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3. An effective organizer with skills in:
(a) Organizational development

3a4 Reflective journal on reading

Development Plan Portfolio Documentation
Read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle-Centered Leadership, both by Stephen R. Covey. Write a reflective journal on reading.

For my reading in this competency, I read the two books by Stephen Covey as listed in my IDP, as well as a number of other books and articles.

  1. Notes
    1. Agrawal, Manyika, and Richards (2003): Matching people and jobs
    2. Bower (1996): The Will to Manage (chapter 2)
    3. Bower (1996): The Will to Manage (chapter 5)
    4. Buckingham and Coffman (1999): First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently
    5. The Clynes Group (1998): Meetings That Work
    6. Covey (1998): The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    7. Covey (1992): Principle-Centered Leadership
    8. Day, Lawson, and Leslie (2003): When reorganization works
    9. Day and Wendler (1998): The new economics of organization
    10. Hamel (2000): Leading the Revolution
    11. Hauser (2003): Organizational lessons for nonprofits
    12. Kotter (1996): Leading Change
    13. Kotter (2002): The Heart of Change : Real-life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations
    14. Meen and Keough (1992): Creating the learning organization
  2. List of References
  3. Bibliography

1. Notes

1.01 Agrawal, Manyika, and Richards (2003): Matching people and jobs

An important part of developing an effective organization and keeping it at peak performance has to do with matching the people to the jobs. Agrawal, Manyika, and Richards (2003) talk about the difficulties managers face trying to assign employees to jobs in the optimum way.  It is too often done by mere guesswork.

"As a result, human capital--the skills and knowledge of employees--too often remains an untapped performance lever.

"All this is about to change. A new generation of tools has made it increasingly possible to fashion a more sophisticated approach to the management of a large distributed workforce."

The authors summarize some technology assisted methodologies for classifying people according to how essential or pivotal they are to the business, then improving the productivity of the pivotal workers and linking that to financial performance.

1.02 Bower (1996): The Will to Manage (chapter 2)

The McKinsey Quarterly (2003) published an adaption of chapter two of Marvin Bower's 1966 book, The Will to Manage.  It is interesting to see how much commonality there is between elements of what Bower refers to as company philosophy and what today is called corporate culture - ethics, fact-based decision making, adjust to forces in the environment, performance-based assessment, and operating with a sense of competitive urgency.  I am especially attracted to Bower's comments about "Fact-founded decision making", because he wrote this before the information revolution, and before data warehousing and business intelligence became the forces that they are today.  Bower says, "the fact-founded approach is a management instrument of great power, and offers three reasons - "better decisions", "greater flexibility", and "higher morale".  One of 2003's popular catch phrases is "the agile enterprise".  Information Technology is expected to add value to the enterprise by allowing more rapid adjustment to changes in market forces - IT is to become an enabler of organizational change.  Bower's insights are truly amazing when you remind yourself that they were written nearly thirty years ago.

1.03 Bower (1996): The Will to Manage (chapter 5)

The 2003 McKinsey Quarterly also included an adaption of chapter 5 of Marvin Bower's 1966 book, The Will to Manage.  The chapter title is "Organization: Helping people pull together."  Bower makes a strong case for the importance of good organization.  He defines organizing as a planning process consisting of five steps.
  1. Determine the work or activities to be done, the tasks or duties.
  2. Group activities into positions, to assign as responsibilities to individuals.
  3. Assign authority to each position, the right to carry out those responsibilities.
  4. Determine the authority relationships among positions.
  5. Determine personal qualities and criteria for designating superior performance in each position.

In summary, "organizational planning is concerned--in management jargon--with the duties, responsibilities, authority, relationships, and personal requirements of positions."  "Any high caliber employee's effectiveness, job satisfaction, and attitude are vitally affected by the organization's structure."

