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If an organisation is looking to achieve its corporate goals, then addressing its leadership culture is perhaps the best place to start. This traditionally means starting at the top of the organisation with those who can most greatly influence and shape culture.
Increasing leadership effectiveness at both the corporate and individual level is that enduring, impactful leadership within corporations must start at the top and become part of an organisation's culture. The best leadership development initiatives at the individual level will not benefit the organisation long-term, if the organisation cannot provide the supporting organisational culture, including structures, process and systems necessary for individual leadership to develop within a corporation.
Effective leadership, at both the individual and corporate level, is the key to long-term organisational results in our ever-changing business landscape.
Developing a culture of innovation and productivity requires a leader with a vision to understand the market dynamics and to move people in the organisation to change. Once the vision is set, leaders have to join in to get the organisation where it needs to be.
Organisational culture is the critical foundation which shapes the way that the work of an organisation gets done; this is established through goals, plans, measures and rewards. Aligning organisational culture with strategy is a powerful means of gaining competitive advantage and leadership.
The senior executive team, has requested a report on the process carried out by the human resources in recruiting and selecting future leaders, who can create and lead the appropriate organisational culture together with the development and management of new products according to the organisation changing needs, all this to support the achievement of the organisation corporate goals.
Research has been devoted to understand the relations and association between leadership and culture of the organisational theory and how these concepts might have an impact on the organisational performance.
The aim of this report is to provide practical evidence of the links between organisational culture, leadership style and product development. This is achieved through research from books, journals and internet. The study shows that the relationship between leadership style and performance is mediated by the nature of organisational culture.
3.0 Recruiting and Selecting future Leaders
Recruitment is an essential role of the human resource personnel. The level of performance of and organisation depends on the effectiveness of its recruitment function. It is the first step for a competitive strength and the recruitment strategic advantage for the organisations.
Organisations have developed and follow recruitment strategies to engage the best people for their organisation and to make use of their resources optimally. A successful recruitment strategy should be well designed and useful to attract more and good talent to apply in the organisation.
Recruitment processes involves a logical process from selecting the candidates to arranging and preparing for the interviews. This requires resources and time. The recruitment process starts when a manger instigates an employee request for a specific or an anticipated vacancy.
According to Edwin B. Flippo, (1984) recruitment is the process of searching the candidates for employment and stimulating them to apply for jobs in the organisation". Recruitment is the activity that links the employers and the job seekers.
3.1 The Recruitment Process
The following processes are needed for a recruitment to be successful:
To have in place a policy on recruitment and retention and the systems that give life to the policy.
An assessment is needed to establish the organisation's present and future human resource requirements. For this activity to be effective these requirements must be assessed and a priority is assigned for each job category and for each unit and or division of the organisation
Identifying the potential human resource team and the likely competition for the knowledge and skills available within the organisation.
Carrying out a job evaluation and job analysis to classify the individual aspects of each job and calculate its relative value.
Assessment of qualifications profiles, drawn from job descriptions that identify responsibilities and required skills, abilities, knowledge and experience
The power of the organisation's capability to pay salaries and benefits within a specified period
The actual process of recruitment and selection to be identified and documented as to ensure fairness and loyalty to equal opportunity and other law.
3.2 Recruiting future leaders
Leaders are the solution to the success of any organisation. Selecting future leaders is a very important process within an organization as we have to make sure that the leadership recruitment process is right. What are the best qualities in future leaders to look for?
The qualities to look for in a good leader are: aptitude, confidence, honesty, dedication, imagination, willpower, intelligence, emotional toughness and emotional resonance, adaptability, Through the recruitment process, it is possible to evaluate candidates for these qualities as they go from resume screening to interviewing.
3.2.1 Looking for leadership qualities
Aptitude. A leader needs good aptitude in order to understand his mission and help others to understand it. Intelligence is the easiest quality of leadership to identify this can be measured by previous academic performance.
