From students in the classrooms to business professionals in the boardroom, everyone appears to be “staying in the know” using their PDAs and iPhones. Although social technology and collaborative software advancements continue to evolve, leadership practices, on the other hand, appear to be stuck in the epistemic mire of the transactional-transformational charismatic preaching caveat emptor in a business as usual corporeality creating significant barriers to market entry. It is indeed unfortunate but management’s reception to collaboration and socio-technology thus far, appears to have been approach-avoidance, at best, diminishing opportunities for innovation other than clever recordkeeping. Further complicating the advancement of collaborative technology is, not all collaborative platforms are true Socio-technical systems. True STS are self-regulating systems and this approach threatens the current leadership paradigm. As such, to date, the adoption of collaborative technology is often closely regulated by management. And strict regulation inhibits buy-in and participation from organizational members. Accordingly, socio-technology disrupts the generative dance of leadership’s sublime endeavor; pursuing personal power, authority and wealth. Nevertheless, socio-technical systems are not a socialistic ruse for redistributing wealth but rather, STS present brilliant opportunities for organizational learners to co-create a cycle of sustained innovation for competitive advantage. The twenty-first century organizational leader will need to acquire skills that align with the social-technical environ; These skills include a commitment to authentic, honest and open evaluation, communication, education, collaboration and innovation.
What do you think?
October 5th, 2009 at 7:37 am
LED-501-ONA7 Fall 2009
Week 7: Devotion/Affirmation
There is a profound relationship that must occur to become the leader that I desire to be. Additionally, as I walk each day, I desire the wisdom to advise, counsel, and make decisions. I also must overcome my inner personality to increase my compassion for others in a way that is pleasing to God. Charles C. Manz says that, “there is a call for a wise and compassionate leader”. He was describing the desire we all have to gain practical knowledge that will allow us to walk with Jesus. He later says that, “The first step to becoming an effective leader is to look in the mirror and master the art of leading yourself to lay the foundation for helping others do the same.” This insight provides vision towards the goals that I have set for myself and the aspirations of my subordinates and peers. Though I can be pragmatic at times, I always try to find the good in people and learn their abilities and constraints. I have devoted a lot of time and effort trying to relate job performance to individual preferences in order for others to be placed in the right position for future success. My devotion is to be a “light” at my job and a friend that follows “The Great Commission”:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Throughout my time in this course I have had to overcome certain challenges. However, I have had the support and understanding of my family while I kept the kitchen table occupied and engaged in a number of late night school efforts. I have gained and understanding of leadership theory, team dynamics, transactional-transformational leadership, ethics, change management, collaboration, communities of practice, leader-member exchange, and the components of the new leadership paradigm. Each of these topics have given me ideas and pieces to the leadership puzzle to help develop not only my own characteristics, but a vision to include Godly wisdom in all that I do. Therefore, my affirmation prayer is simple, yet direct:
God… Thank you for the grace and mercy that you provide to all your children. Thank you for the things that we take for granted and do not understand. You are worthy of our praise and worship in all that we do. Forgive me of my transgressions and allow me to seek favor in your eyes. Help me to become the person who you want me to be and grant me wisdom when I am in need. Provide me with the tools to be of assistance and help me to recognize the conflicts that tear us apart so that I may seek your Word for guidance and resolution. Show me the way and bring me safely to the other side. Bless those that struggle daily, as I do, and bless their families for their understanding and support. Allow me the privilege to work in your kingdom and the time to make my efforts bear fruit. Give me strength when I am weak and forbearance in times of chaos. Touch those that have been a light unto me and bring peace to their heart and to the world. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
One last thing… To my classmates: I hope to be with each of you in LED502 so that we can continue to share our fellowship while providing feedback to each other. It has been an honor to receive notes from you and I feel blessed to have gotten to know you albeit via text. I wish the best for you and God’s blessing on you and your families. Thanks!
October 5th, 2009 at 2:46 pm
Week 7: Walk the Talk Blog
Reflexive learning response to Making Quality/Ethical Decisions in Times of Change posted by John on April 5th, 2008 on http://www.walkthetalk.org under Ethics.
Chris McDonald, Ph.D. comments that, “Anyone who talks about business-ethics as if it’s conflict-free, or as if it’s just about achieving ever-higher levels of niceness in commerce, is glossing over some very important questions” (McDonald, 2009). Dr. McDonald contends that there are many questions still out there concerning ethics in today’s business environment; an environment fueled by the influx of data and external “white noise” created by human social patterns. A summary of a walkthetalk.org blog on business ethics, as it relates to quality decision making, and the current environment of expanding socio-technical systems (STS) will show that people, not technology, will be the agents of future change.
