Organizational Dynamics

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This paper explores and examines different concepts, theories, and methodologies of organizational dynamics. They include a history of the organization, emotional intelligence, group dynamics, appreciative inquiry, and social media in business, leadership management, systems, and design thinking, executive coaching, and storytelling. Organizations value teamwork and therefore rely on groups created internally to work on particular projects. If group dynamics within a company are not handled and managed well, their effectiveness is hampered, which in turn affects organizational performance.  The internet age has ushered in new business opportunities for organizations resulting in the need to develop business models that are technology driven. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are shaping the way organizations interact with their customers, get immediate feedback to inform customer service and also a platform to communicate to both internal and external stakeholders. The paper will also discuss how WVCC can improve emotional intelligence in its workplace. Furthermore, issues related to executive coaching and the process involved as it applies to WVCC will also be examined. The system and design thinking methodologies such as Viable Systems Model (VSM), Interactive Planning, Systems Dynamics (SD) and Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) help improve organizational development by influencing the way businesses are managed and operated. Additionally, this document explains how appreciative inquiry can be implemented in an organization to initiate and execute change. The type of management approach embraced in the organization determines its success. WVCC uses transformational leadership, whereby the leader embraces aspects of enthusiasm and passion in the leadership process. Some of the key characteristics of a transformational approach idealized influence, the intellectual stimulation of people, the inspirations, and a focus on the capabilities of each individual in the group. Through the leadership, WVCC has managed to improve the creativity and innovation aspects into its operations, increased the worker satisfaction level and cultivated a positive culture for better performance of the organization. WVCC has also incorporated storytelling as one of the key communication approaches to people. Some of the factors considered in the design of the stories in include the appropriate setting of the parameters, incorporation of the authenticity, goal outcome and consistency. The stories have helped the business to achieve a clear communication certain business problems, and create a compelling force of purpose in people. Additionally, the organization strives to attain communication competency, mostly through the verbal, non-verbal and written skills.

Keywords: Women Veterans Command Centre (WVCC), group dynamics, social media, emotional intelligence (EI),  Viable Systems Model, executive coaching, soft systems, transformational leadership, interactive planning appreciative inquiry, systems and design thinking,  system dynamics, storytelling.


Women Veteran Command Center (WVCC) is a non-profit making organization that was founded to offer opportunities for women veterans to explore and achieve their purpose in life. Essentially, the association was started to debunk the myth of homelessness, being traumatized, undereducated, and need for supportive services and focus on the innate strengths of women veterans. The organization’s functions are premised on four tenets namely; coaching, connecting, creating and constructing ( WVCC not only builds capacity but also unearths the strengths and capabilities of women veterans and maximizes their impact. The organization holds workshops once a week for a period of two hours where problems facing women veterans are identified, acknowledged and used as learning tools to foster personal transformation and speedy achievement of desired results (Mcclurg et al., 2017). Coaching sessions comprise of a maximum of six participants in order to maintain a personal approach and confidentiality. The organization also holds social events such as movie nights with the veterans, going out for coffee or having one on one conversation with coaches to enable the veterans to share their problems and find solutions ( Every veteran that visits the organization meets with a personal coach who offers life and career coaching to build their capacity and make better use of their lives.

            WVCC is a fairly small organization with a centralized organization structure. The executive director is the head of the organization and below her are other C-level managers and directors of directors of departments. The administration meets weekly to plan for the activities of the group and maintain strategic momentum (Mcclurg et al., 2017). The organization incurs fewer operational expenses as it makes use of volunteers and interns who are not compensated. Only the administrative assistants and one person in charge of recruitment are remuneration.The paid staff includes an administrative assistant and an intake specialist. WVCC has a network of partnerships that enable it to offer a variety of services such as health screening for veterans. The management holds meetings with these external stakeholders to synergize their operations and effectively discharge their mandate (Kumar, Deshmukh & Adhish, 2014). WVCC has transformed the lives of many veterans by equipping them with life-altering knowledge, skills, and counsel. In this document various methodologies, theories and concepts related to organizational dynamics and how they apply to WVCC will be discussed in detail.  

Group dynamics at Women Veteran Command Center

Group dynamics in meetings:

            At WVCC, we hold internal meetings every Friday and external stakeholder meetings once every month. Usually, these engagements seek to provide strategic directions for the organization activities including special task force congregations to work on urgent actions that need to be undertaken by the organization (Drogobytsky, 2018). As the executive director, it is my responsibility to chair such conventions and ensure they are fruitful. The fete is achieved through the application of group elements that ensure the views of every member are accommodated. My responsibility is to ensure the wellbeing of all members of the meeting is guaranteed. The group elements seek to bring out the best in everyone because I recognize the fact that whereas people may be bright or have the capacities to think creatively, their abilities are sometimes overshadowed when in group settings (Drogobytsky, 2018). Commonly, members are always silent during meetings but yet come after the meeting to offer their opinions or insight in private.

