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Developing Tomorrow's Leaders

By Dick McCann
Copyright © Team Management Systems. All rights reserved.

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Have you perused the Team Management Systems Research Manual? Inside this
resource, you will find lots of information that can help you with organizational
development. Recently I was looking at the major role preference distributions for people
with CEO/Managing Director positions and comparing them to a sample of 13,549
people working in production jobs.

The major role preference distributions for both samples are reproduced below on
the Team Management Wheel. It should be noted that titles of major role preferences are
not reproduced for clarity reasons and that rounding errors may occur.

Figure 1. Major role preference distribution for worldwide functional area sample:
Production/Construction/Control (n=13,549)

Figure 2. Major role preference distribution for worldwide functional area sample:
Managing Director/CEO (n=2,025)
The differences in the distributions are highly significant. 51% of CEOs have work
preferences in the Creator-Innovator, Explorer-Promoter and Assessor-Developer sectors
whereas the equivalent figure for production people is 28%. The two largest differences
between the samples can be seen in the Assessor-Developer (15% production jobs; 25%
Managing Director/CEO) and the Concluder-Producer (30% production jobs; 14%
Managing Director/CEO) sectors. The representation of these two role preferences in the
total worldwide sample is 18% and 24% respectively.

The high correlation between the Concluder-Producer role preference and production
jobs is a good example of concurrent validity, showing that people with Concluder-
Producer preferences are indeed attracted to jobs demanding competence in production
management. We can reverse the argument for the Assessor-Developer and claim that
many organizations are looking for preferences in their CEOs that align with Assessor-
Developer characteristics.

But what are these characteristics? Since most of the CEO data lies in the outer Wheel,
network members would immediately respond ECAS - extrovert, creative, analytical, and
structured. For the Concluder-Producer, most of the data is also from the outer sector,
indicating introvert, practical, analytical and structured preferences. So the main
differences between the two distributions are a change in preference from introverted
relationships and practical information-gathering to extroverted and creative preferences.

This information should give a clue to the important development programmes that are
critical to the success of tomorrow's CEO. CEOs must be comfortable with a day of
constant meetings, discussions, presentations and people interaction and also have a
strong preference to focus on the future - new ideas, new directions and new
opportunities. So these are the areas to focus on in development programs.

From my perspective it seems that skill development in 'extroversion' is far more


effective than developing leaders truly capable of working effectively on the creative side
of the information-gathering scale. Most development programs have a high focus on
communication, facilitation, presentation, 'managing by wandering around', team-briefing
meetings and so on, but how effective is training and development in the area of strategic
thinking? How do we teach people to think outside the box, to chart strategic direction
and to accurately foresee the future? Many organizations attempt to do this but few seem
to be really successful.

Strategic thinking is more than thinking up ideas. It is about seeing the opportunities to
meet the market needs of the next millennium, which will inevitably require the use of
advanced technology. It is about thinking globally and establishing strategic partnerships
that 'expand the cake' for everyone. The paradox is that these 'creative' skills require
practical experience of what will and won't work. Maybe that explains why many
Concluder-Producer managers go on a career journey to the Assessor-Developer sector as
they move into CEO roles. They are building on their practical experience in order to
successfully implement tomorrow's ideas..

However the other important ingredient of the outer Assessor-Developer is the AS


(analytical and structured) preference. These characteristics show that leaders have a bias
towards making decisions based on facts (not opinions) and that they will set up
structures to ensure things happen. Rather than just talking about the opportunities and
communicating the vision, Assessor-Developer will usually focus on delivering results.

So when you are planning development programs for your clients have a good look at the
data in the Research Manual. it can give you a good insight into the characteristics of the
job that really matters.

Building Teams: A leaders perspective

By John Walker
Copyright © Walker Wilson Associates. All rights reserved.

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The poverty and destitution witnessed by Major General Michael Smith AO on overseas
service during 34 years in the military made him an ideal choice for CEO of Austcare.
With a 'can-do' attitude and a strong drive for achievement, Major General Smith holds
an impressive track record of success leading Austcare's humanitarian relief and
development operations throughout the world. So what happens when a man with a
serious work ethic and a penchant to drive change meets a passionate group of idealists?

