Managers Are Craftsmen

“Managers are the craftsmen and approach is their clay”. this is the concept of Henry Mintzberg. A craftsman is an artist who is capable of create awesome paintings. He commonly makes use of his expertise, past enjoy, innovation and many others to create a brand new piece of work. In case of management a supervisor like the craftsmen, additionally analysis the market situation, environment, political problems etc before implementing a method.approach is a fixed of actions through which an organisation by way of twist of fate or layout develops assets and uses them to supply services or products in a way which its customers discover precious, at the same time as assembly the monetary and other goals and constraints imposed via key stake holders (Adrian Haberberg and Alison Rieple: 2008). This definition states that to gain the organisational dreams the managers formulate the plans and moves to correctly utilize its resources inside the excellent possible manner. It also says the significance of its customer’s cost and pleasure in using their product which has been strategically improvised. Mintzberg defines approach in terms of 5 P’s which are attitude, plan, ploy, sample, and role. where views are the concepts of the corporation and the manner wherein those standards are executed, plan is the course, a manual or a course of action which could lead the agency from gift to the future, ploy is the difficult fought way of accomplishing the aggressive advantage, sample is the capability of an corporation to make choices, position determines the company vicinity inside its outside and internal aggressive environment.Strategic control is a manner that includes top managements analysis of the environment in which its organisation operates previous to formulating a method as well as the plans for implementation and manipulate the strategy (John Parnell: 2008). In supplying a approach the control performs a vital role. In simple phrases we will outline managers as a person who manages the group of workers. those managers craft the strategies that are required for achieving the enterprise goal. The managers are labeled into three they’re the company degree managers, enterprise level managers and the functional stage managers. The company stage managers are the folks that preserve the pinnacle most position in an company they include the chief government officer (CEO), leader financial officer (CFO), leader operational officer (COO), leader information officer (CIO), chairperson of the board, president, vice president and corporate heads. The pinnacle degree managers take strategic choice when they’re privy to the cutting-edge problems that affect their agency in addition to the worldwide marketplace. no matter the income and non earnings popularity of the CEO’s of an organisation they have to recognize the surroundings and its capacity to live to tell the tale after which expand strategies that could enable the agency to obtain its aim.The business stage managers also are referred to as the middle stage managers. they arrive underneath the corporate level managers. They hold activity titles including standard managers, plant managers, regional managers, and divisional managers. the main feature of the middle level managers is to perform the dreams set through the corporate stage managers by motivating the employees and giving the right remarks to the top stage managers. The functional degree managers are the bottom degree managers who carry out the operational capabilities of the business enterprise. they may be the frontline managers and supervisors who’re liable for the each day control of the workers. they’ve job titles consisting of workplace manager, shift supervisors, branch managers; fore person crew leader and so forth. strategies are formulated in any respect degrees of the control and depending on the level it is originated strategies are classified into company stage method, commercial enterprise level strategy and purposeful level strategy. For a big organisation, with a couple of business regions can have the top stage control called the company who makes decision that doesn’t relate at once to carrier customers, but for the improvement of the company. Sony turned into a small business enterprise that manufactured rice cookers, voltmeters and different fundamental digital equipment. One corporate strategic selection has allowed it to diversify into wireless audio and telecommunication equipments. This strategic decision has handiest desired Sony to be one of the first-class electronic manufactures within the global. functional degree strategies are brief termed. They happens at all level individual practical degree of the organization. commercial enterprise level strategies are the ones decisions taken through the control at business level for correct functioning. The agency would pick out their companions who might serve them of their business sports successfully. The strategies which are formulated aren’t usually the one that is carried out through the management. in keeping with Henry Mintzberg there are varieties of techniques, intended approach (the approach truly formulated by means of the control) and found out strategy (the strategy that control implements). this transformation can also show up because of higher information of the environment; an development inside the top control’s get entry to to the environment, essential data acquired which become no longer to be had while the strategy become formulated. The managers are individuals who take the proper choice of strategy for the boom of the excellent strategy is, when it is applied, is by means of knowing its ability to match within the organisational environment, its forte or specialty, and sustainability inside the marketplace. approach formulated is considered to be match whilst it fits into the environment. The surroundings can be fast converting than others are reliable on authorities law. as an example Sony has a marketplace surroundings where technological improvements are very prominent. To suit into this surroundings they have very professional people as approach which quick permits them to contain these generation and are consequently not pushed out by the competition along with Samsung and LG. strategic suit also implies that any fabricated from the identical corporation ought to be in shape this is every product with the aid of the corporation must make the clients privileged.forte is that best of method that gives the company its aggressive gain. this will offer specialty for the product manufactures and could have a wonderful role in the market region. uniqueness also relies upon at the consumer desire, what he ants or what he unearths so unique within the product. it could additionally be hidden along with