1.04 Buckingham and Coffman (1999): First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman (1999) have written a book on managing people that has a very provocative title – First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently.  In essence, this book focuses on matching the right employee to the right job, targeting employee strengths, setting the right outcomes, and choosing staff based on talent and potential, and not merely on experience.  The role of the manager is to structure his or her organization so that the right jobs can be configured for the right people, to attract and keep talent, and to develop employee strengths.

1.05 The Clynes Group (1998): Meetings That Work

It seems that a necessary evil for managing organizations is meetings.  In Meetings That Work, The Clynes Group have set out steps under six headings for holding successful meetings.
  1. Plan for Success
  2. Get Your Meeting Off to a Great Start
  3. Manage Your Meeting
  4. Tips and Techniques to Enliven Your Meeting
  5. Solve Meeting Problems
  6. Wrap it Up!

1.06 Covey (1998) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I have used The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (1998) as a rich source of ideas for dealing with all sorts of situations, and found the best value has been in consulting it as needed, almost as a reference book.  I have a 4-tape set of cassettes containing an abridged version of the book, told by Stephen Covey himself.  The passion of his telling adds to the power of his message, which applies as well in personal and family life as it does in the work situation.

The following summary of the 7 habits is taken from Franklin Covey web site for their 3-day workshop on implementing effectiveness training.

The 7 Habits...and What They’ll do for Your Organization
The Habit
The Results of 7 Habits Training
1. Be Proactive Fosters courage to take risks and accept new challenges to achieve goals
2. Begin with the End in Mind Brings projects to completion and unites teams and organizations under a shared vision, mission, and purpose
3. Put First Things First Promotes getting the most important things done first and encourages direct effectiveness
4. Think Win-Win Encourages conflict resolution and helps individuals seek mutual benefit, increasing group momentum
5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood Helps people understand problems, resulting in targeted solutions; and promotes better communications, leading to successful problem-solving
6. Synergize Ensures greater "buy-in" from team members and leverages the diversity of individuals to increase levels of success
7. Sharpen the Saw Promotes continuous improvements and safeguards against "burn-out" and subsequent nonproductivity

1.07 Covey (1992): Principle-Centered Leadership

In Principle-Centered Leadership, Stephen Covey (1992) has shown that when a leader shows the members of his or her team that they are respected and appreciated, not only is this the decent thing to do, but it brings positive results for the team and for the organization.  I made notes in a separate document as I read the book.

1.08 Day, Lawson, and Leslie (2003): When reorganization works

In the 2003 Special Edition of the McKinsey Quarterly, Jonathan Day, Emily Lawson, and Keith Leslie summarize the potential value of reorganization and the associated risks in the opening paragraph of their article entitled, "When Reorganization Works".

"One of the most powerful levers for change available to a chief executive is reorganization.  At its best, it can sweep away inertia and cynicism and energize employees with a common sense of purpose, thereby making it easier to implement a new strategy, to digest an acquisition, or to improve productivity.  But reorganizations frequently fail, even when they draw on a wealth of practical experience and decades of intense academic research that have generate  proven principles for organizational design."

1.09 Day and Wendler (1998): The new economics of organization

In The new economics of organization, Jonathan Day and James Wendler (1998) examine "the strategies and organizational designs of innovative and successful firms."  Although there are too few of these to come up with a set of best practices, "yet they do offer a landscape attractive to executives for whom innovation and entrepreneurialism are aspirations rather than everyday realities."  The authors also draw on "the discipline of organizational economics, which analyzes organizational actions as outcomes of strategic interplay among individuals as they respond to incentives or otherwise pursue their own interests."

"With its focus on such ideas as ownership, decision rights, and incentives, organizational economics offers a practical tool in designing companies capable of responding to the business challenges of the twenty-first century."  Day and Wendler compare enforced cooperation, top-down forms of organization with personal initiative, bottom-up forms, and show how the effect of disaggregation ("the devolution of decision-making authority within and beyond the organization, making the controlled economy of the firm more like a market").  "This framework might seem to suggest that a corporation must accept either limited personal initiative, or limited enforced cooperation.  Fortunately, the reality is more promising. The broad space in the center of the curve is increasingly populated by innovative organizational forms (Exhibit 3)."

