Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Analysing Individual Personalities Types

Here's an interesting note on personality types.

Personality typing is a tool with many uses. It's especially notable for it's helpfulness in the areas of growth and self-development. Learning and applying the theories of personality type can be a powerful and rewarding experience, if it is used as a tool for discovery, rather than as a method for putting people into boxes, or as an excuse for behavior.

The sixteen personality types which we use in our assessment are based on the well-known research of Carl Jung, Katharine C. Briggs, and Isabel Briggs Myers. Carl Jung first developed the theory that individuals each had a psychological type. He believed that there were two basic kinds of "functions" which humans used in their lives: how we take in information (how we "perceive" things), and how we make decisions. He believed that within these two categories, there were two opposite ways of functioning. We can perceive information via 1) our senses, or 2) our intuition. We can make decisions based on 1) objective logic, or 2) subjective feelings.

Jung believed that we all use these four functions in our lives, but that each individual uses the different functions with a varying amount of success and frequency. He believed that we could identify an order of preference for these functions within individuals. The function which someone uses most frequently is their "dominant" function.

The dominant function is supported by an auxiliary (2nd) function, tertiary (3rd) function, and inferior (4th) function. He asserted that individuals either "extraverted" or "introverted" their dominant function. He felt that the dominant function was so important, that it overshadowed all of the other functions in terms of defining personality type. Therefore, Jung defined eight personality types:
Extraverted Sensing (modern types: ESFP, ESTP)
Introverted Sensing (modern types: ISTJ, ISFJ)
Extraverted Intuition (modern types: ENFP, ENTP)
Introverted Intuition (modern types: INFJ, INTJ)
Extraverted Thinking (modern types: ESTJ, ENTJ)
Introverted Thinking (modern types: ISTP, INTP)
Extraverted Feeling (modern types: ESFJ, ENFJ)
Introverted Feeling (modern types: INFP, ISFP)

Katharine Briggs expounded upon Jung's work, quietly working in silence and developing his theories further. But it was Katharine's daughter Isabel who was really responsible for making the work on Personality Types visible.

Isabel, using her mother's work and Jung's work, asserted the importance of the auxiliary function working with the dominant function in defining Personality Type. While incorporating the auxiliary function into the picture, it became apparent that there was another distinctive preference which hadn't been defined by Jung: Judging and Perceiving. The developed theory today is that every individual has a primary mode of operation within four categories:
our flow of energy
how we take in information
how we prefer to make decisions
the basic day-to-day lifestyle that we prefer Within each of these categories, we "prefer" to be either:
Extraverted or Introverted
Sensing or iNtuitive
Thinking or Feeling
Judging or Perceiving We all naturally use one mode of operation within each category more easily and more frequently than we use the other mode of operation. So, we are said to "prefer" one function over the other. The combination of our four "preferences" defines our personality type. Although everybody functions across the entire spectrum of the preferences, each individual has a natural preference which leans in one direction or the other within the four categories.

Our Flow of Energy defines how we receive the essential part of our stimulation. Do we receive it from within ourselves (Introverted) or from external sources (Extraverted)? Is our dominant function focused externally or internally?
The topic of how we Take in Information deals with our preferred method of taking in and absorbing information. Do we trust our five senses (Sensing) to take in information, or do we rely on our instincts (iNtuitive)?
The third type of preference, how we prefer to Make Decisions, refers to whether we are prone to decide things based on logic and objective consideration (Thinking), or based on our personal, subjective value systems (Feeling).
These first three preferences were the basis of Jung's theory of Personalty Types. Isabel Briggs Myers developed the theory of the fourth preference, which is concerned with how we deal with the external world on a Day-to-day Basis. Are we organized and purposeful, and more comfortable with scheduled, structured environments (Judging), or are we flexible and diverse, and more comfortable with open, casual environments (Perceiving)? From a theoretical perspective, we know that if our highest Extraverted function is a Decision Making function, we prefer Judging. If our highest Extraverted function is an Information Gathering function, we prefer Perceiving.
Personality Types Today
The theory of Personality Types, as it stand today, contends that:
An individual is either primarily Extraverted or Introverted
An individual is either primarily Sensing or iNtuitive
An individual is either primarily Thinking or Feeling
An individual is either primarily Judging or Perceiving
The possible combinations of the basic preferences form 16 different Personality Types. This does not mean that all (or even most) individuals will fall strictly into one category or another. If we learn by applying this tool that we are primarily Extraverted, that does not mean that we don't also perform Introverted activities. We all function in all of these realms on a daily basis. As we grow and learn, most of us develop the ability to function well in realms which are not native to our basic personalities. In the trials and tribulations of life, we develop some areas of ourselves more throughly than other areas. With this in mind, it becomes clear that we cannot box individuals into prescribed formulas for behavior. However, we can identify our natural preferences, and learn about our natural strengths and weaknesses within that context.
The theory of Personality Types contends that each of us has a natural preference which falls into one category or the other in each of these four areas, and that our native Personality Type indicates how we are likely to deal with different situations that life presents, and in which environments we are most comfortable.
Learning about our Personality Type helps us to understand why certain areas in life come easily to us, and others are more of a struggle. Learning about other people's Personality Types help us to understand the most effective way to communicate with them, and how they function best.
Practical Application for Personality Types
Career Guidance What types of tasks are we most suited to perform? Where are we naturally most happy?
Managing Employees How can we best understand an employee's natural capabilities, and where they will find the most satisfaction?
Inter-personal Relationships How can we improve our awareness of another individual's Personality Type, and therefore increase our understanding of their reactions to situations, and know how to best communicate with them on a level which they will understand?
Education How can we develop different teaching methods to effectively educate different types of people?
Counselling How we can help individuals understand themselves better, and become better able to deal with their strengths and weaknesses?

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Socially Responsible Behaviour in Organisations

Socially Responsible Behavior
Developing Virtue in Organizations

Quy Huy , Maurizio Zollo , Susan Schneider
INSEAD Working Paper, Reference: 2005/40/SM/CMER

Business corporations are facing greater pressure from stakeholders to behave responsibly. Today's corporation may employ entire communities and their products or services can influence the behaviours and lives of sometimes millions of people across the world. What then could be more natural for these corporations than to increase their participation in the well being of the societies and peoples they service...their stakeholders? Corporate governance has received much airplay over recent years, with corporate scandals raging and consistently proving that unfortunately, business leaders do sometimes behave irresponsibly. Consequently, much attention has been focused on improving the organisational model and governance methods, but what about the individuals at the helm of things. What are their individual roles in taking on, or avoiding, the expectations and demands of stakeholders (beyond those of financiers)? The history of mankind has shown us that no matter what governance rules and systems are in place, it is the human being enforcing them who is the ultimate gatekeeper. Looking at the recent corporate scandals, it does not appear that the highly-educated, highly-paid manager can consistently claim to be a 'better' person than the next guy... And to date, the ethics debate has centred around a set of normative rules dictating behavioural principles with seemingly little long-term or lasting effect.So does there exist a measurable leaning to 'goodness'-something that can be sought out- something that can be fostered or emulated? Is it possible to know whether a manager will be more likely to do the 'right' thing, whether he will be truer to a socially responsible ethic? In this research paper, Socially Responsible Behaviour: Developing Virtue in Organizations, HEC's Susan Schneider and Karin Oppegaard are joined by INSEAD's Associate Professors of Strategy Maurizio Zollo and Quy Huy to examine these questions.

Just what characteristics identify or favour Socially Responsible Behaviour (SRB)-or a socially responsible manager.The authors firstly propose a definition of SRB as: 'decisions and actions made with the primary (although not exclusive) purpose of enhancing social welfare'. Through an exhaustive examination of earlier and current studies and statements, the individual's behavioural antecedents are viewed and catalogued through the eyes of Social Responsibility. Not in any way ignoring the contextual or organisational factors, the group affirm however, that despite these constraints, managers do have a choice and therefore personal responsibility for their actions. But what causes one manager to behave in a more socially responsible way than another?The study correlates a number of psychological traits with SRB and takes the analysis one step further by specifying a framework of cognitive factors, personal values and emotions that would actually foster SRB. The outcomes of this study, including the proposed dynamic SRB model, would lead to interesting and pertinent applications; such as the measurement of inherent or acquired SRB traits in managers, and also as such traits are identified and identifiable, the possibility of building both learning and organisational structure to foster, monitor and even reward the ensuing behaviours.

