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Critical Career Success Factors – CCSF

14March

Critical Career Success Factors – CCSF

Career Management: Critical Success Factors That Make Careers Work

“High tech – low touch” comfort for employees to think and feel congruent with changes in the work place1. High tech, high touch is relevant when technology appears to dominate people and their contribution within organizational setting. Corporate top management have consciously taken cognizance of the need to push human touch as a real issue to study and care given flexing distance between people and process owing to technology and its impact. High tech, high touch implies:

Coordinated effort to identify areas for people touch
Bring technology familiarity with people
Make socialization as automated as possible
Connect people electronically where they can talk through mail connections
Bring down insecurities of employment as low people contact make people imagine a morbid state of affairs

Blend of “thinker – doer” competency in every individual.

That there is a critical needs to review thinking capability along with doing or implementation is essential for making things happen. Gaining acceptability to ideas and new ways of managerial practices is dependent on execution of new thoughts. While it is possible to generate ideas that may appear to be path breaking its implementation is all the more important. Another assumption that is giving way is the realm of academically or theoretically inclined working professionals. From days when a well read professional is written off as theoretical and not practical enough, the days have changed to accept and welcome a knowledge intensive professional. In a sense corporate of tomorrow is likely to look like a well-managed university with teaching and administrative faculty. In effect:
Make idea generation and execution a single point task force responsibility

Offer people the experience of working in cross-functional teams where they can let their hair down and work on difficult problems and alternatives
Make thinking an acceptable activity of the corporation
Encourage learning workshops where reading, studying, training, coaching are acceptable and desirable managerial qualities
Bring in qualified faculty from local university and help organizational managers understand through the interaction on how can think and doing be brought together

Creativity and solution providers

That success is a function of creativity and problem solving has again come up in this research quite clearly. A fact that creativity, new ways to handle problems, being prepared for an unknown economic future, that there is a paradigm shift in working ways in organizations all have contributed to a priority on thinking beyond the box.

Quite so through:

That creativity is not a sole prerogative of a select few should be culturally and consciously communicated and determined
Make problem solving and solution generation every time problem-solving situations arise and convert each exercise into a learning opportunity
Out of box thinking should be encouraged despite its limitation in application for immediate organizational problems
Pull the plug off of any political environment where untested ideas are frowned upon by seasoned, I know all, managers
Ask for one additional idea in every Monday morning meeting from the team members
Ask employees to solve problems of their departments by themselves assuming that the organization and the support services do not exist. We then encourage people to solve problems in resource limiting, creative form, not supported or hindered by organizational bureaucracy and systems
Self-managed stress and ability to handle business weight4. A high-pressure work environment and consequent personal stress and hardship has been assumed to be real. In fact the study shows that management of stress would become an important managerial competency.

In fact:

Make people understand that to be stressed up is not bad and can happen to any one in the company
Help people to not suppress stress and encourage asking for help to resolve their anxiety as quickly as possible
Create medical and health systems to cope with stress related issues in the organization
Ensure no reprimand is meted out to stress related problems, as it would inhibit people from sharing their concerns
Business problems and its consequences should be communicated as frequently as possible. Let there be no surprises that may either lead to demotivation or stress related decision-making bungling

Strong “value based” leadership

A finite difference has been drawn in this learning. That it is not good enough to be just a leader with all the skills and attributes of effectiveness but a leadership that encompasses a value based working style and behavior. That espoused values are indeed the practiced values. Many companies have stated value articulation. Guess the time has come where the leaders are expecting that this is just down in the hallway as a portrait but is something that is internalized in the minds of every employee and actively pursued.

Effectively this implies:

Values are here to stay and should be followed
That it is believed in and adhered to irrespective of business compulsions
That the leader sets the standard and is willing to die for it, more so give up a career for the sake of values
Communicate values in an easy to understand and implement language and bring in cultural context to the purpose of the stated values
Hold periodic workshops on ethics and laws governing the business
Help people understand and teach them to cope with external agencies
Demonstrate to what level would the organization be willing to stand by values and people who uphold the values of the corporation. More than words show trust by action

Balance between “specialization & general management”

The study does indicate an equal importance between generalization and specialization indicating the need to know more of an area and at the same time possess a deep appreciation of other factors that impact business bottom line. An HR manager should understand financial statements good enough to interpret and work the HR functioning to meet with financial objectives of the corporation. On a to do basis:
Make specialization a worthwhile career path to pursue. Advanced knowledge adds value to the corporation
Build expertise in select knowledge pockets of the organization
Create cross-functional teams and make people handle not done before assignments to build general management skills and competencies
Create a finite path, linear and performance driven that sponsors learning and knowledge acquisition
Ask employees of their aptitude and desire for general management or specialized management and path them accordingly. Work competency identification workshops to make people understand their strengths to help make up their mind

