Turning a Company into a High Performance Organization byway of Motivation and Leadership GM591 ON_W Leadership and Organizational Behavior Abstract Visionary leadership, culture of accountability, affinity for risk, and strategic agility are all key characteristics of a High Performance Organization (HPO). A visionary leader is one who inspires the team to move towards the vision and creates strategic momentum through connection between strategy and those who deliver it on the front line. In a High Performance Organization, leaders are aware and realize how accountability must be paired with authority for maximal results.
Outstanding leaders that have the ability to orchestrate organizational change often utilize a high degree of motivation. The president of K. I. S. S. Entertainment was a new leader who lacked the knowledge on how to successfully lead and motivate her team. The company developed great concepts and implemented new ideas where it was expected for the company to generate a sufficient amount of revenue. As time progressed and the work became overwhelming, the team began to become lackadaisical resulting in deprivation of execution.
This paper inspects K. I. S. S. Entertainment as a company, identifies the problems with their leadership, and suggests solutions to rectify the issues with becoming a High Performance Organization as the outcome. K. I. S. S. Entertainment is a small event planning, marketing, and promotional media company based out of Chicago, IL. Since existence, K. I. S. S. Entertainment’s main focus has been to deliver important messages to the youth and African-American communities’ byway of entertainment. Unfortunately, K.
I. S. S. Entertainment fell into some financial troubles after a failed event. Due to the tremendous loss of revenue, the board members of K. I. S. S. Entertainment became discouraged, unmotivated, and rebellious towards the president of the company and her decisions. The president of the company was new to leadership and uncertain on how to get the team back to their positive mindset. She began to orchestrate and implement new ideas for promotion and marketing but the team was reluctant to the change.
Since nearly all of her ideas were shot down and the company was on a downhill spiral, the president was concerned that the team wouldn’t come out of the depression and they would eventually lose the company they worked so hard to get. As a marketing, event planning, and promotional media company, K. I. S. S. Entertainment had their work cut out for them. Each event planned had to be carefully organized with a detailed budget and a concrete marketing plan. K. I. S. S. Entertainment had a streak of success until one event caused them a great deal of catastrophe.
The company had never experience such shame since existence and immediately caused them to become discouraged, lackadaisical, and discombobulated. Instead of learning from their mistakes and recovering from the unforeseen circumstances, the company made a turn for the worst. Members began not to follow through on tedious assignments, important planning meetings were rescheduled several times, and large events were either postponed or canceled. The president of the company knew something had to be done quickly or the company would fail completely.
She realized the answer to the problem was motivation. The team was no longer motivated to complete assignments or get the company back onto the right path and their goal of becoming a High Performance Organization were no longer a focus. The president was left with the thought, ‘How can this team become motivated to see her vision of turning the company into a High Performance Organization”. Turning a company into a High Performance Organization is not an easy task. When attempting to turn a company into a High Performance Organization, one must understand the key characteristics.
The key characteristics of a High Performance Organization are visionary leadership, culture of accountability, affinity for risk, and strategic agility. A visionary leader inspires the team to move towards the vision and creates strategic momentum through connection between strategy and those who deliver it on the front line. As the president of the company, Jessica knew that in order to change the company around it started with her leadership ability. She had to research and discovers ways to influence her team that the vision she had was the best for the company. Jessica wanted for K. I. S. S.
Entertainment to be well known and the company looked to for event planning, marketing, and promotional media. She also wanted the company to host many small events yearly and one major event each quarter of the year. Each event would focus on a specific need in the city of Chicago, for instance, a scholarship pageant for high school students and discuss the importance on furthering their education. Although the number of events would constitute a tremendous amount of work for such a small company, Jessica had the vision of possibly contracting freelancers to assist them in different areas in each event.
A Culture for Accountability suggests that in a High Performance Organization leaders are able to realize that accountability and authority must be paired together. It is extremely important that employees and management are given the necessary tools to fulfill their duties if they are going to be held accountable for their performance. Jessica knew that if she wanted her board members to fulfill the responsibilities that she delegated to each of them, it was a must that they had the appropriate tools and resources. Each board member of the company focused on a specific area in the company so it was important that all areas were covered.
It was imperative that each member had the latest software applications installed on their computer, business line and personal extensions were working properly, and they were trained on all systems. Each member was responsible for creating new leads, following up with current clients, and completing their part in the companies’ projects. With the new software that was purchased, the board members were able to track all conversations, add detailed information, and schedule future appointments. In the eyes of the president, this was the start to an improved work ethic.
Now that the vision and direction of the company was developed and the accountability was understood, Jessica had to think of the risk. When leaders encourage change in a High Performance Organization, they run the chances of many risk. Affinity for Risk proposes that risk and failure helps the team learn important lessons and understand perilous knowledge that will help and improve their performance. It was extremely necessary for a change in the company and the employees’ performance if there was a future for K. I. S. S. Entertainment.
