How Can You Improve Your Company’s Organizational Design?

The organizational design of your company is very important to its success, because this is the network that will decide whether your company is fruitfully chasing its goals or not. A company that has a good organizational design will design all its procedures and functions towards the fulfillment of its goals and objectives. Whether they know the term or not, every company strives to improve its corporate design so that it becomes more productive to everyone involved.

Here are some ways in which you can improve your company’s organizational design. Now, it is important for you to note that this is quite a difficult thing to accomplish and you won’t observe overnight results. However, consistent and dedicated approaches will help you get closer to where you want to be.

1. The managerial posts should be filled with efficient people. These people should be the true team leaders that your organization needs. They should be motivating and inspiring, and at the same time they should be effective taskmasters who can distribute work according to people’s capabilities and get the jobs done on schedule.

2. There should be clarity of purpose through all sections of your organization. This means everyone working in your establishment should know what they are working towards, and they should be kept informed of any changes. This helps because people then feel they are vital to the progress of the company’s tasks and they work in harmony with each other.

3. One of the key aspects that a company with good organizational design should have is communication. It is crucially important that communication be clear across various departments of your organization and not just within a single team. The seniors should be able to convey what they want to their subordinates and this should follow down the networks that prevail in your organization.

4. Your organization should be open to changes. Today’s corporate world needs to be dynamic and implement the various gifts that technology has to offer. You should also be able to foresee the future of your company and take strides towards expanding it beyond conventional boundaries. Companies that are risk takers are considered to be the ones with the best organizational stability nowadays.

These are four effective areas in which your organizational design can be improved. If you want your company to be more successful in chasing its goals, it is important that you begin implementing these points as soon as you can.

If you’d like more information about executive coaching, business transition and group coaching, download your free guide Organizational Transition and Culture Organizational Transition and Culture

Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching and business transition with a focus on organizational culture. http://lighthouse-leadership.com

Author: Mike Krutza
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Strategy, Or in Other Words, How to Cross the River

Strategy is such an overused word. People love saying it, but most don’t really understand what it means, or how they can use it effectively. There are people who believe that true strategy is reserved for Generals in a war, or corporate CEOs in an international corporation. If you check out the dictionary, you’ll see a lot of different thoughts on what strategy is supposed to mean. For example, in Webster, the very first definition of strategy is “the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war.” That’s a great definition of strategy, but it certainly is a narrow one. The good news for us mere mortals is that strategy has a lot more going for it than just the military or the corporate elite.

I believe that Strategy is HOW you get something done. It is not what you want to get done–that is your Objective (and I’ll write a separate article on that). So once you have your objective established, you know WHAT you’re going to do. But you don’t yet know HOW you’re going to do it. This is where Strategy comes in. It is the deliberate choice of HOW you’re going to accomplish your objective.

Strategy is my favorite part of business, because strategy represents choices. Everyone will usually agree on the business objective (the What), but many will disagree on the strategies (the How). This isn’t necessarily “bad” – there are many ways to get things done. Remember that because strategy represents choices, they are subject to debate. There can be good strategies, and bad strategies, or good strategies and better strategies. A given strategy could be good for one situation, but bad for another. A given strategy could be good for one person to do, but bad for another person.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example–just a silly one that easily drives the point home. Let’s say you’re stuck on the side of a river, and you want to get to the other side. (You’ve just established your objective, which is to get to the other side.) Now, what are your strategies going to be? This is HOW you’re going to accomplish your objective of getting to the other side of the river. Here are few strategies to consider:

  • Look for a bridge and walk across
  • Swim (or wade, if it’s shallow)
  • Find a boat, or build a boat, and float across
  • Find a strong animal, like a horse, and ride across on the animal
  • Build a hot air balloon, and fly across

You get the idea. There are a lot of different strategies that you could use to get to the other side. What’s important is that you choose a strategy that you’re comfortable with, and that you know you can execute. If your chosen strategy is to swim, but you don’t know how to swim, or lack the endurance to swim more than 25 yards, and the river is 100 yards wide, then you’ve chosen a very bad strategy for you. It may be a great strategy for someone else who is a top-notch swimmer, but it’s a flawed strategy for you that could prove fatal!

With this silly little example of how to cross the river, many Entrepreneurs and business owners will come to understand that they haven’t really taken the time to determine what their business objectives are, and how they are going to use strategies to accomplish their objectives. They will come to realize that their existing “strategies” for their business are too broad, too far reaching, or too hard to implement. This little exercise of learning how to cross the river should help you reflect on how your strategies are or are not working for you.

