International Management Consultants

Importance of Effective Communication

People in organizations typically spend over 75% of their time in an interpersonal situation; thus it is no surprise to find that at the root of a large number of organizational problems is poor communications. Effective communication is an essential component of organizational success whether it is at the interpersonal; inter group, intra group, organizational, or external levels. In this chapter we will cover the basic process of communication and then we will cover some of the most difficult communication issues managers’ face-providing constructive and effective feedback and performance appraisal.

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August 12, 2012 Posted by | Articles | Leave a comment

Stay Positive

Your mental outlook–the most critical element in the 2009 job search–will either keep you open for new opportunities or close your mind and seal your fate. It’s really easy to be negative about things this year. In fact, some experts believe that the economic downturn would be much less severe if there wasn’t such a negative view promulgated by the media. We believe that one’s attitude does affect the physical world around them. At least, that’s the case for the job seeker. So, knowing it’s a lousy job market out there, what facts can you keep in mind that can help you have positive expectations for your job search? First of all, remember that all recessions have a beginning, a middle, and an end. So do job searches.

Very few qualified people engage in a job search of the type described in this column without achieving their goals, or some satisfactory equivalent of those goals. Your new job is out there, even in 2009. Grumble about the economy all you want, but when it comes to the job search, start digging and don’t stop until you’ve got what you were looking for!

If you still think that you cant do anything to stay positive see the pic:

positive

 www.imc-dubai.com

management@imc-dubai.com

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Articles | Leave a comment

Leadership, Communication and Change

The leader communicates: • A) a sense of confidence and control (or lack thereof) to employees. • B)his or her own feelings about the change. • C) the degree to which he/she trusts the abilities of the employees to get through the change. • D) a sense of purpose and commitment (or lack thereof). • E) the degree to which he/she accepts the reactions and feelings of employees. • F) expectations regarding behaviour that is seen as appropriate or inappropriate (ie. rumour-mongering, back-room meetings). • G) the degree to which he/she is “connected to” employees situations and feelings or is “in-touch” with them.

Introduction
Leadership has as it’s corner stone, the ability to communicate. When we use the word communicate, we are referring not only to the words one uses to transfer factual information to others, but also to other “messages” that are sent and received.

“in-touch” with them.

It is clear that if the leader communicates effectively, he or she will be sending messages that decrease resistance, and encourage moving through the change more effectively and positively. The bottom line with all of this is if you screw up communicating with employees, even the smallest changes can result in ugly problems.

What Is Communication?
There are all kinds of models of communication, some basic and some complex. For our purposes communication can be described as CREATING UNDERSTANDING.

Through words, actions, body language, voice tone, and other processes you send many messages about yourself, the changes, and your organization. This constitutes precisely one-half of the communication process. The second half consists of verifying that the message you intended to send was actually received and interpreted the way you intended. The only way that you can be sure you have created understanding is to listen to the people you are communicating with, and make special effort to encourage them to reflect back to you what they have heard (and what they make of it).

Remember:
A) Although you communicate in a way that seems clear to you, the receiver of the communication, filters the information through a very complicated set of pre- conceptions, that can function to distort the message received.
B) Receivers listen selectively. They hear and process some things and gate out other things. That means that while you may have explained the “whole picture”, is it likely that the whole thing wasn’t received.
C)The ONLY way you can ensure that you have created common understanding is by asking the other people what they have heard, and what their reactions are to it.
Communication and Change — Who, What, When, How?
As a change leader you need to make decisions about who you must communicate with, what needs to be communicated, when you will communicate and how you will do it. We will take a look at each of these in turn.

Who?
Managers sometimes have a tendency to communicate about change on a “need to know basis”. However, effective change leaders recognize that almost any change will have effects on most people in an organization, no matter how removed they are from the change.
The basic rule of thumb is that communication should take place directly between the manager and employees when employees NEED TO KNOW OR WANT TO KNOW.

Except for situations that involve confidentiality, even those who are indirectly affected will likely want to know what is going on, and how it may affect them. This applies to your own staff, and those organizations that are related to you (ie. other branches within a division or department, client organizations, etc).
You are better off over-including people in your communication, than leaving people out.

