor, we see people caught in a vicious cycle of bad decision making. Sadly, we see it much closer than that. We witness relatives making those bad decisions. Despite all the wise counsel, the poor decisions continue.

 Why is it important to teach people how to make better decisions? Anthony Robbins, author of Awakening the Giant Within, attributes good decision-making as a key attribute to a happy life. Bestselling author Brian Tracy argues, “The further you think into the future, the better decisions you will make in the present to assure that future becomes a reality.” Making better decisions improves the quality of one’s life.

 

As a young advisor and college professor, I constantly hear students proclaim, “I’m grown.” This statement implies I don’t have to listen to anyone. I know best. Therefore, I can make my own decisions. Through series after series of bad decisions, the youth continues on merry ride of worsening consequences. Two things generally can stop this dead-end trap.

One lies in becoming more mature with age, and the other is experience. In going through a series of bad decisions, a wise person gains insight on the consequences of a bad decision. Every person, regardless of their background or social standing, can benefit from good decision-making techniques. Here are some methods to use: (a) define the problem or issues, (b) conduct research on the matter, (c) discuss with respected individuals with similar circumstances, (d) consider at least two alternatives, (e) select best decisions, based on your value system, and (f) move on and accept any consequences.

Making the right decision is a difficult process. No one will usually applaud your many good decisions; however, you will probably catch heat over the bad ones. Les Brown, author of How to Become the Person You Always Wanted to Be-No Matter What the Obstacle, explains, “Your values are not set by government or church leaders. Your values give you consistency in the way you approach life…By holding to your beliefs, you can always stay on track toward your dreams.”  By making better decisions, individuals can look forward to a better quality of live.

 

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

Posted by: nuleadership | June 2, 2014

2014 College Grads & Beyond: Revising Your Job Strategy

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Many parents will celebrate their child’s graduation from college this year.  However, most parents are concerned that their children will not have a better life than they did.  According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the U.S. ranked fourth worst among 29 developed countries for children obtaining a higher level of education than their parents.  In fact, only 22% of those 24 to 34 years old achieved a higher level of education than their parents in the United States compared to an OECD average of 37%.

For many former college graduates, unemployment and underemployment continue to be a curse on their dreams and aspirations.  Yet, this pressing problem has impacted many segments of our society and way of life.  For example, adult children are returning home to their parents at record numbers. Sadly, overly-protective parents may stunt the maturation of their college graduates by destroying their independence as they return home.

These miscues in understanding the financial climate and the hiring process of employers could jeopardize their future.  This article examines the current economic crisis and how recent college graduates and parents can better position themselves for more employment opportunities.

According to several polls, including Harris and Career Builders’ polls, employers expect to hire more college graduates based on feedback from more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals from various industries.  In fact, 57% of employers plan to hire new college graduates which are up from last year (53%).   Businesses and other organizations intend to hire graduates in percentages from these majors:  computer/information (28%), engineering (18%), math/statistics (14%), health/clinical services (14%), communications technology (12%), engineering technologies (11%), liberal areas (10%), education (7%), science technologies (7%), and communications/journalism (7%).

Consequently, in society, getting hired can be shown as the important effect on the demand for any particular college major.   If there is no demand or interest for college major, students will have a difficult time in finding gainful employment.

Despite this positive prospect, many employers feel that most college graduates are not prepared for the workforce.  According to a recent study, 24% of employers do not feel that recent graduates are prepared for positions in their companies.  Sadly, employers do not have the time and patience to groom prospective graduates who are talented but lack experience or preparation for the workforce.  Companies want prospective employees who are ready to work.

Peter Cappelli, author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, explains that employers have shifted their expectations for prospective employees: “Employers do not have time to develop the new skills they need internally when dramatic changes in products and strategies happen so quickly.”  Regardless of where you stand on today’s college students, it is clear that some intervention is necessary if they are to be successful in this environment.  The following job strategies are offered to better assist this segment of the population:

  • Evaluate your current online appearance so that your image makes a positive impression.
  • Get an independent assessment on your resume and job strategies.
  • Develop a personal brand that will create an image of indispensability and uniqueness.
  • Showcase your expertise on a variety of levels (blogs, media expert, etc.).
  • Champion a significant cause in a nonprofit organization such as United Way.
  • Consider volunteering in areas where you can build or enhance your expertise.
  • Extend your network globally with social media platforms such as Linkedin.com.
  • Obtain special training or certifications to become more competitive.

With the ever increasing competition for limited job opportunities, college grads must understand today’s hiring process. Additionally, parents can assist their recent grad by providing other non-traditional strategies for obtaining full employment.  This article demonstrates the need for careful and deliberate job strategies in today’s competitive environment for employability.

