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In this case, it mainly talks about servant leadership. What is servant leadership?

Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, he said:

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

This book is really famous in the world,and I think it helps me to define what is servant leadership. In the Men’s Wearhouse, leader lead their employees by servant leadership, which is to serve first. To examine the whole system, you can find this company emphasizes the “people” in their organization. Although they grow really fast for expansion, they still want to take care all of employees in different distribution.  How dose this company serve the people they manage and work with? How does Zimmer use servant leadership to make company have win-win-win situation? Following are the some points I think that are really helpful to lead this company to survive from this stagnant industry.

Training. Zimmer believes that training was in large part cultural transmission, and that gave sales training and renewing and maintaining the company’s culture. In my opinion, when a company shows what the purpose for the company to their employees, it also has to let them know how to achieve it. They have to bring their people “on board.” Training is a useful way to give people tools to achieve goals, and also give people what is their purpose.

In addition, I also believe training will help employees to maximize their self-esteem. When employees get the tools that they need in their job, they use the tools in their everyday agenda, and then they become to feel good about themselves and build up their self-esteem because they do a batter job.  For my own experience, when I learned the skill how to communicate or pacify the customer’s complains, I can do the job batter in customer service department, and I would be more confident at my work. Since I have self-esteem on this job, I love this job more and have more loyalty for my company. Although training will cost funds, it help the company get win-win situation which is good for employees and company.

Leaders should provide the vision. A leader should build a vision for employee, and let them know where they are going. I think promotion is a way to provide a vision. When employees know they will get a promotion if they achieve the goals, that will motivate them to work on it. In one of company that I worked for, they didn’t give promotion from within. They hired a lot of people for management position from outside, and this way caused the original employees to think everything in negative way. They didn’t want to improve their ability because they think they will not get any benefit from successes. Besides, they also thought they don’t have future in the company, and they will see the company as a springboard. Therefore, our company’s turnover rate was pretty high.

I like servant leadership because it provide win-win-win situation. However, in my opinion, it depend on what personality of the leader. Different personality of a leader use different leadership style, and that could develop the leadership more successful.

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In these two case, ”Gary Loveman and Harah’s entertainment” and “Diamonds in the data mine,” were mainly talking about how Harrah’s get more customer’s loyalty by using data. These two cases let me think about how could I improve my father’s company’s business and how come I don’t even try to use powerful data to make sure and support my decisions that I decided.  In MBIT test, I am the Feeling person, and I was shock for that result because if I always make decisions by feeling and experiences, I cannot convince people or even myself  to agree with my idea. Also, when I was reading these two cases, I figure out what a powerful tool of data because it convince either others or yourselves and strongly support your idea.

To look at the Harrah’s case,  the other thing I learned is how important for a leader’s attitude. For Harrah’s, I think the CEO, Satre, and the COO, Loveman, are the most important factor to bring Harrah’s to be successful.  So, what I am going to do is what kind of their the successful leadership are.

Satre, the CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment, knows about how competitive in Casino industry, so he want to enhance thier marketing and create the inmage of their brand on their customers. He takes the risk to hire Loveman, who is a professor and doen’t have strong real experience background, to be the COO. Besides, he not only offered a job with responsibility for operations but also for marketing. I think he really took a huge risk for his business because not many people did that before, and people will doubt his ability. However, what he did is to trust his own decision that hire Loveman to be the COO and totally support Loveman, and it is the best way to convince all of doubter.

Furthermore, let’s talk about Loveman. What he did in Harrah’s?

1. Change the company’s culture. He want to bring the “winning attitude” to the company, and expect his employees have confidence.

2. Strictly train his employees to be like a scientist. He is emphasize on data and result. He was interested in what you knew, not what you think.

3. To emphasize customer service. They give different rank to every single customer, and provide them diversity of service.

4. Link human resource management with customer satisfaction.

I think what Loveman has did different from other CEO is to use test and data. Data can be a strong power to do right things and make right decisions. However, dose it mean that experience is not useful to make decisions? I think both all them are useful, and it will be very good to find a balance point and implement it. To integrate data and experience, I think it can provide more powerful help for making decision.

