It can be difficult for a business to improve how it operates from inside the organization. Sometimes, an outside perspective is needed. The significant discount retail store you work for wants to improve its in-store restaurant management team.
Companies like Target and Walmart often work with outside consultants-people who are not employees of the company but who are hired on a contract basis to help with a specific project. As a Leadership Consultant, you've been hired by a large discount retail company to help the company improve its leadership structure and approach to management.
What Is a Leadership Consultant?
A leadership consultant is a person called into a company, be it a large corporation or a small business, to evaluate how it operates and make recommendations for improvement. Leadership consultants are typically hired when a business is struggling and needs to make changes to remain profitable. Such consultants are often highly educated in the field of business and have experience in managerial roles.
Step 1: Organizational Structure
Take a look at the Organization Chart provided by the company.
Based on your knowledge of hierarchies, would you say that this team has a tall structure or flat structure?
The organization makes use of a tall organizational structure because management is broken down into several layers where the executive management is on top and other management levels come above employees.
Step 2: Human Resources
The company would like to improve the culture of its team and the quality of its work. Its leadership has provided you with a Process Chart detailing how it currently applies Human Resources best practices.
The step of human resource that is missing is training and development. The practice involves increasing the current skills of the employees in a bid to improve their future performance. Training and development helps to make competitive employees whose skills and abilities match the needs of the organization and make it more competitive.
What step of the Human Resources Cycle is missing? Explain why it is essential to include this part of the process.
Note: You should complete Steps 3 & 4 after reading the material in Week 9.
Step 3: Leadership Style
You have been asked to help improve the leadership style of the team leader to meet the team's performance goals. The team leader has given you a description of what is most comfortable in terms of leading others.
Identify this leader's style of leadership. Underline your selection:
The team leader uses a coercive leadership style. He is autocratic because he has presented a description of the terms he feels are effective for leading others without involving them nor consulting. The drawbacks of being a coercive leader is that it eliminates innovation as everything takes place as directed by the leader and it may lead to employee retaliation causing the organization loss of talent.
Explain your reasoning and list two benefits and two drawbacks to the style of leadership you identified as it relates to the performance of the team.
Even when the leader is coercive, he should be able to evaluate all the probable choices and make a decision that supports innovation. Also, to avoid employee retaliation, the leader will need to use his authority wisely and only institute rewards and punishments when due.
Provide advice to the team leader on how to overcome the drawbacks of this leadership style.
Step 4: Real-World Application
Apply the thinking in Steps 1-3 as if you were a Leadership Consultant hired by the company where you work or for a previous employer.
Review the organization chart for your company. Based on your knowledge of hierarchies, would you say that your company's team has a tall structure or flat structure? How does this affect the way your team works? Explain your answer.
00Our organization has a tall structure. There are several management levels starting from the CEO. These management levels create a bureaucratic way of receiving information, responses and changes. With such a complicated management, changes take place slowly than they would do if it was otherwise. It would be efficient that the leadership style is a threat to the growth of the organization.
Consider the work conducted by the Human Resources team at your company. What steps of the Human Resources Cycle do they implement well? What stages of the Human Resources Cycle might be missing from your company or are not performed as well as they could be? What is the effect of this on you and your team? Explain your answer.
In my organization, the human resource department is effective in hiring. They often seem to hire the right people who are effective in the jobs they are offered. However, the organization has such a weak appraisal system. Appraisal processes seem to hurt even the employees who are performing and have been in the organizations for long as promotions seem to go to the wrong people.
Lastly, reflect on the leadership style of either yourself or your supervisor. What leadership style do you have, or what leadership style does your supervisor have? What are the benefits and drawbacks of this style for your team? What might you or your supervisor do to improve leadership? Explain your answer.
I use the transformational leadership style in my business engagements. The use of the approach helps me to identify needful changes and create a vision for which members are committed. The use of the style enables me to inspire members but I will need to find a better mechanism of inspiring other employees such that they do not feel as if they are coerced.
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