Richard J. Bocchinfuso

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." – Oscar Wilde

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 5, Discussion 2

Discussion Post

Consider the readings and lectures this week; analyze a leader versus a manager. Utilizing an organization you know well, does your organization have a majority of leaders or managers? Does this matter for organizational success?

Wow, it’s hard to find a more compelling distinction between a leader and manager than what Simon Sinek describes in his “Why good leaders make you feel safe.” Ted Talk. (Sinek, 2014)

Like Simon Sinek states, manager’s exercise influence and subordinates do what they say because as a manager they possess authority. “Leadership is choice; it is not a rank.” (Sinek, 2014) Leaders look after others, putting the needs of others above their own needs. “We call them leaders because they go first. We call them leaders because they take the risk before anybody else does. We call them leaders because they will choose to sacrifice so their people can feel safe and protected, so that their people may gain.” (Sinek, 2014)

I like the idea that “managers create circles of power while leaders create circles of influence.” (Nayar, 2014) This idea got me thinking about another Simon Sinek talk entitled “Why Reciprocity Improves Mentor Mentee Relationships” (Sinek, 2012) which lead me to another Sinek talk entitled “The best leaders are the best followers.” (Sinek, 2016) which echoes some of the same sentiments expressed in Sinek’s “Why good leaders make you feel safe.” Ted Talk, but I think he really highlights the importance of gratitude and humility, and how a leader views themselves as working in service to something greater than themselves. (Sinek, 2016)

I think it’s clear that traits like gratitude, humility, and courage are essential leadership traits. Leaders look to influence and inspiration while managers rely on power and control. (Nayar, 2014) Let’s face it, in any organization leaders are hard to come by and make up a small percentage of the people. Many people think they are leaders, but they rely on ascribed status rather than achieved status. Being a leader is a selfless pursuit and selflessness is hard. I read the book “Leadership is hell: How to manage well – and escape with your soul” (Asghar, 2014) this week and there were some great nuggets of wisdom that I think tells a story; the difference between leaders and managers and the difference between leaders and followers. I thought I would share some of the passages that I highlighted with you.

“good leaders seek to express themselves, while bad leaders seek to prove themselves.” (Asghar, 2014, Kindle Locations 1323-1324)

“A person driven largely by a need for respect will only be able to show up occasionally, when sufficiently outraged—and for only as long as doubters are making themselves heard.” (Asghar, 2014, Kindle Locations 1331-1332)

“In this view, a person who focuses too much on ‘doing’ would anxiously perform a never-ending series of hoop-jumps in order to feel substantial. If she were ever to stop doing those hoop-jumps, she would quickly lose her sense of worth. That indeed is a prescription for misery.” (Asghar, 2014, Kindle Locations 1405-1407)

“If you’re a people-pleaser, you’ll find it impossible to be content merely expressing yourself. You won’t even know what that looks like. You’ve been too busy sensing what would impress other people, then seeking to do that to the exclusion of everything else.” (Asghar, 2014, Kindle Locations 1430-1432)

I’ve observed each of these profiles within my organization. The true leader who possess humility, who is passionate and confident enough to express themselves and be selfless. The leader who is seeking to prove themselves, often driven by a need for respect, who lacks self-confidence and relies on ascribed status and power for control. A taskmaster, who finds security in the execution never-ending mundane tasks. The people pleaser who can’t lead because they can’t express themselves.

“Don’t ask what the world needs,” Thurman said. “Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Asghar, 2014, Kindle Locations 1480-1482)

Leaders feel alive when they are working in service of something bigger than themselves.

Leadership is a critical component of organizational success. In the context of this weeks reading, I would say that managers would be classified as transactional leaders while true leaders are transformational leaders. (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 196) Why do I think leadership is so crucial for organizational success? There is some overlap with discussion post one in this comment, but if you believe that organizations need more than ever the ability to navigate a “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment” (Dartey-Baah, 2015), which I do, the need for leadership is paramount.

References

Asghar, R. (2014). Leadership is hell: How to manage well – and escape with your soul. Los Angeles, CA: Figueroa Press.

Dartey-Baah, K. (2015). Resilient leadership: A transformational-transactional leadership mix. Journal of Global Responsibility, 6(1), 99-112. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.portal.lib.fit.edu/docview/1675140305?accountid=27313

Nayar, V. (2014, August 07). Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://hbr.org/2013/08/tests-of-a-leadership-transiti

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

Sinek, S. (2016, September 28). Simon Sinek: “The best leaders are the best followers”. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://youtu.be/V5wtzze9L_M

Sinek, S. (2012, November 24). Simon Sinek: Why Reciprocity Improves Mentor Mentee Relationships. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrWg1qy2WNI

Sinek, S. (2014, March). Why good leaders make you feel safe. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_why_good_leaders_make_you_feel_safe#t-138365 TED 2014

 

Response Post

Juan, you mention that you think that leadership through influence and management via ascribed authority have the same outcome. Do you mean the same outcome regarding meeting a tactical goal of the organization or the same outcome in the macro sense of the word outcome?