Austcare, an independent humanitarian aid and development organization established in


1967 in response to the International Year of Refugees, specializes in providing
emergency relief and sustainable development to refugees, displaced people and
communities affected by landmines. Since Major General Smith has been CEO, he has
led the organization through some major changes. In that time, Austcare has doubled the
amount raised annually through fundraising, significantly increased staff numbers,
lowered staff turnover and rehabilitated its reputation as an employer in the overseas
charity sector. But according to the CEO, there is still much more to be done if Austcare
is to further reduce poverty levels and enable beneficiaries to live in dignity.

Challenge

Before Major General Smith's arrival, Austcare had branched from its traditional focus of
assisting refugees in emergencies to include longer-term development projects in
countries recovering from war, such as landmine removal in Cambodia, Afghanistan and
Mozambique, and food security in East Timor and Zambia. Although very supportive of
this work, Major General Smith felt that Austcare should not neglect its core business of
emergency relief to refugees on which Austcare's reputation and expertise had been
established. Indeed, he felt that responding effectively to emergencies would demonstrate
Austcare's relevance to the community and provide an entry point for longer-term
poverty reduction programs based on building the capacity and sustainability of local
communities at the grassroots. However, the slow response of some team members
during recent emergencies made him question the viability of his approach. He needed
immediate action, while some of his very competent project staff were more comfortable
with methodical long-term project planning.

The demographics at Austcare were interesting too. Accustomed to leading a mainly


male military workforce, Major General Smith encountered a work team consisting
primarily of young, well-educated women committed to Austcare's ideals and were
prepared to work for salaries thirty percent below those available in the corporate sector.
Their passion for Austcare resulted in a level of staff engagement rarely seen in other
organizations. But as the saying goes, too many cooks spoil the broth. So, when
passionate debates between employees recently slowed the Board's decision to rebrand,
Major General Smith sought outside assistance to help resolve internal tensions and
maintain the momentum for change.

Austcare's significant growth had also affected the team's performance. The organization
structure had changed with the closure of state branches and the opening of three
overseas offices. The head office in Sydney had grown from 12 to 30 employees and
from 10 to 40 volunteers. But the real expansion had occurred overseas, from just a few
people to more than 60 in its overseas projects, plus a totally new program to deploy
Protection Officers to UN Agencies in some of the world's toughest situations like Sudan.
Major General Smith could see that some staff were feeling burnt out because of this
rapid expansion.

Objective

Aware that Austcare lacked unity on the best way forward, Major General Smith sought
help from us at Walker Wilson Associates Pty Ltd. We had met previously on a social
basis and Major General Smith felt that he could work with and trust me to assist senior
managers and their teams. I approached the situation pragmatically. Major General Smith
needed help understanding the strengths of the management team at Austcare and the
team members needed guidance to become high-performing and self-directed teams.

Solution

To create an environment of understanding and improved communication between team


members, I started by using the Team Management Systems instruments. The Team
Management Profile (TMP) was administered to help Austcare's senior management
team understand each other's prefered work style. Then I gave them an overview of
the High-Energy Teams Model so they could work through their performance issues.

I then held a session with the Austcare senior management team to discuss the Profiles.
We asked the management team to guess where each other sat on the four work
preference measures used in the Team Management Profile. With this perception
exercise, the managers were able to gain a better understanding of where others are
coming from and that staff members may have very different preferences in work styles.

Amazed at how insightful and accurate the Profiles were, the participants each prepared a
chart that indicates 'The Best Way to Relate to Me'. These were placed above their desks
and helped improve relationships between team members. When people have similar
Profiles, it is easy to get along. The Team Management Profile shows you the strengths
and preferences of people you may find harder to get along with. I think that is its most
powerful use.

According to Major General Smith, the Profile partly explained why emergency response
was not his team's strong suite. Apart from their youth and life-experience, Austcare
would need more Thruster-Organizers and Concluder-Producers to deal with emergency
crises:

"Because of my military experiences and my Profile split between Thruster-Organizer


and Creator-Innovator, I value people who can take action quickly. But not everyone is
like me. The work we offered in the past, combined with being a charitable organization,
have attracted idealistic people with preferences at the top of the Margerison-McCann
Team Management Wheel. To prepare for our renewed focus on emergency work, I
realized that we would probably need to recruit people with a Thruster-Organizer
preference to supplement our team."

