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Task and Solutions
Question 1: Personality and How to Learn and use Advantages and Disadvantages
We all have different personalities. With this, every form and nature of the personality has its share of advantages and disadvantages associated. Unfortunately, unless leaders understand their personalities through a self-awareness process to realise the advantages and the blind spots in their personalities. In developing my personality test, I used the MBTI personality test (Kasriel, 2016). Through the sampled questions and scores, I established that I belong to the giver personality derived from a combination of being the Extraverted Intuitive feeling and judging respectively. The exact definition of this personality is as described in the materials stating that "As an ENFJ, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit into your personal value system. Your secondary mode is internal, where you take things in primarily via your intuition" (Brooks, 2017).
In this case, in my operations am poised to acting and working on what others agree on rather than what I could have initially thought was the right decision (Kasriel, 2016). In This regard, one of my greatest strengths is the use of team work and inclusion in decision-making. In most instances, I tend to value and include any single opinion offered in a decision-making process (Neck and Houghton, 2006). Consequently, prior to arriving at ant decision, I am able to assess and weigh on differing opinions. I will seek to explore on this positive trait in the future to ensure that my decisions remain more informed and accurate. However, despite the advantage, I have a challenge on making impromptu decisions. In this case, for decisions that it is practically impossible to consult and get the opinion of the others, I am hesitant and less trusting on my intuition to make the right decision (Rollag, 2015). This is an area I need to improve on. As of now, I am not definitely aware of my full personality. There are many things I seek to know and change. This is especially with regard to the advantages so that they can make me stronger and the disadvantages so that I can learn how to overcome them to make me a better professional in the future. In doing this I will seek to use the already existing and mentioned models (Neck and Houghton, 2006).
One of the approaches to learning about my character is through using the Johari Window pane model. The model indicates four specific areas and ways through which a self-awareness process can be executed. The first is the open personality aspects where both the person and the third parties know the personality and its implications. The second is the blind spot. Under the blind spot personality aspect, the others and the third parties know of the character while the person himself is not aware of the character. The third aspect is the hidden personality. In this case, although the person knows the personality aspects, this is concealed and hidden from the others. Finally are the unknown personality values that are neither known to the person themselves or the others surrounding them (Rollag, 2015).
In my learning process, I will seek to use two different learning approaches’ as mentioned in the model. The first approach I will use is increasing self-disclosure. In a self disclosure, this will include being more open to the others so that it could reduce the hidden trait in my personality (Brooks, 2017). Once this is achieved, I will then proceed to the use of a feedback system. In this context, I will ensure that I offer my colleagues and peers an opportunity to reflect and offer me inputs. The use of a feedback system will help me overcome the blond spot. This is because the others see and know more of my blind spot than I do. Hence, through their feedback, the blindness would be unveiled and I would learn the actual personality traits offering me a starting point on how to use the advantages offered and mitigate the disadvantages respectively (Neck and Houghton, 2006).
Question 2: How to Overcome Emotional Hurt and Stress
Working in an organisational set up could at times be challenging to people. This is because due to the challenges experienced, it is often possible for one to be hurt emotionally which would, in turn, affect their effectiveness and ability to perform in their allocated duties. In order to overcome such emotional hurt, I seek to develop a high emotional intelligence level (Goleman, 2000). I seek to do this using the emotional competence model developed by Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee respectively. The model illustrates four main areas through which one can manage their emotions and feelings to avoid being hurt (Goleman, 2000). I will use all the four including self-management, self-awareness, social management, and relationship management respectively.
On the one hand, a
self-awareness process includes the awareness of one's character. In this case,
once I have learned my character effectively, I will then know the areas of
potential hurt form the others based on my weakness areas. In most instances,
when people offend others in the workplace it is at times unintentional. This
is based on Chamorro-Premuzic and Yearsley (2017) who stated that “there is a negative correlation between EQ
and many of the traits that predispose individuals toward creativity and
innovation.” The offence is derived from the affected person's
perceptions on the actions of the others. Therefore, through understanding my
potential weak areas in my personality, I will overcome and reduce the risk of
being unduly offended by others in the workplace. The second approach through
which I will overcome emotional hurt in the Workplace is through a self-management
process. This is closely related and linked to the self-awareness process. In
the self-management process, it includes the self-control aspect.