“Transformation” is synonymous with alterations or changes in the technical environment. Even though we have gone through a number of evolutionary changes in technical systems, we have ultimately managed the flow of information through restructuring or system adaptation. The walkthetalk.org blog post entitled “Making Quality/Ethical Decisions in Times of Change” notes that “we are bombarded with stimuli including, email, instant messaging, voice conference calls, webinars, net meetings, text messaging, and cell phone calls” (Walkthetalk.org , 2008). It is also true that decisions from the team level all the way to corporate management have also changed from single discussion-based decision-making to adhoc multi-tasking of this stimuli, which has deteriorated some aspects of business ethics. However, emerging technologies, sparked from new forms of competitive advantages, are leveraging new and innovative information systems to increase productivity, reduce decision cycle time, and match ethical policies. This need for increased speed has become a contention for most, suggesting that when decisions are needed quickly we lose quality thinking along the way. Good decision-making relies on the knowledge, experience, and wisdom of the decision maker. Additionally, the decision maker must have a forum of like-thinkers to infuse communities of practice to validate the decision hypothesis. However, as noted by the walkthetalk.org blog post, “decisions are of lesser quality due to time pressures, coupled with the expectation that decisions must be made quickly… preventing the focus on one issue at a time to allow more time for thought, reflection, and consideration of alternatives.” (Walkthetalk.org , 2008). Though these assumptions are correct, most STS are being forged to allow for collaboration and mutual decision-making to react to the same concerns. Basically, as needs change for people and business, the technical systems that support them must also change. Therefore, transformation is related to how people must interact in the “hyper-busy” business environment and how the STS must adapt to meet those challenges using open systems and knowledge sharing.
The psychology of new and emerging open systems and e-learning (knowledge sharing) have been based upon studies arranged under the precepts of cognitive, social, and developmental needs of the future (Yan, et al., 2003). Socially, we have become entrenched in our abilities, through online technical applications, to make connections and network with people around the world. These connections have allowed us to share thoughts and ideas in a collaborative environment as well as participation in virtual learning experiences; thereby maximizing cognitive learning. John W. Aldridge, Ph.D. (2004) suggests that virtual learning along with collaborative decision-making, self-regulation, and workgroup autonomy provide an open system that appears as a STS under the design and title of “distributive learning”. These environments have become the “new organizational paradigm” and have created a medium for increased quality in decision-making. Additionally the STS are finding their way into mainstream content management systems (CMS) and document management systems (DMS) where developers have added tools for collaborative manipulation of tasks and development of new employees. The effect of these new information systems is a benefit over concerns of quality/ethical decision-making in the walkthetalk.org post. Regardless, software that includes an integrated or open-platform social networking software package facilitates knowledge sharing and grants leaders and managers with the ability to pursue corporate decisions quickly, but with an adequate level of reflection and ethical comparison when used as a collaborative system.
In conclusion, this summary of business ethics, as it relates to quality decision making, and the current environment of expanding socio-technical systems (STS) has shown that people, not technology, will be the agents of future change. These socio-technical connections will grow exponentially as globalization expands. Globalization has created “growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information, technology, capital, goods, services, and people throughout the world – as an overarching ‘mega-trend,’ a force so ubiquitous that it will substantially shape all the other major trends in the world of 2020 (CIA, 2004, p.9). As we transform society, we must expect a transformation in business and new challenges towards decision-making and quality ethical practices. Though we have seen ethical breakdowns in recent years, the social and technical environments are merging towards collaborative decision-making and shared leadership, which will create positive connections in our search for effective socio-technical organizations of the future.
McDonald, C. (2009). Barriers About Talking About Doing the Right Thing. The Business Ethics Blog. Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://www.businessethicsblog.com/
Walkthetalk.org. (2008). Making Quality/Ethical Decisions in Times of Change. Walk The Talk Blog. Retrieved October 5, 2009, from http://walkthetalk.org/blog/?cat=4
Zan, Z. et al. (2003). The Psychology of e-Learning: A Field of Study. Journal of Educational Computing Research. 29-3, 285-296.
Aldridge, J. (2004). Information on Socio-technical Systems. Encyclopedia of Distributive Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
CIA. (2004). Mapping the Global Future [Executive Summary Extract]. Report of the National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project. Fort Leavenworth, KS: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
October 9th, 2009 at 12:34 am
Session 7 Devotion/Encouragement
Thank you to all of those whom have contributed to the discussions in an intelligent and thought-provoking manner. It has challenged me to think outside the preverbal box, and consider many other opinions that I have never considered before – even on topics that I felt I was relatively confident in. The entire learning process is just that…a process. This is only the beginning and I wish everyone the best as they go through this MBA program here at CCU.
“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”
October 10th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
This class has been very beneficial for me and my current job situation. I have shared many thoughts and ideas with my boss who has also allowed me to speak with his boss about the information that I am learning. I have shared the LMX survey with them as well and thought it was very interesting with the scores that they did come up with and helped them also change the ways of how they treat the employees and their coworkers around them. Being able to bring the information that I have learned into my work environment has helped a lot. My relationship with my boss is slowly getting better; it will be ending soon for I have been recruited by another company that I am pretty positive I got the position. It has been a great experience in this class to take work environment and also in the social settings.
I will continue to pray that we all can learn more and more in our classes as we either finish our grad program or continuing getting out degree. Thank you all for being so open and allowing us to learn and get closer to God.
October 11th, 2009 at 4:29 pm
LED 501 course was my first course from coming back to school since I graduated with my BS about 2 years ago. Although the beginning classes were difficult for me to get in a rhythm I do believe it has showed me what needs to be done in order to push through and receive my degree. My work schedule, although very hectic, has slow down some and is very understanding to what I am doing. I hope that with LED 502 and all my other classes that I can make more time not just for reading and school work but also more for family and friends. Thanks for making this first course a great introductory course back into the graduate degree life.
October 11th, 2009 at 4:50 pm
I am grateful for the blessing that this class has been to me. I appreciate the facilitation of Dr. Chad and the participation of each of my classmates. My prayer is that we are leaders that change the world.