IRAQ

In this case, it talks about “group think.” Group think is really powerful to influence results, but can “group think” really help an organization to make good decisions and improve themselves a lot? I think yes or no. Sometimes “group think” could be right, but sometimes will be wrong. If “group think” is wrong, I think it will be harmful. In our world, we have many situation that have to deal with group think, from a team project with your classmate to a project that you have to provide to your boss with your co-worker in your team. Although I also think in group discussion people usually will disagree or have a lot of opinion on every single tiny thing, but actually I like “group think” because it help me to get more idea and stimulate my potential, and it also help a group to get a same goal to pursue.  , it

How can “group think” be really harmful? Frankly, “group think” usually decides the decision, and people have to follow this thought. If it’s a right, it will help the group a lot because they have the same idea and purpose. However, it it’s wrong, people cannot find where is wrong, or they don’t even ever wonder or doubt the decision that the group decide. Maybe some people will doubt the ”group think,” but it is hard for them to against the group decisions because people will think they are not cooperative. Besides, when all of people think it is right, you will not doubt that. It let me think about the movie, North country, that talked people have perception that males are more powerful and have higher social position than females. Because our culture taught us this perception and all of us think it like a common sense, it very hard for them to doubt what wrong is it. Nowadays, we think it ridiculous, but if you live in that day, how will you react for all gender unequal situation?

Good to great, or just good

This article mentions about statistical time series problems. Form the book of Good to Great, the author used a set of screens to sift through 1435 companies and identify a list of 11 elite firm that mean business greatness. After identifying these 11 firms, he tried to find what factors cause these companies successful.

What problems behind this research that looks like perfect?  Good to Great provides absolutely no evidence that applying the GTG principles to other firms during other time periods will lead to anything other than average business performance. The problem for GTG is he found the fact first, and the came back to find reasons that caused the fact. In statistic, you cannot go to find what the fact is first and then find what will be caused the fact.

From this case, what I learned  is to keep in mind there has a big mistake about doing test on statistic. We can get diamonds from the data mine, but we have to make sure to use the data in correct way.

According to the author of this case, Jeffrey Pfeffer, in his blog, he mentions the principles of evidence-based management are:

  1. Face the hard facts, and build a culture in which people are encouraged to tell the truth, even if it is unpleasant.
  2. Be committed to “fact based” decision making — which means being committed to getting the best evidence and using it to guide actions.
  3. Treat your organization as an unfinished prototype — encourage experimentation and learning by doing.
  4. Look for the risks and drawbacks in what people recommend — even the best medicine has side effects.
  5. Avoid basing decisions on untested but strongly held beliefs, what you have done in the past, or on uncritical “benchmarking” of what winners do.

Everyday we can get tons of business information form news paper, business magazines, or business books; however, it has too many information to apply evidence based management.  To be a manager, how could we know which way that used by other company and became really successful we should choose and apply in our own organization? Will those successful cases also become really successful in my company if I use the same way? Is it appropriate for the airplane  company, United Airline, to use the way that Southwest used for? Is it appropriate for the other furniture companies to use the exactly same way that IKEA used for? I don’t think those will work.  Therefore, how could we apply evidence based management?

In my opinion, the most important thing that we should care is manager should not always make decision depend on their own experience. People learn form experience, but it also limit our creative thought and self- break-through. I think about  my MBIT test result, and I am a feeling type person, making decisions in a personal, value-oriented way. It’s true that I usually make decision by my experience. Take a stupid example, when I look for my next lover, I will think what personality or ability I like and dislike from my ex-boyfriend, and then decide who will be my next lover. It probably sounds really stupid, but I think many girls do that too, and it may  also the reason why two-thirds of all females are feeling type. I think that always making decisions by experience is really dangerous because not all of successful methods are appropriate to all decisions, such us United Airline and Southwest example. You can be successful this time by this method, but you may not be successful on next time because they have different situation. Besides, it also causes you to keep old thought and obstruct the growth of organization. You will think every creative ideas that your employee suggest are impracticable, and become very negative and always be against.

How could we keep reminding ourself stop treating old ideas? To be humility on your knowledge and acknowledging your limit knowledge will help you want to keep getting new knowledge. Learning how to make decision in a logical and objective way, and try to analyze decision, such as the Thinking type person.

Nowadays, employees are not as  a tool, or cost as before, they are a asset for a company, so the character of leaders also have change.  In this case, it talked about what should a NPD leader have to do? They have not just leaded a team that just do the same work, but have to lead the people who work as a cross-functional teamwork. Therefore, they have to make sure the information is go through every teamwork very well. In many technology company, they have to share different information between each department because it ‘s a cross-functional teamwork. like the example in the case, engineers side should understand and share the information with the manufacturing side. What a leader have to do if a company use a cross-functional teamwork? They have to built trust between all of them. If they don’t trust each other, they will not share what they know or what useful information they get. If the information not go through very well in the company, or everyone doesn’t want to share their information or knowledge, this company will “obstruct” between every department.