What?
If you need to determine what to communicate, keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish through your communication about change. When you communicate you are trying to:
A) give information that will reduce uncertainty and ambiguity regarding the change.
B) Pre-empt the hidden information system of the grapevine, so you can ensure that incorrect anxiety provoking information is not spreading.
C) Provide forums for employees to communicate their reactions and concerns to you.
If you would like another rule of thumb, when deciding what should be communicated, communicate as much information about the change as is available to you. Obviously, you need to exercise judgement where there is confidential and/or sensitive information involved, or where your information may be unreliable.
Be aware that if you only have a small amount of information about a negative change, communicating it may increase anxiety levels and rampant speculation. You should also be aware that if you have preliminary information about a change, that others do also, and that it is likely that your employees will hear rumours regardless of what you disclose.
Finally, keep in mind that you are communicating messages about the facts of the change, and also about your own reactions to it. As a change leader, you must be aware that your staff will watch you carefully to guess how you are feeling about the change, and they will draw their own conclusions based on your behaviour. Sometimes these conclusions will be wrong and destructive.
If you choose to state your own reactions to the change, state them quickly (particularly if they are negative).

When?
The longer you wait to communicate details of change, the more likely you are to extend the period of adjustment. This is because it is very difficult to “keep a lid” on anything in government, and even if you are silent, your staff will likely hear vague things through the grapevine. Grapevine information tends to be sketchy enough that it creates a high degree of anxiety, and also a high degree of mistrust of management.
So, the earlier you communicate the less likely erroneous or upsetting information will come through the grapevine. Communicate as early as possible about change, but do not assume that once you have done this the job is over.
Communication should occur in anticipation of change, during the implementation, and after the change has been stabilized.

How?
Issue #1: Group or Single Meetings
Another decision you need to address is what needs to be communicated in group settings, and what needs to be addressed in one-on-one meetings with employees. What are the advantages of each approach?
Communicating in groups ensures that each person present is hearing the same information at the same time. Group communication also allows people to interact with each other about the changes and can help people develop a sense of team, particularly in a climate of adversity.
Communicating in groups also has some disadvantages. In many organizations there will be people who will not feel comfortable talking in a group context. The more “personal” the effects of the change, the more likely people will withdraw from the group process.
A second danger of group communication is that one or two particularly vocal and negative people can set the tone for the group, and foster unproductive negative discussion. While expression of concerns about change are healthy, the “doom- sayer” can cause this process to become destructive. For this reason, group communication needs to be managed with skill and expertise. Sometimes an external facilitator is necessary.

Finally, there are some issues that cannot be discussed within a group. For example, in downsizing situations, it is inappropriate to announce to a group that John and Mary are losing their jobs. When changes are likely to create a high degree of upset to individuals, they must be dealt with in private.
Communicating on a one-to-one basis has the advantage of privacy. When bad news is communicated, the person receiving the news is less pressured to withhold their reactions. One-to-one communication also allows more in-depth exploration of the person’s feelings, ideas and reactions to the change.
A disadvantage to using one-to-one communication is that it may fragment your team. There is also a possibility that you will send slightly different messages to different staff members.

Prescription:
Most situations require both group communication and one-to-one communication. They compliment each other. Using only one or the other will create problems.
Below are some guidelines.
Use group communications if:
A)You need to ensure everybody hears the news at the same time.
B)You want to encourage group discussion to generate ideas and the problem solving process.
C)You want to increase the sense of team.
D)You wish to set the stage for individual meetings. For example, in a lay-off situation, you can call a short group meeting to announce the lay-offs generally, then immediately meet individually with each staff member to inform them of their status.
Use individual meetings if:
A)The changes are likely to cause a high degree of emotionalism that is better dealt with in private.
B)You want to ensure that shyer people have a chance to express themselves.
C)The changes involve elements that should remain confidential (pay or classification changes, employment status, etc).
D)You need to have detailed discussion about the change with specific people.