Confidence. A leader should be confident in what he performs. Does the manager we are recruiting believe in the organisation? Conviction has to be established in the actual situation. If we simply ask a person about the level of confidence, he or she may misinform by replying what we want from them. Sometimes, the person's personality can tell us if the candidate is a positive person in his or her manners.
Honesty. A leader should be a honest person. If this is lacking, he or she cannot be trusted. This quality is very difficult to judge during recruitment, but there are some indications to reflect on. Is the candidate's resume accurate, or are there exaggerations of responsibility? During the multiple interviews, is the candidate constant in their discussions or replying depending on the interviewer? On a more positive note, are there indications in the candidate's background that they take integrity seriously?
Dedication. A leader should show commitment to what he is doing, and be able to convince others to make commitments. Here is where past involvement can be analyzed: Are there any long-term commitments done by the candidate such as charities, hobbies, or activities? Did the candidate perform leadership role in any of these tasks?
Imagination. For the accomplishment of a mission, a good leader must have a good sense of imagination to resolve problems and change directions where needed. Since imagination is not easy to ascertain, formal tests and puzzles exists, these will give an overview about the thinking skills of a person and his or her approach to challenges. The applicant's work and school records may confirm.
Will Power The model leader should take decisions both timely and acceptably. Does the candidate take decisions quickly? Or are all decisions difficult to take? This is difficult to measure, although this can be measured during the probation period.
Emotional toughness and resonance. A leader should be firm and have guts to face difficulties- this is referred to as emotional toughness. An applicant for a managerial role can be asked when he or she showed courage and the evidence of emotional toughness. Simultaneously, a leader should be able to understand and empathize the feelings of others; this quality is referred to as emotional resonance. The leader should know when his subordinates are frightened in hard times and satisfied in good times. When necessary, the leader should be able to measure inappropriate feelings. Emotional resonance cannot be calculated, however, it can be noticed in a planned setting.
Adaptability. A leader should be adaptable so that to handle changing needs easily. Adaptability can be evaluated in many different ways. Was the candidate in an agreement to losing his or her job or to other important changes in their life? Did the applicant manage an organizational change in the past? Where there any changes in the recruitment process? What was the candidate reaction to these changes?
D. Quinn Mills (2007) states that "it makes sense to look for these qualities not only when an organization is recruiting for future leadership, but also when it is assessing its management team for leadership development". "Few candidates or managers will possess all of these qualities naturally, but many of them can be developed and enhanced through training, experience on the job, and exposure to new challenges".
4.0 The role of leadership to achieve corporate goals.
The key role of strategic leaders is to maintain and create the appropriate organisational culture that reward and encourage collective effort. What is actually meant by organisational culture? What effect does it have on the organisation? What is the role of the leader to build, influence or change the organisation's culture and finally to achieve the desired corporate goals?
Organisational culture is a group of values, beliefs and behavior patterns that distinguish an organisation from another. It also helps to determine the behavior of its members. Deal and Kennedy (1982) put it simply as a set of values that underlie how we do our things around here.
Why is culture so important to an organization? Edgar Schein (1985), suggests that an organization's culture develops to help it cope with its environment. Nowadays, organisational leaders are faced with many complex issues during their attempts to reach the organisational goals. For a leader to be successful this depends, upon his or her understanding to the organisational culture.
Schein argues that leaders are facing problems which can be traced to their inability to evaluate organisational cultures. If leaders are inconsistent with the organisation's culture, their strategies will fail when trying to apply new strategic plan to achieve the corporate goals.
The creation of the appropriate culture occurs if leaders correctly study the organisation's present culture and assess it against the cultural quality needed to achieve strategic goals. Therefore, leaders must first have a clear understanding of the strategic objectives, identify and take the necessary measures to reach those objectives. These two tasks by themselves are difficult, especially for the financial services sector that are experiencing changes rapidly.
The leader's role is to conduct a study of the organisation's, ideologies, values and norms. Leaders should ask two important questions:
(1) Are the present relationships, beliefs and behaviors applicable to the organisation's achievement of corporate objectives?