Since the company experienced a terrible upset and the board members were completely discouraged, suggesting change increased the possible risk in the company. It was extremely significant for the president to clearly state the reason for change and express the positive outcomes to the team. Since Jessica was a new president and had never held a management position, guiding the team towards a new direction seemed nearly impossible. Jessica had to explain to the team that organizations that want to excel in an ever-changing marketplace needed to foster and maintain strategic agility.
She knew that the team was behind due to the unforeseen circumstance and as the market was changing and moving forward they were going backward. K. I. S. S. Entertainment initially wanted to launch their “Rock the Polls” voter’s registration campaign on January 1, 2008 but had fallen behind on advertising and marketing. The project was supposed to increase voter’s registration among minors and minorities in the state of Illinois. Due to the fact that the presidential election wasn’t until November, they felt as if they had enough time to launch the project.
The president of the company knew that with the goal of getting a minimum of 10,000 people registered to vote, they had to start at the very beginning of the year. The company didn’t launch their project until February 4, 2008 which caused them to lose a month of attempting to get registered voters. The launch party was expected to have a minimum of 100 guest based on the number of RSVP’s on Facebook and the companies Evite list. Unfortunately, 100 guests didn’t show up, as a matter-of-fact, there were barely 20 people in attendance. This is the event that caused the discouragement.
Jessica knew that the team would be discouraged, regardless of all the guest speakers informing of them of not being discouraged and congratulating them of starting a project with a great cause. Jessica tried to motivate the team by telling them that although they didn’t have the number of guest they hoped for, the ones that attended and supported the event are well known people. At the events there were members of the NAACP, a number of judges, state representatives, prospective senators, and others. The team didn’t look at the quality of people that came; they were more interested in the quantity.
Jessica knew that she had to do something rapidly because the launch party was the start of a project that was supposed to last all year. The performance of an organization in seeking to achieve organizational goals depends on many factors such as strategy, structure, technology, people employed and management style. Of importance amongst these is the ‘people’ factor that is the behavior of individual employees and the contribution this makes to performance at individual, group and organization level. Crucial to the performance of teams are the abilities and behaviors of their members.
Relevant to this are the roles that team members play. These can be thought of in two ways. The first is in terms of functional roles, that are those roles which relate to a person’s job role and function in the organization; for instance, marketing manager, lecturer, typist, and head of department. People are often chosen to be members of teams on the basis of their functional roles, these being considered most appropriate to the task(s), which the team has to perform (Senior, B 1997). Each member of the company brought something different to the table. Jessica was elected as the president of the company because she her B.
A. in Business Administration. Although she never held a management position, she was familiar and educated on the ins and outs of effectively running a business. She handled all paperwork, contracts, and negotiations. She was the perfect fit for presidency. Gabrielle was the Vice President of the company. She also held a bachelor’s degree, however, her degree was in criminal justice with a minor in philosophy. She completed a number of English courses which made her a great help in the paperwork that needed to be completed. She also followed up with different clients for contract signage and venue bookings.
Keshuna was exceptional in graphic designer. She handled all media and marketing packages. With Keshuna on the team, the website stayed up-to-date; there was print media for every event, and promotion on all social media. Keshuna also did all of the printing which saved the company a lot of money. The last board member of the company is Nicoya. Nicoya was into fine arts and modeling. K. I. S. S. Entertainment main event was the Swag with Elegance Fashion Affair. This event promoted up and coming models and designers in the Chicagoland area. Nicoya participated in a number of fashion shows which increased her knowledge in that area.
As the model coordinator, Nicoya was able to organize and choreograph every fashion show. Each member had their own responsibilities in the company and if all responsibilities are fulfilled, the chances of success are greater. According to Emmerich (2001), when a business is struggling, guilt, fear, paranoia, and other destructive emotions can freeze performance. Although many managers respond to uncomfortable feelings with denial, ignoring these emotions makes the problem worse. A structured, constructive forum allows people to share and release negative feelings so they can move on and perform regularly.
Frustration runs high, confidence flags, and productivity weakens when things do not work well, feeding a cycle of lower motivation and performance. Appreciating the small steps along the way during challenging times tells employees that their contributions and efforts are valued. The best managers and workers hone their skills during difficult times, learning how to build on their strengths (Emmerich, R. 2001). Although K. I. S. S. Entertainment had been established since late 2007, with the discouragement negatively impacting them, the company was no longer in the performing stage of team development; they were now in the storming stage.
