Strategy Implememtation

Implementation and execution are the two most important phases when a business plans or strategy is committed. The website businessball.com mention a study, by the Fortune Magazine that suggests: “most 70% of 10 CEOs who fail do so not because of bad strategy, but because of bad execution.”(Jun, 1999) So what should an organization focus on to ensure successfully strategy implementation or execution?

After some research I believe that there are two ideas that are repeatedly mentioned. Schedule feedback of the progress measurement and choose the right change leader/ implementation team are the two top concepts to successful implementation. In the article, The Implementation of Business Strategies: Implication for the Sale Function by Viswanathan and Olson suggest that a business wishes to apply a specific strategy and it is only reasonable to have an “appropriate performance objective” to accompany the strategy. The appropriate performance objective should be time sensitive and authentic reflect the current progress. Later Viswanathan and Olson argue the importance of an accurate measurement system by saying that at the end, how well the desire strategy is implemented can only be told by the measurement. Furthermore, one essay: Strategy implementation and realizations on the website, businessball.com suggests there should be some characteristics for an “effective performance management system” such as:

  •   It must communicate strategy
  •   It must measure performance in real-time, and
  •   It must offer an integrated project management capability, and
  •   It must acknowledge and enable emotional contracting with all staff

The first two points reflect to the first key idea of schedule feedback of the progress measurement which is mentioned above; nevertheless, the third and the fourth point lead to the second idea, choosing the right change leader/ implementation team. “Right” is an easily understand positive word but what exactly is “right” means under the concept of implementation? The phrase “change leader” was mentioned during last class and this is the vocabulary I use for the topic implementation because someone who can understand the importance of the change and at the same time has the motivation to lead others in the organization toward the desire outcome then that person is the “right” man or woman for the job. In the blog, What Makes Change Happen? on the Harvard Management Update (Oct. 2007) advises that choosing the right person or assembling the right team to implemented the change or new strategy is “most difficult yet most important imperative” for the organization. Furthermore, the blog mention two key characteristics: enthusiastic about executing the plan and the qualification of abilities to performing the tasks. (Bossidy) In addition, there will be resistant within the organization to the implementation due to natural of people react toward changes, which was also discussed during last week’s class.

In conclusion, enable to implement a new plan or strategy is as important and as difficult to coming up with a strategic plan because as great as the plan is if the plan is not successfully implemented then all the efforts that were invested might just go in to waste. Therefore,  remember as long as the people who are involved believing in the plan then tracking the progress and finding the right person to do the job are the two most essential focuses when it comes to successful strategy implementation.

References:

1) Graziadio Business Review http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/2010/08/organizational-design-and-implementation/

2)Buniessballs.com “Strategy implementation and realisation” http://www.businessballs.com/businessstrategyimplementation.htm

3)Viswanathan, M., & Olson, E. M. (1992). Implementation of business strategies: Implications for the. The Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 12(1), 45.

4)Johnson, Lauren Keller (2007) HBR Blog Network: What Makes Change Happen? Feb 27, 2008. http://blogs.hbr.org/hmu/2008/02/what-makes-change-happen.html

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Shifting Organization Structure Design

There are many kinds of style how a company decided to design its structure. Some of them are more practical but traditional, and some of the styles are refreshing and innovated. Nevertheless, no matter what the style the organization design is, the important thing is that the company should have a working organization structure for itself. In the article Practical approaches to organization design by Sargent and McConnell, the authors illustrate that a working organization design must meet business goals and create efficiency. Furthermore, the authors also suggest an effective organization design will have five major benefits for the company.

  1. Improved employee satisfaction
  2. Improved customer satisfaction
  3. Improved financial performance
  4. Improved competitive advantage
  5. Significant return on investment

People never stop changing so does the business world. As result there is no one style that could dominate forever. The exsisting style of organizational design might become unsuitable after some internal or external environment shift as we learn about the case of Kodak in class. According to Galbraith in the article The Future of Organization Design, an organization will adapt to necessary system design to fit its desire style or what the firm is focusing on. He gave example that P&G has developed its organization design from functional to regional then later to customer oriented. With each transformation the company did not completely abandoned the previous style. What P&G did is to create some kind of unique hybrid to complement whatever the company is focusing at the time.

In the case of the P&G, the company began as a functional design: “activities are group together from the bottom to the top of the organization.”(Anand & Daft) This is the most common style and traditional design for any organization. The company is divided into groups of similar activities. Later on Galbraith mention that after the 1990’s P&G has shift in to a customer base organization design. The company creates team that specailly for its major customer, and the company has a global customer unit department. The example given in the article is that P&G has a Wal-Mart team that has around 250 workers and the team “report to the regions as well as the CEO.”

In conclusion, the example of Proctor & Gamble, the company adopted or revolutionized its organization design to suite whatever the business environment at the time. By doing so P&G are able to stay competitive. Even there are many styles to design an organization and might be even more new styles in the future, the key idea for the company is to have a organization design that can fulfill the purpose of the business and achieve company goals.

