All entries for February 2011
February 19, 2011
From the final team exercise and the discussion afterwards, I got to know the importance of a effectively explaining the objectives. The format of the exercise was similar to the organization in real world in which the leader only knew the objectives. It is very important for the leader to effectively communicate with the workforce. He has all the knowledge. The employees might not have that knowledge and so to make them contribute towards the objectives and goals of the organization, the leader should make them undertand the overall goals and the role of employees to achieve those goals. It is very easy for a leader to fall into the misconception that what he knows, the employees also know. So in my opinion, effective communication is the key to overcome this problem.
February 18, 2011
There can be two motivations behind the implementation of CSR practices. One is the adoptation of CSR in a strategic way and the other is the value led approach. The first approach primarily focuses on the self interest of the company from the CSR implementation. The motive behind can be to build a positive reputation of the company. The other approach is the value led approach which focuses on the CSR as a core value of the activities of the company. This approach is adopted when the management believes that ethics and CSR, are the values which should be upheld in all circumestances. In my opinion the motivation behind the CSR implementation is very important. The company should make CSR as one of its core values and take actions accordingly. I got to know that empirical evidence is also gathering which shows that the true benefits of CSR are achieved by the value led approach and the company also performs better in terms of the financial profits, in the long run, by behaving in this way. So, in my opinion the motivation behind the CSR implementation should be in line with the value led approach.
February 17, 2011
Today I learnt a very important aspect about CSR. Many companies don't adopt CSR as it doesn't bring benefits in the short term. It incurs cost and doesn't bring visible benefits in the short term. The important thing to understand is that CSR brings benefit in the long term. It is the approach towards the implmentation of CSR is what's important. The true benefits of CSR will be visible in the long term. So right from the start of taking CSR initiatives the company should have this understanding, otherwise it might be that after some time it forgoes the CSR practices in view of no visible benefits from it.
February 14, 2011
Leadership is a function of leader, group and situation. I came to know about this function in class today. I think that effective leadership is not dependent on the leader alone. The group and situation both play a part. For example, a leader can be very effective on his own but it might be that his leadership becomes ineffective with a certain group of people or in a certain kind of situation. I think that the effect of each independent variable on the dependent variable is debatable. But simply knowing this relationship is very useful. It gives important insights on the key elements of effective leadership. A leader has to develope his own skills as well as experience working with different kinds of people and in different situatuions to become an effective leader.
In the team activities today, I got to know about some very different styles of leadership. Depending on the situation, leadership can be implemented in different ways. The autocratic style is useful in pressure and limited time situation. The democratic and Fair style can be effective when there is a considerable time to achieve the objectives. It can become difficult when the objectives have to be completed in limited time as taking everyone's opinions and then implementing would take a lot of time. So the key learning point was that a leader might have to change his leadership style depending on the situation. There is probably a natural style of leadership that each person has. But an effective leader might have to go out of his comfort zone i.e his natural style and adopt some other style. I'll try to learn the different styles of leadership in order to mould myself as a leader, depending on the situation.
I think that to change the mindset of leaders in an organization we have to remember the circle diagram about the area of influence, which grows bigger with time. The follower has to start from his own domain and see what he can do to bring the change. He can't force his ideas and so he has to exercise the power in his domain. By effectively doing that he can increase his area of influence and propose to the leader the efficient way of doing things. The understanding should be there however, that changing the mindset of a person is a slow process. Also as a follower, the person can make suggestions to the leader whenever he has the opportunity to communicate, like in meetings etc. An important thing to remember is that the person has to be honest and stand up to what he believes. He has to back and support his ideas and explain the reasons effectively and politely to the leader.
February 13, 2011
CSR can be implemented by organizations in many different ways. The organization can take steps to protect the environment, ensure emplyee well being by providing them job security, provide and increase education opportunities for masses, health protection etc. I beleive that ideally the fundamental motives behind these steps should be to play a genuine part in the welll being of the society; to take it as a responsibility rather than to enhance the image of the company. However in actual practice, I think this rarely happens. There is always some sort of gain that the company seeks for itself. Altruistic behavior is not common in humans and in the same way it is not common in companies. True benefits of CSR implementation (the genuine welfare of the society), in my beleif would be evident if the motives behind them are pure.
February 12, 2011
This blog is related to the previous blog entry. It discusses a practical example of the 'drive out fear' phenomenon, pointed out in the previous blog. In my opinion, our course MBE is a very good example. We have been provided with an environment in which we are allowed to try out different things, work according to our own thoughts and ideas and allowed to make mistakes without being fearful of the consequences. It feels really good that our ideas, comments and suggestions are valued. We are not criticized for making mistakes. The cocept of 'areas for improvement' instead of weaknesses is fantastic; for me its totally a new way of looking at myself. In an organizaton, it is the leader who can drive out fear from the emplyees. Working in the MBE environment has made it very easy to understand and appreciate the importance of this concept. And as future leaders we can implement this concept in our own organizations, as we have got a first hand experience from the MBE environment.
It is very important for a leader to drive out fear from the employees of an organization. I believe that an individual can give his best performance when there is no fear inside him. Fear can effect the decisions of the employees; it can effect the quality of work and the quality of effort they put in the work, it can make compliance the sole purpose of their work instead of genuinely working for the betterment of the organization. The leader can drive out fear by creating an environment in which the employees can exercise their individuality and contribute their thoughts and ideas to the achievement of the shared organizational goals. Such an environment would make full use of the potential of the employees and make them genuinely work for the organization, rather than doing work only as an obligation.
February 10, 2011
Management and leadership are two different terms. Management demands a set of skills which are very different from the skills required for leadership. It is important to acknowledge this difference. A good manager should not be confused as a good leader. If a person is a good manager doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be a good leader. In real life, there are a large number of good managers in organizations but very few good leaders. This is because leadership skills, in my opinion are more demanding than the manegerial skills. Very few people have the skills to influence the people of the organization and unite them to pursue common goals.