(2) Are organisational members facing doubt about the present work processes and the external environment that can only be explained clearly by the organisation leaders?
Bass (1985) explains the relationship between leadership and culture by studying was is the impact of different styles of leadership on culture. He argues that "transactional leaders tend to operate within the confines and limits of the existing culture, while transformational leaders frequently work towards changing the organisation's culture in line with their vision". Likewise, Brown (1992) monitors that good leaders need to develop the skills that enable them to alter aspects of their culture in order to improve their organisational performance.
4.1 The commitment of a leader in an Organisation
Muthuveloo and Rose (2005) stats that an organisational commitment "is the motivation of employees to accept the goals and values of the organisation, and to work towards the achievement of these corporate goals. A committed leader of an organisation is the one who has consolidated the values and goals of the organisation and is willing to participate fully in all that the organisation does towards the achievement of its stated goals".
Herscovitch and Meyer (2002) also see it as a degree to which a leader identifies the corporate goals of the organisation, and is prepared to help the organization to achieve these goals by putting all his efforts.
Meyer and Allen (1991) identified three types of commitments; affective, normative, and continuance. In today's business word the most significant commitment for the right leader is the affective commitment. Affective commitment is:
the trust and the recognition of the organisation's values and goals.
a motivation to focus effort on helping the organisation to achieve its goals, and
a need to maintain membership in the organisation.
Leaders who are affectively committed are employees loyal to the organisation and its corporate goals.
4.2 The appropriate organisational Culture
A type of organisational culture that is very well recognised in the human resources leadership role is consensual organisational culture. In this type of culture, there is personal commitment to the values and goals of the organisation, teamwork and socialisation are important (Deshpande & Farley, 1999).
According to the analysis of Kurt Lewin's (1948) group dynamics, Johnson and Johnson, (1978; 1983) identified some of the features of internal dynamics of groups and organisations that have the consensual corporate culture.
The features are;
The role of the leaders in the financial services is to identify that the organisation which they are leading holds these features. This observation will improve their motivation to give their full efforts and commitments to reach the organisation's corporate goals.
Social skills are the diplomacy that leaders monitor and thereby warn non performing employees. Awareness must be made so discreetly not to harm the pride of those in question.
Shared leadership, every leader in all departments must have the initiative to offer the right leadership that will help towards the achievement of the corporate goals set by the organisation. Therefore, even though leadership is reposed in the Vice-Chancellor or President, in actual practice, leadership must be perceived to be diffuse and contextual (Opare, 2007).
Accountability, every leader has to accept the fact that every employee in the organisation is accountable to the team for tasks assigned to them. Leaders are individually and severally accountable to the organisation for their role they are responsible to lead in the quality direction. By keeping sub-ordinates accountable and by monitoring one another, from the other side nonperformers' can be recognized and made aware of their non performance.
Group processing, leaders of the organisation must meet very often and reveal the methods and ways for achieving their goals and monitor the performance of the organisation's employees. On a regular basis, example quarterly or semi-annually a self-appraisal exercise is carried out to establish the success of the business both as a corporate entity and as individually.
Interdependence, or positive interdependence, is the acknowledgment that no leader can succeed in their tasks unless everyone within the organisation is successful. Leaders must accept the fact that as they do their best to achieve effective management of their organisation, they are able to swim together or sink together, depending on the total result of their individual efforts.
Interaction is the shared help that colleagues put forward to each another as they cooperate as members with the same objective. Colleagues should ask questions, share experiences, offer or receive explanations and seek clarifications. Leaders within the organisation must talk and meet about their experiences, problems, and successes with their colleagues so that they can learn from each other.
Equal participation, leaders must recognize that all colleagues give the same input to the organisation. Everyone is perceived to be involved.
5.0 The Management of a product development
Financial services organisations needs to continuously focus on new product development and/or product rejuvenation so as to cope with the ongoing product developments of their competitors. According to Mullins L. J., (2007, Management and Organisational Behaviour, pp515).Team work, integration of functional and departmental efforts, delegation and pro-action are the four goals to be achieved with the new-products strategy. Top management should give priority to new product development.
