Leadership Styles at Blue Sky
The new CEO has proved his willingness to adopt a visionary, collaborative and transformational approach in his efforts to restore the competitiveness of Blue Sky. Unlike in the era of Max Blue when all decisions were made by him since he believed that as the owner, he had the final say on the actions to be taken, Willis has his focus on the need to involve everyone in decision making including the regional directors who were previously denied the opportunity to take part in the executive meetings. Hubres seems to be a visionary leader too considering the fact that she comes up with the idea of strategic planning at Blue Sky as a way of making the organization realize the need to expand its products lines and improve its ability to meet the needs of more clients. Embracing the idea of transforming the organization and creating an organizational change tailored towards restoring the profitability of the organization and positioning it for long term growth and stability is necessary. However, while Willis and Hubres could be focused on utilizing effective changes in leadership styles, the Vice Presidents are reluctant with the changes being proposed in what is seen as a way of maintaining their micromanagement of their divisions. Such attitudes prove the laxity in collaborating and lack of visionary leadership which then makes the leaders fail to adhere to the qualities that make a good leader. The implication of poor leadership is that the firm is unlikely to move forward since while others are more than willing to embrace change, those in the top management are among the people who are derailing the change process. The resistance to change however, is brought about by the fact that there are personal limitations such everyone would want things to be done according to their own views with little consultation being involved in decision making. The end result is that with the personal conflicts and the fact that there is limited technical knowhow in most of the directors implies that it is unlikely that a solution will be reached soon. The first step is to ensure that the directors and VPs identify the need to collaborate and have a transformational approach devoid of fulfillment of personal interests.
Approaches to motivate currently and in the future
The fact that there is low performance in the regional offices could be attributed to poor motivation for regional directors who are not involved in the executive meetings. The new CEO needs to realize that the regional directors play a crucial role in identifying gaps in the performance of the business and discussing such issues during the executive meetings. Empowerment is a key motivational concept the management could rely on to enhance performance in the regional centers and ensue that everyone identifies the need to work towards restoring the competitive position of Blue Sky. The fact that most employees rely on the orders from above indicates the lack of autonomy in the organization. While it is important for employees to act according to the orders of their superior, it is also imperative that they are allowed the chance to exercise their own authority as a way of enabling employees to overcome the feeling of powerlessness. It is right to say that the organization seems to have made a step from the previous regime where Max Blue believed that as the owner of the company, he had the final say on the decisions taken by the firm. However, such character is still evident in most of the top managers including James who believes that because he is a friend to Max and a co-founder of the organization, his decisions cannot be objected by other members in the organization. However, it is through empowering everyone that the atmosphere at Blue Sky will be based on encouragement, self-efficiency and improvement of skills including technical skills that are lacking in most of the directors.
The organization will have to utilize the goal setting theory in their operations as most of the employees seem to have lost track on the milestones the company has to achieve. The older employees who are supposed to provide the necessary guidance to younger employees are the ones opposing changes at the organization. With their risk averse attitude on new initiatives, it is practical that they be involved in transforming their behavior to have clear goals and work towards improving their performance and encouraging the younger employees to work hard towards achieving goals identified. Cultural change at Blue Sky needs to be tailored towards creating a challenging atmosphere where employees realize the reason behind Hubres’ idea for expansion of the product lines and client base as a way of making the organization cope with structural changes in the industry. The SMART approach will have to be utilized as a way of letting employees identify the need for Specific, Measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals. It is through goals setting and making everyone subscribe to the goals identified that the organization will avoid issues such as corruption and coding errors that lower the reputation of Blue Sky thereby damaging relationship between the company and its clients.
The current nature of strategic planning and decision making at Blue Sky
The strategic planning concept is yet to change at Blue Sky because of the different ideologies and personal differences that are evident among some of the senior staff. Limited knowledge on the industry forces have also limited the effectiveness of strategic planning with incidents such as disagreement between Hubres and Coats proving that there is still much to be done. Most of the ideas suggested by Hubres face resistance including the suggestion to expand the HR line to other clients that was objected by Garrison arguing that such measures would only damaging relations between Blue Sky and Best Dollar.
While Susy is vocal on the need to cope with structural changes in the industry, other staff members such as Coats are of the idea that to reduce expenses, it is only appropriate that some employees be laid off. Susy understands that fact that the failure in the organization is brought about by limited knowledge on the forces in the industry explained by Porter’s five forces model and SWOT matrix. The fact that the industry is characterized by intense rivalry, high substitutability, high barraging power of buyers and suppliers create the need for a collective approach to understanding how the organization could strategically position itself to cope with such elements. Factors such as intense completion would require that the company be able to expand its market share and improve on its product lines as suggested by Susy. The organization also has to realize that there are limitations in its SWOT matrix with weakness and threats overweighing the strengths and opportunities. The primary focus would be to therefore look into aspects such as creating a research and development division and shift from situation where managers such as Jeff Roberts are forced to make their own efforts in setting up small R&D in their division. However, it is only through avoiding superiority battles and understanding the technicalities in the industry that the strategic planning initiatives at Blue Sky will improve.
Design and control problems at Blue Sky need to be solved through various initiatives that would include; change management, training and development and improving the organizational culture. Training and development programs are key in helping everyone understand the idea that Susy is trying to bring across that besides the events taking place at the organization, it is important that they understand the structural transformations in the industry. Such measures are aimed at equipping employees with knowledge on industry forces and how they face the operations at the firm thereby preparing workers to be able to improve decision making based on events in the industry. A culture change at Blue Sky is desired to ensure that employees identify the need to work in teams and improve interpersonal relationships that have limited agreements on suggestions made by managers such as Susy. Personal interests seem to have overtaken organizational interests such that the VPs are focused on carrying out decisions according to their own personal views. With a culture change however, it is likely that everyone would work towards having a conscious view on what is best for the company and work towards improving the competitiveness of the company. The overall idea passed across is that Blue Sky needs to undertake change management programs in its headquarters and the regional centers to ensure that a conductive atmosphere is availed for everyone to thrive and enhance success of the organization.
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