Importantly, by choosing a strategy, you are also defining what you are not going to be doing! Think about that for a moment, because most people do not get this point. By stating your strategies of HOW you’re going to do something, you’re also implicitly stating what you are NOT going to be doing, because you would not want to do something that is off-strategy. This is a very common problem with Entrepreneurs, because they want to be able to do anything they want, at any time. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to turn down an order, or deny a paying customer, because it would be going against your selected strategy. But that is precisely what needs to happen to stay true to your business, your brand, and ultimately, to create an enduring success!

About the Author
John Tree, Master Entrepreneur and Owner of Why Go West, The Entrepreneur Training Company, invites you to download his free eBook on The Top 5 Ways to Fail-Proof Your Business.

John says: “You need to create and execute winning strategies for your business, no matter what business you’re in, online or offline. Download my free eBook today and begin to Change Your Thinking, and Beat the Odds!”

Regards,

John Tree
http://www.whygowest.com

Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Author: John Tree
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Risk Management Explained

Before discussing risk management we need to understand what is ‘risk’? A risk is ‘uncertainty of outcome’. When an action is taken, and the probability of the outcome is uncertain, it is called as risk. There are risks involved in every action that is taken. Setting up a business is a risk, buying a house is a risk. The topic of risk management has diversified so much that from risk management of financial institutes to software have all become specialised fields. What is understood or practiced generally as risk management is explained below.

1. Identification of a risk
2. Working out the probability of risk occurring
3. Determining the consequences of a risk occurring
4. Finding ways of reducing a risk
5. Reducing the probability of a risk occurring.

Before starting out on any venture, all types of potential risks that can occur and tune into a reality are identified. Let’s consider a simple example; if you go to cross a street, you expose yourself to the risk of being hit by a speeding car. If it’s a crowded street with lots of traffic, the probability of this happening becomes even higher.

Now if a speeding car hits you, the least that can happen to you is that you might sustain minor cuts and bruises. The worst outcome would be you being killed. Now, when you know what the consequences of taking a risk can be, you will find a way of reducing the risk. How do you do that? In this case you will look for the nearest pedestrian crossing and use it. In this way, you will be reducing the risk factor involved in crossing a busy street.

Risk management in any project follows the same basic principles. When a credit card company issues you a credit card, they first run a credibility check. They check to see if you will be able to repay your bills. Based on your income and your expenses they issue you a credit card. If they feel that you are at a greater risk they will cap the credit limit accordingly.

Insurance companies take a risk when they sell insurance. For example, an insurance company sells general insurance. They have several sales agents who are selling insurance. Now, if the insurance company finds out that eighty percent of the shops and offices in a building have been insured by them. They will immediately ‘spread’ the risk. How they do it is by getting underwriting companies to cover part of the insurance. If the building catches fire, the insurance company plus the underwriters would bear the loss. In case the insurance company does not spread the risk, they would have to pay the entire insurance and the company is likely to fold up in such an event.

Similarly, a bank is under risk if they invest all their capital in a single venture. If the venture fails, the bank will collapse. In property, stocks, and any other business, risk management plays a key role.

In factories and work places risk management teams evaluate the likelihood of disaster occurring. Then they suggest ways of reducing the possibility of that risk occurring. Making workers wear protective and safety gear is a means of risk management.

The gist of risk management is to try to reduce the chances of a tragedy from occurring. Identifying possible risks and reducing the chances of its occurrence. There are unknown risks that can occur and are generally overlooked when doing risk management. Like an earthquake occurring in an area which has no history of earthquakes and is not on a fault line. Such a risk would be left out of the scope of risk management.

In order to reduce accident rates in the workplace, arrange Safety Training Courses for your employees today

Author: Paul H Jones
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map

With the help of balanced scorecard strategy map, it is very easy to design the organization goals and build business strategies. Balance scorecard and strategy map are interrelated with each other. Strategies map is the foundation to design business strategies or perspective. Using strategy map, you can design the strategies and using balanced scorecards you can build business models.

Strategy Mapping

Strategy mapping deploy the concept of balancescorecard developed by Kaplan and Norton. Balanced scorecards is a business strategic approach which covers four important business perspectives (financial perspective, non-financial perspective, internal process, value proposition. The advantage of strategy maps understands the target market, improving the efficiency of strategic planning.

Business Strategic Mapping Balance Scorecard

Business Mapping helps organization to achieve results through business process improvement. Strategy map is the key to improve the business performance. First determine your strategy then map it. The balance scorecards strategy map is an incomparable tool for communicating strategy. The balanced scorecard strategy map will show how an organization its objectives into results. One should learn to how to design, build strategy map and balanced scorecard to accelerate your organization performance.

