segunda-feira, 30 de maio de 2011

Organizational Spirituality

Isabel Albuquerque, master in Health Services Management, at ISCTE Business School, Portugal, makes a lecture about her research in organizational spirituality.
She's applied the inquiries inside health centers, just to study in what extent levels of spirituality affect performance and commitment.

With a sample of 267 individuals, Isabel found consistency between performance and spirituality, that, as a concept, means «a place where people have a inner life, which is fed by a work with meaning». This is definitely what we need in organizations of the future. Spirituality as a feeling is going to reflect in produtivity as a mirror of success in organizations.

Here are a small part of her lecture for about forty students at ISCTE Business School.

quarta-feira, 25 de maio de 2011

How to change organizations (III)

The dramatic role of leadership

In this last of three posts about change, leadership is under spotlights. With no effectiveness leadership, the new reality never will be accepted. So, in order to be succeed in a changing process, here are five essential items, according Manfred Kets de Vries, INSEAD's professor:

1 - Sense of purpose. Leaders can create it making a loudly public announcement of the vision of the future. That's the only way to get strong teams with identity.
2 - Self-determination. Essential. Each person should feel control over their lives and about the choices they make.
3 - Impact. If people had the perception of the importance each one have in a changing process, steps will be strong toward the new reality
4 - Competence. That comes from training. Which means that people must feel they can evolve and develop.
5 - The last item. Concerning to a shared system values. And here the leaders have a dramatic role. More important is knowing «how things are done». Values as the respect for the individual, empowerment, client focus, goal oriented, attitude, satisfaction, responsability, continuos development and trust foster a changing and a successful climate.

What can we say more? Change has come to stay, with or without our approval. Did you know that an Herald Tribune page has more information than any person in the Middle Age could be exposed in their whole life?

sexta-feira, 20 de maio de 2011

How to change organizations (II)

Fostering the change

According Manfred Kets de Vries, INSEAD professor, to foster the change in organizations there are four steps: Shock, Disbelieve, Detachment and Acceptance

- The first step, Shock, happens when people react to what they perceive as an «adverse cenario», whether finantial, downsizing or market dysfunctionalities. In this situation, people hide behind comfort situations, addressing themselves to what we can call «rotine tasks»

- After that, time to Disbelieve. People simply refuse change, there's a no acceptance behavior. Instead, they prefer to think on the past and how things were.

Detachment comes after. It's a period where people realize that something has to happen. So, people start to detach from old patterns, trying to explore the new reality.

- Finally, Acceptance. Attitude is now... go ahead, letting go definitely old habits, recall or reproduce the past. Novel behaviors become natural.

segunda-feira, 16 de maio de 2011

How to change organizations (I)

Fear and resistance factors

Question: Why people resist to change? Answer: FEAR. That lead to a continuous resistance and fear with consequences to company and people. Fear of what? FEAR of LOST. Lets take notes to some characteristics of resistance.

- Lost of sense of security in their daily activity, loosing comfort paterns
- Lack of perception of ability to adapt to a new circumstance
- Fear of lose some work conditions, as freedom
- Fear that the change implies losing responsabilities, authority, status quo, privileges
- Fear that the change process means a criticism of previous performance
- Fear of negative implication in networking, as interactions of support
- Finally, fear of facing a relegation or losing the job

Those perceptions lead to a batery of excuses, all of them against change. According Kets de Vries, INSEAD's professor, here are the most common excuses to avoid change processes:

- We have always done things this way, and for a long time
- Till today, nobody tried to do that
- In a theoretical perspective, may even work, but in practice...
- It didn't work when was tried
- That won't work in small / big companies
- We need to study that
- We don't have money / resources / time to do that
- We will get in trouble
- Let's not rush things
- We need to think about it for a while
- Definitely, it's not how we work here
- We are different, we must end up here

So, knowing how things work we have the basis on which we can work. We have to change people mental representations. Let's get down to work. Next post I'll write about steps of change.

quarta-feira, 4 de maio de 2011

Attracting opportunity into your life

«How can I have more opportunities come into my life?»

Jim Rohn
 Jim Rohn gives us an extraordinary lesson about attracting opportunities. The obvious answer is classic: hard work, persistence and preparation. But these three details can't survive without an essential point: attraction.

Most of the people think opportunities and success are something we can go after, but actually is different. We can't go after them. We have to attract them. How? By becoming an attractive person.

If we develop our skills and ourselves we will become attractives to the marketplace and to a lot of opportunities. What means opportunity «will probably seek you out. Your reputation will probably precede you and someone will want to do business with you. All of the possibilities are there by working on the philosophy that success is something you attract», said Jim.

And he continues «The key is to continue making yourself a more attractive person by the skills you have, the disciplines you have, the personality you’ve acquired, the character and reputation you have established, the language and speech you use — all of that refinement makes you more attractive to the marketplace».

So, if you want to be successful, keep going improving your skills and your knowledge

terça-feira, 3 de maio de 2011

The word «Success» and its meaning

The word success comes from Latin, successus, and means an advance, succession, or happy outcome, and succedere, «to come after».

According Manfred Kets De Vries, Success and failure are very closely linked and is associated «with the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. In many instances, success seemed to be largely a matter of holding on after others had let go.» The act, succeed, is strongly connected to constancy, purpose, persistence, practice, self-confidence and finaly action.

Previously, success word interpretation was linked to a «gift given by God to the people». Biblical figures such as Abraham would request success from Him in certain tasks and everyday life. Lately, in sixteenth century, success word became connected to something one will be given by fate, God. In Shakespeare plays the word success is  mentioned as something can be achieve with no effort. For example, asking spirits for «success and victory».

Seems it was only in the late nineteenth century that people came to strongly desire triumph, victories and positive results with the word success defining such a feeling. And became even more popular in the fifthies, with basketball players in EUA.
In modern society, success is viewd as a reward that is achieved by those who have worked hard and have a strong will. Today is recognized that «success requires training and discipline and hard work».

However, the full meaning of word success remains stable. Success has always been «succeeding fully or in accordance to one's desires»

segunda-feira, 2 de maio de 2011

Business must be a liberal art

In a recent Finantial Times article (There is more to business than analytics), professor David Bach, IE Business School dean, makes an alert for what is happening in universities. Are really them training business students for life, for reality, for real market? Professor Bach thinks not and says: «Frame a challenging problem, then get out of the way!» What means doing what liberal arts does.

«Liberal Arts colleges such as Yale, Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth or Williams have trained leaders for centuries, not because they anticipate better than anydoby else what students need to know, but because their curricula focus on the timeless skills of critical inquiry, independent thinking, intellectual flexibility, connection making, problem solving, judgment and communication. By means of these, they prepare students for challenges that may not even be on the horizon yet.»

Professor David Bach
Take a look of this type of questions: What is the value of a human life? What would a world economy led by China look like? Are Islam and democracyt compatible? What does it mean if behavioural biases trump rational insight in financial mardets? And how can I be an effective leader despite my weaknesses? «The answers are not to be found in textbooks, yet those who wish to lead others in an interconnected worl cannot escape them. College students in liberal arts programmes ponder these questions, Why not executives?»

So, instead of staying focused on content, analytics and on tools, business schools are to adopt the frame of art disciplines: what is important is the way students think...