The self-control process
includes working on personal emotions and keeping the hurtful and disruptive emotions
at bay (Porath, 2016). For instance, if one has a character on anger they
manage the character and learn to manage anger. Once anger is managed, it is
hard for the others to easily stimulate the anger feeling. At a personal level,
my main self-control aspect will be on trusting the others a lot. Based on my
personality, I trust my team and peers a lot (Gielan, 2017). As such, it is
potentially possible that I have over expectations on them and lack of meeting
such expectations would cause me emotional stress and disappointment. The
strategic approach I can use ion this scenario is through a self-control
avenue. The self-control process includes learning not to over-trust others and
learning to have minimal expectations of their actions. The third approach
through which I would manage and reduce emotional hurt is through developing a
social awareness. A social awareness' process includes learning the feelings
and emotions of the others in an organisation. Once one is able to understand
such a setting, it is possible to learn from their potential actions.
On my case, I have the advantage of having worked in the organisation for a long period of time. As such, I have gained two things (Gielan, 2017). First, I have learnt the organisational culture and way of doing things. I have seen the organisation in its up and downs. Therefore, this helps and gives me the strength to face challenging and weary times in my operations. Secondly, I have interacted and formed relationships with the other employees at different levels, both formally and informally. This offers me an added advantage in understanding the entire workforce especially in my line of operation. It provides an opportunity for me to learn and understand the other people’s feelings. In this context, once I have understood their feelings it would be possible for me to make more informed decisions for the function and area I lead (David and Congleton, 2013).
This would trickle down to having them comfortable with the decisions and thus reduce the chances of them offering emotions that would in turn emotionally hurt me. The final approach to handling such emotional hurt is through adopting a relationship management process (Porath, 2016). This is closely related to the aspect of social awareness. Once one has realised on the social-emotional state in an organisation, the next logical action plan would be supporting and developing such persons through relationships (David and Congleton, 2013). Being an ENFJ personality, I am in a better position to develop such relationships and reduce the instances of undue emotional hurt. Additionally, this would create emotional relationships and support for one another in mainly the challenging times in the organisational lifespan.
Question 3: Handling Cultural Diversity
The underlying issue here is cultural diversity. In order to start understanding the reasons behind the unexpected lack of contributions from the Thai and Indian employees, can be based on the Hofstede cultural dimensions theory. The theory was traditionally developed through an experimental study on IBM employees across its global branches. It asserted that each national culture differed an each branch employee across the nations. This led to the general conclusion that each of the nations had a national culture that fundamentally differed from the next nation. These differences are sampled out it five main dimensions, namely the power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualist/collectiveness', masculinity/femininity, and the long and short-term orientations respectively (Reid and Ramarajan, 2016). The process starts by understanding the diversity in the cultures demonstrated. The need to understand the employees’ culture was underscored by who stated that
People in leadership positions can avoid the fragility that results from blind acceptance of ideal-worker norms by deliberately cultivating their own nonwork identities: a civic self, an athletic self, a family-oriented self. One architect told us that when he defined himself solely in terms of his work, professional struggles and setbacks made him miserable. Ironically, as he broadened his focus, he found more professional fulfilment. As managers become more resilient, they may also learn that employees whose lives are better balanced create value for the organization (Reid and Ramarajan, 2016, p.89).
On the one hand, in the case of the Thai culture, there is a high uncertainty avoidance index, In this case, the employees and the staff members at large are fewer risk takers and areas such less willing to make hasty decisions. They often prefer to evaluate, consult and weigh in on a potential decision prior to offering any strategic recommendation or solution. Ideally, there is a culture among us that we raise the meeting agendas in hours or close to the meetings. This is because we as a culture are not averse to uncertainty and often take risks in decision-making. However, the Thai culture requires intense consultations and considerations as risk-taking is not a favourable aspect in the decision-making process. Therefore, I would do two things differently in handling the Thai staff members (Amabile, Fisher and Pillemer, 2014).
First, I would ensure that the
meeting Agendas are raised and communicated well in advance. This would ensure
that at least 24 hours prior to the meeting the agenda is known. The ideal
approach I would use is to link the agenda for a meeting to the meeting
notification providing enough time for the staff members to weigh through
potential recommendations and agenda contributions for the meeting. Secondly,
the Thai culture emphasizes values the aspects of not interrupting
communication. Therefore, the employees have a tendency of not interrupting and
jumping in into conversations top offer inputs (Groysberg and Connolly, 2013).