its external companions, its division and so forth which aren’t available for its competition, consequently they can’t be replica it. Sustainability is the potential for the corporation to remain within the marketplace. some of the sustainable factors are culture, structure, organisational getting to know and knowledge management.The preliminary stage of strategic making plans is figuring out the project, vision, values, and goals. undertaking assertion of an corporation offers an account of the motive of the enterprise. The task announcement of Kodak is to provide “clients with the answer the need to seize, shop, procedure, output and talk pictures everywhere whenever” (Charles W L Hill, Steven L Mc Shane 2008) this announcement proves that the undertaking assertion of Kodak is client oriented and not product oriented. an excellent project statement makes a speciality of patron want, after which most effective they could understand the marketplace environment and convey merchandise that could satisfy them. If the enterprise is product orientated it will deliver high-quality merchandise to clients but it will now not sustain for lengthy as it does not care for the patron wishes. vision is the future of the agency, what it should produce next, a way to expand and many others, are the vision of an corporation. as an example the vision of ford is to be the leading company in vehicle merchandise and carrier which could be a stretch for the organisation who is placed 0.33 behind widespread vehicles and Toyota. that is the factor of vision assertion; it enables the business enterprise to achieve it through bringing new strategies, skilled personnel, technology and so on.Values are the philosophical priorities a manager is devoted to. those values help the managers to build an organisation that could satisfy the corporations missions and visions. intention is a hard and fast of targets that the organisation wants to obtain in future. desires of an organisation specify what’s to be performed so that it could gain its undertaking and imaginative and prescient. most of the enterprise establishes goals to attain profit growth.even as formulating a strategy the top level control need to analysis the surroundings in two main analyses taken via the organisation they’re PESTEL analysis and SWOT evaluation. PESTEL is the acronym for political, economic, social, technological, environmental and felony. PESTEL analysis is a macro environmental analysis. Political elements that have an effect on the commercial enterprise are the actions taken via nearby and countrywide administrations, political events, and international organisations along with ecu commission, global exchange business enterprise and United nations. economic factors associated with the clients capacity to spend on a particular product synthetic or sold by way of the company. while the inflation price increases then the business enterprise might boom its productivity and innovations in product occurs due to the fact the clients have money and are geared up to spend. Social and cultural elements depend upon the client flavor on the way to decide the demand of product in the end. Technological elements are the approaches wherein the enterprise and the entire society have modified exceptionally. the use of bar codes and digital factor of sales has enabled the markets to amplify. Environmental elements are the factors that have an effect on the society inclusive of diseases, international warming and so forth. those factors affect the spending power of the society. criminal elements are the laws and guidelines that rule the specific country. The employer has to take into account the felony elements that exist.SWOT evaluation is an internal analysis always achieved after PESTEL evaluation. SWOT is the acronym for energy, weak point, opportunity and threats. some of these elements are considered within an organisation. The control determines the enterprise energy and weak spot and paintings on its strength, a way to improve the energy, and to lessen its weakness. Threats and possibilities stated the external environment including its competition and their competitive gain. A successful method will lead to the fulfillment of the organisation, as visible within the case of Wal Mart (CEO Sam Walton), Apple computer (CEO Steve Jobs) and so on.Strategic method is accomplished relying on the size of the business enterprise the formula of techniques varies. For a huge company the formulation of techniques show up in two variables they’re corporate method and business method. In corporate approach the method of method is completed thinking of that those strategies could be dealing with the issues of the management as an entire. The troubles which are considered are the capability and competence of the company, fundamental man or woman, the regions wherein it need to develop its sports, nature of its management, its governance and shape, nature of courting with region, its competitors and the broader surroundings. commercial enterprise strategy is formulated maintaining in thoughts that these strategies set are utilized by the employer for particular organisational sports, for specific market environment, and for a selected department of the unit where the operations are allotted. Strategic method in a big business enterprise will happen with interrelated components that is corporate and commercial enterprise strategy. company method offers with the troubles of the control as an entire. The troubles which are included in corporate method are capability and competence of the enterprise, fundamental man or woman, the areas wherein it have to broaden its activities nature of its control, its governance and structure, nature of dating with zone, its competitors and wider surroundings. enterprise method formulated with the aid of which the enterprise sets techniques for precise organisational sports, for precise market environment, and a selected department or unit in which the operations are allotted. In Small and Medium organizations (SME) the fundamentals of strategic components is pressured or self imposed, required, rationalistic, deliberate, logically incremental, emergent and opportunistic. Self imposed techniques are those strategies which can be formulated through force or stress at the decision makers who’re the managers, or imposed on them because of sure outside and inner conditions. The inner condition consist of loss of management and ensuing managerial continuity, unstabilised turnover of senior managers, no precise strategic choices and route, greater focus on quick term dreams, loss of competitive gain. The outside situation include the speedy converting environmental trends, trade within the current aggressive coverage or competitive techniques, technological