The discouragement and frustration caused a lot of emotionality and tension among the group members. With the number of tasks that needed to be completed, Jessica knew that it was vital for her to delegate assignments based on the members’ capabilities. Each member was assigned different tasks within their area of expertise with a realistic deadline. The deadline that was provided allowed time for corrections and adjustments if need be. When the task were distributed and reviewed, Jessica called a brief meeting to discuss the assignments, the seriousness of the deadline, and to get feedback regarding what was needed.
During and after the meeting, Jessica started to see small changes within the company. Although the discouragement wasn’t completely absent, the team was starting to pull out of the negativity and focus on the job at hand. A number of studies have examined how teams in general shape and alter their features and activities over time, and multiple models purport to capture these progressions (e. g. , Bales and Strodtbeck, 1951; Tuckman, 1965; Tuckman and Jensen, 1977; Gersick, 1988, 1989; Wheelan, 1994; Koslowski et al. , 1999; Chang, Bordia, and Duck, 2003).
Researchers and theorists typically suggest, and sometimes claim, that teams that follow the described or prescribed progressions outperform those that do not. But, so far, there is only sparse evidence to support such claims. Only a few studies of team development address issues of team effectiveness (Arrow and McGrath, 1993; Smith and Comer, 1994; Waller, 1999; Jehn and Mannix, 2001; Edmondson, Bohmer, and Pisano, 2001), and so far none involving project teams has incorporated the full sweep of team development from beginning to end.
Previous research does suggest that actions taken and decisions made during this formative, or mobilization, period and at launch meetings exert considerable influence on subsequent phases of project team development, as well as the team’s performance (Cohen and Bailey, 1997). Hackman (1987,1990,2002), for example, has often and forcefully suggested that this formative phase is a major leverage point for team leaders and urged that they use it to create supportive conditions, such as appropriate team designs and clear and compelling tasks “that lead naturally to desired outcomes” (Hackman, 2002: 252).
Ancona (1990) studied leaders’ pre-launch strategies for dealing with outsiders and found that these exerted considerable influence on subsequent project team processes and performance. Brown and Eisenhardt (1997) noted that the formations of project teams were much more carefully choreographed in high-performing than in low-performing organizations (Ericksen, J. 2004). Now that the members were starting to complete their task and reduce the negative actions, Jessica felt as if it was time to proceed with the next steps.
Considering the team was highly discouraged and disoriented, motivation was the most important phase that needed to be taken first. While motivation refers to forces within an individual that account for the level, direction, and persistence of effort expanded at work, it is imperative that the motivation theories are comprehended and the appropriate theories are selected for the team. There are several different motivational theories but the theory that was needed for K. I. S. S. Entertainment was the Goal-Setting Theory.
The goal-setting theory is the process of developing, negotiating, and formalizing performance targets or objectives. Seeing the company had a vast number of events they were working on the planning and advertising for, they had no room to continue their lackadaisical behavior. It was up to the president to develop, negotiate, and formalize performance objectives for the team. With the new tasks already developed and the negotiation already taken place, it was time for the process to be formalized by motivation. Since the team was more extrinsically motivated, a motivation al reward system was needed.
John C. Maxwell advised that leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. Jessica decided to implement a reward system to motivate the team not only meet expectation but exceed expectation. The reward system was each member would receive a bonus at the end of every quarter. This particular system would be judged based on the time management, follow up, sales, consistency, and completion of all assignments. While it appears as if the members had to meet a vast number of expectations to receive the bonus, the members were enthused about it the news.
The productivity chart was coordinated based on the needs of the company. If each member fulfilled the responsibilities as expected and meet the requirements for the company, the company would excel and increase their quarterly revenue by more than 25%. By using the new reward system that followed a concise productivity plan, the company was starting to make tremendous progress. Granting that the progress was a major footstep in the direction needed, the company had no room to back track. To keep things interesting and intriguing, the president decided to mix and match different incentives throughout the year.
In addition to the quarterly bonuses the members received if they met their expectations, the employees also were able to win extra vacation days, additional free passes to the events, and several other freebees. By continuing to change up the different incentives, the members stayed motivated and the company was on the up and up. To conclude, K. I. S. S. Entertainment is a company with the potential to be the greatest in their profession. They have allowed one unsuccessful event to destroy their beliefs and work ethic towards owning their business.
The president of the company is having a difficult time trying to keep the company motivated to complete upcoming and future events, which is putting the company in a bigger hole than they were originally. The president has decided to change her leadership style and develop a reward system to help increase the motivation of her team. With the new award system and increased motivation, she is hoping to turn her company into a High Performance Organization. Reference Ellemers, N. , De Gilder, D. , ;amp; Haslam, S. (2004). MOTIVATING INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS AT WORK: A SOCIAL IDENTITY PERSPECTIVE ON LEADERSHIP AND GROUP PERFORMANCE.
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