Managing Teams

Each team leader or manager at some stage or the other wants to acknowledge team mates’ efforts. They see giving motivational pep talks as part of their talent management tasks. However, in spite of the genuine efforts many get this wrong, and instead employees feel let down. Employees feel compliments as insincere when they are acknowledged on the go, while managers seem preoccupied with something else. They also feel let down when they can sense that their superior is simply making things up to increase his/her popularity ratings. A lot of managers actually have a sense of guilt so to make up they shower praise just to hide their own shortcomings. This too must be avoided at all costs. Instead, employees always feel valued when their superiors ask for the back story behind the success. If the same gratitude spoken of earlier, is contextualized as part of something bigger, employees feel valued. Finally, bosses will raise their popularity stakes simply by acknowledging the personal cost attached.


Uploaded Date:20 July 2018

Contrary to perceptions fanned by popular media, dictatorial styles of leadership do not succeed at times of crises. Instead, they work best when there is stability and standard operating procedures get followed. That us why a more democratic approach is needed during business turnarounds. Crises where leaders had scant confidence in their subordinates failed such as the Sears disaster or Hurricane Katrina. Thus, those good at talent management are shedding command-and-control methods in favor of agile ones. A global engineering firm called Worley Parsons is a good example of an organization that has implemented agile work methods. This proved far more effective than the earlier model of cost-cuts. The top-down command structure was replaced by a more inclusive one comprising of team huddles and backlog prioritization. The best of agile team leaders constantly communicate with their team. Instead of being commanders these leaders act as coaches. On-the-job corporate training takes help of learning loops with progress being emphasized rather than perfection. The reward systems once established are carried forward to the bigger teams as well.


Uploaded Date:18 July 2018

Thomas Edison had once remarked how success was mostly built on perspiration, with some help from inspiration. This is true for life as well as in sports. While a lot of teams have been ultra-successful in team sports, few have defined the complete domination, the way the US women’s football team did in the 1990s. Not only were they invincible on the pitch, they were also a role model for gender equality. The sport of women’s football became international due to their efforts. The team alchemy was second to none. Other teams such as Bayern Munich, New England Patriots, and the All Blacks too have achieved this in some ways. One technique applied by Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola to instill empathy within the team was for team members to perform others’ role for a brief period. This was a masterstroke in talent management as players were able to understand the work and challenges of the others. Companies are going through shorter product lifespans and increasing volatility, so need to adopt such innovative methods. A sense of higher calling must be established for all the employees, so each realizes one’s importance to the organization. There must the least amount of ambiguity, so plans must be clearly communicated to those concerned.


Uploaded Date:04 July 2018

One of the biggest challenges facing modern organizations relates to talent management. This is felt acutely in managing the diversity of nationalities and cultures within an organization. An observation was made recently about the work culture at a French automotive supplier with bases in China, Japan and Germany. While a lot of Chinese employees had problems dealing with their German or French colleagues, contrary to perception, their biggest conflicts arose while dealing with the Japanese ones. The Chinese considered the Japanese and slow and inflexible, while the latter perceive the former as rash. While all human beings ultimately are motivated by similar psychological and physiological motivations, the upbringing matters a lot. That is why organizations must take care in mapping the cultural differences. This will help reduce the inherent fault lines, enabling the company to take advantage of the diversity.


Uploaded Date:27 June 2018

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