The paper concludes that such a model would allow for the dynamic evolution of SRB within the organisational context and that by encouraging and practicing such behaviours, that they would become routine. Practice makes perfect! There is no doubt that Socially Responsible Behaviour can be either positively or negatively influenced by the organisational policies and practices, but this paper argues for the usefulness of also applying time and energy to developing the individual equation of Corporate Social Responsibility and fostering the individual managerial behavioural response to growing demands for CSR. If some of the managers involved in recent corporate scandals were perhaps endowed or nurtured with a deeper sense of social responsibility, then maybe their companies would have also been led in a different direction...Socially responsible conduct can stem from individuals, whether with or against the general flow of an organisation. The authors lead us closer to how this could be brought about through the manager's desk.

COpyright & Source:INSEAD 2005

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Study on Indian CEO's


A recent study on CEO's leadership style in India shows that indian leadership style model has some unique features which management Guru's find relevent for western counterpart.

The main features of the report are given below.

Patient but Focused, India’s CEOs Rapidly Develop Business and Society
and in the Process Offer New Insights to their Western Counterparts

Much has been made of India’s recent high-tech-fueled economic boom. According to new research, however, there’s more than talent and technology that’s driving the growth of Indian business. A recent study of some of the country’s most successful business leaders uncovered several key attributes that help them develop their companies and the economy, and set them apart from their US and European counterparts.

Although the purpose of the year-long study was to assist India’s Public Enterprise Selection Board, which is responsible for choosing CEOs and top executives for publicly owned companies, the results offer some important insights for executives from other countries and cultures, who find themselves collaborating with Indian companies with growing frequency.

Sponsored by the Bharat Petroleum Corporation, one of India’s leading oil and gas companies, and directed by Hay Group, which specializes in leadership selection and development, the study examined the traits, behaviors, and motives of 30 of India’s top CEOs. Through extensive interviews in which the executives spoke in detail of both successful and frustrating experiences as leaders, Hay Group researchers identified four key areas that set Indian CEOs apart from outstanding top executives in other countries.

A single-minded focus on growth and innovation. The top Indian CEOs are intensely focused on innovation, growth, and business results. They voraciously seek out new information, technology, and ideas to adapt to India’s unique needs and opportunities. At the same time, they spend less time than their peers in other countries on organizational politics and individual, personal issues. Almost all of the experiences the Indian CEOs spoke about were directly focused on growth, compared to about half of those reported by Western CEOs, who often focus on concerns such as their reputation, culture change, and succession planning.

A highly altruistic business philosophy. Unlike most Western executives, Indian leaders frequently think about doing what is right for society. While outsiders often dismiss this as “merely talk,” Hay Group researchers found that it is genuine and influences important business decisions. Many of the Indian CEOs, for example, demonstrated commitment to meeting the needs of the huge middle and lower market segments and achieving growth through reliable but inexpensive goods and services. They also took business risks to address society’s needs.

A high degree of resilience and integrity. The best Indian CEOs display high levels of integrity and inner strength. Both are essential in the Indian business culture, where one frequently must run a gauntlet of stringent governmental reviews, tough media queries, and lengthy negotiations. Such processes, and the costly delays they can create, take a significant toll on executives and well as their businesses. Thus patience and fortitude are critical.

A more formal, “professional” approach to people and relationships. Indian CEOs tend to keep business relationships more formal and professional than their Western peers. Although demonstrating compassion for others, they tend to avoid close individual relationships in work settings, and assess employees on professional attributes such as education and experience rather than on personal qualities.

Tharumah Rajah, who led Hay Group’s research efforts, says the findings shed new light on India’s rapid growth and development as a global economic power, and provides insight into the frustrations that arise in business relationships between Indian and Western business leaders.
“What executives from other cultures and countries may view as impersonal, perplexing, even contradictory behavior,” he says, “Indian executives see as proper and necessary— not only for the success of their organizations, but also for the success of their country and society.
“As India’s economy grows, opportunities for developing relationships with Indian companies will increase. Making those relationships work, however, will require a better understanding and recognition — on both sides — of the differences in values and approaches to managing business and people.”

Rajah offers the following suggestions for working with Indian organizations and executives:

1. Emphasize growth, results, and innovation. Be generous in providing technical and other information, knowing it will be put to good use.
2. Be patient and helpful when you run into situations involving what may seem to be excessive, time-consuming interference by outside agencies. (Indian executives refer to this as “boundary management.”) Build extra time into project planning to allow for these issues.
3. Recognize that your Indian counterparts’ thinking about jobs and people may be different from yours. Use discretion in deciding whether to accept their approach or suggest alternatives.
4. When Indian business leaders talk about what is good for India, listen carefully and take them seriously. Probe your Indian counterparts to understand how they see the project supporting India’s development, and take measures to highlight these benefits to society.

Mary Fontaine, Hay Group’s global director of leadership development, suggests that more Western executives might also consider adopting some of the Indian approaches to leadership.

“Many might benefit by emulating the approach of Indian CEOs, especially when it comes to their intense focus on growth and innovation and on doing what is right for society and developing nations,” she notes. “We often espouse these values, but find it difficult to execute them, given other pressures we face.”


Ajit Chouhan

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Balance Scorecard a Strategic Management Tool


Here's some interesting information on the evoloution of Balance Scorecard.

Vanita thanks for the PPT's.

The development of the Balanced Scorecard as a strategic management tool

By I.M. Cobbold and G.J.G. Lawrie; 2GC Active Management Ltd., Maidenhead, UK

!. The Balanced Scorecard and its development
The Balanced Scorecard was first introduced in the early 1990s through the work of Robert Kaplan and David Norton of the Harvard Business School. Since then, the concept has become well known and its various forms widely adopted across the world.

By combining financial measures and non-financial measures in a single report, the Balanced Scorecard aims to provide managers with richer and more relevant information about activities they are managing than is provided by financial measures alone. Kaplan and Norton proposed that the number of measures on a Balanced Scorecard should also be constrained in number, and clustered into four groups. Beyond this, the original definition of Balanced Scorecards was sparse.
In essence the Balanced Scorecard has remained unchanged since these early papers, having at its core a limited number of measures clustered into groups, and an underlying strategic focus. But modem Balanced Scorecard designs also have a number of features that clearly differentiate them from earlier examples. This paper describes these changes as an evolution through three distinct 'generations' of Balanced Scorecard design.
EDITORS NOTE: This is an advanced copy of a soon to be published article that was presented at a Balanced Scorecard conference in Washington in July 2002. The authors have developed an adaptation of the Balanced Scorecard for use by staff functions, such as Human resources. The full text (including a detailed reference list) can be downloaded (PDF format) from
2. First generation Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard was initially described as a simple "4 box" approach to performance measurement. In addition to financial measures, managers were encouraged to look at measures drawn from three other "perspectives" of the business: Learning and Growth; Internal Business Process; and Customers, chosen to represent the major stakeholders in a business.
Definition of what comprised a Balanced Scorecard was sparse, and focused on the high level structure of the device. Simple 'causality' between the four perspectives was illustrated, but not used for specific purpose. Kaplan and Norton's original focus was on the selection and reporting of a limited number of measures in each of the four perspectives. The paper suggested use of attitudinal questions relating to the vision and goals of the organisation to he] p in the selection of measures to be used, and encouraged the consideration of 'typical' areas of interest in this process.

