Measure Up?

“The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurement anew every time he saw me, while all the rest who dealt with me went on with their old ‘measurements’ and expected them to fit me.”
George Bernard Shaw

Organizational Behavior and Management

Organizational behavior’s most central issue is about people – dealing with people – improving their job satisfaction and their performance in their job so that the organization itself can improve.

Key to the whole process is management.  Managers support the work of others.  Managers are responsible to help people get things done – for the good of the organization – in a high-quality and personally satisfying manner.

Managers must work with their team.  They must be the team leader – they help to coordinate the operation.  They help coach people to improve their job performance.

The management process involves four functions – these being Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling.

Planning involves setting goals and objectives.  Then it must set out the actual means or actions needed to achieve those goals.

Organizing is all about structures and systems.  A solid organization must have a structure that works well, and managers must implement systems that will allow the work to be accomplished.  The structures allow the resources (time, money, inputs) to be efficiently controlled by the systems to produce the end result.

Leading – Leadership – is about instilling pride in what people do.  It is about improving moral.  It is about teaching, demonstrating, showing by example.  Leadership is also about creating good interpersonal relationships.

Controlling is making sure that things work well.  It is about monitoring performance, knowing what the standards are.  Controlling is also about taking corrective action when necessary.

Putting together the four functions of management in the proper amounts, using the functions effectively is what managers need to do to be effective.

Emotional Contagion

Emotional Contagion – is it some disease?

Well – it can be bad, for you, but can also be very good!

Zig Ziglar greats people – morning, noon, and even at night – by saying ‘Good Morning!’ And he has found that 80% of people reply right back – ‘Good Morning’ – no matter what time of day it is.

Zig uses this to prove ‘you get what you put out.’  He then discusses that getting people to like you is only 10% up to the other people.  90% of it is what you do – how you act.  If you are nice to them – be their friend -then they will be nice to you.  Zig sums it all up with ‘You can have whatever you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.’

The ‘Law of Attraction’, a very popular phenomenon lately, is built on this same theory.  To be successful, to gain what you yearn for – be it wealth, health, or happiness – you must first start with yourself.  Put out what you want and it will be attracted to what you are sending.

Emotional contagion is the transfer of emotions from one person to another.  These can be good or bad emotions.  Either way, your emotions can be transferred to other people.  Sigal Barsade (Yale School of Management) did a study examining how emotional contagion can affect corporate culture – how it can effect the end results of people in the workplace working in groups.

Barsade found that emotional contagion did exist in the workplace and had a direct effect on the group dynamics.

“Positive emotional contagion led to improved cooperation, decreased conflict, and increased perception of task performance – all as rated by self, other group members, and outside video-coders.  The opposite was the case when experiencing negative emotional contagion.”

Well for anyone who has ever experienced a ‘negative’ work environment – this is all pretty self evident.  But in many corporate cultures it may not manifest itself visibly.  On the surface all may be well and good, but below there is a level of negativism that is spreading through emotional contagion.

So how do managers deal with this information now that they know it has a definite effect on employee moral, productivity, and corporate profits.

First and foremost they must recognize that it is there.  They cannot have their head stuck in the sand.  They must have open communication and see that there is a problem.

Secondly they must then take steps to deal with the underlying problems.  And then communicate the actions they are taking.  When deciding on actions, it is often advisable to get input from employees and various other stakeholders.

Finally they must work to bring about a friendly corporate culture, where communication is a priority, all employees are dealt with fairly and openly, and that working for the success of the team is more important than any one individual success.

Organizational Behavior

I started my first class this week on my journey to an MBA!

Organization Behavior – something many businesses do not work at near enough.  Unfortunately other things – the hear and now stuff – like profits, products, prices, and other priorities get in the way of doing things that can really make your business grow.

Organizational Behavior is all about systems.  How do we create a business system that can generate profits, serve the customer, keep the employees happy, and work in the society we live in.

I am really enjoying this topic.  The soft business skills really intrigue me.  I am a disciple of sales and marketing.  Organizational Behavior is kinda like looking at buying behavior, but then taking it to the complete business level – not just dealing with the sales and marketing plan.

I can see some definte holes in the organizational structure and the management systems of many of the corporations that I have been involved in over time.  And often the problem I am learning comes from past theory in OB – theory that worked then, but does not work now.  OR there is simply a better way to do things.

“Divergent thinking is an essential ingredient of creativity. Diverse groups produce diverse thinking. Ergo, diversity promotes creativity. This logic applies to corporations, research teams, think tanks, and other groups of creators. Those who rely on diverse people are more likely to innovate than those who rely on platoons of similar people.”           Mighty is the Mongrel

I have always had this ability to look at the big picture and see new ways to do things.  I drove my parents crazy with questions growing up.  And my high school science teacher got tired of answering my questions.  Now finally  . . .just maybe . . .  my inquisitiveness, along with my experience and education will start to pay off.  Not simply get me in trouble.

Back to Organization Behavior.  OB helps both managers and the employees to better deal with workplace issues.  Be it productivity, creativity or profitability.  Or simply getting along with one another.

Systems are how we, as humans, put things together in logical order to make accomplish our tasks.  Systems are made up of elements (people, items, money, etc) along with rules and methods and the boundaries that contain the system.

Human  Systems are a special system that deal specifically with Human Dynamics.

Contingency thinking takes into account the ‘what if’ – or even the ‘That depends’.  With contigency thinking you look at the whole, and then analyse how the results will differ based on certain events or stimuli.

All in all, I am beginning to grasp the depth of Organization Behavior.  Some of the examples are really quite amazing – how people try new ways of managing a business, organizing the people and other systems to do things better.  And the whole human dynamic part is very interesting, as I see that as being a critical part of Organizational Behavior.

more to come on OB.