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PPC Book

  1. 1. Preparing Yourself for the Working World Paul Brainard
  2. 2. Power , Politics & Conflict in Organizations Paul Brainard Tree Free Press La Verne, California
  3. 3. Editing Valentina Silva Alex Johnson Copyright © 2009 by Tree Free Press All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or trans- mitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, includ- ing photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and re- trieval system, except by a reviewer who may quote short passages in a review to be printed in a magazine, newspaper or on the Internet, without permission in writing from the publisher. Published by Tree Free Press La Verne, California 91750 treefreepress.com Second Edition 2009 Library of Congress Control Number: 2009900942 ISBN 978-0-9761193-1-9 Manufactured in the United States of America Cover design by Lily Brainard
  4. 4. Table of Contents Introduction Why You Need to Read This Book 1 Part I - Organizational Politics & Power Chapter 1 Organizations 9 Chapter 2 Getting Hired 13 Chapter 3 Increasing Your Workplace Power 19 Part II - Effective Leadership Chapter 4 Leadership 35 Chapter 5 Change 53 Chapter 6 Managing Conflict 65 Part III - Operations Management Chapter 7 Business Resource Model 92 Chapter 8 Department Performance Measurements & Ongoing Improvement 95 Chapter 9 Pinpointing Improvement Opportunities 145 Chapter 10 CEO 159 Chapter 11 Real World Scenario Ethics Exercise Overstating Operating Income 173 Appendix 177 Index 179 v
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION Why You Need to Read This Book Politics, not sound management practice, is the dominant force driving business organizations. Most companies are more politically driven than performance driven. This is a primary cause of the numerous failures of once stable companies we recently experienced. Maneuvering for control or power, in a group having conflicting interrelationships, is one definition of politics. This book discusses some of the political forces you will encounter in the workplace and teaches you useful and effective ways to use those forces to your advantage. These political influences are often destructive, as we witnessed in the recent sub-prime mortgage crisis. After reading this book you will be able to recognize the political activities for what they are and respond in a productive manner, while at the same time increasing your power in the organization. 1
  6. 6. 2 Power, Politics & Conflict Introduction 3 Leadership Change Soon after starting to work, a business school graduate has a fair To improve its productivity, an organization needs to be able to chance of being put into a supervisory position. The graduate change. Yet, changing an organization is much more difficult to may end up supervising people who have more work experience implement than you might expect. In chapter 5 you will learn and believe they are better qualified to fill the supervisory position. about common barriers to change and ways to overcome those This often creates conflict with those being supervised becoming barriers. hostile to the supervisor. Supervising people who are hostile to you is challenging, Conflict especially when the people you are supervising have been with Interpersonal conflict in an organization is the cause of a lot of the company several years, while you are relatively new to the misery and anxiety suffered by employees. Understanding how company. to manage conflict not only minimizes the potential for conflict to By reading this book, you will learn what you need to do to bring you grief, it also gives you a lot of power in the organization. become an effective leader, how to motivate people to perform All employees must deal with conflict; therefore, the power derived closer to their potential, and how to manage the conflict leaders from conflict management is available to any employee. typically encounter. Chapter 6, which is devoted to conflict management, discusses some of the common types of conflict you may Management Tools encounter and how to manage conflict to your own advantage. In addition, you will learn basic management tools that can be used with confidence to improve an organization’s productivity Challenges & Opportunities and profitability. Working people today face many challenges. Job stability is a By the time they graduate, business students have studied a thing of the past due to the export of jobs, downsizing, lot of management theory. Unfortunately, the amount of theory consolidations and ownership turnover. This has been aggravated studied can be overwhelming, making it difficult to recall and put by a lack of leadership. Not enough leaders have the skills and to use in their work. This book streamlines the theory and gives power necessary to improve the productivity of our organizations it to you in a usable and effective form. in a competent style.
  7. 7. 4 Power, Politics & Conflict Introduction 5 Many leaders manage for short term results, jeopardizing the Even if you do not aspire for a position of leadership, long term existence of the organization. Their actions often understanding and practicing the concepts presented in this book negatively impact productivity at the expense of owners, creditors will make your job easier and less stressful. In addition, you will and employees, sometimes to the point of bankrupting the be of greater value to your employer, increasing your job security companies under their leadership. and compensation. Global competitive pressures will only increase with time and more jobs will be exported to places like China and India. We It is suggested that you study Part I when preparing to go to currently face rising unemployment, as companies struggle to work full-time. After you have found a job and are working full- remain liquid and search for ways to increase productivity. time, study Parts II and III as you focus on building your working Fortunately, increased productivity can be readily achieved by knowledge. working smarter, using established ongoing-improvement business management tools. After you have studied the book, keep it handy as a reference tool. Whenever you encounter a situation discussed in the book, There is a widespread need for leaders who have both the skills you can refer to it and respond to the situation in a productive and power necessary to improve the productivity of our manner. Your ability to use this material will allow you not only to companies using a direct and effective approach. This book take greater control of that situation but also to increase your explains how a leader acquires the power needed to change an power within the organization. organization, and it shows how to use a few simple management tools to improve the productivity of an organization in a straight forward manner. Companies that employ leaders who utilize the tools presented in this book will enjoy a competitive advantage. How to Use This Book This book is packed with valuable information about the forces that drive organizations. If you study this book, you will learn how to accelerate your advance to positions of power in an organization and how to use that power to improve the productivity of the organization.