Here are a few lyrics from a Nickleback song that touched my life this week:
If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
Then we’d see the day when nobody died
Check out the impactful music video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..eature=fvw
As Ghandi said: Let us be the change that we want to see in the world.
God bless us as we love and lead others!
October 11th, 2009 at 6:09 pm
Leadership has been in existence since the time of Adam. Theories for leadership are much more modern. Learning and practicing several types of leadership theories is impractical for the everyday person. However, since mothers, fathers, and almost anyone take roles as leaders at one time or another. Therefore, it is important to at least understand in some capacity in order to interact with followers in a way that makes the relationship and outcomes of the relationship more effective. All leaders should understand the differences and similarities shared between humans of different race and gender. According to Forsyth, as mentioned in Leadership Theory and Practice, having a diversity of people in an organization improves the likeliness of increased productivity. This seems to be a logical outcome- often the prettiest pictures are painted in many colors. I am thinking of a great leader who showed no prejudice against any man and used a note worthy leadership method. His name is Jesus and he used Servant-leadership methods. Servant-leaders accomplish tasks set forth by first giving priority attention to the needs of their followers. Jesus, the son of God, used this technique and asks us to use it to for 1 Peter 4:10 states
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms”.
Again, everyone can learn a lot by learning a little bit about business theories. We probably all have followers- even if we don’t know who they are!
October 11th, 2009 at 7:14 pm
What was once understood about leadership has now changed. The company’s future is no longer the focus of senior management, but it is in everyone’s interest to do what they can to ensure the company has a future. Today, organizational managers who support socio-technical systems look for opportunities to create enabling constructs using information systems to accelerate communication, learning and knowledge sharing.
Today, many organizations are developing KM systems that are intended to increase the flow of knowledge at multiple levels: in the workplace, at home, and in the broader community. With the introduction of the Internet, our work experiences continue to transform from production-oriented to knowledge-centered, from competitive to collaborative. IT and KM provide the technical framework for knowledge sharing while allowing supervisors to manage the boundary conditions of the workplace environment. As such, autonomous work groups have once again emerged everywhere freeing its members to flexibly manage their own activities.
October 11th, 2009 at 8:37 pm
As a new paradigm leader, I can influence and lead change by
unleashing my God-given potential professionally and spiritually in my immediate workplace. It’s important for me to realize when I’m a servant leader, I’m serving my Lord. Also this is a quote from a leader I admire, Mr. Green, founder and owner of Hobby Lobby,
“We do not have to be corrupt to be successful,” Green said in response to a question on the recent perception of corruption in corporate America. “We have to realize that we as leaders are being watched by others all the time on how we handle things. Integrity is totally engrained in our culture. It is who we are.”
Mr. Green is the founder and owner of Hobby Lobby, where solid Christian values are openly displayed, and the retail establishment has always honored the Sabbath by being closed on Sundays.
October 11th, 2009 at 8:57 pm
When asked to differentiate between management and leadership, many are unable to tell the difference. But, leadership embarks a variety of practices beyond just the simple organization of different human and material capital. One thing to remember when beginning your leadership development is that to be a good leader it takes heart.
A leader is able to do what is best for the group as a whole. Through this the leader gains the support of the group – and together is able to accomplish greater things.
To be a good leader, on must learn to be flexible. Different situations warrant different leadership styles, a good leader learns to be diverse.
The new paradigm leader demonstrates a higher level of ethics in their practices. When ethical expectations are set and practiced by a leader, then the organization as a whole is able to practice set ethics.
And finally, a good leader is able to promote knowledge sharing. Again, the biggest competitive advantage an organization has is through knowledge. A leader is able to incorporate technology to boost the organization’s knowledge base.
October 11th, 2009 at 10:06 pm
I would like to thank first of all my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me the favor of man to be able to study at CCU. Then to my wife Christine and daughter Abby, thank you.
This past 9 months for me has been such a tremendous blessing to me and my family. I began in CCU with the 4 classes for my PM Certificate which I completed with a (THANK YOU JESUS) 4.0, my next two classes were my first two emphasis classes in Corporate training and still maintaining a 4.0 GPA, I am not bragging on myself, I did not have the dedication during my BSBA and my final GPA showed that, However since enrolling in CCU, I have taken each and every lesson seriously. Even working many hours per week at my job, assisting my daughter in her school homework, being a father, husband and Spiritual Leader of my home, I still am showing my God, my family and my school that I am dedicated.
This would not be possible without my Lord, my wife and my daughters understanding and patience.
Thank you also class and Dr. Chad for your wisdom and insight into the leadership roles we must play in business today.
I look forward to LED502 with each of you.
Blessings on each and every one of you in the name that is above every name Jesus Christ.
November 27th, 2009 at 8:40 am
Business and Government are they the same?
In this class LED502 at CCU, I have seen many changes in the business and governmental worlds from my view point. Are private business and the US Government one in the same?
Private companies rely on the practices of the US Government officials to survive and the US Government replies on the same sort of practices of the private companies. In this I refer to money, the US Government cannot handle its trillions of dollars of debt, yet it gives away billions to foreign companies that we are in a war with. Why is the US in Afghanistan? Why after so many years are we still in Iraq? How much money have we spent in Iraq and Afghanistan?
When we are trillion in debt, why are we still spending billions?