Scorecard Strategy Map

The expanded Scorecard Strategy Map concept, paired with the Balanced Scorecard, offers a new way to manage. Balanced scorecard commences with taking companies perspective and converting into strategy map. The strategy map gives you a graphical representation of the strategies. A strategy map also provides which aspects of their strategy are succeeding and where they are falling short.

The main area the strategy mapper will concentrate on main objectives, cause and effect relationship, strategic initiatives and finally metrics and measurable to assess your business success. Balanced Scorecards are part of the measurement system the factor of a management system that is used to focus, align, and balance the organization’s goals and objectives to accomplish long-term strategic objectives.

Business Strategies should create values to the shareholders. The strategy mapping is a complete whole-systems design tool. The strategy map provides clarity as to roles and responsibilities across the organization that are required to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and getting results at the execution level.

Strategic Value Proposition

The strategy map commence with a strategic goal, is followed with a strategic value proposition and ends with a cause and effect systems map that chart what needs to be done to achieve results. Designing strategy map and creating balanced scorecard performance metrics that tightly link operational targets to strategic goals.

Ramki is with Axsellit [http://www.axsellit.com/index.html] Technologies Axsellit Software delivers professional, benefit-enriched business solutions. Axsellit Technologies provides Strategy Map [http://www.axsellit.com/strategic-planning.html] and Balance Scorecard [http://www.axsellit.com/balancedscorecard.html] Software.

Author: Ramki M
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Leadership and Organizational Change – A Team-Based Approach

Change is never easy; it is in our human nature to resist change – whatever the cause. However, despite this fact, many organizations have managed to overcome the barriers to change and have adopted new models for not only leadership styles, but many other organizational processes as well (Nahavandi, 2003). As you might have already identified, one of the most difficult models to change is moving from a typical hierarchical or autocratic style of management to a more democratic or team-oriented style of leadership. However, the key to effective organizational change is a sound change management process (Dudink & Berge, 2006). Part of that change management process, is also preparing your business for a new shift in leadership methods and requires that the organization build a team-oriented culture – starting from the top and communicating down (Rosenburg, 2001). Managers at all levels must identify and leverage each person’s top skills, and create sound value-based communications between team members (Dudink & Berge, 2006).

Change can be the ultimate test of a leader. As the leader of an organization, you should implement a solid change management strategy in order to effectively manage not only your people, but the business dimensions of the organization as well (Dudink & Berge, 2006). According to John Kotter (2007) a leading expert in change management, leaders often make several key mistakes – those of which Kotter has specifically narrowed down to eight key steps. As the leader of the organization, you should consider taking these eight steps into considering in order to develop a solid approach and framework for transforming your organizational leadership methods.

The first step in dealing with change is to establish a sense of urgency. Most change begins when leaders look at the firm’s current situation, performance and customer satisfaction (Kotter, 2007). Is customer satisfaction being affected because of a slow decision making process? Are there “too many cooks in the kitchen” so to speak? This is perhaps the most important step in the process and requires involvement and “aggressive cooperation” by everyone in the organization.

The second step is to create a powerful “guiding coalition”. But what does this mean? Not only must the department or divisional leader become a key stakeholder and supporter, but so must the top-levels of the organization: the Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives. If the most important people in the company do not buy in, the rest will not either (Kotter, 2007). In a small company, this guiding team may only be three or four people, however in a larger organization, this could be a wide range; twenty to fifty people.

The remaining steps include:

1. Defining a long-term vision;

2. Communicating that vision aggressively (i.e., ten times more than you initially think);

3. Removing obstacles that do not support the new vision and empowering others to support that vision;

4. Planning for, creating, and celebrating short-term “wins”

5. Consolidating improvements and preparing for more change (i.e., do not declare victory too soon), and;

6. Institutionalizing the new approaches.

But, how do you effectively persuade others to buy-in to organizational change; specifically from an autocratic to a democratic style of leadership? The first question that should be posed to each and every individual in your guiding coalition should be, “What is leadership?” Carefully listen to each person’s definition: one will typically find many different versions of what each person believes leadership is. However, despite these differences Nahavandi (2003) points out that leadership contains three similar elements: (1) leadership is a group phenomenon; there can be no leaders without followers and therefore is already a team environment, (2) leadership is goal directed, meaning leaders always influence or guide teams to a specific course of action to achieve a specific goals, and (3) in the presence of a leader, one assumes some form of hierarchy or autocratic leadership. However, while this may be the case, it can also be informal, flexible and with mostly equal power.