  8. 8. 6 Power, Politics & Conflict Part I Organizational Politics and Power 7
  9. 9. 8 Power, Politics & Conflict CHAPTER 1 Organizations For the purpose of this book, an organization is defined as a structured group of people with some common purpose. Organizations include corporations, small businesses, nonprofit businesses, government agencies, volunteer groups and social clubs. The word ‘company’ is used throughout this book for illustrative purposes, but most of the stuff discussed in Part I of this book would apply to many types of organizations. Parts II and III apply mainly to business operations. When the word ‘product’ is used, it can mean either tangible products that a company manufactures and sells, like furniture, or an intangible product, like computer repair service. The expression, ‘CEO’, is used to indicate the most senior leader of an organization. 9
  10. 10. 10 Power, Politics & Conflict Organizations 11 Organizations are Complex People are Competitive Organizations may appear simple in theory and can be nicely People also have a competitive nature. We often desire, and summed up using flow charts like the one on page 93. When maneuver for, power or prestige within the organizations we are you consider the multitude of details that comprise an members of. We sometimes believe we should be in control of organization’s operations and the complexity of its membership, the organization, instead of those who are currently in control. an organization is a highly complex organism. Every organization We may sometimes feel a need to control the behavior of others, is unique and constantly evolving. Granted, some for better, others although we do not like it when others try to control us. for worse. Organizations are Political People Can be Productive These competitive and controlling conflicts create political forces People are often kind, honest, and exceptionally resourceful. in organizations. Like it or not, politics are inseparable from These qualities make humans very productive creatures, with the organizations and spawn a lot of additional conflict in ability to improve the quality of life for themselves and those around organizations. The level of conflict in an organization can range them, without degrading the quality of life of others. from subtle tensions to unbridled hostility. Some of this conflict is productive, but much of it is destructive. The ability to manage conflict is an important source of power in an organization. People Can be Destructive Unfortunately, human nature is also corrupt to some degree. People sometimes lie, cheat, steal or even kill to get what they desire or believe they need. This willingness to lie, cheat, etc., is often destructive and can harm other people and society as a whole. Since an organization is a collection of people, an organization will reflect some of the productive behavior and some of the destructive behavior of its members.
  11. 11. 12 Power, Politics & Conflict CHAPTER 2 Getting Hired When a company needs to hire an employee, one or more people will make the selection. The person who will supervise the candidate will usually make the final decision. This will be based on the decision-maker’s perception of the candidate, regardless of the accuracy of that perception. What is the decision-maker looking for? Here are four key criteria: The candidate must appear to meet the minimal skill and experience requirements of the position. Resumes and application forms are often used to determine whether the candidate has the requirements. To fill a management position, many companies require that the candidate have a college degree. The candidate must appear dependable. The decision-maker will want someone who will show up to work as expected, on time, and will require little supervision when completing 13
  12. 12. 14 Power, Politics & Conflict Getting Hired 15 assignments. References and schooling background are to ask such as, “What do you feel is the most challenging commonly used to help determine if a person is dependable, aspect of the position?” or, “What do you like best about but it’s your own actions that ultimately matter. Arrive early working here?” to job interviews; if you wish to be considered for a position, The decision maker has needs. Try to get a clear don’t be late. understanding of his or her needs, and ask questions if you need to. Show that you understand their needs by repeating The candidate must appear non-threatening. A candidate them. “I see, you need someone who can . . .” If you believe with too much confidence, skill, experience, drive, or talent that you can meet their needs, let them know, by stating in a can be perceived as a threat to the hiring decision-maker. confident tone something like, “I am able to do that.” The decision-maker will want someone who will be submissive and loyal to the decision-maker, yet isn’t Selling Yourself necessarily looking for someone who has a submissive Talking at length about how wonderful you are, is not a good personality. For some positions, the decision-maker may way to sell yourself. A better way to sell yourself is to persuade want a person with an aggressive personality, yet will still the decision-maker to talk about how great he or she is. want whomever they hire to submit to them. The use of leading questions to encourage people to talk Listen attentively to what the interviewer says, and when about their interests is a valuable sales tool. When you meet the asked a question try to give complete answers that are not decision-maker, keep your eyes open. Take mental notes on his too lengthy and don’t go off on tangents. Many over confident or her environment and décor. The office may be decorated candidates make the mistake of talking too much and not carefully listening to the person conducting the interview. with pictures or objects that indicate their interests. For example, an avid golfer may have pictures of golf courses, a cup or a The decision-maker must simply like the candidate for paperweight with a golfing theme. whatever reason and feel emotionally at ease in the candidate’s Towards the end of your interview, if you have an opportunity, presence. try to get the decision-maker to talk about his or her interests. To help the decision-maker feel comfortable in your Make a pleasant comment about a picture or object, or ask an presence, encourage the decision-maker to talk about the open-ended question. For example, if you notice a picture of a company, the position, his or her background or interests. golf fairway, you might ask something like, “That’s a nice picture, You can do this, by asking open ended questions about the do you like to golf?” The more you can get the decision maker company and the position. If no particular questions come to talk about his or her interests, the more comfortable they will to mind during the interview, have a couple of questions ready feel about you.
  13. 13. 16 Power, Politics & Conflict Getting Hired 17 Dress A degree may be important for getting your foot in the door, but Always look your best for a job interview. Dress conservatively, it takes experience to gain an understanding of how a business and don’t worry about over dressing for an interview. Wear a operates in the real world. tie, even if it’s a factory worker type position you are applying for. For an office position wear slacks, a tie, and a coat if you have one. Avoid multi-color hair. For a management position, consider a coat and tie to be mandatory. Drug Screening Pre-employment drug screens are common protocol. Many companies will send a potential hire to a clinic to test for illegal drug usage. This is a product of the political environment during the Reagan presidency, an era of increasing illegal drug use by employees. Some substances can be detected thirty days or more after being taken, so stay clean when looking for a job. Why Companies Hire People With Business Degrees Companies hire people that have business degrees for management positions not only because business school graduates have received formal training in management practices. Companies also want employees who will conform to company culture, follow instructions, complete assignments, take on new tasks, and be reliable. Having a degree indicates that a candidate has those desired qualities. To earn a degree one must conform to academic standards, follow instructions, complete assignments, learn new things, and have some self-discipline.