innovations, political elements, stress from environmental corporations, exchange inside the customer conduct, ethical values and so forth.Required techniques are formulated by means of understanding the want for a plan that that would meet the needs of the stakeholders, company capability and capabilities, mission of company etc. Rationalistic technique to strategic system is likewise referred to as centralized method where the CEO and associates are the pioneers inside the technique of strategic management. The strategic plans are usually thrown over the wall from the company centre to subordinates for its implementation. The subordinates or low level personnel can be consulted but they may be no longer concerned in making strategic choices.Logically incremented method formula is said to be dynamically developed over the years and responding to each the inner and outside conditions the company needed to face. techniques are evolved when the decision makers decide that the plan or approach they have selected might be applicable for achieving the organisational intention, and would prevail the business. it is a step by step approach to approach formulation where it analyses the threat, uncertainty, unpredictability of instances.Strategic method can be defined with the assist of fashions, the location and aid model also referred to as the commercial organization model and useful resource based totally version respectively. The collection of industrial organization model is analyses the environment, perceive trade industry, procure an inexpensive opportunity competitive benefit, increase and benefit adequate assets and implement strategy through utilizing the companies sources. on this version the agency initially examines the surroundings and consequently they get an concept about the kind of method needed to be formulated, as strategy will depend on the external and the inner environmental situations. selections about the positioning of enterprice are given extra importance than the ability to put into effect such positioning. The corporations capacity to perform will permit it to place itself within the peak of business. inside the aid version the steps involved are to determine the company resources, know-how the capability of the corporation, determine the key skills and competitive advantage of the organisation, figuring out an alternative industry, formulate the perfect method and implement it. on this method the managers have to give greater importance to what the corporation can do in preference to what it have to do. The managers make use of any person of those plans to formulate the soon as a probable strategy is formulated the subsequent step for the pinnacle degree control is to successfully put in force these strategies. Strategic implementation includes putting these strategies into impact. The important level of method is its implementation. most important motives why imposing strategy is tough is firstly due to the existence of some of departments inside the organization, and distinct stake holders associated and secondly due to the nature of hierarchy that exist within the enterprise, the one of a kind degree of selection and approach making. a number of the weaknesses of strategic implementation are tokenism, bureaucratization, considering strategy for a brief time period income and many others which needed to be avoided before enforcing the strategy. To make the separate departments of the enterprises running collectively at the same time as enforcing method is by using analyzing the 5 C’s that are coordination, communication, command, manipulate and warfare.Coordination must manifest at each step of approach making particularly in method and implementation between the extraordinary stakeholders, enterprise stages, among cooperating firms and many others. coordination is a two way interaction between any two strategists. Coordination can simplest manifest through effective verbal exchange. conversation is the trade of ideas, knowledge, idea and so forth by way of a transmission medium. It performs a key position in implementing strategy. verbal exchange occurs in any respect tiers of the organisation.Command is passed from a top level employee to lower tiers, and is simplest issued beneath certain occasions such as clear up a war or crisis.
The choice makers have their personal location of manage and does not intrude other domain names until they are invited or there’s any crisis. each and every method have define accretions of control over it. control is frequently exercised indirectly thru prompted systems.Conflicts are unavoidable in any sort of enterprises. Conflicts are important aspects for creativity. Any new concept added in approach want to be discussed in boards and there would be a few inevitable motives to pick it. For every inspiration of change invitations conflicts. It represents a conflict of viewpoints and bring about the discharge of power, which have to be made use of to acquire the objectives of method.Managers recall a number of issues including organisational shape, reaction of the personnel and so forth. before the implementation. even though the need for change is well known it becomes difficult to adapt to the new structures as it takes time and endurance. Implementation is the vital level of a strategic planning. two vital elements that avoid the strategic implementation are the disasters of manner and screw ups of substance. elements of substance offers importance to the strategic planning elements along with analysing the project and cause of the employer its middle values and corporate subculture, the organisaiton strengths and weak point and their possibilities and their threats. The elements of procedure encompass the poor methods of handling the strategic making plans. One vital failure aspect is the shortage of participation. when some of the employees lose their commitment then they could fall again from any form of planning and implementation of strategies that could assist the organisation to reap purpose. any other procedure failure is the running a blog down in info of planning such that the method itself comes to give up. From the above study we are capable of apprehend the different factors that a supervisor has to consider at the same time as crafting a strategy. according to Hendry Mintzberg (1987:661) “managers are the craftsmen and strategy is their clay”. that is very true the managers make right method for the achievement of the corporation, still a few enterprise fail miserably at some point of strategic implementation. this is how we are able to say that manager are the craftsmen, because not they all end up successful by just formulating approach, they ought to be privy to the surroundings, beyond business enjoy, how to make improvements and so on.

