Leadership on Point

Who Is Harold Leavitt … And Why Should You Care?

October 3, 2011 Meghan Vincent

Harold J. Leavitt's Diamond Model for Analyzing Management Change

The late Harold J. Leavitt was a pioneer in the development of the academic field of organizational behavior, a management expert with degrees from Harvard, Brown and MIT (undergrad, graduate, and doctorate, respectively) and a highly respected college professor (University of Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon University, and Stanford).  And, in 1965, he gave to the world his model for analyzing the impacts organizational change.

Through this model (known as Leavitt’s Diamond), Leavitt demonstrates that each element of an organization’s system – people, goals/tasks, structure and technology/processes – are interdependent.  In other words, changes made to any one of these four elements cannot and will not occur in isolation.  Rather, a change made in any one area of your organization will impact the entire system.

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Crash and Burn: Bad Leader, or Set Up to Fail?

September 26, 2011 Richard Levin

Leaders Set Up To Fail

I was recently asked to advise on a situation in which a senior executive, new to the company, was spiraling downward in his performance.  The executive had been pre-screened by a global search firm and was interviewed by an internal search committee representing numerous corporate functions.  His references were stellar, his executive presence superb. Six weeks into his new job, nearly all of his colleagues and direct reports were in agreement: the hire was a misfire. What went wrong?

The most common response is that the company and its search firm missed something in the executive’s profile, and the executive fell short of expectations.  Our tendency is to focus on what the leader did “wrong”; maybe he failed to engage his team, perhaps he didn’t have great communication skills, possibly he could not articulate his vision or spark people’s (or his own) imagination. In this scenario, the leader’s team is typically presented as competent and well-intentioned, ready to be motivated and inspired by the “right” leader.  The team sees itself as eager and hungry for exceptional leadership, and feels the new leader let them down.  The outcome is a situation in which the leader and the team co-generate an escalating spiral of underperformance, frustration, and anger.

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Google’s CEO Discusses the Value of a Coach

June 24, 2011 Richard Levin

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt discusses the importance of hiring an executive coach, noting that having someone to provide perspective and help you to reach your full potential is not an indication that something is wrong.  A coach’s role is, as Schmidt explains, to help the client see him/herself as they appear to others … and to assess if (and how) changes should be made.


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How Your Customers Have Changed

May 26, 2011 Chip Bell - Guest Author

Customers today are Picky — more cautious in their choices (and they have many more choices) and interested only in getting obvious value for their money.  They are well-informed about choices, smarter in choice-making, and selective in whom they elect to join.  Blame it on a scary recession, but the is customers are picky!

They are Fickle–much quicker to leave if unhappy.  They not only show a lower tolerance for error, they will exit just on account of plain old indifferent service.  The hype of a brand name means little in deterring the disappointed customer’s exit.  And, their expectations for their encounters with you are up 33% over this time last year!  The old “tired and true” is no longer the “tried and true.”

Customers today are Vocal–more apt to rapidly (and loudly) register concerns with their higher standards for value and their expectation of getting a tailored response.  They assertively tell others their views of service; they also listen to fellow customers’ reviews and make choices without even giving the organization a chance.   Three-fourth of customers makes a decision not to do business with you based solely on “work of mouse” from other customers.

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Can You Run the Boston Marathon?

April 18, 2011 Jim Desrosiers

Boston Marathon, Executive Coaching, Goals

Maybe not this week, but of course you can run the Boston Marathon…unless your attitude says you can’t.  If you think you can’t do something, you’re right.  If you think you can, you are also right.

Follow this formula:

Success comes from goals. Goals come from results. Results come from our daily behaviors. Our behaviors are driven by our attitudes.

Our attitudes are 100% in our control.  Many people let past conditioning, outside circumstances, or even other people get to their attitude.  Since our success starts with our attitude, challenge your feelings when you are telling yourself you can’t do something.  Remember, human beings are only limited by self-imposed limitations.  It’s amazing to me that two human beings in the same situation can have very different BELIEFS as to what their ultimate potential could be.  One runner believes her potential is to someday increase her time to 60-minutes on a treadmill while the next runner believes she will complete the Boston Marathon next April.  Attitude is what makes similar people achieve vastly different results.  Also, challenge your attitude when you catch yourself thinking, “I’m having a bad day” or “That person MAKES me mad!”   We choose our attitudes.  Is it really a “bad” day if it’s raining or snowing outside?  Do you have to become angry at the rude driver or can you choose to smile and wave at them?  I actually have fun doing that…knowing they are expecting an obscene gesture.  Sometimes, they even apologize to me.  You see, attitudes are also contagious.  Your attitude also stems from your prior experiences and conditioning.  Conditioning that can be changed.  Right now you have an attitude about this blog posting…is it positive or negative?…and why?

 


 

Written by RLA Associate, executive coach and acclaimed speaker Jim Desrosiers, M.M. For more information, please visit www.GROWTHco.com.

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