Leadership Competencies the Accelerating Pace Term Paper

  • Length: 15 pages
  • Subject: Business
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #36640386

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In traded industries where there is fierce competition, it is not possible to pay men more than equally productive women -- every little disadvantage can be fatal to a company's survival. This means that gender equality emerges faster in these industries, as U.S. evidence shows. On virtually every criticism of globalization, one can find good, rather than bad, things to say. So globalization does have a human face. The really interesting question is therefore what can people do through institutional design and policies -- both domestic and international -- to improve it.

d. The accelerating pace of globalization, communications, and technological innovation; the changing patterns of cross-border capital flows; the fluid state of corporate mergers and partnerships; all these have created -- and will continue to create for the foreseeable future -- fundamental shifts in the ways in which business is conducted. Where many old-fashioned -- and still widely current -- leadership models may provide perspectives from which to solve specific business problems (particularly the challenge of change within the contemporary business world). The task of discerning external change and translating that discernment into strategies for internal corporate change -- in terms of evolving organizational structures, group culture, and styles of personal interaction -- stands as one of the most enduring challenges of leadership (Domeyer, 1999).

Three findings may be highlighted fro a research done by Dawn Edwards (2005). First, on the "focus" side: becoming a customer-led organization raises the debate from turf battles to teamwork; customers or markets are often useful guides precisely because they transcend the corporation's existing functional boundaries and allow teams to analyze opportunities and allocate resources objectively. Second, if the focus is correctly adjusted -- through strategic simplicity, relentless prioritization of the questions that matter most, and the alignment of the organization's resources to actual needs -- then the benefits are substantial. This internal cultural change will in turn drive innovation, improve transactional speed, and produce substantive results. Third, cultural change is fundamentally a collective, collegial exercise in which sensitivity to the particularities of context is all-important. No single approach will be effective in all circumstances.

Yet if success is a matter of shared responsibility, it would be naive to suggest that responsibility is shared equally. In instigating the process of re-assessment and managing the dynamic tension that results from initiating reforms -- determining the point where countervailing forces are counterpoised most beneficially and creatively -- there remains a role, albeit a heavily modified one, for "heroic" leadership. Personal courage is inevitably required to inaugurate (and maintain) any process of change management, not least because a decision to retain the status quo, or to resist calls to change course, often seems the easiest and least risky management decision. While change for change's sake can often be a spurious substitute for properly focused leadership, the avoidance of change can be equally culpable: the result of either timidity or complacency, and the very opposite of effective leadership. However, once a properly informed decision has been made as to the need for change -- usually a moment that requires individual leadership -- the paradox is that, when it comes to implementation, "leadership" is fundamentally a group exercise. Leaders are constantly asking the seemingly unreasonable by requesting that individual team members make a total personal commitment to a particular program of action in the context of a future that is predominantly uncertain (Kacena, 2002).

e. The needs of organizations feature strongly in workplace learning approaches, however, individual, subjective issues such as attitudes, commitment, motivation and self-image, have been included as these are particularly important for any successful learning. People will only adopt new ideas, knowledge or skills if they are interested in learning, or find some benefit for themselves in doing so. Understanding the relationship between inputs, outputs and outcomes will assist in harnessing the involvement of individuals in the learning process.

Clearly workplace learning can address many of the current and future needs of managers and leaders, and can take many forms -- both formal and informal. However, it is not something that can be done overnight; but a long-term commitment by both the organization and the individual. As organizations begin to see the benefits of workplace learning activities they will become increasingly committed to developing more focused programmes to meet their specific organizational needs, which will help to maintain the momentum (Kaydo, 2000).

A long-standing method of transferring knowledge and understanding within an organizational setting, that has stood the test of time, is mentoring. The perception of mentoring is as varied as the concept of the mentor. This is a reflection of both concept differences, and participant expectations. Spencer (1996:5) described mentoring as 'a relationship which gives people the opportunity to share their professional and personal skills and experiences, and to grow and develop in the process'.

Many organizations have recognized that much of the learning and development of employees does not take place within the boundaries of traditional learning situations. Wallis (1998:15) argued that there is a "need for the organizational information, methods and culture to be transferred to other members of the workplace," and this 'learning transfer' could best be addressed through the use of mentoring with its techniques of guided and assisted learning.

The benefits to be derived from mentoring are diverse and have both short- and long-term impacts on the employee and the organization. The value of a given outcome and its impact (direct/indirect; short/long-term) will vary, and will be dependent upon the organization's strategy (Carmin, 1988).

Changes in technology and economics are altering the way people live and relate. A global culture made possible through the ease of communications and travel leads to greater interaction between people and places. Global economic systems now transcend national boundaries and trading blocs - we expect ready access to use credit cards and banking facilities wherever people are present (Kacena, 2002).

The impact of globalization in the world city goes beyond the towers of concrete and glass to the lives of those who live in its shadow. The global dimension of the contemporary city sets new challenges as new technologies and communications create new patterns of social life. This is true not just for the business world and the affluent but also for the poor, particularly for minorities whose communities now stretch beyond limited geographical ghettos (Greenberg, 1998).

Goold and Campbell (1987) found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that ideal corporate management implicitly integrates leadership and management. They concluded that "virtually all executives want strong leadership from the center, coordinated strategies that build in a variety of view points, careful analysis of decisions, long-term thinking and flexibility. But they also want autonomy for unit managers, clear accountability, the freedom to respond entrepreneurially to opportunities, superior short-term results, and tight controls." The problem is that these two sets of desiderata contain mutually competing, if not mutually contradictory, demands on the leader-manager.

Thus, as business dynamics and contexts change, corporate leaders must adapt themselves fundamentally in order to maintain an effective integration of the leadership and management roles, and some form of equilibrium between the simultaneous expectations held of them: of strong central direction coexisting with unit-level autonomy; and of central long-term strategic thinking coexisting with a measure of tactical flexibility and freedom of action among subordinates.

Due to the constant change in an increasingly complex business environment learning in the workplace is a crucial part of any organizations planning and development strategies (Boswell, 1995 and Howell, 1995). Life-long learning, the continuous up dating of skills and qualifications, must become the norm, not the exception. Support for these ideas has been seen in a number of recent policies in Australia, designed to improve the skills of the workforce and decrease the growing skills gap; particularly the Mayer Report (1992) into the development of key competencies and competency-based training. If organizations are seriously "interested in developing the true capacity of its people" (Rylatt, 1994:15) they must be prepared to closely examine their existing policies, systems and activities to determine whether they are supporting or inhibiting workplace learning. Any industry/workplace wishing to introduce a new attitude to learning in the workplace will face an enormous challenge in convincing individuals, teams, and organizations of the importance of workplace learning for their future, and gaining their true commitment.

Mentoring has been widely recognized as a valuable method for staff development, transmission of corporate culture, and socialization (Matthews, 2005). A properly designed mentoring programme can be a useful, structured way to communicate, and transfer information related to the expectations of different management approaches to new and existing employees. Whilst it is only one method of facilitating learning in the workplace, it is designed to make use of guided learning to develop the knowledge and skills required for high performance in the workplace (Tovey, 1999:5), and can be geared to the specific requirements of any organization at any time. It focuses on…

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