Strayer University Week 4 Change in Technology Discussion

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Please respond to the two discussion post below separately using in-text citation and including a reference list. I have included the initial discussion question for your reference.

Initial discussion question:

Leading Your Team

Scenario: Your company is introducing a change to technology or personnel that will affect your team’s working environment. You are tasked with gaining buy-in from your team, as well as learning if they have any objections to this change. You already know that certain team members have strong opinions about the change and are not going to agree with each other. You call the team together for a meeting.

Considering the course materials for this week, answer the following:

Describe the change to technology or personnel that requires your team’s buy-in.

How will your account for differences in your team’s personality types? In your answer, refer to your results from the DiSC assessment you took in Week 1 of JWI 510: Leadership in the 21st Century.

What will you do to assure your team members that they have a voice and are free to challenge each other’s input?

How will you align your team around the final decision, even if some members disagree with it?

Discussion response 1:

Muhammad Rehan Hussain

Describe the change to technology or personnel that requires your team’s buy-in.

Based on the scenario shared this week, let’s assume the company has announced during an executive leadership meeting that all critical incidents need to be reported to corporate at the first available opportunity through the newly introduced safety management software. This will require all operations managers and their delegates to obtain 10 hours of training spread over two sessions. The task at hand is now to brief the team and get their buy-in as the new process involves a lot more formal steps than simply managing the incidents locally at a school level and therefore will require attention to detail, extensive data management, handling sensitive information, and data entry into the safety management software within 24 hours of the incident.

How will your account for differences in your team’s personality types? In your answer, refer to your results from the DiSC assessment you took in Week 1 of JWI 510: Leadership in the 21st Century.

Based on the DiSC assessment, I have a steady and consistent (SC) style of leadership where I possess many traits of an introvert, finding it difficult to engage in conflict, following a well-structured approach rather than being agile and easily adaptable to different situations (Hussain, 1).

The DiSC assessment also explains the other personalities and how my style can engage with them to arrive at a productive outcome. In my team, for example, I have a mix of direct, influential, and consistent leaders. As per the TKI report that we worked on in JWI 510, I scored 88% in ‘Avoiding’ which is self-explanatory as per my DiSC assessment (Hussain, 2), but have learned over the last five months, I took another assessment this week using the “Conflict Styles Assessment” tool offered by United States Institute of Peace (3), where I scored 82% in ‘Compromising’ which I take as a big improvement.

With the different leadership styles I need to deal with, I will ensure that to be effective I will need to consider points where I need to be direct, especially in the critical parts of the discussion where value is being discussed. I will need to ensure I keep an open mind to disagreements as we read this week how Marguerite’s character welcomed conflict and was glad that an employee opened up with his views enabling her to work collaboratively in finding a solution (Gallo, 4).

What will you do to assure your team members that they have a voice and are free to challenge each other’s input?

I will make use of my favorite method, and that is authenticity. Being vulnerable is not a bad thing.

I will be honest about how this affects the team and how their buy-in is important in finding a common ground where we can remain productive without affecting other key deliverables.

I will use my servant leadership skills to facilitate an outcome rather than acting like the smartest person in the room. I will present the problem and will open the room to others so they can contribute while ensuring the team does not digress and remain on point. This can be achieved by having a clear agenda and expectations communicated before the meeting (JWI505, 5)

I will keep the team focused on the bigger picture and will share how this decision came to be. I will discuss the background in detail.

How will you align your team around the final decision, even if some members disagree with it?

The entire focus will be on the bigger picture. While I expect the teams will be reluctant, especially the ones bearing my style of leadership, I will focus on how would I like to be told about the final decision and how will it make it easier for me. With this approach and use of empathy, I aim to give a final decision that will be based on consensus. This consensus will be on the approach to adapt and will not mean the final decision will change in any way. The software has been introduced and will be implemented across the cluster.

