February 16, 2012

Leadership and Situational Responses.

Leadership style varies from one individual to another but all have something in common; the desire to achieve a particular goal or target, be it an authoritative, charismatic or a democratic style of leadership.

A further look into the earlier mentioned leadership styles presents me with a strong belief that the desired goal or target is mostly situational and people determined. For instance, let us consider a complex situation where one has to deliver results under a tight time constrain. Let us also add here that the leader adopts the laissez-faire style of leadership which unfortunately meets a group of laid back followers who needs to be directed on every single task. There is no gain saying that the leader in the above scenario is bound to fail.

From the foregoing, the scenario would demand a more different leadership approach probably the authoritarian style. This style seeks to harness the potentials of the followers while giving them detailed instructions on the next line of action.

In a contrasting scenario, lets us pitch a leader with limited knowledge in a specific field against followers who are very vast and can independently respond positively to difficult tasks. The result would be obvious; a group of people who with little or no supervision achieve their goals as at when due. This consequently gives the leader the opportunity to adopt a democratic and more relaxed approach to leadership.

Having considered just two different situations, I am quick to conclude that a workable leadership style would be largely dependent on the prevailing situation and group being led.


February 15, 2012

Hoshin Kanri and Employee Engagement.

With the presentations on Hoshin Kanri and Balance Scorecard technique of policy deployment, i have got a better and clearer understanding of these principles. With this knowledge, i will tend to stick to the side of Hoshin Kanri principle. Among the other reasons why i believe this principle is better is the opportunity that it develops or rather it encourages employee engagement.

Employee engagement can be seen as a combination of commitment to the organisation and its values and goals.....employee engagement rises above the desire for job satisfaction or motivation. every employer would want an active and engaged workforce because they deliver business performance , so responsibility lies on the employer to provide these levels of engagement (CIPD).

With Hoshin Kanri focusing on the whole organisation by communicationg the shared vision down from management to the shop floor reiterates my point of it being a more suitable approach to policy deployment.

For me, deciding to get up everyday and go to work with a broad understanding of what the purpose of working is as well as what goals i am trying to achieve would enable me to give my best everyday.

Nita Clarke of the employee engagement taskforce says people especially young people are not prepared anymore to just hang their brains on the door whenever they come into the organisation and do whatever the boss tells them to do without a clear path of what and where they are going.

So if organisations bear this in mind and use policy deployment principles such as Hoshin Kanri that develops a culture of involvement down to teams and sector levels by making them understand the values and goals of the organisation, i think it would go a long way in helping them achieve their objectives.





February 13, 2012

develop leaders

Taking the words of Ordway Tead “on every hand today the cry is for more and better leaders” and also that of Vic Feather “what industry needs now are not bosses but leaders”. This made an interesting point to me based on our seminar topic today – how to develop leaders within your organisation.

In every organisation the ability to develop effective leaders within teams, departments or operations I think cannot be over emphasized due to the changing times and situations in which we find our selves in. Having people who can take the mantle of leaderhip even when the leaders are not present says a lot about the individual and the organisation.

What came to mind during the class seminar wasn’t basically about just developing people to become leaders but rather developing people to become effective and great leaders who can make a difference in the organisation however minute it may seem.

I remember sometime back at work, when a customer said to my boss that she wasn’t an effective leader because if she wasn’t around then it seemed like her subordinates could not perform or carry out their job function. That statement alone was a huge food for thought for her. And learning from that comment, I think it would be ideal as leaders to develop and train your followers without fear of having them run you over to take over your jobs.


February 01, 2012

Variations in Leadership

Give me your definition of a leader …….ask this question to 50 people and I am sure you would get 50 different definitions.

Working with my team members in doing the analysis matrix seemed pretty easy because the definitions of leadership were already stated out in black and white, so all we had to do was to match the most relevant… but asking each person to brainstorm and come up individually with ideas pertaining to what we thought leadership meant was a whole different ball game altogether.

I think it’s an ideal phase for me now in my development process while still in this “safe environment “ to test the waters by trying to understand the basic key attributes and characteristics of leadership ,identify situations where being a direct or indirect leader can be most effective and also improve my ability to work in teams.


January 31, 2012

MANAGE 2 LEAD.