            To ensure the meetings serve the purpose they are intended, we plan for them beforehand. Although it is my responsibility as the director to call for conventions on various aspects, I include another member of the management in planning for the gathering. The agenda of every congregation is decided by various stakeholders who lay the foundation for holding effective engagements that resonate with the entire group (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). If the reason for the meeting involves a particular department, one or two members from that department are called upon to help draft the agenda so that as the chair of the assembly I know what to expect when the meeting is finally held. During the planning stage of the gathering, we also collectively decide on who should attend the conference and who should not. The decision is made by all the parties by determining the specific relevance of the convention to every party to be invited (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). In this way, we ensure that only people who should be at the meeting actually attend so that we do not waste people’s time, wasting meeting’s time or hold gatherings that will bore people simply because they will feel like outsiders. Once we decide on the agenda, we revise it to ensure it is consistent with the goal to be achieved. Additionally, every team member involved in the planning process presents the agenda to other members so as to understand what they will come to do in the meeting (Filipe, Roldan, and Rodriguez, 2017). The move gives them an opportunity for them to prepare their ideas or presentations prior to the meeting.

            Group elements are applied in the weekly and monthly meetings right from the time of holding the meeting, the duration of the meeting, venue and who should attend the meeting. Each of these aspects is agreed collectively with other stakeholders. The decision on who should be at the meeting is agreed upon with major stakeholders prior to the meeting. The executive director does not merely call for meetings. We agreed on 10am because some members used to turn up late for previous conventions which we used to hold at 10am. We encourage members to show up for assemblies time and give them sheets to sign against their names to show their arrival time (Mcclurg et al., 2017). We also strive to make everyone comfortable by always selecting a venue that is convenient for all members. Our conference hall is centrally located and accessible from all parts of the organization, therefore, is convenient for everyone. Although we have other venues where meetings can be held, most of our stakeholders find the conference hall to be more convenient. Moreover, it is large enough to accommodate forty people, therefore, everyone gets space to sit comfortably and follow the proceedings ( Since our organization relies on volunteers to carry out most of the projects, we always allow 20 minutes before and after every meeting where people can get to socialize and get to know one another better so that they all feel comfortable and get attached to the organization. The time releases any tension and anxiety that may be present during the meeting as members get to understand each other’s behaviors (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). Allowing members to socialize before the meeting allows them to preempt the agenda of the meeting so as to save more time when the meeting is finally held.

            Often, our meetings begin with introductions. As the chairperson, I start by introducing myself and my role then allow the members to introduce themselves too. I always begin gatherings with icebreakers in order to make the group comfortable and try to accommodate each other’s perspectives ( For instance, I ask each one of them to pick something out of their pockets and explain to the rest of the group why that particular item is of importance to them. Obviously, the question makes members break into laughter as they take and display various items and explain the significance of those items to them. The short exercise also allows each one of them a chance to think about somebody else’s item from their own perspective (Mcclurg et al., 2017). An item that may be insignificant to one person may yet be very valuable to another individual. Therefore, the exercise cultivates empathy among them which is a critical group element.  Moreover, it promotes active listening since members take time to take note of one another as they explain themselves without necessarily judging them but only understanding. They learn to be patient with one another and tolerant of new ideas or perspectives. Once this exercise is over, members are always requested to give feedback on the agenda of the meeting that had already been presented to them prior to the meeting (Filipe, Roldan, and Rodriguez, 2017). The action allows everyone to weigh in on the agenda and determine whether a particular aspect is not covered or maybe the timing of some of the issues on the agenda are inappropriate. If the agenda is given a go ahead, the ground rules for the meeting are set such as no interrupting, speaking only with permission from the chair are set. The rules maintain order and keep potential disrupters in check thereby ensuring the meeting goes on as planned (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). When the meeting commences, I ensure people stick to the agenda and honor agenda time limits so that everyone has an opportunity to participate. There are often cases when people disagree or simply go on and on and it is always my duty as the chair to pull them back gently but firmly (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). During participation, all the views of the members are considered and compromise is advocated for to amicably resolve any issues that arise from those meetings.