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pleasant control Framework for instructional institutions

IntroductionManagement is the capacity to create, organize and make use of assets, economically, correctly & efficiently. management is essential issue of human life, both personal as well as collective. private management shapes effective people, whilst collective control is needed for well-appearing institutions. control is both desirable or bad. terrible management performs a decisive role in institutional failure or ineffectiveness. academic establishments offer knowledge, build man or woman and enhance knowledge level of students. They prepare students for realistic existence. An inefficient-useless academic organization will produce harmful individuals for society. There are a couple of reasons of inefficiency or ineffectiveness of an educational institution consisting of mediocrity of teachers, irrelevancy of syllabus, ineffective headship and terrible management gadget. however, bad control is decisive disadvantage of non-appearing instructional institutions. negative control manner – traditional management techniques by academic entrepreneurs, imitative leadership method by using academicians, micro management fashion with the aid of head trainer/important, investor attitude with the aid of owners, and dictatorial method of lecture room management with the aid of instructors.There are 3 principal regions of excellent gaining knowledge of manner – Key sports area, overall performance vicinity, and family members vicinity. first off, the important thing activities revolve around expertise absorption / information dissemination. generally, the important thing sports encompass mastering desires, direction planning, gaining knowledge of agenda, teaching strategies, and lecture room management. Secondly, the performance place concentrates on mastering effects. It research mastering overall performance of students, coaching overall performance of difficulty teachers, and managing performance of class instructor/essential. Thirdly, the relations analysis addresses more than one family members among students, instructors, dad and mom, and academic managers. Dominantly, it offers with powerful control of all mastering occasions. The last target of relation evaluation is to recognize synergistic results from getting to know system.pleasant control Vs Micro ManagementGovernance is inevitable issue of collective lifestyles. it can undertake guides – right & awful. accurate governance is based on high-quality control even as horrific governance is outcome of Micro management. frequently, fine management is a machine that pursues relentlessly excellence toward improvement of services offered, while Micro control adopts cosmetic approach towards improvement. nice management differs with micro control on infinite dimensions but the outstanding variations are:fine control is present day management, even as micro management is conventional management. conventional management is very hierarchical, prepared, and disciplined. it’s far the army fashion of control, in order that it handiest works within the military or in a micro set up. then again, best management is democratic control; it’s far towards dominating procedures of people. A quality manager derives its powers from the concepts she/he follows at the same time as the micro supervisor derives its strength from the position she/he enjoys.first-rate management utilizes skills of human beings in any respect stages (mastering, coaching and management) optimally, even as Micro control concentrates on abilities of chief only, it’s miles forgetful toward talents of all of us or collective expertise primarily based on healthy competition or cooperation. At institutional stage, an success or failure is dominantly group phenomenon. The phenomenon of individualism means massive flattery of leaders / seniors. In nutshell, quality control way meritorious interaction, at the same time as micro control method massive institutional politics.first-rate management is primarily based on humanistic philosophy. It starts with the perception that all of us can be educated for the betterment of gadget. humans need to do an amazing task and anticipate appreciate. The philosophy at the back of the method values the 6ba8f6984f70c7ac4038c462a50eeca3 of people who teach and examine. it is Micro management that offers with teachers/college students, wrongly. The scenario nurtures apathetic attitude amongst college students/instructors. alternatively, first-rate management develops empathetic attitude amongst students/teachers.high-quality control postulates that the gadget of an institution is vital for team of workers performance. at the time of crises, the great framework advises a device technique, it’s miles the gadget that overwhelmingly is the principle supply of trouble. The first-class framework gives special attention to the techniques that produce substandard offerings. it is a comprehensive and cooperative management in order that it is against handling each element as although it had been cut loose the others and warns steps that pit the man or woman against the machine and towards other humans. In micro-control processes are neglected and people get undue significance. A micro-leader adopts generally the policy of ‘divide & rule’, in order that people are derisive closer to every different.great control believes in personal obligation, but goes beyond that concept to recall the especial duties of individuals who manage for maximum gadget overall performance. A proactive difficulty for how human beings reply to managerial actions is essential to the fulfillment of first-rate control, that’s why the idea emphasis the want for managers to understand basic concepts of psychology, information and choice evaluation to research the ground realities for the duration of some decision-making/interactive manner. In micro management, there is gulf among mind, phrases & deeds of leader. A micro-supervisor manipulates individuals/situations for optimum performance, in order that overall performance is unstable and risky. A constant performance of college students/teachers is inevitable requirement of tutorial establishments, so that micro-management manner failure.regulation of Causation is normal phenomenon of existence. The regulation categorically states that an final results is necessarily based totally on a few antecedent, this is, there may be imply-stop duality. means are antecedents; they are necessary precondition for ends. An cease may be materialized thru right or wrong imply. Human existence again and again faces the predicament of proper imply vs. wrong suggest. someday, an cease turn out to be unachievable, seemingly or in reality, thru proper way therefore way are generally comprised by way of effort-makers. as an example, earnings is an crucial quit for institutional viability; it may be performed thru incorrect approach such as lease-searching for, kick-backs, manipulation of teachers and manipulation of students. nice management proposes wise suggest-end framework for aim materialization. In micro-management manner are not decisive at some point of dreams recognition process so that means are compromised now and then. Micro control is derisive towards regulation of causation in order that it breeds distrust among stakeholders and fails’s miles generally said, justice behind schedule is justice denied / justice hurried is justice buried. At institutional level procrastination or haste are two splendid menaces that disturb institutional performance, every so often. Micro management is not able to tackle these problems due to non-system questioning. the answer lies in systematic thinking closer to time efficiency / facts efficiency, those factors are crucial gear of first-rate management in opposition to haste or procrastination.The stop-consumer of a service is always decisive for the survival of institution. parents are decisive for the continual existence of educational organization. excellent management offers due significance to the necessities of all dad and mom especially accountable parents. alternatively, Micro management gives significance handiest to reactive and affluent mother and father. The scenario is not tenable, in order that institution fails subsequently.elements of high-quality FrameworkAn group is contractual association of interdependent individuals to realise a few dreams and targets; it works under the course of a few leader. establishments are multiple, each quantitatively and qualitatively, and multilateral, both operationally and structurally. The orientation of an organization determines its route of movement. as an instance, a specific organization of some individuals assimilated to offer know-how and to shape conduct-sample of kids give shape to faculties, school is a social institution. similarly, we are able to have a look at countless social, monetary, and political institutions running in a present day society. A nicely-performing group desires some achievement elements/performance signs. An powerful instructional organization generally practices ten elements for quality management. every variable has a purposeful importance that can’t be unnoticed. The elements are:undertaking, VALUES, imaginative and prescient, approach, skills, assets, organization, evaluation, reward shape AND ADJUSTMENTSThe efficacy of each element is examined on three grounds – foundational, structural, and operational. the first three factors – project, values, and imaginative and prescient – have foundational significance. the subsequent four factors – strategy, abilities, resources, and organization – erect strong institutional shape. The ultimate 3 elements – evaluation, rewards, and adjustment – have operational significance. The foundational, structural and operational factors at the same time shape a nicely-acting educational organization.factors of fine LeadershipLeadership is crucial pillar of properly-performing organization. leader is either powerful or useless. An effective chief realizes institutional goals, optimally. typically, an effective leader manifests seven characteristics. every detail has a sensible importance for institutional development. The factors are:faith, braveness, ENTHUSIASM, choice strength, knowledge, effective verbal exchange, & general look