Kaplan and Norton's original work makes no specific observations concerning how the Balanced Scorecard might improve the performance of organisations; the implication is that the provision of accessible relevant measurement data itself will trigger improved organisational performance. However, they do imply that the source of these improvements is changes in behaviour: In the light of this, the basis for selecting the goals represented by the Balanced Scorecard is of some importance. But in their first paper Kaplan and Norton say little about how a Balanced Scorecard could be developed in practice beyond a general assertion that design involved "putting vision and strategy at the centre of the measurement system". Later writing includes increasing amounts of proscription about development methods, concluding with a lengthy description of one such process in their first book on the subject published in 1996
First generation Balanced Scorecard
3. Practical Experiences with first generation Balanced Scorecards

The authors' professional experience suggests that First Generation Balanced Scorecards are still being developed, and that they probably still form the large majority of Balanced Scorecard designs introduced into organisations. This is reflected in the literature, where books and articles that use more advanced representations of Balanced Scorecard are only recently appearing. But, despite its huge popularity as a concept, and apparently widespread adoption, relatively few detailed case studies concerning Balanced Scorecard implementation experiences appear to exist in the academic literature.

4. Second generation Balanced Scorecard: strategic linkages

The practical difficulties associated with the design of I at Generation Balanced Scorecards are significant, in part because the definition of a Balanced Scorecard was initially vague, allowing for considerable interpretation. Two significant areas of concern were filtering (the process of choosing specific measures to report), and clustering (deciding how to group measures into 'perspectives '). Discussions relating to clustering continue to be rehearsed in the literature, but discussions relating to filtering are less common, and usually appear as part of descriptions of methods of Balanced Scorecard design.
Perhaps the most significant early change translated the attitudinal approach to measure selection proposed initially be Kaplan and Norton (e.g. "To succeed financially, how should we appear to our shareholders?") into a process that yielded a few appropriate key measures of perfonnance in each perspective. A solution was the introduction of the concept of 'strategic objectives'. Initially these were represented as short sentences attached to the four perspectives, and were used to capture the essence of the organisation's strategy material to each of the areas: measures were then selected that reflected achievement of these strategic objectives. Although subtle, this approach to measure selection quite different from that initially proposed, since strategic objectives were developed directly from strategy statements based on a corporate vision or a strategic plan.
Another key development concerned causality. Causality between the perspectives had been introduced in early' 1st Generation' Balanced Scorecard thinking. Second generation' Balanced Scorecard saw the idea of causality developed further. Instead of simply highlighting causal links between perspectives, internal documents from one consulting firm's work in 1993 shows an early attempt to indicate linkages between the measures themselves'. Measure based linkages provided a richer model of causality than before, but presented conceptual problems -for example, the use of measures encouraged attempts to 'prove' the causality between measures using various forms of analysis.
Collectively the changes in design described here represent a materially different definition of what comprises a Balanced Scorecard compared to Kaplan and Norton's original work -we will refer to Balanced Scorecards that incorporate these developments as '2nd Generation Balanced Scorecards'. The impact of these changes were characterised by Kaplan and Norton in 1996 as enabling the Balanced Scorecard to evolve from "an improved measurement system to a core management system". Maintaining the focus that Balanced Scorecard was intended to support the management of strategic implementation, Kaplan and Norton further described the use of this development of the Balanced Scorecard as the central element of ' 'a strategic management system".
One consequence of this change in emphasis was to increase the pressure on the design process to accurately reflect the organisation's strategic goals. Over time the idea of strategic linkage became an increasingly important element of Balanced Scorecard design methodology, and in the mid 1990's Balanced Scorecard documentation began to show graphically linkages between the strategic objectives themselves (rather than the measures) with causality linking across the perspectives toward key objectives relating to financial performance. An example is shown in Figure 2.

Strategic linkage Model
As objectives began to appear in graphical representations of linkages, so they began to require short titles (to fit onto diagrams). To compensate the idea of 'objective descriptions' associated with strategic objectives emerged. These descriptions, which were simply longer paragraphs describing in more detail the 'meaning' of the objective, are symptomatic of a significant increase in the volume of purely design related documentation associated with the design of Balanced Scorecards -objectives began to be assigned to owners, measures to objectives. Early software reporting systems began to enhance these elements of design information by linking it with measurement data, and using email and diary systems to enable speedy diagnosis and interventions in response to data observed: the ability to store and work with these characteristics are now central to leading 'Balanced Scorecard' software systems.
Another consequence was the increased awareness of the need to reflect differences in management agenda within differing parts of organisational structures, and so increasing attention was given to developing 'strategic alignment' between management units by developing Balanced Scorecards as part of a 'cascade' at the Business Unit level.
The representation of causality between strategic objectives -known initially as the 'Strategic Linkage Model' -is now considered to be an important part of any Balanced Scorecard design. The design elements that make up the second Generation Balanced Scorecard now represent 'mainstream' thinking on Balanced Scorecard design -as evidenced by considerable consistency of definition across a range of practitioner and academic texts.
Increasing adoption of the 'explicit' causality present in the strategic linkage model has diminished the value of 'lead' and 'lag' measures -as the predictive nature of 'lead' measures is now more clearly (and less ambiguously) documented in the design of the Balanced Scorecard.

5. Practical Experiences with 2nd Generation Balanced Scorecards

There are still areas that prove difficult to deal with during the development process for both management teams and consultants charged with developing 2nd Generation Balanced Scorecard. The first of these areas concerns the development of the Strategic Linkage Model. Management teams find the necessary selection of priority elements within their collective vision and strategic goals difficult. While there is usually some type of common reference point in the form of visions or plans, often this is either poorly defined, lacking continuity or something that the management team didn't fully agree on.
Working to choose objectives simply flushed these issues to the forefront of management attention, and triggered useful debate, but the activity of actually selecting priority objectives itself is not one that has been found to support open discussion about the collective alignment of strategic goals. Another difficult area is target setting. While measure selection is easier, thanks to Strategic Objectives and the Strategic Linkage Model, for similar reasons to those note above, organisations often lack a common reference point relating from which targets can be extrapolated. Finally, the Strategic Linkage Model documentation, although clear to those familiar with construct, has proven less helpful when used for broadcast communication of strategy -it lacks sufficient supportive information to be usefully stand alone as a communication concerning an organisation's strategic plans.

6. Third generation Balanced Scorecard: destination statements

The third generation Balanced Scorecard model is based on a refinement of the second Generation design characteristics and mechanisms to give better functionality and more strategic relevance. The origin of the developments stem from the issues relating to target setting and the validation of strategic objective selection outlined above. These triggered the development in the late 1990's of a further design element- the 'Destination Statement' -initially at the end of the design process to 'check' the objectives, measures and targets chosen.
The first Destination Statements were created as a formal consensus estimate of the consequences at a particular future date (e.g. 'in three years time') of implementing the strategic objectives previously selected for the strategic linkage model. By agreeing in this statement 'how much' of key things would have been achieved by this time (e.g. headcount, revenues, customer satisfaction, quality levels etc.) the hope was it would subsequently be easier (for example) to check for (or set) a consistent set of annual targets.

It was quickly found that management teams were able to discuss, create, and relate to the 'Destination Statement' much easily and without reference to the selected objectives. Consequently the design process was 'reversed', with the creation of the 'Destination Statement' being the first design activity, rather than a final one. Further it was found that by working from Destination Statements, the selection of strategic objectives, and articulation of hypotheses of causality was also much easier, and consensus could be achieved within a management team more quickly. We will refer to Balanced Scorecards that incorporate Destination Statements as third generation Balanced Scorecards'.