  14. 14. 18 Power, Politics & Conflict CHAPTER 3 Increasing Your Workplace Power After you have been hired for a position, you will need to begin building your power foundation. Having a sound power foundation will make your job easier and less stressful, allowing you to accomplish a lot more. Some power comes from having a management position, but a lot of power is available to all employees, no matter what their position. Power is the ability to do something. People often incorrectly believe that power is the ability to do what we want to do. This myth keeps a lot of people from utilizing the power they already have. People frequently struggle and sometimes destroy themselves attempting to do what they want to, but cannot, do. In the process, they ignore the power that would be available to them if they attempted to do what is actually possible. Utilizing the power of what you can already do, will eventually give you the power to do more of what you want to do. 19
  15. 15. 20 Power, Politics & Conflict Increasing Your Workplace Power 21 The Power of Time job using the theory they learned in school, but without the proper In an organization, time is the foundation of individual power. power foundation, these efforts will likely fail and may even trigger The longer you stay with the same company or industry, the greater hostility from fellow employees. will be your ability to increase your power. For example, an The newly employed should focus on learning as much as entrenched front-line employee who has been with a company possible about the company and the industry. He or she should ten years may have more power than a president who has been not focus on using the theory learned in school to change the with the same company for only a few months. company. Opportunities to invoke change can be taken advantage of when appropriate, but the main focus should be on increasing one’s working knowledge. When you start working in a company, it may take a year just to get basic working knowledge of the organization and for other Working knowledge is power. The more you know about employees to accept you as part of the company culture. Use the company and its industry, the greater the power you will have those initial months to observe and learn as much as you can. in the company. Make sure that you acquire the skills and knowledge After working at a particular company for awhile, you may necessary to do your job well. Understand how your job fits discover that it is poorly managed. This can lead to a lot of into the organization and how it impacts the other positions around frustration. The frustration may be so great that you feel you you. Learn how the company and industry operate from beginning cannot continue working there and need to find another company to end, and learn who the industry players are. to work for. If you can tough it out, with time and patience you may be able to increase your power enough to make some changes Who has power and authority in the company? that will make your job tolerable. Who is really in charge? What are their priorities or obsessions? Working Knowledge Who are the important customers and suppliers? Your real education begins when you start working. For someone who has just graduated from college and is beginning to work in What are the major drivers of profit? his or her desired field, the first months or even years are mainly What are the critical internal processes? educational. Some recent college graduates may feel cocky about having their new degree. They may try to invoke change in their new
  16. 16. 22 Power, Politics & Conflict Increasing Your Workplace Power 23 Becoming Accepted Understanding When joining a company do not be surprised if some of the other The Power Organization employees show you subtle, or even outright hostility. A new Your company will likely have a formal organizational structure employee brings an element of uncertainty to a company culture, with the CEO or president at the top, senior managers under the an element that threatens insecure employees. CEO, and so on. Titles can be deceiving. You need to uncover In companies where communication is poor, existing the organizational power structure and discover who really has employees may not know why the new person was hired; some power. may wonder if their own jobs are in jeopardy. Contrary to popular belief, the CEO is often not the most powerful person in the company. There may be people under the As mentioned earlier, it may take a year or longer to become CEO who wield greater power, for a variety of reasons. accepted as part of the company culture. If you are respected Sometimes the receptionist is one of the most powerful people in by other employees and not considered a threat, you will be the company and may be more influential than the CEO. In a accepted more quickly than if you are not respected and family-owned business, the owner’s spouse may have more considered a threat. power than the owner or the CEO. In a company where the CEO avoids conflict, a front-line worker who frequently complains Dress to the CEO may have a lot of influence. The perception other employees have of you makes a fundamental difference in the amount of power you have in a company. One way to discover who has power is by observing the conflicts Personal appearance plays an important role in how the other that arise and noticing how people react to them. Those employees perceive you, especially when you are new to the employees and managers who are able to confront and manage organization. The way you dress is very important as your peers conflict will have greater power. Those who fear and avoid conflict develop their impressions of you. will have less power. Those who choose to instigate conflict will If you dress slightly more professionally than your peers, they have power in an environment where they are allowed to instigate will have more respect for you than if you dress more casually conflict. than they. On the other hand, if you dress a lot more professionally than your peers, they may feel you are pretentious. Try to find a Learning Your Real Job middle ground, a style that will garner respect as well as When hired, you will be given a list of your job duties and acceptance, while maintaining your own comfort. responsibilities. The list may be given to you in the form of a
  17. 17. 24 Power, Politics & Conflict Increasing Your Workplace Power 25 written job description, or it may be communicated to you orally surprise yourself and find it can be done, or you will reach a over time. Write out your job description as you see it, and point where it will be obvious to your supervisor that you will modify it as you learn more about your position or as new duties need additional resources to complete the task. At that time are flung at you. consult with your supervisor about how to proceed, and let your Don’t assume that a formal job description completely defines supervisor decide whether to provide the additional resources, your duties and responsibilities. Chances are, your job will be modify the task, or abandon the task. somewhat different than the one portrayed by a formal job description. Sometimes it will be unclear, at first, what your actual Internal Customers job is, and you will need time to learn what is expected of you by Treat the other employees that you do work for, or pass work your superiors. on to, as your internal customers. Try to give good customer Your superiors will regard some of your duties as paramount, service to all of your customers. while others will be less significant to them. Determine what the Make a list of the people you do work for, or pass work to, most important duties are, prioritize them, and make sure you and what it is you do for each of them. Try to understand their understand how to do them according to your supervisor’s expectations of the work you do for them. Do quality work expectations. based on their expectation of quality. If they want it given to them in a particular form, try to accommodate them as best you At times you may have a job duty pushed onto you that you feel can. should be the responsibility of another employee. This can be frustrating, but it can also be transformed into a source of power. For example, if one of your duties is to prepare some paperwork If the additional responsibility causes you to have too much and then pass it on to another department, find out from the people work to do, making it difficult to do your duties in a satisfactory who get the paperwork after you in what form they want it given manner, the additional responsibility can undermine your power. to them. Details that may appear trivial to you may have a big But if you can find a way to assimilate the responsibility into your impact on your fellow employees. Would they like the paperwork work schedule by working smarter, having the additional assembled in a certain order? Do they want it stapled or do they responsibility and working knowledge will increase your power. want you to use a paperclip? Is there a certain time of day they It’s best to always convey a can-do attitude to your supervisor want you to give it to them? Would they prefer that you give and peers. Even if you know a task assigned to you is unfeasible them the paperwork once a day in a large batch, or do they want with available resources, it’s often best to respond initially with a several small batches throughout the day? By modifying how can-do demeanor, and even attempt to do the task. You may you do your work, you can make their work easier.