When I think of a manager, I think of someone marshaling or task mastering people towards a goal, the focus is on the tactical execution and ensuring that there is no dissatisfaction. Sure people absorb knowledge along the way, they become more efficient, and a well-managed team can drive good linear growth over time which probably says they are exceeding expectations and being well managed. I am sure that there are many businesses where this is a win, where solid tactical and authoritative management delivers the goals of the organization. Where I struggle is I am not sure that these organizations possess the high performing cultures that will make them competitive with those looking to disrupt them. For example, Amazon is a disruptor; I am sure there were tons of good managers at Walmart, they were the incumbent, with scale and yet they needed Jet even to try to make a run at Amazon after being disrupted. After Walmart acquired the company that was going to help them take on the disruptor, they began disrupting the culture that they identified as their hope, pretty strange, and the disruption of a giant like Walmart is probably more about the ability to acquire the human capital who will develop a better mousetrap. Walmart has plenty of management but fails to realize it’s the culture and the legacy which anchors them to yesterday that is creating the opening for a disruptor like Amazon, this is emphasized by the changes instituted at Jet post-Walmart acquisition, some of which have been repealed. (Howland, 2017) Culture is critical in today’s market and leaders marshall the culture.  I don’t believe that today’s market leaders who are looking for a combinatorial explosion, not linear or even exponential growth accept the idea of “the same general outcome”. I think they look for greatness; I think they look for the last hire to be the best hire they ever made. I read “The everything store: Jeff Bezos and the age of Amazon” (Stone, 2014) and what is Amazing about Jeff Bezos is how relentless he is (a bit of triva, go to http://relentless.com and see where it redirects you). The Amazon Leadership Principles (Amazon’s global career site, n.d.) tell a story about what Amazon expects from their employees, management by authority just can’t deliver this culture. The same can be said of Netflix where hard work is not relevant, but sustained A-level performance, despite minimal effort, is rewarded with more responsibility and great pay. (Hastings, 2009, p. 35) Listening to the story of the Netflix culture and Patty McCord drives home the idea of a high-performing culture and the expectations. (Henn, 2015)

In my opinion, leaders inspire leadership and a desire to innovate, they seek to do things like “put a ding in the universe” (Steve Jobs), while managers look to execute a defined plan. To a manager on-time delivery is a fixed point in time, to a leader time is relative and the expectation is that execution will improve as those who are executing innovate more effective and efficient ways to deliver.

References

Amazon’s global career site. (n.d.). Retrieved April 07, 2018, from https://www.amazon.jobs/principles

Henn, S. (2015, September 03). How The Architect Of Netflix’s Innovative Culture Lost Her Job To The System. Retrieved April 07, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/2015/09/03/437291792/how-the-architect-of-netflixs-innovative-culture-lost-her-job-to-the-system

Hastings, R. (2009, August 01). Culture. Retrieved April 07, 2018, from https://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664/netflix

Howland, D. (2017, June 27). Cultures clash in the aftermath of Walmart’s e-commerce acquisitions. Retrieved April 07, 2018, from https://www.retaildive.com/news/cultures-clash-in-the-aftermath-of-walmarts-e-commerce-acquisitions/445917/

Stone, B. (2014). The everything store: Jeff Bezos and the age of Amazon. New York: Back Bay Books.

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 5, Discussion 1

Discussion Post

Analyze and describe the differences between the characteristics of transactional and transformational leadership. Which do you feel is more effective and why? Provide an example, either from your organization or one you know well to illustrate your points.

As I read about transactional and transformational leadership, I couldn’t help but think about a conversation I had earlier in the day about transactional salespeople vs. salespeople who are capable of pivoting an organization. Also, I am happy to have a leadership use case which I can talk about in the third person. I work with salespeople every day, they have customer requirements, every requirement is super urgent and the feature that I need to build and deliver is positioned as the organizational equivalent of Shangri-La. Conversely, every feature request can derail all strategic initiatives and achieve corporate extinction.

We have plenty of transactional salespeople, and we have few transformational salespeople. Within our organization and many organizations, salespeople are the opportunity leaders (let’s consider marketing and sales synonymous for this post); they are the tone and tenor which creates an external perception of an organization, it’s products, go to market strategy, etc… The text mentions that transactional and transformational leadership complement each other, and I would agree. (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 197) Most of our transformative salespeople service both transactional needs like customer x needs to purchase widget y, but they also can identify more complex requirements, articulate the value proposition, understand how the customer requirement aligns with market demand, the strategic direction of our organization, metric opportunity cost, etc… These leaders are change agents for the organization, helping to drive the future direction in a meaningful way. Contrast the sophistication of a transactional and transformational salesperson, and you’ll observe that the transactional salesperson is far more focused on a near-term goal, you hear phrases like “I just wanna get the deal off the street.” In the case of a transactional salesperson, the velocity of reaching the goal always take precedence over a more lofty goal, many of these individuals will articulate response time as their primary value proposition. Transactional salespeople service a need where transformational salespeople create a vision and define a need.