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Get It Done Yesterday! Impulsive Vs. Deliberate Leadership Decision Making

As an individual contributor, Joe was praised by his management for his speed in delivering results. His management was so enamored with his ability to get things done quickly that he was promoted to a leader role over a team of ten. Joe’s speed in taking action carried over into his decision making. He saw making decisions fast as a sign of getting “real work done,” versus sitting around talking about things. “Great leaders don’t have all the facts,” he would say to his team, as justification for moving forward without a good understanding of a decision’s implications. Joe’s team learned to just say, “Yes, Sir,” and do their best to execute what Joe wanted done by the time expected. His impulsive decision making came to a head with a new hire named Greg.

Joe interviewed Greg for a product management position, who talked a great game and quickly won Joe over. Joe made an impulsive decision to hire Greg without checking his references. After Greg started working, it didn’t take long for others to see he was clearly unqualified for the position. Suspicious of Greg’s claims, Joe did some digging and found he had embellished the accomplishments on his resume. The team and Joe went through several stressful months cleaning up Greg’s messes until he was finally let go. Joe eventually recovered as a leader but learned a painful lesson about impulsive decision making; and he had to earn back credibility with his team.

Before I go further, I want to level-set on what I view as impulsive and deliberate leaders.

An impulsive leader prioritizes decision speed over decision quality

A deliberate leader balances decision speed with decision quality

Let’s break this down. Impulsive leaders want to move quickly on a decision and tend to use the concept of “imperfect information” as license to not do their homework. They are very action-oriented but run into problems from not thinking through decisions before acting. To an impulsive leader, need dates aren’t as important as moving fast. An impulsive leader may not have the time to do something right the first time, but will need extra time later to re-do or un-do something.

In contrast, deliberate leaders are mindful of decision speed, but only as input into overall decision quality. They understand the concept of imperfect information, but don’t use it as an excuse to not learn what they can about a decision’s implications. They can be every bit as action oriented as an impulsive leader.

What are some warning signs that you might be an impulsive leader? Here are seven:

Reversals on bad decisions are the rule not the exception.
You typically get pushback from followers on your decisions.
Followers execute to your instructions versus owning the problem and figuring out the “how” on their own.
You can’t align decision due dates with a business need.
You’re unable to articulate choices and consequences of decision alternatives.
You regularly use the phrase “failure is not an option,” when asked about the consequences of failure.
You frequently say something like “ASAP,” or “Yesterday,” when a follower asks when something needs to be done.