            Encouraging the participation of all members during meetings is another group element that I often apply during our weekly and monthly meetings at WVCC. I do this by calling out the name of every member of the meeting and seek their input on a particular aspect (Mcclurg et al., 2017). I specifically point out one of their strengths or expertise to make them feel valued and therefore motivated to contribute during the meeting. Whenever a member who is usually quiet speaks up, I appreciate their contribution and encourage them to keep it up. Every member is given a chance to comment on every item of the agenda so that everyone at least participates and do not merely wait for decisions to be made (Drogobytsky, 2018). By tasking them to agree or disagree with a particular idea, they all stay alert and focused during the meeting. I also encourage participation by keeping the meeting as interactive as possible by asking questions and allowing members to also ask questions so that we all weigh in and listen to different points of views. Lastly, I remain friendly and drive to the final decision smoothly so that all participants in the meeting remain on board. Time and again, I ask them to take a vote on a particular issue where consensus has not been reached. By allowing them to take a vote, all participants understand that their input is valuable and are encouraged to participate in other items of the agenda (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). In a nutshell, encouraging participation during meetings makes participants understand that meetings are not held to merely rubber stamp issues but to build consensus. They also get to know that as the executive director, I cannot merely make decisions without necessarily considering their views.

            The chairing of our weekly meetings does not entirely rest upon me. One of the most important group elements that I apply is rotating chairing of our meetings in order to develop new leaders and demonstrate the importance of teamwork (Mcclurg et al., 2017). Every week, the meeting is chaired by a new person so that everyone feels part of the process and prepares adequately for the same. The engagement enhances their ability to function in team settings and rally others to adopt and share a particular idea (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). The selection of the chair of the meeting is often communicated early enough so that the chair can  provide agenda information to the rest of the group. Lastly, I always follow up on the meeting by getting feedback from every member of the group. I meet with every participant of the meeting and discuss their views and feelings about the meeting and get their suggestions on what could be done to improve the following meetings (Filipe, Roldan, and Rodriguez, 2017). Alternatively, I make follow up phone calls just to ensure everyone is clear about their roles and follow up actions are speedily implemented. Follow up after the meeting has been critical in strengthening our teams at WVCC and made our partnerships with other charitable organizations and stakeholders more supportive and cordial. Follow up activities have been the glue that has stuck us together as one big family.  In a nutshell, group dynamics are applied at our WVCC weekly and monthly meetings right from the planning stage of meeting to the follow-up stage after the meetings (Mcclurg et al., 2017). These group elements have helped maintain strategic momentum, high morale and ensure our meetings are effective and productive.

Management of committees and teams at WVCC:

            As the executive director of WVCC, I recognize and appreciate the value of teamwork and often apply group elements to manage the various command groups that report to me and ensure they work in harmony and collaboration ( Notably, the Tuckman’s stages of team formation are used to assign roles to committees in order for them to carry out different tasks assigned to them. Most often, each task is carried out by new committee members thereby necessitating the application of Tuckman’s stages of forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning teams. As an executive director, Mrs. Aronda Smith determines the strategic direction of the organization and therefore comes up with the tasks to be carried out (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). During the first stage of team forming, I assemble the team to carry out a specific task to brief them about it. There is usually tension and anxiety since team members do not know one another and are uncertain about the behavior of other team members add how to relate to them ( During such committee meetings, members do not always openly express themselves as they try to leave a positive first impression on the other team members. Moreover, they tend to avoid conflicts with one another at all costs since they believe that group or interpersonal conflicts will prevent the work from being done. As the director of the organization, it is my duty to ensure that members at this stage understand the purpose of the team and what they need to achieve after a specified period of time. I consolidate the team at this stage by introducing the members to one another and actively engaging them in discussions to release tension and be free with one another (Mcclurg et al., 2017). Additionally, I explain the entire project to the team and how the project will be executed in phases. To streamline the functions of the team, the director also explains the roles to be played by each team member and the team leader who will ensure that all the activities run smoothly and synergistically (Filipe, Roldan, and Rodriguez, 2017). I also explain the rules that guide the entire team during that period of time and the resources that will be available for them to effectively discharge their duties.