Destination Statement
7. Key components of a third generation Balanced Scorecard
A. Destination statement:
In order to make rational decisions about organisational activity and not least set targets for those activities, an enterprise should develop a clear idea about what the organisation is trying to achieve. A destination statement describes, ideally in some detail, what the organisation is likely to look like at an agreed future date. In many cases this exercise builds on existing plans and documents -but it is rare in practice to find a pre-existing document that offers the necessary clarity and certainty to fully serve this purpose within an enterprise.
B. Strategic Objectives:
The destination statement offers a clear and shared picture of an organisation at some point in the future, but it does not provide a suitable focus for management attention between-now and then. What needs to be done and achieved in the medium term for the organisation to "reach" its destination on time is agreed upon in the form of objectives or priorities. By representing the selected objectives on a "strategic linkage model", the design team is encouraged to apply "systems thinking" to identify cause-and-effect relationships between the selected objectives i.e. what do we need to do to achieve the results we expect. This approach also helps ensure the objectives chosen are mutually supportive and represent the combined thinking of the team's high-level perception of the business model.
C. Strategic Linkage Model and perspectives:
The chosen strategic objectives are spread across four zones or 'perspectives'. The lower two perspectives contain objectives relating to the most important activities in terms of business processes, cycle time, productivity etc. (Internal Processes) and what needs to happen for these processes to be sustained and further developed in terms of people, product and process development (Learning & Growth). The two top perspectives house objectives relating to the desired results of the activities undertaken i.e. how we wish external stakeholders (e.g. the general public, partner agencies and organisations to perceive us (External Relations) and how this will ultimately translate into financial results and economic value (Financial).
D. Measures and Initiatives: Once objectives have been agreed measures can be identified and constructed with the intention to support management's ability to monitor the organisation's progress towards achievement of its goals. Initiatives are special projects with a finite start and end date and are mapped to strategic objectives to give an indication of the projects or actions needed in order to realise the objectives.
8. Practical Experiences with 3rd Generation Balanced Scorecards
The first Balanced Scorecards to have included Destination Statements were designed during 1998/9. Examples of applications of this new approach are emerging. These experiences show that the third generation approach to Balanced Scorecard design and development does appear to have material benefits to organisations resulting from improved functionality as a strategic management tool, and as a result of its ability to support a more flexible and engaging approach to design and development within complex organisations.
9. Conclusions
During the 10 years since the advent of Balanced Scorecard many changes have been made to the physical design, utility and the design processes used to create the tool within organisations. This evolution of Balanced Scorecard, at least in terms of these three parameters, can be largely attributed to empirical evidence driven primarily by observed weaknesses in the design process rather than in the architecture of the original idea.
The alignment between developments in Balanced Scorecard principles and the theoretical aspects of control and management process are a positive indication that the more modern ideas about Balanced Scorecard design processes and structure are indeed 'better' than the original concept described by Kaplan and Norton, in so far as they are more likely to have a beneficial consequence for the organisation adopting the tool. However while more recent Balanced Scorecard designs are substantial improvements on original ideas, there is room for improvement.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

HR: Strategic Player

Here's a short review of Dave Ulrick and Wayne Brockbank new Book on the HRB working Knowledge Series.

HR's New Mandate: Be a Strategic Player
June 20, 2005
We know what HR does, but what does it deliver? In this excerpt from the new book The HR Value Proposition, two experts contend that the HR function is poised for powerful strategic advantage.
June 20, 2005 Issue

by Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank

A while back, the vice president of human resources (HR) of a big consumer product company decided to visit with a few key customers and improve his line of sight with his company's marketplace. To avoid wasting his customers' time, he began by reading everything he could—annual reports, 10K reports, product brochures, analysts' reports. His counterpart in sales was leery of the whole idea, but once the HR VP showed how knowledgeable and thoughtful he was, his sales colleague agreed to set up a meeting with the VP of purchasing at one of their main customers. The moment they walked into the office, however, the customer snapped, "I'm busy today. Why should I spend time with you?"
This short story captures the past, present, and future of the field of HR. Twenty years ago, it would have been unthinkable for almost anyone in HR to even consider spending time with external customers. HR professionals built staffing, compensation, training, and other programs and policies that focused on employees and kept companies legally compliant. In the last decade, HR professionals have worked to become business partners and to align their work with business strategies. HR professionals have been coached to spend time with general managers and with their counterparts in sales, marketing, and manufacturing to ensure that HR work helps deliver business results. But this story also suggests what is next for HR: beginning to connect with those outside the firm as well as those inside.

To do so, HR professionals must grasp and master the concept of value. At a basic level, values reflect the standards within a firm. While HR professionals must declare, live, and encourage moral principles, we believe that an HR value proposition goes beyond values. Value also means that someone receives something of worth from a transaction.

Value in this light is defined by the receiver more than the giver. HR professionals add value when their work helps someone reach their goals. It is not the design of a program or declaration of policy that matters most, but what recipients gain from these actions. In a world of increasingly scarce resources, activities that fail to add value are not worth pursuing. No matter how interesting or valuable an activity may seem to those doing it, if those who receive the output of that activity don't find it of value to them, continuing the activity cannot be justified.

The HR value proposition means that HR practices, departments, and professionals produce positive outcomes for key stakeholders—employees, line managers, customers, and investors.

Value becomes the bellwether for HR. When others receive value from HR work, HR will be credible, respected, and influential. But as the customer in the preceding story points out, HR value for customers will require that HR professionals answer the question "Why should I listen to you?" This is a great question for all HR professionals. How do customers and other key stakeholders—investors, managers, and employees—benefit if they spend time with HR professionals or adapt innovative HR practices?

HR transformation

Many attempts at HR effectiveness start without defining value. For example, some companies invest in e-HR services such as portals and online employee services and believe that they have transformed HR, but they have not. While e-HR may be a part of an overall transformation, it is merely a way to deliver HR administrative services. HR transformation must change the way to think about HR's role in delivering value to customers, shareholders, managers, and employees and not just about how HR services are delivered and administered.
The changes must improve life for key stakeholders in ways that they are willing to pay for.

Moving toward service centers, centers of expertise, or outsourcing does not mean that HR has been transformed. If new delivery mechanisms provide basically the same old HR services, the function has changed but not transformed itself. HR transformation changes both behavior and outputs. The changes must improve life for key stakeholders in ways that they are willing to pay for.

Changing any single HR practice (staffing, training, appraisal, teamwork, upward communication) does not create a transformation. Unless the entire array of HR practices collectively adds value for key stakeholders, transformation has not occurred. Transformation requires integrating the various HR practices and focusing them jointly on value-added agendas such as intangibles, customer connection, organization capabilities, and individual abilities.
Writing an HR strategy or making a statement about HR roles does not necessarily create a transformation. In presentations on HR strategy, we often ask six random participants to complete the following statements as fast as they can:
Our goal is to be a_________________.
We will do this by leveraging_________________.
And we will ensure that we anticipate_________________.
And we will invest in_________________.
And we will be known for_________________.
And we will work with unyielding____________.
Filling in these six blanks with the first thing that comes to mind and then connecting these statements into a vision generates an amazingly plausible HR strategy statement—but it's a fleeting moment of corporate rhetoric, irrelevant from the get-go. HR transformation must be more than rhetoric; it must shape behavior and create and ensure stakeholder value.

Sending one or two HR professionals to a seminar does not transform an HR department. Often, people return from training with great ideas but little opportunity to apply them. Transformation requires whole new agendas, thoughts, and processes across the entire department, not just on the part of a few individuals.
Finally, gaining credibility and acceptance by management or employees is not transformation. Doing so may be a good stepping-stone to future work, but real transformation must turn relationships into results and also create value for customers, shareholders, managers, and employees.

We believe that a fundamental transformation of HR starts with a definition of HR value—who the receivers are and a clear statement of what they will receive from HR services. It also requires a complete picture of all the elements of HR transformation, so that piecemeal attempts do not become isolated events.
Premise of HR valueSince value is defined by the receiver, not the giver, any value proposition begins with a focus on receivers, not givers. For HR professionals, the value premise means that rather than imposing their beliefs, goals, and actions on others, they first need to be open to what others want. This fundamental principle is too often overlooked. Often, HR professionals have beliefs, goals, and actions that translate into things that they want to have happen in their organization—so they go straight for their desired results, without paying enough attention to the perspectives of others.
Influence with impact occurs when HR professionals start with the beliefs and goals of the receivers. Who are the key stakeholders I must serve? What are the goals and values of the receiving stakeholders? What is important to them? What do they want? When these requirements are fully understood, then the HR professional can show how an investment in an HR practice will help the stakeholder gain value as defined by that stakeholder.