Compelling “vision & leadership”

That a vision and mission statement is more than an inspiration is being stated with “compelling” as a qualifier. And that the leader has to perform an up front role in gaining commitment to both vision and leadership is indicated clearly. Vision is an inspiration, no doubt, but will remain an inspiration only if a organization is pursuing policies and actions that are logically connected with the vision statement. The leader does the pursuit of goals. Strategic plans that are independent of the vision statement would have no buying from the management team. That this is an expression of desire by the leaders themselves implies a state of reckoning by them that it is perhaps a current reality that not always do corporate articulate and practice statements on vision, values or working philosophy. Some companies have even articulated “the way we work” as a written statement and it is a sad reflection to see them fall gloriously by the way side on execution of even one of the stated statements when called upon to act with resolve. Some Indian business houses are notorious for putting up banners of vision, values and way we work statements just to demonstrate professionalism and attract talent. Soon after they have realized their goals intended of their employee their ability to discard employees is a story of deceit and Machiavellian managerial styles.

Therefore,

Where vision statements have been discarded or not followed create another opportunity to restate the vision statement with a new meaning and thrust
Help people feel the need to work towards a dream shared and owned by all
Make strategic plans and operating goals integrated with the mission purpose
Work the vision statement through the managerial ranks and build ownership
Let the leader be the first to refer to the vision statement in every communication forum with employees
Make the vision statement with a destination and measurable milestones

“Cross-cultural” adaptability.

For both employees and the organization as a whole learning ways to cope with and adapt to situations that involve gaining comfort with globalization, working in locations beyond ones imagination, meeting and working with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Cross culture adaptability implies a firm organizational resolve to move beyond the geographic horizons of the current environment. The study indicates the top management perspective in asking for successful managerial preparedness to meet with this inevitability.

This would mean:

Identify what does the organizational culture mean and is understood as of date

Bring into organizational debate the strategic direction of the company, globalization, exports, offices in international locations, mobility of employees, relocation of family etc and the need to understand culture and its context for their effectiveness

Define a context of reasons and compulsions that warrant this organizational change

Organize cross culture workshops and bring up issues of bias, assumptions on people and countries, debate racial issues and the help organizational understanding of people and performance
Facilitate appropriate socialization programs to help new employees settle down and help transferred employees become familiar and friendly in a new, unknown location. Provide for fringes and benefits to make easy the transition

Demonstrate performance orientation irrespective of people and their background

Take punitive measures on equal rights violations

“Quick responses” to unprecedented change – The research has thrown up speed and responsiveness as a people success factor. In a era where customers have taken quality and product features for granted, speed, service and responsiveness takes a prominent position. Change enablement, as a program is now an important consulting activity. E.g. Andersen. Responding to change effectively is a critical managerial characteristic. Craving for intellectual challenge alone is not good enough for people success. Ability to manage change and adapt to a new circumstance is essential for corporate performance.

Some suggestions are:

Change management workshops are but a first beginning to help facilitate employees to understand and absorb change
Goals should reflect the need to solve problems and respond to issues
Ability to think through alternatives while managing unexpected situations
Demonstration by the leaders of the corporation of how change is impacting business performance and their consequent learning should be a shared corporate learning dossier

John Naisbitt articulated the emergence of High Tech High Touch way back in the 1980’s through his work Megatrends. This has since been expanded upon quite aggressively including his latest publication
Professor John P Kotter of Harvard Business School has done considerable research work on general managers, Leadership and lately on Knowing Doing Gap and its impact on organizational knowledge building work. The insights in this publication demonstrate the subtle learning’s in bridging the gap
It is interesting to note that several research findings of this book tally with the futuristic work of many a thinker authors. Professor John Naisbitt, Alvin Toffler, Michael Maccoby, Charles Handy and Peter Dricker
Pascale. Richard T. (1990) Managing on the Edge. New York: Simon and Schuster
Kotter P. John. (1982). The General Managers. New York: Viking
The author provided conceptual differences as is interpreted in the context of the knowledge economy for cover story of Business World March 2000
Deal, Terrence, and Alan A Kennedy. (1982). Corporate Culture. MA: Addison–Wesley
Dave, Stanley. (1984) Managing Corporate Culture. Cambridge. MA: Ballinger
Adler, N. (1981) “Re-entry: managing Cross-Cultural Transition,” Group and Organization Studies. 6(3): 341 – 56
Kanter, Rosabeth M. (1983). The Change Masters: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the American Corporation. Simon and Schuster. USA
Nine Critical People Success Factors As Seen By Top Management

Posted by ZuzukiSX4  Posted on 14 Mar 
  • careers, Change, Leadership, Talent
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