If a private company were in the governments shoes, they would have filed bankruptcy years ago and reemerged as a new company as many do. Change the company name the CEO and walla a new fresh company has emerged, only to get back in debt because its mentality has not changed.
It does not matter if you are
Trillion in debt with billions coming in….
Millions in debt with thousands coming in…
Thousands in debt with hundreds coming in…
Hundreds in debt with only dollars coming in…
It is still debt. How can we as a nation be so far in debt and have some much more than other nations?
We did today, the stock market take a 200 point loss because Dubai Bank has defaulted on billions of dollars in loans?
Is the stock market really an overseas entity on US soil?
I really need to see a change in the financial world of business to see myself successful in business. How can we as an up and coming generation of Christian Businessmen, take over business and run it properly?
Besides Prayer, it is reliance on the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the smart business sense of a clean and pure heart and mind…and most of all… a desire to help and not get for ourselves.
November 29th, 2009 at 4:55 pm
In today’s society, I keep seeing the government getting involved with our businesses. In some instances it is perfectly fine, but whatever happened with the “free trade” act? I have been reading more and more about banks who are lending money to people when they don’t even have the funds themselves. Why would you want to “steal” or make false statements in a business. I grew up in Greeley and one of the hometown banks who lent millions and millions of dollars to businesses has been closed due to the fact they were doing it illegally. Car dealerships, dairy farms, restaurants have all gone under due to the fact this banks lent them money that wasn’t “real”. You wander why we are in a economic recession it’s because of the fact we have “fake” money, banks lending money, credit cards etc that are all getting us into a huge debt hole.
November 29th, 2009 at 11:56 pm
Business culture: I have many times heard small business leaders says their staff or employees are like family. As businesses seek knowledge workers, larger corporations must turn to such a work environment also. How can a business leader go about instituting such change so that workers feel comfortable, encouraged, and empowered to share their ideas for better change within an organization? Perhaps, the simply culture of a family may hold some keys. In a family, whether by Christ or ancestry, persons will share the same values and beliefs. For example, the family may believe that Jesus is the head of the household and all members should be servants to one another in honor and respect for each other as family. Out of service then comes the value of hard work and desire to share efficiency and quality. For example, family members may want to share quality time with each other after a shared meal but also want to clean the kitchen immediately for better comfort and peace of mind. From the value of hard work, they strive to do the cleaning and through mutual reverence the family collaborates and gets the job done faster. During holidays, many families naturally divide labor and service to better enjoy their time together while ensuring everyone’s needs are met in the process. Close families do this out of a natural reverence for each other’s lives as embedded in the family culture through the strong leadership of a mom, dad, or other rock of family. Most importantly, the strong leader creates a base from God’s word such as Isaiah 26:4 which say “Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is eternal Rock.” When a business leader can change the work culture to model such a strong family culture, the business will then have the base for truly empowering knowledge workers and producing innovation. May God guide leaders to strive to create an empowering work culture that truly has a reverence for employees’ lives.
Joyce Baker LED 501
February 10th, 2010 at 9:04 pm
Despite that communication is one of the biggest challenges for any organization. There can never be too much communication and with technology provides many challenges to effectively and ineffectively communication. However, the ability to acknowledge and openly admit that something was done wrong is part of vulnerability, but ultimately creates a climate of trust. People are more than willing to give people another chance if they openly acknowledge mistakes and are taking action to correct them. Trust is the foundation for the success or failure of a leader or organization.
February 13th, 2010 at 4:11 pm
I think that leaders need to embrace technology of today as it is the where the future is taking us… Being able to reach all your employees via the internet/intranet to express the company goals and the expectations of the employees makes it easier for the employees to have a clear understanding of what is needed from them. Being able to reach out the clients as well letting them know what to expect as a client and making them feel they are priority makes for better business and a better ROI return. I know many banks and credit unions especially are reaching out to their clientele more using networks like facebook and myspace to try and keep them informed of new products that could be of benefit to them.
February 13th, 2010 at 4:14 pm
Furthermore, examples of failed leadership like Enron, was more on a selfish standpoint. They didn’t think about the employees and what their needs were but more of how they could and the company could make more money so that they could stay on top and be recognized as the top of all other organizations.
February 13th, 2010 at 6:43 pm
There are many different perspectives of leadership and by learning them we are developing skills to become effective leaders. Increasing organizational effectiveness can be achieved when wise individuals live by example because they motivate employees to do better. They are not satisfied to only know what they know at that moment, instead they dig deeper and continue to learn everything they can.
Leadership has demonstrated the law of sacrifice in many different roles and the sacrifices made are different to each person. For example, traveling might be ideal for a single employee but for a married employee with children, the time away for travel is considered a sacrifice. Some leaders such as Lee Iacocca sacrificed retirement in order to save their company from going under. He provided the leadership required to turn Chrysler around and enhance confidence of the employees. His sacrifice turned into a success for the company. Other leaders have made negative sacrifices in their integrity, for example, the executives of Enron. For those leaders, it was all about them gaining their own bottom line.
It is important to understand there are different people in this world and they respond in different ways to the events they experience. As a leader, many decisions need to be made and different factors affect what we ultimately decide to do. Every day we deal with different people whether they are customers or co-workers. All of them can experience the same event but from different perspectives, number one because of the role they play in the situation and two because of how they respond to it. Our job is to understand that our decisions impact others and ensure that we take them into consideration to be able to explain what we are attempting to achieve. Effective leader’s desire knowledge; have the ability to establish and explain their goals; influence others to follow; and gain the trust of others by instilling good ethics.
