Posts Tagged ‘ralph waldo emerson’

Leadership: Globalization of Organizations . . .

Quote of the week:

Character is higher than intellect . . .

                  A great soul will be strong to live,

                                    as well as to think.

                                                              —Ralph Waldo Emerson

 The goal of this week’s learning is to discuss the globalization of organizations, managing expectations and fears in an interconnected environment, and why these concepts are so vastly important to today’s business environment, in particular as globalization continues to expand.  How do organizations know what they’re doing works?  How do you know you’re getting your money’s worth or in business speak—a good return on investment (ROI)?  In addition, we will also delve deeper into various meta-analyses of leadership, organizational structure, and organizational culture.  How will using these techniques and various lenses be of interest and benefit to us?

To begin our adventure, let’s take a walk back in time.  As Landy and Conte (2007) offered:

You may ask why we need any historical treatment.  The answer is that to know where we are now and where we are going as a field, it helps to know how we got there. (p. 17)

The goal for us during this course is to connect the dots that transcend a variety of related disciplines from leadership to management, to human resources, to human engineering, to the analysis of the human condition.  When we take ourselves to work each day—however we may define work— we cross many fields of interest as we simply do not exist within a vacuum.  Since many of us spend at least 50% of our time at ‘this thing called work,’ let’s see how the tenets of international leadership as seen through the eyes of Hames (2007) as reflective practitioners who “denote an entirely new logic for leadership: a new rationale in which context, intelligence, conversation, foresight and collaborative design are all important” (p. xxiii) affects both our work and—the human factor on a global scale.

Let’s take a look at this quick video. Did You Know; Shift Happens – Globalization; Information Age  Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbI-363A2Q (You Tube, 2011).   

What do we think about this video with regard to the nature of globalization?  Now let’s extend this to an organization and how globalization affects (and effects) both the organization and those who serve its needs.  Let’s dig further into the readings that our course offers.  We will begin with Hames (2007).

What are your thoughts about his introduction and his perspective?  His comparison to the movie The Matrix presents an intriguing argument to consider.  Is the evolution and perhaps demise of leadership as we know it as simple as he might suggest when he offers that evidence is everywhere—if we could just see it.  Nothing and nobody is immune.  Even that most cherished of all concepts, democracy, has been subverted as the hegemony exerted by powerful elitist regimes engages in a purpose vastly different to that originally envisioned. (Hames, 2007, p. 5)

Do we agree that the term democracy is devoid of meaning or lacking that which our founding fathers meant?  How then might this affect or impact our concept and personal definition of leadership, and then international leadership?  Let me encourage you to expand your viewpoints to include a broad brush particularly when evaluating multiple perspectives.  Do not feel that you must necessarily agree with any author in particular.  Simply allow their opinions to be included as one of many offered for evaluation and consideration.  Your agreement is not expected.  Pay particular attention to Hames’ (2007) rewriting of Abraham’s celebrated phrase “We presently have government of the people, by interchangeable sets of career politicians, for the pursuit of economic growth and development through an engulfing culture of transnational corporate capitalism” (p. 5).  Spend a few moments in thought here.  Our goal is to include multiple perspectives within our discussion to see what we may think.  Please consider including your reflections within your DQs in class for us to ponder further. *smiles*

            Now let’s add into our discussion the thoughts of our second text by Cohen (2007).  Cohen (2007) offers many questions for our careful consideration when he asks:

  • How do successful global leaders maximize people differences?
  • How do successful global leaderships maximize technology?
  • What insights could other global leaders provide to ease the transition of new global leaders and enhance the experience of current global leaders
  • What advice do successful global leaders have for future global leaders? (p. xv)

Let’s us carefully consider these questions and vantage points as we move through his text.  What advice from his participants do we find of value?  How can we integrate these lessons into my next segment which I call ‘news we can use” and implement today?  Be sure to keep these in the forefront of your mind as we move forward through the course.

Soon-to-be-famous Segment: News You Can Use.

Let’s look deeper at the application of what we have learned this week.  How does this translate into action?  How can this translate into “News We Can Use Today?” as this title offers.

Let’s begin with first a review of our critical thinking skills from our undergraduate days to begin to connect the dots as it were.  If thinking is within the box and critical thinking is outside the box; let me offer a new concept: refractive thinking which is beyond the box, beyond traditional conceptual boundaries particularly of the either / or dichotomy of the proverbial box (Lentz, 2009, Preface).  Why is this important here?  This theory builds upon the desire to move beyond conventional wisdom, to learn to challenge what you see, and most importantly to explain why.  These skills will become very important as we navigate through the areas of leadership on a global scale. 

What is my role as your faculty then you may ask? [Brilliant question —thank you! *grins*]  My role is to help you see what is already there, expanding beyond your comfort zone and perceived limitations, to move from a definition of leadership and international leadership—what people and organizations do (theory) into application (action)—how they do what they do, and perhaps a wee bit into why as well. *grins*  What we need to consider is the difference between what an organization is and the tangible results of what we see—its affects and effects of its behavior by those within. [Hint: spend some time deciding the difference between these two words and why might I be highlighting their importance here.]

