POWER DYNAMICS IN ORGANIZATION Power in organizations are disillusioning and has made many people cynical in their career in an organization, power plays in an organization may sometime cause blockage to those with ideas, innovations, capabilities, but less in power, and have to succumb to the organizational power of the incompetent. There is a saying “power corrupts” as critical decisions are often made regarding to organizational power, but it is powerlessness that creates an ineffective desultory management, and made people do unethical things just because they don’t have the power, and any other means will have to do. Political conflict over scarce organizational resource is inevitable. In reality, managerial life faces challenges of depending on others to get the job done (interdependency), differences in value and goals (diversity) and a gap of power, these however, may be relieved by creating a mutual relationship and finding a way to influence those interdependent factors. Organizations consists on interdependent individuals with divergent interests, who will cause political conflicts in an organization, with a strong organizational culture and leadership, this could be prevented, as with those, all individuals will have shared a common values and goals. Imbalance of power can also be circumstantial such in the case of the support department head versus the marketing department head and the legal department head who bypassed the marketing and production heads case. Power may come from positional aspects: hierarchical authority which power obviously relates to where they sat in the organization; relevance to corporate priorities (marketing & sales will have more power); centrality of position, where everyone gets to; Autonomy, making decisions without the need of superior’s approval; and their visibility in the organization. Power may also come from personal aspects: personal competency and expertise; good track record; attractiveness; and one’s effort towards the organization’s goal. Organizational power, the ability to influence another in a group, is often sought unbalanced and misjudged, organizational power may become a hindrance to one’s success in organizational career, it is cannot be disputed that some organization is still adopting a “feudal” style, whereas power is concentrated to those closely related to the boss only. True that powerlessness often creates an ineffective, desultory management, but, if the incompetent or the partial holds the highest power, this will also leads to a corruptive and self-destructive management. Power sources as mentioned above, are often imbalanced, hierarchical authority always gives the most power to an individual in an organization, despite their role, competence, effort, and track record, whereas in these “feudal” organizations, hierarchical role are often an inheritance from the closely related higher powers. This also creates an ineffective, uncooperative organization, as this will create a larger group of powerless competent individuals. Balancing the sources of power, and assessing them is crucial to the balance of power. HARNESSING THE SCIENCE OF PERSUASION Persuasion, a way of making others do what you want them to do, will be an important skill that may have never been sought off. As with any, natural persuaders often persuades unwillingly, autonomously, therefore unable to pass their skill to others. The article discusses the basic principle in which, those can be learned and mastered, persuasion is made of. The principle of liking; people generally likes others who likes them, behavioral scientists studies have isolated two especially compelling factors that reliably increases likeness, similarity and praise. It is undeniable that people will like being with someone like them, similarity can be obtained from age, region, political view, social status, even cigarette smoking habit, likeness increases trustworthiness and goodwill presumption which is very beneficial to the act of persuasion. The other thing that may increase likeness is praise, the greatest regard to an individual, even if those are untrue; these help you in aligning them to your favor. The principle of reciprocity; people will repay in kind, humans have a tendency of treating others the way they treat them, for example helping others in need will make it easier for you to ask for them for help when you need one. The principle of social proof; Human beings are social creatures, they rely heavily on others around them for cues on how to think, act, and behave. People will easily believe something that others believe. Thus the influence is better if spread horizontally rather than vertical orders. The principle of consistency; If you want to make people commit to something, have them do the commitment in writing and make them public (in a discreet way), humans as they are, are wants to appear consistent to others, and being the manipulative beings they are, they tend to hide these inconsistencies, therefore if commitment is only in saying, they tend to not do or forget about them as there are no proof of inconsistency, writing their commitment and making them public forces them to do their commitment without actually forcing them, and they will do it consensually. The principle of authority; People tend to believe in expert, therefore if an expertise is available, expose them, never assumes that expertise is self-evident, it is surprisingly often that people mistakenly assume that others recognize and appreciate their experience. So whenever there is time to expose an expertise, expose it, but do not boast, as it will only result in negative perception. The principle of scarcity; People, greedy as they are, always wants more of what they can have less, this can be harnessed to highlighting something unique, limited, and exclusive information, such as promotion or recognition in an organization. There’s nothing abstruse or obscure about these six principles, and they are learnable, and can be mastered by even someone with no background to psychology, but, although these principle stands alone, they should be applied in conjunction to compound their impact. And do consider the rules of ethics that apply, you wouldn’t want to persuade someone for your ill-doing. MANAGING YOUR TEAM Most seasoned manager understands that their key of success depends on how can they manage their team – to make a well-functioning team, however new managers are often fails to recognize their team-building responsibilities, whereas, in