Do any of these warning signs resonate with you? If so, then give these eight tips a look to help you make the journey from impulsive to deliberate leadership:

Admit you are an impulsive leader – The first step in transforming from an impulsive to a deliberate leader is an introspective admission that you are impulsive. Be brutally honest, even if the answer is something you don’t want to hear.
Be clear on the what, why, who, and when – When faced with a decision, take the time to physically write out the decision, why it’s being made, who it impacts, and when it needs to be made by to seize upon an opportunity or avoid a bad consequence. Unless you’re faced with a decision that requires split-second action, i.e., swerving versus braking to avoid a car accident, taking a few minutes to frame up the decision characteristics is time well spent.
Throttle the decision to the need-by date – I’ve known plenty of leaders who are simply impatient and want something done right away. However, action for the sake of taking action without regard for a need-by date can result in an unnecessarily lesser-informed decision. Know when your decision needs to be made and pace the actions accordingly.
Write out the alternatives and consequences – Once you’ve framed the decision and when you need it made, be intentional about the alternatives and consequences, including a “do nothing” alternative. Outlining alternatives and what could happen under each one is a forcing function that helps you slow down and be more thoughtful about the decision. Don’t forget the need-by date.
Think about risks as reckless or calculated – If you’re looking for risk-free decision alternatives, you’ll thrust yourself into decision paralysis. Joyfully embrace that there will be some risks to your decision, but be intentional about classifying the risk as reckless (acting without thinking about consequences) or calculated (thinking about consequences and having mitigations in place in case something goes wrong).
Syndicate your thinking along the way – I’ve seen way too many leaders hunker down in an office to think through a problem, then emerge like Moses with the stone tablets to proclaim their answer. Unless the decision is confidential, take the team on the journey with you, letting them know the decision you’re grappling with, and its characteristics, alternatives and consequences. I’ve been most successful with implementing decisions that affected my team when they knew things were in the works and they had opportunities to influence my thinking before the decision was made.
Surround yourself with deliberate people – Great leaders know their weaknesses and surround themselves with people who are strong in those areas. More importantly, they actively listen to them. This isn’t to say the leader always accepts advice given; but they listen and provide rationale as to why they’ve chosen to not accept the advice.
Ask advice of non-stakeholders – Some of the best leaders I’ve known not only possess great first-hand experiential wisdom, but humbly and actively seek out candid wisdom from others who are not directly impacted by the decision. The leader still owns the final decision, but he or she allows others to influence his or her thinking. This takes a bit of courage, because someone could throw cold water on what you may think is a great idea, but it could save you a lot of downstream pain trying to recover from a bad decision.

Remember, impulsive leaders prioritize speed over decision quality, while deliberate leaders balance speed with quality. Keep these eight tips in mind to improve the quality of your decision making and become a more effective leader of followers.

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How to Become a Leader for All Seasons

There is an age old question: are leaders born or made? If they are born, it would seem they are equipped to handle the challenges of leadership for any situation. If they are made, it will require constant training to navigate new scenarios. Whether leaders are born or made, when they don’t have all the answers, they will be able to lean on more seasoned executives for advice. However, what happens when everyone is faced with a situation that no one has ever witnessed, like the recent global pandemic?

If leaders are born, it would seem they magically have answers and a style to fit all occasions. Some will call them intuitive leaders who seem to have a way of navigating themselves and others through challenging times. And 2020 ushered in a challenge that has forced everyone to change and deal with a new normal. These are the times the masses look to leaders for direction.

Except, you have to wonder if there are limits to born leaders. Are they prepared for all occasions? Are they really born with the ability to lead? Or did they grow up in an environment where leadership was part of their education? There are many people who were raised in a home with parents who were entrepreneurs. Or their father may have been a CEO in a major corporation. Those children would have been exposed to conversations with their parents or colleagues of their parents that revolved around being responsible for the well being of others, making tough decisions, focusing on a vision and mission, understanding the cost of hiring and firing people and many other aspects of leadership. On the surface, it would appear they were born with leadership in their DNA. The fact of the matter is they were being educated almost at birth.

Historically, when we look at leaders like Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great and Hannibal, we see their fathers were also great leaders – kings or generals. The men I named above grew up with an education that is unlike most. Perhaps you could say their environment made them.

At the same time, there are those who never lived in an environment with leaders. They either sought leaders to be their mentors, went through formal education or worked in an organization that provided training and opportunities to utilize the leadership education. For most, it would be obvious they were made into leaders.

With that said, what is happening with leaders today. The world is facing a situation that no leader in recent history was part of. While there was a pandemic in 1919, how many of today’s leaders were around to have experienced that? Besides, today more than ever the world is connected through a global economy. In one way or another, we all depend on other countries to support us for manufacturing, food or services. This time we are really in this together.

Perhaps this is the time we learn to leverage one another in a way we have never done in the past. It may also be a great opportunity to retrain ourselves to deal with constant change. By that, I am not saying there is never stability. I am saying the world is changing faster than ever through technology and globalization. The global pandemic may be the wake up call for us all to develop a new mindset that is more nimble and better able to deal with constant changes and uncertainty.

It will require a mindset that is prepared to venture into completely new paradigms while maintaining the integrity of the existing business models. New paradigms often require new skills, knowledge, mindset and the ability to invent information that no one has seen. It also requires a fair amount of risk tolerance. On one hand, the new paradigm can be disruptive and hugely successful, like the iPhone. On the other, it can miss the mark and fail. Except, the lessons learned can be the catalyst for other opportunities, like Post-Its.