References:

1) Jay R. Galbraith. (2012). The future of organization design. Journal of Organization Design, 1(1)

2) Roessler, C., & Koellinger, P. (2012). Entrepreneurship and organization design. European Economic Review, 56(4), 888. doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.02.014

3) ANAND, N., & DAFT, R. L. (2007). What is the right organization design? Organizational Dynamics, 36(4), 329-344. doi:10.1016/j.orgdyn.2007.06.001

4) Sargent, A., & McConnell, T. (2008). Practical approaches to organization design. CMA Management, 81(9), 22-25. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/197815281?accountid=35875

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Decision Making Process and Barriers

The Five-step Approach and Groupthink

How difficult it is to make a decision? It actually can vary from person to person. According to the TV documentary from BBC, “How to make better decision” people actually do not make very good decision. Base on the studies shown in the documentary, the studies suggest that there are too many unrealized elements that could actually in fact is affecting our decision-making abilities. Therefore, most of the time people do not make rational decision even though we thought that we have. The documentary did provide three key suggestions that will help us to make a better decision. Wait! Before I go on with the suggestions, it has come to me that although it is a nice insightful TV program, the documentary talks about most personal decision-making problems and issues yet not about group or organization. Then I asked myself “does this apply to organization as well?” Lucky I think it does. Without too much work, I find a video from Harvard Business Review channel titled “How Company Can Make Better Decisions.” What the two videos share in common is that both videos suggest that either individual or organization should have some kind a systematic process to ensure rational or effective decision-making. The second video is an interview with Marcia Blenko, who is the leader of Bain & Company’s Global Organization Practice, and she shares a five steps approach to decision-making.

  1. Understand how well is your organization’s current decision-making ability (compare with others)
  2. Identify the critical decision (not necessary the major decision, it can be accumulated daily process decision)
  3. Setup the critical decision and executing the decision
  4. The decision should be clearly communicated and supported by the whole organization
  5. Making sure the decision is following through

Blenko also talk about some of the measurements so that a company can know how to rate its decision-making ability because sometime is not so obvious to realize how well the decision is performing after it is being executed. Furthermore, Blenko also express that there are many decision-making barriers, such as unclear, leadership style, information distribution and so on. I find this expect that although the barriers are different but organization does suffer from decision-making flaws just as individual.

After some research, one of the barriers or mistake of group decision-making that gets me interested is called Groupthink. Groupthink is a phenomenon that one or few members in a group have put uniformity and harmony above what one’s common sense or thinking what the right decision should be; therefore, there is no alternative or contingency plan. In other word, when Groupthink happened, individual will give up one’s point of view or what he or she stand on a particular decision if the majority of the group had come to an unanimously decision even the individual thinks differently. Groupthink generally happens in two types of group environments, and the environments are usually associated with different organization personalities. The first type is voluntary, in a group that has value group harmony is more important than express what one thinks Groupthink will automatic happened, and this usually associated with non-confrontational or conflict-avoiding organization personality. The second type is pressured Groupthink. Under this organization personality the Groupthink happened most likely with a strong leadership with a high requirement of compliance so the group member feel pressured to disagree with the majority. According to the website, MindTools Groupthink can lead to possible sever disaster if the decision is involving safety issue. For more detail on how to avoid Groupthink please check out the website the link is below. The website also provides a couple of tools in detail. I personally find the tool “Nominal Group Technique” very helpful.

Sources

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Three Conflict Managment Ideas

I did two things once I decided the topic for this week of blog to be conflict management. First I began the process of recalling each memorable conflict that I had witnessed or involved from my past work experience. Secondly I began to research and read some of the so-call tips, suggestions, tools, or strategies out there on the internet. There are some tips out there to prevent conflict, such as a “to-do list” in a work place that involves you should return things that you borrow and so on. Initially I just think that some of the tips or helps seem very basic and trivial. It is almost silly to have those as way to prevent work place conflicts.

However, the more suggestions or guides on conflict management that I read through, I realize that most of them have couple of similarities. There are three most common suggestions toward resolving conflict:

 

  1. Focus on the “real” issue that is causing the conflict
  2. The importance of effecting and open communication
  3. Establishing understanding and acceptance for both parties

 

I believe that the first idea, focus on the core cause of a conflict is the very critical since it is the steppingstone toward resolving the conflict. In order to uncover the cause or the source of the conflict so that we can have a better knowledge of what types of the conflict it is and how we can go on to resolving it. There are two basic types of conflicts, Substantive and Emotional. Substantive conflict is a disagreement of expectation or goal, and emotional conflict is difficulties occurring base on negative emotion. Moreover, according to one of the article by Donais he categorizes the source of the conflict to four: Interpersonal, Organizational, Trend/Changes, and External factors. After find out the real problem for each source of the conflict then we can go on use some tools, such as personality test, focus interview, and survey to help us better communicating with the parties involving the conflict. In addition once the core issue is uncover then the resolving process can have more effective dialog between the people who are involved. Lastly, “not all conflicts are bad” that’s why establishing understanding and acceptance is one of the important idea too. Some functional conflicts as constructive resolving can result positive outcome for the group even the organization. An example of this would a policy or procedure improvement after a successful conflict outcome.