these current competitive environment, puts them at a distinct disadvantage. Today’s competitive world, demands managers to build an agile, fast-moving, efficient, and adaptive to customizations of products and services, therefore building an effective team, in which harnessing the energies of diverse individuals is fundamental. An effective team should apply the criteria that the team’s output meet the standards, the team’s experience contribute to its individuals development, the team’s experience enhancing the capabilities of its individuals to work and learn in the future. Managing an effective team involves two sets of responsibilities: Manage the team’s boundary; managers should be able to proactively create the context necessary for the team’s success, to ensure that the team is effective; they have to scan for external constituencies on whom they are dependent. Managers should also be able to understand the power dynamics of the larger organization they are in, and building a relationship to those on whom the team is dependent. Manage the team itself; Managers have to be able to design and facilitate the team they are leading, setting an agenda for the team, determine what type of teamwork is needed, creating the team composition and the most effective team structure, balance the diversity within the team, as they wouldn’t want to have a negatively correlated diversity. Managers also have to be able to facilitate the team’s process, not to dictate the team about how to do the work but rather collaborates them, helping them to minimize the process loss incurred by diversity and taking advantage of synergistic process gains. This can be done by shaping the team’s culture into an effective and synergistic working environment, balancing the individuals within the team. The manager should also coach the team, lead them, managing the teams individual role, behavior and putting them in to a synergy. However managers experiences paradoxes that they should be able to manage, such, embracing individual difference and collective goals, individual differences sometimes leads to different interpretations, and working on a team exposing this may lead to conflict. Foster support and confrontation, both are necessary, confrontation actually leads to productivity, but too much confrontation leads to destruction, same goes to support, the team wouldn’t work without support of its members, but too much support, the team would be less productive. Another is keeping a focus between performance and learning, balancing team member’s authority to managerial authority, which most times creates a conflict between a team member and its leader. And the triangular relationship, of having to become the leader of the team while being a member of it. Managing a team is not a simple task, instead it’s a very complex thing to do, but then, a good, well managed, effective team is not developed instantly, it evolves, as the team leader then realizes their need of developing a good team, and also the team members sense of belonging to the team, managers by experience will then realize by themselves the importance of managing a well-working team. MANAGING ONESELF Most people think that they know what they are good at, this is a subjective claim, and therefore are often wrong, people has little to know about their strength, as they are used to do what their predecessor does. To manage oneself, people needs to know what their strength are, this can be done objectively by doing a feedback test periodically, then they have to work on improving their strength, as people do better at their strengths, and discovering your intellectual arrogance, the “I already know this” behavior that often leads to ignorance and incapability. Amazingly few people know how they get things done, ignorant as they are, they do not know how others do the similar job that they do, where we should be able to modify slightly or learn new things from the way others do. You cannot say that you’re good at something without comparing how others do. The second thing people usually ignores is their methods of learning, say riding a bicycle, there are numerous method that one can learn how to ride a bicycle, some read books, some see how others do it, some learn be experience, trying and falling, some by dream, and many other methods, knowing how will you do good at, for example, you can learn to ride bicycle better by experiencing the balancing act and the falling, rather than watching movies on how to ride a bicycle, the learn by riding the bicycle, you will perform better when you do it at your strength. Knowing your value and where do you belong, you cannot work at somewhere that is against your value, as you will be reluctant to even be there, by knowing your value you can selectively prevent that condition. Little portion of people knows where they belong, but when they do, usually it would be well to late, such as musicians know that they are going to be a musician since they are young. Having a responsibility for relationships also counts in managing yourself, as to being effective, you should understand the people that works around you, and harness their strength to cover your weakness, as however possible, improving your weakness would result less that harnessing your strengths, so working together to cover each other’s weakness is a solution. Most people just do what they do, they are doing good at their jobs, but they are not gaining enough contribution, learning, or even satisfaction from what they do, and they do this routine for a long time, and will have to spend the rest of their life doing the same thing, this has been known as the mid-life crisis (age +/-45), by managing oneself, knowing what your strengths are, knowing your methods of learning, knowing your values, your contributions, your relationships or simply, knowing what you want – managing oneself- will eventually lead in choosing a second career, a second life, in which they would do better, be more satisfied. A PROCESS FOR CHANGING ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE Much current scholarly literature said that the sustainability and high profitability are defined by external factors: barriers to entry, non-substitutable products, large market share, low buyer and supplier bargaining power, rivalry among competitors, and a rare and distinctive product and services; these factor should and will unquestionably enhance financial factors, but it is proven that the top 5 performers in the US (exclude the dot.com