Our goal is to integrate the theories of leadership to “translat[e] new knowledge, insights, skills, and values into one’s conduct” (Robinson, 1994, p. 3).  We need to move from theory to actual practice.  What will you do with this information?  How will your internal thinking translate into the benefits you’ll gain from knowing why work exists and the personnel approach where “the goal is to find or fit the best person to the job” (Landy & Conte, 2007, p. 11).  Is this as simple as the old adage that form follows function?  What value beyond relationships to a particular job or organization do we seek?  Are we simply brokering a deal to satisfying a need?  How is this valuable both on a national scale as well as a global one?  Let’s be sure to contemplate these ideas as we look toward our discussion questions for this week.

Let’s now look at a particular passage offered by Hames (2007) with regard to what he refers to as frustration.

This frustration is already giving rise to the emergence of more passionate, smarter global leaders [Who are these leaders to which he refers?].  Leaders who recognize the power of collective wisdom over individual genius.  Leaders who are informed by sources other than the main-stream media.  Leaders who think and act systemically.  Make no mistake, these people are tomorrow’s heroes and they are practicing an entirely different kind of leadership.  Five literacies leadership. (p. 9)

Do you agree with this assessment and characterization?  What an adventure before us should we choose to rise to the challenge!  How will we begin to fit these pieces together? 

One of my favorite leadership theories is the Kouzes and Posner (1997) Jigsaw Puzzle Principle.

It is easier to put the puzzle together if you can see what is on the box cover.

In any organization, people have different pieces of the organizational puzzle.  Members may have detailed descriptions of their roles and responsibilities, but very often they lack information about the ‘big picture’—about the overall purpose or vision of the organization. (pp. 98-99)

Do you know what the cover of the puzzle box looks like for you, your colleagues, your coworkers, and your organization in particular regard to international leadership?  This is the overarching purpose for us here —the formalized study of how these various puzzle pieces of the human factor integrate and work together, both on the individual level and for the organization on a global scale.  This then of course begs the questions: What forces act upon these pieces?  What are the dynamics that are in play that ultimately effect (and affect!) the outcome in which these organizations operate?  Where do you fit in?  Why?

This of course then further postulates, how can we in this class help you increase your understanding of these concepts?  How can we increase the tools available to help you as part of these organizations—wherever you may find yourself and within whatever country may apply—with the purpose of combining these pieces together for more effective and functional outcomes?

I like to use the concept of outcome based thinking—starting with the end in mind—where you want to be, then backing the truck all the way up to find the most effective route to get there.  Think of the answer of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will do” (Alice in Wonderland, 1954).   Very profound isn’t it, yet so elegantly simple.  This is what is meant by the various disciplines this course invites us to explore—how can you as the manager or leader control and manage aspects of social capital and culture in all its complexity and divergent splendor to achieve effective and desired results on a global scale.  Let’s look at both the end result and the process by which to navigate often turbulent and troubled waters to get there. *smiles*

We must look to not only the what of the equation, but the other side of the equal sign –the end result as well. 

What  + How = Organizational & Personnel Action [effect + affect]

AND let’s look to the process [the internal and external approaches to get there (Jones, 2010, pp. 15-16)].  Again, we continue to ask the question, how do we know when we get ‘it’ right?  How do we know when good is good enough?  Do we settle or do we go for exceptional?  How do we know that the puzzle pieces match the top of the box cover in the most efficient and effective way possible particularly with so many perspectives and definitions of leadership to choose from?  How do we know when we have arrived at our destination (outcome) and that where we are is where we want to be, need to be, should be?

Lastly, let’s consider the outcomes of critical thinking and query once more: How do we define success?  Connors, Smith, and Hickman (2004) suggest looking at the accountability of results to identify who is responsible.  “Your organization will not succeed in the long run unless people assume accountability for achieving the desired results” (p. 7).  Isn’t it amazing to see how success ultimately begins with the process of critical thinking and the accountability for the outcome of those behaviors?  How do we truly know that these choices are truly in the best interests of all concerned—all cultural stakeholders?  How does this idea help us here?  Why is relevancy of interest to us?  Who decides whose goals are of the most importance?  What if there is a conflict, who decides who wins? 

Great points for us to ponder this week.  Let’s tug on these strings a wee bit more as we move into our discussions and see where this takes us.

Enjoy your week and happy thinking!

Dr. C

References

Connors, R., Smith, T., & Hickman, C. (2004). The Oz Principle: Getting results through individual and organizational accountability. New York, NY: The Penguin Group.

Cohen, E. (2007). Leadership without borders: Successful strategies from world-class leaders. Singapore, Asia: John Wiley & Sons.

Hames, R. D. (2007). The five literacies of global leadership: What authentic leaders know and you need to find out. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Jones, G. R. (2010). Organizational theory, design, and change (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (1987). The leadership challenge: How to get extraordinary things done in organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Landy, F. J., & Conte, J. M. (2007). Work in the 21st century: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Lentz, C. (2009). The refractive thinker®: An anthology of doctoral writers. Las Vegas, NV: The Lentz Leadership Institute.

Robinson, R. D. (1994). Helping adults learn and change. (Rev. ed.). West Bend; WI: Omnibook Co.

You Tube. [Producer]. (2011). Did you know; Shift happens – Globalization; Information Age. [Video]. Available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbI-363A2Q

**For more helpful tips on doctoral publishing, please join us for a free webinar (a $97 value!) by going to http://www.FreeRefractiveThinker.com.  Please feel free to share your comments!

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March 25th, 2011 by admin