The survey was closed today and analysis of the results will be published on http://cprisks.blogspot.com/ shortly.
Thank you for your participation.
I am an MSc student in the “Programme and Project Management” course at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick.
In my master thesis I am looking at project risk management in international collaborative projects and aim to explore the influence of culture differences of the partner organisations.
Within the course of my studies I designed a questionnaire which aims to facilitate an overview of how organisations approach risk management when entering into and/or performing in international collaborative projects.
Questionnaire "Risk Management and the Influence of Culture"
If you have any experience working in international collaborative projects, I would be grateful if you could spend a few minutes to take part in this survey. Your answers will be treated as strictly confidential. The survey consists of four sections, each containing about seven questions.
Please be assured that the data obtained will be used for the purpose of this research only.
If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please do not hesitate to contact me.
MSc Programme and Project Management
WMG, University of Warwick
I beleive that a part of leader's responsibility is to improve his or her team's effectiveness. I have not thought of it before but what is an effective team? What makes a team effective?
I found my answer in chapter 10 of 'Inspirational Leaders' by Ronald J Burke and Cary L. Cooper. In the book, team effectiveness consists of 2 components: team performance and team viability.
Performance relates to teams ability to successfully deliver an output. Where as the concept of viability is future oriented and includes continutity (maintaining core team membership), commitment (to shared goals), cohesion (unity between team members) and capability (developing competencies to achieve shared goals).
So to maximise effectiveness of a team, a leader must attend to both performance and viability of the team.
Spears (and no I do not mean Britney :) ) identified 10 characteristics of a servant leadder in Robert Greenleaf's book - 'The power of Servant Leadership.' These are:
9. Commitment to the growth of people
10. Building community
The above points 1-3 is about how to effectively manage people. Listening to them, empathising with them and healing relationship between co-workers and friends.
Awareness is about being aware of one's strengths and weaknesses as well as the surroundings.
Persuasion is about how to effectively approach people and motivaate them in the long run. Using powers of reason and logic to persuade other rather than one's positional power.
Conceptualising and foresight is about identifying an appropriate vision, strategy and goals for the team/company, and being aware of the consequences of the actions that one take to achieve set goals.
Stewardship is what I beleive is the essense of servant leadership style, it is about 'first abd foremost a commitment to serving the needs of others.' And this links in with the 9th point, investing the the growth of individuals both from intelectual and career perspectives.
The final point, is about aiming for more than just successful achievement of a goal and creating an effective team, it is about creating a great environment for everyone.
I really this model because it shows the several dimensions of leadership as well as describe a leader as more than just as someone who leads others.
During the LE module, someone raised an intersting question - Why we no longer have big leaders like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi? Leaders that can capture the imagination of an entire nation and motivate a whole country into action. Where did they all go? Why we do not have this type of leaders anymore?
I found that answer in Warren Bennis's book - 'On becoming a leader'. He states that the problems that companies face are significantly more complex than compared to those faced in the past. Therefore, no matter how effective and knowledagble leader is he/she cannot solve today's problems effectively on their own.
Bennis's soultion to today's problems lies with teams of talented individuals with varied knowledge and skils who are lead by an effective leader(s). So, we might not have a BIG LEADER, but effective organisations have at least several effective leaders.
Kotter in his many publications states that creating a vision, getting people to accept it and implement it through appropriate strategies and annual goals is at the heart of leadership. Kotter also states that each team leader and his/her team within an organisation must have a personalised vision that is in line with the overall vision of the organisation.
Applying this to the LE PMA, I am considering using the vision that we created during the lectures for the CEO. Guiding the CEO to coming up with relevant guiding values from the overall vision and using it to facilitate teamwork between his MDs.
CEO greatest challenge as a leader is to generate teamwork and communication between his MDs. I beleive that this will be used as an effective example of teamwork that should be created and sustained between the different departments throughout and at all levels of the organisation.
The second step is to generate 'a second level' vision for the MD (my choise is financial director) that will be in line with the main vision but will be more specific to finance department and its personnel. For example -
Provide quick and reliable assistance to our colleagues in matter of finance and cost management.
So just like the CEO, FD use this vision to motivate and engage her managers to take necessary action.
The idea is that CEO with the MDs act as an example of effective team and as such inspire the rest of the organisation to follow suit.