bubble) have none of these advantage, they are even standing in industries that are a newcomers nightmare. But it is notable that most of those successful firms have a distinctive organizational culture. An organizational culture is simply defines as ‘the way things are’ in that organization, a culture is something that is enduring, slow to change, and it is difficult to identify unless challenged. One method to measure organizational culture is through competing values, in which are considering 2 dimensions: Flexibility, discretion, dynamism from stability, order and control; and internal orientation, integration, unity from external orientation, differentiation and rivalry; together these dimensions form 4 quadrants with its notable characteristics: clan culture, where work is a friendly place and more like an extension of a family; adhocracy, which is dynamic, entrepreneurial, and creative; market, result oriented culture; and hierarchical culture, where it is formal and structured workplace. To identify a profile of an organizational culture, can be done by an individual from the organization, an individual in an organization most likely can describe accurately the cultures in their organization, a tool to measure this is the OCAI, which measures six dimensions: the organization’s dominant characteristics, leadership styles, organizational ‘glue’, strategic emphases, success criteria, and management of employees. Organizational culture, despite its importance for success, is very hard to successfully changed, several authors have defined seven steps to successfully change an organizational culture: 1. Clarifying meaning: know what it means to change the organizational culture, 2. Identifying stories: one or two stories that defines positive incidents or events that illustrates that changes in organizational culture is going to make; 3. Determine strategic initiatives: knowing what activities will be started, stopped or enhance by the change of the organizational culture; 4. Identifying small wins: identify something that is easy to change, change it, and publicize its success, this will create momentum in which helps to change in overall organizational culture towards success; 5. Craft metrics, measures, and milestones: keys of success should be defined, and measurable, so it can be determined the success and importance of changing an organizational culture; 6. Communication and symbols: it is most certain that organizational change will meet resistance, as it is changing what we used to do, communicating the process of the change, and symbolize a success of the change will help to block the resistance; 7. Leadership development: organizational change, however, starts from its leaders, leaders should consciously and consistently directing the changes. Almost all organization develop a dominant culture, however the external advantage they have, these dominant culture plays a huge share in organizational success, therefore knowing your own organizational culture, identifying it, profiling it plays an important part, knowing that organizational culture is blocking or boosting your way to the path of success, if it is blocking then changes in organizational may be necessary. WHOSE CAPITAL IS IT? TRENDS IN HUMAN CAPITAL Human capital is the value added to the goods and services which is produced, having said this, then, human capital belongs to the individual itself not the business entity where he/she works for, however the valuation of human capital is rather complex, as it is discretionary and subjective, as in the valuation of commitment to his/her work for the shareholders. The issue of human capital further increase with the problems of several factors such as: (a) the rising demand for talent, (b) thin ranks, (c) the burden of employability, (d) scarcity of talent, (e) the demand for autonomy. These issues are rooting the changes of the work itself, from traditional-defined-rigid activities to transformational works focused on situational responses, problem solving, and enabling change. To be successful in the new workplace, one must bear two important qualities: (a) being a self directed problem solver – which is capable to work with minimal supervision and (b) able to combine lateral movement willingly and adapt to multifunctional requirements in their career path. Those who are able to adapt and improve by acquiring new skills and hone them will most likely be able to succeed in the new workplace; this places a premium in the new organizational culture, and becomes the self-conscious capital. Individual values, cultures, has shift and transformed in contemporary societies, this phase is known as “post-modern shift”, where the quality of life and the quality of work experience is diminishing the concerns of job security and economic gain maximization. However, being the self-conscious natured it is, human capital – transformational workers – will change the nature of employer-employee transaction, this will become more ‘market-based’ and the new breed of transformational workers will seek non-traditional remuneration and benefit packages. Current trends shows that the ease of access to financial capital (easier debtor and investor) and the growing of advanced an affordable technologies, pushes the importance of human capital in the economy. In this time of the war of talent, companies must emphasize their focus on three imperative factors: (a) to make talent management a company priority, (b) to source great talent and develop it aggressively, (c) create and deliver a winning value proposition. Work rewards offered may ranges from work content, career advancement, affiliations, direct financial rewards or indirect financial rewards. What is interesting is aspects relating to compensation were in the mid range suggests that pay alone will not make a great proposition, and poorly placed proposition can undermine a company’s position in the market to win the war for talents. Critique: in this ‘post-modern’ time, where financial, technological and knowledge resources are almost abundant, and is growing cheaper and easier to get, it is very important to value well the ingredient that will make those things work, the human capital that does the job. This pushes the importance on human capital management, however with the increasing need for valuable human capital; their value is also more open to market, as every company wants a good talent, therefore a human capital valuation management which determines the value of human capital, to