Class notes - week four, Fall 2017

Table of contents

Class themes this week were mission and mandates in SP and leadership in SHRM. The week’s readings centered on organizational culture, clearly demonstrating how culture impacts performance. Engaged and empowered employees = thriving organizations.

Notes from Strategic Planning

In our Strategic Planning class this week we discussed the readings in our discussion forums, and conducted a purpose mapping activity to produce a causal map for the case study.

Professor Bryson suggested that we consider doing purpose mapping with our project team to help think about what our purposes are. I have a hunch that card sorting software could work to conduct the process online, and OptimalSort has a free tier which could work if our group wants to try it.

  • “Establishing an Urban Growth Area” case study
    • Basic logic of strategic planning is that you have a context of some kind which poses issues. Strategic planning and strategies are responses to situations.
    • Context of this case is that 27 of 29 cities were on board. Conflict isn’t widespread, planners are actually in a pretty strong position
    • Another important issue in this case, raised by the context, is protecting the integrity of the professional planners.
  • OBSSR vision
    • Getting a room full of agreement is a collection of stakeholders, not a coalition of stakeholders
  • Mission, mandates, and vision are all about purpose, about letting a group let purpose be their guide
  • All kinds of approaches to thinking about change can be incorporated into a strategy change effort
  • Help groups come to understand what their purposes are, use that to help the groups come up with strategies to meet their issues
  • Purpose mapping activity
    • going to construct a causal map
    • Guidelines for individual brainstorming:
      • Start with a verb - try to make these actions
      • Use not more than 6 to 8 words
      • Don’t use and or or
      • Don’t use words like in order to or because
    • Silently, each person writes on post it notes 7-8 purposes that the Department of Juvenile Justice should serve
    • Proceed to grouping them together by theme and drawing arrows between them to show how they impact each other

Notes from Strategic Human Resources Management

As is becoming our pattern the SHRM class engaged in a lively discussion of the readings. We discussed leadership and the importance of everyone in the organization being both empowered and accountable. The accountable part made me feel some regret for not having finished all of the reading. I ran out of time two chapters of the textbook short and having not viewed the case study videos due to prioritizing this foolish blog project. It was particularly embarrassing near the end of class when Professor Jay led a discussion of the case study. I reconciled myself to the fact that if called upon I would just admit to failing to do it and ask to move on. But I wasn’t eager to admit that so I kind of ducked my head, didn’t get called upon and it thankfully didn’t come to that.

  • Tonight we’re going to dive into leadership. We’ve been studying around the periphery of it but tonight we’re going to take it on directly.
  • Tonight’s question: How does a public/nonprofit executive lead people using organizational and leadership theory?
  • Posed to class: What do you think makes a leader?
    • Can get people to buy in
    • The ability to inspire change
    • Selfless
    • Brings out the best in others
    • Good at listening to what others are saying
    • Good at receiving feedback
    • Responsible
    • Can lead by example
  • Is the leader responsible for the motivation of their group?
    • One answer was yes, but that idea was challenged. McGregor would not agree. Motivation is intrinsic. A leader creates an environment in which people’s intrinsic motivation emerges.
  • Can leadership be taught?
    • Trick question. From last week, to become a leader you need to become your true self. Knowing who you are is the first and most important step.
    • Doesn’t necessarily need to be taught in a classroom. Can be modeled, mentored, self-taught.
    • Word that Professor Jay would use is “enhance.” Everyone has some intrinsic leadership skills
  • Absolutely critical not only that you’re self aware, but that you’re open to feedback
  • Autocrat who wants to tell you what to do and don’t talk back breeds resentment
  • “Leadership is needed for problems that do not have easy answers”
  • We oftentimes try to turn people into saviors when we shouldn’t. It’s not possible to be people’s greatest hopes.
  • McGregor Theory X
    • Management is responsible
    • Process of Directing People
    • Without Direction, People Would Be Passive
    • People are lazy
    • People Lack Ambition and Prefer to be Led
    • People Are Self-Centered
    • People are Resistant to Change
    • People Are Gullible and Not Very Bright
  • McGregor Theory Y
    • Management Is Responsible
    • People Are Not By Nature Passive or Resistant to Organizational Needs
    • People All Have:
      • Motivation
      • Potential for Development
      • Capacity for Assuming Responsibility
      • Readiness to Direct Behavior Toward Organizational Goals
    • Task of Management Is to Enable People to Achieve Their Own Goals Best By Directing Their Own Efforts
  • James Macgregor Burns coined the phrase “transformational leadership” in the late-70s/early-80s. If you really want change leadership, both the leader and the follower need to be elevated to a higher moral plane. Everyone needs to feel that they can influence the group.
  • Distinctive features of transformational leadership:
    • Idealized influence
    • Inspiring vision
    • Intellectual stimulation
    • Individualized consideration
  • Leadership requires:
    • Self-development
    • Eye of the beholder (careful about perceiving your view of the world as the correct view)
    • Challenge = opportunity
    • Credibility
    • Shared vision
    • Trust needed
    • Shared values
    • Role models
    • One hop at a time
    • An affair of the heart (passion, you have to care)
  • Humility is a key trait of successful leaders
  • Make leadership more process-centered than executive-centered
Written on September 27, 2017