1.10 Hamel (2000): Leading the Revolution

In Leading the Revolution, Gary Hamel (2000) has a blunt way of describing the value of the typical "organizational pyramid".  "Who holds the monopoly on setting strategy and mapping out corporate direction?  The same small group [at the top].  Is this stupid or what?" (page 148).  Hamel describes four distinct models that are present in every organization - operational model, business model, mental model, and political model.  "For business concept innovation to flourish, the responsibility for strategy making must be broadly distributed.  Top management must give up its monopoly on strategy creation.  In this sense, you can't have innovation in business models without innovation in political models." (page 1490.

1.11 Hauser (2003): Organizational lessons for nonprofits

Jerry Hauser (2003). Analyzes the Wendy Kopp Teach For America case in Organizational lessons for nonprofits and highlights the importance of paying attention to organizational matters, even in not-for-profit organizations.  Five years after its launch, Teach for America was on the verge of collapse, with over $1 million in debt.  "What had gone wrong? Like many nonprofits, Teach For America focused exclusively on its mission—and on the relentless pressure to meet short-term financing needs—and shortchanged its organizational development."

1.12 Kotter (1996): Leading Change
1.13 Kotter (2002): The Heart of Change : Real-life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations

There is a lot being written and said these days about the "agile enterprise" and the "adaptive organization".  It is a fact that the pace of change in today's environment means that developing the ideal organization cannot be bound by the rigidity of organizational structures and job descriptions.  These may have a role, but they must be allowed to be fluid to keep in synch with the changes that adaptive organizations must be continually making.  John P. Kotter, an international authority of the subject of change, stresses the role of communication in making change stick.  This is step 4 in his Eight Steps to Transform Your Organization.  See pages 85 to 100 in Leading Change (Kotter, 1996)and pages 83 to 101 in The Heart of Change : Real-life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations (Kotter and Cohen, 2002).

1.14 Meen and Keough (1992): Creating the learning organization

David Meen and Mark Keough (1992) interview Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, in an article in the McKinsey Quarterly (1992) entitled Creating the learning organization

"Large organizations by and large are not designed to learn across functional lines. Functional hierarchies get in the way."

"For systems thinking to really become a part of the entire organization, a fundamental shift in organizational structure or design will be required."

"It is this continual process of building the knowledge base of an organization that will, I believe, eventually be seen as the central task of management in a learning organization."

In their article on The New Economics of Organization, Day and Wendler (1998) stress the importance of knowledge management as well as form of organization in successful enterprises.  As they put it, there are "Two challenges for the corporations of the future: Entrepreneurialism and knowledge."  In the 1992 interview on learning organizations with Peter Senge, when Senge was asked, "Is learning different from knowledge?", he replied, "It is not.", but he distinguished them both from information.

"Learning or knowledge is different from information.   A fundamental misunderstanding that permeates Western society is that learning or knowledge does not need to be related to action.  Colloquially, when we use the word 'learn,' we most often use it to mean 'taking in information.'   We say, 'I learned all about financial accounting for executives.  I took the course yesterday.'"

2. List of References

Agrawal, Vivek, Manyika, James M. and Richards, John E. (2003). Matching people and jobs. McKinsey Quarterly, 2003. (EN-0915)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://premium.mckinseyquarterly.com
(on local server)

Bower, Marvin. (2003a). Company philosophy: 'The way we do things around here'. McKinsey Quarterly, 2003, Number 2, pp. 110-117. (EN-0918)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://premium.mckinseyquarterly.com
(on local server)

Bower, Marvin. (2003b). Organization: Helping people pull together. McKinsey Quarterly, 2003, Number 2. (EN-0913)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://premium.mckinseyquarterly.com
(on local server)

Buckingham, Marcus and Coffman, Curt. (1999). First Break All the Rules. (EN-0301)
New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 0-684-85286-1 (hardback). (editorial reviews)

Carlopio, James. (2000a, 25-Sep-2000). Holism, Management and Organisational Change [Word]. (EN-0931)
URL: (on local server)

Carlopio, James. (2000b, 14-Oct-2000). Making Organisational Change Quickly [Word]. (EN-0932)
URL: (on local server)

Clynes Group, The. (1998). Meetings That Work. (EN-0782)
Chicago, IL: Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc.

