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Posts Tagged ‘Leader’

The Rise of the Remote Workforce

remote-workforce-360x260We live in an emerging globalized mobile world of dispersed cloud workers. More than ever we see individuals and organizations trading in their traditional offices to work from home, coffee houses and just about anywhere in the world in which they can connect to the Internet. Leading the 21st century dispersed workforce brings its own challenges and requires new attitudes, approaches, and technologies. It requires leadership that is willing to step out of the comfort of the corner office and explore rich new possibilities of workforce engagement. It requires a higher degree of understanding communication, culture, collaboration, and empowerment.

“We live in a time of unprecedented globalism. Businesses, people, and economies are tied together in ways we could not have imagined 40 years ago. Organizations must now compete within a global landscape where clients and even the workforce are culturally diverse and geographically dispersed. Organizations are networked and interlaced around the globe through the Internet and mobile technologies. Crossing and operating within cultural boundaries must­­­ become a skill of the leaders and followers of the future. Organizations of the future must become culturally literate if they are to successfully compete under these emerging paradigms.” – Philip A Foster, The Open Organization, 2014

As we witness the emergence of a globalized mobile world of dispersed cloud workers, more than ever we see individuals and organizations trading in the traditional offices for the coffee house office or what I like to call the Coffice. A cloud based workforce is nothing more than a distributed or remote employee who is not bound by geography, time zone, or national boundaries. These employees are connected to colleagues via technology and therefore are able to work more flexibly via the internet.

Leader flexibility is the key to creating an atmosphere where each employee can become more excited about where they work and more importantly what they are working on. As the world becomes more globalized, the need for a flexible cloud optimized workforce is more evident. With a remote workforce comes the need to re-imagine and retool leadership for the remote worker. What is certain is that the way we approach and engage leaders and followers is quickly changing. There are challenges ahead as we assimilate into the new realities of a distributed cloud based workforce. Leading the charge for change is and will continue to be our Millennials. By the year 2025, it is estimated that nearly 75% of all work will be held by this generation. What is certain – change will happen whether we embrace it or not. As the 21st century organization continues to seek greater flexibility, organizational leadership must also evolve to the pressures and realities of a globalized economy.

While traditional leadership relies on formality, power, and proximity to followers; the Organization of the 21st century is emerging as a nontraditional structure in which authority is not vested in positions and human capital is dispersed geographically. Organizations will begin to abandon traditional leadership pedagogue for leaderless, self-led, and an empowered autonomous workforce. As hierarchies begin to collapse, leaders must learn to adapt to new realities and what it means to lead a more culturally diverse dispersed workforce from a distance.

As our reality shifts, leaders must learn how to communicate more effectively; engage human capital differently; embrace cultural nuances with diplomatic precision; and empower employees. The shift toward a dispersed workforce requires confidence and an abandonment of old models of employee engagement. The new way of working is not for everyone.  These changes will require discernment in the on-boarding process. Because Communication is so different in the dispersed setting, employees must leave ego behind and walk with assurance that they questions are important enough to ask.

Things are shifting – organizations are changing. Engagement of employees will change. We can either prepare for the inevitable or bury our heads in the depths of a 19th century hierarchical structure. In the end, you can change or you can become irrelevant. The choice is up to you.

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 Dr. Philip A. Foster is considered a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization and Strategic Leadership. He is a prolific writer, International Lecturer and Best Selling Author of “The Open Organization” – now available through Ashgate Publishing. Philip is certified in both Leadership and coaching. He is the Founder and CEO of Maximum Change Consulting, serving clients from around the world. He holds a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership with emphasis in Strategic Foresight and a Master of Art in Organizational Leadership, both from Regent University, Virginia.

Twitter: @maximumchange, E-mail: philip@maximumchange.com.

Book Review: Under New Management

Under New Management Book CoverI have been saying for some time now that the way we do business is broken. I guess I should say that our models for achieving success are no longer sustainable. In fact, we have outgrown our one-size-fits-all approach to business process, leadership, and structure.  Something has to give…. and it has.

In his new book, Under New Management, Author David Burkus peels back our stale expectations of leading and managing and opens our eyes to new and innovative approaches to business. To the classically trained leader, his concepts can be downright provocative and will challenge the very core of their beliefs. Some mind bending examples include outlawing email, paying people to quit, ditching performance appraisals, firing the managers, and writing org charts in pencil. The managerial curmudgeon might scoff at these ideas as fantasy and think they will never work.

Burkus anticipates these arguments and takes the additional steps needed to move the reader from ethereal to relative by offering examples of organizations who are successfully embracing these very ideas. While many of these new concepts may be born out of the technology industry, Burkus offers examples outside of the tech field. Real case studies from Volkswagen, Wegmans Food Markets, Shake Shack, Starbucks and Whole Foods.