As such, I would ensure that in the conference calls, there is enough time for
the employees to communicate. This would be through restructuring the
discussions by ensuring that each of the two sides has enough time and schedule
planned for their contributions and responding to raised issues of concern
(Meyer, 2015). Alternatively, I would change the communication approach for the
Thai employees. Since they prefer reading the entire contributions and then
weighing through the alternatives, the conference calls are not an ideal
approaches'. The alternative would be through emails to allow them
On the other hand, the Indian employees’ current problem is based on the power distance index in the culture. In this regard, the power distance index is high in India. This means that the employees are accustomed to taking in and implementing orders not offering suggestions and contributions on strategic decisions. Therefore, one of the approaches to deal with this issue will be through the use of more open forums like conference calls (Meyer, 2015). Through conference calls, the power distance gap would be bridged through demonstrating to the staff that their inputs and contributions are highly valued. In this context, once the employees are confident that their inputs are required and offer value in the overall decision-making process, their contributions would be increased.
Secondly, the use of
conference calls would ensure that the employees exercise their collective
approach (Amabile, Fisher and Pillemer, 2014). The Indian culture is a highly
collective society and the employees prefer making decisions in teams' rather
than individuals. This is not allowed for in the emails as each employee has to
offer their specific and individual feedbacks. On the contrary, the use of a
conference call platform would ensure that the employee interacts with one
another and make collective recommendations' to the headquarters.
4: Employee Motivation
Employee motivation is a critical component in organisational operations and success. In this regard, it is critical to understand that in the today's competitive environment, employees represent the sustainable competitive edge in an organisation. The value of employees in an organisation is evidenced by Ashford and Detert (2015) stated that they “gather valuable intelligence from direct contact with customers, suppliers, and colleagues. They’re in a position to see when the market is ripe for a certain offering, for instance, or to detect early signs that a partnership won’t work out” (p.73). Therefore, motivating employees' serves as a tool for enabling the organisation to achieve its competitive positioning and competitiveness in the market. In this case, it is imperative for every organisation to determine the different approaches through which to motivate the employees (Ashford and Detert, 2015).
Our organisation has used the
financial reward approach through adding a 12% salary increment on the
employees’ salaries. Theoretically, this serves as a basic need for all the
employees. The need for the basic salary increment could be hedged on the
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The theory holds that employee needs vary and
change from one level to the next. The lowest levels of the needs are the
physical needs. These are the basic human needs of shelter, food, and clothing
(Grote, 2017). The satisfaction of the basic needs is highly reliant on the
availability of finances. Therefore, offering a salary increment to employees
in this needs level offers an increased motivational drive among them. However,
as noted, this is not the case with the organisational employees (Grote, 2017).
The reason behind this minimal motivation and drive is due to the fact that
employee needs change and vary over time.
In this regard, the needs rise to the safety, social needs through to the self-actualisation needs. These needs levels are not motivated by the basic financial needs but also by the possibility of offering non-financial needs. As a leader in the organisation, I would explore the possibilities of creating relationships with the employees' as well as offering indirect financial rewards. On the one hand, for the indirect financial rewards, I would use offer such as paid holidays for the employees (Nohria, Groysberg and Lee, 2008). This would include aspects’ such as regarding the most productive employees to holidays with their families. This would meet the employees bonding needs with their families Bassie and McMurrer, 2007). An alternative would include offering team building holidays and retreats for the employees in the organisation. This would offer additional social bonding between the employees’. In the long run, through such bonding and relationships developed among the employees ensures that they are able to work together as a family and as a team. The eventual building of a healthy team working scenario offers an opportunity for the employee to practice social awareness of the other employees (Nohria, Groysberg and Lee, 2008). In the long run, it has an effect of reducing employee conflicts and thus serving as a motivation for the employees s the workplace becomes a happy and good environment to work in.
Additionally, I would institute the non-financial reward system for the employees. This includes the use of a recognition system such as having the employee of the year award among other related awards. The use of these rewards, although not offering direct financial benefits, would ensure the creation and development of a close relationship between the employees and the organisation. In the long run period, such a bonding between the employees and the organisation would increase their commitment and contributions to the entity (Bassie and McMurrer, 2007).
Question 5: Motivating the seniors
The effective working in an organisation is based on the ability of all the employees across the levels to work in unison. The process of working in unison is hedged on the ability by the employees to influence one another. In most of the cases, it is possible for the senior employees to influence the junior employees in the organisation. This is mainly through the use of a mentorship program for the junior employees (Cuddy, Kohut and Neffinger, 2013). However, it is not enough for the senior employees to influence the junior employees but it is also relevant for the junior employees to influence the senior employees (Zak, 2017). This is the task I am supposed to accomplish and achieve in the organisational operations and execution of my duties.