Clint H. Harrison LED 501
February 14th, 2010 at 10:59 pm
Since I have been at CCU, I have wished that I had known about the adult education programs when I was looking to obtain my Bachelors degree. Having been able to take some undergraduate classes from CCU before I began my MBA, I was amazed with the presence of God in the classroom, and a willingness to have open conversations about the role of Christianity in business. I have since come to believe that I have been blessed to obtain my undergraduate degree from a secular college, as it has given me a perspective that is invaluable. It is so important to know what knowledge is given through secular business training, in order to know why business has turned sour. True ethics is not taught in the classroom; biblical ethics is far more powerful a driving force than is “business ethics”. Placing biblical principles ahead of short term profit is the only way for modern businesses to obtain long term success. Often, those principles are put into place in the background. There are Christians in business. It is a tremendous shame that they must hide in the shadows. I am pleased to be part of a new generation of Christian business leaders; we who are proud of our faith, and wish to provide guidance throughout our organizations.
February 14th, 2010 at 11:24 pm
LED 501 Spring 2010
Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for his “organization.” He gave his unconditional love and a way to eternal salvation. What was his bonus? He was whipped, beaten, placed on a cross, stabbed with a spear, and killed all the while feeling forsaken by his God/father. He had no Golden Parachute but a crown of thorns. It would be nice to see any of today’s leaders with an ounce of that same dedication to the little guy. My boss is on call 24/7. She expects to know what is happening at all times. Sometimes, it is irritating to have “big brother” always watching but at least we know who will take the fall for us if such a thing needed to happen. I have heard her say on several occasions that it is her license that is at stake; certainly, she does not make the big bucks and that is an asset which cannot be compensated for if lost.
February 15th, 2010 at 4:38 pm
The topic of discussion reminds me of the words of Jesus in Mathew 20:26-28 “….. but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many”. Cleary Jesus preached and practiced servant leadership. These days most people will rather be served than serve.
Service leadership is rarely seen in my country, and since I have not worked in this country (US), I would like to refer to what I have seen in Ghana, where leaders give up nothing when they come into leadership position, but are in for their own personal gain. The ‘golden parachute’ leader is seen in our government as well as in cooperate leadership. You will hardly see the type of service leadership that Northouse described where leaders are attentive to the concerns of their followers, empathized with them and take care of or nurture followers (p. 348), in my country.
February 28th, 2010 at 1:58 pm
Week 7 Discussion – 2/28/10
Management and leadership can be seen as two very different things, but they can also be intertwined quite well. Management has a connotation as a more of a dictator role than leadership, as leadership can be practiced by people who are not managers and sometimes people who are manager are not good examples of leadership. The social-technical leadership approach is beneficial to real-life application because it notes that leadership is a relationship building structure, which is based on the collaboration of team members and often in successful situations, the leader is not a person who tells others what to do, but a person who rather facilitates change. In fact, the most effective leaders are people who are able to help others create positive ideas and help those individuals grow and learn to create ideas that will benefit the organization, as well as themselves. Today’s leaders use the tools around them to create opportunities for their followers and they recognize that when people have ownership over ideas, it creates a positive work environment for employees, which in turn creates fewer turnovers for the company and allows the company to be more successful in its endeavors. In the STS model, people work in strategic groups to accomplish company goals and are allowed to be creative and individualistic. In turn, the STS model produces much better results than a more demanding and top-down leadership approach.
March 2nd, 2010 at 7:20 pm
“Management has been reluctant to give up the power and authority they have worked so hard to establish. Indeed, STS challenges the traditional management taboos that of sharing information and knowledge with subordinates on a need to know basis only.” This is a quote from the STS white paper article we just read. I think that the biggest difference between a manager and a leader is that managers hold positions of power within organizations. Leaders may or may not hold these same positions of power. Leaders see that sharing information with their team will make a better team. While managers worry that if their team knows too much or performs too well, they will lose their position. I realize that some managers are, in fact, leaders. I am only speaking here to the managers that have leadership because of their position, not because they are leaders.
March 2nd, 2010 at 9:43 pm
Week 7 Blog Assignment
In order to progress smoothly in this new collaborative environment, leaders need to be able to embrace the potential of socio-technical systems (STS). Highly successful managers may not be able to continue to function with their normal routines or leadership styles. While they cannot change their personalities, they will need to work on new character development in order to create buy-in for new web based processes and procedures. Employees, especially those from Generation X and the Millennials are entering the job market with new ideas and visions that will best be shared in collaborative environments. They will come into the workplace expecting companies to have access to new technologies and web based development in progress. In order to tap into the value that these employees will bring leadership teams will need to provide knowledge sharing environments and take down obstacles that will prevent their staff from creating necessary and vital change in the organization. They will also need to offer their wisdom in knowledge to the employees and not contain all that information in one level. This will not contribute to a healthy, vibrantly growing organization.
Joyce Baker LED 501
March 4th, 2010 at 9:02 pm
Social-technology has not only enhanced productivity, but in many incidences it has taken the human error out of processes. Industries are focusing on ways to improve productivity and they have found that when there is the human element in any situation there is a margin of human error that ultimately results in delay of productivity. If processes can be improved that are driven by technology, removing the human error potential and improving productivity.