 

 

References

 

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Work Values Diversity in Generation Groups

Average workers’ retirement age has been push back, and this means that there are more generation groups are co-existing in today’s labor market. There might be many reasons influencing  this social norm; however, the result is that there are more generation diversity in the current work environment. For an organization it is impossible not to have diversity and individual  variations,but how does one deal with today’s multilevel  generations work environment’s complexities within the organization.In

In the journal article “Work Values Across Generations” by Jo-Ida C. Hansen and Melanie E. Leuty in the Journal of Career Assessment, the authors study across four generations: Silent, Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Generation Y that how does the different generations value work. Hansen and Leuty’s study suggest that the “extrinsic ” work values, such as pay, benefits, and security have more similarity between the generations then difference(page 5). Nevertheless, for the “intrinsic” work value the study also suggest the “negative relationship between age and social connections” (page 14). In detail, the younger the generation the greater importance of the”social-connection” to their co-workers; on the other hand, the order generation care less about people they work with under the work-office social interaction.

This behavior might be a result of the attitude toward work itself. The order generation value work differently than the younger generation. The order generation focus on the task and the objective itself rather then the experience and the people who it work with. However, the later generation value more on the connection with its co-workers. Hansen and Leuty, also suggest that the variance between the generations on what they value at work could just mean the different way for the generation to illustrate its importance (page 15-16). For example, the younger generation could show ones importance by connecting between the co-workers since he or she is value by others in the work place.

Lastly, the authors suggest  the importance to the organization that having the information about the different generation’s work value is a key knowledge to satisfy and retain the organization’s employees (page 16-17).  I believe that by understand the difference values and the preference of the different generations, the organization then  further improve work environment and work experience.

References:

  • Leuty, M. E., & Hansen, J. C. (2012). Work values across generations. Journal of Career Assessment, 20(1), 34-52. doi:10.1177/1069072711417163
  • Slack, T., Amis, J., & Hinings, C. R. (2002). Values and organizational change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 38(4), 436-465. doi:10.1177/002188602237791
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Reviewing My Old Organizational Behaviour Textbook

Last week at the beginning of the first ENTR 3110 class, we had a little discussion about the worse job you had, and everyone talked about their worse job. There are certainly some undesirable jobs are on the board; however, I only had a one real job so far, and it is not a bad one. Therefore, I shared with the class a part of the job or one aspect of the job that bugs me. I said: “people changed when they get promoted.” Be more precisely, people who you used to work with, began to talk to you differently after he or she get promoted.

For the purpose of my first blog experience, I begin to put some thoughts into this “how people change after promotion” then I decided to go back to my old [Cover]organizational behavior textbook and browse through the chapters specially after our “instructor” (professor) suggested.  As I browsing through the contents pages, chapter 15 “Power And Politics” stands out the most. It came to me that the old saying: money and power change people. If that it is so, power must be what changes people after one get promoted although I do acknowledge that the OB textbook does not talk too much about money.

Right the way the textbook explains what is Power in Organizational Behavior. In short, Power is the ability to influence other people. Further more, there are two kinds of powers in an organization, “Position Power” and “Personal Power.” There are six types of position power and three for the personal power. (page 299-302)

Position Power

Personal Power

1.          Legitimate Power

1.          Expert Power

2.          Reward Power

2.          Rational Persuasion

3.          Coercive Power

3.          Referent Power

4.          Process Power

5.          Information Power

6.          Representative Power

After reviewing both position and personal powers, it is logical to assume that the power would change someone, whom received a promotion would most likely to be under the position section since a promotion is an upward shift of position in the organization. After, carefully reading each of the Position Power, the first four power could easily affect the behavior of the person who received the promotion. For example, Rewarding Power allows one to administer rewards; on the other hand, Coercive Power grant the power holder to disturbing punishments or denying rewards. The organization creates the positions with administration power intended to build structures and system in order to improve efficiency. However, as a side effect that it will be difficult for the individual not to be influence by the powers that was established by the position since any future implication of reward or punishment might create inevitable conflicts or affects personal relation.

Lastly since this is my first blog and I do have the option to edit or remove it in the future, I would like express some of personal view. Instead of pointing finger at the creation of a hierarchy system which is isolating people at work place, is it not the individual’s decision as well? I would purpose that some people might just give up personal power, such as Expert Power and Rational Persuasion, once he or she gain the Power of Position. Since it is “so much” easier to just tell people what to do, it is not worth the time and efforts to encourage workers to implement what the supervisor think is actually the right thing to do.

Reference

  • Schermerhorn, J. R. (2005). Organizational behaviour. Mississauga, Ont: J. Wiley & Sons Canada.
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