Covey, Stephen R. (1998). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Workshop. (EN-0429)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: https://cert.franklincovey.com/register/moreinfo_7habits.cgi?program_id=7&source=WEB5501

Covey, Stephen R. (1992). Principle-Centered Leadership. (EN-0047)
New York: Fireside Simon & Schuster Inc. ISBN: 671749102

Day, Jonathan D., Lawson, Emily and Leslie, Keith. (2003). When reorganization works. McKinsey Quarterly, 2003. (EN-0914)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://premium.mckinseyquarterly.com
(on local server)

Day, Jonathan D. and Wendler, James C. (1998). The new economics of organization. McKinsey Quarterly, 1998, pp 4-17. (EN-0916)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://premium.mckinseyquarterly.com
(on local server)

Hamel, Gary. (2000). Leading the Revolution. (EN-0183)
Harvard Business School Press. ISBN: 1-54851-189-5 (editorial reviews)

Hauser, Jerry. (2003). Organizational lessons for nonprofits [Web]. McKinsey. (EN-0875)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com
(on local server)

Kostner, Jaclyn. (1996). Virtual Leadership: Secrets from the Round Table for the Multi-Site Manager. (EN-0038)
New York: Warner Books. ISBN: 0-446-67087-1 (editorial reviews)

Kotter, John P. (1996). Leading change. (EN-0868)
Harvard Business School Publishing. ISBN: 0-87584-747-1

Kotter, John P. and Cohen, Dan S. (2002). The heart of change : real-life stories of how people change their organizations. (EN-0867)
Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Publishing. ISBN: 1-57851-254-9

Meen, David E. and Keough, Mark. (1992). Creating the learning organization. McKinsey Quarterly, 1992, pp 58?86. (EN-0917)
Retrieved 18-Jun-2004
URL: http://premium.mckinseyquarterly.com
(on local server)

3. Bibliography

Other Recommended Reading

Ahituv, Niv and Zviran, Moshe. (1999). Top management toolbox for managing corporate IT. (EN-0071)
Communications of the ACM, 42(4), 93.

Bennis, Warren G. (1989). Why Leaders Can't Lead. (EN-0304)
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Block, Peter. (1996). Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest. (EN-0300)
San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. ISBN: 881052-86-9 (paperback). (editorial reviews)

Carte, Traci Ann. (1999). The Impact of "Publicness" On Executive Information Systems Development (Organizational Theory, Systems Development). (EN-0117)
Unpublished Ph.D.

Garvin, David A. (2000). Learning in Action: A Guide to Putting the Learning Organization to Work. (EN-0302)
Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN: 1-57851-251-4 (hardback) (editorial reviews)

Katzenbach, J. R. and Smith, D. K. (1993). The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. (EN-0305)
New York: Harper Collins. ISBN: 0-88730-676-4 (editorial reviews)

Klein, David A. (1998). The strategic management of intellectual capital. (EN-0059)
Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN: 0750698500 (pbk. alk. paper)

Sullivan, Gordon R., Harper, Michael V. (1996). Hope is Not a Method: What Business Leaders can Learn from America's Army. (New York ed.). (EN-0307)
Broadway Books: 0-7679-0060-X (paperback). (editorial reviews)

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Created: Sunday, February 20, 2000 05:06 PM 
Last Modified: Friday, June 18, 2004 4:36 PM