Issue #2: Written Or Oral
There is a tendency for people to avoid unpleasant interactions, and sometimes managers will use written communication to avoid the discomfort of dealing face to face with staff. While written communication can play an important role in communicating about change, it should not be used for this reason alone. Below are some guidelines regarding the use of written versus oral communication.
Oral communication is more appropriate when:
A) Receiver is not very interested in getting the message. Oral communication provides more opportunities for getting and keeping interest and attention.
B)Emotions are high. Oral communication provides chances for both you and the other person to let off steam, cool down, and create a climate for understanding.
C)You need feedback. It’s easier to get feedback by observing body language and asking questions.
D)The other person is too busy or preoccupied to read. Oral communication provides better opportunities to gain attention.
E)You need to convince or persuade. Oral communication provides more flexibility, opportunity for emphasis, chances to listen to and remove resistance, and is more likely to affect people’s attitudes.
F)The details and issues are complicated, and cannot be well expressed on paper.
Written communication is appropriate if:
A)You require a record of the communication for future reference.
B)Your staff will be referring to details of the change later.
C)You are communicating something with multiple parts or steps and where it is important that employees understand them.
Generally, it is wise to use both written and oral communication. The more emotional the issues, the more important it is to stress oral communication first. Written communication can be used as backup.

Concluding Comments
As a change leader, communication is your primary and most important tool. We have attempted to outline some of the important parts of the communication process, but short of writing an entire book on the subject, it is difficult to discuss all the subtleties and issues about human communication.
There is no substitute for good judgement, and change leaders need to be reflective and thoughtful about the ways they communicate. There is also no substitute for LISTENING, and receiving feedback from your staff and colleagues about how you communicate. You may make communication mistakes, but the mark of an effective change leader is that these mistakes are quickly identified through feedback and discussion, and corrective action is taken.

 

August 12, 2012 Posted by | Articles | Leave a comment

Motivating And Retaining Top Talent

“Feeling connected to the people you work with also helps create a sense of purpose…. Providing opportunities to learn and grow is icing on the cake…. Clear goals are only part of the equation. People need regular feedback so they know when they are on track and recognition when they achieve key milestones….The more people feel you are focused on them, rather than on yourself, the more they trust you.”

  • Create a sense of purpose – Engagement and retention improves when people understand how they connect to the “Big Picture” and how they make a difference.
  • Provide meaningful work – Allowing people to do what they do best and make a significant contribution is key to engagement and retention.
  • Solicit ideas – Involvement in decisions gives people a sense of control in uncertain times, shows them their opinions matter, and improves decision acceptance.
  • Let people know where they stand – Setting tough but realistic goals is motivating even in a tough environment.
  • Enhance trust and communication – Trust is built when leaders improve credibility by being candid, demonstrate reliability by ensuring their actions are consistent with business objectives and values, and  are accessible.

Employee Goals and Talent Development

A report from SumTotal® Systems Inc., a global provider of talent development solutions, argues that implementing effective, universally-accepted goal setting for employees, coupled with a system for managing and tracking these processes can enable HR managers to make a significant contribution to improved organizational performance.

“With the current economic forecast, it is now more important than ever to make sure employees’ goals reflect the organization’s overall goals to ensure everyone is working toward the same mission. By helping to set organizational alignment, HR departments have the ability to impact their company like never before and create significant productivity improvements.”

The report offers the following guidelines for the involvement of HR in employee goal setting:

  1. Know the goals – HR should be involved when senior managers plan annual goals to be aware of underlying issues and challenges.
  2. Get buy-in – The executive team should support HR’s efforts to align goals and help communicate the importance of the program.
  3. Cascade goals – Once goals are set at the top of the organization, they should work their way down to all employees.
  4. Ensure consistency – As goals are established further down the organization, HR can assist by creating standards and monitoring consistency.
  5. Hold everyone accountable – Managers should ensure goals are measurable with specific deadlines and then hold employees accountable.
  6. Reinforce through development – Ensure that employees have skills and tools to achieve established goals using development plans monitored by HR.
  7. Work the gaps – Managers can work with employees individually. HR should identify gaps in organizational provision and address issues proactively with the Learning team.
  8. Encourage year-long communication – Initial goals may be agreed but paid no further attention. Sending reminders to update goals is one way for HR to encourage a culture of frequent manager/employee communication.
  9. Monitor compliance – Managers should monitor progress and completion of employee goals HR should review overall process and report to executives and department heads.
  10. Measure twice, cut once – Goals should be a major component of a company’s annual performance appraisal where employees are measured and held accountable.

