Midterm Turk

  1. How does Bill Walsh build quickness and responsiveness in his teams?
    By being prepared! First with identifying the essential skills needed to compete effectively, then creating a format to teach those skills to the players. A more detailed game plan and multi-faceted approach allows them to compensate for any shortcomings they might have compared to other teams. He believes that making judgements under stress is the most difficult thing, and by being prepared in advance for any possible situation allows the players to react and execute calmly and with clear minds because they have anticipated and rehearsed for those critical situations.
  2. Summarize Bill Walsh's approach to evaluating and managing talent?
    • Bill uses a five-bracket ranking system to categorize potential talent:
    • star, future starter, team member, isolated specialty, backup. Although the more stars, the better, the difference between winning and losing is the bottom 25% of your people, who shine based on how well they are prepared.
    • He looks for a combination of factors that add up to the right person including their natural ability, competitive instincts and their history. Bill recognizes that managing talent is not an exact science, and he acknowledges that you must recognize when you make a mistake and deal with it quickly and effectively whether that means taking a long term approach or releasing the player.
  3. Vertical Job Loading Principles
    • · Removing controls while retaining accountability.
    • · Increased accountability for own work.
    • · Giving a complete natural unit.
    • · Granting additional authority, job freedom.
    • · Making reports available to the employee.
    • · Introduce new or difficult tasks.
  4. Example of Vertical Job Loading
    In my last organization our inside Sales team encountered some morale issues that we dealt with by using some of the principles of vertical job loading. The first thing we did was eliminate the need to turn in a call report weekly that tallied up the number of outbound calls made to customers. We replaced that report with a quarterly business plan review that would look at customer relationships rather than call metrics. This gave the reps the responsibility to make those calls without being watched over, the personal achievement that was gained during the quarterly business review, and increased accountability for managing those relationships in their own way. We also introduced new and more difficult tasks by training the inside sales team on managed print services offering allowing them to include that in their sales bag, something that previously was only handled by the outside reps. This was a great motivator in the areas of growth and learning. Lastly, we assigned each rep to a vertical market specialty solution to learn and become an expert resource for the rest of the team. This was motivating in the way of added responsibility, personal growth and opportunity for advancement.
  5. Catalytic mechanisms differ from traditional managerial devices in five ways:
    • 1. Produce desired results in unpredictable ways,
    • 2. Distributes power for the benefit of the organization.
    • 3. It has teeth.
    • 4. It ejects Viruses.
    • 5. It produces an ongoing effect.
  6. Provide an example relevant to your organization about what makes a mechanism catalytic
    As a sales rep for HP Printing and Imaging group, I was constantly harangued by my public sector customers about a policy that our tech support had in place requiring a credit card for collateral whenever a replacement printer was shipped to the customer to replace a broken in warranty printer. Although this was a policy, it was impractical for most PS customers who do not have corp credit cards at their disposal. Our team took a catalytic approach by creating a policy that would allow our customers to avoid that policy by using our Corp Credit Card on their behalf. This created a scenario where the Account Manager was accountable and therefore had skin in the game and ensured that the customer returned the broken printer within the allotted time frame, and produced desirable results for the customer, HP and in the end, the sales team because it strengthened the customer relationship. It distributed power to the individual contributor level, it had teeth because it would cost the sales team money if they didn’t follow through with their customers. This produced an ongoing effect because once a policy like this is in effect, it can be very damaging to rescind in the future.
  7. Why were the competitors of the Oakland A’s so slow to adopt Sabermetrics?
    Sabermetrics challenged the conventional wisdom of the game and put the “Old Guard” on the defensive. These “Old Guard” managers, executives, coaches, and scouts saw their jobs and expertise being threatened by new guys with statistics and they were reticent to adopt the new techniques. The old measures of player performance were thrown out the window and many were not ready to react to this change. Sabermetrics claimed that walks and extra base hits should be weighted as high or higher in terms of player performance then the old and trusted batting average and stolen base measurements. This was too much change for the traditionalists. Adopting Sabermetrics would mean an end to their jobs, their expertise, and their roles in the league. There were just too many obstacles to the change that other clubs couldn’t remove. The unfreezing process never occurred because the main obstacles to change (those executives, coaches, etc in power) were opposed to it and since they were the primary participants that needed to perpetuate a change – it was very difficult to go to the next step in the process.
  8. Summarize Katzenbach and Smith’s recommendations for building team performance offered in the article “The Discipline of teams”.
    • 1) Establish urgency, demanding performance standards, and direction.
    • 2) Select members for skill and skill potential, not personality.
    • 3) Set the tone and a good example up front.
    • 4) Set some clear rules of behavior.
    • 5) Set and seize upon a few immediate performance oriented tasks and goals.
    • 6) Challenge the group regularly with fresh facts and information.
    • 7) Spend lots of time together both scheduled and unscheduled to develop relationships.
    • 8) Exploit the power of positive feedback, recognition, and reward.
  9. What does the economic model of human behavior imply a manager should do to increase the motivation of a subordinate? Provide an example of how this should be implied.
    The economists view of human behavior is costs vs. benefits. They believe you must either decrease costs or increase benefits. Therefore they believe that they can change behavior by changing incentives rather than preferences. It can be implied that individuals assign priorities to their wants and that improper incentives can motivate perverse behavior.
  10. Distinguish Motivation factors from Hygiene factors.
    • Motivators are based on higher level needs and will motivate employees to work better by giving them autonomy, responsibility, accountability (Vertical Job Loading). They provide self-actualization by creating a more interesting and rewarding job.
    • · Achievement
    • · Recognition
    • · The work itself
    • · Responsibility
    • · Advancement
    • · Growth

    • Hygiene factors do not motivate employees, they are expected. They might stop complaining about these things if fixed, but they do not really motivate them to do better work.
    • · Supervision
    • · Working conditions
    • · Interpersonal relations
    • · Pay
    • · Security
    • Company Policies
  11. What factors make a job intrinsically satisfying?
  12. · Skill variety, more variety of skills used in a task is perceived as more meaningful or worthwhile
    • · Task identity, the ability to perform a complete job from beginning to end
    • · Task significance, the more the work has a direct effect on work or lives of others
    • · Autonomy, freedom to choose how and when to do particular jobs. Increased responsibility results in increased commitment to the work. Autonomy can take the form of flexible work schedules, decentralized decision making, or removing selected formalized controls.
    • · Feedback, translates to more knowledge about the job, understanding of benefits of jobs performed, how jobs fit in and contribute to the overall operation.
  13. Evaluate your current job in terms of these factors.
    When I was an Inside Sales Rep I had a wonderful manager who employed almost all of these tools to motivate our team by making our jobs more interesting. This manager broke many of the rules for employees in a call center environment by encouraging us to cross-train and be adept at more than one function, participate on task forces with clear goals, develop close client relationships with named accounts rather than just focusing on a territory, flexible work environment – some people worked from home offices, others travelled to customer sites when they felt appropriate, and consistent feedback from colleagues and customers that often included rewards like gift cards for positive comments from customers.
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Midterm Turk
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