Friday, April 29, 2011

10 Competence Framework of Managerial Effectiveness. 11 Attributes of Successful Managers. 6 Key Aspects of Management

As a manager you are there to get things done through people. You are engaged in a purposeful activity involving others. But you are concerned with defining ends as well as gaining them. You decide what to do and then ensure that it gets done with the help of the members of your team. You deal with programmes, processes, events and eventualities. All this is done through the exercise of leadership.

People are the most important resource available to you as a manager. It is through this resource that other resources are managed. However, you are ultimately accountable for the management of all resources, including your own. When dealing with immediate issues, anticipating problems, responding to demands or even a crisis, and developing new ways of doing things, you are personally involved. You manage yourself as well as other people. You cannot delegate everything. You frequently have to rely on your own resources to get things done. These resources include skill, know-how, competencies, time, and reserves of resilience and determination. You will get support, advice and assistance from your own staff and specialists, including HR (human resources), but in the last analysis you are on your own.

Managerial effectiveness
As a manager and a leader you will be judged not only on the results you have achieved but the level of competence you have attained and applied in getting those results. Competence is about knowledge and skills – what people need to know and be able to do to carry out their work well.

You will also be judged on how you do your work – how you behave in using your knowledge and skills. These are often described as ‘behavioural competencies’ and can be defined as those aspects of behaviour that lead to effective performance.
They refer to the personal characteristics that people bring to their work roles in such areas as leadership, team working, flexibility and communication.

Many organizations have developed competency frameworks which define what they believe to be the key competencies required for success. Such frameworks are used to inform decisions on selection, management development and promotion. Importantly, they can provide the headings under which the performance of managers and other staff is assessed. Managers who want to get on need to know what the framework is and the types of behaviour expected of them in each of the areas it covers.

The following is an example of a competence framework:
    Achievement orientation. The desire to get things done well and the ability to set and meet challenging goals, create own measures of excellence and constantly seek ways of improving performance.
    Business awareness. The capacity continually to identify and explore business opportunities, to understand the business priorities of the organization and constantly to seek methods of ensuring that the organization becomes more business-like.
    Communication. The ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, orally or in writing.
    Customer focus. The exercise of unceasing care in looking after the interests of external and internal customers to ensure that their wants, needs and expectations are met or exceeded.
    Developing others. The desire and capacity to foster the development of members of his or her team, providing feedback, support, encouragement and coaching.
    Flexibility. The ability to adapt to and work effectively in different situations and to carry out a variety of tasks.
    Leadership. The capacity to inspire individuals to give of their best to achieve a desired result and to maintain effective relationships with individuals and the team as a whole.
    Planning. The ability to decide on courses of action, ensuring that the resources required to implement the action will be available and scheduling the programme of work required to achieve a defined end-result.
    Problem solving. The capacity to analyse situations, diagnose problems, identify the key issues, establish and evaluate alternative courses of action and produce a logical, practical and acceptable solution.
    Teamwork. The ability to work cooperatively and flexibly with other members of the team with a full understanding of the role to be played as a team member.

Attributes of successful managers
Michael Pedler and his colleagues suggest, on the basis of their research, that there are 11 attributes or qualities which are possessed by successful managers:
1.    Command of basic facts
2.    Relevant professional knowledge
3.    Continuing sensitivity to events
4.    Analytical, problem-solving and decision/judgement-making skills
5.    Social skills and abilities
6.    Emotional resilience
7.    Proactivity
8.    Creativity
9.    Mental agility
10.    Balanced learning habits and skills
11.    Self-knowledge

Key aspects of management
The following key aspects of management:
    exercising authority;
    making things happen;
    prioritizing;
    exercising control;
    problem-solving;
    being decisive.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

El Clasico 2011 match - Champions League Battle of Spanish Giants

Yesterday, I watched the semi-final first leg of another El Clasico 2011 match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Though I admired Jose Mourinho's brilliant tactics, I was delighted with Barca's 2-0 victory over Real Madrid. The star of the game was the mighty Lionel Messi who scored a record breaking of 52 goals this season and he avenges Real's win brilliantly in the recent Copa del Rey final. His second goal-poaching attempt on 87 minutes was a wonderful individual effort that saw him dance through the Madrid defence and finish past Iker Casillas. His trademark weaving run that left several defenders trailing in his wake, then followed by a clinical finish is a real masterclass performance.