Some team members may have reservations, that can be answered and where an answer is not available, I, being the facilitator will take the responsibility of getting these clarifications to the team. I will also make sure that they get my support in dealing with this change.

This will then be followed up by another scheduled meeting so that the team understands they need to deliver some form of results before the next meeting same as everyone else (JWI505, 5). This will also encourage them to collaborate and discuss between themselves how to manage their own and their team’s schedules, what resources they can use, who within the team can provide value-added service of helping their peers with the use of technology etc.

Discussion Response 2:

Catherine McGuire

This week’s scenario is not a dilemma to solve. Instead, it is the catalyst for demonstrating our understanding of the importance of team buy-ins and incorporating pushback into a unifying experience. That said, the challenges presented by changes to technology and personnel manifest into micro aggression and outright hostility when team members fail to arrive on the same page; a skilled leader will intervene wisely, embracing conflict and differing personalities, to align the team with a final plan for introducing change to their department.

My company, ACME Inc., has devised new methods for tracking inventory and employee productivity. The result is a new mandatory process for each employee to log in and complete registration processes perfunctorily with the assistance of a new department specialist in a created role. Department employees will have to interface with the newly hired employee and conduct an inventory process to ensure that ACME’s master computer is able to calculate algorithms by each employee’s workload. I will need to sell my team members on the validity of the new duties added to their daily workload and convince them that these mandatory processes merit the addition of a new employee whose employment is worthy of a portion of our department’s budget.

I will need to call a meeting to introduce this company-wide, mandatory change to my department’s staff. Meetings are an excellent tool for implementing structural change and providing formal team communication assembly. I will make sure that the meeting has a complete agenda, stick to the script, and strive to keep my employees aligned while delivering crucial information (JWI505, 1). Finally, I will assure my team members that they have a voice, listen to their concerns, and do my best to secure their buy-in to the new company-wide protocol.

Gaining a buy-in is another way of saying that you are enrolling others in your vision. Accomplishing a buy-in is a five-step process:

  • Talking to my team and laying out my vision
  • Involve the team and personalize tasks
  • Stay connected, schedule a follow-up
  • Address resistance
  • Be prepared to pivot (Cultivate Advisors, 2)

According to my DiSC Assessment, my dominant trait is Conscientiousness (analytical, reserved, precise, private, systematic) with a secondary trait of Steadiness (even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble, tactful). I prefer to bring order to projects, support others when they face challenges, and solve problems through logic; my stressors are working without clear guidelines, dealing with a chaotic environment, and dealing with emotional or erratic people (McGuire, 2). I should deal with those classified as a Dominant style as rapid progressors who only offend unintentionally. Likewise, I should deal with I styles as excellent collaborators, even though they are drama kings and queens at times. If I should apply patience to my interactions with team members, I’m more likely to inspire their cooperative, assertive capabilities.

In accordance with the fourth and fifth steps of a buy-in, it is necessary to address resistance and accommodate; I’ll need to assure my team that they are able to voice their opinions and challenge each other’s views. When objections arise, I’ll ask that team member to elaborate upon their concerns, aim the complaint towards the proper source (myself, ACME Inc., their coworker), and resource solutions amongst the team’s consensus. Conflict allows a team to come to terms with difficult situations, embrace diverse perspectives, and make conscientious solutions, reaffirming the value of each employee’s contribution to the team (Gallo, 4).

Arriving at final decisions will require my team’s alignment; using the resources within the TKI assessment will organize my strengths to inspire my team to compromise, accommodate, and assert themselves to the best of their abilities. According to my TKI Assessment, I score 62% in accommodating, 58% in collaborating, and 41% in compromising. I hope to model accommodating behavior, encourage collaboration, and demonstrate the ability to compromise without forfeiting your position. My team must discuss the pros and cons of the prospective solutions before presenting alternatives to ACME Inc. Our open, formal meeting will commence until every team member can share their voice, exchange notions, and come to either a universal agreement or decide by vote.

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