Where it gets fascinating is the idea that most salespeople think they are all transformational leaders, of course, you have to be a transformational leader to be an entrepreneur, right? Wrong! We struggle with this as an organization; the same latitude afforded a transactional leader afforded to a transformational leader comes with immense opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is hard to metric, but it exists and impacts numerous facets of the organization.

David Ingram’s description of transactional and transformational leadership in his “Transformational Leadership Vs. Transactional Leadership Definition” article rings true. Transformational leaders are concerned with “keeping the ship afloat”, in the salesperson context, selling a widget and generating revenue. Transformational leaders are, well, transformative; they help develop strategies, pivot organizations into new markets, etc… (Ingram, 2018) I often think about the motivation of commission and salespeople, while transactional salespeople are highly motivated by commissions, should transformational salespeople be compensated differently to encourage their leadership? Maybe this is the ultimate example of “contingent reward” (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 199)

There is no doubt in my mind in the context of today’s “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment” we need “Transfor-sactional” leadership mix more than ever. (Dartey-Baah, 2015) “VUCA” conditions demand that leaders be able to solve both near-term tactical problems while considering the impact on long-term strategy.  As far as which is more effective and why, I’ll take transformational leadership because I believe I can mentor someone to be a transactional leader, but the qualities required to be a transformational leader are harder to find and/or develop.  With this said there is danger in a transformational leader being overly ethereal, but I’ll take my chances.

References

Dartey-Baah, K. (2015). Resilient leadership: A transformational-transactional leadership mix. Journal of Global Responsibility, 6(1), 99-112. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.portal.lib.fit.edu/docview/1675140305?accountid=27313

Ingram, D. (2018, February 26). Transformational Leadership Vs. Transactional Leadership Definition. Retrieved April 04, 2018, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/transformational-leadership-vs-transactional-leadership-definition-13834.html

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

 

Response Post

Scott, this was a very interesting read. Over the years I have observed all kinds of leadership styles in the CEO position, those who have come from differing backgrounds, some emerge from the sales ranks, some from finance, some from engineering and all have very different styles, which are often pretty predictable. I would be interested to know if you charismatic CEO has a pedigree in sales which often provides that charisma over substance feel, don’t bother me with the details, why aren’t you as excited two weeks later sort of presentation. I also found the description you provided of your Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) interesting. I think the CHRO position can vary widely from organization to organization and the leadership can span from abysmal to incredible, all depending on the value the organization places on human capital. I know my organization has been through a few CHROs. We now have a natural leader in the CHRO role, the type of leader who looks to their left and their right and puts other first.
In the past, we’ve had uninspired transactional leaders in the CHRO role and what I can say is an inspired CHRO in a market where every organization is competing to hire and develop human capital the CHRO role is a critical one.

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 4, Discussion 2

Discussion Post

How can you as a manager motivate your employees to provide creative solutions to some of your organizational challenges without focusing on a pay raise or a monetary bonus? Consider an organization you know well, has this or a similar way to motivate its employees been utilized? If not, would this way to motivate have worked?

I feel like this post is a bit repetitive, I think I covered much of this in my week three paper, but I will try to change it up a bit, provide a brief synopsis of some of the motivational ideas I outlined in the paper, and try to look at things from a slightly different perspective.

When I think about motivation, in the context of what I do every day I always think in terms of autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  (RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, 2010) I also think a lot about achieving “flow”.

Just today I received an email from someone in our marketing department asking if they could republish an article I wrote entitled “Baby Got Bots” by Sir Fix-a-Lot (aka me).  It was a play on “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot, the correspondence was quite long, even a snippet from the correspondence was too long to paste into the post.  I realize a little is lost in the story without the context, if anyone is interested I am happy to post a follow-up.

The email from marketing went on to state “We noticed you write a blog and wanted to see if you were interested in writing pretty short pieces for the website (you will be credited for your work)? I’m working on a proposal to pay eng for content, if that sweetens the deal.”

My response simply was: “Will my writing be directed?  I write as an outlet, I like to feel inspired, so the $s not a sweetener for me.”

I am very familiar with Atlassian and at one time or another have been a user of Jira, Bitbucket Confluence, and HipChat, all great Atlassian products.  Atlassian was a pioneer with HipChat, although today they are suffering at the hands of Slack. No doubt “The Innovator’s Dilemma” (Christensen, 2016) at work here.  I love solving problems; my days are relative, they are governed only by my ability to achieve flow. When I achieve flow a day could be three days, it goes by from my desk chair in a blink of an eye.  Other times two hours feels like an eternity as I struggle to achieve flow. My consistent objective for myself and others is to “achieve a state of flow that is defined as that state of mind where one is totally immersed in the present activity to the extent that nothing else can interfere or interrupt it.”  (Wilhelm, 2017)

Wilhelm in the “Finding flow: The power of motivation and pleasure” outlines key aspects of motivation that impact flow.  These closely align closely with autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

  1. Competence.  Put individuals in a role where they can demonstrate mastery or work toward mastery.
  2. Edginess.  Make sure the work is interesting and exciting.  I would say that the more mastery you develop on your team, the more focused you have to be on edginess.