By addressing these three similar elements, Nahavandi (2003) continues to show that by joining them, we define a leader as any person who guides or influences teams and helps them in establishing and reaching goals and objectives in an efficient manner; in a non-autocratic fashion. This shows that to be an effective leader, one does not have to use a top-down approach, and the responsibilities and accountability of the decisions can be shared amongst the team.

But, the next question is, “How do you get them to change their style of leadership?” In order to sustain a revolutionary change in an organization, you need to first motivate those in your guiding collation or transformational leadership team. Nahvandi (2003) believes transformational leadership is best achieved through inspiration of your followers, which enables them to “enact revolutionary change”. Transformational leadership ultimately includes three primary factors: charisma and inspiration (i.e., creating emotional bonds), intellectual stimulation (i.e., challenging followers to solve problems instead of you), and individual consideration (i.e., developing personal relationships with each follower). When these three factors are combined, they allow a vehicle for change in not only the organization, but in the individuals themselves.

By following these types of steps an organization will consequently produces better ideas while forcing shared accountability of decisions. The greatest implication of these actions will be to change the way in which people think, act and share ideas; consequently changing the very culture of the company and how it does business.

In the words of Kotter (2007), “guiding change may be the ultimate test of a leader.” Human nature is to resist change, and an aggressive and sustained change management process for the organization must be implemented as the framework for leading a significant transformation in organizational culture. Once this framework has been implemented you as the business leader will have efficiently and effectively persuaded your followers, and the rest of the organization into a new way of thinking. Thus, allowing for better, faster and higher quality decisions that in turn provide your customers with what they need: satisfaction.

References:

Dudink, G., & Berge, Z. (2006). Balancing Top-Down, Bottom-Up, and Peer-to-Peer Approaches to Sustaining Distance Training. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education , 7 (3), 144-152.

Kotter, J. (2007). Leading Change. Harvard Business Review , 85 (1), 96-103.

Nahavandi, A. (2006). The art and science of leadership. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Rosenberg, M. (2001). E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Ryan Strayer has been a successful business executive for over 13 years consulting for some of the largest companies in America such as JPMorgan-Chase, BlockBuster, Boeing and IBM. With an MBA in Operations Management, his experise and experiences range from total quality management methodologies, information technology and process re-engineering to theories in management, leadership and motivation.

Author: Ryan Strayer
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Organizational Development Definition

Organization development definition is not very difficult. It is simply a planned effort to increase the organization’s effectiveness and capability. Organizational development brings changes to the attitudes, values and beliefs of organization, so that people can adapt to new technologies and challenges of the business. OD includes both inventions and innovations along with the involvement of major stakeholders and people in the organization in the process of growth and development.

The other definition for organizational development is when two or more people function together to achieve a common goal i.e. success as defined by the key performance indicators of the organization. Organizational development (OD) is the long range effort to solve the problems in the workplace.

According to practical experience, OD can also be defined as the process of working together with organizations, organization leaders and organization groups in bringing systematic change to the root problems and hence increasing productivity and employee satisfaction. OD offers three things: what we do, how we do and the results we get. By properly understanding all three aspects, you can solve critical aspects of the organization. We can say hundreds of definitions for OD but it can be simply summarize as the process for a group to achieve its goals, mission and vision in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

It can also be defined as the process in which the organization develops the capability and capacity of individual workers and managers most effectively and efficiently to provide mission work that can be sustained in the long term. This definition connects OD with the mission and vision dreamed by the founders. It is a complex strategy that brings changes in each and every aspect of the organization. OD is the process which is designed to produce the particular kind of end result.

OD involves following four components: organizational reflection, system improvement, planning and self-analysis.

OD is termed as a growing field that is responsible for many new approaches which includes positive adult development. Does OD bring any effectiveness in organizational profitability? Yes of course. It plays major role in business profit.

Advantages of organizational development

o It improves organizational communication.
o Enhances the intelligence, leadership and managerial ability of the organization.
o OD assists for managerial development, especially for newly appointed managers.
o Sets goals for future and brings new ideas and plans for organizational development.
o Brings effectiveness in terms of business growth and profit.

Given the present situation of businesses at this time, how can you implement this in your organizational setting? How can you deal with problems that arise in organizational change and development?

Visit the Transformational Leadership Blog at http://www.mightyrasing.com to get tips for organizational culture and development. Subscribe to the blog and get FREE LEADERSHIP RESOURCES.

Author: M Rasing
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Efficient Meeting Management by Neil Miller

The efficiency of meetings directly affects an organisation’s efficiency and people’s stress levels. When participants come from different parts of an organization, or from a number of organizations, the complexity rises; so integrated, efficient meeting processes are essential.