 

Seven Tips For Management Success

An effective manager pays attention to many facets of management, leadership and learning within organizations. So, it’s difficult to take the topic of “management success” and say that the following ten items are the most important for management success. I will, however, suggest seven management success skills without which I don’t believe you can be a successful manager.

The most important issue in management success is being a person that others want to follow. Every action you take during your career in an organization helps determine whether people will one day want to follow you.

A successful manager, one whom others want to follow:

  • Builds effective and responsive interpersonal relationships. Reporting staff members, colleagues and executives respect his or her ability to demonstrate caring, collaboration, respect, trust and attentiveness.
  • Communicates effectively in person, print and email. Listening and two-way feedback characterize his or her interaction with others.
  • Builds the team and enables other staff to collaborate more effectively with each other. People feel they have become more – more effective, more creative, more productive – in the presence of a team builder.
  • Understands the financial aspects of the business and sets goals and measures and documents staff progress and success.
  • Knows how to create an environment in which people experience positive morale and recognition and employees are motivated to work hard for the success of the business.
  • Leads by example and provides recognition when others do the same.
  • Helps people grow and develop their skills and capabilities through education and on-the-job learning.

 

Management Styles

Management styles vary from company to company. There are many different styles of management that can bring success to an organisation but you have to make sure your management style is right for your business.

People skills are obviously a key asset in the development of effective management styles. Dealing with people is a professional skill in itself. Being able to see from the perspective of others is essential, and caring for their welfare is also of prime importance.

There are many high-profile examples of how to develop a successful management style. Managers like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have famously developed their own distinctive management style from which others can learn.

However, the fact that the two examples are very different management styles shows that there is no single route to success.

Gates’s style and management practice at Microsoft was based on control and concerning himself with detail almost to the point of obsession. The onus that the Bill Gates management style placed on the monitoring of staff and figures is demonstrated by the fact that he even used to sign expenses for Steve Ballmer, his right-hand man.

Buffett, on the other hand, always stressed a desire for the managers of Berkshire Hathaway to think like owners. He urged them to ‘look at the business you run as if it were the only asset of your family, one that must be operated for the next 50 years and can never be sold’.

Sometimes unorthodox management behavior can develop into a very effective management style. A case in point is that of Ricardo Semler and his Brazilian engineering company Semco. His management policies included unusual practices such as shutting down the company for an afternoon twice-yearly for all employees to clean out the places where they work. He also limited all memos and reports to one piece of A4, always topped by an eye-catching tabloid-style headline to sum up the key message.

Perhaps most interestingly of all, he implemented a system where employees would assess their own managers, with a low rating putting the manager’s job at risk.

All this reinforces the view that there is no one right way to manage people. While taking tips from the experts can help you find the management style that works for you, it is ultimately a matter of trial and error, trust and heresy.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Articles | Leave a comment

Stress Management

What is Stress?Stress is the “wear and tear” our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment; it has physical and emotional effects on us and can create positive or negative feelings. As a positive influence, stress can help compel us to action; it can result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. As a negative influence, it can result in feelings of distrust, rejection, anger, and depression, which in turn can lead to health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. With the death of a loved one, the birth of a child, a job promotion, or a new relationship, we experience stress as we re-adjust our lives. In so adjusting to different circumstances, stress will help or hinder us depending on how we react to it. How Can I Eliminate Stress from My Life? As we have seen, positive stress adds anticipation and excitement to life, and we all thrive under a certain amount of stress. Deadlines, competitions, confrontations, and even our frustrations and sorrows add depth and enrichment to our lives. Our goal is not to eliminate stress but to learn how to manage it and how to use it to help us. Insufficient stress acts as a depressant and may leave us feeling bored or dejected; on the other hand, excessive stress may leave us feeling “tied up in knots.” What we need to do is find the optimal level of stress, which will individually motivate but not overwhelm each of us. How Can I Tell What is Optimal Stress for Me?