On the flip side, it has dramatically reduced the number of face to face communications that are impactful to the production, so when such communications are needed it can be less than ideal due to the impact that technology has on decreasing the employees knowledge base, skill set, while altering their personal values, and reflective attitudes. In the long run communication is the corner stone to success and if communication is impacted, then there will be an ultimate reduction in productivity and success.
March 5th, 2010 at 5:03 pm
Companies are only as strong as their strongest leader. Leaders gain strength with collaboration and knowledge management of an empowered team of players. Management had been viewed as a carriage driver dangling a carrot in front of the employee while holding a stick to inflict punishment if the employee fails. While some companies still operate with top-down management, many now understand the importance of collaboration and sharing ideas. Strong leaders encourage employees at every level to express their knowledge and present their visions in order to establish empowerment and job satisfaction. As technology advances, so does the ability to communicate on a new level. STS incorporates the interaction of people with technology to increase shared knowledge, productivity, and empowerment of members to ask questions and be part of making decisions. A company that effectively incorporates this system will increase their effectiveness to become a strong team, thus making a successful company.
March 6th, 2010 at 8:07 pm
Socio-technical leadership has allowed for leadership practices to be more effective in general. Embracing the socio-technical experience eliminates one of the classic leadership formats; vertical hierarchy. Socio-technical leadership allows leaders to create or enable “movement” within sectors of varying size. Leaders who try and fuel or sustain change, under vertical hierarchy struggle to communicate the desired change indicators amongst key change agents within the organization. With the use of a socio-technical leadership system, individual leaders can communicate vital ideas quickly amongst key change agents. Adaptation of a socio-technical leadership system allows for an organization to be more nimble and reflexive within their industry or organizational focus. That is one of the greatest attributes of socio-technical leadership; the nimbleness to change with the industry and not get left behind.
March 8th, 2010 at 11:37 pm
There is strong support of an inherent need in humans to work and produce something and this is evident in the definition of socio-technical systems (STS): the interaction of people with tools and techniques. We progress through this technological and virtual based society, yet many workers still cling to conventional workflows and means of communication. As stated, when the STS Champion departs where no leadership steps in, an “organization regresses to conventional patterns of interaction.” I would argue that regression is not the theme here. As human thinkers and communicators, we are driven to people first before technology; technology being a tool, not a characteristic. Leadership who inspire and motivate the human worker will gracefully acknowledge, accommodate and incorporate technology, yet will work with and lead his followers.
April 18th, 2010 at 7:24 pm
Collaboration. This term is becoming a buzz word in today’s society. It is applicable in all aspects of life, from professional to personal, from business to church, from marriages to families. As I near the completion of LED 502, I realize that I can be a leader of collaboration in my organization. I realize that I need to be a change agent in this area. It will take time and organization to implement, but according to all my studies, it will be well worth the effort.
Joyce Baker LED 502
April 20th, 2010 at 5:17 pm
The Marathon effect notes that people accept change at varying paces, and it depends on where you are at in the chain of change on how far along you are in accepting the change.
Those who are in the forefront and directly impacting the change will be leading the race and already know what it up ahead. Those who have been introduced to the change will be in the middle of the pack, knowing that there is something up ahead and a bit apprehensive on what will be around the next bend or at the bottom of a hill. Those at the tail end of the heat will only see all the masses ahead of them and be constantly rushing to keep up. These individuals will feel that all they are doing is reacting to change, rather than being proactive. They will always feel like the last to know.
As a good leader it is important to acknowledge that people accept change based on where they are in the race. The more communication and encouragement that is provided the increase potential that people will transition through change with less resistance and more confidence no matter where they are in the race.
April 21st, 2010 at 7:41 pm
The concept of Christian Leadership is challenged with incorporating Christian values into leadership skills and decisions. Leading by example is the best strategy to incorporate good ethics and Christian values. When faced with unethical practices or uncomfortable situations, the Christian Leader needs to know who to confide in and who they can trust to seek guidance. Leaders need to receive prayer as much as they need to spend time in prayer to find direction. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Christians working in secular leadership positions face the challenge of upholding the gospel in this complex and difficult world. When leaders put their trust in God they are able to perform things they cannot do on their own and gain strength, which inspires others to follow. This is how Christian Leaders earn trust and success in an ever-changing and complicated world.
April 24th, 2010 at 5:12 pm
Christian leaders seem to be increasingly scarce in the modern business realm. Secular society seemingly feeds on the negative; I find the news in general to be fairly depressing. Fraudulent leaders gambling on certain economic sectors to fail in order for large profits to be accumulated are disheartening. The strongest and most evident form of Christian leadership in my mind is: servant style leadership. Servant style leadership is the only way I see individuals leaders removing themselves from attitudes that value the dollar and societal approval. Recently a friend of mine who is an educator at a junior college was asked to clean the women’s bathroom after an annual event they held because of recent cutbacks in the janitorial staff. My friend responded in somewhat of a negative manner initially at the request; ill pleased with the idea of having to clean the restrooms. Then she realized that the department chair; her boss who had asked her of the favor would simultaneously be cleaning the men’s bathroom. My friend was then under the mindset; “well surely I can clean if he will be doing the same thing.” Servant leadership breaks down harmful organizational discrepancies and promotes togetherness. I believe if leaders would involve themselves frequently in the tasks that consume their subordinates they would exceedingly fuel organizational commitment and employees drive to succeed. “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew, 20:26-28).”
