Leadership vs. Management

I found this video particularly inspiring. How I wish I would see more leaders and less managers. I have been blessed to have been influenced by some great leaders and it was then I realized the lived experience of the difference between leadership and management. I recall one particular supervisor I had that encouraged me to make a presentation to prospective clients. She believed in me even when I did not believe in myself. What an incredible growth experience this was. On a similar note, the guest speaker in class also left me with a lot to think about. “I fired my boss”. I liked that :).

This statement in the video resonated: “Did I help somebody today accomplish what they thought they couldn’t?” (Godin, 2013). I feel that Godin speaks to the tenets of servant leadership that I particularly favour. Certainly, in change processes I have found that leadership is pivotal to realizing effective change.

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The difference between organizational learning and a learning organization


Organizational learning suggests emphasis on process: a sequence of activities in which an organization undertakes to learn whereas learning organization emphasizes unique structural characteristics of an organization that has the ability to learn” (source)

 Organizational learning

Organizational learning = learning in organizations

Learning Organization

The learning organization =  learning for organizations

No input: New database

A few years ago a new database was introduced to us by our funder. Unsurprisingly, no input was received from the staff in regard to design or even evaluating the need for this database. It was simply announced to the staff that CAMS was to take effect by a certain date. Perhaps management was involved, but as far as I know, the staff were not consulted and yet they are the ones who are forced to use this system. While CAMS has some benefits, such as the centralization for the collection of data, sadly, this database has also greatly increased the workload for the staff. Consequently, less time is spent with clients and more time is spent on paper work. Are we really helping the clients we serve? This is a question worth investigating.

Tax cutbacks: When changes don’t make sense

According to the Fraser Institute, a Canadian family’s biggest expenses is taxes. From my perspective, politicians, the media, etc. have indoctrinated our minds with the idea that an increase in taxes is not good for society. Interestingly, as taxes are cut, so are essential social services. Personally, I don’t mind paying taxes, but the problem is that I am skeptical as to what is being done with our taxes. It is not even clear to me what debt the Canadian government is paying that is preventing them from providing adequate social services for all (e.g. child care). Our governments need to be held more accountable because some of their actions are clearly not in the best interests of the public. Smh! When change does not make sense (i.e. tax cutbacks).

The Press plan?

Professor Rao offers his views on how to “effectively” implement change within organizations:

Video source

P: Persuading

R: Recruiting support and overcoming resistance

E: Energizing new behaviour

S: Staffing

S: Sequencing

From watching this, I would say that his ideas are targeted towards managers or the change agents, specifically how they can push their agenda forward. It would be interesting to learn how effective this strategy has been. Rao (2015) also seems to suggest that resistance is not a good thing. Ford and colleagues however make a compelling argument:

By assuming that resistance is necessarily bad, change agents have missed its potential contributions of increasing the likelihood of successful implementation, helping build awareness and momentum for change […]. (Ford, Ford & D’Amelio, 2008,  p. 363)

This was a key takeaway for me this past week. The emergence of resistance could possibly be a blessing in disguise. It is therefore necessary to critically evaluate resistance and not blindly conclude that folks are simply trying to be difficult.

Employee ownership: Engagement

If employee ownership (specifically taking ownership for an idea) is an effective strategy in change processes, why is it so often ignored? Part of what makes an organization are the people who work to make things happen (i.e. products and services) It therefore only makes sense that they (i.e. employees and other key stakeholders) would be involved in matters that affect them. The problem though is that our world largely operatives under a capitalist narrative which I would argue favours hierarchical structures. I recently read an article that notes that “research shows workplace hierarchies deliver practical and psychological value” (Zimmerman, 2014). I am not sure I agree with this statement. That being said, my knowledge on this is very limited as I am yet  to explore this further. Nevertheless, personally, I am no fan of hierarchies.