I just started to read up about leadership for the PMA. Since there are several ways in which this PMA can be tackled, I was considering listing some of them:
Basically, write before, during or after the event. Any other suggestions?
Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meredith_Belbin
Meredith Belbin stated that an effective team must have at least one of the following:
2. Resource Investigator
Linking this with what Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book - 'The Tipping Point' - it raises an interesting question what is the optimu number for people in an effective team and what a leader must do when the team exceeds that number. Malcolm Gladwell wrote an individual can only have continuous, regular and meaningful contact with maximum of 12 people. An individual rarely can exceed that number because everyone is limited by time and energy.
In our in-class discussions we assumed that the team we are talking about are about the same size as the one we had for all the modules that we attended i.e. between 4 and 7 team members. In teams of this size, it is easy for a leader to keep contact with everyone and address each team-member's problem(s) as they arise.
However, what happens if we as leader(s) must manage a team of 50, 100 or even 347 people. How do we keep at least the majority of them motivated and working hard towards the set goals. I beleive that in order to achieve this a leader must develop sub-leaders or lietenants who can supervise the sub-sets of teams. The leader will lead his lietenants who then will lead their team-members.
This is the structure that most organisations adopt. Although it does enable the leader to manage a large sized team, it does create an additional problem of how to ensure that the message does not get diluted or skewed as it travels down from the leader to the lowest team-member.
I beleive that there are 2 things that leaders must to do to mitigate this:
1. Have a clear, short vision that easily be converted into strategy and specific operational goals.
2. Ensure that there is a clear communication channels that allow open feedback.
To summarise, an effective team must not be above 12 people and if there are more than 12 people in a team they should be broken down into sub-teams according to specific goals and/or tasks.
I really enjoyed today's lecture and exerciese.I still think I prefer studying mathematics and natural sciences, from which you always get precise results. I actually hate it when there is not a right or wrong answer, it just confuses me! Unfortunately, in reality, it is always the case. See how many sides of the story you can grasp…
Well hope the group work tomorrow will go well and we can get good mark for the presentation. It will be Suliko, Sophie, Anin and I...what more do I need to say?its the perfect combination lol,I have so much faith in us.
I also aim to start PIM PMA next week while everything is still fresh. Don’t want to be a last-minute person any more...its time to have a major lifestyle makeover, and to grow up...
I finally realised my problem regarding essay writing (well I think it also applies to other aspects of life, in relation to ways of thinking and decision making). I am aware of that I am a ‘big picture’ person. I focus (or say, favour) structures and logic and tend to reject details. When I was doing my undergraduate degree, I sometimes had original and innovative ideas but often failed using existing theories or facts to support my arguments. Thus I have attempted to go through wide range of literatures when I am studying this MSC course; however, I seem to be losing my initiative while absorbing other people’s well-established outlooks.
I relied on literatures too much and it appears to be easier to just ‘borrow’ whatever they say, whichever makes sense to me. Even when I was trying to identify Waverider’s 'core business' and 'facilities', I was even searching journal articles by using key words like ‘facilities’ and ‘manufacturers’, it was reasonable but I soon got fed up and thought it was totally waste of time. So I took a break and had a chat with a friend and asked for his opinion, then I realized that actually I’d already had an idea what facilities are in Waverider’s case based on my own understanding of FM. I asked myself “how about if it was wrong?”, and then I answered myself “but there is no right or wrong answer, supposing I justify myself well it is always reasonable”. Even though it isn’t anything spectacular, it is at least my own idea, my contribution.
Referring to Knowledge Management, We perceive differently because we retrieve/decode the information in our own ways and then we develop or create our own version of knowledge based on diverse individual experience and existing knowledge! THE PURPOSE OF KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRING IS TO CREATE KNOWLEDGE!
As I mentioned in previous thread, aims and objectives should be set when doing background reading. Now I think ‘intervals’ need to be taken to revise and summarise already-required ‘information’ and turn them into ‘knowledge’. Subsequently, we may alter the direction of knowledge acquiring and hopefully it results in progress.
The below points are from a book that I recently read called "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It is available in the library and I recomend everyone to read it. Library Ref. No. QZ 820.C2
Be a Leader
1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation
2. Call attention to other people’s mistakes indirectly
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person
4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
5. Let the other person safe face
6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.