  18. 18. 26 Power, Politics & Conflict Increasing Your Workplace Power 27 You may wonder why you should care about making someone or projects for your supervisor’s supervisor, or other managers else’s work easier. of greater seniority. When you start a new job, you will need to learn who has Earning Respect real authority and power, and which people you will do work When other employees see that you do good work and that you for, directly or indirectly. Even if your other bosses don’t give are making their work easier for them, you will earn some of you instructions or orders directly, try to discover their their respect, which will increase your power. They will be more expectations of you. Again, think of your direct supervisor, and likely to support you and less likely to undermine you. anybody else you do work for, as your customers, and focus on Earning the respect of other employees takes time and sincere providing good customer service. effort. Some people will never appreciate what you do for them, but most of your fellow employees will eventually learn to respect Learn what is important to your supervisor and others in authority. If you don’t know what their expectations are, ask. Do not you if you treat them the same way you wish to be treated. Over presume to know what your supervisor thinks is important. Many time, this pool of respect will become an important source of power for you. managers lead by whim. What may be important to your supervisor one day, might be irrelevant to he or she the following As you advance to more senior management positions, you day. should try to nurture a culture in which employees treat each A lot of what is important to your supervisor may have little other as internal customers. Setting an example, over time, will to do with work. Even if you disagree with your supervisor about make it easier for you to gain acceptance of this. On the other the importance of what you have been asked to do, meeting his hand, if you do shoddy, careless work, or if you ask employees or her expectations will give you greater freedom in how you to do something that you are not willing to do, they will have less perform your duties. respect for you and will be less cooperative in implementing your If you do not keep your supervisor satisfied with your requests. performance, your supervisor will want to supervise your duties Your Most Important Job Duty more closely. This restricts your freedom and power. On the other hand, if your supervisor is satisfied with your work and Your primary job duty is to keep your supervisor and the other feels you are supportive of his or her position, it makes your job superiors (your other bosses), satisfied with your performance. easier and increases your power. It can also make it easier for In most jobs you will have more than one boss. You will you to decline doing unethical things your supervisor may ask of likely have a direct supervisor, but you may also do some work you.
  19. 19. 28 Power, Politics & Conflict Increasing Your Workplace Power 29 Some tips on managing a demanding and unethical supervisor Time Management are discussed a little further in ‘Time Management’, and again in Sometimes your superiors may make excessive demands of you. Chapter 6, starting on page 81. On top of your regular duties, they may add additional tasks and projects that will require more time than you have available. No one can keep their supervisor entirely happy all the time, so Many senior managers overlook the value of employee time. it’s important to learn what things are most important to one’s They often pile non-productive work on employees, and it seems supervisor, and prioritize. If your supervisor is unreasonable, they don’t understand that they are wasting a valuable resource. antagonistic or unethical, you may wish to find another job. If The higher up a manager is in an organization, the more power you can tough it out and, with time, build up your power they have to squander employee time with non-productive foundation, your relationship with your supervisor may improve projects. to a tolerable level. Time is a constrained resource and should be treated as such. Managers should be using their time to increase company income, One mistake I made early in my career was arguing with my rather than wasting it on fruitless projects or battling problems supervisor because I disagreed with how he was managing the created by senior management. division we worked at. Even though he was clearly mismanaging the operation and behaving in an unethical manner, I did not handle Prioritize and schedule your duties and projects by listing what the situation constructively. I openly voiced my opinion of his needs to be done, and when, based on your supervisor’s performance, thus creating a lot of conflict between us. This expectations. conflict with my supervisor undermined my position, and I was If you are working on an important project, trying to meet a not one of the employees offered a transfer position when the deadline, and your supervisor gives you a new project he or she plant was shut down. wants done right away, explain that the other project is also due Had I focused on meeting the expectations of my supervisor right away; then ask your supervisor what project they need done and not worried excessively about behavior over which I had no first. Ask this in the spirit of good customer service and a desire control, my job would have been easier and less stressful. I to take care of your supervisor’s needs. Often your supervisor would not have been terminated and could have left the company will have forgotten about the other duties or projects already on my own terms. assigned to you and may tell you to put them on the back burner because they are no longer a priority.
  20. 20. 30 Power, Politics & Conflict Increasing Your Workplace Power 31 If your supervisor feels you are sincerely trying to take care of If you get promoted to a position of greater influence or power, his or her needs, your supervisor will likely be more willing to try to keep your ego in check. People who acquire too much help you resolve the conflict of priorities. power, too fast, often don’t know how to manage the additional leverage, which can lead to self destructive behavior. As you get accustomed to your regular duties, find ways to do them smarter and faster, to free up time for those unexpected Choosing An Industry projects dropped on you. Having more time to work on the As mentioned before, the longer you stay with the same company, unexpected projects will help reduce the pressure and stress of the greater your chances will be to increase your workplace getting them done on time. power. If you leave one company and start working at another, you will lose a lot of the power you accumulated at the first Selling Yourself company. Your ability to sell your ideas to management and to other One way to conserve more of the power you have employees will greatly impact your power foundation. People accumulated at one company is to stay within the same industry who are good at selling usually have a lot of power within a when you switch jobs. Staying in the same industry will allow company. This is one reason why many CEOs rise from sales you to use more of the working knowledge you obtained in your positions. previous job. That working knowledge will be an important It is a good idea to study up on some sales and negotiating source of power for you at the new company. tools. Even if you are somewhat introverted and not comfortable with aggressively selling yourself, there are sales and negotiating Early in your career, try to find an industry that interests you. It is techniques that can be used subtly, yet effectively. The use of hard to know what industry will maintain your interest unless you leading questions can be a very effective sales tool and will be have some experience working within it. Unfortunately, it can discussed in greater detail in chapter 5. take several job changes to find an industry that truly interests Ego Check you. If you are a currently a full-time student without much work As your power increases, don’t swagger. Insecure employees experience, seek out opportunities for work experience in the may feel resentful or threatened by your increased power. They industry you plan to labor in after you graduate, maybe as an may try to attack and undermine your power, creating additional intern or a volunteer. The earlier you get real-world experience, conflict you won’t need. Ignoring you or speaking critically of the sooner you can acquire working knowledge, to help you you to others, are some of the ways they may attack you. These determine if you really would like to work in that industry. types of attacks are usually best responded to by ignoring them.
