Taylor & Francis

All posts tagged Taylor & Francis

Measuring The Learning Experience

Published May 1, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Spitzer (2007) contends that performance measurement focuses on the following three fundamental components: (a) perception, (b) understanding, and (c) insight. The ability to measure these elements can have an extremely transforming impact on organizations in positive ways. Spitzer suggests one reason performance measurement is not always able to effectively deliver positive outcomes, is because they are rarely socialized successfully. In other words, the outcome must have a positive effective that becomes a part of the social fabric of the organization. When assessment tactics are used for the purposes of improvement rather than to make judgments, the authentic power of performance measurement is unveiled. Organizational transformation measurements can lead to improvements in strategic execution, better investment decisions, increased value creation and value capture from diverse assets (tangible and intangible), improved relationships (customers, personnel, suppliers, partners, distributors, and others), increased synergy and synchronicity of resources, increased forecasting accuracy, staff that is motivated to operate at higher performance levels, greater organizational learning, and so much more (Spitzer, 2007).

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Education involves important questions about the structure and function of knowledge, the ethical imperatives of such knowledge, and the purposes to which learning must adhere to. It is a process of individualization and socialization. Learning programs and systems can be effective but are strongly influenced by the environment (Roberts, 2012). Learning about new software at a seminar for instance, is a very different experience than learning about it from reading the manual, sitting near a fireplace, sipping a warm cup of coffee. I conduct business in a virtual environment for example. My services as an independent contractor involve creating new systems for clients who are located in other geographic regions. As a sole proprietor, forms of measurement at this time do not include appraisal systems, financial reviews, knowledge testing, skill assessments or company surveys to ascertain performance and competency gaps. This presents however, many other learning opportunities for performance measurement as we examine our working relationship to determine what systems and strategies are effective and which ones are not as efficient. Initially, we implemented techniques from past experiences and methodologies that were effective, expanding on them to incorporate technological advances. The new methods also help monitor and act as performance measurement tools. For example, one learning measurement system we employ assesses client feedback and activity. Reports are created from spreadsheets that contain client information, identifies their industry classification (broker, loan officer, real estate agent, or private lender), dates with details of activity, the type of communication utilized (email, phone, text or snail mail), whether gifts were included as part of a reach out and connect campaign, and other relevant information. These systems provide clear records with detailed accounts of the individual that can help us identify competency gaps and other components that may reveal strengths and weaknesses.

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Spitzer believes measurement is a necessary condition for success and requires action. In other words, a high blood sugar reading is not useful if it is ignored. What makes measurement so significant is the capacity to instigate informed action that provides an opportunity for people to engage in more effective behavior (Spitzer, 2007). I recommend the implementation of systems that help organize information to keep track of client and personnel activity because in my experience, they can help monitor behavior and progress, efficiently and consistently. This strategy can provide data that will assist in creating a positive experience. In an intensely competitive marketplace, businesses today are required to operate outstandingly, effectively and reliably. Organizational leaders that comprehend this notion and use performance measurement to navigate strategically with systems and processes experience a tremendous competitive advantage and are likely to achieve high performance levels that are conducive to repeat business.

References:References:

Roberts, J. (2012). Beyond learning by doing: Theoretical currents in experiential education. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Spitzer, D. R. (2007). Transforming performance measurement: Rethinking the way we measure and drive organizational success. New York, NY: AMACOM Books.

The Management of Change

Published April 26, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Change is an accepted reality in the survival of organizations and plays a significant role in the longevity of a company. It requires organizations to incorporate new practices.  Simply put, change means doing things differently. Change management leaders are looking to achieve goals and objectives from the implementation of strategic planning.  In designing the change process, executives must connect their objectives with the experiences of the past that led to the necessity of change.  In addition, leaders must tune in and engage in active listening to personnel in order to reconstruct and comprehend from the input, the way they perform, and use their intellect to assist in the management of change. Employees in this instance become involved as peers and confidantes who can challenge, alter, or replace the assumptions and goals of upper management (Neilissen & Martine van Selm, 2008). In other words, staff members become co-producers in the communication process that leads to the designated change.  This research examines various elements that organizations procure in the planning and execution of change and the methods they implement to help them achieve their goals.