"We've also used the Profile to make educated guesses about our stakeholders. Now we
are matching our approach to the way we think they prefer to operate. We even try and
match them with people from our team who share a similar Profile, although our limited
resources place limitations on this approach."

"The Team Management Profile has also reinforced the obvious: people perform best
when they are in roles that they prefer. Being a charity, we need to find that match
between preferences and roles to keep our people. After all, we know the pay alone won't
do it!"

With a strong foundation established using the TMP, I then applied the High-Energy
Teams Model to help Austcare address the organizational changes that come with
growth, and to think about Austcare's future in a more strategic way. According to Major
General Smith, this was a great opportunity for change to be driven by the management
team, rather than being directed by him.

The High-Energy Teams Model addresses eight fundamental areas that all teams need to
resolve in order to perform effectively. It focuses on eight strategic questions:

• Who are we?


• Where are we now?
• Where are we going?
• How will we get there?
• What is expected of us?
• What support do we need?
• How effective are we?
• What recognition do we get?

I believe that when systems are in place to provide answers to these questions, teams are
better able to generate a high level of internal energy which ripples through the
organization. Major General Smith said that:

"The High-Energy Teams Model is helping address gaps in our strategy. It provides a
framework for developing better action plans which, to date, had been one of our weak
links. Now we are focusing on what is critical to Austcare, such as:

• redesigning processes so decisions are not exercises in consensus;


• preparing a team values statement to enhance team cohesiveness;
• redesigning communication processes to keep everyone in the loop;
• ensuring adequate recognition for stretched staff; and
• understanding what is expected of our teams."

Results

Major General Smith is delighted - both because he feels the model will clarify what the
team should be doing, and because his managers are taking more responsibility for
achieving their goals.

"I know I'm often impatient - as my wife has reminded me for more than 30 years - but
Austcare needs to continue to transition into a more dynamic organization if we are to
remain relevant in an increasingly competitive market that is now dominated by large
international charities."
"Our team learned more about ourselves through the Team Management Profile than we
ever expected, and this is providing a firm basis to help us move forward."

Quality of Worklife

The success of any organization is highly dependant on how it attracts,


recruits, motivates, and retains its workforce. Today's organizations
need to be more flexible so that they are equipped to develop their
workforce and enjoy their commitment.

Therefore, organizations are required to adopt a strategy to improve


the employees''quality of work life'(QWL) to satisfy both the
organizational objectives and employee needs. These caselets discuss
the importance of having effective quality of work life practices in
organizations and their impact on employee performance and the
overall organizational performance.

The role and importance of a good quality of work life of employees in


an organization

» The different programs for improving the quality of worklife in an


organization

aselet 1

Rajesh Nair is one of the many employees of Federal Technologies,


who are now able to spare more time for their families and personal
commitments. Federal is a leading player in the software development
industry, employing over 800 people across the nation. Due to the
untiring efforts of the new CEO of the company, Rohan Saxena, the
company has now been successful in creating a worker-friendly
environment for its employees. One of the striking initiatives of Saxena
towards this end is the introduction of a new concept called “Flexible
Work Option” (FWO). This option, available to all the permanent
employees of Federal, allows them to design a flexible work schedule
for themselves. Accordingly, employees can now have a variable and
customized work schedule that facilitates them to spend more time
with their family members and to meet their personal needs...

Caselet 2

Ananya Naidu re-joined office after availing her maternity leave for
three months. Naidu was working as a Team Leader for a company
called Siddhant Technologies, which was a growing software
development firm. She had been an exceptionally good performer all
through the three years she had worked for the organization. Naidu
began her career at Siddhant as a programmer and was later
promoted to team leader, a year ago. She reported to Hrishikesh Das,
the Project Manager, who was also her mentor and had been guiding
her progress in the company. Das considered Naidu to be one of the
top performing employees in the organization.