I will use two approaches to enable me to influence the senior management in the decision-making process. One of the avenues I will use is creating trust. The concept of trust is based on Zak (2017) arguments that “Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance” (p.86). Trust is the fundamental value that creates bonding among organisational employees. There are different approaches to building trust between the junior and the senior employees. One such approach is through ensuring effectiveness in the junior employee duties. I will seek to develop effectiveness in my duties execution. This is through advancing my technical and managerial skills to make sure that my operations and developed decisions create value to the entity. Through such effectiveness, I would earn respect among the senior employees in the organisation and they would eventually seek to include and involve me in their strategic decision-making process (Cuddy, Kohut and Neffinger, 2013).
A second approach through which I would ensure I create influence on the senior management is through the use of an open communication system. In the communication system, I would offer avenues and platforms such as emails to the senior management. The emails offer a personalised communication channel to the management. In this regard, I would offer suggestions and recommendation emails to a specific leader on a raft of issues I would consider I could offer some valuable inputs into. The use of the email communication system would ensure that I develop a personalised attachment and relationship with each and one of the leaders in the organisation. This would be the start and genesis for the development of a relationship between me and the managers respectively (Knight, 2017).
A third approach I would use towards creating an opportunity for me to influence the senior management is through the use of the available organisational publications. The organisation has its current publication where insights and opinions by the employees are offered. I would seek to use my expertise, experience, and skills to develop and contribute to such articles. This I can achieve in two main avenues. First, I would ensure that I author articles that touch on specific and constructive issues in the organisation (Nawaz, 2017). This would ensure that I raise issues of discourse that would be of interest and value to the other employees in an organisational setup. In this context, offering such insights on critical issues would create an influence in the senior management decision-making. This would serve as a basis for their information search stage of the decision-making process. Secondly, I would ensure to respond to the issues and topics raised by the others. Through this, we would ensure that the publication forum availed by the organisation serves to our benefit and helps me influence and impact on the senior employees' decision-making process (Nawaz, 2017).
Question 6: Identifying Innovation Obstacles
The current global market
competitiveness has increased in the recent years. This means that the
traditional competitive edges such as financial capability and capacity no
longer serve as the competitive edges they used to be in the past. As such, it
is critical for the organisations to develop alternative strategies to create
overall market competitiveness in the market (Govindarajan and Winter, 2015).
One such approach is the use of innovation. The innovation strategy provides a
platform through which an organisation develops new strategies, products, and
models that are unique and new in the market. In the long run period, such
innovations create value for the organisations and enable them to stand out
apart from the others. However, there are numerous challenges that face an
organisational innovation system. We understand this through the use of the red
ocean trap model.
This as Govindarajan and
Winter (2015) stated, innovation barriers and problems can be overcome if
organisations identify the problems independently of the solutions “(p.83). The
model states that in the execution of an innovation strategy, there are a
number of barriers and traps including in the equation of a market, and the
confusion of technology innovation with market innovation among others. There
are different approaches' I would use to identify the barriers. One of the
approaches' is through conducting an organisational analysis. An organisational
analysis includes the development of an internal analysis with tools such as a
SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis includes the evaluation of the existing
strength, weakness, and opportunities and threats respectively (McCaffrey and
Pearson, 2015). The objective of such an evaluation would be to establish the
existing strengths in the applied innovation strategy and its weakness areas.
This would impact on the ability of the organisation to change its internal
systems such as other strategies to ensure that they are inline and support the
implementation of an innovation strategy. Secondly, the process would include
the evaluation of the exiting innovation strategy opportunities and threats.
Such an analysis would indicate the opportunities presented by the innovation
strategy. Additionally, it would support in demonstrating on how changes to the
system would be applied to mitigate the external threats and take advantage of
the potential opportunities.
A second approach to evaluating the barriers in the innovation strategy would be through an HR skills audit. Innovation is driven by the existing HR workforce in an organisation. In this context, the workforce entities innovation based on the workforce culture. I would implement the culture analysis in two aspects (McCaffrey and Pearson, 2015). First, I would review the company culture to demonstrate if the existing culture supports innovation and risk-taking. Secondly, I would review the employees’ culture, especially with respect to the risk-taking and uncertainty avoidance culture. This could be a major barrier to the ability by the employees to innovate and take risks through innovation. Thus, through an organisational internal analysis and through a corporate and employee culture analysis, the different forms of innovation red ocean traps and barriers would be identified (Govindarajan and Ramamurti, 2013). Once the key barriers are identified, it would be imperatively easier for me to collaborate with leaders in the entity to formulate mitigating strategies to facilitate and nurture innovation in the long run period.