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Change Mechanisms

Yarberry (2007) suggests that at the core of change management, information and general control is required to support business functions. He postulates that while change control is conceptually simple, the mechanisms implemented and observed require attention to detail as well as support. His research concludes that change management cycles must address the following questions: What is the size and significance of the change? Who is requesting the change? Is the end goal possible to achieve? Is there urgency? What are the obstacles? How many people will be required to complete the project?  Full change management is a bureaucratic experience and a complicated process. If the tasks are coalesced and the participants meet regularly, it can be made to work efficiently. Creating templates, workflow plans, and good communication will help make the process more effective (Yarberry, 2007).

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Stanley’s (2007) research extrapolates that management development and organizational change are deeply connected. His studies suggest that management development is often focused on technical and professional skills rather than the more complicated contexts of change which include the structural, cultural, political, emotional, and psychological influences involved in change. The regularity and intensity of change that most organizations are subject to highlights the importance of effective management development. Some of the greatest challenges an enterprise faces are from ineffective leadership and a lack of effective organizational change. This includes the recruitment of individuals, retaining (and most important) the development of strong managers, and creating a successful management team (Stanley, 2007).

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Change Programs

Efficient programs of change must be highly effective at communication. Merrell’s (2012) research suggests that there are six components that influence the success of change. The ability to: (1) lead, (2) communicate, (3) learn (4) measure, (5) involve, and (6) sustain the organization during and after the process.  To elaborate on these components further, leaders must first, for example, present a clear vision with intents and purposes to inspire confidence in the workplace.  In addition, the best decisions occur when executives are better informed. This is achieved by involving the personnel who are affected by the change with their input and feedback.  Good communication fosters the learning process and helps to motivate employees. Next, staffers must engage in the learning process to acquire knowledge and the necessary skills needed to make adaptations.  In addition, establishing a system that incorporates the use of metrics can help define and support improvement with clear measurable goals.  Some of these goals include staying on target and within budget. Leaders can then analyze the process and progress of the change program. The finish line, however, does not occur upon completion of the change management project.  In fact, the change must endure.  This is accomplished by reviewing the entire system, processes, policies, technology, and structures necessary that support and sustain the organization in the post-change world (Merrell, 2012). Organizations that conceive and create an effective plan and execute change well are most likely the institutions that will outperform their peers.

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Conclusion

The role of change is the key to the survival of any organization. Research conducted by Hammoud (2008) purports that managers can achieve long-term business goals and objectives through carefully constructed strategies. Empirical evidence suggests that high failure rate is due to a leader’s inability to incorporate projects in alignment with established business strategies. Technology, focus on customer service, and a new global marketplace are some of the driving forces that lead organizations to embark on change. These significant elements affect the fluctuation of customer needs, buying patterns, markets, and channels (Hammoud, 2008). Organizations that develop an efficient action management plan and execute change successfully, by doing so on time and within budget, engaging in effective communication that fosters understanding, and achieving stated goals, will most certainly produce an environment that is conducive to maintaining success and longevity.

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References

Hammoud, M. S. (2008). Assessing project success: Comparing integrated change management and change management. Ann Arbor, MI, USA: ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304835611?accountid=32521

Merrell, P. (2012, Summer). Effective change management: The simple truth. Management Services. Enfield, UK: Institute of Management Services. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1027234230?accountid=32521

Neilissen, P., & Martine van Selm. (2008). Surviving organizational chage; how management communication helps balance mixed feelings. Bradford, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved April 10, 2013

Stanley, C. (2007). Managing change through management development: An industry case study. The journal of management development. Bradford, UK. Retrieved April 10, 2013

Yarberry, W. (2007, Mar/April). Effective change management: Ensuring alighment of IT and business functions. New York , UK: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/229584201?accountid=32521