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The ability of leaders to guide an organization through a transformation process defines effective organizational leadership (Narh, 2013). Downsizing is an unfavorable shift that a company can experience; yet, it is neither an easy or tough process; rather, downsizing offers new difficulties and changes inside an organization. It follows that strong and effective executives are required to successfully guide an organization through downsizing transition. Employee stress and underperformance are unavoidable owing to anxiety, the projected loss of those who will be gone, and the prospect of another downsizing that will effect them. During a downsizing process, it in turn calls for the most effective management and leadership approach for effective and successful change process. Such employee concerns can result into low motivational levels, stress among the employees, increased conflict, leaving an organization on the brink of a downturn. This paper addresses an organizational change process together with a personal leadership program with reference to the identified case study, “A Successful Downsizing: Developing a Culture of Trust and Responsibility”.
The course entails challenges faced by Judy Stokley when she assumed the position of program director of AMRAAM, well-known as Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile. By the time she assumed office there was already a drawdown on resizing of the employee, and hence she commenced with the challenges of implementing the drawdown. Judy called a meeting for all the 200 employees, and explained the drawdown. Once the employee was informed, there were silence and competition for her attention. She provided alternative outlets for the workers to air their complaints. She was, however, supported by chief engineer, as well as chief financial officer. According to Wilemon & Cicero (2011), it was evident the organization was spending too much, and needed a review in terms of its expenditure. AMRAAM was the largest program on Eglin Air Force Base, thus, the reforms being introduced would be expected to have a tremendous impact on a number of parties involved. It was in turn key to change the organization culture, and in turn she focused on the partnership and relations with the contractors. Through her leadership the downsizing initiative was undertaken, implemented and at the end, there was a success, with AMRAAM receives the DOD life cycle reduction Award.
Practices of Successful Project Managers Apply in Exercising Their Leadership and Management Roles Overall
Different aspects have been used to define success with regard to organizational management, more so with project managers. Different organizations have different approach in evaluating their success. However, for the case of project managers, there are some acceptable measures that define whether one is successful or not. Project management can be a daunting task, and hence project management skills are key to success. According to Wilemon & Cicero (2011), project managers are individuals who are accountable for project completion and delivery of set goals and objectives. In turn project managers are responsible for the creation of a business environment in which the project goals are easy to be achieved in a systematic way by the employees. Successful project managers are defined by different aspects such as being effective communicators. Project managers must ensure there is open communication with every person undertaken or contributing to the realization of the project (Narh, 2013). In addition, the managers ought to be effective in terms of defining the scope, objective and deliverables for their project to their employee as well as to the overall leaders of an organization. This makes all stakeholders to be in an understanding of what the project is about, its demands and the role of every person, hence a successful teamwork.
Additionally, successful project managers ought to have effective tracking and reporting strategies for the project. This not only inform as the stakeholders the overall progress, but also allows for the manager to keep track of his deliverables. This enables the manager to keep focused on the project demands. On the other hand, successful project managers ought to be change management oriented. This allows them to be dynamic in case of change, hence effectively managing change demands for the benefit of the project. Finally, project managers ought to be goal oriented. This enables the employees to ensure they have a target to achieve and hence remain on course to achieve the goal (Narh, 2013). Drawing from their knowledge of project management, the mentioned skills, increase their ability to ensure they are successful in every project or task they undertake. Other aspects that define a successful project manager include; effective budget management, practicing positive customer relations, act as motivators and planners as well as adopt key problem solving methods.
Judy Stokley’s Level Of Success In Developing A Culture Of Trust While Implementing Her Drawdown Plan As Eglin Air Base’s New Advanced Medium Range Air-To-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Program Director
Judy Stokley’s work and level of success in the AMRAAM can hardly be ignored. With reference to her approach in terms of developing a culture of trust can be regarded as successful. In terms of understanding, Judy effectively understood the magnitude and challenges that came to change of an organization culture, hence she was prepared for the challenges, and eventual success. One of the major challenges of changing an organizational culture is the existence of an interlocking set of roles, goals, values, practices, processes and assumptions, etc. with reference to AMRAAM, its culture was not in good status, as well as the poor working environment. Judy in turn made a decision that, AMRAAM culture needed to change as the organization was using too much funds as well as time, hence the dire need to change (Morgan, 2016). One of the proposed changes was to downsize, and Judy commenced by holding meetings with employees. This allowed her to be known, as well as the primary agenda she was to undertake. By conducting monthly meetings, Judy allowed the employees to know as well as trust her, they enabled her to effectively communicate with the employees, otherwise without trust, and she would have faced conflict from the employees from the word go, hence limiting her success.
On the other hand, she used to give note cards during the monthly meetings. This allowed the workers to anonymously write and communicate their complaints as well as their preferred actions and recommendations. To Judy, this was an important exercise as it allowed employee to air their voices, as well as serve as a communication channel. One of the defining aspects of a successful organization is effective communication, hence the case with Judy. Judy allowed ad gave equal chances to employees to justify their positions and work in the organization, despite all being aware of the imminent downsize. One thing she noted is that, AMRAAM wasn’t honoring contracts as they were supposed to. This resulted in business strain as he identified to be the case with AMRAAM, hence they ended up spending too much money. AMRAAM was barring contractors prior to arrival of Judy, and in turn she focused on ensuring the contractors and the organization worked on the same platform, hence she actively changed the organizational culture with reference to how they related to the contractors.