Prior to the start of game, online sports betting almost give both team equal chances of winning, while some offer Real Madrid a slight advantage. Despite Barca's superior possession, goalscoring chances were at bay due to superior defense of both sides. I think the turning point of the match was the sent off of Pepe on 61 minutes, although his challenge on Alves was probably more worthy of a booking than a straight red card. Mourinho was furious with the decision as the home crowd, and his mocking of the fourth official ended with him being sent to the stands too.

The next second leg game will be impossible for Real Madrid to beat Barcelona. Real will lose both Pepe and Sergei Ramos, who are central elements of Real's defense, and this will favor Barca on sports betting odds. But, any bet on sports is uncertain as miracle could happen. I congratulate Barca for the first leg advantage, and hoping to see the final Champions League match between Spanish (FC Barcelona) vs English (Manchester United) Giants.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Management Solution to Employees Who Feel Like Slaves. How to Emancipate Employees by Breaking the Cycle of The Master- Employee Relationship.

Forty-six percent of all employees believe management treats them with disrespect.

I telephoned my sister one morning at her office. She was working in the credit and collections department of a small medical equipment rental firm. We had been speaking for less than a minute when she told me that she had better hang up. She had just received an e-mail message from her supervisor sarcastically asking her if she was on break. The next day she found out that her boss was actually reading her private e-mails and listening to her private telephone conversations. Needless to say, she was outraged. But what could she do? The company had a legal right to spy on her and she desperately needed the job. She felt like a slave.
Employment is a form of slavery. This is a provocative analogy and may be offensive to some, but it is key to understanding why employees are often unhappy.

Merriam Webster defines a slave as, "a person who has lost control of himself or herself and is dominated by something or someone else." This is precisely what happens in the workplace. Many employees, shackled to their jobs with little freedom to control their day-to-day work or career, feel like slaves.

Employees are "dominated" because their employer controls what they do, when they do it, and where they do it. In return for pay and benefits, employees must conform to set work hours, dress codes, and work rules. They must dutifully follow management's orders and maintain good relationships with their supervisors and coworkers. Many have very little say in how they perform their work. In short, they are like slaves because their employer controls their time, their space, and their actions.
Like masters of slaves, management often doesn't listen to employee suggestions or value their opinions. Indeed, they often don't even communicate directly with their employees. They communicate instead through middle managers or supervisors. Like slaves, employees are subject to the whims of management. Promises made by management are often broken with little explanation or remorse. It is not uncommon for employees to experience layoffs, salary reductions, increases in what they must pay toward their benefits, and the loss of their hard-earned pension benefits. It is also not uncommon for the senior managers (the "masters") to at the same time take home large salaries for themselves.

Employees who are treated like slaves begin to feel and act like slaves. They live in a state of perpetual anxiety about not pleasing management and losing their jobs. Our research shows that 43 percent of all employees feel insecure about their jobs. These anxious employees typically lose self-confidence and are not the best performers. They become reluctant to express their useful opinions or to develop innovative approaches to their work.

Technically, of course, unlike slaves, employees are voluntary workers and are legally free to leave whenever they please. In practice, however, for many this is not the case. They may feel trapped. They don't want to leave their work friends or the "security" of their jobs. They are intimidated by the prospect of finding other employment. They silently resent management for their predicament.

