Case Study Bob is frustrated with his job. He’s tired of technical work. He wants to move into customer service. He’s a great technician… but lacks people skills. He’s supporting a sick mother at home.
Holistic Ethics: An Integrated Approach Virtue Ethics What do I stand for? What values drive me ? Consequentialist Ethics What would the outcome be, for the many and the few ( their needs)? Principled Ethics What is “right”? What am I obligated to do?
Not As Easy as it Seems <ul><li>“ Right” according to whom? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I obligated to my people, my organization, or both equally? </li></ul><ul><li>What if satisfying one causes damage to the other? Can I rely on my values? </li></ul><ul><li>Are my values in line with my organization’s values? </li></ul><ul><li>What pragmatic solution can I live with? </li></ul><ul><li>What questions must I ask? What am I missing? </li></ul>
The boss wants you to give Pam a low score on her performance evaluation. Each department needs a certain number of low scores as part of an annual ranking system. You don’t feel this is fair because Pam just moved into the department and is learning a new role. She is making progress though. Is this ranking system fair? What options do you have? What variables must be considered?
Generalists Specialists Gray Area #2 Is it best to assemble a team of targeted specialists, or should I look for people who can do a little of everything?
<ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><li>A generalist can validate gaps in thinking across the scope of a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Consider a “handoff checklist” or someone to centrally manage handoffs </li></ul><ul><li>Foster rapport between players to minimize handoff errors </li></ul>Generalists Specialists Broad exposure = Inclusive Diagnosis Repetition and Focus = Implementation Expertise Leadership Candidates Don’t promote them solely on their specialty expertise!! Cannot afford to dive too deep in any one area Cannot afford to take on too many adjacent areas Can oversimplify theories and miss crucial particulars Sometimes ignore ideas and insights outside their domain
Gray Area #3: Big Picture vs. Narrow Focus How can I communicate with simplicity, yet provide the big-picture context people need?
Two stone cutters were asked what they were doing. The first said, “I’m cutting these stones into blocks.” The second shouted, “I’m building a great cathedral!” Why should we be like the second stone cutter? Are there reasons to be like the first stonecutter? Which will lead to higher productivity?
The project kickoff meeting is in 2 weeks. You want to invite the whole team and all stakeholders, but some people are grumbling that they don’t need the whole picture…they just want to know what they have to do and when. Should everyone be invited anyway? What benefit is there to having everyone there? What other questions must we ask?
You’ve been asked to implement a Project Management Office (PMO) and the first challenge is to provide information to management about the inventory of projects and how they relate to the strategic plan. You have many ideas for new policies and systems. Do you announce your full vision for the end state PMO? Do you just tell people about the initial step needed to gather project information? Do you tell people about the PMO and it’s purpose?
Exercise 1: Line Exercise Exercise 2: A Mousercise
Gray Area #4: Structure vs. Flexibility How can I implement internal processes without hurting morale, stifling creativity, or alienating clients?
Bill created a standard methodology for incoming requests and project management. But people aren’t following it. And nobody completes the business case form correctly. Why is nobody following the methodology? What can Bill do to get people to comply? Is standardization necessary?
“ By involving people in the standardization of work, we can remove some of the oppressiveness of it. People are less likely to balk at standards they have devised. … We need not standardize everything. - Peter Scholtes
Nancy has an open-door policy for her staff to come to her at any time with problems. But lately she cannot get her own work done. She’s too busy helping others. Is Nancy’s policy a good one? When should she get her own work done? What other options might she have?
Exception: When Explicit Rules are Needed <ul><li>Safety requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Exact accuracy is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Standards must be adhered to </li></ul>* Ref. Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, First Break All the Rules
Structure Flexibility * Adapted from concepts introduced by Garry Booker, Project Frontier Outcome Outcome Outcome Actions
Gray Area #5: Vigilance vs. Delegation How can I ensure adequate accountability without resorting to micromanagement?
<ul><ul><li>Think of all the teams you’ve been on. Think of one that was characterized by an environment of trust . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How was an environment of trust established? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How did you know that a culture of trust was present? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you have confidence in your teammates? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you have confidence in the leadership? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What does trust mean to you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we create mutual trust? </li></ul></ul>* Adapted from Appreciative Team Building , by Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Jay Cherney, and Ron Fry
Patty’s best employee, Max, is also a loose canon who doesn’t relate well to customers. But he’s an amazing technical expert. She needs him to be more well-rounded. How can Patty get Max to gain the skills needed? Is Max a help or a hindrance to the team? Would more oversight help Max?
“ Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” - Robert Heinlein
“ The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” - Ernest Hemingway
Use of Authority Many positions of the company involve the use of authority. Pressure, tactics that involve people working while afraid or any type of disrespect are considered incapable leadership and improper use of authority. Working Hours The Semco Group has flexible working hours where possible. This is a method of meeting the needs of each person, without harming the company. Employee Timesheet Control At the Semco Group, each person controls their own working hours. This is a method of transferring responsibility to each person. Ref: Semco: http://www.semco.com.br/en/content.asp?content=3&contentID=567 Excerpts from the “Survival Manual” of Semco, Inc.
Evaluation by Subordinates Every six months you will fill in a questionnaire and say what you really think about your immediate superior. Be open and honest, when filling in the form and during the discussion that should take place afterwards. Retirees We have no restrictions on active or part-time work for retirees or people of an advanced age. Nobody is too old for us - on the contrary, we believe that experience comes with age. Salary Policy The Semco Group seeks to involve people in discussions regarding what is a fair salary for each employee. Of course, there are times when people think their salaries should be higher and the company believes it cannot pay more. What is important is to always provide an opportunity for discussions regarding this type of issue. Ref: Semco: http://www.semco.com.br/en/content.asp?content=3&contentID=567
Hourly/Monthly Workers At the Semco Group there is no discrimination - Here everybody is a salaried worker and everybody is treated the same. Our Personnel We avoid using terms like "employees", "staff", “collaborator” and similar terms. We are a team and we only have “people”. This is what we call everyone who works with us. Try as hard as you can not to use terms which are so common, but which do not express equality. Customer Services This is very important. Never fail to serve a customer well; do not run away from the customer, and do for the customer exactly what you would expect if you were in their position. Be honest about deadlines, prices and service conditions - never promise something you cannot deliver. Ref: Semco: http://www.semco.com.br/en/content.asp?content=3&contentID=567
Ref: Semco: http://www.semco.com.br/en/content.asp?content=3&contentID=567 Leadership We believe that organizational structure is required to ensure good business processes. However, only people who have respect for their followers can be leaders. Situational leadership will always be stimulated and respected.
Some people need coaching. Practice Situational Leadership * ( Directing, Coaching, Supporting, Delegating ) * Ref. Hersey and Blanchard
<ul><li>Everyone is creative </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity leads to competitive advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Effective creativity is organized </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expression </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul></ul></ul>Disney’s Beliefs about Creativity
<ul><li>Think about the following in terms of appearance and substance: </li></ul><ul><li>A well designed gadget that doesn’t work well </li></ul><ul><li>A flashy new restaurant with great décor but poor service (or food) </li></ul><ul><li>The local casual restaurant that everyone goes to </li></ul><ul><li>The cast members’ costumes at Disney World </li></ul><ul><li>Your favorite sports team’s uniforms </li></ul><ul><li>Military uniforms </li></ul><ul><li>Doctors’ scrubs </li></ul>
Team morale is low. The team has been labeled by others as underperforming and undisciplined. All work so far has been late or inaccurate. Are these labels fair? What could you do to give the team a new image? How might this affect performance?
The sales department keeps promising unrealistic delivery dates. The designers are coming up with groundbreaking designs, but the engineers are struggling to deliver on them within a reasonable time and cost at a superior level of quality. Is there a disparity here between image and substance? If so, what are the disparities? How can we reconcile this? What impact is this having on customers?
Centralization Decentralization Gray Area #7 Should I centralize to gain economies of scale or decentralize to leverage local expertise? Vs.
The Integrated Organization <ul><li>Ingredients for Success: </li></ul><ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Shared Ideals </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships </li></ul>HQ Hub Hub Hub <ul><li>Role of HQ </li></ul><ul><li>Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Change Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Distribution </li></ul>
The “Through-Through” Relationship A Helical Progression toward Better Knowledge of Better Activities* * Ref. Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner, 21 Leaders for the 21 st Century Improvement of Activity Improvement of Knowledge GLOBAL LOCAL
Bob, wants to centralize the procurement process to gain economies of scale. And he suggests consolidating customer service to the headquarters to reduce service staff. But Kristen is against the idea, claiming that the company would lose the local connection and partnerships. Who is right, Bob or Kristen? What variables should be considered? How might this affect relations with customers and suppliers?