According to Lee (1993), the primary relations between an organization and contractors is the money given for services or good to be delivered. Judy perfectly understood this aspect, and in turn started to develop a strategy where, the organization had to develop trust with the customers and the contractors, and in response the two will trust them back. She understood the primary impact of downsizing as a key role towards effective cultural change. She then identified key aspects such as changing organizations culture from control to trust and responsibility as key remedies towards realization of her mission in terms of changing the culture (Stephens & Russell, 2004). She then decided to release employees with no purpose and who were on the verge of retirement, and in overall she couldn’t come in and just hand employee pink slips, but instead needed to identify effective employee to carry her mission to success.
Three (3) Key Learning and Behavior Modification Strategies That Judy Stokley Used In Order To Address AMRAAM Organizational Problems and Gain The Trust Of Project Team Members
The adoption of organizational behavior was a key aspect to success in terms of changing and effectively downsizing AMRAAM organization. In order to achieve maximum success, Judy would deploy key learning and behavioral strategies that align with key goals and objectives that she focuses to achieve with the change process. According to Stephens & Russell (2004), organizational behavioral change strategies are focused on the implementation of behaviors within an organization so as to accomplish an identified goal or primary objective. The primary objective with reference to learning and behavior modification strategies is to ensure undesired behaviors are dropped, and in their place desired ones are adopted and implemented. One major approach to behavior modification is the ‘operant conditioning theory by B F Skinner. According to this theory, it is understood that, positive and negative reinforcements can be utilized to shape employee behavior within an organization. By offering positive reinforcement such as rewards helps in promoting a positive or desired behavior among the employees, while negative reinforcement such as punishment helps in employee in an organization to select and adopt the appropriate behavior changes in accordance with perceived modifications.
An example of behavior change approach is through the setting of goals for employees. This is also regarded as an excellent approach towards behavior change, as he employees focus on achieving goals, they in the process realize the desired behavior. In addition to the realization of goals, positive reinforcement is adopted such as a bonus. However, this approach in learning and behavior modification is dependent on an organization's performance management. On the other hand, consistency in terms of rewards all across all levels of an organization (Lee, 1993). Additionally, behavior modification can be realized through effective supervision and leadership. Close employee monitoring and policing of the employees actions as well as their behaviors can ensure the desired behaviors are encouraged. With reference to Judy’s work in AMRAAM she adopted an approach whereby she assisted the contractors towards being regarded and treated fairly by the organization. She made sure that, the organization understood the impact of paying the contractors well and on time. This in turn led to contractors accurately writing down the expenses they incur, and in turn the relationship between the two began to change positively. Another example, in which she contributed to the changing of organizational behavior is through the setting of goals (Morgan, 2016). Downsizing was her first goal, which in turn was the driving factor behind the proposed organizational change. Another example is that, Judy actively led through example as her supervision and leadership steered the organization towards the change. She actively and closely watched her staff, encouraging them to become royal and trust each other which was a positive change towards successful change implementation.
Actions That Judy Stokley Adopted So As To Change the Project Team’s Culture And Create a Relationship of Trust, Mutual Support, And Teamwork between the Government and Contractors
With an intention to change the overall organizational culture and downsizing, Judy adopted different actions to ensure successful realization of downsizing change. First, Judy started with communication strategies that helped create trust between herself, her team and the employees in AMRAAM. In order to win their trust, they had to successfully know her, and in turn she adopted monthly meetings with the employees to ensure she gave them the proceedings, get their views as well as get their views with the task ahead. She also established positive relations through communication with contractors, hence positively influencing the overall culture, trust, teamwork and mutual support (Orridge, 2009). By re-establishing the contract afresh, Judy brought the contractors and the government to the same level, each of the parties effectively understanding their role towards common goals, and fair payment to the contractor. She identified new performance specification which defines the relationship between the parties.
In addition, Judy also ensured that both parties were not afraid of taking risks, but instead work together to minimize chances of risks occurring. Despite the fact that projects have risks, she was able to make the contractors and government understand and invest towards taking risk. Finally, in an effort to ensure that, all stakeholders were at par with what was required, she ensured they all had their primary focus on the primary goal which was built missiles rather than project bureaucracy (Kendellen et al, 2016). This in turn ensured all parties established relationship built on trust and teamwork more so between the contractors and government.
The personal leadership development plan is a simplified roadmap for an individual’s successful through levels such as in an organization. It's a common thing for employees in an organization to map out where they would dream to be in the future. People who use leadership development plan are regarded to be more successful than the ones who don’t have the plan. With reference to the case of Judy, she first needs to establish a goal of what she would like to achieve. First she must have an individual development plan.
Personal Leadership Development Plan
With reference to Judy and the development of an effective personal leadership plan, she ought to identify her three most important or essential competencies, which she would focus upon so as to achieve her desired goal of attaining a higher position within the organization. These may include; skills, attributes and knowledge. In some cases as her desire is to occupy a larger role, the important step in this process is for her to identify the probable role among roles to adopt, so as to be ready for it.
Personal Leadership Development Plan for Judy
Identify the role(s) to undertake (identify an available job description), and start working from that point. Identify the time frame
Adopt the best goal, objective in achieving the job vacancy. (Set her own goal track)
Advice the mangers of her desire to move up in the organization management ladder
Set a date or time in which to realize her goals, which must be realistic
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Wilemon, D. L., & Cicero, J. P. (2011). The Project Manager--Anomalies and Ambiguities. Academy Of Management Journal, 13(3), 269-282.
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