"The Marketing concept is not a theory of marketing but a philosophy of business. It affirms that the key to meeting the objectives of stakeholders is to satisfy customers. In competitive markets this means that success goes to those firms that are best in meeting the needs of customers". (Doyle, 1994)
5.1 The process of new product development
The development and successful launch of new and innovative products should take place following market segmentation, targeting and positioning. The appropriate process is as follows:
Process 1: Idea Generation
Various sources should be required in generating new ideas. The most effective are:
Management and Employees: Ideas from senior managers may be discovered and are very useful since at this senior level, managers are aware that proposals are to be associated with the corporate goals. In an organisational culture employees are allowed to give their opinions and suggestions on the development of new products. An internal 'Staff Suggestion Scheme' can be created to encourage knowledge-sharing. In a bank, front-liners experience is a very useful tool as they may give their opinion through their daily activities and experience as they can collect important information from their customers both on the financial organisation's and competitors' products.
Customers: Ideas may be encouraged from focus groups with customers. The company's sales force may encourage customers to give their comments and suggestions via questionnaires, website forms and free phoning. Secondary data sources my give insight on the competitive product developments.
Government agencies: A new scheme may be launched by the government, this may be a good source of idea for the development of a new product or service to complement the scheme.
Marketing research agencies: these may provide the organisation with the necessary data to support in the process of market segmentation, targeting and positioning and provide continuing feedback e.g. on the most effective promotional channels.
This process will be managed by a new team called New Product Development team (NPD). An organisation should have a structure in place as to ensure that serious recommendations are received from various sources.
Process 2: Screening
The NPD team will meet to evaluate and discuss new ideas generated for the new product lifecycle. The NPD team should identify and ascertain that effort is exclusively made on new products that are in sequence with the corporate goals and strategies.
A set of questions is asked for each idea and the outcome is screened to determine the movements through lifecycle process e.g. a bank having an account, combining loan, overdraft and savings elements into one account:
What are the needs for the product?
What is the target market size?
What is the loss if the product or service is not provided?
Are the development and promotion cost within the organisation's budget?
Are the necessary knowledge and expertise available within the staff?
Ideas are shaped down to a few attractive options; an idea potential is measured in terms of production costs, sales, potential profit, and competitors' response if the product is introduced. All ideas are moved to the next step if these sre acceptable.
Process 3: Concept development and testing
Customers purchase the concept of a product. Example, the development of an internet account with competitive charges and interest rate has the following possible product concepts:
Concept 1 - A higher interest rate account available online.
Concept 2 - No need to call at the branch to carry out banking transactions, this can be done from the comfort of your home so it is more convenient to the customer.
Concept 3 - A reward for meticulous customers who are saving while incurring lower costs.
All product ideas passed through the filter are developed into product concepts. Feedback from users is obtained at this stage.
At this level, to obtain feedback from the market, the concept of the product is tested. This is made available to a small group of representatives and customers of the market targeted. This is a delicate stage and must be done in the least time possible since competitors may obtain and develop the bank's ideas.
Process 4: Marketing Strategy
The Marketing Department at this stage is involved to identify the market to target, project the product positioning and initial expected level of the market shares, sales and profit.
Process 5: Business approach
From the business side a study on the projected sales, budgeted costs and targeted profits is carried out to make sure that these are in line with the corporate objectives.
Process 6: Product launch
Staff members are informed and if necessary training is given on the new product. The successful of new products depends on the sales team who sell and service them.
Promotional material, advertising and delivery channels are in place and the product is launched. At this stage high costs are incurred, however, this should be compensated by profit in the next stage of the product lifecycle.
The following decisions are noted when a new product is launched:
When and where to launch the product
To Whom? (market segment)
How? (market tactics)
In our fast-changing and highly competitive markets, the NPD must ensure that the process is initiated and concluded as quickly as possible.