Published on November 10, 2014
John's presentation to EMBA students on knowledge work, the innovation ethics and social identity
1. Knowledge Work, Leadership and 1 Social Identity John J. Sarno
2. Economic and Social Transformation • The U.S. has a $14 trillion dollar economy, the world’s biggest, representing 25% of the world total output. • The U.S. holds 25% of the world’s prison population. • One in four American adults is functionally 2 illiterate.
3. 3 Environmental Crises Global warming widely recognized Rising sea level Water resources scarce in much of the world Earth’s resources being depleted 39% faster than generated (Redefining Progress, 2008)
4. 4 Social Crises Poverty widespread, 3 billon under $2 per day No schooling for 1 in 5 children Most population growth in poorest regions U.S. incarceration rate highest in developed world
5. The CEO Project-2005 Interviews with CEOs of Fast-Growth Firms $16-60 million in annual revenues 100-200 employees 5
6. 6 What are the competitive strengths of the firm? 36% - Proprietary Technology 31% - Unique Approach 10% - Process Innovation 5% - Operational Excellence 79% identified high percentages of recurring revenue
7. 7 What are the biggest opportunities for growth? 35% - New Products 22% - New Market Segments 15% - Current Market Penetration 9% - New Processes
8. 8 Talent Ratings Talent was rated a “B” or above in all areas • Product Creation • Customer Creation • Production/Service • Support/Overhead • Team Capability Biggest Growth Opportunities • 35% New Products • 9% New Processes
9. Constraints on Growth 9 29% - Talent 16% - Capital 12% - Product Development 12% - Sales/Marketing Conclusion: While CEOs rated existing human capital as “B” or better, the biggest obstacle to growth is the difficulty attracting and retaining the “right” employees.
10. Today, most jobs require knowledge to perform 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 10
11. Knowledge-intensive work has changed the nature of organizations 11 and how work gets done.
12. A large hospital organization in Paris is implementing an integrated patient-care platform to facilitate seamless communications between departments, tracking every stage of a patient’s stay. 12
14. What kind of knowledge does it 14 take to perform your job?
15. Knowledge is a resource that can’t be forced out of people Knowledge sharing occurs voluntarily 15
16. Knowledge is best communicated and shared horizontally – peer to peer. Rigid, command-and-control bureaucracies often misuse, lose or hide valuable knowledge, i.e. knowledge to serve 16 customer’s better.
17. 17 Physical labor can be forced through discipline, and then only temporarily until more discipline is needed.
19. 19 Executive Leadership is Deterministic, Results-Oriented Underlying Philosophy: Ends-justify-the-means Moral Justification: Greater good is best served Organizational Structure: Hierarchical, command-and-control Primary Tools: Power, external rewards and punishment
20. Employee Work Ethic is Passive and Pessimistic Underlying Philosophy: Purpose of work is a paycheck Moral Justification: Work-life follows bureaucratic laws, 20 no individual free-will Relationship to Work: Dependent, low self-worth Primary Motivators: Money, perks and fear
21. Knowledge intensive work has changed the nature of 21 organizations and how work gets done. Supervising “knowledge workers” requires advanced social and interpersonal skills Peer-to-peer collaboration Teamwork Intrinsic motivation Communication skills Flexibility/Networks/Projects Creativity Integration of Technology
22. What will it take to succeed? • Promoting collaboration in problem solving • Encouraging creativity among working group members • Improving innovative practices • Sharing leadership responsibilities • Motivating followers toward outcomes 22
23. Supervisor’s are Leaders 23 A recent survey of employees cited 28 attributes they felt were important for their supervisor to have. The top five characteristics were: 1. Honesty 2. Integrity/Morals/Ethics 3. Caring/Compassion 4. Fairness 5. Good relationships with employees, including approachability and listening skills In other words, leaders are expected to be values-based.
24. The lack of integrity can degrade the working environment and create confusion, lack of focus, poor communication, lack of productivity and inefficiencies. 24
25. Common Problem Areas 25 Blaming Others Shifting Responsibility Hoarding Information & Resources Letting Others Fail to Look Good Disrespecting Customers Lowering Expectations to Look Good Bad-Mouthing Company Favoritism Invasion of Privacy Not Trying/Not Caring Bullying
26. Cross-cultural studies show that even if people personally disagree with a result, they will accept it if they perceive the process as “fair”. 26 Fairness at Work
27. Asked what was her biggest lesson before being hired as CEO of Xerox, 27 Anne Mulcahy said: “How little honest feedback people get in companies, and how important it is for people to have a sense of candid assessment. I think sometimes companies get confused with processes they think are fairest, and that is not what companies need.”
28. 28 Do employees receive training? Most new hires are left to figure things out. Are expectations clear? There is often substantial disagreement between supervisors and employees. Are expectations realistic? Boss often gets angry when employee is not working at same level.
29. Supervisors are guided by values (integrity, fairness) 29 One Measure of Success……. How many people work for me? How much work can I get done today? What is my salary? How big is my office? Another Measure of Success At this moment, right now, am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Am I doing it well?
30. Discipline as Punishment Punishment breeds resentment, 30 resistance and litigation An ethical foundation supports discipline and discharge, when necessary
31. 31 Unethical Discipline (Abuse of Power) • Power Struggles • Difficulty in Setting Goals • Inability to Prioritize • Lack of Motivation • Fear, Anxiety and Confusion • Lack of Empowerment or Feelings of Victimization • Pessimism • Conflict
32. The Dilemma of Technology Efficiency and transparency makes it easy to find mistakes. Feedback is focused on mistakes. 32 No room for praise.
33. About one-third of managers in Fortune 100 companies are against praising people. “They don’t believe in it.” 33 Adrian Gostick “The Carrot Principle”
34. The Problem with Abstract Work “Symbolic Analysts” Solve, identify, and broker problems by 34 manipulating symbols.
35. 35 Symbolic, abstract work can be fragmented, disjointed, and disconnected
36. 36 Can there be meaning in abstract work? Is there morality in abstract work? What is the individual’s ethical responsibility when work is abstract?
37. 37 Hierarchy of Needs
38. 38 Moral Development Autonomy Dependence
39. The Challenge of Our Time Can we create and maintain a sustainable planet from the bottom up by autonomous, free people? 39 or Are we destined to create and maintain a sustainable planet from the top down through autocracy and authoritarianism?