Clarity Management Consulting

Posts Tagged ‘teams’


Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Many organizations are interested in improving collaboration across business units and functional groups, as well as with external partners. To do this requires a culture that is effective and entrepreneurial in nature. Clarity has defined a model for effecting this kind of cultural change. This model consists of five areas that require attention: Training, Networking Technology and Events, Tools and Templates, Policy, and Metrics. These areas are described below.


Area Description

Employees will benefit from participating in training programs that reinforce critical success factors and provide for skills development in collaboration.
Networking Technology and Events

Existing technology offers a number of tools that are designed to enable the communication and knowledge sharing/transfer that are critical to successful collaboration. There are also industry best practices such as internal networking events that foster collaboration as well.
Tools and Templates These may consist of process maps, articles, assessment tools, leadership aids, templates, and/or other tools that can be used in developing a collaborative approach to a given project or program.

Management policies such as performance appraisals, intellectual property guidelines, and organizational boundaries affect the way teams work together within an organization and with other companies. Some policies will need to be modified, added, or deleted to enable greater collaboration.

Organizations that have been successful in developing a collaborative culture cite the fact that they incorporate measures in their performance appraisals to ensure collaborative behavior.

Comments on Management Styles

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

Changes in Management Styles

Management styles have evolved to meet the challenges of a tumultuous business climate.  The global environment has been in flux for well over five years.  The financial meltdown of the last three years exacerbated this.  The managers who have been effective during this period are those who were either adaptable already, or who learned to adapt as things changed more rapidly.  In turn, they helped their teams become flexible as well.

The Role of A Manager

Managers must realize that they play multiple roles.  Managers are part of the team and as such, they have to know when to play a collaborative role.  They also serve as coaches when needed.  On the other hand, they must communicate the overall strategic direction, as well as defining boundaries and required outcomes.  Teams are rendered ineffective when a manager is not proficient in juggling these roles or does not recognize what is needed in a given situation.

How to Identify the Impact of Your Management Style

You need to find out how you are affecting your team members, and the only way to do that is to ask.  360-degree feedback is indispensable.  The approach can vary.  I recommend that managers do things to cultivate relationships with direct reports so that healthy communication becomes the norm.  This will help ensure that feedback comes naturally rather than just being part of a formal discussion.

Ways to Change Your Management Style

Build a level of trust with a few key direct reports who can serve as sounding boards.  These people will benefit the most from any improvements in your behavior.  Conversely, they will suffer the most if you do not change.  Why not get their input on how to change?  A simple approach would be to ask a team member to observe various behaviors and report the observations, with some thoughts on how to be more effective.  This will provide some critical and, perhaps, surprising insights.

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #5: Collaboration, confidence, and persuasion (7/16/2010)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #5: Collaboration, confidence, and persuasion (7/16/2010)

There are plenty of situations in which Hogan must convince his team of the feasibility of a given assignment. His method is to demonstrate confidence in the crew’s ability to pull off even the most challenging tasks. He prefers persuasion, not coercion.

This is particularly interesting, given the fact that Hogan is the senior officer in a time of war and could easily order the men to carry out his plans. His approach clears the way for him to get buy-in on a solution without beating his team into submission. In addition, he assumes the lead role in a given task when the level of risk calls for it.

This collaborative method is usually the more attractive and more sustainable means of mobilizing an organization, because the members become intrinsically motivated. Rather than being compelled by the rank of the person in charge, they are inspired by the mission and the significance of their role in achieving it.

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #4: Confident yet transparent (7/16/2010)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #4: Confident yet transparent (7/16/2010)

Confidence is a hallmark of Hogan’s leadership.  He believes his team can pull off anything even when no one else does.  He is neither cocky nor arrogant, however, and is able to identify the risks involved.

Sometimes Hogan’s confidence is tempered by cautious optimism, especially when the only choice is to take a high-risk course of action that seemingly has no chance of succeeding.  He is completely transparent in these situations and does not hesitate to share his concerns or misgivings. This is when he is at his best. He is able to lead in the midst of his own fears, which bolsters the commitment and confidence of those around him.

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #3: Leaders take the blame, but they give the credit (7/14/2010)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

As a reminder, this week’s blog posts cover the nuggets of leadership wisdom mined from the sixties hit TV show Hogan’s Heroes. Here’s what we’re looking at today. Enjoy!

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #3: Leaders take the blame, but they give the credit (7/14/2010)

It is interesting to note that Hogan takes the blame for failures, and he rarely takes credit for the successes. He gives credit to the team for every win, and gives significant praise to the lead on the assignment.

Hogan is also quick to acknowledge his mistakes and take responsibility when things don’t work out.  There are instances where he agonizes, but only briefly.  He never dwells on defeat.  Typically, the team discusses what went wrong, another scheme emerges from the ashes of failure, and they move forward with the new plan. Key point: move forward!

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #2: Strengths are valued (7/13/2010)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #2:  Strengths are valued

In every situation, bar none, Hogan utilized the aptitudes and strengths of each team member. No one’s talent went to waste. He knew how to make use of even the most mundane skills that other leaders might have overlooked.

Examples include Newkirk’s exceptional larceny talents (such as forgery and safe cracking), Le Beau’s culinary gift, Carter’s munitions genius, and Kinchloe’s technical prowess.  Shared skills were also used as the circumstances dictated.  For example, when the team needed an impersonation of an enemy officer, the team could call on Kinchloe, Carter, or Newkirk, depending on whether the scheme required an audio or visual impersonation.

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #1: Wacky ideas are welcome (7/12/2010)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

As promised, this week’s posts look at several key leadership lessons from one of my all-time favorite TV shows, Hogan’s Heroes.

Hogan’s Heroes Leadership Lesson #1: Wacky ideas are welcome

As a leader, Hogan recognizes the potential in the ideas of each team member, no matter how far out in left field they might seem.

This is classic brainstorming in which no idea is rejected out of hand.  Instead, each idea is listed, and eventually, the team’s creativity kicks in and the merits of an idea come to light.  A portion of an idea may be adopted, or multiple ideas may be combined to come up with an innovative solution.

Hogan demonstrates this leadership attribute almost flawlessly as he finds ideas in seemingly innocuous remarks. One great illustration of this is in the 1968 episode “War Takes a Holiday” (, in which the Heroes create the illusion of a truce in order to free several underground leaders.

Leadership Lessons from “Hogan’s Heroes” (7/12/2010)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Having grown up in the sixties, I tend to gravitate toward some of the television shows I enjoyed during that era. One of my favorite shows is Hogan’s Heroes. I am completely hooked. I even have all six seasons on DVD  :)

Besides being entertaining, the show offers some unique perspectives on leadership. What can you learn about leadership from a WWII sitcom? Follow this week’s posts as we look at several key lessons, and judge for yourself.