There is no single level of stress that is optimal for all people. We are all individual creatures with unique requirements. As such, what is distressing to one may be a joy to another. And even when we agree that a particular event is distressing, we are likely to differ in our physiological and psychological responses to it. The person who loves to arbitrate disputes and moves from job site to job site would be stressed in a job, which was stable and routine, whereas the person who thrives under stable conditions would very likely be stressed on a job where duties were highly varied. Also, our personal stress requirements and the amount which we can tolerate before we become distressed changes with our ages. It has been found that most illness is related to unrelieved stress. If you are experiencing stress symptoms, you have gone beyond your optimal stress level; you need to reduce the stress in your life and/or improve your ability to manage it. How Can I Manage Stress Better? Identifying unrelieved stress and being aware of its effect on our lives is not sufficient for reducing its harmful effects. Just as there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities for its management. However, all require effort toward change: changing the source of stress and/or changing your reaction to it. How do you proceed? 1. Become aware of your stressors and your emotional and  Notice your distress. Don’t ignore it. Don’t gloss over·physical reactions.   Determine what events distress you. What are you telling·your problems.   Determine how your body responds to·yourself about meaning of these events?  the stress. Do you become nervous or physically upset? If so, in what specific  Can you change your stressors by·ways? 2. Recognize what you can change.   Can you reduce their intensity·avoiding or eliminating them completely?   Can·(manage them over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis)?  you shorten your exposure to stress (take a break, leave the physical premises)?  Can you devote the time and energy necessary to making a change (goal setting,· time management techniques, and delayed gratification strategies may be helpful  The·here)? 3. Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress.  stress reaction is triggered by your perception of danger…physical danger and/or emotional danger. Are you viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms  Are you·and/or taking a difficult situation and making it a disaster?   Are you overreacting and viewing things as·expecting to please everyone?   Do you feel you must always prevail in every·absolutely critical and urgent?   Work at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as·situation?   Try to·something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you.  temper your excess emotions. Put the situation in perspective. Do not labour on the negative aspects and the “what if’s.” 4. Learn to moderate your physical  Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart rate and·reactions to stress.   Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension.·respiration back to normal.  Electronic biofeedback can help you gain voluntary control over such things as  Medications, when prescribed·muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure.  by a physician, can help in the short term in moderating your physical reactions. However, they alone are not the answer. Learning to moderate these reactions on your own is a preferable long-term solution. 5. Build your physical  Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week·reserves.  (moderate, prolonged rhythmic exercise is best, such as walking, swimming,  Maintain your· Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. ·cycling, or jogging).   Mix· Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants. ·ideal weight.   Get enough sleep. Be·leisure with work. Take breaks and get away when you can.  as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible. 6. Maintain your emotional · Develop some mutually supportive friendships/ relationships. ·reserves.  Pursue realistic goals, which are meaningful to you, rather than goals others  Expect some frustrations, failures, and·have for you that you do not share.   Always be kind and gentle with yourself–be a friend to yourself·sorrows.  STRESSFUL LIFE EVENTS TEST The following Life Events Stress Test (based on work of Holmes & Rahe, 1976) shows the kind of Life Pressure that you are facing. Depending on your coping skills or lack thereof, it can indicate the likelihood that you will fall victim of a stress related illness. This could be mild such as frequent tension headaches, acid indigestion or loss of sleep. Or it could be serious with problems such as ulcers, migraines and increased blood pressure. Look through the following list of Life Events. If you have experienced any of the events listed during the past 12 months tick the appropriate item. You can total your Stress Score at the end. Please remember this is not a substitute for a personal professional consultation with your doctor. If you are worried about your health please consult your doctor!