Gone are the days of “this is not how we do things around here” and I couldn’t be happier. The 21st Century will require new ways of thinking and new approaches. These approaches may very well go beyond the ideas of outlawing email and losing the standard vacation policies. We don’t have to agree with everything in the book – but I think Burkus invites us into something deeper. He invites us to free ourselves to pave the way and come up with new and creative ideas that feed the human spirit and engage human happiness and productivity in the process. Under New Management should be one of the keys that release us from the old ways of thinking and finally give us permission to break the rules.

I strongly recommend that every leader read this book and then imagine the possibilities when we begin to “redesign the factory” and develop meaningful change in our own companies. Under New Management is Available now on Amazon http://tiny.cc/fvz29x. You can reach David through his website at http://davidburkus.com/.

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Dr. Philip A. Foster is considered a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization and Strategic Leadership. He is a prolific writer, International Lecturer and Best Selling Author of “The Open Organization” – now available through Ashgate Publishing. Philip is certified in both Leadership and coaching. He is the Founder and CEO of Maximum Change Leadership and Business Consulting, serving clients from around the world. He is a Doctor of Strategic Leadership with emphasis in Strategic Foresight and holds a Master of Art in Organizational Leadership, both from Regent University, Virginia. Twitter: @maximumchange, E-mail: philip@maximumchange.com.

Interpreting culture and its impact on conflict resolution

To interpret the culture and its impact on conflict we must begin to understand inquisitiveness is at the core of effective global leadership (Black, Morrison, & Gregersen, 1999, p 27). To best bridge the gap of conflict it becomes important to consider one’s own cultural literacy. We must start with our own core values and beliefs and then be able to clearly communicate them to our followers (Rosen, 2000, p191). Yet, understanding one’s own core values is only the start. We must understand the culture from which we operate. Literature argues that Westerners will often misinterpret cultural responses specifically in the area of cultural indirectness. Such indirectness, such as found in high-context polychronic cultures, is seen as “(1) lack of courage to confront the person, (2) unwillingness to deal with the issue, (3) lack of communication to solve the problem or (4) refusal to take responsibility for one’s actions” (Elmer, 1993, p 53).

Literature argues that personal transformation is needed in doing business across cultures (McCall & Hollenbeck, 2002, p 215). Stanford (2009) argues transformation begins with leaders who are able to manage their mindset as it relates to: themselves (the reflective mindset); organizations (the analytical mindset); context (the worldly mindset); relationships (the collaborative mindset); change (the action mindset) (p 225).

Conflicts are inevitable. Understanding conflicts are most likely to occur when a person or a group feels that their social, psychological, emotional, physical, or other space is threatened (Stanford, 2009, p 235). We must transcend our own cultural defaults and look beyond the horizon to other ways of thinking to begin to understand cultural conflicts. The application of adaptation and an ability to separate the person from the problem (Lanier, 2012) is essential to a leaders overall effectiveness in cross-cultural communication and conflict resolution.

References

Black, J. Stewart, Morrison, Allen J., and Gregersen, Hal B. (1999). Global Explorers. New York, NY: Routledge

Rosen Robert (2000). Global Literacies. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster

McCall, Morgan W. and Hollenbeck, George P. (2002). Developing Global Executives. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Stanford, Naomi (2009). Guide to Organisation Design. London, England: Profile Books, Ltd.

Lanier, John (2012). Retrieved from his posting: Blackboard Dialogues for Doctorate in Strategic Leadership, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

I am a Global Leader…Mi fiel amigo y socio en los negocios [My loyal friend and business associate]

Geography, language, customs, values, traditions, laws, ethics, and national psychology are all considerations to whether someone is a global leader. Based on the reading, I would feel comfortable considering myself a global leader in context of the Caribbean and Latin America. With regard to other countries I would consider myself a global explorer as defined in Black, Morrison, and Gregersen (1999) Global Explorer as someone who is open to new experiences and understands that they don’t know what they don’t know (p. 54).

 

Having grown up in a predominantly Hispanic community in southern Florida, I have an understanding of many customs, values, traditions and language of the Latin community. I consider Black, et.al, (1999) encouragement to create an emotional connection with the people through sincere interests and skillful listening (p 121). This is done through an understanding of their psychology as it relates to views on time and relationships (Rosen, 2000, p 45). For example, Time is more fluid in the Latin culture with punctuality more forgiving than their American counterparts. They are also keen on loyalty in their relationships of friends and family.

 

My experience with Latin culture begins and ends with food. Many important meetings I’ve attended have revolved around Cuban Coffee and other Latin Cuisine. Once trust is secured, my Latin colleagues have been the most loyal friends and business partners I have ever had. In my experience It has always been about building trust that creates a lasting loyalty.

 

References:

Black, J.S., Morrison, A.J. and Gregersen, H.B. (1999). Global Explorers. The Next Generation of Leaders. New York, NY: Routledge.

Rosen, Robert (2000). Global Literacies. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

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Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667