Wilhelm also talks about pleasure and its importance in achieving flow.  Creating an environment that is immersive, intellectual and social that focuses on getting something functional done and has a concrete application.  Individuals expected to be stimulated and derive pleasure from conditions that inspire them; they want to accomplish something and feel the satisfaction that comes from doing something great that challenged them and is admired by others.

For me, I achieve this through a flat organization, a community of peers and a model that provides creative freedom, but challenges people to solve complex problems with an escalation path rather than management.  I look for people to manage up, rather than me managing down. I challenge all team members with the same open-ended challenges; I provide autonomy for team members to pick a project, to ensure it has a purpose (i.e. – it’s meaningful to you) and to work toward mastery.  Mastery could be a failed project, but an incredible presentation about the journey. People on the team have varied skill levels, they produce different outcomes, but they all learn something along the way and from each other and are encouraged to focus on the journey, not the destination.  I don’t alter the challenges to accommodate for differing roles, it’s up to you to steer yourself towards success; I challenge team members to think outside the box, to not get hung up on the minutia. We embrace the idea that nothing is extraordinary about any role, what’s extraordinary is the cognitive ability of every person on this team, you are all “stunning colleagues.” (Hastings, 2009, p. 24)  Every person has something unique to bring to the table, as a leader it’s my job to create a lens that puts each person in a position to grow and contribute.

In February we held a team meeting, and like all our team meetings there was a hackathon.  The project was to build something from a Raspberry Pi (Teach, Learn, and Make with Raspberry Pi, n.d.).  The parameters where simple, you had to come up with an idea, execute it and then explain to other attendees, why you choose the project, how you executed and finally what you built.  The idea was to challenge yourself, to build something cool but also to deliver the message using the Why, How, What model. (Sinek, n.d.)

Here is a time-lapse video of the event (for anyone interested):  https://youtu.be/9lwK-nqRMXk

We perpetuate this cultural experience with “Solve IT days”, our version of “ShipIt days” (ShipIt Days, n.d.) which we hold the first Thursday of every month.  The process works like this:

  • At the onset of each Solve IT Day (8 AM), I designate two team leaders.
  • Each team leader will:
    • Identify what they want to work on.
    • Assemble a team.
    • Have 24 hours to work on the problem.
  • At 8 AM on Friday each team will have one hour present what they worked on.

For me, it’s about culture every minute of every day.  Create the right culture, and everything else falls into place.  Money is a factor, but the interesting part is with higher performance money is less of a factor, when performance is poor money becomes a factor.  My philosophy is money is an outcome, it’s not a motivator, focus on the money, and you’ll struggle to get there, wherever there is.

References

Christensen, C. M. (2016). The innovators dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

Hastings, R. (2009, August 01). Culture. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. (2010, April 01). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from https://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc

ShipIt Days. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2018, from https://www.atlassian.com/company/shipit

Sinek, S. (n.d.). How great leaders inspire action. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

Teach, Learn, and Make with Raspberry Pi. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2018, from https://www.raspberrypi.org/

Wilhelm, J. D. (2017). Finding flow: The power of motivation and pleasure. Voices from the Middle, 25(1), 73-75. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.portal.lib.fit.edu/docview/1942179560?accountid=27313

 

Response Post

Scott, step 1, get out of that office and among the people (The Death of the Cubicle, 2016). 🙂 Personally, I prefer Enya for an outstanding in-flight nap, but when I need to work, I crank up some Iron Maiden. There is nothing like a little “Fear of the Dark” after all “I have a constant fear that something’s always near” or the “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”, how do you not get motivated by this lyric:
“I’ve got to keep running the course,
I’ve got to keep running and win at all costs,
I’ve got to keep going, be strong,
Must be so determined and push myself on.”

BTW, I am pretty sure millennials have no idea that heavy metal is a genre of music. I try to assimilate them by singing Danzig at every karaoke event. I just can’t take the non-stop house music, where the artist is more electrical engineer than musician, but I suppose I should be happy no one is sleeping to Yanni. 🙂

I agree, with you, subtle recognition and inclusion are probably the two most essential motivators that I see. Creating a sense of exclusivity is a legacy strategy IMO, and many organizations are struggling to break free from a dying culture. Sticking with what worked twenty years ago and aiming to satisfy the needs of a workforce that is motivated by exclusive events as a reward is costing them the best and the brightest from a generation and the labor force that seeks inclusion.

My team conducts something we call “Solve IT Days” Where on the first Thursday I nominate two team leads, it’s their job to pick a problem, assemble a team and spend the next twenty-four hours on a solution. These sort of programs have been the topic of conversation and criticism (D’Onfro, 2015). We’ve constrained the program to a specific twenty-four hour period, and we ensure that while the leaders have creative freedom, the problem they are solving has to have some applicability to a business problem. I also a fan of failing, failing fast but not failing at the same thing more than once, we’re supposed to learn from the failure not repeat it. Fast failure and fail forward is something that has also come under scrutiny (Asghar, 2014), but we live in a time where over rotation tends to be the norm, I’m OK with failure, but we are not throwing failure parties, post-mortems with beer and pizza, yes, parties, no.