Stress Value — Death of Spouse 100 — Extra Marital Relations of Spouse 90 — Marital Separation/Divorce 73 — Suspension or Dismissal from Job 68 — Lack of Child 65 — Death of Close Family Member 63 — Marital Conflict 59 — Property or Crops Damaged 53 — Death of a Friend 50 — Robbery or Theft 48 — Excessive Alcohol or Drug Use by Family Member 45 — Conflict with In-laws 42 — Broken Engagement or Love Affair 40 — Major Personal Injury or Illness 40 — Son or Daughter Leaving Home 39 — Financial Loss or Problems 39 — Illness of Family Member 39 — Trouble at Work with Colleagues, Superiors or Subordinates 38 — Prophecy of Astrologer or Palmist etc. 38 — Pregnancy (Wanted/Unwanted) 36 — Conflict over Dowry 34 — Sexual Problems 32 — Self or Family Member Unemployed 30 — Lack of Son 29 — Large Loan 29 — Marriage of Daughter or Dependent Sister 28 — Minor Violation of the Law 27 — Family Conflict 27 — Break-up with a Friend 26 — Major Purchase or Construction of House 25 — Death of a Pet 24 — Failure in Examinations 23 — Appearing for an Examination or Interview 22 — Getting Married or Engaged 22 — Trouble with Neighbour 21 — Unfulfilled Commitments 21 — Change in Residence 20 — Change or Expansion of Business 20 — Outstanding Personal Achievement 19 — Begin or End Schooling 19 — Retirement 18 — Change in Work Conditions or Transfer 17 — Change in Sleeping Habits 16 — Birth of a Daughter 16 — Gain of New Family Member 15 — Reduction in Number of Family Functions 14 — Change in Social Activities 14 — Change in Eating Habits 13 — Spouse Begins or Stops Work 12 — Going on a Pleasure Trip or Pilgrimage 11 TOTAL Understanding Your Score 0-149 You are doing very well. You have a low susceptibility to stress-related illness. 150-299 You score suggests that you are more susceptible to stress-related problems. You do need to take action to protect yourself. We suggest you consider the Personal Stress Management Plan. 300 and Over You score suggests that you are highly susceptible to stress-related problems. Please obtain help. Consult your doctor and consider the Personal Stress Management Plan.

 

Employees To Owners
What it takes to make this transformation?Performance appraisal is an event that both managers and employees alike dread. Moreover managers and employers face a greater challenge of conveying the performance results to the concerned employees. The matter does not end here; they even have the arduous task of ensuring that employees make desired behavioural changes to facilitate organisational performance. Chris Butler of The Performance Engineering Group believes that employees will not make these changes unless they believe or trust the reason for such a change.

Employees insist on the ‘what is in it for me’ attitude before agreeing to adapt to a new system or making adjustments to their routine. According to Diane Allessi, director of training development at American Bankers Association, the quickest way to convince employees to act is to create a link between their reward and recognition programmes to performance. Whether the approach to acknowledging an employee’s contribution is informal/formal or a financial/non financial is irrelevant. What is important is how the programme is being efficiently utilised to facilitate a change initiative. This could be done by:

 Delineating· the expected behaviours into simple do-ables
 Communicating the expected· behaviours clearly to all the employees
 Having a reward programme in place· and spontaneously rewarding employees for work done

Julie Bacon, the VP (Marketing) of an incentive and recognition company believes that most employees need clarity of their role as well as incentives to get them hooked onto any change initiative to get them involved and motivated.

Internalizing the benefit of new change initiatives might take time but will obviate the need for any extrinsic forms of motivation. Cindy Hubert of American Productivity and Quality Centre seconds the opinion. He feels that eventually, rewards take a backseat with new behaviours becoming an essential component of employee performance.

Caution…
Care must be taken not to reward wrong behaviour though. Focusing on employees who resist change thus overshadowing those who are compliant is one common mistake managers commit. Butler encountered something similar when he was creating a computer based training course called Quick Learns (how experts perform specific tasks) that required videotaping employees at the production-line task in an aerospace company. The group of test technicians refused, fearing a threat to job security. However, Butler completed the assignment with a night-shift technician who volunteered for the same. What the technician’s peers lost in the bargain was the $110 gift certificate presented to the night shift technician by him and his supervisor in front of his peers. The willingness to cooperate and share knowledge was more a reward than a threat.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Articles | Leave a comment

OD INTERVENTIONS

I  – What is organizational development

 A planned change process, managed from the top, taking into account both the technical and human sides of the organization”

 The following a few of most common OD Interventions, that most of the companies practice:

  1. Applying criteria to goals
  2. Establishing inter-unit task forces
  3. Experimentation with alternative arrangements
  4. Identifying “Key Communicators”
  5. Identifying “Fireable Offenses”
  6. In-Visioning
  7. Team Building
  8. Inter-group Problem Solving
  9. Management / Leadership Training

10. Setting up measurements

A brief on each of the above, with Examples

OD practitioners choose the most appropriate OD Intervention, to create “Planned Change.”

