Archive for the ‘Organisational Development’ Category

What I would do – version 1.2!   Leave a comment

Now, five more posts on, here are updated action points.

1. Establish the IT Strategy, but as a “living document”
2. Expose people to ideas through networking, events, seminars, courses & the like
3. Provide ongoing professional development and mentoring opportunities to all
4. Setup a system that establishes, and rewards, an ongoing flow of innovation
5. Look for improvements in structural and social capital
6. Keep a forward looking “upgrade” agenda
7. Maintain contextual perspective (organisation, users, finance)

All in the context of servant leadership.

The quote which best summarises a valid, comtemporary & successful leadership style is this:

“Leadership is the discipline of deliberately exerting special influence within a group to move it toward goals of beneficial permanance that fulfill the group’s real needs.”

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Books Read: “The Leaders Guide to Radical Management”, Denning   Leave a comment

Or as the sub-title succintly puts it: reinventing the workplace for the 21st Century.

This book is an easy read, and full of straightfoward principles.

The primary thesis here is that radical management is about generating in-demand output that involves people with a common passion and who are good at what they do.

And at the outset he quotes the American philosopher to lay a foundation for the aim of the book:
  “If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory.

Its about continuous innovation, and whilst the principles he puts forth have been separately “discovered” before he states that its through the interlocking nature of them as a whole that will have great impact.

These principles are:
1. focus work on delighting the client
2. do work through self-organising teams
3. do work in client-driven iterations
4. deliver value to clients each iteration
5. be totally open about impediments to improvement
6. create a context for continuous self-improvement by the team itself
7. communicate through interactive conversations

For me, it is about the client. And although not every client would welcome it, incremental innovation does indeed have benefits to both the provider and the client.

Books Read: “The Frontiers of Management”, Drucker   Leave a comment

Drucker, in this series of wide ranging essays, postulates two things:
1. the future is being made by totally anonymous people
2. change is opportunity

His aim for this book is to provide knowledge, insight, foresight and competence. Plus create vision.

One of his chapters is on white-collar productivity. He posits three measurements for this class of productivity:
1. length of time taken to bring product out of development into the market
2. the number of new products and services introduced to the market in a given period
3. number of supporting staff, including levels of management, for a given output

The comparison is with blue-collar organisations. Blue-collar output is roughly proportional to the number of staff, whereas white-collar output can/should be inversely proportional.

Other thoughts sprinkled throughout the book are:
– information-based organisations rest on responsibility
– modern leadership is one that respects performance, but requires self-discipline & upward responsibility
– innovation requires backing people, rather than the projects (especially early in the life of the innovation)

For me, this collection of Drucker’s thoughts is mostly of informational value. However, the insights into white-collar productivity (ie, IT) are most relevant. The basic implication is that as time goes on, IT staff should be able to handle more systems (with the assumption that existing systems become more efficient & effective).

Books Read: “The Facilitative Leader”, Ray   Leave a comment

This book comes from the heart of Glenn Ray. With 27 years as a member of commercial organisations and a further 15 as an organisational development consultant, plus the study he has undertaken, Glen knows what goes into successful leadership.

Facilitative leadership is successful leadership.

And the qualities of a facilitative leader are:
– relationship building
– coaching
– learning
– problem solving
– action planning
– implementation tracking

And there are 5 modes that the leaders functions in:
– enabler of change
– respectful communicator
– developer of people and teams
– master of problem-solving tools
– manager of conflict

And yes, Glenn does use various models (ie. the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Model, various brainstorming techniques, and so on) but at its heart the facilitative leader displays servant leadership.

For me, this book highlights the way to get the best out of those you are leading.

Posted February 21, 2013 by terop in Books Read, Leadership, Organisational Development

Books Read: “Strategic Management in the Innovation Economy”, Davenport, Leibold, Voelpel   Leave a comment

It can be argued that we have moved on from a knowledge economy to a creative/innovation economy. If this holds true, then a new approach to strategic management is required.

Thus the concept of “poised strategic management” as opposed to the traditional analytical and mechanistic approaches to strategic management.

This book is a refreshingly new look at strategic management and squarely demonstrates its timeliness.