References

Asghar, R. (2014, July 14). Why Silicon Valley’s ‘Fail Fast’ Mantra Is Just Hype. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2014/07/14/why-silicon-valleys-fail-fast-mantra-is-just-hype/#475682bb24bc

D’Onfro, J. (2015, April 17). The truth about Google’s famous ‘20% time’ policy. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from http://www.businessinsider.com/google-20-percent-time-policy-2015-4

The Death of the Cubicle. (2016, September 16). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://upstatebusinessjournal.com/the-death-of-the-cubicle/

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 4, Discussion 1

Discussion Post

Describe two of the three early theories of motivation and evaluate its applicability today. Why did you select these theories over the others?

The text discusses three early theories of motivation:

  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory:  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs “hypothesizes that within every human being there is a hierarchy of five needs.” (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101)
  2. Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene (Two-Factor) Theory:  Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene (two-factor) theory hypothesizes that there is a correlation between influencers (hygiene factors) and sentiment. (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 102)
  3. McClelland’s Theory of Needs:  McClelland hypothesized that there where three needs which acted as motivating factors.  (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 102) These needs are:
    1. Ned for achievement (nAch)
    2. Need for power (nPow)
    3. Need for affiliation (naAdd)

All three of these theories spoke to me in different ways, but I think that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and McClelland’s theory of needs are easier to understand as motivators, at least as initial motivators, and this is why I selected them. With this said once I explore Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and McClelland’s theory of needs I would like to touch on Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene (two-factor) theory because while it’s not as straightforward, it is by far the most interesting to me, more on this later.

First up, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow stated that every human being has five needs (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101):

  1. Physiological needs (aka basic survival needs); like air, water, shelter, etc…
  2. Safety needs; physical emotional, economic security, etc…
  3. Social needs; belongingness, interaction, friendship, acceptance, etc…
  4. Esteem needs; internal needs like self-confidence, achievement, autonomy, etc… and external needs like status, recognition, attention, etc…
  5. Self-actualization needs; self-fulfillment, be all you can be, etc…

According to Maslow, the needs a serial (from 1 to 5 above) from both motivation and progression perspective. Once the basic physiological needs are met safety needs become the motivator, one safety needs are met social needs become the motivator, etc…
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is easy to understand, the idea that a human being can’t focus on security if they need to eat, or a human being is not worried about belonging if their focus is economic security, etc… With this said, I can see the criticism regarding accelerating through the hierarchy before a need is fully satisfied, for example needing social interaction before fully satisfying the safety needs.

McLelland’s theory of needs focused on three areas of need:

  1. Need for achievement (nAch); the drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standard, to strive to succeed.
  2. Need for power (nPow); the need to impact or influence others.
  3. Need for affiliation (nAff); the need or desire to develop friendly and warm relationships with others. This need is similar to Maslow’s social need.

Both Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and McLelland’s theory of needs are easy to understand and easy to apply in today’s world. Most people are either motivated by necessity (e.g. physiological needs) or by accomplishment (e.g. – achievement, power, affiliation).  I also think it’s fair to state that even necessity can be subjective, as the text alludes to when stating the challenges with validation of the theory when applying to diverse cultures. (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101)

Now, why is Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene (two-factor) theory so interesting to me? I found it interesting because motivators are great, but motivators don’t indicate the probability of success or failure. I think that when the two-factor theory is applied along with the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory or McClelland’s theory of needs, it would seem that there is an indicator of both the motivation and the probability of success. Hygiene factors are indicators of job satisfaction or as the text states “productivity” (Robbins & Judge, 2018, p. 101), and job satisfaction (autonomy, mastery, and purpose) is a key factor; when tasks become more complicated, when cognitive skills are required (RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us, 2010), I believe the two-factor theory may be the best indicator of the probability of success. With said we can also find data that support hygiene factors are clear motivators (Gawel, 1997, p. 2)


References

Gawel, J. E. (1997). Herzberg’s theory of motivation and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 5(11), 3.

How the Theory of Maslow Can Be Applied to Organizational Development. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2018, from https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/theory-maslow-can-applied-organizational-development-20811.html

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

RSA ANIMATE: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. (2010, April 01). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from https://youtu.be/u6XAPnuFjJc

 

Response Post

Andrew, excellent post.  I agree that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a personalized basic map of motivators. I also agree that the ability for someone (as a manager) to impact the basic and personalized needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is questionable. Satisfying someone’s thirst is probably more or a Samaritan role than a management role, but I digress. I think the challenge I have with Maslow’s theory applied in the context of organizational behavior is that is the physiological needs and the progressive aspect (the hierarchy) sort of blows it up for me, and I agree it seems a bit distant and maybe even a bit dated.

I too found that the two-factor theory was more about the impact I can have, the circumstance I can create to either motivate or demotivate others.

Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It’s my job as a leader to pick the best talent and to create an environment where that talent can flourish. If I can do this successfully, I believe that we can transcend the paint-by-number hierarchy of needs, satisfying them in parallel, without concern for progression.