Individuals can help themselves by becoming knowledgeable in all aspects of the employment process.  The road may not be easy, but dedicated planning will pay off for recent college grads and their parents to find successful employment in the future.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

 

[1] “U.S. students struggle to top their parents” by Leslie Kwoh

[2] Talent on Demand by Peter Cappelli

Posted by: nuleadership | April 14, 2014

Disruptive Technology in Today’s Business

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In life, sometimes it is the simple things that count, despite modern technology. In the next few months, I will be able to see 3-4 of my books published. Traditionally, it takes most large publishing houses 12-18 months before their books are published. As an independent publisher, I learned that the speed of products to the market place is a good way to beat a large competitor.

In fact, my success relates to a simple website called Elance.com, a freelance website that allow customers to solicit work from a variety of outsourcing services, which include programmers, designers, office support, translators, marketers, researchers and many other disciplines.

Elance.com allows a business to post a job opening and invites freelance workers who believe they have the requisite skills for the job to make a bid. The company charges a $10 fee to each business to post a job and also takes a small portion of what gets paid to contractors. Through this website, I have found some of the most talented individuals from across the world. For these services, it is a buyer’s market. Some people would argue that it is all about buying cheap labor for profitability.

In this scenario, developed countries appear to be exploiting underdeveloped countries. This is not always true. I have paid more in the past for the best talent. With that said, potential employers see a website that attracts over 500,000 talented freelancers. For the freelancer, there is an opportunity to bid on 48,000 jobs, worth $480K.[1] Therefore, a differentiating strategy can defeat a low-cost strategy on a global playing field.

Technology must be a management tool that is used strategically. Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, provides a framework for understanding the interrelationship between technology changes and a business success. Christensen demonstrates how successful companies have been overtaken by small disruptive technologies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGzXWO_anLI

The cell phone, undermining the profitability of the established communication networks such as AT&T, further showcases the impacts of disruptive technology. Sadly, more executives are unwilling to think strategically due to the wrath of their investors and financial pundits.

For example, Amazon’s revenue grew in 2012, but the details were lacking. Amazon.com’s revenue rose to 17.4 billion (35% increase) in the fourth quarter. However, it fell short of Wall Street predictions. According to VentureBeat, Amazon sold as many as 6 million Kindle Fires and its older tablet prototype.

Given this reality, the Fire would move ahead of Android tablets from Samsung and Motorola, making it only second to Apple’s iPad. Analysts were concerned that the $199 Fire would not make a profit. Additionally, Amazon.com is spending capital on clouding technology.

Maximizing profits on Fire as an industry leading tablet is a near-term strategy. However, CEO Jeff Bezos appears to have disappointed Wall Street with a long-term perspective instead of sacrificing shareholders with profits in the near term.

Innovators take note of disruptive change as positive turbulence in the market. John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, explain, “Understanding the nature of competitively important resources allows managers to identify resources or capabilities that should be further developed to play an important role in the company’s future strategies.” Therefore, organizations which do not understand the importance of making sustainable growth by being more efficient will not be successful over the long-term.

Please discuss application of this topic in your organization and industry.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

[1] Elance.com

Posted by: nuleadership | April 7, 2014

Scientific Management in Organizations

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Scientific management has many advantages for today’s organizations, including a systematic approach. Fredrick Taylor is credited with being the Father of Scientific Management. He transformed the Industrial Revolution. In fact, this approach brought a lot of productivity. However, the difficulty with Scientific Management is that it requires sales managers to select employees that fit the job and train them effectively. Additionally, it increases the monotony of work. This reality could cause some salespeople to be uninspired in their jobs. 

Whereas the Scientific Management approach was a focus on tasks, the Behavioral Management approach was a focus on people. Historically, Fredrick Taylor didn’t disregard the importance of workers. In fact, the study of behavioral science and organizational behavior resulted from a criticism of the human relations approach as ‘simplistic’ and ‘manipulative’ in addressing the relationship between worker attitudes and productivity. Therefore, each management approach has its weakness.

Yet, Scientific Management has a lot of drawbacks if you want to build personal relationships with people. One of the sticky points about Scientific Management is its impersonal approach to managing people. People are a resource, but not machines. There are several other issues associated with this classical approach of managing workers, which include: (a) heavy reliance on experience and unproved assumptions, (c) failure to consider informal operations, and (d) operations assumed under static conditions. 

There are no magical bullets when you are dealing with employees as human beings. The Scientific Management approach was built on the shoulders of the Industrial Revolution. Behavioral Management followed suit later. Both approaches have their shortcomings. I suggest taking the best from both worlds. Some aspects of Scientific Management can be used to further develop and standardize an organization’s operations. Employees then understand what’s expected of them. 

With the Behavioral Management approach, sales managers can push performance by understanding what motivates each employee intimately. Quality expert George Peeler argues that the task of personalizing and communicating product value through interactive discussion is the task of the sales organization. Therefore, the best scenario would be to use all of the best management practices, including Scientific Management and Behavioral Management, for enhanced relationship customer relationships.

  Organizations may look to a Theory Y environment for creating the right manager’s mentality that builds trust in people to do the right things. When managers demonstrate they believe in their people and set clear expectations, most individuals will work harder. Management expert Stephen Covey explains that having trust fosters confidence. Salespeople are then motivated to go the extra mile for the organization (i.e. work longer hours, work harder, etc.). Therefore, Scientific Management has its own share of problems when discussing relationship selling.