7. Give the other person a fine reputation to leave up to.
8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
9. Make the person happy about doing the thing you suggest
Dale Carnegie states that applying the above principles will help one to be a more effective leader.
I was chosen to be a leader by my team for the second assignment and I beleive that we made a good progress today. We achieved the following today:
I beleive that the above progress was achieved because our team is dedicated, innovative and motivated to succeed. We all learned from our past in-module experiences, on what is required to be both an effective leader and team member.
As a leader, my job was to facilitate the idea creation process and play to team member's strengths.
For example, Jeries - IT skills, Pepie - Resourcefulness, and Konstantina - Innovativeness.
From the above list of principles, I applied the principles 1, 4 and 8 (minus the mistake part). In addition to this I also did the following:
Source: Harvard Business - Management Tip of the Day
The below are four points for effective communication with a team, especially during these challenging times.
I was very confused and frustrated that there is so much literature available and I was drained in the sea of ‘knowledge’/'Information'. And then I was thinking what I read in Kang Fan’s blog about ‘knowledge’ and ‘information’. Information is not always necessarily useful until you encountered the most ‘useful’ and the most appropriate one under certain circumstances. When facing overload of information, which has always been the case, we need to ask ourselves what we need to get out of the research. It is essential to set aims and objectives and stick to them, otherwise you might get lost. I always find some interesting articles but rarely relevant to the PMA or project, I keep reading and lose valuable time,which could had been spent contricuting to that specific project. Maybe we just have to say bye-bye to those relatively unrelevant information because we have to prioritise our tasks and allocate our time wisely. Thus, selection of information is critical.
Today, during our presentation of leadership definitions, we stated that leaders need to know how to influence and motivate their team members. Nilakant and Ramnarayan, in their book 'Change Management: Altering Mindsets in a Global Context', mention the work done by Robert Cialdini who developed 6 principles of persuasion.
Cialdini stated that these principles work only if they are used for ethically acceptable and morally valid reasons. The 6 persuasion principles are:
The first principle asserts that we tend to like people who are similar to us and who praise us. Therefore, a leader can influence people by honestly praising them and showing interest about people's concerns. Leaders can also identify his/her supporters who are similar to those he/she trying to persuade and mobilise those supporters to gain the acceptance of others.
The second principle, reciprocity, leads people to repay in kind what they receive. As the saying goes - treat people the way you want to be treated. Therefore, if a leader wishes that his staff help him, he must help them first. Employees are more willing to trust managers who are perceived as helpful and benevolent.
The third principle states that individuals looks for clues in their surrounding environment and people to decide how to feel, think and act. Basically, people who surround us influence our thinking. This is in line with what Paul stated on Monday, motivate people by creating an appropriate environment. So an individual can be motivated if the team that he/she belong to is motivated, therefore, a leader can engage and motivate individuals by targeting the team as whole.
Consistency, the fourth principle is about a human need for consistent pattern of behaviour. People rely on others to be consistent, so a leader must be consistent in his/her behaviour to gain the trust of his team.
The principle of authority claims that people tend to be influenced by people who they perceive to be 'experts'. Therefore, to be effective a leader must be competent and be able to demonstrate his/her competence through his/her actions.
The last and sixth principle - scarcity - claims that people want more of what we can have less of. So when things are made less available, their perceived value rises. The other implication of this principle is that we are more influenced by potential losses than by our potential gains. So if a leader makes the negative impact of not taking some action known, the team members are more likely to be influenced to act. Mind you this is not about coercion, but rather about how lack of action can impact the organisation e.g. making it less competitive or leading to it incurring a loss.
Only 4 months left before ending my full-time student life...how scary!Always wish that I 'd started working harder earlier...in a way I don't know why I decided to do a master's course,maybe for all the wrong reasons?!I am not as good as I thougt.
Doing this course made me learn a lot about myself,or to be more precise,to accept how I really am...I am spoiled, lack of discipline, immature, irresposible and easily distracted. I always know my weakness,but what can I do?I try to overcome these shortcomings but often fail...what can I do?!
Anyway, I hope I can focus better and make the best of these four months to make up the time I have wasted.
So, it's me getting started!very excited,looking forward to starting lectures.I can not believe I am physically here,it's just wow.Thank god,thank you for your blessing!!!