With this said I have read that the two-factor theory ignores blue-collar workers (MSG Management Study Guide, n.d.), and I would agree that the more fundamental the needs, the less applicable the two-factor theory. I am not sure this is about blue-collar or white-collar workers, but situational based on starting position circumstance. I think the difference is well outlined by this statement “In Maslow’s theory, any unsatisfied need of an individual serves as the motivator. Unlike in the case of Herzberg, only higher level needs are counted as the motivator.” (Surbhi, 2017)

Lastly, as leaders we can’t ignore the data, millennials have surpassed both Baby Boomers and Gen Xers to become the largest segment of the workforce (Fry, 2015) and hygiene matters more than anything to this generation. (Millennial Survey 2017 | Deloitte US, 2017)

References

Fry, R. (2015, May 11). Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force. Retrieved March 31, 2018, from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/

Surbhi, S. (2017, August 03). Difference Between Maslow and Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation (with Comparison Chart). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-maslow-and-herzberg-theories-of-motivation.html

Millennial Survey 2017 | Deloitte US. (2017, July 10). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennial-survey.html

MSG Management Study Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2018, from https://managementstudyguide.com/herzbergs-theory-motivation.htm

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 3 Assignment

Case Study I (Motivating Individuals)

This is an opportunity for you to apply what you have learned in the course, readings, discussions, and personal experiences into a well-developed analysis. There is no specific right or wrong answer with these cases, just a means to demonstrate your mastery of the knowledge.

Review the video in this week, RSA Animate – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, and consider the various details associated with the theories they support. After examining all the data, consider an organization you know well and implement some of these ideas to increase motivation and effectiveness within your organization. Consider how the organizational culture impacts these ideas, how receptive leadership will be, and how employees will accept possible changes.

Grade: 98%

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 3, Discussion 2

You are a senior manager tasked to develop a virtual team that will evaluate current business practices. Your boss wants this team assembled quickly and expects a short turnaround on any outcomes. 

Using some of the concepts and types of assessments described in this chapter, describe how you would quickly assemble this team and how you plan to overcome some of the expected challenges. 

Virtual teams have become the norm in the technology field, organizations are looking for the best minds, and geographic proximity to an office location is no longer a primary criterion. Let’s look at Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, the heart of the internet. Linus works from his walking desk in his basement and commands a developer community of more than ten-thousand developers. (Bort, 2015) Linus provides direction for a passionate and purposeful group community of developers who use their discretionary time to contribute to the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel development community is not a unique phenomenon in technology; the Open Source community is made up of people passionate about what they do, a quick look at the GitHub statistics from 2017 reveals the magnitude of this extraordinary community, constructed primarily of virtual teams. (GitHub Octoverse, 2017)

Linus Torvalds outlines the five things he has learned about managing software projects, the largest project being the Linux kernel development which relies on a massive virtual team. It comes as no surprise that all of the Big Five factors are touched upon by him in this article. (Torvalds, 2008)

In my opinion, there are some distinct differences in managing a virtual team vs. managing a team face-to-face. The number one criteria I look for in a virtual team member is passion because passion creates drive and drive is a difficult thing to control when managing a virtual team. To quickly assemble a team I would probably start by identifying those who possess the subject matter expertise required, then begin to look at self-report surveys and observer-ratings surveys (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 65) to gather a subjective and objective perspective on potential candidates. I would also leverage personality-assessment instruments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or other personality-assessment instruments, as well as discussions with peers and management to assess prospective candidates and better the probability of a best-fit scenario. (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 81) Given that this situation will he high-pressure with the expectation that the team will rapidly deliver outcomes I may apply the Trait Activation Theory (TAT).
Using TAT to predict situations that may “activate” a trait that could be detrimental to the team and the objective improves decision making and further increases the probability of a best-fit situation.
(Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 81)

As someone who manages a virtual team, communication is critical. It’s important for people to be able to connect with each other even though they may not be in the same physical location.  Hosting quarterly, semi-annual or annual meetings where the team can interact and connect can be extremely valuable. It is also critical that virtual team members are comfortable using the tools available to them to facilitate virtual team collaboration, the telephone is not a tool of the trade. Learning how to efficiently use multi-party video conferences, asynchronous communication platforms, collaboration platforms like Google Docs, daily standups and other technologies and processes can significantly enhance virtual team cohesion.

References

Bort, J. (2015, February 22). Linus Torvalds runs one of the world’s most important software projects from a tiny ‘Zombie shuffling’ desk. Retrieved March 24, 2018, from http://www.businessinsider.com/a-peek-at-linus-torvalds-little-desk-2015-2

GitHub Octoverse 2017. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2018, from https://octoverse.github.com/

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

Torvalds, L. (2008, August 04). Five Things Linus Torvalds Has Learned About Managing Software Projects. Retrieved March 24, 2018, from https://www.cio.com/article/2434502/open-source-tools/five-things-linus-torvalds-has-learned-about-managing-software-projects.html

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 3, Discussion 1

Why are values important for organizations and its employees? As a senior manager, do you feel this is an important area of focus of your main effort within your organization? (Give specific details).

