Blog of Strategic,General and Financial Management (English/Spanish)

Strategycorner is now expanding its content to include posts about General Management, Financial Management, Finance Transformation, Marketing and HR Management. Posts will be published in English or Spanish.

At the end of the blog there are different charts about Strategic Management in Spanish. In the archive area you could find a lot of posts about strategy and its execution in English/Spanish.

Jesús Peral
Executive MBA IE Business School, Madrid,Spain

Master in Strategic Management
IDE-CESEM Business School, Madrid, Spain

Find at the end of blog all charts related to Strategic Management topics commented in the posts

Mapa Estratégico Genérico/Strategy Map

Mapa Estratégico Genérico/Strategy Map
Mapa Estratégico Completo

Modelo de Dirección Estratégica/Strategic Management Model

Modelo de Dirección Estratégica/Strategic Management Model
Modelo desarrollado en las entradas 1 a 100. Ver archivo del blog
Búsqueda personalizada

viernes, 18 de noviembre de 2016

Conflict management

Who did not find, was in the middle of a conflict or had to resolve one in your professional career?  You will not escape conflict in your organization or work environment. In my view it is inevitable. Mainly because the objective, values and needs of groups and individuals in any organization do not always coincide.

In my view, sometimes, conflict may be a sign of a healthy company. Boring agreement on everything is unnatural and debilitating. There should be fight of ideas about tasks and projects and disagreements should not be suppressed. They should come out into open, because is the only way in which you can ensure that the issues are explored and conflicts are resolved.  This post is about managing the conflicts or better to say trying to manage the conflicts.

Every reader could have his/her own experience and way of resolving the conflicts he/she was involved or he/she saw in his working environment.

You can use, let´s say, a peaceful co-existence where you aim to smooth our differences and emphasize the common ground. It is well known we are encouraged to learn to live together. There is a good deal of information, contact and exchange of views and individuals move freely between the different teams, for example, between your headquarter and the affiliate or between sales and marketing departments. This is a pleasant ideal but it may not be practicable in many situations.

It is also known that conflict is not necessarily resolved by grouping people together. Improved communications and briefing groups could be a good idea but are useless, in my opinion, if management has nothing to say that people want to hear. And there is also the danger that the real issues, submerged for the moment will surface again in the future.

Other possibility is to get compromise. In this case the issue could be resolved by negotiating or bargaining and neither party wins or loses.  In this situation there is no right or best answer. Agreement only accommodates differences. As you can imagine real issues are not likely to be solved.

Based on the above the best approach would be to find a genuine solution to the problem rather than just accommodating different points of view. And as I said before sometimes conflict situations can be used to advantage to create better solutions. This situation has to be generated by those who share the responsibility for seeing that the solutions work. So what would be the sequence of actions in this case? First, those concerned work to define the problem and agree on the objectives to be attained in reaching a solution. Second, the group develops alternative solutions and debates their merits. Third, agreement is reached on the preferred course of action and how it should be implemented.

The conclusion could be that conflict is in itself not to be deplored. It is an inevitable concomitant of progress and change. What is to be disapproved is the failure to use conflict constructively. Effective problem solving both resolves conflicts and opens up channels of discussion and cooperative action. Take this into account in your next situation!!!!

miércoles, 2 de noviembre de 2016

Team building

In this post I would like to share my experience in one of the most difficult tasks you face as a manager, executive or when you have responsibilities for the results of teams whatever is the level or the environment:  team building.

We spend a lot of time leading teams and leading with people in groups. Getting people to work well together is as important as motivating individuals, in my opinion.

Team building is a matter of establishing mutual confidence and trust among all the people working in your team. You should aim to create a feeling, let´s say, of interdependence. In my experience a good team feels shared responsibility for getting results.

A lot of readers, in managerial roles, know very well that people do not necessarily work well together. Personal and interdepartmental rivalries exist in the vast majority of companies. It is likely you agree with me with this. But you need to look for them or they can ruin the most brilliant groups.

So what´s is the point? Good teamwork is essential. To become an effective team builder it is useful to know and understand the behavior of the members of your team.

Normally you can find what I could call formal and informal groups. The first one are groups that are created by the company to achieve a defined purpose and normally are aligned with the organization needs. The second are set up because they have some affinity for one another. In this case the group exists to satisfy the needs of its members.

For me, the ideal situation, would be for both groups to coincide so they will satisfy the needs of both the organization and the individuals in it.

One of the most important things to look for in groups is the status system that may exist within them. If you understand the informal as well as the formal hierarchical order you will be better equipped to deal with problems within the team.

Your aim, and this is really difficult and a stressing task, is to create an effective team. You need to create a vision, engage the members to become cohesive, self-supportive and finally show them where it is going.

But the question is how can we know we have or we are creating a real effective team?

My thought is you should look for some features as follows:

·         The atmosphere tends to be informal, comfortable and relaxed.

·         The task of the team is well understood and accepted by the members.

·         The members listen to each other. Very important, indeed.

·         There is disagreement and the reasons are carefully examined. This is essential in my view.

·         Most decisions are reached by a kind of consensus.

·        Criticism is frequent, frank and relatively comfortable. In other words, there is little evidence of personal attack either openly or in a hidden way.

·         When action is taken clear assignments are made and accepted.

·         The leader does not, normally, dominate it.

The readers can think other features based on their experience. The above are just mine.

The final ingredient is your capability to lead, in other words, your leadership.  The role of the leader is critical, especially nowadays, when we are in times of crisis so it is when the group must get into action fast.

Within this role of leadership you must look for getting cooperation. The members of an effective team cooperate equally will with one another and of course, with the team leader.

But are there methods for team building? This is not an exact science. You should develop your skills based on your experience and by observing other managers or executives, within or outside your organization and learn from them. This will allow you to create your own management and leadership style.

So, in my experience, you need to demonstrate to your team:

·         You know where you want them to go

·         You know how they are going to get there

·         You know what you expect each member of the team to achieve

·         And you know what you are doing.

When you have done the above you are ready to:

·         Encourage participation in agreeing objectives and targets

·         Rotate jobs within your team so that the team members identify with the reams as a whole rather than with their own jobs.

·         Ensure that communication flow freely within and between groups

·         Encourage informal meetings between your team to resolve problems.

And finally, if you are a member of a team and you want to work effectively within your group you would need as follows:

·         Understand the purpose of the team

·         Find out what you are expected to contribute

·         Analyze your own skills and competences to establish how you might best contribute

·         Prepare yourself well before meetings. For example, get your facts and arguments at your fingertips

·         Don’t talk too much. Think about this, the art of being a good team member is to know when and how to intervene.

·         Assess your own performance as a team member. Ask yourself what you are good and not so good at doing by reference to your successes and failures, and  take appropriate action.

And remember,  the team makes you and not the opposite ¡¡¡