To give you a sense of what the book covers, here are the parts of the book:
– The innovation economy and strategy
– The changing nature of business and challenges to strategic management
– A new strategy mindset for the innovation economy
– Strategy, business models and organisational energy
– New strategic management processes and tools
– Strategy leadership and management in the innovation economy

Here’s some quotes from the book:
– “strategic management in the innovation economy requires a new mindset, rooted in a systemic (networked, interactive) view & not a traditional (mechanistic) value-chain, industry-bound, or an existing (physical, internal) resource capability orientation”
– “companies have felt that workers needed them more than they needed workers. This is changing in ways that most companies still do not seem to grasp” (Drucker)
– “a firm’s real competitive advantage is both its contribution to the ecosystem & systemic enterprise, & acting as an essential ‘attractor’ shaping & influencing ecosystem patterns of behaviour”

Further, here’s their 4 key requirements for management in the innovation economy:
– foresight and insight
– co-creating mentality
– broad innovation
– ability to effect cultural change & unleash energy in organisations

And the 4 challenges to the conventional strategic management wisdom:
– the shift from visible assets & invisible customers to invisible assets & visible customers
– the displacement of horizontal & vertical organisations with networks of intrafirm, extrafirm & interfirm relationships
– change of focus from analytic deconstruction of competition & markets to holistic construction & collaboration for innovative value
– descriptive & reactive mindsets shifting to creative & proactive mindsets

So, what is “poised strategic management”? It is: “the management of multiple business models for sustaining and disruptive value innovation in collaborative business networks”.

Comparing the two models of strategy development:
Traditional Strategy Process
– situation analysis
– strategic analysis & strategy pointers
– strategy formulation
– strategy implementation and change
Holistic (poised) Strategy Process
– sense-making of business ecosystems
– business model re-invention: processes & tools
– business model & strategy options
– strategy thrusts
– enabling continuous business model & strategy fitness: capabilities & methods

The approach, while new to me, of “Organisational Fitness Profiling” seems to be the right one for ascertaining the organisations potential performance using poised strategic management. It comprises of organisational levers and capabilities:
– organisational levers
  – leadership team
  – work system
  – management processes
  – human resources system
  – principles & culture
  – corporate context
– capabilities
  – co-ordination
  – competence
  – committment
  – communication
  – conflict management
  – creativity
  – capacity management

So, at its heart this poised strategy management approach is about undertaking both incremental innovation and disruptive innovation. Its the ability to handle convergent thinking (the assumption of continuity) and divergent thinking (broadening the context of decision making).

So, how does this apply to me? Its both looking to maintain the status quo & keeping a watch, with the option to embrace, disruptive technology.

What I would do – version 1.1!   Leave a comment

So, what amendments to this list?

1. Establish the IT Strategy, but as a “living document”
2. Expose people to ideas through networking, events, seminars, courses & the like
3. Provide ongoing professional development and mentoring opportunities to all
4. Setup a system that establishes, and rewards, an ongoing flow of innovation
5. Keep a forward looking “upgrade” agenda
6. Maintain contextual perspective (organisation, users, finance)

All in the context of servant leadership.

The quote which best summarises a valid, comtemporary & successful leadership style is this:

“Leadership is the discipline of deliberately exerting special influence within a group to move it toward goals of beneficial permanance that fulfill the group’s real needs.”

Books Read: “Right Brain / Left Brain Leadership”, Decosterd   Leave a comment

Excellent insights into what makes successful leaders. In essence, success goes to those with the greatest breadth and flexibility in style and perspective.

As Dr. Decosterd is well experienced in organisational development, applied psychology, university teaching and executive coaching her views are most applicable.

The start of the book there is her “Leadership Behaviour Rating” scale (1-10), where a score above 7 in a category indicates a depth strength. A high breadth score is a score of 7 in 7 or more categories:
– assertive
– transformational
– strategic
– savvy
– innovative
– expressive
– engaging
– resilient
– methodical
– grounded

And thus to her thesis – in order to succeed leaders need to act from a broader, more complete range of business, organisational and interpersonal behaviours.

The model she presents has 10 guiding behaviours (how to) and 4 key processes (what):
Behaviours
– left brain:
  – methodical
  – expressive
  – grounded
  – assertive
– right brain:
  – strategic
  – innovative
  – transformational
  – engaging
– plus factors:
  – resilient
  – savvyy
Processes
– visioning
– operationalising
– implementing
– declaring

The above lists just scratch the surface as each of these behaviours have related traits (which are too numerous to list here).

And there are action/development plans to assist in the trajectory of leadership improvement. They are based on:
– orient your leadership from right to left
– work differently, not harder
– when stuck in a preference, shift style
– avoid the quick fix
– manage your energy thoughout the day
– create dynamic interplays
– promote synergies
– go natural
– build a library on leadership, not book-of-the-month picks
– make feedback your new best friend

There is a Charles Schulz quote in the book which is quite apt: “Life is like a ten speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use”.

For me, there is much in the book which speaks to self development

Posted February 21, 2013 by terop in Books Read, Leadership, Organisational Development