Ah, values, the stories I could tell. Well, I will tell one just to set the stage. It was a Tuesday morning about three years ago, and I and about thirty others are attending a leadership meeting, complete with outside facilitators, I believe the SFO airport Marriott was the designated meeting location. The meeting consisted of leadership from sales, engineering, marketing, finance, human resource and other few other back-office divisions, the E-team (our executive leadership) and outside meeting facilitators. One of the key agenda items was to review a mission statement and core values which leaders across the company had been working on for close to a year. I don’t remember how the exactly how the discussion progressed, but I will do my best. One of the core values was “integrity”, along with others like customer-centric, accountability, teamwork and adaptability.

One group which contained two representatives from sales was charged with brainstorming the word “integrity” and how it applied. When it came time for them to read out their notes, flip chart or whatever the response was something like “we don’t really like the word integrity”, of course, the question of “why” quickly followed from a facilitator. The response was something like “as salespeople we need to bend the rules, and we just feel that integrity maybe should not be a core value”. Queue an explosion from executive management. It was actually quite comical, spurred some insightful debate and probably impacted some corporate culture changes.

The text states that values represent basic convictions, a mode of conduct that is personally or socially preferable and implies that the nature of values is judgmental. (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 75) Values are the bedrock of an organization’s culture, we hear the term “cultural fit” so often, without a deep understanding of an organizations culture, the measure of a cultural fit boils down to, do values align. Does en employees value system align with the organization’s value system, does one company’s value system align with another. I was recently in a meeting with a prospect where an executive team member from the customer asked the following “Before we get started, what are your core values because I like to know who I am about to do business with.”

As a member of the senior leadership team, I do feel this is a key area of focus within my organization. Over the past two years, the values and mission of the corporation have been taken very seriously, top performers who do not embody the organization’s values have are being confronted. Reed Hastings calls these people “Brilliant Jerks” and says “Some companies tolerate them, for us, the cost too effective teamwork is too high. Diverse styles are fine as long as the person embodies Netflix’s values.” (Hastings, 2009, p. 36)  We have adopted this philosophy as well, not easy, but required.
Sousa & Porto support the importance of values, stating that “values represent a core aspect of culture that influences behavior”. (Sousa & Porto, 2015 p. 2) Sousa & Porto further explain that PO (Person-Organization Fit) matters when it comes to job satisfaction by stating “Based on the evidence so far, it can be stated that there is a positive relationship between PO fit and positive consequences for the individual, such as satisfaction.” (Sousa & Porto, 2015 p. 2) Sousa & Porto provide empirical evidence which shows that alignment of OV (Organizational Values) and WV (Work ‘individual’ Values) has a direct correlation to employee happiness, stating that “agreement between higher levels of WV and OV prove to be associated with higher levels of happiness at work”. (Sousa & Porto, 2015 p. 7)

The text makes suggestions regarding implications for managers, tools and approaches which can be used to assess values, personality characteristics and fit, and offers guidance regarding diversity, social and emotional intelligence. (Robbins & Judge, 2018 p. 81) My organization makes use of tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Predictive Index (PI) to understand the personalities, of our leaders, peers, and subordinates, we ensure that our actions align with our core values, we always embrace diversity and leverage information to foster the development of social and emotional intelligence.

References

Hastings, R. (2009, August 01). Culture. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

Sousa, J. M. d., & Porto, J. B. (2015). Happiness at work: Organizational values and person-organization fit impact. Paideía, 25(61), 211-220. http://dx.doi.org.portal.lib.fit.edu/10.1590/1982-43272561201509 Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.portal.lib.fit.edu/docview/1699251057?accountid=27313

FIT – MGT5013 – Week 2 Assignment

Integrated Article Review

You must select three peer-reviewed journal articles (http://lib.fit.edu/) to read and analyze. These articles must cover a topic in Organizational Behavior that you have either read about or discussed within the class. Select a topic that interests you. You will take the main points or themes from each of these articles and integrate them into paper. The paper is not a literature review and should not be a simple listing of each article. These articles must be from peer-reviewed journal articles; do not use trade magazines, books, newspapers, and similar.

 

 

Grade: 98%

FIT – MGT5013 – Week2, Discussion 2

Identify how attitudes in the workplace have changed throughout the years? (Do not go back any longer than two decades. Consider many factors such as media, events, and generational gaps.) Does this change impact the organizational culture?

My apologies for the late post, substantial travel, predictably poor United Wifi, a 68-hour contiguous work day and 90+ hour work week left me with limited options. My week this week is a true testament to organizational culture, and also to generational gaps. First off it’s hard to work nearly three days straight with no sleep, but myself and as well as eight others on my teams did so as we worked through a critical defect. I flew back from California on a red-eye last night and called my 78-year-old dad from the car on my way home from the airport at 8 AM this morning. Of course, we discussed his week and my week and his comment to me was “Son, when you take the number of hours you work and divide into your salary you make minimum wage”. There is a story to be told here. 🙂

If I am going to identify or discuss how the workplace has changed throughout the years and only go back two decades, essentially looking at the period starting 1998 to current day 2018, in my opinion, there is one place to focus, and it’s the era of the millennial. At the risk of rewinding a little too far without a focus beyond the last two decades. I am going to look back three generations to the Baby Boomers (~ 1946-1964), the post-WWII generation, this provides a little more context for some of my thoughts as well as the ability for me to leverage some of my personal experiences. Following the Baby Boomers we have Generation X (1965-1979), the generation I hail from, then the Millennials (~ 1981 – 1997), the generation which comprises the majority of the workforce which I interact with and manage on a daily basis.