For leaders to build that kind of nimble enterprise, executives would have to put themselves through a sizable amount of training and transformation. The next step would be to train the rest of the organization. This kind of training does not mean leadership will have all the answers in the face of today’s global pandemic. It simply means the transformative training allows them to be more nimble mentally. That allows them to not be as reactive as people who operate in status quo. The transformative leaders will be better positioned to step back and look at the landscape for opportunities as they leverage the brain power of those around them.

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From Theory to Reality: Implementing Innovative Leadership Concepts That Stick

Hal was a new leader over a team of six followers. He committed to his manager that he would be a “learning leader,” and read leadership books to improve his skills. Almost every month in team meetings Hal included a book report on his latest book and the leadership techniques he wanted to put into practice. At first the team was receptive, but after the first few books a pattern emerged. Hal would talk about what he learned and implement the new methods… until he read the newest book on his list, making the previous book’s approach yesterday’s news-pushed aside. The team grew exasperated with Hal’s technique du jour only to have it replaced with a newer model. Even worse, the theory stayed just that, theory. Hal evaluated himself based on his knowledge; the team evaluated him based on his actions. Hal ultimately lost his team leader role; all that theory never making its way to reality.

As of this writing there are over 60,000 leadership books on Amazon. Each author (including me) tries to take a unique spin on some aspect of leadership in hopes of appealing to leaders of all types. Some books have been highly influential (think The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), while others not so much. With so many choices on the market and new ones being released all the time, a leader can get overwhelmed with the number of authors shouting at them about how to be a better leader. Even if a leader narrows his reading list down to just a few books, he is faced with what to do with the concepts the author is peddling. Perhaps it will be a discussion topic at a staff meeting, or the basis of a team-building exercise at an offsite meeting. More often than not, the hot concepts of today stay just that: concepts. Translating leadership concepts into reality that can actually grow a leader’s skills takes deliberate action.

Want to be more intentional about weaving leadership concepts into your leadership fabric? Consider these five take-aways:

Set expectations with yourself and the team – A team deserves to know what to expect from its leader, including the desire to grow leadership skills across the team. Ensure your team knows that you are an active learner and, in the spirit of growing skills across the team, want to do some leadership concept experimentation. It’s particularly important that you treat leadership experiments just like you would any project; have a goal, timeframe, activities, and any accountabilities you expect of the team and yourself.
Actively learn, selectively experiment – I say this as a leadership author myself: authors are looking for provocative ideas that put new spins on leadership in the hopes it will catch fire and sell millions of copies. As a learning leader, it’s your job to filter out concepts that won’t work well in your team and only use those that have a greater likelihood of success. For example, in No Rules Rules, Reed Hastings of Netflix has instilled a culture of minimalist policies that empower employees to do things that many other companies wouldn’t permit. A mid-level leader can’t realistically implement this concept if his or her organization is more policy driven.
Don’t let experiments get in the way of getting work done – At the end of the day the team still has commitments it needs to achieve. Doing leadership concept experiments is certainly fine as a means of growing the skills of a team. However, if it causes team members to burn the midnight oil to get their day job done, then the experiment will have a reduced chance of success. And team members will likely resent the experiment because it creates more work. Be open to the team’s feedback on both the frequency of experiments and how much time team members are expected to dedicate.
Post-mortem the experiments – Once the experiment is complete, conduct a candid assessment of the experiment; what concepts worked well, what didn’t work well, and what concepts (if any) the leader and team agree to continue practicing. It’s perfectly acceptable to get to the end of an experiment and decide none of the techniques will pass muster.
Demonstrate adaptation – As a leader, I’ve gotten all excited about some new leadership concept only to drift back to old behaviors over time. Focus on a small number of leadership improvements (between one and three) and demonstrate through action how you’ve incorporated the improvements. A team will follow its leader’s example. If you change, your team will change; if you go back to your old ways, the team will follow suit.

There’s no shortage of leadership tips and tricks any leader willing to learn can tap into. Just be intentional about what you decide to take on and focus on bringing leadership concepts to reality.

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5 Questions Leading to the Right Root Cause

Once an area of waste has been identified and a specific problem is identified as the “best” opportunity, the next step often involves finding the root cause of the problem.

This is a critically-important step and, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves working on the “wrong assumptions.”

In fact, we’ve consistently found that few things are more dangerous than common knowledge – when it is wrong.

Root causes are tricky and elusive things. Brainstorming and the “Five Whys” can be effective tools, but neither approach guarantees the “right” result or conclusion. In fact, when the “wrong” root cause is selected, the most common culprit is an untested conclusion.

The best course of action is to think quite broadly when brainstorming and to consider carefully every possible way that the people, technology, information, materials, environment, or methods might be contributing to the problem.

