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Problem Solution: Intersect (Transformational Leadership)

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Problem Solution: Intersect

Problem Solution: Intersect

Intersect is embarking on a new opportunity to change the company's financials to improve sales and profitability in the financial industry. In order to do so, Intersect faces a multitude of challenges and opportunities, these elements include culture, groups and teams, change, leadership style, and structure. The problem solution analysis will follow the problem-based learning model from steps one to nine these are: situation background, framing the right problem, identifying end state and goals, identify alternatives, evaluate alternatives, identify and assess risks, make the decision, develop and implement the solution, and finally evaluate the results. The Intersect analysis will refer to the problem-based learning model, which will focus on turning challenges into opportunities and transitioning Intersect into becoming a financial market leader.

Situation Background (Step 1)

Intersect's CEO has a vision to turn Intersect to building long-term clientele by providing exceptional customer service and in turn, improve sales and profitability. However, when the CEO addresses the areas the company needed to change to realize his vision he was faced with resistance, increasing employee turnover, declining customer satisfaction and, plateaued sales dollars. Intersect's elements are better understood by reviewing the open systems theory by Douglas Smith and understanding how these elements (any object, boundary, or relation that can be articulated) in a defined set of boundaries (any idea that separates elements) affect the issues and opportunities Intersect is currently facing (Smith, 2006, p. 3). Intersect faces a multitude of challenges and opportunities in order to address change, entropy, and introduce viability and viability leadership styles into the undefined company structure. The elements that are relevant to Intersect's evolutionary process are how casual relations will impact culture, leadership, structure, change, and groups and teams.


According to Schein there are three cultures of management they are: 1) operators (workers who make and deliver products and services and fulfills the organization's basic mission), 2) engineers (technocrats and core designers in any functional group), and 3) executive (entrepreneurs and decision makers) cultures and these three are intertwined and collectively need to work towards a common goal (1996, pp. 229-241). Unfortunately, Intersect's operators versus executive cultural values are misaligned therefore; entropy is increasing throughout the company and particularly in the sales department. Hence, sales department turnover is up 25% compared to the 7% increase company wide. However, According to Smith (UPOHX white paper, MBA 520, July, 2006) culture is broken down into two components 1) variables (strategy, systems, and structure) and 2) metaphor (culture and organization are synonymous and recreated by social interaction). Intersect's cultural variables comprise of misaligned strategy, undefined systems, and an undefined structure (some variation of STS and multidisciplinary).


Leaders need to focus on "doing the right things" (people oriented), unlike a manager who focus on "doing things right" (task oriented) (Cangemi, Kowalski & Khan, 1998, p.13). Intersect's CEO is a task oriented leader who needs to shift towards a balance of task and relationship (people) oriented leadership in order to transcend his vision to his employees and executive team. Executive management's centralized decision-making process stems the CEO's legitimate power strategy to influence the team to align with his vision. There are seven elements of the CEO's leadership competency these are: emotional intelligence, integrity, drive, motivation, self-confidence, intelligence, and business knowledge (McShane & Von Glinow, 2004). He attempts to motivate his team of executive leaders to align with his goal by transcending his self-confidence and intelligence. Furthermore, the EVP of marketing and sales wants to maintain the strength behind her leadership initiatives for change, which means she will need to terminate employees who do not own the new sales model therefore, instilling fear in the department and increasing entropy. However, there are questions over the CEO's vision to shift the company's focus to a sales model revolving around customer intimacy versus increased productivity.


Smith identifies five types of structures: 1) STS (small top with multiple core processes), 2) federal (core decision makers collaborate with autonomous business units), 3) multi-dimensional (comprised of executives, producers, brokers, and the market), 4) shamrock (partners, contractual fringe, and flexible labour), and 4) circular (democratic and participative decision-making) (UPOHX PowerPoint, MBA 520, July, 2006). However, Intersect possesses some combination of STS and multi-dimensional structural characteristics but it is not defined.


There are four characteristics of a functional team: 1) advice, 2) production, 3) project, and 4) action (Krietner and Kinicki, 2003). Intersect lacks all of these characteristics and are dysfunctional and not working towards a common goal due the CEO overlooking all of these important characteristics in his change strategy. Furthermore, the sales team lacks motivation because Intersect does not have a reward compensation plan in place to reward top performing employees. This is a result of the reward equity norm theory where "rewards should be tied to contributors; those who contribute the most should receive the most" (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2003, p. 337). In terms of teams and group elements Douglas Smith wrote nine characteristics of a successful team versus an unsuccessful team (work group) they are: 1) outwards versus inwards, 2) team agendas versus personal agendas, 3) innovation versus resistance to change, 4) consultative versus autocratic leadership, 5) self motivated versus unmotivated, 6) interdependent versus independent, 7) challenges versus challenged, 8) sense of urgency affecting performance versus fear, and 9) team success versus individual success (UOPHX white paper, MBA 520, July 2006). The Intersect sales team is focused on inward reward and motivation with personal agendas as a result of looking for sales reward. Furthermore,



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