Please discuss application of this topic in your organization and industry.

 

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

Posted by: nuleadership | March 31, 2014

Living With Criticism

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No one wants to be criticized. Dr. William Watley, Senior Pastor of the St. Phillip African Methodist Episcopal Church observed, “Criticism’s certainly something that you can’t be delivered from…From the womb to the tomb, you can’t escape it.”

Criticism can be defined as ‘the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes.’ No one can avoid criticism if they are active in an organization or serve in a leader’s capacity.

Yet, individuals can also be criticized because of lack of action. Dr. Watley argues that criticism is all that some people know how to do, which indicates to him that ”these people need to get a life.” Perhaps, actress Ava Gardner summed it up best about critics: “Hell, I suppose if you stick around long enough, they have to say something nice about you.” 

On the contrary, a Constructive Critic points out things that will assist in the personal or professional development of a person. A Petty Fault Finder can always locate some short coming in an individual that is not helpful and a fault that he or she does not have a problem with.

In fact, no matter how hard you attempt to correct a problem noted by a Petty Fault Finder, he or she will not be satisfied; a Petty Fault Finder will seek to only locate another problem in this individual’s life.

Great leaders know how to use criticism in a way that can transform an organization. Most people are unwilling to change even when it is out of necessity or survival. Richard Daft, renowned author of Management, notes that change can be problematic for organizational growth.

Employees and managers often resist change. Dr. Daft explains, “Yet most changes will encounter some degree of resistance. Idea champions often discover that other employees are unenthusiastic about their new ideas….People typically resist a change they believe conflicts with their self-interest.”[1] Most managers understand how to control and oversee their organizations.

Few managers have the innate ability to inspire their employees from mediocre to extraordinary performance. That position description requires a leader, not a status quo manager. All great leaders, from President George Washington to Albert Einstein, had their own share of criticism and a merry band of Petty Fault Finders.

Sadly, some individuals never are effective in their positions because they can never seem to manage because of fear of negative criticism. Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, explained how bad leadership damages an organization: “When leaders are ineffective, chances are good that their subordinates do not perform to their capabilities, are demotivated, and may be dissatisfied as well.”[2] Consequently, it is important that leaders develop strategies for managing criticism effectively in order to move their organizations to exemplary performance. 

Please discuss criticism from your professional experience.

 © 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

 

[1]Management by Richard Daft

[2] Contemporary Management by Gareth Jones and Jennifer George

 

Posted by: nuleadership | March 17, 2014

Performance Measures in Today’s Businesses

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Finding the right performance measure in today’s organizations is like trying to determine for each swimmer the right temperature of the water to swim in the Gulf of Mexico (a great place to vacation).  There are many variables to consider. Certainly, the amount of revenue produced for each customer would speak to the bottom-line of most organizations.  In relationship selling, you have the personality factor.

In fact, Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, maintain that customers pick up on a salesperson’s attitude. Does good chemistry exist between the salesperson and the customer? That’s an important performance measure. When developing performance measurement with relationship selling in mind, good chemistry between the salesperson and customer should be a factor.

The amount of customer referrals can be an extremely good indicator, because this friendly act speaks to the issues of customer trust.  Quality expert George Peeler argues that the key to designing and using systems that will build the traditional product source relationship in the Quality Era will be the creativity and commitment of management and customer insight provided through empathy.  Successful organizations understand the attitudes and emotions of their customers. Therefore, connecting with customers would be a vital performance metric.

In being effective, businesses need to understand what to measure.  Many times, organizations are measuring the wrong objectives or doing the analysis incorrectly. Johnston and Marshall argue for designing an effective measurement system which includes (a) what do we want to measure, (b) when do we want to measure, and (c) how do we measure. Therefore, it’s important that organizations create effective performance measures.

Yet, performance measures are very difficult.  Management expert Stacey views performance measures as a process rather than an event, involving a series of specific activities for creating, implementing, and using performance metrics. Organization must be careful about using the right data collection tool to measure performance. For example, most people hate doing surveys.

Given this reality, organizations must carefully analyze the survey data for bias. Are they truly getting a picture of their customers?  I found focus groups more useful. Peeler further explains that management must facilitate the processes of quality innovation through prompt action, removing barriers to employee performance by continually attending to process improvement. Regardless, management must establish a reliable performance measurement system for organizations. The bottom-line is that there is inherent risk with customer surveys.

Finally, businesses should be strategic and focused in their performance measures. If an organization wants to spin its wheel and go nowhere, having unclear direction is a great pathway.  It’s important to have clear objectives and desired outcomes.  The transformation process from where an organization is to where an organization wants to be is a clear application for performance measures.

Johnston and Marshall argue that specific, realistic, and measurable objectives are essential to a sales training program. They further acknowledge that salespeople exist in a highly competitive environment where a great deal of information must be assimilated for effective customer sales.

Please discuss organizational performance measure from your professional experience.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

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