  21. 21. 32 Power, Politics & Conflict Part II The Art of Leadership After you have worked for a company long enough to develop a sound power foundation, you should be in a position to instigate some change and improve the company’s productivity. The amount of change you can invoke depends on the amount of power you have built up, as well as the amount of knowledge you have of change management tools. At this point in your career you may be managing a department or function, leading a small company, or running your own business. 33
  22. 22. 34 Power, Politics & Conflict CHAPTER 4 Cornerstones For Effective Management The most effective and productive senior managers I have had the pleasure to work with, were not effective because they had business degrees. What they each did have, that allowed them to be effective, was several years of experience in their industries, respect for their employees, and the know-how to use a few Leadership management tools sensibly. To be an effective business manager you need 3 things: Adequate working knowledge, including a detailed Leadership is about motivating and directing people to achieve understanding of company processes, products or services, desired results. as well as your customers and market place. Leadership skills to motivate and direct employees, People are the most critical and valuable resource of a company, suppliers and customers. and often the most expensive. Labor is usually one of the largest A ‘toolbox’ of management tools that are readily usable. costs of a company and consists of wages, payroll taxes, worker’s comp insurance, plus any benefits, such as a 401(k) plan or health In the previous chapter you learned the importance of increasing insurance. your working knowledge and how to build your power Since your employees are a valuable and expensive resource, foundation. Chapters 4, 5 and 6 will teach you what you need to it is important to get the most out of them. To increase company know to be an effective leader and overcome barriers to change. productivity, some managers may simply try to coerce employees Chapters 7, 8, and 9 will show you how to use some to work harder. This may create some short term improvement fundamental management tools to improve an organization’s in productivity; however, these improvements will be limited and productivity in a direct and effective manner. temporary. To get permanent improvements in productivity, smarter processes are needed. An effective leader will create a culture of ongoing improvement — a culture in which employees are motivated and directed to develop smarter processes. 35
  23. 23. 36 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 37 If done properly, having employees develop smarter processes Support & Develop will not only improve productivity. Giving employees a challenge An effective leader will support the team by ensuring members they can overcome, can increase their self-esteem and improve have the resources needed to reach their performance morale. measurement goals. A leader should develop team members so they are able to Roles of a Leader work smarter and advance to more challenging positions. This Assemble a Team involves training, and empowering the team to utilize their Leaders need to assemble a team of people. More often than experience and knowledge in improving company processes. not, a leader will be put into a position where the team is already assembled. If this is the case, the new leader needs to evaluate Qualities of an Effective Leader the team and reassemble it where needed. This involves replacing In order to be effective in the long run, a leader must possess members who leave the team, replacing members who cannot, certain personal qualities and skills. If they are missing these or will not, contribute to the team effort, and expanding the team qualities and skills, they may do more harm than good. when needed. A leader also organizes and orchestrates the team. This Adequate Working Knowledge involves assigning responsibilities and duties in a sensible manner, An effective leader understands the company or department they making sure each team member’s skills match his or her are leading, at many levels. Leaders with the best working responsibilities, as well as making sure members are coordinated knowledge of their company usually started at a lower level, and moving together in the same direction. worked for the company for several years, and eventually ascended to their leadership position. Determine Direction Since a leader determines the team’s direction, he or she needs Confidence to communicate this clearly and often to all members of the team. An effective leader has confidence in what he or she is doing. One way to keep team members on the same course is to make Confidence is necessary to prevail over the various obstacles a key performance measurements part of the company culture. leader will encounter. Confidence goes hand-in-hand with Chapter 8 covers performance measurements in greater detail. adequate working knowledge of an undertaking. If you are unsure about what you are undertaking and have low confidence, you can easily be thrown off track by employee resistance and other obstructions.
  24. 24. 38 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 39 Having confidence doesn’t mean having an excessive ego and a Ethical Behavior feeling of superiority over those being led. Many CEOs who do For this book, ethical behavior is simply defined by the Golden not have adequate working knowledge of an undertaking may Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” rely on their arrogance to overcome employee resistance and Effective leaders treat other people as they would like to be other obstacles. With or without confidence, a leader who lacks treated; they are open and honest with employees and don’t have adequate working knowledge will likely lead the company down hidden agendas. They understand the motivational value of being the wrong path. open with employees. Effective leaders are able to own up to their mistakes, and Ability to Motivate can admit it when they don’t know something. They contribute Some people seem to have an innate gift for motivating others. to the wealth of a company rather than being parasites that suck For the rest of us, the ability to motivate people in an ethical wealth from the company. manner can be acquired from practicing certain behaviors and skills: Unethical behavior often accompanies ineffective leaders. Leaders who do not have the necessary knowledge or skills to be effective, Confidence, gained from experience and working and those who abuse their leadership positions to line their own knowledge. pockets, frequently obtain their positions via unethical behavior. The ability to empathize with other people and treat them Unethical behavior includes personal misrepresentation, with respect. cooking the books, hiding mistakes, pretending to know something one doesn’t actually know, telling others what they Using various motivational tools explained in greater detail want to hear instead of the truth, and undermining of peers. at the end of this chapter. An unethical leader may try to deceive the team with illusory Managing Conflict behavior. He or she may dress up in expensive suits and drive an An effective leader is able to manage the conflict he or she expensive car to give the allure of success. They may dress encounters. Conflict can quickly undermine a leader’s power, casually and talk in a folksy manner, to induce other to let down making work days difficult and unproductive. The ability to their guard. manage conflict is essential to getting things done. Chapter 6 is Some people will eventually notice inconsistencies and detect devoted to managing conflict. the deceptive leader’s façade. Unfortunately, others will ignore the inconsistencies and accept the façade as fact. When people
  25. 25. 40 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 41 are told what they want to hear, they are inclined to accept it as find out. An effective manager doesn’t need to know everything, truth, even when it’s an obvious lie. but he or she does need to know where to get knowledge when they need it. Reputation Employee perceptions of a leader are an important source of Behavior Types power. Leaders that have a reputation of doing quality work will As a leader, you will need to understand the different types of encounter less resistance when they ask the same from their behavior you will have to work with, and how to manage and employees. utilize them to their greatest potential. The following are specific If you treat employees with respect, you will get more workplace behaviors and should not be used to label an entire cooperation when you ask team members to treat each other person in the real world. Nobody is perfect. To some degree, with respect. If you ask your team to do things that you aren’t we all exhibit the following behaviors, the positive ones as well willing to do yourself, they will view you as a hypocrite and give as the negative ones. you more resistance and less support. Adult Acknowledging Your Shortcomings Adults are reliable, self-motivated and handle conflict well. You As discussed above, it’s important to have good working can give them a task or project and it will get done with little knowledge so you can handle whatever it is you are undertaking supervision. They show up to work as expected, on time. They without making a lot of mistakes. But even the greatest knowledge know how to handle or diffuse the conflict they encounter. In will not guarantee you error-free work. When you do make a other words, it isn’t necessary to spend a lot of time supervising mistake, don’t be afraid to admit it, learn from it, eat a little humble them. pie, and move on. Adults have an inclination to improve their area of Do not try to cover up your mistakes with lies or BS. In the responsibility. Adults are usually not obsessed with controlling long run, employees will respect you for admitting your mistakes. others. On the other hand, if you are caught trying to cover up your mistakes, you will lose a lot of the respect others may have for An adult employee is a great resource. There are many adults you. working in companies today; unfortunately, most companies do The same thing applies when you don’t know something. If not know how to utilize the potential of this resource. Too often you are asked about something you don’t know, do not try to CEOs and supervisors over-control, confine and demoralize adult BS your way out of it. Just say you don’t know, but that you will employees, stifling that potential.