Stakeholders need to be able to freely participate in agenda development and the completion of agreed actions, from wherever they are located. It is also desirable that other stakeholders who are not directly involved are kept informed.

A number of attempts have been made to develop methods and software to manage meetings, but most software is designed for the meeting facilitator to set up a meeting and not to involve all the other meeting stakeholders. In addition, organization firewalls usually make it difficult to effectively involve people who are outside the agency (such as subject experts or consultants).

Recently, a method and software that runs on both web and mobile phone browsers has been developed that facilitates cross organization and between organizations meeting management. The method can be applied manually, but the web software makes it easy for both physical and virtual meeting participants to collaborate in a simple structured way using the web and emails.

Key parts of the process are:
o A simple means to manage the agenda and to encourage participants to contribute to and understand agenda detail before the meeting.

o The ability to progressively record and agree actions during the meeting.

o A consolidated ToDo list for each stakeholder that includes the actions from the meeting, plus actions from other meetings and non meeting tasks.

o Managing actions and tracking completion (so nothing important is lost), and all stakeholders can see progress.

o Feedback to stakeholders about relevant changes or the completion of an agreed action

o Reports can be used as meeting Minutes

Streamlining both physical and virtual meeting management will significantly improve the efficiency of this critical activity. Plus personal stress is reduced by eliminating a lot of the manual recording and tracking, and having to remember to keep others informed about what is happening.

By,
Dr Neil Miller

When Employees Set Standards

Source: Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success, by Lou Holtz

When Andy Heck played football for head coach Lou Holtz at Notre Dame, he switched positions on the offensive line. It was a tough transition.  One day, watching game films with the assistant coach, Heck complained about a negative grade the coach gave him for a play that Heck thought was OK.”Andy, I don’t think you’re an average player,” the assistant coach said, stopping the film. “Do you want me to grade you as an average player so your mark will be positive? Or should I grade you as a great player, in which case your performance on that play was a minus? You choose.”Heck chose “great player,” and Holtz says, “He immediately elevated his personal standards.”Heck became Notre Dame’s team captain and enjoyed a solid professional career with the Chicago Bears. Holtz believes the coach’s question that day—and Heck’s choice—launched that success.

Suggestion: Challenge employees to set their own standards. Their motivation to succeed will bestronger than if they try to reach goals others impose.

How Does Controlling One’s Attention Contribute To Safety In The Workplace?

One of my favorite quotes from Tom Peters is his statement that after 25 years of consulting, everything he’s learned can be boiled down into five words: Attention is all there is. What you put your attention to, is what you get. Try to wake people up to the fact that all of us have attention patterns that are somewhat restrictive, that are useful in certain circumstances but mismatched in other kinds of situations. Generally people who are very good at focusing their attention and blocking out distractions also miss things in their environment. When you’re driving, for example, you’re looking straight ahead and you don’t see things on the side. On a safety level, that can be dangerous. Try to show people where they’re good and where they need improvement, and give them some specific exercises and techniques for broadening their effectiveness

Risk Management – Business and Projects

In today’s world RISK can come from many directions.  In controlling risk, management should understand the nature of the structure of its business and the keys to successful execution.  Business and projects are similar and comprise of four primary components: strategy, people, processes, and customers.  Controlling these areas of your business or project can result in significant success.

STRATEGY – Whenever a project or business starts its formation, understanding the strategy and how to achieve the objectives is key.  Preparing the strategy is fundamental.  Components of your strategy include the vision, mission and objectives, evaluating the internal and external factors that affect the operation, understanding the driving issues and variables will lead to success, and then mapping out the goals to which they operation will strive to achieve.

PEOPLE – The people are the engine of your execution.  It is recommended that you prepare an organizational execution plan which defines the roles and responsibilities, processes and approval procedures for execution. It should also include the schedule budget and approved process for continued monitoring of progress. Be sure to communicate your execution plan and secure feedback and commitment.

PROCESSES – Once you have a strategy and team organized it is important next to have processes.  These processes will outline the requirements of the team in both collecting, organizing, completing and presenting the end results to the customer.  It is important to assure that the team has a clear understanding of these processes and how they fit the strategy, objectives, structure, and client wants and needs.

CUSTOMERS – Without customers you do not have business.  We need to understand their wants and needs as well as their processes that they must follow in achieving their objectives.  Assuring that you have alignment with a customer’s needs, your strategy, your organization and your processes will help you advance to a successful conclusion or continuation of your project or business.

These are the four top areas of risk management and are fundamental to achieving success.  Over the next few weeks we will be adding more commentaries related to these subsets of risk management.