            Since WVCC is a small organization with only a handful of staff members, the members are very familiar with one another the forming stage is usually easy. Members understand one another’s behaviors, attitudes, and perspectives and therefore get along smoothly (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). In most cases, our focus during this stage is often ensuring that all members are on the same page with regard to their roles, objectives and performance targets. Once the team members familiarize with each other and understand their roles, we often leave them under the guidance of their team leaders who then communicates their next meeting and coordinates the functions of the team (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). During the storming stage, I often encounter many conflicts among team members which result from members attempting to overstep the group boundaries set during the stage of forming. Members get comfortable with one another but as they start working on the project, they often encounter differences in their working styles and personalities and some of them fail to get along. At this stage, team members reveal the true versions of themselves to others. The resentments they might have felt towards one another begin to emerge because they no longer have the incentive to hide it (Kumar, Deshmukh & Adhish, 2014). These irritations often lead to negative energy that undermines the proper functioning of the group. During this stage, I always direct the team leader to regularly hold meetings with all the team members to try to solve conflicts they have and ensure they do not lose sight of the team objectives. During the meetings which I also attend, team members communicate their grievances and interpersonal conflicts that may be hindering their work and together we establish a framework of working together afterward (Drogobytsky, 2018). In a few cases, team members do not completely resolve their differences and some members harbor grudges and tend to undermine each other’s goals. Such a situation occurred two months ago where the interpersonal conflicts in the committee in charge of conducting social events for veterans persisted even after attempts to resolve them (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). Whereas team leaders are supposed to model good team behavior and ensure harmony in the team, sometimes the team can just be dysfunctional primarily because some members are unwilling to change (Drogobytsky, 2018). In a nutshell, we ensure that team leaders are always available so that members can solve their conflicts.

            At the norming phase, the team actually lays out a plan for the entire project and purpose how to achieve their objectives. At WVCC, it is during the norming stage that we get committee members together so that they give their input about the project to be executed and who is best suited for each role (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). During this phase, the team members clearly understand the work to be carried out and know whether or not they can effectively handle it. We also rally them to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of one another and build trust with their team members. Using our life and career coaches, we guide and counsel those who have difficulties functioning in team environments so that they can improve their teamwork skills (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). Moreover, during this stage, we reassign some roles that had been assigned during the team forming stages. The roles may be interchanged or reassigned based on the members’ realization of their strengths and weaknesses. Those who feel adequate to maintain their roles are allowed to do so while those who feel they can perform other roles better are reassigned. As the overall team leader, I allow committee members at this stage to make their own decisions independently without external influence. We also ensure the members are well facilitated to carry out their roles (Filipe, Roldan, and Rodriguez, 2017).  Members are encouraged to build strong bonds that create a trust to improve team cohesion. Usually, we try to understand the perspectives of team members during this stage. As the executive director to whom the team reports, I am careful not to give them any directions at this stage but rather ask questions and coach them so that every initiative becomes their own. Asking questions and coaching the members at this stage has proven to be effective in ensuring that team members adopt, share and own the vision of the entire group (Mcclurg et al., 2017). We strive to make them feel they are highly valued and work on their own terms as opposed to being directed on what to do. Additionally, we remain flexible and open to new ideas at this stage so that any issues that may be persistent are adequately and effectively dealt with.  

            During the team performing stage, the team now gets to work. During this stage, there is a seamless flow of activities owing to the stability of the team and clearly defined roles. The interpersonal trust among members is strong (Drogobytsky, 2018). The members have individually and collectively developed workable frameworks that will enable them to meet their performance targets. As the director and overall team leader, my work is usually easier at this stage since members easily work without supervision and there is minimal conflict. Additionally, the team has its own dispute resolution mechanisms and can easily resolve any minor conflicts that may arise during the performing stage. The different perspectives and views that arise at this stage are no longer seen as a threat to the team but rather as assets that stimulate broader thinking and yield better results ( My role as the leader at this stage is usually to motivate the team to optimally perform their duties. To achieve this, I reward achievements through complimenting those who excel in their work and may also offer monetary and nonmonetary benefits to boost the morale of the team members to achieve more. I also encourage creative conflicts that lead to new ideas and boost creativity and innovation. I achieve this by challenging conventional thinking and traditional approaches to tasks so that members can compete to generate new ideas that will maximize quality in production (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). I occasionally delegate the team leadership roles to every member on a rotational basis to give everyone an opportunity to develop their leadership roles. A delegation of roles to team members demonstrates my confidence in their abilities thereby motivating them to steer the vision of the team.

            Once the committee has successfully executed its tasks, we usually apply Tuckman’s adjourning stage of the team to wind up the team.  Often, we hold a meeting with the team members and evaluate the performance with respect to the set targets. We let team members share their experiences, challenges, and recommendations (Mcclurg et al., 2017). Winding up the team is usually a difficult stage for members who may wish the task could go on and on due to the friendships they have established. Naturally, human beings are social beings and they develop interpersonal bonds and trust, it is difficult for them to part ways. At WVCC, we help team members plan for whatever task comes next. We do this by having social events and team building activities so that members do not lose the friendships they have established (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). Maintaining the integrity of the team after the completion of a particular task is helpful because it makes it easier to set up new teams in future to carry out new tasks. Members who have previously worked in the same team easily fit in the newly constituted team and perform their functions without any hitches (Drogobytsky, 2018). We also request members to write brief reports at this stage so that they can honestly assess the project and general experiences with recommendations on future teams.