  26. 26. 42 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 43 Adolescent can occur when they get into too much trouble and are scared Adolescents are not very reliable or self-motivated. They may straight or when they get religion and discover that their corrupt complain excessively, and be frequently tardy or absent. They ways are also destructive to themselves and their loved ones. may foster conflict and cannot be counted on to complete The most ruthless or talented of the corrupt often rise to the assignments without supervision. top of our organizations. Their operational styles vary. They Adolescents need to be closely supervised and should be may act like pompous thugs, bullying people to get what they limited to positions that have clearly defined and documented want; or they may be friendly and smooth talking, using flattery job descriptions. They should be limited to making structured to get what they want from others. decisions and trained how to make those decisions. Adolescents can be a useful resource for a company, but the If you suspect an employee is behaving dishonestly, don’t jump cost of supervising them needs to be considered. Adolescents to conclusions without hard proof. Monitor the situation and are not beyond hope. They often mature with time and good review management controls to make sure adequate controls are mentoring by a supervisor. On the other hand, an adolescent in place to prevent such activities as theft of company property, who is not adequately supervised can become a costly liability. supplier kickbacks, or misrepresentations of performance. Honesty Competence An honest employee is one that is adverse to lying, cheating or A competent employee is one who has the knowledge and skills stealing to get what he or she wants, and behaves in an ethical needed to adequately perform his or her present duties and manner. responsibilities. An incompetent employee is one who doesn’t have the Corrupt/Liars knowledge and skills needed to carry out his or her duties and responsibilities, even though they have been in their position for A corrupt person is one who will lie, cheat or steal to get what he enough time to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. or she wants. The corrupt that advance to positions of power Managers who fear conflict will often accommodate can become destructive parasites that negatively impact a incompetence rather than confronting the problem. This drags company’s wealth. Sometimes they are so destructive they down the company and demoralizes the employees who work destroy the organization. around it. Effective leaders understand that the cost of With this type of person you need to watch your back. You accommodating incompetence is too great, and will confront and can’t fix them. Sometimes, however, they fix themselves. This remove it.
  27. 27. 44 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 45 Some options for removing incompetence: upon how well they like the candidate. Their prejudice can make Train the employee to give he or she the necessary skills failure out of success, and vice versa. Some employees and knowledge. Whether this can work depends on the understand this and use BS and flattery to advance to better requirements of the position and the abilities of the employee. positions. In summary, most people don’t rise in organizations due to their abilities but, rather, through their relationships with Modify the job duties of the position or relocate the employee the right people. to a position he or she can handle. Terminate the employee and replace that individual with a Reaction to Conflict person who has the necessary knowledge and skills. Taking Some employees fear conflict and avoid it at almost any cost. away a person’s main source of income is neither a pleasant The lower their perch in the organization, the greater the likelihood or easy response, but in some cases it may be the best of their being bullied into submission. Leaders who fear and resolution for both the company and the employee. avoid conflict will allow a destructive amount of conflict to exist in the organization. This is costly for the organization and is Sometimes employees who do well in one position are moved to demoralizing for its employees. a higher level position because of their good performance; yet in Some employees instigate conflict in a destructive manner. their new position, they find they cannot handle their new This is often done to undermine those they believe pose a threat. responsibilities. This is sometimes called the Peter Principle, which When management allows employees to instigate conflict, states that people rise to their level of incompetence. instigators can become a destructive force in the company. This may be true sometimes, yet when a person advances to On the other hand, employees who understand the value of a position where they fail, they may still continue to advance in managing conflict are able to confront it when needed and the company. Sometimes the people making promotion decisions diffuse or resolve conflict before it becomes destructive. are higher up in the organization and are out of touch with what is actually happening at lower levels. They don’t detect, or are not Type of Person Typically Promoted interested in knowing about, incompetence at lower levels. When companies are making promotion decisions, the decision- Sometimes there is an unreasonable hope of promoting individuals makers generally consider five criteria. Notice that these are out of incompetence. similar to the criteria used for hiring decisions, except for one Unfortunately, many in leadership positions do not know how additional criteria. to fill positions with people who have the right knowledge and skills. Many leaders make a promotion or hiring decision based
  28. 28. 46 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 47 Candidate is believed to have an acceptable level of skill For lower level employees, you can initially hire a promising and knowledge. This often depends on the perspective and candidate as a temporary employee for 30 to 90 days to determine prejudices of the decision-makers. if he or she has the four qualities. Tell the employee up front that Candidate is accepted as part of the company culture and is the position is a temporary-to-permanent position, and state the not considered a threat to the decision maker. length of the temporary status. For most lower level positions the most important qualities Candidate is dependable. are adult behavior and honesty, if the employee can be trained to Candidate does not complain excessively. be competent. For managers, it is important that they have all Candidate is liked by the person making the final decision. four qualities. For management positions, do more than one interview for each candidate, and meet the candidates in social settings, such Type of Person You Should as for a drink or dinner. Do comprehensive background checks Hire or Promote on the finalists. Perform these activities until you feel confident As a leader, if you want to have team members that produce that you have a candidate who meets the four criteria. results under minimal supervision. You should look for four traits: Having employees who possess the four qualities will make your Candidate exhibits adult behavior. work as a leader easier, more pleasant, and can dramatically Candidate is competent or can be trained to be competent. increase your productivity, your power, and your ability to foster Candidate behaves in an honest and ethical manner. change in the organization. Effective leaders know this, which is why they hire the best employees available. They are not Candidate manages conflict well. threatened by an employee who may in some ways be smarter or more talented than they. It is to a leader’s advantage to find a person having all four of the Many managers and CEOs would feel threatened hiring qualities listed above, even if it takes extra time to find such a someone they believe to be superior in talent. Some managers person. For inside promotion decisions, you may already know are so insecure that they hire people they expect to falter in their if a candidate has these qualities. When hiring somebody from positions. They may believe that the failure of someone below outside the company, even if you do a comprehensive interview them will divert attention from their own shortcomings. and background check, you will not know for sure if a candidate has all of the qualities until you begin to work with that person.