Influence with impact occurs when HR professionals start with the beliefs and goals of the receivers.
To an employee worried about getting laid off, HR professionals should demonstrate that being more productive will help the employee stay employed. To a line manager worried about reaching strategic goals, HR professionals need to show how investment in HR work will help deliver business results. With customers, HR professionals need to remember that their interest in customers must create value in the products or services customers receive. For shareholders who are worried about shared returns and growth, HR must create organizations that deliver results today and intangibles that give owners confidence that results will be delivered in the future.

Starting HR transformation with a value proposition has six important implications for HR professionals.

First, human resources work does not begin with HR—it begins with the business. For the last decade, HR professionals have aspired to be more complete players relative to the core issues of the business, as described in a number of phrases: business partners, strategic players, full contributors, players in the business, and so forth. These aspirations are appropriate and desirable, but the fact that HR professionals continue to frame aspirations in these terms communicates a continuing concern. Think, for example, of the key wealth creator in your business. In an investment banking firm, that would probably be an investment banker. In a software company, it could be a systems architect. In the upstream portion of an oil company, it's probably the petroleum geologists who search the world for oil. For none of these three job categories are you likely to find a professional conference titled "Being a Business Partner." All of them would think (assuming they could perceive the issue), "We do not need to aspire to be partners in the business. We are the business."
These key wealth creators can readily show how their activities create substantial value for key stakeholders. Their line of sight runs directly to the best interests of customers, investors, managers, and employees. To be real—not declared—business partners, HR professionals need the same kind of line of sight between their activities and the best interests of key stakeholders. The HR value proposition offers this line of sight.

Second, the ultimate receivers of business reside in marketplaces that companies serve. These markets include customers who buy products and services and shareholders who provide capital. Since HR professionals desire to be business partners and since business begins by meeting market demands, HR must also begin with a line of sight to the marketplace. This places HR professionals in a complex situation. They must create a line of sight to the multiple and frequently conflicting demands of stakeholders ranging from internal clients such as managers and employees to external stakeholders such as customers and investors.

Evolution of HR Roles
The line of sight of HR professionals to internal customers is important and generally well understood, but the one to external customers and shareholders typically receives less attention. Knowledge of external business issues matters because external realities ultimately determine the relevance and utility of virtually all internal operations. External constituents who compose markets for products, services, and capital ultimately vote with their dollars about virtually everything that occurs in a firm. These realities determine whether HR is successful in creating human abilities and organizational capabilities that generate products, services, and results that customer and capital markets demand. HR professionals must have knowledge of external business realities before they can frame, execute, and create substantive value through even the most basic of HR agendas.

A third implication of the HR value premise is found in framing HR as a source of competitive advantage. Competitive advantage exists when a firm is able to do something unique that competitors cannot easily copy. And what it does better than its competitors must be highly valued by its customers, owners, employees, or managers. The creation of competitive advantage can be simplified as the "wallet test." An internal operation passes the wallet test if it inspires customers or shareholders to take money out of their wallets and put it into the firm's wallet instead of into the wallets of competitors. For example, product development creates competitive advantage when it creates products that customers buy. Marketing creates competitive advantage when it creates advertising programs that inspire customers and shareholders to buy products and stock. If HR is to create competitive advantage, it must create substantial value with similarly concrete results. HR passes the wallet test when it creates human abilities and organizational capabilities that are substantially better than those of the firm's competitors—and thus move customers and shareholders to reach for their wallets.

A fourth implication of the HR value proposition is that HR professionals must align practices with the requirements of internal and external stakeholders. When this is successful, HR creates value as defined by those stakeholders.
For example, an oil field service company (referred to here as OSC, a pseudonym) had dropped from 24 percent to 19 percent in a $15 billion total market.1 In a senior management team (SMT) meeting, the HR leadership recommended a large-scale customer survey to determine the reasons behind the drop in market share. Marketing was deep into its annual advertising program and, although willing to support the effort, didn't want to take the lead, which defaulted to HR. With the support of the marketing department and working with an outside consulting group, HR and the CEO developed the research questionnaire and determined the sampling logic and process. The question that eventually had the greatest influence focused on the identification of customer buying criteria. The question required respondents to allocate a hundred points over alternative buying criteria including price, service, product quality and availability, sales effort, and ease of distribution. The survey was administered through live interviews with 1,200 of the most influential users of this company's products throughout the world. Before the HR team fed back the results to the SMT, they asked SMT members to give their best estimates of the customers' responses. The logic behind this request was simple: if the HR team had simply given the survey results to the SMT members, their probable response would have been to say, "We already knew that."

The SMT response varied dramatically compared with customer responses. The SMT felt customers were much more worried about price than they actually were, while customers were actually much more worried about service than management anticipated.
Management's initial response was to dismiss the data as inaccurate. With this possibility in mind, the HR team had brought all 1,200 surveys to the feedback meeting. Following the review of the numerical results, the SMT demanded an opportunity to review the original customer surveys. After reviewing the records for an hour, the SMT was ready to examine the implications of the management-customer gap. Management had substantially overestimated the importance of price and underestimated the importance of service. Using price as the competitive criterion, the company had been hiring low-cost service personnel and had been providing standardized technical training that included little work on customer relations. Based on the customer data, HR and the SMT agreed to substantially increase hiring criteria and the service training budget.
Over the next two years, a market share that had dropped from 24 to 19 percent now soared to 31 percent—a $1.8 billion increase in top-line growth. Such is the potential influence of HR professionals in creating value when they align their practices with accurate perceptions of the ultimate receivers of the firm's value and collaborate with others inside the firm.

The fifth implication of the HR value premise is that it directs HR professionals to acquire the personal knowledge and skills necessary to link HR activity to stakeholder value. When HR fails to make this linkage, it allows "noise" to occur between HR practices and stakeholder demands. Noise may be a lack of knowledge of external customers and shareholders, business strategy, or new HR processes. The "company party trivia test" exemplifies the importance of blocking out noise: Imagine that you're at one of your company's annual parties, and a senior line or staff executive who is known to be critical of HR approaches you. The exuberance of the occasion has worn the usually polite facade away a bit, so this individual feels free to walk up to you, look you in the eye, and say, "I still don't know why we should be giving so much money to you folks in HR. I don't know why we shouldn't simply outsource the whole thing. Why should we continue to invest in you?" (If you haven't experienced this kind of thing face-to-face, do you suspect people are asking such questions behind your back? It's not paranoia ...). To respond to this challenge effectively, you must show that HR adds value to things that are of value to this individual.

An HR perspective that is both unique and powerful is one that establishes the linkages between employee commitment, customer attitudes, and investor returns.
The sixth implication of the HR value premise is that it leads HR professionals to view a company's key stakeholders from a unique and powerful perspective. And the HR perspective must be both. Unique implies that other functions or members of the leadership team do not share this same perspective and do not realize they need it. Powerful implies that this perspective adds a substantial value in helping the organization succeed.

All departments that matter bring such unique and powerful perspectives of their own. For example, when finance specialists look at product markets, they see margins, profits, cash flow, credit worthiness, risk, return on sales (ROS), economic value added (EVA), and the like. When marketing or sales specialists look at exactly the same product markets, they are more likely to see segments, demographic trends, product or service requirements, sales, buying habits, and so forth. Notice that although the two perspectives are compatible, they have very little overlap. Asking which perspective is more accurate is not useful. Both are unique and powerful.

HR professionals need a perspective that is compatible with and distinct from other business perspectives. That is, they must be able to understand and value the finance and sales perspectives, but they must also add their own point of view. Without such a unique and powerful perspective, they are redundant and fail in their aspirations as full business contributors. For example, an HR perspective that is both unique and powerful is one that establishes the linkages between employee commitment, customer attitudes, and investor returns.