their cost is highly imperative. GLOBALIZATION AND LABOR RELATIONS Globalization presents a diversity which converts to a complex, multi-faceted and dynamic event to the expansion and deepening of capitalism and its theoretical postulates, such as free-trade markets, free-competition, etc. globalization contributes to less autonomous political power and loses a part of national counterbalance efficiency including labor law and trade union actions. The globalization process itself presents a social drama such as (a) relatively lack of interest in the domestic market, (b) the limitations of state power to govern economic variables, (c) the dominance of ideologies that do not favor labor as a factor of production. The traditional labor relations system works on the relation between the employer and employees which binds them to the same employer for an indefinite amount of time, here the position of the worker is definitely weaker and are dependant to the employer; this is regulated by the state and trade union to protect the employee. Globalization puts the enterprise’s international competitiveness at the first rank of concern; this reflects the neo liberalism postulates on labor affair which puts the enterprise’s interest at best by having no intervention of the state individual relations and state intervention in collective relations. Post-modern labor relations paradigm features (a) off centering of labor, labor is less needed, manpower will be replaced by machine and technology, it is better to produce with fewer manpower, (b) the segmentation of workforce; enterprises tend to organize themselves on two distinct groups, focal group of stable with good remunerations and qualifications, and unstable, precarious, rotating outsourced labors, (c) employment instability, (d) the individualizations of labor relations, (e) labor cost cutting. An alternative labor relations model that is feasible should be based on the promotion of continuity and rotation and precariousness of the payroll, this model overlooks the role of trade unions and collective bargaining in governing labor relations system. Globalization should work as an extension and integration of a regional labor relation system, this implies to internationalization. Therefore an international regulation of labor relation should be developed as the system tends to breed undesirable or malfunctioning results, these regulations should develop as international labor relations standards such as: The international labor conventions, the main human rights pact and declaration, supranational labor standards, social charters, or social clauses. Critique: Globalization as focuses on the international advantage of an enterprise bears its threats on labor relations, as enterprises will choose to have less labor compared to technology and machine which works more efficiently and constantly, however this also open a new frontier of opportunity for labor to work internationally. Despite the advantages, if not properly regulated or standardized, globalization would cause an unbalance in utilization of labor throughout the world. THE WAR FOR TALENT The need for talent, especially superior talent is increasing. The better of the talents are worth fighting for, as a company’s future is also decided by the talent they hire. But, due to this increasing need of better and superior talent, people itself have realized the importance of their talent, and now it is difficult for companies to attract and retain those talents. Three quarters of corporate officer surveyed and finds that their companies sometimes had insufficient talents or were chronically talent short across the board. The struggle to obtain better talents have created a war for talents among companies, in order to win this war for talent a company needs to: (a) elevate talent management topic as its top priority (b) create and refine an interesting proposition of employee value to attract and retain employees (c) find a way of finding or creation the talent needed (d) continue to develop. In finding or attracting talents, companies face qualitative challenges as the increasingly complex economy demands more sophisticated talents, multicultural fluency, technological literacy, entrepreneurial skills and the ability to manage an ever increasingly de-layered organization, companies also face the threat of small and medium enterprises of accessing the same talent with the emergence of the efficient capital markets. However, in the past two decades, the most under managed corporate asset is their executive talent, as in order to exploit it have to develop a talent mindset all the way from the top, which in the end may lead to rebuilding or redefining the role of human resources to support the talent building challenge. One step to winning the war for talents, in attracting and retaining talents, companies should create a winning employee value proposition, in creating this proposition, could mean tailoring the company’s “products” to their employees, what job it is to offer, what reward will be awarded, but still no company could fulfill everyone’s needs. Talent market can be pooled into four groups (a) go with a winner (b) big risk, big reward (c) save the world (d) lifestyle, companies should know which segment it is going and which pool is it aiming for. Other ways of getting a superior talent is developing it, in developing talent companies should consider applying steps such as (a) putting people in their jobs when they are ready for it (b) putting a good feedback system (c) understand the company’s scope of retention problems (d) and getting a move on poor performers immediately. Another way of doing this, is by outsourcing the talents, this method allows companies to obtain talents or rather ‘use’ talents without having to develop them. Critique: In this time where talents plays an important role in a company’s success, competition in obtaining superior and better talents is becoming a war between companies, this war is even intensified by the ease of access from small and medium enterprises who can compete equally due to the efficient capital market in the US, and by the people’s knowing of their value. Talents can be obtained from an external source such as recruitment and outsourcing or from an internal source, developing them within current employees. However, those talents needs to be attracted and retained, knowing what people wants and translating them in to a winning employee value proposition is crucial in winning the war for talents.