Archie Norman was thirty-seven years old when he took over as chief executive of a supermarket chain, Asda. Before joining Asda, Norman had no previous experience in the grocery business. He had attended Harvard Business School MBA and had worked for the McKinsey consulting firm. When he took over Asda, it was in the brink of collapse. Asda had lost sight of its core customers, their competitors were gaining market share and Asda was nearly in $2 billion in debt. Norman was able to turn this struggling company around by exhorting an adaptive leadership.
In the following paragraphs, I will analyze the five principles that leaders use to mobilize people to do adaptive work. I will share my own experience with a leader and how her leadership style helped me shape my own. Lastly, I will share my opinions about this course. Adaptive leadership helps leaders and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. Adaptive work is challenging because it requires that we relinquish some of our deeply held beliefs and learn new skills where old ones are insufficient (Heifetz & Laurie, 2003). Archie Norman recognized this challenge very early on.
He found demoralized employees with no clear direction of where the company was going. Asda lost track of its core customers, working class, and was targeting the wealthy consumer. Asda embarked on new disastrous business operations such as furniture and carpeting. It also did not help that management was spending lavishly on corporate jets and high style corporate offices. Norman knew that in order to turn the company around he had to revitalize the company by shattering its current culture. Adaptive leadership promotes five principles that need to work in conjunction with one another.
One principle is to identify the adaptive challenge. The first task in adaptation is to spot the challenge and identify its implication for the organization (Heifetz & Laurie, 2003). Archie was very honest with its employees about the severity of the company’s financial situation. He made it clear that this was a huge challenge and a bigger undertaking. A regional manager did not know the severity of the company’s financial difficulties and it then became clear to employees how close they were to the edge. Respect for conflict, starting at the top, allows people to learn from diverse perspective (Heifetz & Laurie, 2003).
He fired several managers and assembled a new top management. This new top management shared Archie’s vision of change. Effective leadership is more about what people do than who people are. Archie wanted change, but he also knew that he needed to gain the trust of employees and stockholders. Archie visited stores, talked to employees, and took notes. He also gave a three-year profitability plan to the stockholders. He was honest about the sacrifices that the company needed to make in order to achieve these goals. A key leadership task is to show people a better way of operating. This is a way to regulate distress.
Archie enacted the Asda Way of Working. It was a way to revamp the physical overhaul of the stores and change the company culture. Archie could not commit to change while carrying the existing culture. He needed to shatter it and rebuild it from the ground up. The Asda Way of Working was based on a new company values that focused on equality, sale, service, value, cost and improvement. Managers who could not adopt this vision were not eligible to receive funds to revamp their stores. Maintain disciplined attention is a way to bring diverse values, beliefs, and behaviours to their work.
No one learns anything new without encountering a different point of view (Heifetz & Laurie, 2003). As I mentioned before, Archie replaced four of his five direct reports. None of the new hires had any retail experience. He also hired the McKinsey consulting organization to help him and his team with a new strategic position. By assembling these teams, they arrived to a new strategy statement “We will supply the weekly shopping needs of ordinary working families. ” Here they were people who had no real experience in the grocery business and still be able to come up with a vision and a strategy.
This is what the principle maintain disciplined attention is all about: to be innovative, to try new things, to challenge yourself and the organization in order to create the best possible solution. When Archie formed the Asda Way of Working, its main goal was to give a greater autonomy to store management in making operational decisions. He wanted store managers to have a responsibility of their stores. This allowed empowerment and responsiveness. This reflects the fourth principle in adaptive leadership; give the work back to people. He changed everyone’s job title and new duties.
No one was doing the same work as before and this allowed for a fresh start. He removed all the different hierarchical distinctions and expanded on a cross-functional solution to organizational problems. Archie wanted everyone in the company to feel that they were in this journey together. Asda new statement of values said that everyone is here to help improve the business everyday in every way. That’s the one job description that really matters. The last principle is to protect leadership below. Asda statement of values reflects this principle. It talks about equality. Our staff are our colleagues and our colleagues are our staff.
We cannot deliver better sales and better service without our staff. They demand respect. Lower management was as important as top management. One cannot function without the other. When Archie began working for Asda, no one listened to each other. Operations people did not talk to the trading people or the marketing people. It seemed that everyone had their own agenda or way of doing things. There was too much hierarchy, lack of communication and lack of mutual respect. By promoting equality, Archie reinstated unity. The idea that everyone is important and everyone can contribute to the success of Asda.
Bob Koski, Archie Norman, and Toni Hsieh had one thing in common, provide good working conditions, promote growth, responsibility and lead from within. Bob Koski was a visionary and I feel that he laid the groundwork for companies like Zappos and Asda. Bob Koski’s leadership style enforced equality among its employees and encouraged excellent products and services to consumers. Toni and Archie shared the same trait. Of course, we have Toni who runs an unconventional culture, but he devotes his efforts to promoting happiness to employees and consumers by providing the best service possible.
We have Archie, who does not promote happiness, but promotes equality among employees and promotes great service to consumers. Another trait in common, they all had a vision. Each one of them knew the kind of culture they wanted to have in their organizations. They did not fail because their vision was clear and hired people who shared the same vision. Lastly, the form of influence of Architect 8 from Twelve Angry Men was very similar to that of Bob Koski, Archie Norman and Toni Hsieh. Reason was a common denominator among them.
Their logics and rational thinking were never out of touch with the reality of their companies. Archie was honest about the financial situation of Asda and asked for everyone to cooperate and adapt the Asda Way of Working. We have Toni Hsieh who was honest about the limitations of the current company before the takeover of Amazon. He made his employees aware that if Zappos continued to expand, it needed the help resources of Amazon. Just like Architect 8, these managers exude confidence and their people
Southern Manifesto (Declaration of Constitutional Principles).
Southern Manifesto (Declaration of Constitutional Principles)..
Description The Southern Manifesto (officially known as the Declaration of Constitutional Principles) was a document written in 1956 in direct response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision in the Supreme Court to order the desegregation of public schools. It argues that this decision was unconstitutional and was an example of the abuse of judicial power. It was signed by 101 members of Congress from Southern states. This infamous document began the push for Massive Resistance to desegregation. Read the document below. To expand the selection, click on the “+” on the right. Take your time with this source and read it carefully to be sure you understand it. The Southern Manifesto + Read the document provided above. Write a 600-word essay that addresses the following prompt: Describe the main arguments of the Southern Manifesto. What were their stated reasons for opposing the decision, and what were their other motivations? Using recent news articles, describe how the ideas of this document are still a part of American politics today. You may use your course materials as you research this topic in addition to the outside research you will need to do to find a current event. Be sure to consider the historical and philosophical context of all documents. (Read your current events with an eye toward possible bias.) Your paper should be formatted using proper MLA citation style and typed in a Microsoft Word document using 12-pt Times New Roman and double-spaced. All sources should be referenced using proper MLA format. Your paper should have a clear structure. Write an introductory paragraph with a strong thesis statement, one or two body paragraphs defending your thesis using examples and evidence, and a concluding paragraph that restates and summarizes your major points. Proofread your paragraph carefully, making sure you have followed the standard rules for grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization.
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