October 4th, 2010 at 6:42 pm
While I do agree that organizational leaders will need to have skills that align with a social-technical environment, there is a reason why collaborative technology is closely regulated by management. The social technology especially in the public domain is still very much in its infancy. It has not yet reared its ugly head of the negative connotations of the communications paradigm. Some companies are jumping on the popular bandwagon and trying to get as much publicity as the new free medium can achieve. Smart leaders will take their time and continue to evaluate the evolution of a corporate presence on the social networks. There is going to be a point in time in the near future when some information is going to leak from an internal source to a social network about something that will bring about a lawsuit. At that point in time, corporations will completely revise their policies on social networks. I believe that when companies have to run all social network information past their compliance or legal departments that it will be much easier for a company to ban it altogether. Companies should take the same approach to social networks as they would in responding to the request from the news media to run a story.
Exodus 20:16 – “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor”. This is the general premise of why social networks should be self-governing. People should be able to converse without slander or false statements. While Christians follow adhere to these guidelines, there are others that do not. Social networks are an ideal place for Satan to divide people and turn people against one another. Caution should be taken when making conversing on social networks.
Janean LED 501
October 4th, 2010 at 8:20 pm
Socio-Technical Systems (STS) refers to how people interact with tools and techniques. STS focus on the relationship between perception and action. Group decision making and communication is necessary in-order to successfully use the system. In addition to communication, these systems develop learning and knowledge sharing. By developing learning and knowledge sharing, organizations will be able to start thinking collaboratively. Through collaboratively normal work patterns, flexibility, and competitive advantage is produced.
Conscious and unconscious interactions can begin to help form the group’s decisions. Challenging each other and sharing ideas will occur with and STS. Technology does play a role in STS development. Changes in values, cognitive structures, lifestyles, habitats, and communications will occur because of technology. The internet is a well-developed technology tool that is extremely influence in organizations and groups. Knowledge can be gained through the internet and is key characteristic with STS.
In conclusion STS are extremely valuable and organizations need to consider implementing them. However, we need to remember that it is not just the technology that makes these systems successful but also the people. Developing groups of quality, trustworthy, honest, and hardworking people is necessary in-order to create a successful STS.
Brian V LED 501
October 5th, 2010 at 2:14 pm
The world is becoming increasingly smaller and larger all in one. Smaller in that communication and people can travel all over the globe at speeds that 110 years ago would have been unheard of. It is becoming larger in that people rarely live in the small communities and are unaffected by the happenings of the world around them. We are all interconnected. Business is interconnected. Businesses are now spread out over vast regions. The technology is available for information to travel from the ground floor to the CEO’s office within minutes. It is important that businesses take advantage of these advantages and work on developing good communities within their businesses that engage in constant two way communication. Too often business slip into top-down communication because they do not want to deal with the ideas their ground-floor employees have. They like to think of themselves as more educated and intelligent and thus not in need of the ground workers advice. The problem is that nobody knows a certain segment of the business like that ground-level employee. Only he or she knows exactly how their equipment works and what are ways of improving it. Businesses need to grab a hold of these new technologies and work them into their company’s culture and utilize them for better communication throughout the organization.
October 6th, 2010 at 1:51 pm
Modern society is geared towards new technology. This technology includes socio-technological systems, in my opinion, decrease the amount of time people spend in personal face-to-face relationships. The more modern we become, the less able we are to deal with one another on a face-to-face basis, possibly making leadership a very difficult concept to grasp the further into technology we become involved with. Leadership is about interaction and how we interact with others, how will one learn great leadership if the world is based on new technology. Now, technology is not altogether bad but it should be limited. I may be biased as I see facebook and similar sites to be a host for a new online high school scene. Though they may serve well for some businesses, I suggest, If used for such services that the focus be on the service and never to lose the quality of face-to-face interaction and the value of a real relationship with other individuals, less we lose who we are as God’s people…..Jesus sent out his disciples to preach from village to village, from town to town because there is power in the presence of your teaching when you teach face to face. How can an unbeliever see the spirit of Christ within you when you are on the internet, they cannot. This is not to say the internet should not be used but there is strength in your teaching when you teach person to person. Just as we do not become Christ-like overnight, we cannot expect humans to be saved through our teachings on the internet alone. Practice leadership as Jesus did, walk the earth and proclaim the kingdom of God, show everyone what beauty you possess inside through Him and may the world know that though technology is the new way of the world, you still stand for valuable face-to-face teachings like that of Jesus.
October 7th, 2010 at 7:01 pm
The Socio-Technical Systems of today are far more advanced than yesterday. Many telecom corporations depend on socio-technical system advancements, which better communicate with first line management and field organizations that do not reside within the same geographical location. Highly technical global organizations seem to be very accepting of the socio-technical paradigm. They realize the benefit of distance learning and collaboration. Tools like GoToMeeting allow a corporation to tap distant talent and the benefit of remote learning can also support talent retention. Socio-technical Systems may not be the ideal work structure for every industry or business but for the industry or business that could benefit from the STS style of operation it could drastically improve the organizations bottom line.
Gaye Lynn – LED 501
October 9th, 2010 at 10:20 am
As the economy becomes increasing global and companies seek to tap into markets outside of their geography, the need to adopt socio-technical systems (STS) becomes greater. Communications and connections with business partners around the world, the ability to be responsive to changes in markets and the need manage knowledge across global corporations requires the use of tools that provide real time connectivity and the ability to share ideas and innovation from all levels within the corporation.