However, Das observed deterioration in her performance ever since


she re-joined office after her maternity leave. Her productivity levels
came down and she was not performing as she used to...

The Indian Call Center Journey


The case provides a detailed insight into the reasons behind the
Indian Call Center (CC) industry in not being as successful as was
expected by analysts. Outlining the CC industry history, concept
and functioning, the industry's problems on the human resources
front are explored in detail.

Issues:

» Emergence of Call Centers in India, HR Problems faced in the Indian


Call Centers, evolution of Call center industry in India

The call center business appears to be going the dot-com way with a
lot of big names pumping in dough. Ultimately, only the fittest will
survive."

- A Mumbai based call center agent, in 2001

Call Centers Fare Badly


In the beginning of 1999, the teleworking industry had been hailed as 'the opportunity' for
Indian corporates in the new millennium. In late 2000, a NASSCOM1 study forecast that
by 2008, the Indian IT enabled services business2 was set to reach great heights. Noted
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scholar, Michael Dertouzos remarked that
India could boost its GDP by a trillion dollars through the IT-enabled services sector.
Call center (an integral part of IT-enabled services) revenues were projected to grow
from Rs 24 bn in 2000 to Rs 200 bn by 2010.
During 2000-01, over a hundred call centers were established in India
ranging from 5000 sq. ft. to 100,000 sq. ft. in area involving
investments of over Rs 12 bn. However, by early 2001, things seemed
to have taken a totally different turn. The reality of the Indian call
center experience was manifested in rows after rows of cubicles devoid
of personnel in the call centers. There just was no business coming in.
In centers which did retain the employees, they were seen sitting idle,
waiting endlessly for the calls to come. Estimates indicated that the
industry was saddled with idle capacity worth almost $ 75-100 mn.
Owners of a substantial number of such centers were on the lookout
for buyers.

It was surprising that call centers were having problems in recruiting


suitable entry-level agents even with attractive salaries being offered.
The human resource exodus added to the industry's misery. Given the
large number of unemployed young people in the country, the attrition
rate of over 50% (in some cases) was rather surprising.

The industry, which was supposed to generate substantial employment


for the country, was literally down in the dumps - much to the chagrin
of industry experts, the Government, the media and above all, the
players involved. The future prospects of the call center business
seemed to be rather bleak indeed...

Excerpts

Call Center Basics

In 2001, the global call center industry was worth $ 800 mn spread
across around 100,000 units. It was expected to touch the 300,000
level by 2002 employing approximately 18 mn people. Broadly
speaking, a call center was a facility handling large volumes of inbound
and outbound telephone calls, manned by 'agents,' (the people
working at the center). In certain setups, the caller and the call center
shared costs, while in certain other cases, the clients bore the call's
cost. The call center could be situated anywhere in the world,
irrespective of the client company's customer base...
Indian Call Centers - Myths and Realities
There were many reasons why India was considered an attractive destination to set up
call centers. The boom in the Indian information technology sector in the mid 1990s led
to the country's IT strengths being recognized all over the world. Moreover, India had the
largest English-speaking population after the US and had a vast workforce of educated,
reasonably tech-savvy personnel. In a call center, manpower typically accounted for 55-
60% of the total costs in the US and European markets - in India, the manpower cost was
approximately one-tenth of this. While per agent cost in US worked out to approximately
$ 40,000, in India it was only $ 5,000. This was cited to be the biggest advantage India
could offer to the MNCs...

Future Prospects

The Indian call center majors were trying to handle the labor exodus
through various measures. Foremost amongst these was the move to
employ people from social and academic backgrounds different from
the norms set earlier. Young people passing out of English medium
high schools and universities and housewives and back-to-work
mothers looking for suitable opportunities were identified as two of the
biggest possible recruitment pools for the industry.

Such students with a good basic level of English could be trained easily
to improve their accents, pronunciation, grammar, spelling and diction.
They could be trained to become familiar with western culture and
traditions. The housewives and back-to-work mothers' pool could also
be developed into excellent resources. This had been successfully tried
out in the US and European markets, where call centers employed a
large number of housewives and back-to-work mothers...