The Organizational culture of Woman Veteran Command Center

            WVCC is a small organization with only 4 volunteers, 1 intern, and two paid staff members and therefore decisions are made collectively. The organizational structure of a business strongly impacts its corporate culture. Therefore, the organization culture of WVCC is strongly influenced by the management structure.  The organization uses a management structure whereby administrative duties to provide strategic leadership (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). As a consequence, huge management duties will contribute to the large size of an organization. Larger non-profit making organizations have more organization vertical structures where each managerial function is assigned to a specific manager in the hierarchy. In smaller firms such as WVCC, a functional organizational structure comprises of a small team of managers who collectively make all managerial decisions for implementation by the volunteers, interns and the employees in the firm (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). Essentially, the management of WVCC comprises of C-level managers headed by an executive director. The centralized structure has limited policymaking in the hands of the executive director and other senior-level managers.

The functional organizational structure of WVCC is characterized by one executive director who provides leadership and makes all the decisions of the day to day operations of the facility. Under the executive director, there are four directors in charge of various departments whose role is to implement decisions collectively made at the top leadership (Mcclurg et al., 2017). The strength of this structure to the running of the affairs of the organization is that it saves time and reduces the bureaucracies involved in consulting before making decisions. Since the executive director makes all the decisions in a centralized manner, less time is spent in discussions or consultations that would derail the activities of the organization. Moreover, accountability is enhanced since there are clearly defined roles and responsibilities in every sector ( Decisions or actions can easily be traced back to an individual. There is also a clear division of labor at WVCC with no duplication or collision in the management or members of staff. The employees, volunteers, and interns at the lower level report directly to the executive director and other directors depending on their functions. The clearly defined and strict line of reporting enhances the smooth flow of information in the organization due to reduced confusion on who should be reported to (Bingöl, Şener and Çevik, 2013). Additionally, the management has the opportunity to bond with employees and understand their strengths, weaknesses and how to bring out the best in them.

However, the centralized organizational structure can be disastrous to the organization because an error in judgment by the executive director will be transmitted to the other directors and the staff at the lower levels. Moreover, the little delegation of managerial duties to other people in lower ranks denies them the opportunity to sharpen their leadership skills (Mcclurg et al., 2017). Cognizant of this fact, the executive director ensures that grass root decisions are made collectively. The volunteers, interns and other employees take part in decision-making processes at this level in order to nurture their leadership abilities. The act is important in succession planning because once the executive director retires; one of the employees will have the capacity to replace her instead of recruiting someone else (Filipe, Roldan, and Rodriguez, 2017).  However, there is a lack of collaboration and poor communication among employees since decisions are centralized by the top management. Lastly, the central structure at WVCC excludes internal stakeholders in the decision-making process resulting from a top-down approach leading to lower (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). The members of staff are only involved in making decisions that are of little significance.

Impact of WVCC’s organizational structure on its organizational culture:

The management of WVCC sets out how the organization should be and relies on all stakeholders to anchor it in the organization. The administration has the imperative to ensure the needs of the organization are consistent with those of members of staff and other stakeholders. The adhocracy culture in our organization is based on the values of creativity, entrepreneurship, taking risks and innovation. The culture is responsible for the security and stability of the organization that has successfully steered its functions and establishment of strong and sustainable partnerships (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). At WVCC, there is little room for latitude because of the cultural emphasis on stability and continuity. The organizational culture is complemented by the functional organization structure. The information flow is smooth and simple because management decisions made at the top are communicated to group leaders and departmental heads that expedite their implementation through their assistants and members of staff (Yesil and Kaya, 2013). Consequently, the faster making of decisions and implementation of directives through effective communication leads to high performance. Under the stewardship of the executive director, the organizational culture at WVCC is one that focuses on results. Once meetings are held and policies are made, the management expects efficient and timely delivery of results. High standards of performance are expected from members of staff ( Moreover, they are required to adhere to working protocols and deliver results in the shortest time possible.

            The executive director applies a transformative leadership style to mitigate the negative impacts of the central organizational structure on the organizational culture. Since the organization relies on the services of volunteers, it is always necessary for the management to not only focus on results that need to be attained but also

January 19, 2024

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