1. Applying criteria to goals

Here the leadership establishes objective criteria for the outputs of the organization’s goal-setting processes. Then they hold people accountable not only for stating goals against those criteria but also for producing the desired results.

Example:

Organizations are implementing the concept of Balanced Scorecard, X-Matrix etc., to capture the goals of the employees, which in turn is helpful in their assessment and mid-term correction of their performance.

2. Establishing inter-unit task forces

These groups can cross both functional parts of the organization (the “silos”) as well as employee levels. They are ideally accountable to one person and are appropriately rewarded for completing their assigned task effectively. Then they disband.

Example:

Organizations have introduced various schemes for rewarding their employees for their performance, like:

–       Introducing the concept of Variable pay in as a part of CTC

–       Spot Recognition Award

–       Project bonus, performance bonus etc.,

3. Experimentation with alternative arrangements

Today organizations are subject to “management by best-seller.” The goal in these interventions is to create what is being called a “learning organization,” one that performs experiments on organizational structure and processes, analyzes the results, and builds on them.

Example:

Organizations today are targeting at streamlining the process of Learning and Development and encouraging the culture of Learning in the organizations.

–       Targeting achieving mandatory man-days of training for their employees

–       Introducing the Competency based practices

4. Identifying “key communicators”

This is to carefully determine who seems to be “in the know” within the organization. These people often do not know that they are, in fact, key communicators. This collection of individuals is then fed honest information during critical times, one-on-one and confidentially.

Example:

Defining the process of Organizational Communication policy

–       Introducing Top – down and Bottom – up Communication approach

–       Introducing Employee Forums and Suggestion Box options for employee interaction

–       Identifying Critical employees in the organization and making them the Brand Ambassadors of their company

5. Identifying “Fireable Offenses”

This intervention deepens the understanding of and commitment to the stated values of the organization. This facilitates the work of the Top Management to answer the critical question, “If we’re serious about these values, then what might an employee do that would be so affrontive to them that he/she would be fired?

Example:

–       Publishing and Instilling Values and Beliefs among all employees

–       Introducing Policies like Whistle Blowing, Sexual Harassment etc.,

6. In-visioning

This is actually a set of interventions that help to “acculturate” everyone in the organization into an agreed-upon vision, mission, purpose, and values. The interventions might include training, goal setting, organizational survey-feedback, communications planning, etc.

7. Team Building

This intervention can take many forms.

Example:

The most common is interviews and other pre-work, followed by a one- to three-day offsite session. During the meeting the group diagnoses its function as a unit and plans improvements in its operating procedures.

8. Inter-group Problem Solving

This intervention usually involves working with the two groups separately before bringing them together. They establish common goals and negotiate changes in how the groups interface.

Example:

This is practiced in Product Development Companies and most of the IT and ITES Companies.

–       Focused group discussion are encouraged by the management, for generating better ideas and concepts

 

9. Management/leadership training

Many OD professionals come from a training background. They understand that organizations cannot succeed long term without well-trained leaders. The OD contribution there can be to ensure that the development curriculum emphasizes practical, current situations that need attention within the organization and to monitor the degree to which training delivery is sufficiently participative as to promise adequate transfer of learnings to the job.

Example:

Most of the organizations today are focusing at Leadership Management for their employees. Earlier, this was targeted to the Top Management alone, but now, organizations are seeing its relevance to inculcate the leadership skills in their middle management and junior management as well.

–       Business Organization Retreat (BOD) is being the most common practice, is a part of this initiative.

10. Setting up measurement systems

The total-quality movement emphasizes that all work is a part of a process and that measurement is essential for process improvement. The OD professional is equipped with tools and techniques to assist leaders and others to create measurement methods and systems to monitor key success indicators.

Example:

–       The concepts like Six Sigma, TQM etc act as Measurements tools for the process followed in the organization.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Articles | Leave a comment