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Can You Think of Ways Barbara Could Have Avoided the Problems Her Team Faced in the Meeting with Department Heads?

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2. Can you think of ways Barbara could have avoided the problems her team faced in the meeting with Department Heads?

As we go through the Case Study we can see that implication of empowerment is a process add-on for the Electra Company. If an organization aspires to a fundamental change, it must change the fundamentals. It is a well-known fact that when implementing something new it always turns around on us. The first day of anything is not successful. This situation was also experienced in the past. Al theories like Theory X, Theory Y, and Job Enrichments etc. Had their unsuccessful entrance and then became successful stories.

Empowerment was originally seen as a transfer of power from those who had more of it to those who had less of it. But in reality empowerment is the process of enhancing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into actions and outcomes. Therefore a more realistic goal for organizational empowerment is to actually provide employees with the power to make decisions, rather than attempting to convince them individually that they actually have power. According to this case study we can picture very well that Barbara could have introduced the concept of empowerment at Elektra in a more attractive manner instead of simply dictating the idea. Barbara should have provided managers with real training that included actual practice and feedback in empowering subordinates.

One of the major drawbacks was that Barbara being a consultant (an external person) was leading the empowerment effort at Elektra. This should have actually being initiated by Martin, the newly appointed CEO of Elektra.

The next problem with Barbara’s’ team was that the functional areas were not represented. The team should have discussed recommendations that affected the individual departments with those department heads before finalizing and presenting its report.

Barbara should have on the first hand gone through the history and the profile of the Company in detail. She should have helped her client understand and carry out their leadership rules instead of her direct intervention and guidance.

Barbara should have provided the managers with a real training in empowering subordinates instead of merely bringing the formal presentation. Also before presenting the information Barbara should have had a detailed meeting with her team mates with Martin, the CEO. Once in has been presented in front of the CEO then he would brief her about the short comings of the report finalized by her team. If she had done it in advance she could have prevented the problems her team faced in the meeting. It is clear that Barbara and her team did not have any clear as to how the functions of the different departments in the company are inter related and how important it is for the smooth functioning of the Company.

3. If you were Barbara Russell, what would you do?

If I was Barbara Russell the first and the foremost thing that I would do is have a detailed discussion with all the Departments which is starting from the Head of Human Resources, the Finance Department and the Legal department. I shall try to make a short summary about the operations of each and every department and analyse the interrelationships among them. Then I shall scan the potentiality of the empowerment implementations and see the benefits and deficits of it.  After detailing out the pros and cons of empowerment on the operation of every department I shall then speak to the Heads of the Department and have an open discussion about the opinions.

A key to achieving this kind of involvement has been maintaining a complete, consistent, and accurate flow of information about their business from monthly performance indicators to ongoing strategies.

Empowerment cannot exist in a vacuum. It requires involvement at every step of the way, from identifying problems to analyzing them to proposing and implementing solutions. Barbara’s’ team correctly focused on external customers of Elektra, it neglected many internal customers. Therefore we should accept the fact that when trying to improvise new trends to organization we should always consider on Internal and External factors both. Since we now realize that the consideration of only one factor results to the discouraging of the employees, who are a very important internal factor for the existence of the Company.

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