Having the discussion whether managers are leaders or whether leaders are managers, gave me an insight into what these two words meant. Managing and leading from my viewpoint are two different things. Leading is about managing and directing people towards attaining a certain goal while managing seems to be about just getting what has to be done with little or no element of leading.

Does being a manager make you a leader? My answer is NO.

I say no because I have had the opportunity to work with a couple of bosses who I thought were not good leaders and based on what i’ve learnt so far in this two days and leaning towards Modar’s point of “leaders inspire and manage change”, it only goes to confirm my belief.

I am of the view that being a manager who is not a good or effective leader would only take you this far (nowhere) as compared to being a manager who is an effective leader.


January 30, 2012

the strength of character


looking at some of the definitions, analysis and explanation of leadership, it is clear that a single definition cannot satisfactorily explain what leadership, leading or being a leader is. i believe that different characteristics such as influencing, giving directions,ability to manipulate, having a shared goal are necessary but there are two characteeristics of leadership that strikes me the most -' strength of character and unwavering determination'.

also during the class session when we were listing down the learning points of the lifeboat exercise, this was one of the points that was listed "if you don't fit a sterotype, it is more difficult to establish yourself".And that got me thinking if Rogers or Brett or Sue or any of the people we choose as leaders were physically challenged or didn't meet up to our "sterotyped" notion, would we have choosen them despite the fact that they had all the necessary characteristics or attributes of being the most suitable leader or deputy?


January 15, 2012

CULTURE

A good company culture right from top level management down to the shop floor level is a very key concept of continuous process improvement be it through the use of lean or six sigma or total quality management in any organisation. on one hand, leadership commitment and a strong support from the management proves to be a very effective factor first in any improvement process. while on the other hand, a good and well motivated set of employees fully ready to participate and involve themselves in the change process is also very vital.


January 09, 2012

lean & six sigma : products & services

while studying about lean and six sigma , i have understood that the basic philosophy behind lean is the elimination of waste while six sigma focuses on the need for quality improvement in order to reduce the number of defects in products. i tend to think that the application of lean principles in an organisation acts more as a stepping stone for the implementation of six sigma improvement process.

though customer satisafaction and adding value to the customer is key in all aspects of business. most of the literature i came across, speak more of lean and six sigma in manufacturing sectors and about products. i am still unclear of how well to integrate lean principles and six sigma tools through DMAIC in an organisation that is primarily service based.


December 25, 2011

SANTA VS SIX SIGMA

Christmas time is here again,

It's a time of peace and goodwill to all men, homecoming/homegoing, shopping, giving and receiving of gifts, opportunity for some good rest and time spending with family and loved ones.

It could also be a time for sober reflection on the year's activities......kind of a stock checking thingy to see how one performed during the year which is about to roll by and what needs to be improved in the new year.

For me, homegoing means a six hour trip back to Nigeria a connecting flight to Delta State and some few hours road trip to the family...with the hope that there are no special causes just common causes only so as not to change the whole process...

Although there wasn't any homegoing for me, but i am just thinking of how six sigma implementation (DMAIC) would have helped solved any problems in the homegoing plan if i had one? Or how it would have helped reduce movement time or any variations in the process.

.......If Santa was the CEO of the christmas season company that was applying six sigma methodology to improve its business performance and ensure consistent quality, i am certain we would all be doing loads of shopping, travelling or buying/receiving gifts rather than looking for ways to reduce waste(no shopping) and cutting down on our movement/cycle times(no homegoing or coming)......just wondering though!!!

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


December 18, 2011

VARIATION.

I have been able to understand theimportance of identifying variation. The ability to recognise variation either in the process being improved or variation in the people undergoing the improvement process is very key. For process variation, being able to understand what is normal and consistent with a process rather than searching for a non existent reason to alter the process due to just one peculiar or special case. But I wonder if the control limits in companies can be changed? In a situation where the special cause has been identified and eliminated and an adjustment on the control limits is done; if that which acted as a special cause becomes a common cause does that mean the process is stable or more capable? And for people variation, the ability to recognize and be aware of their psychological needs, how it varies fom person to person, their input and the level to which it affects the improvement process is a very significant factor.


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