Library: Articles by Members
Occasionally some of our members graciously provide articles of direct interest to our members from time to time (as below). These are posted in the order received, most recent at the top, with links to either the material on the sponsor's site or the full article or both as applicable.
Please note: SCN does not evaluate these other than for topic relevance in keeping with our strategic themes, nor do we specifically intend to vouch for the content in detail, as all of of it is entirely the property and responsibility of the individual sponsors. Members are reminded that most of the material is copyrighted and should be respected accordingly.
What is the relationship deal between managers and employees?
February 2014 - Sue Nador offered this insight into the relationship between managers and employees - posted in the HR Reporter
The manager-employee relationship is like any other – whether it is one with our friends, our lovers, or the guy selling hotdogs outside the office. It works well when there is a fair exchange between “give” and “take”. When either person feels they are “giving” more than they are “getting” resentment seeps in, the relationship erodes and the outcomes are rarely good.
Organizational Transformation for Social Media
November 2013: member Harold Schroeder offered this executive summary report on transformation and application of social media -
Organizational Transformation for Social Media (PDF)
which fits well with our November Toronto Region event on "Social Media Beyond LinkedIn and Twitter" that presented five organizations with examples of how they made social media work effectively in their situations. Harold agrees that social media can no longer be ignored by organizations, but points out that implementation requires significant organizational transformation for the whole to be more effective rather than less. New skills and expertise, realigned systems and an updated understanding of business strategy are required and often overlooked in a hurry to participate. The report offers an overview of these and other requirements.
Senior HR Panel on Developing Leadership on the Cheap
In December 2012, Canadian HR Reportersat down with five senior HR
Senior HR Panel on Showing Top Talent the Money Critical – and Controversial
In December 2012, Canadian HR Reportersat down with five senior HR professionals in Toronto to
The Importance of Human Resource Management in Strategic Sustainability: An Art and Science Perspective
Strategic sustainability is associated with significant business benefits as well as positive environmental impacts, yet many organizations fail to recognize the potential of this approach, and neglect the factors necessary for its successful implementation. This article recommends an art and science based approach to strategic sustainability and discusses the important role of Human Resource professionals in contributing to the success of this approach. A number of key areas of responsibility for the HR department in relation to strategic sustainability are discussed and the importance of a more proactive approach on the part of HR professionals is noted.
The full article is here.
Schroeder & Schroeder Inc.
1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801
Toronto, Ontario M5E 1W7
OD Template for Assessing Effectiveness of HR
SCNetwork President, Ian Hendry, received and suggested posting the following from a company that assisted US OD Networks to develop a template for assessing effectiveness of HR functions:
I thought you and your Strategic Capability Network members would be interested in seeing the results of the Holistic Organizational Effectiveness Survey. The report includes information and insight collected from organizations across the U.S. and internationally, with clear implications for HR and OD and organizations across all sectors and industries.
You can share the survey report by forwarding the report link and/or posting the link on your organization’s website.
Balance Finally Gaining Recognition in Leadership
Balance is often misunderstood as it applies to leadership
Posted: 12/18/2012 By Dave Crisp
Even people who appreciate the usefulness of balance are sometimes at a loss to find it.
A key first step is just recognizing the opposite values in any paradox. These surround us constantly, because we’d all like to have everything pretty much both ways — having our cake and eating it too.
Oddly, we often can... if we’ve learned to view things the right way for that very purpose.
Many researchers (and philosophers) have written about balance among paradoxes or opposites or contradictory views. Still it is rare to see it in mainstream management advice. Hooray for McKinsey & Company’s latest Quarterly with a new article (no cost registration) entitled "Leadership and the art of plate spinning."
The title is a giveaway — juggling is a great analogy for balancing paradoxes in the midst of action.
McKinsey’s article is clear about four leadership paradoxes. (There are plenty more, but these are biggies).
They explain how "change can be managed more easily in organizations that keep some things stable" (don’t try changing everything at once, find a balance).
Second they note successful organizations usually both "empower and control their employees."
Despite my railing against command and control as an exclusive solution, every organization needs broad, clear controls since these actually stabilize an environment of creative freedom.
Third, the article highlights that business cultures need to foster both "consistency and variability."
Finally, in a fourth paradox, they point out that senior leaders in organizations have to "constantly intervene to encourage the sorts of behavior (freedom of creativity) that align an organization with its top priorities" (meaning they have to push people toward thinking independently so they will risk trial and error — behaviors that lead to innovation).
All these highlight inconsistencies or paradoxes that at first seem irresolvable. And they are — or at least they are for people who take everything literally, as clear cut either/or issues. But there is a way of looking at them where you see the value in both opposing ideas and make use of parts of both to create a both/and solution that is better than either of the alternatives alone. This blending or balancing is essential to the best solutions and is very often the stuff from which the most powerful leaders construct their objectives.
Many would-be leaders don’t want to hear they should "push freedom," "be constant in pressing for variability," "constrain freedom and variability" and "hold things constant, so change can occur."
The contradictions involved call for judgment, reflection, and, frequently patience — all difficult objectives for leaders who try to manage everything themselves, such as entrepreneurs who are anxious to forge headlong into new territory and think they can just give orders. To be most effective you can’t "just do" anything in leadership. “Just do it” may work for you alone, but it doesn’t work well as an instruction to staff.
To get innovation going or to encourage staff to treat customers the way they want to be treated (goals we often hear companies want, but seldom see in action), you have to keep a frame around what people do. If they’re in charge of their own budgets, they can judge for themselves how much they can offer a customer in repairs or special deals that the customer wants. But will they? Clearly there is judgment involved in balancing the opposites: Give away too much and you will go broke, give away too little and your customer won’t return (and you’ll go broke). Spend too much or too little on innovation and similar problems await.
Because we’re constantly faced with these judgment calls, we have to delegate them down the line as far as we can. Ideally every leader and even every staff member in an organization will exercise great balance in every situation. But that won’t happen without training, coaching, continual discussion, examples and reminders from leaders who walk this talk themselves every day.
And you can’t unless you yourself see the value in the two opposing values, and that often means you have to see ways to apply it in your own life. So finding balance is an every day, every situation challenge, not only in one’s own personal life by in our efforts to lead and manage others.