Ubuntu: A traditional South African concept focusing on connectedness to a community “ Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question therefore is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to improve?” - Nelson Mandela
The economy is in poor shape. The company is still profitable but business is slow. Some people in the company are suggesting price increases, but others are afraid that will hurt business even more in difficult times. Should prices be raised? What principles should be considered? What long term impact might this have?
Wegmans’ statement to employees in Nov 2008: “ We are lowering hundreds of prices in anticipation of our costs dropping in the future… These are uncertain times. We know our employees and customers are very concerned, and so are we. During difficult times like these, it’s okay with us if we make a little less money... “ Though the lower costs we expect in 2009 haven’t arrived yet, we think it’s necessary to lower prices now,” said Jo Natale, director of media relations. “As a family-owned business, we can accept leaner profits in order to put employees’ and customers’ needs first.”
“ Taking care of our people…” The only major airline not to have any layoffs following 9/11.
Socrates, 469-399 B.C.E. Why are you saying that? Can you give me an example? How do you know? What causes that? Then what would happen? What else might that affect? Is that really the right question? How else might we accomplish that?
Jeff, a member of your staff, comes to you with a proposal to implement a new system that he claims can transform the organization. You’re somewhat skeptical, but you want to encourage him to make an informed decision. What questions would you ask?
“ Didn’t Knute Rockne motivate the Fighting Irish, in his stirring half time speech, to “win one for the Gipper”? The never-asked alternative question: ‘ Would Notre Dame have won the game without the speech?’ I submit that what won the game was the training, conditioning, and coaching that began years before the fateful game. The system won the game, not the oratory . But my version, I admit, would not have made as good a movie.” - Peter Scholtes
The Causal Loop Diagram S=Causes change in same direction as the causing variable O=Causes change in opposite direction from the causing variable
Anatomy of a Team Beliefs Behaviors Social Influences Beliefs Behaviors Social Influences Beliefs Behaviors Social Influences Beliefs Behaviors Social Influences
<ul><ul><li>Think of a person with whom you’ve most enjoyed working with in the past, such as a favorite colleague who might have also been a friend. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What did they know about you that enabled this relationship to be successful? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What about them made them enjoyable to work with? </li></ul></ul></ul>* Adapted from Appreciative Team Building , by Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom, Jay Cherney, and Ron Fry
Behind Every Behavior is a Need Attention Freedom Support Trust Challenge Confidence Inclusion Respect Recognition Purpose Order Guidance Clarity Connectedness Accomplishment Security Understanding Fairness * Based on Needs Intelligence research by Charles Jones, Creating WE Institute
<ul><ul><li>EXERCISE: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write down your highest aspirations for success in your current or potential role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write down the self-defeating beliefs or behaviors that could become a barrier. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show the list to your partner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have your partner identify the underlying needs that must be met </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Switch </li></ul></ul>* Generative Thinking exercise adapted from the Needs Intelligence work of Charles Jones, Creating WE Institute
“ Getting to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of relationships, which depend on the quality of conversations. E verything happens through conversation.” - Judith E. Glaser Author, Creating We and The DNA of Leadership Changing the Conversation
New Language <ul><ul><li>Co-Creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We-centric (e.g., “What if we…” “Why don’t we” “Let’s…” “Can we..?” “How will that impact us?”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistakes = Opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions encouraged (e.g. “What would happen if…?” “How would…?” “Why?”) </li></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><li>Self-Confidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Belief in the Mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Belief in their Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence in their Teammates </li></ul></ul>* Based on a study by Chip Bell of the U.S. 82 nd Airborne Division, American Ballet Theater, and Landry-Era Dallas Cowboys
<ul><ul><li>Beware of anger: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think, “I choose to give up my right to be resentful.” </li></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><li>What are our team’s top 3 strengths? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can take us out or create a barrier to success? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How can we avoid these barriers? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What needs must be met? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What will make us successful? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ASK: </li></ul></ul>
Putting it All Together: The Principles of Gray Area Management
“ No matter how far you’ve gone on a wrong road, turn back.” - Turkish Proverb* * Source: Dennis Littky, The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business . Road to Gray Thinking
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