The leaders of  NPD should help their team member deal with interaction problem. They have to make sure there dose not have any misunderstanding go around in their team. If their have any misunderstanding or miscommunication, the leader has to help them to deal with it.  For example, when I was a member in a club in my college, there have many team in that club, and every team have different work. This club had to held a lot of activity on the campus, so if we have to accomplish each project, all of teams have to be cooperate. By then, in our team, all of our team members did not like our leader because she was impolite and always  ordered us to do everything. We complained about her, and we did not like to work with her. However, at the end of that semester, we had a meeting, and the president of our club leaded us to tell everything directly, and made a chance to have a communication between the leader and us.  Because of the communication, our leader became much batter after that meeting. Like the case said, leader is not hero, is facilitator.

Moreover, I think one of the most important character for the NPD leader is that they have to educate and motivate their team members’ potential. They are not like telling their team members what should do and how to do, they have to motivate their team members’ potential. The leader should give their team members support and autonomy because it will increase team members comment and satisfaction of the company. For example, Google  provide the best service, autonomy and freedom for their employees in Taiwan.  It’s not that common in Taiwanese industry, and Google get a good reputation on it.  But the most important is that their employees have high satisfaction for their company, and it also caused them to provide more creative and innovative idea to their company.

People and industry are changing , so the leader also have to change the way for their leadership.

What I learned in this case is don’t think money could really motivate people or require people to do what you request. Using money to motivate people is pretty easy and fast, but it will not sustain for a long time. Here are some problems for using money to motivate people. First, some employees do not see money for most important thing in their career, then how could you motivate them. Second, it will cause employees work with short-sight. For example, the commission system causes that sales just want to serve and spend time on the customers who will spend money right away. They do not care other customers who will buy their products in the future because those customers may not buy from them.  Third, it will cause employees to see money like a criterion, and they will get used to that. So, the reward become deservedly; if there has no money, then no way! Originally, you want to solve problems by using individual incentive; however, finally you get harmful effects from it.

The manager may prefer  to choose using money to improve work force because it is pretty easy and fast to get result. Frankly, you can let sales help you earn more money by using a commission system, or letting truck crews complete their assigned routes on time by using individual incentive. Both of these will work, but how long of these will sustain?

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In this case, Arrow Electronics try to solve high turnover of their talented salespeople because it influence their sales and revenue very well. They call those salespeople ” W-2-hoppers.” The biggest problem for these people is no loyalty for their company; if they cannot earn more money from this company or other company provide better salary and opportunity to them, they will leave the original company and even bring all of their customer away with them. In addition, these “w-2-hoppers” are pretty attractive for most companies, and companies will hope them to increase their sales and revenue. However, the increasing of growth rate is temporary, and the decision of hiring “w-2-hoppers” become really short-sighted. Therefore, how to deal with this problem? Kaufman, the CEO of Arrow Electronics, use the college-recruiting plan. They tried to hire salespeople directly out of college and train them for the job, but it does not work because they are too young to have a sense of loyalty. In my opinion, I think it would be the problems of company’s culture. How do they motivate their salespeople? How to reward them when they have good performer? Why a employee dose not have loyalty for company? I think it is because they dislike and disagree their company, or they do not find advantage and future from the company. Therefore, in my opinion, if you want to keep your talented salespeople, you have to know what they want. If you

Moreover, Arrow Electronics also struggle with Employee Performance Review (EPR) system, and they wonder that how effective of this system. Should they abandon this system or still keep it? Kaufman asked “How cab it be possible that on a scale of 1-5?” I believe that the performance evaluation is not a effective and useful tool to measure  how’s your employee  performance. There have some bias that exist in this system:

1. Most manager does not like to discriminate their employees, so scores of everyone are similar. It cause the result meaningless. You cannot tell who is worthy to give promotion.

2. Manager cannot remember all of employees’ performance or keep their value until they do the evaluation. In addition, I do not think my manager really know the good performance that I did because they don’t even see that. Will this mean I do not perform well?

3. The evaluation depend on managers. In the case, they call it “Willson factor.” If you close with manager, you can get higher score. Or if your manager is strict, it will be tough to get high value in your evaluation. I think it is unfair, isn’t it?

I cannot say the performance evaluation is useless, but honestly it is not effective. How can you spend a lot of your budget to use an effective system? I will suggest Kaufman to abandon this system.