  29. 29. 48 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 49 Motivating Employees Reducing inventory and production lead times. Motivational tools can be classified as either reward or discipline. Reducing operating costs. Sometimes referred to as ‘carrot or stick’. There is a need for both types. Rewards need to be carefully tailored to produce the desired improvement. Many companies give their department or senior Discipline managers annual cash bonuses, based on bottom-line Discipline is best used for enforcing minimal behavior requirements improvements. for employees: Giving praise and recognition for the smaller improvement steps by simply telling an employee, “Good job.” is important for Reporting to work as expected. maximizing the productivity of employees. Fulfilling basic job duties. Celebrations for recognizing department or company wide Working in a safe manner. improvements, like reduced injuries, provide recognition for Not stealing from the company. employees, and promote feelings of pride and belonging. Not harassing other employees. Peer Recognition/Peer Pressure Discipline includes counseling, verbal warnings, written warnings, Peer pressure combines reward and discipline. When others time off without pay, termination or, in the case of grand theft, are made aware of your accomplishments, you may feel a boost having an employee arrested and terminated. to your self-esteem. On the other hand, it can sting when your Always document in writing any disciplinary action and the peers are informed of your failings. cause of the disciplinary action. If the employee’s behavior does One way to create peer pressure is to set up key performance not improve, you will likely need the documentation if you have measurements for each department, and then periodically to further discipline or terminate the employee. publishing, for all employees to see, each department’s performance based on the measurements. Besides creating a Rewards healthy level of internal competition, the use of performance Rewards are effective for fostering improvements such as these measurements keeps employees focused on improvement goals listed below: while promoting a culture of ongoing improvement. Reducing workplace injuries. Peer pressure can also be used to motivate individual Increasing sales and market share. employees within a department. For example, if your company Improving on-time performance. has several sales people, you may want to post the amount of
  30. 30. 50 Power, Politics & Conflict Leadership 51 sales generated by each salesperson so it can be seen by everyone Periodically discuss with your managers their personal goals. If in the sales department, who is performing well and who is not. a manager wishes to make more money, develop an incentive plan according to which he or she will earn bonuses or salary A lot more about performance measurements in Chapter 8. increases when they implement improvements that make the company more profitable. If a manager would rather have an Retaining Employees additional week off every year, find a way for he or she to earn Productive employees need incentives to stay with a company; that additional time off. thus, praise and recognition for their accomplishments are critical. Let’s say that a production manager wants to take an Giving them opportunities to increase their income through additional week off during the year. Give that person a process performance bonuses or promotions can reap long-term benefits improvement goal that will increase company income, as well as for the company. Additionally, understanding and supporting these a cross-training goal that ensures the operation can function employees’ personal goals will boost their morale and increase normally in his or her absence. The improvement in profitability the likelihood of retaining these valuable people. should be greater than the cost of giving the manager an additional week off. Aligning Employee and If most employees desire better health insurance coverage, create an improvement goal that will increase company income Company Goals more than enough to pay for better health coverage for the One approach to motivation is to tailor reward programs to an employees. If the goal is met, give the employees better health employee’s personal goals, in order to align an employee’s insurance coverage. personal goals with company goals. An effective leader stays in touch with the team members and should have some idea of what’s important to them. To help Everybody has different desires and goals. Don’t assume that remove any prejudice or inaccurate assumptions, surveys can be the only thing employees want is more money. Yes, some used to better quantify what employees desire. employees may want to make more money, but others may desire more time off. Some may wish to move to a different position or Tailored incentive programs need to be set up carefully to ensure relocate to a different part of the country. Others would rather equitable treatment for all employees. Goals and rewards need have better medical insurance coverage. to be clearly defined and documented. The goals should be Individually tailored incentive programs can be set up for quantifiable to avoid ambiguity. It should be clearly stated how key managers, and a general tailored incentive program can be the incentive arrangement furthers the goals of the company. The set up for all the other employees. goals need to be attainable, so that failure isn’t inevitable.
  31. 31. 52 Power, Politics & Conflict Volunteers CHAPTER 5 Volunteers are people who work because they choose to, not because they are obligated to do the work or are compensated for it. Optimum performance from employees requires the exercise of their own free will. A manager usually cannot simply coerce employees to perform at their potential. Change To some degree, you need to think of employees as volunteers. This will help you to understand how to motivate them to go beyond the minimal requirements of their positions and live up to their own potential. People usually do volunteer work because it gives them a The movement from ineffective business practices to effective feeling of satisfaction from having done something very important. business practices requires change, as does the shift from good Volunteer workers feel that the work they do is even more to better business practices. important than money. Successful volunteer organizations support their volunteers’ self- After you have been working for awhile in your career of choice, esteem. If the volunteers do not feel valued by the organization, you will learn that organizations have many barriers to change. they will likely leave the organization. Some barriers, such as the laws of physics or economics, are often beyond our control. Other barriers, those created by human To get employees to perform closer to their potential: behavior and political forces, can be overcome with patience Treat them as being important, because they are important. and the right tools. People tend to resist change even when the benefits are Treat them as being needed, because they are needed. obvious. The amount of resistance to change in an organization Let them know that their jobs are important, because they is proportional to the amount of change attempted and the span are important. of its impact. Serving others by doing volunteer work is a good way to develop your own leadership skills. 53
  32. 32. 54 Power, Politics & Conflict Change 55 Some reasons why people resist change: Execute the plan. People fear the unknown. Monitor feedback on progress. Adjust the plan as needed. If the plan was properly thought out, it may only need minor People don’t like to leave their comfort zones. When they adjustment. are comfortable doing something in a particular way, they are reluctant to change to something that is different or will require additional effort. Organizational Change Requires Power and Good Leadership When people feel they are being forced to change, they may feel like they are giving up power to the person leading the Your ability to invoke change in an organization is directly change. proportional to your power in that organization. If you are new to a company or if you have a weak power foundation, you may only be able to implement small amounts of change at any one Standard Problem/Opportunity time. Solving Process Nevertheless, even after you’ve been with a company for Identify and define the problem or opportunity. Find the several years, you may hit a wall while attempting to change root cause of the problem. Clearly define the opportunity something. In that case it may be best to defer the change, take and how the company can benefit from it. some time to increase your power foundation, and attempt to complete the change later on. Decide what needs to change. A company consists of people, practices, assets and capital. Of those four things, Changing something in an organization often means asking people find the element that needs to change. Most often, it’s a to give up something they are accustomed to in exchange for practice that needs to be added or modified. something foreign. It also means asking them to make an additional The tools to be discussed in chapter 9, will help pinpoint the effort to implement the change. Motivating people to accept and opportunities for improvement that should be given priority, implement change requires power and leadership skills. as well as determine what needs to change. Assess your power foundation relative to those people who Decide on your objective: what to change to, and where will be participating in the change implementation. If you feel a the company wants to be after the change. need to increase your power, increase your working knowledge of the areas involving the desired change. Develop a tactical plan to implement the change.