This unique view demonstrates a powerful connection between what is carried out by managers and employees inside the firm and what happens with customers and investors on the outside.

With a unique and powerful perspective of their own, HR professionals will see aspects of the business environment that go beyond what other business disciplines bring and that add substantially to business success. Thus when HR professionals view the market environment, they should address the following questions:

What are the organizational capabilities that my company must have to create products and services that result in our customers' taking money out of their wallets and putting it into ours instead of giving it to our competitors?
What employee abilities do our people need so that they can understand and respond to short-term and long-term market demands?
How do we invest in HR practices that deliver business results?
How do we organize HR activities to deliver maximum value?
How do we create an HR strategy that sets an agenda for how HR will help our company succeed?

How do we ensure that HR professionals will know what to do and have the skills to do it?
When HR professionals respond to these questions, they will know why others would benefit by listening to them, because they will be delivering real value—and they will know what that value is. When HR professionals begin with the receiver in mind, they can more quickly emerge as full strategic contributors; add greater value for key stakeholders (customers, investors, line managers, and employees); enhance business productivity; achieve measurable and valuable results; create sustainable competitive advantage; and have more fun in their careers.
Reprinted by permission of Harvard Business School Press. Excerpted from The HR Value Proposition by Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank. Copyright 2005 Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank; All rights reserved.

Dave Ulrich is a founding partner and Wayne Brockbank is a principal partner of RBL, Inc., an HR and leadership consulting firm. Both authors are professors at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Best Practices on Change Management

The 2005 Best Practices Report identifies the top five reasons front line employees resist change as:

  1. Employees were not aware of the underlying business need for change.
  2. Lay-offs were announced or feared as part of the change.
  3. Employees were unsure if they had the needed skills for success in the future state.
  4. Individuals were comfortable with the current state; they wanted to maintain the personal rewards and sense of accomplishment and fulfillment provided by the status quo.
  5. Employees felt they were being required to do more with less, or do more for the same pay.

    Providing the needed information to increase employees' awareness of the business need for change is the first and most important proactive step in successful resistance management.

Proactive and reactive resistance management
Managing resistance during any business change should include both proactive planning and reactive interventions. All too often, teams rely exclusively on reactive measures when resistance has already resulted in productivity loss and wasted time and resources.
Proactive resistance management involves systematically identifying where resistance might come from and what it might look like. The team identifies critical gaps and possible points of resistance, and addresses them before they even emerge. Proactive resistance management requires planning by the team and intervention from sponsors, managers and supervisors.
Reactive resistance management is in response to specific points of resistance. In the reactive situation, the team must listen to employees and identify the source of the resistance. Specific action steps should be developed, communicated and implemented.

Resistance management plan
A resistance management plan is a proactive approach to managing resistance. During the first phase of your change management plan it is important to identify potential resistance points. As your project implementation progresses, additional areas of resistance may surface. Below are the four action steps to creating your resistance management plan:

Define what resistance may look like for your change and how it may be identified.

Brainstorm with the change management team and project team

Brainstorm with the stakeholders and sponsors .

For each level with the impacted organization, define a strategy for managing resistance to the change and prepare job aides. Refer to the resistance management process (this can be found in the Change Management Pilot). In most cases resistance is best managed by the direct supervisor or highest level manager in the chain of command for that employee.
Managing resistance is not the sole responsibility of the change management team or change management lead
Be sure to include a strategy for those impacted audiences such as internal and external customers
Your strategy should include the WIIFM (what's in it for me) for each level
Prepare and review the resistance management approach with the primary sponsor.

Communicate this resistance management plan to managers and coaches in their change management training sessions.

Scale your resistance management plan
Resistance will come in all different shapes and sizes, depending on your specific change.

The table below highlights critical considerations regarding the customization of your resistance management activities based on the size of the change and the attributes of the impacted organization.
Resistance management customization grid

Organizational attributes

speed in dealing with resistance = slow
severity of consequences = initially minor with growing severity
resistance management strategy = proactive
primary coach = supervisor
speed in dealing with resistance = quick and decisive
severity of consequences = severe
resistance management strategy = anticipate resistance, proactively manage resistance
primary coach = direct supervisor, highest level in chain of command
speed in dealing with resistance = slow
severity of consequences = minor
resistance management strategy = reactive
primary coach = supervisor or project team
speed in dealing with resistance = moderate
severity of consequences = initially moderate, ultimately severe
resistance management strategy = reactive
primary coach = direct supervisor, highest level in chain of command

As a project team or change management team you should expect resistance, but proactively manage and minimize that resistance to the best of your ability - you will not be able to eliminate resistance. The top five reasons employees resist change and gives you a starting point to proactively manage resistance on your project and customize your resistance management plan to your change and your organization.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Competency Based interviewing

Here' a beginners guide to competency based Interviewing.Hope it proves useful to all the members.


Ajit Chouhan

What is competency based interviewing?

It's a style of interviewing used so that a candidate can best show how they would demonstrate certain behaviours/skills in the work place; by answering questions about how you have reacted to and dealt with previous work place situations.

By using past experience a potential employer can predict future behaviour by:

  1. Eliminating misunderstandings
  2. Preventing personal impressions
  3. Reducing the candidate's ability to "fake"

You will be asked to give an example of a situation or task which led you to take a certain course of action. Probing questions will then be used to determine the course of action you took and what changes were created by those actions and the effects of those actions on others.

Traditional job descriptions are now quite out-dated. Most organisations will analyse a role by breaking it down into key competencies. For example the competencies of a lawyer may be planning and organising, innovation, personal drive, problem analysis and decision making. If an organisation uses this type of interviewing, it is very likely that your job will be defined on this basis and your performance in it will be managed through competencies. For example your appraisal may well be linked to evidence and real-life examples of having demonstrated these competencies.

2 How can I prepare for this type of interview?

The simple answer is you can't. You can prepare for the interview in the normal way by researching the company, making sure you are able to talk through the work and skills that you have described on your CV. You will be given the opportunity to market yourself for the role in the normal way. However, most candidates will find this type of interviewing much more interactive and enjoyable and it is likely that the interviewer will be able to encourage you to be much more open than in a traditional interview.

How will I be measured?

Usually the interviewer will have a number of pre-planned questions to ask you. For each of these questions they will ask for real-life evidence where you have demonstrated the behaviour or skills. They will know what the desired behaviours are and will look for positive and negative indicators. Examples of competencies and related questions are as follows:

Example one - Planning and Organising
competency & definition
Planning & Organising: prioritises; sets stretching but realistic targets and deadlines; plans ahead and has a structured approach to the work

Suggested Questions

Describe a project you have managed/been responsible for:·
 How did you plan your time? (& others time?)
 How did you deal with obstacles?
Have you ever managed a project which you knew would run over the timescale?
 What did you do?
 What could you do differently next time?
In your current job, how do you schedule your time and set priorities?
How did you prepare for this interview?


Working in a structured and methodical way
Maintaining candidate details
Planning ahead to ensure timely delivery of results
Managing time effectivelyMaintaining accurate management information, administrative records etc

Negative Indicators
Works late but unproductively most of the time
Seldom completes a task unless they do all of the work themselves
Reactive approach
Inflexible in modifying plan/priorities
Is easily fazed by obstacles/interruptions

Example two - Team Skills
competency & definition
Team Skills: the ability to work with other people constructively to improve the effectiveness of the team

Suggested Questions

Tell me about a time when you have started a new job

 How did you go about building an effective working relationship with your colleagues/team?
 What effect did that action have on your success in that position?
 What effect did that action have on the success of the team

How do you galvanise your team into action?
When has your own self-motivation rubbed off on others from whom you work?
Describe an occasion when you chose not to work as part of a team
Have you ever had to work in a team where you felt other members of the team were lacking in commitment/ability?
When has a colleague let you down and how did you react?

