Sunday, September 15, 2019
Reflective Paper on Management of Organizations Essay
The concept of management especially that of managing organizations, is a broad field of study and usually requires understanding of the other branches of human learning such as sociology, psychology and economics, among others. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In determining the most effective approach in management, it is important to learn the basics of dealing with persons, how to organize them, develop their skills while bonding them together and eventually generate positive outcome or production from their collective labor. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Being an experienced nurse and member of the US Armed Forces, I have learned through the years in reserve camps and in field that interpersonal relationship is not easily perfected considering manÃ¢â¬â¢s innate instinct of Ã¢â¬Å"self-survival.Ã¢â¬ In order for a man to survive in any given situation, condition and place, it is but natural for him to save and protect himself or his interests, oftentimes resulting to conflict with other persons. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã This human frailty is often than not the root of problems and conflict affecting the smooth flow of communication and cooperation within a certain group or organization. In addition to this, a personÃ¢â¬â¢s inability to understand the proper systems of learning within an organization and the natural course of changes brought by outside forces such as information technology, globalization and the likes usually result to negative output or disintegration of the organization itself. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Also, change, transformation and evolution is part of nature. Such reality also affects organizations and the society as a whole. The concept of the continuous transformation of the society and all of its institutions is best described by Donald Schon (1973): The loss of stable state means that our society and all of its institutions are in continuous processes of transformation. We cannot expect new stable states that will endure for our own lifetimes. We must learn to understand, guide, influence and managed these transformations. We must make the capacity for undertaking them integral to ourselves and to our institutions. We must, in other words, become adept at learning. We must become able not only to transform our institutions, in response to changing situations and requirements; we must invent and develop institutions which are Ã¢â¬Ëlearning systemsÃ¢â¬â¢, that is to say, systems capable of bringing about their own continuing transformation. (Schon 1973: 28) Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Schon, as quoted by M.K. Smith (2001) in his article, Ã¢â¬Å"The Learning OrganizationÃ¢â¬ posted in the worldwide web infed.org, is indeed correct by saying that we must learn how to adapt to changes and transformation, make them as integral part of us and our institutions and likewise come up with new learning systems that could carry on the cycle. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Given this idea, I believe that by learning the proper systems in the field of management, one would not only be able to adapt to such transformations in the society and all its institutions or organizations, but also one could make a big difference in mobilizing people together, making them more competent, service-oriented, effective and productive. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã At the same time, learning the proper systems can lessen, if not only its impact, the conflict caused by self-survival by individuals thereby resulting to an effective team that is highly competitive, competent and motivated. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Part of the learning systems in an organization is the building of teams that would become the heart and machinery of the organization. In building teams, I have learned from several readings that it is important to determine the strength and weaknesses of each individual to assess their distinct capabilities that would match the requirement for specific responsibilities and work to be done. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In determining the weaknesses and strength of the team members, as well as the over-all status of the team, some analytical modules can be used such as the force field analysis and the SWOT analysis. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã To initiate the force field analysis, the team must start with a brainstorming session to identify the Ã¢â¬Å"drivingÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"restrainingÃ¢â¬ forces in their organization. The driving forces are the factors that promote obedience to the teamÃ¢â¬â¢s work or schedule while the restraining forces are the factors that hinder adherence. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã By learning how to determine both, the team and its leader would be able to design strategies how to approach the problem and decrease the restraining forces to achieve maximum resolution. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Another effective way of identifying the internal and external strength, weaknesses and opportunities of the team is the SWOT analysis. In using the SWOT analysis, the team would not only be able to determine the causes of motivation or hindrances to their work or schedules, but also the opportunities and threats to the organization. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã SWOT is more comprehensive and detailed and by identifying the internal strength and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats, the team would be able to draw up critical solutions to its problems. In using systematic analysis in identifying problems, the team leader also develops a systematic thinking or approach in building a strong and effective team. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Such forms of analysis are effective in most cases especially in military operations. As an active member of the US army, part of our daily activities is to maintain order in each team at the camp and effectively carry out orders from our superiors. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã By learning how to determine several forces that affect our operations, I am becoming more capable to handle orders and cooperate with my colleagues. At my age of 41, I am still open to possibilities that even an older woman like me could achieve more in the future. Through learning how to build teams and eventually become a very good leader, I am relearning the values of discipline, independence and competence that I could use once I finish my course in Human Resources. But building teams and knowing each team memberÃ¢â¬â¢s capability is only part of the larger face of learning systems in learning organizations. The next step to an effective management is how to enhance and develop strategies that would improve the team. An effective team develops ways to share leadership roles and ways to share accountability for their work output. It also builds a specific team purpose and goals. There are several ways or strategies how to motivate teams to become stronger and more efficient. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã It is important to establishe objectives together. All team members must understand the objectives and what actions are needed to achieve them. Each member shall have a sense of responsibility and must have a sense of participation in achieving the collective goal of the team. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã A good leader also knows how to encourage members to suggest ways how to improve their own services. The team must develop a participatory style. The feeling of belongingness and importance is one of the best ways to boost the team membersÃ¢â¬â¢ morale. I often do this at home with my children. For 18 years as I reared them as single parent, I tried to teach them to speak and to participate in all house concerns. This made them independent and self-assured the same way a team member should feel Ã¢â¬â important. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Most often than not, listening is the best way to learn. Leaders should know how to listen to their team members. They should also acknowledge their points of view and encourage a healthy venue for discussions and democratic debates. Healthy discussions are actually therapeutic to the group because the members will be able to speak their minds or the problems they encounter at work. This improves interpersonal relationships and lessens the conflict of self-interests and self-survival. By understanding each otherÃ¢â¬â¢s problems or by listening to one another, a team member would learn to decrease his personal walls and start opening doors to other persons. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã This is actually interesting for me. As I go through this course and the learning systems in management and organizational learning, I come to realize that managing teams or organization is not quite different from managing your own home. I could easily relate, not only because I encounter team concerns at work but also because I have experienced being aleder at my own house. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Meanwhile, other strategies in can be introduced to maximize the effectiveness of a team. Defining specific roles and responsibilities also helps in organizing the team and keeping them focused. It is also important to explain rules and regulations, including time commitments. By knowing the rules and the rationale for such rules, team members will develop respect and trust to the organization. Commitment of time for team building and team work is also crucial in an organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s growth. All members must have a sincere concern for the team and in doing so, they must be willing to extend time at work to do their responsibility to the group, if needed. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã According to the experts, an effective team has at least seven characteristics. These are as follows: team members share leadership roles; team develops own scope of work; team schedules work to be done and commits to taking time allotted to do work; team develops tangible work products; team shared accountability; performance is based on achieving team products; and open discussion and collective resolution of problems within the team. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Working long hours at the nurseÃ¢â¬â¢s station in camps and in hospitals, taking care of the sick and old, then has given me enough insight of the real meaning of team work. It is true that a hospital or a military infirmary is just like an organization. Each medical staff shall take part in all the responsibilities. Less time would also be spent if each nurse takes quality time to take care of the patients or station himself in a designated area. In my former line of work, there are also specific responsibilities and areas of accountability including pharmacy, supplies, maintenance, emergency, wards, among others. The same is true with the military. And mush is expected of us. At present, I am an E6 Supply Staff Sergeant. I work for a transportation reserve unit full time. I am part of a larger team. And it is my responsibility to take care of their supply needs. If I fail, the whole system fails. It is a chain. But if I do my work on time and with efficiency, I help my teammates and the order is protected. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Simple things or simple tasks are oftentimes the key to an organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s success. By doing the very basic things right, the team is assured of a holistic effectiveness and efficiency. As I begin to look back, it is getting clearer to me that the tricks of management, in any given field, are actually around us everyday. One only needs to be more observant and reflective to better understand the processes of learning. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Part of the continuing learning process is also the methods of solving conflicts. Conflicts within organizations usually arise when there is contradiction between team members, who sometimes have varying views on specific concerns. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã When conflicts arise, experts tell us that it is important to introduce a constructive way how to resolve it. The first thing that one must take into consideration is to avoid jumping into conclusions. To avoid such mistake, it is crucial to identify the factors that have caused the conflict and determine the stakeholders involved in the conflict. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Group discussion would help determine who are stakeholders in a certain conflict. By diplomatically opening a dialogue between the stakeholders, the leader would be able to recognize individual interests, as well a power issues affecting the conflict. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The next step is to consider the alternatives in resolving the conflict. Each alternative must be carefully studied and from each, try to determine which is the most apt solution to the problem. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã After the chosen solution is implemented, it is imperative to evaluate its effect to assess whether the results are satisfactory. If not, begin the process again and find other solution to the conflict. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In every organization, change is also a constant factor. Organizations are often faced by difficulties within the structure when there is leadership or organizational change. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1999, Chapter 5), it was proven over the years that things that sustain change are not Ã¢â¬Å"bold strokes but long marches Ã¢â¬â the independent, discretionary and ongoing efforts of people throughout the organization.Ã¢â¬ Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Kanter (1999, Chapter 5) further says that:Ã Ã¢â¬Å"real change requires people to adjust to their behavior, and that behavior is often beyond the control of top management.Ã¢â¬ Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Kanter teaches us that change is constantly created at many levels in an organization. Kanter says that there are big events that often occur due to outside forces while some changes are brought about by the peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s actions in their daily operations. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In confronting change, adept organizations share three key attributes. Kanter (1999, Chapter 5) specifies these as follows: Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã *The imagination to innovate. To encourage innovation, effective leaders help develop new concepts Ã¢â¬â the ideas, models, and applications of technology that set an organization apart. *The professionalism to perform. Leaders provide personal and organizational competence, supported by workforce training and development, to execute flawlessly and deliver value to ever more demanding customers. *The openness to collaborate. Leaders make connections with partners who can extend the organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s reach, enhance its offerings, or energize its practices. (Kanter 1999, Chapter 5) Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Kanter cited three important words Ã¢â¬â concept, competence and connections. She claims that these intangible assets naturally build up with successful individuals and organizations. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Such intangible assets, she explains, reflect habits and not programs. These habits Ã¢â¬â personal skills, behavior and relationships Ã¢â¬â if deeply imbedded within the organization results to minimal resistance to change. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã If the organization has such assets, change would be so natural that leaders would find it easier to gear their team members to positively react to change. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Mastering change and transformation usually brought by outside forces such as technology, globalization, competition and politics as well is not an easy task. The organization should be intuitive, dynamic and innovative. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The organization must come up with its own innovations to adapt to its environment, guided by the skillful and pro-active leader. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Kanter (1999) explains that the skillful leader must know how to lead with passion, conviction and confidence in others. There are other techniques or tips that could be adopted by an effective leader. The first is to keep abreast with the changing environment. A leader must be constantly observant, keen in learning and updated of what is new and what is latest. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã KanterÃ¢â¬â¢s concept of effective leadership teaches me and everyone else another basic characteristic of humans Ã¢â¬â our innate instinct to learn. ManÃ¢â¬â¢s curiosity and unending search for the Ã¢â¬Å"truthÃ¢â¬ or the Ã¢â¬Å"story behind thingsÃ¢â¬ is actually a trait that must be mastered by a leader. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã I now find it imperative to double my efforts in honing my skills in preparation for my future as human resource personnel or manager. Doing routines at the military sometimes make you too comfortable with your environment that you forget to check what is happening around. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Now, I am beginning to realize that in order to be an effective and skillful leader, one must prepare and master the technique of listening, learning and tuning in to the environment. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Another trait that a leader should master is to think outside the box. Kanter said it is okay to challenge the wisdom of the organization. It is alright to question the patternsn and come up with new solutions, looking into different angles or dimensions that sometimes lead to new approaches and innovative ideas. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Kanter (1999) gave several examples how to promote kaleidoscopic thinking. Team members can conduct activities outside the company or the organization itself. Interact, immerse with the community, break routines, rotate job assignments or even exchange projects. These are only few of the ways to generate fresh ideas and opportunities. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Genuine conviction is also a positive trait that should be taught to team members. Kanter (1999) explains that one cannot sell change or anything else without any real conviction. In order for others to believe what you say or what you are trying to communicate, you must believe it first. Makes sense to me. In many situations that I was confronted by issues at the US Armed Forces, my children would sometimes ask about the real concerns and agenda of the US government. And in many cases, I try to answer them as honestly as I could. But now, it reminds me of my true feelings at that time. Kanter helps me reflect of my thoughts and thinking about it, I know that at times, I am not even sure whether my convictions were genuine enough to let my children believe what I say. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã This is one trait of a good leader I must master. To have genuine conviction so I could become an effective leader and be able to communicate vision and aspirations to my team members. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã¢â¬Å"Change leadersÃ¢â¬ also needs the involvement of the team members who have the resources, the knowledge and the political influence to make things possible. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Kanter (1999) calls it coalition building. In early stages of planning, the leader must identify key players with appropriate capabilities. It is also important to find sources across or outside the organization to find influencers. According to Kanter, coalition building requires an understanding of the politics of change and its accompanying principles. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Once the coalition is in place, a leader must know how to coach and provide guidance to the team members while at the same time allowing them to enhance their individual contribution to the team. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Kanter (1999) says leaders should allow team members to forge their own identity, build a sense of membership and become accustomed in implementing changes. The leader must resist giving too many responsibilities to the members because in order for their individual capabilities to grown, they must learn how to focus. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Another effective way to ensure the success of an organization and its resolution to change is the primary law of management Ã¢â¬â perseverance. I myself believe that in any aspect of our life, not only in management, learning how to persevere and develop a strong passion on what we do is a positive attitude. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Perseverance gives a person more room to grow. As a 41-year-old woman, others may think that my career is almost over or that I may be experiencing the downsides of life. But I beg to disagree because I know that in pursuing my studies in human resources, I will have a better future ahead of me. My perseverance and willingness to adapt to changes and hone my skills in the process makes me a person with a vision and a drive to achieve more. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã As Kanter (1999) explains, one must know how to overcome obstacles during the process of change. Perseverance helps a savvy leader to ensure the success of the process and prevent failure. If a leader launches something, he must not leave it to the team members. He should ensure that the process is done until the end. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã And after everything has been put into place, it is important to recognize each memberÃ¢â¬â¢s contribution to the any accomplishment. Remembering to reward and recognize accomplishments is critical in any leadership, Kanter (1999) says. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Words of gratitude, recognition or appreciation are one of the most powerful tool in motivating members of any organization. In the US Armed Forces, promotions and awarding of medals of honor or valor are few of the motivational tools being used to boost the morale of US soldiers and to encourage them to fight for America. It is also a form of incentive to American soldiers for their sacrifices and the risks they face in the military, considering that the profession is a high risk one. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã According to Kanter, there is no limit to how much recognition a leader can provide to his team members. Making everyone a hero for a job well done often results to higher performance or bigger output in the future. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In relation to change in an organization, Kanter (1999) says recognition motivates people to attempt change again especially if they are involved in the process. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In closing, effective management of people or organization is actually the ability to lessen individualism and self-survival instincts, break communication barriers, limit conflicts, building teams and training them to adapt to change, and the ability to innovate in order to keep abreast with the constantly changing environment. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Effective management, though not easy to achieve, is actually a continuous learning process. One must have the concepts, the competence and the connections in order to become competitive, innovative and effective. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ashford University actually teaches us the same foundational values. The values of self-worth, creativity, independence, service, integrity and effectiveness. As for me, after studying this course and learning the proper systems in effective management, it is clear that the universityÃ¢â¬â¢s core values such as creativity and effectiveness are truly important, not only to every individual but to interpersonal relationships and organizations as well. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The ability to innovate and have the respect for the free flow of ideas are some of the key points in mastering the techniques of effective management. As discussed above, innovation and transformation are continuous processes in the growth of an organization and by learning the values of creativity and self-directedness, one is assured that he could face the ever-changing and demanding world outside. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Also, oneÃ¢â¬â¢s independence, self-discipline and competence result to effectiveness, not only as an individual but also as integral part of a larger group or organization. Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã In any way, I believe that my aspirations in life are clearer and more achievable as I grasp a better understanding of the processes or organizational learning, as well as the values being taught at the Ashford university. This course is actually very interesting and liberating because it gives me a broader view of the society and its institutions. (End) Ã Ã References: Smith, M.K. (2001) Ã¢â¬Å"The Learning OrganizationÃ¢â¬ , The Encyclopedia of Informal Education, Ã Ã Retrieved May 3, 2006 from http://www.infed.org/biblio/learning-organization.htm Schon, D.A. (1973) Beyond the Stable State. Public and Private Learning in a Changing Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Society, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 236 pages. Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1999) Ã¢â¬Å"The Enduring Skills of Change Leaders (Chapter 5) Ã¢â¬ , On Ã Ã Ã Ã Leading Change. Retrieved May 3 from Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã http://leadertoleader.org/leaderbooks/L2L/summer99/kanter.html Force Field Analysis. Retrieved May 3 from http://erc.msh.org/quality/pstools/psffanal.cfm SWOT Analysis. Retrieved May 3 from http://erc.msh.org/quality/examples/swot.cfm Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã If such could be achieved by a person, then he is a candidate to become an effective leader. By trying to understand the academic theories and vast possibilities to which this course of study has offered me, I now come to the realization that there is room for much improvement to everyone, even to a 44-year-old nothing is impossible I am a person with simple values, who appreciates those around me. I consider nmyself as helper of people and have been a member of the nursing profession for years.