As a Gen Xer, I carried forward many of the traits of my Baby Boomer parents, my Dad was born in 1940, so he is technically part of the Silent Generation, but close enough for this discussion. My parents were dutiful and respectful, and they passed traits and philosophies like don’t question your elders, obedience, being on time, acceptance, work will never kill you, and most importantly the Calvinist belief of working hard and being thrifty. I also think it’s important, at least contextually that I grew up with negative motivation, nothing was ever good enough, could have always done more, worked a little harder, etc… fear was and still is a primary motivator.

As a Gen Xer living in a millennial world, it is easy to become disillusioned, while fear motivates me and I am comfortable with it, this is not the case for the millennial generation. I have learned recent years that millennials are very talented, but a purpose is super important. From my experience, the millennial posses traits which focus on the greater good, culture is critical, and they value purpose over profits. How we communicate with the millennial generation differs significantly from prior generations. Millennials are looking to develop close relationships and receive frequent feedback.
(Myers, 2018) I find this interesting because the need for teamwork and consensus to de-risk themselves, the need for constant feedback, etc… seems to be counter to the need for autonomy. The reality is millennials work well in teams, they organize and communicate well, they are comfortable with team success, and they can produce great outcomes when put in situations which make them feel comfortable. There is no doubt that emotional intelligence is critical when navigating and motivating a multigenerational workforce. (Njoroge, 2014)

While we can look at the impact of social media, world events, etc… as influencers of organizational culture I believe they pale in contrast to the cultural shifts which have been created by generational gaps, specifically the entrance of the millennial philosophies into the workforce. Let me explain, sites like Glassdoor are posted to and read by millennials, they have a significant impact on organizational culture, organizational policy, etc… but I have never posted to Glassdoor. While I am interested in politics and I have political views, my reactions to the political climate once a decision is made, is one of acceptance, focusing on things I have direct control over to make a difference and moving on, this is not what I observe with the millennial generation. Millennials dream big, they believe they can impact massive change, this is all great stuff, but I also have found a fair amount of disillusionment.

All of these influencers have a tremendous impact on organizational culture. I believe that most of the cultural changes have been extremely positive, of course not every change is rainbows and unicorns, but from a macro perspective, the changes have been extremely positive.

References

American Generation Fast Facts. (2017, August 27). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from https://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/us/baby-boomer-generation-fast-facts/index.html

Glassdoor Job Search | Find the job that fits your life. (n.d.). Retrieved March 16, 2018, from https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm

Myers, K. K., & Sadaghiani, K. (2010). Millennials in the workplace: A communication perspective on millennials’ organizational relationships and performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(2), 225-238.

Njoroge, C. N., & Yazdanifard, R. (2014). The impact of social and emotional intelligence on employee motivation in a multigenerational workplace. International Journal of Information, Business and Management, 6(4), 163.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2018). Essentials of organizational behavior. New York, NY: Pearson.

Response 1

Steve, great post. You make a good point regarding the average number of jobs held in a lifetime. It’s interesting after reading your post, writing a couple myself as well as this weeks assignment, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about organizational behavior, corporate culture, etc… I also focused a fair amount of time on millennials as the lens which magnified an inevitable cultural shift.

As I think about the point you’ve brought up regarding the velocity and frequency with which people make jobs moves, I am reminded that in my field most people are incredibly focused on personal mastery, what they do is a lifestyle, it’s who they are. We all maintain Github repositories; spend hours a day reading and posting on StackOverflow, our day is spent time-slicing between corporate initiatives and contribution to Open Source projects, and we try to align the two as much as possible. The business seems to have less control than ever because they need the developers, but often struggle to quantify their activities. This is such a pervasive movement that books like “The New Kingmakers” have chronicled the developer sub-culture and the control it commands.

“‘GitHub’s Zack Holman suggests that employers should “[i]mprison your employees with happiness and nice things and cuddly work processes.’ GitHub itself does just that with flexible hours, excellent compensation and benefits packages, an enjoyable work environment, an in-house kegorator, and more. The results speak for themselves: incredibly, GitHub has never lost an employee.” (Ogrady, 2013, p. 47)

If you know you have an insanely motivated workforce, the case for “The New Kingmakers” then you just need to figure out how to hold onto them. Easier said than done, companies might want you to do X, Y or Z, all might be reasonable requests, but “The New Kingmaker” will just go next door.

References

Build software better, together. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://github.com/

OGrady, S. (2013). The New Kingmakers. OReilly Media.

Stack Overflow – Where Developers Learn, Share, & Build Careers. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from https://stackoverflow.com/