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In this case, SMC is no growing and it try to change their CEO from  others company. The new CEO, Carl Burke, found this company has big market and excellent sales and manufacturing organization. However, he think they have to improve product developement and the area of Administration.  When he try to change and help this company, he also find there have “people” problem in their organization.  People are not united in their team. It is really common in some old company because people are too familiar with their work and they think they are right, and they usually will reject changing. Besides, because of their system, they will want to work only ob their functional area and separate clearly their responsibility. Therefore, I think it was the reason why Carl decide to bring in an outside consultant. I don’t really agree with this decision because I think Carl is a new CEO or new member in this company, and both of Carl and this outside consultant were not really understand this organization; they stood at the same starting point.

In my opinion, this is a no growing company because they were in the mature period, and I think that bringing a new outside CEO to this organization is a good idea.  The new superior could bring a new atmosphere into this company because he can use his viewpoint to see what problems do they have. However, in this situation, I don’t think it wise for a company to use an outside consultant because it will not help a lot. In this case, the consultant, Laura Wells, did the evaluation for each individual and team, but I wonder that did she really know how these people’s value in this company in six weeks? I even think maybe Carl will know these people more if he work with them and observe their personality for a period. Besides, at the end consultant just confirm about CEO’s idea, and she didn’t even suggest or teach him what should he do will be great.

Consultant was not really helpful for this company, and I think the CEO of SMC should believe himself to lead this company. He has great experience, so people in SMC probably expect him to bring some new atmosphere. In my opinion, if I were the CEO of SMC, I would believe my abaility and decision. and try to figure out how to improve this company’s system with my team. I need my team believe me, and I also have to understand them.

Get rid of the performance review

I agree with the idea of getting rid of the performance review because I never think it’s objective. When I worked in IKEA before, our manager will provides performance review to our boss, and usually I think that is useless. I had two different manager in my work period, and they provide totally different performance review to our boss. It can tell because I was closer with one of them, and she known what I was doing. My another manager didn’t care about his employee and  just wanted to know the result, so if result not good, he will think your performence bad. Therefore, I don’t think performence review can show employee’s performence well because it not objective although thay claim that is fair and objective.

However, I don’t think performence review will improve anything for a company. Because of performence review, some employees will do some work on what their manager prefer to, but actually it’s not the most important thing have to do or the thing really help the company. They just want to get high value on their performance review.

Two Football Coaches Have a Lot to Teach

I really enjoy on this reading because one of my previous boss  always  screamed at his employee. He is very impatient and explosive, so most of his employee cannot stay in that company for a long time. I think it always has negative influence to use angry word or scream at employee.  Some managers think screaming at employees will motivate them to improve their performance; however, it usually doesn’t work. Take my ex-boss for example, the average of time that employees stay in this company is less than one year, and it let this company has to spend more cost on training new employees.  Besides, his employees usually have a lot of pressure when they work, so it also caused bad performance. Therefore, I don’t think screaming at employees will help a leader work well.

Get Healthy or Else

It can understand why most of company want their employees to take care themself because they have to save on unbelievable medical costs. Normally company will use some reward way to encourage their employees to be healthy like receive discount on gym, smoking-cessation program, or vacation. I think these ways are really useful not only because save medical cost, but also help company to get others benefit. First at all, if employees can be  healthier, it will help the company to be more productivity. Employees will not take off frequently because of sick, or they will have more energy and can pay more attention on their work. Moreover, giving some program or help to employees to be health will provide a good corporate image to the public.  If a company sell the healthy product on his business, but most of their employee  are overweight, obese, and smoked, it definitely will influence the company’s image. Therefore, I think it should have advantage to let employees take care of their health.

Jesica’s story

It is really ridiculous and unbelievable story, and let me feel heart crushing. From this article, I can believe it still have a lot of medical error that was unknown in the real world, and we really should pay more attention on the problem of medical error.

In Taiwan, it also have a very famous medical error event that happened couple years ago. One nurse want to give a shot for eight infant, and she didn’t double check the medicine of the shots, so she gave the wrong shots to eight infants. It caused most of the infants died and have sequela, and one of the infant’s parent will be really hard to get pregnant again.  This event was the headline more than one week, and it let people pay more attention on Taiwanese medical error’s problem.

In Jesica’s story, I think it also let a lot of people care about medical error in the United States, and I also think it should have more effective way to avoid these error. The key could be the mental problem of those doctor and nurse because maybe they are tired and bored about their everyday work.