Desired Bahaviour
Selecting staff who will complement others in the team
Co-operating with others; helping people out when necessary
Building effective teams
Consulting others for advice when necessary
Ensuring that important information is communicated accurately and quickly
Resolving conflict or disagreements quickly and without holding grudges

Negative Indicators
Afraid to confront issues
Insensitive to people, their feelings and needs
Indiscreet and gets involved in gossip
Plays people off against each other
Holds grudges
Withholds information

Example three - Professional knowledge and judgement
competency & definition
Professional Knowledge &Judgement: has an extensive knowledge of his/her own field or department; understands the business and uses this to provide credible advice

Suggested Questions

What examples are there during the past 3-6 months where you have made an important decision which turned out to be correct?
Have you made any poor decisions in the past 6 months? Tell me about it/them?
How do you gather information on clients?
 How have you used that information to influence a client or candidate?

When did a client last ask you for advice (other than re a live assignment)?

Desired Bahaviour
Sound understanding of current law
Sound understanding of clients
Managing the flow of information to clients effectively
Providing commercial and practical advice to clients
Providing the client with credible advice

Negative Indicators
Inaccurate understanding of client's situation
Assumes professional responsibility beyond level of competence/experience
Abdicated decision-making to othersIgnores side issues as irrelevant

Example four - Leadership
competency & definition
Leadership: Takes control of situations and events; recognizes and rewards others performance; motivates; coaches and develops others

Suggested Questions

When was the last time you disciplined a member of staff?
 How did you handle the situation?
 What was the outcome?
Describe a time when you have set goals for an individual or for your team

 How did you go about it?
 Were they achieved?
Tell me about a sensitive or difficult staffing issues you have dealt with

 What did you find most difficult about it?
 What was this so?
 What was the outcome?

How have you introduced change to your team?
How do you ensure your team gets feedback on its performance?
Describe a situation in which you coached a team member

Desired Bahaviour

Giving feedback
Conducting performance appraisals
Developing people on the job
Coaching and training staff
Setting development objectives
Delegating effectively
Confronting difficult management/staff issues promptly
Motivating teams to give their best
Handling disciplinary procedures
Recognizing good performance
Reviewing performance of staff on a regular basis
Conducting effective meetings with team

Negative Indicators
Believes in an autocratic style of leadership
Is insensitive
Demonstrates an inconsistent style of leadership
Tries to change how things are done without any consideration to proven methods and working practices

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

How To Be A Strong Leader In The Face Of Uncertainty*
By Linda Ackerman Anderson and Dean Anderson
1. Introduction
A common assumption among leaders and managers is that their success is dependent on having the right answers at the right time and providing clear direction to their people amidst the clamor of day-to-day operations. This may have been historically true when the pace and complexity of change were moderate, but is far less so in times of large scale, high-pressured transformational change.

Transformation is a very uncertain and unpredictable process that requires a new leadership approach:

1) the outcome is unknown at the start and must be figured out as you proceed;

2) this "figuring it out" process requires constant course correction;

3) this journey is only semi-controllable and largely erratic; and

4) given the magnitude of uncertainty, people get mentally and emotionally triggered with feelings of fear, anger, and confusion. Attempting to control the process and pre-determine the outcome, while an admirable desire, is just not possible in transformation. And trying to do so makes things worse!

No control? No ready answers? No trust-worthy plan and timetable? What’s a leader to do?

In this article we will help you answer these critical questions and find comfort, strength and success in a new leadership style.

We will outline six key actions that you can take to stay on top of the bucking bronco of change and continue to provide guidance and stability. We will demonstrate how these actions provide sound leadership in times of uncertainty, as well as debunk the faulty assumption that you, as the leader, should be all-knowing.

2. Engaging People in the Uncertainty You Face

For your transformation to succeed, you must engage your people in the change in ways that empower them to respond in real time to their chaotic reality. They cannot wait for you to figure things out individually, they must do so on their feet in real time – collectively. The constant course corrections required in transformation are most successful when you have accurate information, and the more eyes you have on the ball, the better. Engaging your people to gather information and strategize with you will increase the speed of your change because your course corrections will be far less severe and more direct to your target.
This requires a far different leadership style than relying solely on you, the leader, for the answers. Your leadership strength will need to come from a different place. Instead of providing the answers, you will need to develop the correct questions. Instead of directing the outcome, you will need to guide the process. Instead of being the hero, you will need to become the supporter of others. This is not to suggest that you hold back when you do know the answer or have clear guidance. However, when things are unclear, turn to these actions.

Personally, you will need to become very comfortable with uncertainty. You will have to learn to sit in your own fear without automatically jumping into action in an attempt to take it away. You will need to develop great trust in others to come through in times of stress and challenge. And you will have to develop inner satisfaction in "holding the space" for your people to collectively generate the desired outcome rather than being the one individual that provides it.

In other words, you will have to demonstrate great strength as a human being.

3. How to Address Uncertainty with Your People

Where you once felt responsible to your people for taking uncertainty away, your new role is to engage others with you in the uncertainty. This will produce a better "answer" for your organization’s transformation, and your people will build their commitment to the change at the same time.
When you face uncertainty, follow these six steps for successfully navigating it:
Tell the truth about the change: what is happening and what is known. Of equal importance, share what is NOT happening or is NOT known about the change.

The operative words here are "tell the truth." People usually know when things are afoot, or amiss. Since you are without a clear future state or rock solid plan, you can only communicate what you know to be true at this point in time. This will inevitably trigger a conversation about what can and cannot be shared at this time, what is politically safe to share, and what the repercussions will be for leadership credibility. This last point is especially important if you have cultural norms like, "The leader knows all," or, "People should depend on the leader for clear next steps." You can begin to impact these limiting norms by how you deal with uncertainty!

When facing uncertainty, fill in the blanks you can for people, or at least name the blanks so that people will not create destructive rumors about their worst fears. Sometimes the most powerful communication is telling people what the change is NOT, and what is NOT occurring in the change. The last thing you should do is not communicate at all, for the lack of clear answers. Leaders who are uncomfortable demonstrating their lack of answers do more harm by keeping people in the dark for too long. People will fill this void too easily with fear-based stories. Instead, show your leadership, compassion and courage by sharing truthfully what you know and do not know!

Share your own reactions to the uncertainty, and make it OK for people to express their real feelings about what is going on.
Imagine the impact of a leader who says, "I wish I had all of the answers figured out, but I don’t. I fear that we don’t have all of the information or the right information yet, and, honestly, I am concerned about rushing ahead because getting it wrong would be too costly for all of us. I need your help.

Collectively, I believe we can do it. When I think about what is possible when we put our collective brains together, I get excited. So, right now I am both nervous and excited. How about you? What are your reactions to what is going on?"

This set-up can be followed with discussion about how people are feeling, and how their reactions are helping or hindering getting the change figured out. Emotional sharing, done in a safe and productive atmosphere, can serve to clear the air and open up creative juices. It sets the stage for learning and innovation.

4. Frame up the key question(s) you have to answer.

Identify and communicate the "question of the day." Transformational change will never roll out the way you plan it. You will be getting more intelligent by the day, if you are open to it. Knowing the right question is more than half the battle, and can have the same effect as having the right answer.

Consider these examples of framing up key questions:

"What we need to figure out now is which technology platform can best suit our complex set of requirements. We thought we had a clear solution, but we have come to realize that our needs are not that simple. We are reviewing our requirements and should have a conclusion next month."
"We need to design the best structure to deliver our business strategy before we can name the next round of leaders and their staff. We started to think about people before we knew what roles we need to be successful, and so now we will get our structure clear first, and then fit the best people to the right jobs."

"Although our proposed structure looks good on paper, we cannot finalize it until we fully understand the scope and cost of the changes it triggers. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs around the initial structure. So, now we know that if we don’t have the revenues and skills to support it, we will have to redesign it so that we do."
In the absence of answers, these statements intelligently and realistically present the key issue at hand. When you frame the current key question, be sure to include any information you have learned that is enabling you to be more precise or realistic. Declaring your learning is powerful modeling, especially since you need everyone to keep getting more and more intelligent as things proceed.

