Mental Model/ Mindsets and their Impact on Employees
Mental models influence the decision-making abilities and performance at workplaces. The common type of mental mindset is the preconceived perception a worker develops through experiences. The effect that the mental models have on employees and human resource managers is preventing the achievement of their full potential. The perceptions filter out most presented observations as threats (Kohl, 2006). If a worker recognizes such a limited mindset, they can work toward viewing issues from logical and unbiased viewpoints. Some mindsets work against strategic changes in companies and proposed projects. As such, it is important that the managers of the company breakdown such mindsets for the adoption of the proposed changes by all workers. When it is proposed that AAA transportation takes on transporting non-perishable goods, Vernon and Bud present mental mindsets that are resistant to the new changes. Vernon insists on the company expanding in its core business area while Bud feels that the company is not strong enough for the market competition. Their mindsets make the adoption of the proposal difficult. As such, the managers in AAA transportation should adopt methods of changing the two mental models considering that the two employees are valuable and to some extent indispensable due to their work experience.
Steps that Change Mental Models/ Mindsets
There are steps that are taken when changing the mental mindsets of people resistant to change. Firstly, the managers should help the resistant employees understand the limits and powers of mental models. Changing a person’s mindset is not a one day process. It takes time for a person to understand the technicalities of the surrounding world. The two employees, resisting change at AAA transportation- Bud and Vernon, are comfortable with the company’s status quo. As such, they do not perceive the new opportunities. Despite the company not being as competitive as other companies handling non-perishable goods, the opportunity is promising and could be lucrative benefiting shareholders with time.
Secondly, the mental model should be tested against a dynamic environment. As such, the resistant employees understand how the environment presents changes that are not easily identifiable. Once AAA Transportation acquires the competing business, its operation scope will increase. Bud does not understand this. He does not understand the impact of the acquisition and, therefore, opposes any changes to the existing business model. However, he could challenge his mindset by putting it to test the proposed changes to see the model that benefits the company most.
The third step in overcoming the mental mindsets is to overcome the change inhibitors. There are many structures in place that lead to Bud and Vernon to come up with their various resistances. Established rewards systems, for instance, could prevent the two employees from adopting the changes that could affect their compensation structures. As such, the managers should assure the employees with resistive mindsets that the changes are beneficial to all the stakeholders.
Finally, once the resistive employees change their mindsets, the managers should act quickly to engage the changed perceptions. Vernon and Bud should, therefore, be engaged to actively participate in the changes and their efforts rewarded. As such, their outlook toward the business model allows them to thrive and adopt the environmental changes.
Forces Influencing Mental Models/ Mindsets
There are five forces that have an influence on mental models/ mindsets. They include training, rewards, education, influence and personal experience. Each of the forces can change the mindset of an employee. As such, employing all of them in a combined fashion would result in a great effect. Ideally, starting with education would inform people of the expected benefits from the changes. Then, training and influence can be applied to provide the necessary tools for effective changes. Rewards systems will then motivate the resistive individuals to adopt the changes for their benefits. Finally, use of personal experience influences the mental mindsets most effectively. Personal experience with an activity inclines the individuals to developing stronger mindsets. The company adopting the change should ensure that the employees participate in activities that lead to positive personal experiences (Magzan, 2012). Vernon and Bud are yet to receive sufficient influence for a change in their mindsets. The two receiving the initial education on the benefits of the changes is not sufficient. Training, as well as influence, is required to reinforce the basic education on the benefits of transporting non-perishable goods. Finally, there should be appropriate restructuring of their compensation to suit their performance. With motivation from the compensation, the two workers work toward improving the company’s transportation of non-perishable goods and, as a result, acquire personal experiences to reinforce the changed mindsets.
Examples of Mental Models Affecting Employees
Mental models are unidentified with unintentional outcomes of adopting changes. There are two levels of mental models. Organizational mental models represent what companies stand for as well as their methods of accomplishing goals. An organization’s mental model embodies an organization’s rewards systems, organization cultures, job descriptions and patterns of communication. The organization mental model also appears in the organization’s relationship with the outside world. The existing categories of the organization function models include functional, dysfunctional, incomplete as well as wrong organizational mental models. Functional organization mental models are accurate in helping the organizations effectively. Dysfunctional organization mental models produce unintentional negative consequences. Incomplete organization mental models have correct information though lack some of the details. Wrong organizational mental models are totally wrong for they present only one way of managing a business. Finally, personal mental models are found in individuals’ responses to the statements that arise from the employees. In most cases, they are founded on the managing heads.
Commonly Used Mental Models
There are many mental models that are in workplaces that inhibit change. However, it is important to be open minded to all the emerging trends. For instance, technology improved at a rapid rate disrupting already established industries. As such, it is important that all the businesses in the world today adapt to such trends that suit consumer needs. Otherwise, most companies go bankrupt. Kodak cameras, for instance, recorded a decrease in prosperity because of failing to invest in the evolving digital technology (Johnson, 2008). Their competitors in the camera industry recognized the opportunity and capitalized on it; overtaking the market. As such, it is vital to take advantage of all changes that contribute toward innovation. Mental mindsets play important roles in careers and also in adapting changes that provide significant merits. Vernon and Bud present a case where talented employees are inhibited by their mindsets. As such, taking up the steps that change mental models ensure that all employees, regardless of what mindset prevents them from adopting change, understand the benefits of innovative change to their individual lives as well as the company. In summary, recognition of mental mindsets and models as well as implementing the strategies of change improves the performance of businesses.
Johnson, H. H. (2008). Mental models and transformative learning: The key to leadership development? Human Resource Development Quarterly, 19(1), 85-89.
Kohl, J. (2006). Mental Models That Block Strategic Plan Implementation. Journal on Knowledge, Learning and Change, 7(1), 30-42. Retrieved from http://www.jonkohl.com/publications/n-z/sol-plans.pdf
Magzan, M. (2012). Mental Models for Leadership Effectiveness: Building Future Different Than the Past. Journal of Engineering Management and Competitiveness, 2(2), 57-63. Retrieved from http://www.tfzr.rs/jemc/files/Vol2No2/V2N22012-03.pdf