MGMT 1000 Lecture Notes - Corporate Jargon

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5 Feb 2013
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MGMT 1000 Tutorial Notes
Week 4:
Seven Common Problems: Red Flags
o The project gets orphaned
no interest or commitment from outset, sponsor loses interest
SOL: make sure sponsor is strong/enthusiastic, ensure that project is worth
doing, keep sponsor fully engaged, get formal signs of sponsor commitment
o A lack of clarity around the measures of success
goals have been poorly defined, no clear completion point
SOL: work effectively with sponsors at charter stage, be sure to define what
"done" is
o A lack of VSOP - Visible Signs of Progress
team/sponsor/client loses sight of where the project stands
SOL: keep in touch with everyone & discuss barriers and problems
o "Scope Creep" and changing targets
team gets overburdened with new obligations that prevent original mandate
from from being achieved
SOL: use mandate drafted during the charter stage, stick to your goals
o Ineffective communication
o A mismatch between talent and task
o A lack of appreciation of the broader playing field and rules of the game
SOL: know the rules, constraints, rival projects, be flexible, act in interest of
Situations where Defensive Routines Thrive:
o Performance Assessment
o Ineffective Meetings
o One on One Communication
Defensive Routines block learning (eg. Blaming, Explosive Contact, & Empty Rituals)
Symptoms of Defensive Routines:
Organizational Symptoms:
o Meetings clogged with minor issues to avoid big controversial issues
o Corporate jargon used to de-personalize situations (avoid personal responsibility)
o Low trust levels
Individual Symptoms:
o Lying & deception are common
o people agree even when they dont
o self censorship is common
Perspective on Conflict Management
o Conflicts can energize, encourage self-evaluation, stimulate adaptation/innovation,
improve decision making quality, & maintain the status quo
o Many people have suggested using constructive conflict as a management tool
o Dave Brown said managers can intervene in three ways
by changing perceptions (attitude)
by changing behaviours
by changing structures