Describe the process to address the question at hand, including the specific steps being planned, the people directly involved, and the timetable for this piece of work.
If there is a plan already in place to answer the question at hand, give that information to the people who are either waiting or involved. Be as specific as possible. If there is not yet a plan, describe how it will be created and communicated. When you share the timetable, stick with it, or when necessary, communicate that you are extending it, and why. You may need to alter your process a number of times. Just keep telling people the status, what you are learning, and why you need to proceed differently than previously planned. Keep celebrating what you are learning and how it will produce a better outcome!

If desired, engage these people to provide input to the question at hand. Set clear expectations from the beginning about what will be done with their input.
Request people’s clear-headed reactions, ideas, and out-of-the-box thinking. Communicate what input you need, how it will be gathered, who will consider the data, and how it will be used to shape key decisions.

Be sure to make the decision-making process overt (i.e., leader decides, majority vote, consensus, etc.) You do not need to respond to or act on everyone’s individual ideas directly. Simply give people the opportunity to have a say, then communicate how you will take their ideas into account.

Commit to communicate back to your people at a specific time (or regularly) about what is happening, whether or not the "answer" has been found, or what next steps are now required to move the inquiry further along.
Announce the process going forward so that everyone knows how the answers will be generated. Also, it is very important to "close the loop" when you invite input. Let people know what you did with their input, what impact it had, and how you will proceed. These respectful gestures will demonstrate your sincerity and encourage people to continue to contribute in the future.

5. Increase Your Credibility with Your People

You might worry that people will think that you are a bad leader if you reveal that you do not know what to do next and involve them in figuring it out instead of doing so yourself, but this is usually not the case. If you have an entrenched cultural expectation that leaders must direct and employees can only act when the leaders tell them to, people may have some initial doubt. Stay with it. On a personal level, you will find that people respond favorably to you when you tell them the truth of the uncertainty you face, which is inherent in transformation. They will trust you more and find you more credible.

6. Summary

These actions can be very powerful mindset and culture changing strategies. When you are facing critical unknowns in your organization’s transformation, be it early or late in the journey, you have a great opportunity to engage your people by inviting them into the uncertainty with you to figure out the best course of action. The alternative, keeping them out of the process and deciding next steps yourself, actually causes less than optimal solutions. It also makes for uninvolved, resistant, and resentful employees.

By being authentic and telling the truth of the uncertainty you face, you will engage the desire of your people to contribute like never before. You will find them being a part of the solutions, not makers of the problems, and far more committed to your change effort’s success. These six steps will assist you to engage your people in this journey with you, in a way that everybody wins.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Dean Anderson and Linda Ackerman Anderson are well known experts on organizational change, and the authors of "Beyond Change Management" and "The Change Leader's Roadmap," two highly praised books about how to lead and consult to transformational change successfully.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

Secrets to know your higher self

From: Oscar Murphy Int'l <> Date: Thu Jun 2, 2005 8:18 am Subject: The 7 Secrets to knowing your higher self !!
Dear Friends,

While conducting towards the world and managing different situations around us, conduct of the "self" becomes most important.And conducting the self has three dimensions - self awareness, self discipline and self development.

An article, by Asoka Selvarajah, is given below which gives an excursion on these three dimensions about our 'self'

Hope you all will find it useful.

Lucy Doss

The Higher Self within us far transcends the understanding of our conscious minds. Each of us is connected with the Divine. This is the power that all the great geniuses and teachers of history have accessed. It is also the place of magic and miracle in our lives.
Here are the seven key steps to contact it:

1 Belief & Expectation: Transform Your World View!

The first step is to BELIEVE that you have a Higher Self to establish communication with! Then EXPECT every day that this communication will improve as you focus diligently on inner growth. Without these two essential pre-requisites, it is hard to achieve anything at all in life, even on the physical level. For inner growth, these two qualities are essential. So set a GOAL to achieve contact with the Higher Self, review that goal daily, and maintain your purpose with determination until success is yours.
We are brought up with a primarily materialistic world view that neglects the role of Spirit. To establish close contact with spiritual realms, we need to have our entire being - conscious and subconscious - congruent with our goal. In any major activity/goal, you have to establish the rules of the game and the way it is played. Contacting your Higher Self is the same. Therefore, seek out writings and teachers that expand your understanding of the universe as fundamentally being a realm of Consciousness and Mind.

2 Solitude & Meditation

Make regular time for yourself where you can be totally alone. A quiet place is preferable. Just sit quietly with no expectations. Do NOTHING. This may feel very uncomfortable and strange in the beginning. Persist. You give time and space for the inner voice to make itself heard. It will do so either during that quiet time, or else during the events of the day. A synchronistic event will occur; someone will tell you exactly what you need to hear; you will get a sudden flash of insight. All the great geniuses of history have found times of regular solitude and silence for themselves. You should too.

In meditation, you work to discipline your mind and silence the internal chatter that constantly fill it. You create a pure vessel for the Higher Self to fill. Following your breath is an excellent meditation discipline, as is concentrating upon a candle flame. Or visualize a golden ball of light in your Solar Plexus that fills your whole body with energy and healing. There are many practices that you can study and use.

3 Journal

Record your feelings, emotions, dreams and insights every day in a journal. This will help you to come into closer contact with your inner intuitive depths. You can ask the Higher Self questions here, and then later on record whatever insights/answers you receive. If you do this regularly with belief and expectation, you WILL receive the answers you need.

4 Inner Dialogue

Conduct a regular inner dialogue with your Higher Self. For the next 40 days, decide to keep in contact throughout the day. Say to your Higher Self, "I know you are there and I want to get to know you and pay attention to you. Please begin to speak to me and guide my life" Don't worry if this dialogue is entirely one-way to begin with. Remember that you have been out of touch for decades. It takes a while to clear the cobwebs! Persist with this inner dialogue as if talking to a friend - chatting, asking questions, sharing your hopes - and begin to listen for answers. They will come.

5 Life Lessons

Look upon life as a Mystery School. Believe that the whole of your life - events, situations and people - has been structured PRECISELY in order to teach you exactly what you need to know right now. Approach life as if the whole of creation is conspiring to do you good! Whenever something happens in your life, for good or ill, ask yourself what the lesson is for you. Even unpleasant people/situations have been deliberately placed there as a challenge to help you grow. As you begin to view life as a drama in which you are play the starring role, the role of the Higher Self will become increasingly evident in your life. Record your findings in your journal.

6 Dreams

Expect your Higher Self to speak to you in dreams. Before going to sleep, do some stretching and bending to relax your body completely. Ask your Higher Self a question and expect an answer. When you wake up, recall whatever you can of your dream and write it down in your journal. If you are not used to remembering dreams, this will take time and persistence. However, with patience, you will begin to recall your dreams AND receive answers from your Higher Self.

7 Mindfulness

Focus upon living more and more in the present, on the NOW. When you are eating, be aware that you are eating. When you walk, know that you are walking. The only real moment is now - the past is gone forever and the future has yet to be. Therefore, work to clear your mind of concerns, illusions and extrapolations. Clear the mental clutter from the mind and create space for the Higher Self to fill.
Patience Is The Catalyst To Progress!
Remember, you may have spent your entire life out of touch with Source. Therefore, it takes time to learn how to re-establish contact. Anything worth doing takes time and practice. Be vigilant and practice these seven steps every day, and you will receive the answers you need. Remember: The Higher Self WANTS to be in contact. In fact, to even speak of it as someone apart from you is contradictory.
The Higher Self IS you!
The real you. So get in touch with YOU!

Lucy Doss Manager - Training Coordination (Singapore)Oscar Murphy Life Strategists P Ltd 772, 10th Cross, 10th Main, Indira Nagar 2nd Stage Bangalore - 560038, India Phone: 91 80 5116 1534 / 35 Email: WEB:

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