Week Eleven (Chapter 6 and 7)

Chapter 6

This chapter is how to deal with change and the emphasis on taking risks. Organizational change is alterations of existing work routines and strategies that affect the whole organization. Companies cannot live being stagnant and doing the same thing. This happens with many companies, especially with the emergence of technology. What is important is that companies and managers need to get with the times, and in order to be on top, they need to be innovative. The book says “innovations require risks, and successfully fast-growing companies are greater innovative risk-takers, as they take advantage opportunities”. It is scary to take risks, and reading this chapter effectively backed up the idea of the importance of creating change. If we do not take risks, then the business will be inhibited.

Types of Change

  • Strategy – corporate, business, and function strategies change over time.
  • Structure – How the organization was a whole and its departments and jobs change over time
  • Technology – How the firm transforms input into outputs can change
  • People – Employees can change their attitudes and behavior and develop skills that change their performance.

For the part of types of change, it was nice seeing it being broken down. Whenever we complain about something not being effective it is important to also think of what can actually change. Sometimes we blame a fellow employee or a boss. The change that would be needed could actually a structure issue or a strategy issue. An effective manager would be able to see which change would need to happen, and they would be proactive to fix the problem with the right solution.

Why do we do this?

A reason I think we are reading this goes along the lines of what CEO Rometty said.

CEO Ginni Rometty has three rule:

  1. Don’t protect the past.
  2. Never be defined by your product.
  3. Always transform yourself.

It is a mindset that we need to have in order to be successful in a business. We cannot be stuck with a strategy or a person that is creating great profit only for now. We need to be innovative and be ready for a change. Successful people like CEO Rometty sees change as a positive thing, and so we need to take those risks. Sometimes we need to leave what was so comfortable for us. I think it would be hard to not be defined by your product. We all want to be a part of something, so I think it is hard for a lot of teams to let go of what they worked so hard on. Sometimes we just need to keep on going and moving.

How do we do this?

Changes in culture part of an innovative culture

  • Encouragement of Risk Taking
  • Flexibility
  • Open Systems

A lot of these work applications in the chapter talk about how the person in power needs to emulate these changes. I think encouraging your members to risk take allows members to grow. There may be a timeline, but innovating means that it will not follow a schedule. That means that companies need to be flexible. These changes are able to create innovative change, and so it is important to create that environment. This might include flexible hours, self-directed projects, and open collaboration.

I thought it was really interesting also to see how success and startups were affected by race and, age and education diversity also exist. It really does indeed affect the way success is achieved. The book talked about how to overcome resistance to change. Some of the things listed are:

  • Develop a positive trust climate for change.
  • Plan.
  • Clearly, state why the change is needed and how it will affect employees.
  • Create a win-win situation.
  • involve employees
  • provide support and evaluations,
  • Create urgency.

These would be ways in which we would be able to take risks and create change. These seem like really straightforward solutions, but putting these into practice is harder than it seems. I need to work on these things in order to be an effective manager.

Chapter 7 – Organizing and Delegating Work 

This chapter talked about the different parts of management. I think this part of the book will help me in my job as a leader. For my job, I have bosses and people to delegate. There are different hierarchies of the organization, and so it was

One point I found really interesting was the difference between authority and power. People usually assume that those things are one in the same, but sometimes you can have one without the other. The quote in the book says “So you can be a manager without any real power, and you can have power without being a manager”. I have learned to work on both. Some people can have the position of a manager, but people do not end up following through with the work. Essentially a manager can walk the walk, but the manager could not walk the walk. I am always cautious that I am made aware of the actions that I take. I do make mistakes, but I need to own up to them in order to get the respect from others for them to follow my instruction. It really is about making a good relationship with your fellow team members in order to get both power and authority.

The book also talks about “in a position of authority and power, don’t assume you will get respect, as it is not automatic; you have to earn respect based on your behavior”. That really hit me. This means it takes a lot of time and effort in order to get authority and power. In order to be an effective manager I need to work to show I am a leader, but I can also be an effective equal team member. I also think this is just general in life. I will get respect when I build those connections, and then I can be seen as a person that people can understand and follow. I would want the same things from people I know, so I need to do the same.

There is also the difference between the authorities.

  • Line authority – the responsibility to make decisions and issue orders down the chain of command.
  • Staff authority – the responsibility to advise and assist other personnel.

Why did we read this?

I feel like I need to learn to do both. It is hard to find that balance of helping others make decisions, and then having to just make decisions. The people I work with are similar to my age, so I do not have more experience than them. I think for me personally I need to fake it until I make it in order to believe I can do both. I feel like I do more of the staff authority, and I need to be more confident in doing line authority.

How do we do this?

The last thing I thought was interesting was job enrichment. I think this is really important because we all need to keep a motivation in our job, so we are able to do it the best of our ability. Job enrichment is “a process of building motivators into the job itself to make it more interesting and challenging”. It is prevalent for the manager to keep the group motivated because we all know what happens when a team is not on the same page. Lack of motivation lags the efficiency and end goal, so managers need to allow members to grow. I realized when I am a team leader I end up doing a lot of the work because I do not want to give work to more than someone else because that could create animosity. I think a big motivator for people is to be able to do what they want to to do their part. As a leader, I would allow for more freedom, and allow the team members to grow. I also think when we feel like we are a part of something good we end up working harder too. It would enrich my job to see that my fellow team members are working their hardest.




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