In addition, when the brainstorming of possibilities is over, we should put on our skeptical hat and test each one – before going to the next “why” to find the root cause. Otherwise, we risk arriving at the wrong conclusion.

Here are five key questions you might consider to test a possible cause is to see if it is consistent with the data you already have.:

Did the proposed cause precede the effect? If not, it is probably not the real cause. If poor call response rate is being blamed on the new answering system, was the call response rate better before the system was installed? If not, the new system cannot be the culprit.
Does the data indicate the problem is trending or cyclical? If so, you can probably rule out ideas about causes that would produce steady effects. For example, to test the possibility that shipping errors are on the rise due to poor technology, ask whether the technology has changed. If there have been no changes in the technology, any changes in the results must be caused by something else.
What other effects would you see if the proposed cause were true? Are you seeing them? If not, look elsewhere for the cause. For example, to test whether ‘poor morale’ is causing a high number of defects, ask where else would signs of poor morale show up. Are you seeing them there?
If the proposed cause were not true, could the effect have happened? Could the product weight be dropping if a blockage had not developed in the dispensing line? If the answer is ‘no’, you know you must find the blockage.
If the cause had been X, would it always produce this effect? If the answer is ‘yes’, then in order to test this, you simply need to check whether the supposed cause actually occurred. For example, if my car will not start, a possible cause is that I left the lights on. (I drive one of those old fashioned cars that require operator involvement to turn off the lights.) If I check and find the lights are in the ‘on’ position, I can confirm my theory. Otherwise, I must keep looking for the cause.

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When It’s Time to Return to Work

Many of us have seen first hand how quickly our children have become disenchanted with getting up and dressed for school each day, how demotivated they’ve become about learning and education.

But that loss of engagement has not only happened to children during the global pandemic. Working from home, hardly bothering to get washed or dressed for the obligatory zoom meeting, being on furlough, perhaps being paid to do nothing or very little has turned many of us away from being the inspired, motivated career achievers we once were.

We’ve learned to manage on less, value different things and, for quite a few of us, rejoining the corporate or business world of early starts, long days and time spent on the road doesn’t really do it for us anymore.

But town centres are needing to be revived, shops, office premises, gyms and hospitality are all needing to have life breathed back into them once again, landlords are keen to see their properties occupied and earning income. It’s time to return to work.

If you’re a business owner how are you going to re-engage your workforce, now that it’s time to return to work?

- Recognition of where your people are coming from, how they’re feeling is an important first step in identifying where you need to focus. When someone has been out of their regular routine for such a long time, with all the ancillary real-time concerns they’ve been experiencing, perhaps about home schooling, estrangement from friends and family, uncertainty about the future, the allure of work may well have paled into relative insignificance.

- Identifying and addressing their different concerns is an important starting point. When you show that you understand and care about their issues it helps staff to feel listened to and valued, a vital stepping-stone on the road back to your business’s new normal.

- Many employees have justifiable concerns about the ending of furlough and the impact that will have on their job security, terms and conditions of employment and their future financial and career prospects. And, of course, many businesses will need time to get back on their feet, perhaps using loans and negotiations with suppliers, staff and landlords to survive. The financial ramifications may need to be managed to include part-time work, working from home, redundancies and some staff becoming self-employed contractors, at least initially.

- Open and honest communications are a positive way of demonstrating that you care, have integrity and take your role as an employer seriously. Regular staff briefings which give good, reliable information and clarity, scheduling Q&A sessions and maybe providing an open door policy, where staff can privately discuss their specific concerns can help foster a more engaged and loyal commitment to returning to work.

- Allow staff ideas and contributions, suggestions to improve business growth, to be listened to and given due consideration. Some staff may be keen to become involved in actioning their suggestions, which is a good way for them to feel directly engaged and involved in the business and its future success. By acknowledging and giving them credit for their contributions you enable them to feel more tangibly on board.

- There are those who may need a flexible approach to resuming their working hours due to a change in their circumstances. Some staff may only be able to return gradually, cautiously to their duties, finding any perceived stress or pressure overwhelming. By demonstrating that you’ve listened, are prepared to accommodate them as best you can and are doing everything possible to support their mental and physical safety, health and wellbeing you’ll find that staff engagement should consistently start to improve.

- But don’t forget about those who are super-keen to resume their career progression and have had to put their enthusiasm on hold for over a year. Nurture and encourage their drive and motivation with ongoing mentoring, exciting business development opportunities and areas of personal responsibility, like special projects or new initiatives that challenge them and suit their skills and future goals. These are the staff who could well provide the lift your business needs to revive it, ready for the next phase of your journey to success.

You too, have had the toughest of times this last twelve months or so. Be gentle with yourself and commit to regular breaks, good self-care and a positive approach to your daily life. Reviving your business requires you to be strong and resilient, so remember the importance of healthy nutrition, regular hydration, quality sleep, exercise, fun and time with the special people in your life. You’re your business’s most important resource, so equip yourself well now that it’s time to return to work.

Susan Leigh, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

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