  33. 33. 56 Power, Politics & Conflict Change 57 Power of Position fail. Confidence can be secured with adequate working An employee’s position within the organization will greatly knowledge and a sound change plan. determine his or her formal authority to invoke change. The higher up you are in an organization, the greater your ability to invoke Conflict Management change, and the broader will be the impact of those changes you Conflict management skills are needed to diffuse and resolve the implement. different types of conflict that arise when people resist change. Chapter 6 is devoted to conflict management. Unfortunately, many CEOs squander that authority. An ineffective CEO will sometimes have the entire company working on a change Emotional Resistance program that wasn’t properly thought out. When the results aren’t Emotions often outweigh objective reasoning when a person is as rosy as expected, the CEO may devise another change making a decision or is taking some action. In a situation where program, jerking the company in a different direction. These someone refuses to accept change and seems to ignore the large-scale changes can impact a company for the worse, obvious benefits of change, try to ascertain the emotional reasons sometimes to the point of bankruptcy. for resisting the change. If you can discover the emotional reasons At the other end of the spectrum are the CEOs who haven’t for his or her resistance, you will have a better understanding of built up a sound power foundation and, therefore, struggle to what you will need to overcome in order to complete the change. implement even minor change. For example, if the person has a fear of the change, try to understand the reasons for his or her fear, and find a way to Acceptance reduce it. Being empathetic of the person’s fear will help you to Long-term employees can feel threatened when a person new to find a way to lessen it. the company attempts to change the organization. Acceptance by your fellow employees is beneficial when you wish to invoke Organizational Change Requires change that requires their participation. As mentioned earlier, it Adequate Working Knowledge may take a year or more of working within an organization to be Changing an organization is an involved process. To successfully accepted as part of that organization’s culture. invoke productive change, one must have sufficient working knowledge of the realm in which the change will occur. When Confidence contemplating changes to an organization, make an effort to You will need confidence to stand your ground — against those understand the details of what needs to be changed and get input who are resisting the change or want to see your change program from the people who will be affected by the change.
  34. 34. 58 Power, Politics & Conflict Change 59 Too often, managers do not make an effort to understand the enduring vision of what the company could potentially be — a details of what needs to be changed or get input from those vision that won’t erode with time and setbacks. affected, and their change programs result in wasted effort and expense without creating the desired benefits. Opportunities for Change Opportunities for change can come and go in a matter of seconds. Working knowledge is not the sole province of management — You should be prepared to recognize these opportunities and to every employee of a company has ideas about what to change take advantage of them. and how to change it. However, they may not have enough Let’s say you’re in a meeting, and the senior manager leading working knowledge to formulate an effective change plan; and the meeting turns the discussion toward a problem that concerns even if they do, they may lack the power to fully implement it. him. Many people throw in their two cents, incomplete ideas or An effective leader knows how to turn good ideas from comments on what is wrong. You, on the other hand, have had a employees into productive change programs. solution in mind for some time. It’s simple and would be effective, but it involves change. Organizational Change Your challenge is to present the idea vividly, simply and Requires Commitment directly — how it will work and why it will solve the problem. Change can be harder than expected to implement, and a change program that’s not fully implemented is unlikely to be a productive Comprehension one. Managers often start change programs but are unable, for Most people can only grasp new information in short, logical one reason or another, to put them into effect. They may partially steps. Problems with complex origins may be difficult to explain complete the change program and then abandon the program. without losing your audience. This is a waste of company resources and employee time. If you can show the root cause of the problem using a simple Pursuing a change program to its completion requires commitment fishbone diagram, (see Figure 9-2 on page 148) it will be easier from management. to get others to agree on the root cause, and the correct solution will be more obvious. Organizational Change Requires Vision Leading Questions Long term changes to a company require tenacity. Many By asking a series of leading questions, you can lead others to unexpected barriers will arise, and these will take time and effort acknowledge a problem or opportunity, find the root cause of a to overcome. Overcoming all of these barriers requires an problem, invent a solution, and develop a change plan. You’re
  35. 35. 60 Power, Politics & Conflict Change 61 more likely to gain consent and acceptance of your plan if their Response: “We would need a forecast of the parts the own thinking produces the same conclusion. Here are some production department will need each week.” simplified examples of how to use leading questions: Developing a change plan: Acknowledging a problem or opportunity: Leading question: “What information do we have that we Leading question: “Are all customer orders being shipped could use to create a forecast?” out on schedule?” Response: “We have the customer order backlog that shows Response: “No.” the products ordered and when the products are scheduled to be shipped to the customer.” Leading question: “Why not?” Response: “Sometimes production doesn’t get all the parts Leading question: “How can that be used to make a forecast needed to produce the orders on time.” of the parts production will need each week?” Response: “When a customer places an order, we can use the Finding the root cause of a problem: bill of materials data file to generate a list of the parts needed to Leading question: “Why is production not getting the parts build the order. Since it takes two days to build and ship most they need on time?” orders, we can schedule the parts as being needed by Response: “A lot of reasons.” production two days before the scheduled ship date.” Leading question: “What is the most common reason?” Continue this process until every root cause have been found, Response: “We don’t order them on time from the supplier.” and a sound change plan for each has been developed. Sometimes another employee will suggest a change that you Leading question: “Why not?” agree with. Again, you can use leading questions to turn that Response: “Because we don’t know what parts production employee’s suggestion into an effective change plan. will need week to week. It changes depending on what our customers order.” Below are more examples of leading questions: Finding a solution: How long does this stuff sit around waiting to be worked Leading question: “What do you need to be able to provide on? the production department the parts they need, when they need How will that increase sales? them?”

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