Becoming a benevolent master is not enough. Unshackling employees requires breaking the cycle of management control and employee acquiescence by respecting employees and giving them more control. Here are a few suggestions for how to emancipate employees by breaking the cycle of the master-employee relationship:

1.    Respect employee privacy.
Masters feel they have every right to invade the privacy of slaves. Management should never, under any conditions, spy on employees. Legal or not, reading personal e-mails and listening in on personal telephone calls is a terrible invasion of privacy. You must have a clear business rationale for monitoring communications of an employee and you must do so openly. If you don't trust your employees, document their performance issues and take appropriate actions. But don't treat them as if they are your possessions and assume you can infringe on their privacy whenever you like.

2.    Treat employees as valued business partners.
Masters have a dim view of the capabilities of slaves. Management should go out of its way to respect the advice and counsel they receive from employees. Many times managers who hired me to help them better understand how employees feel about working for the organization have confided to me, "I have told senior management many times about the problems here, but if you, an outside consultant, tell them, they might believe it." It is common in organizations for senior management to not respect the middle managers they hired to advise them.

3.    Be honest with employees.
Masters feel it is within their rights to lie to slaves. It is not within the rights of managers to lie to their employees.
A 500-employee research organization with a long history of growth and prosperity had run into some financial difficulties. The Board of Directors put a new management team in place, and shortly thereafter the new president implemented a 10-percent layoff. He then met with employees in small groups to explain why it was necessary and to promise there would be no further layoffs for the foreseeable future. The very next week four more employees were laid off. The president said it was a restructuring and not a layoff, but the employees didn't buy it. His credibility was crushed and the morale of the organization took a tailspin that will take many years, and perhaps a new president, to reverse.
Honesty is always the best policy when communicating to employees. Of course, there will be times when managers cannot share certain information, but lying is never justified.

4.    Encourage employee independence.
Masters tell slaves that this is just the way it is, like it or not. Slaves remain silent for fear of losing their lives. Employees may not like what management tells them to do, but they don't complain or question out of fear of losing their jobs.
To break the perceived bonds of slavery, encourage employees to be proactive and assertive. Support rather than reject out of hand employee demands for better work tools, more information about the direction of the organization, and increased decision-making authority.

5.    Provide more opportunities for employees to control their work hours.
Slaves have no control of their work hours. Many employees don't either.
I have consistently found that many of the happiest employees are those who work part-time. Why is this? They typically make less money, receive few if any benefits, are less involved in organizational decision-making, and are less connected to the people in the office. They are happier because they perceive more control over their own time. Even though they abide by the normal working hours on the days they are scheduled to work, they do not feel like slaves to the clock. Instead, they feel they have control over when they work. They therefore feel more independent (and less slave-like) than those who work full-time.
Some jobs, of course, require someone to be at their desk full-time. A customer service representative has to be near the telephone during all the organization's normal working hours. However, ask yourself if it would be more beneficial for you to have one employee at the station half the week and another, equally competent person at that station for the other half.

Offer employees who convert to part-time work the opportunity to maintain their health benefits.
If you hire more part-time workers, you will have a happier and more productive workforce. Besides, when given the opportunity, many salaried employees can complete a full weeks' worth of work in less than a week. Let them do it. After all, are you paying for the work to be completed, or for hours logged on the time clock?

6.    Provide more opportunities for employees to control their work space.
Slaves, like employees, have little say about where they work. Many organizations have discovered that employees can be just as effective, if not more so, working from their homes rather than reporting to the office. Employees who report to the office waste valuable time and energy commuting and chatting by the coffee pot. Most business today is transacted by telephone and e-mail anyway. Employees can do this just as easily from their homes.
Employees who work primarily out of their homes are more satisfied with their work life than those who work in an office.
Although these home-working employees are less involved in organizational decision making and less connected to their colleagues in the office, they feel they have more control. They don't have to be sitting at their desks or beside the phone projecting a compliant image to their boss. They are in control of their "space."