My current company is working through the issues of power control and the need for us to be innovative and client focused. We are a large (38,000+ employees) global medical device company that has operated in information silos of each division for many years. The company set a new initiative to align the processes and technologies of all divisions to provide knowledge sharing among all divisions and geographies; however it is a slow painful process getting the buying from all areas. The need to be more customer focus became high priority when our customers told us we were difficult to deal with because we had too many levels of leadership to go through to get critical, time sensitive decisions made.
Many collaborative systems have been put in place in the two years I have been at this organization. Integrated communications and messaging, a global shared contract management system, an employee connect site where information is shared from all functional groups and a internal social network where employees can connect with others to share information and innovation.
Chris Cobbs LED 501
October 9th, 2010 at 5:31 pm
I think the article is right in saying that future leaders are going to have to gain skills that deal with communication, collaboration, and innovation. It seems like everywhere I turn, I see new technology that comes out that can help business leaders communicate with each other. This is especially important for global businesses. STS systems can help leaders. These were put together to help productivity through psycho-social means. Aldridge gives a simple definition of an STS by saying that is the interaction of people (a social system) with tools and techniques (a technical system). They help organizations share, transfer, and leverage knowledge. Aldridge says, “Today, organizational managers who advocate socio-technical systems seek to create enabling constructs using information systems (IS), for instance, to accelerate communication, learning and knowledge sharing. STS represent an interpretive process made possible by optimizing the “goodness of fit” between technology and human systems.” The challenge for leaders in the present and future is to figure out how much regulation is going to be put onto these systems. Communication is great in organizations, but leaders need to be aware of the risks involved.
October 10th, 2010 at 11:49 am
A socio-technical system is the interaction of humans and technology in a workgroup setting that allows the group to work independently and efficiently outside of the bureaucratic norms of organizational structures. These systems simply allow the group to make decisions with-out consulting someone outside of the group. They are given the knowledge, tools, and resources to complete a task without the need for outside supervision or control. It has been stated that this system makes managers uncomfortable because of the lack of control. There is software called Hyper-office that allows for employees to utilize the web in a fashion that appears to make it a socio-technical system.
The software is an online collaborative environment that allows members to be effective – online document management, email, intranet/extranet workspaces, online calendars, task management, group calendars, shared contacts, database applications, web forms, forums and much more. This freedom allows employees and group access knowledge and information on demand allowing for faster and more immediate response times. The software truly allows for interaction among group members without the need for management or non-group members to be involved.
There is an obstacle to overcome. The perception will be that management is in control of the system. This perception will make by-in difficult there is nothing in the software that does not allow management to control or monitor information this can hinder the organismic nature of the socio-technical system and prevent the bottom up information flow. Managers and supervisor should embrace the system and allow the groups to partake and by-into the system. The results could far outweigh their concerns.
Sarah LED 501
October 13th, 2010 at 8:51 am
Socio-Technical systems have two major components, people and technical systems. These are two major components of an organization, since we rely heavily on each to get the, job done. The way people behave contributes to their beliefs and values. These aspects are all inter-related with one another, which in turn creates a Socio-Technical System. Thus, collaboration in work groups is crucial in optimizing job attainment.
November 25th, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Technology is ever changing, and in order to stay on top a business must continue to change and adapt to ever changing technology.
According to Charles Greer, “Strategic Human Resource Management” (2001), management trends include but are not limited to the following: Diversity, work teams, virtual teams, outsourcing, open book management, and total quality management. The question is how do these types of trends affect the human resources practices and policies in the automobile industry of the future? I think the best way to show how each of these affects the policies and practices is to break each one down individually.
- Diversity: With the ever changing world managers must be aware that the proverbial white male in his mid-thirties is the prime candidate for employment within the company. In my experience, there are individual of diverse backgrounds that offer and do a better job.
- Work teams: This is a great tool for managers to use because as the saying goes “two heads are better than one”. Managers who stay with the thought that each individual must accomplish something in order to get credit on their own merit are not using the full potential of the team concept.
- Virtual teams: Virtual teams are necessary when your manufacturing plant/supply chain is located in another country. Managers can use the online environment to connect individuals together to go over things such as; day to day operations, ways for improving processes between manufacturing plants and figure out what may or may not be working in terms of overseas sales.
- Outsourcing: In terms of outsourcing, managers need to be actively engaged with the outsourced operations to ensure they are meeting the intent of the company. While a manager who works for, let’s say Chevrolet, doesn’t have direct control over the outsourced operation/people he or she is responsible for making sure the outsourced is being done in accordance with Chevrolet’s high standards.
- Open book management: If employees feel as though they owned part of a particular company or were at least privy to the financial information it might help to make a manager’s job easier in the future. For example, my father bought me a car when I was younger and told me that I had to pay half of the cost. I could understand why he would do that when all of my friend’s parents were paying for their cars completely. I soon became clear, my friends didn’t take care of their cars like I did because I had a vested interest in my car and they didn’t. The manager in this scenario was my father. By having me pay for half the car he was able to make me feel as though I should take care, thus had a vested interest in the outcome.
- Total Quality Management: When this book was written TQM was the model being used to improve operations and make employees feel as though they were part of the team. Since this time, there have been numerous models which have been implemented which assist managers in helping to improve the overall process in a company.