7.    Support professional development.
Masters do not allow their slaves to escape, but employers should. Support employees in their efforts to develop professionally and perhaps leave the organization for a better opportunity. If employees believe their current job is just one temporary stop in their chosen career, they will feel more in control of their work life. Managers should actually encourage their employees to keep an eye out for their next job by always maintaining an up-to-date resume, attending professional networking groups, maintaining relationships with former coworkers, and keeping in touch with search firms. It's also a good idea to provide career counseling and professional development opportunities.
Such support for employees is not merely altruistic. It will further the goals of the organization by keeping a cadre of highly motivated, accomplished, and upwardly mobile employees who refuse to become complacent slaves. It will also be attractive to potential new employees to know that the organization supports employee growth and development.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project Management Process - The Objectives, The Time boundaries, The benefits.

The Project Management Process: An Overview

Project management is a business process of the project-oriented company that is fulfilled in projects. The methods of process management can be used to describe the project management process. At a macro level, the project management process is to be given boundaries and differentiated from other processes. At the micro level, the objectives, tasks, responsibilities, and results of the project management process and its subprocesses are to be described.
Documentation of the project management process promotes communication about the objectives, tasks, responsibilities, and results of project management. Definition of the results of the project management subprocesses makes it possible to measure and evaluate the performance of project management and the quality of project management. Description of the project management process also provides the basis for a targeted further development of individual and organizational project management competencies in the project-oriented company.

The objective of the business process of project management is the professional management of projects. A prerequisite for the realization of project objectives is the professional fulfillment of the subprocesses of project start, project coordination, project controlling, (possibly) resolving of a project discontinuity, and project close-down.

The objects of consideration in project management are the project objectives, the project scope, the project schedule, the project resources, the project costs and project income, and the project risks, as well as the project organization, the project culture, and the project context. The dimensions of the project context are the pre- and post- project phases, relevant project environments, other projects, the company strategies, and the business case for the investment that is initiated by a project.

Objectives of the project management process
 Providing the structural prerequisites for the realization of the project objectives
 Efficient performance of the project start, project controlling, project close-down, and continuous project coordination
 Possibly: Efficient resolution of a project discontinuity
 Management of the social-, time- and content-related project boundaries
 Management of the relationships of the project to the project context
 Building up and reducing of project complexity
 Management of the project dynamics
 Nonobjective: Realization of the content work of the project (Note: This is an objective of the project and not of project management)

Time boundaries of the project management process
 Start: Project assigned
 End: Project approved

From a systemic point of view, it is the objective of the project start to establish the project as a social system. The objective of project control is to promote the evolution of the project, and the objective of project close-down is to dissolve the project as a social system. The objective of resolving a project discontinuity is to develop a new project identity in order to resolve the discontinuity. The objective of continuous project coordination is to ensure the progress of the project.
The project coordination process is performed continuously. The performances of the other project management subprocesses are limited in time.

The benefit of a common view of the project management subprocesses lies, on the one hand, in ensuring the uniformity of the project management approach used and, on the other hand, in considering the relationships between the subprocesses. The application of a uniform project management approach ensures that uniform terminology and methods are used in all subprocesses. Professional project management considers the relationships among the subprocesses in order to optimize the project management results. The following relationships exist among the project management subprocesses:
 At the project start, the structures for project control and project close-down are planned.
 The criteria for evaluating project success at project close-down are determined at the project start by defining the project objectives.
 At the project start, the working methods to be applied during project control and project close-down are established (e.g., project meetings, project workshops, developing minutes, and reflections).
 Through application of the scenario technique and development of alternative plans at the project start, potential measures for the resolution of a project discontinuity are provided.
 Management of any structurally determined change of identity of the project is planned at project start.
 In project control, the project plans developed at the project start will be controlled and possibly adapted.
 When managing a project discontinuity, the alternative plans developed at the project start and/or the current project plans from the latest project control can be used.
 At project close-down, the plans developed at the project start and adapted during project control form the basis for evaluating project success and for ensuring organizational learning.
 Project marketing is performed in all subprocesses of project management based on an overall project marketing strategy.


Friday, April 1, 2011

March 2011 - Top 10 Entrecard Droppers

I like to thank to all droppers for their continued support.
My special appreciation for the following Top 10 Droppers for March 2011:

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