Four Nouns

This past week, we did a new type of introduction, four nouns.  We had to use four nouns to describe ourselves and our classmates had to guess why we selected those nouns.  Below are my nouns and the reasoning why I selected them.

Nouns:  Enigma; Learner; Misanthrope; Adventurer

The four nouns I selected are how I view myself and how people perceive me. The enigma is that sometimes people have a hard time trying to figure me out. I am a very difficult read. I selected learner, because I am always learning. Every experience has learned something both good and bad. I have learned what I can and cannot get away with.

The misanthrope in me is something that does not seem to go with my profession. I am able to work and interact with people and I love teaching, but I do mistrust people. The noun adventurer is for my love of travelling. I have lived and taught all over south Korea and Saudi Arabia and I loved my time. This is why I consider enigma and myself; I love to learn from others, travel the world and experience new and different cultures, but have issues working with others. On the plus side, people never know this unless I bring it up.

 

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New Semester…..not sure about this one

Okay another semester is about to start and I’m excited and terrified about this one…. designing instruction for a 3 week eLearning course. Have I finally met my Waterloo???? The general premise is to design a course using animation to improve Korean English learners comprehension. In other words I am more nervous about this course than any of my other courses.  Hopefully, things will be fine.  Here’s to the new semester. #phdlife

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Monday Mem

Dec 11 Meme

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Interesting Things

What $200 worth of books look like. The skinny red one is worth $120!#phdlife > I really think that I am in the wrong racket an should really get into the publishing books field.  Soon….soon.

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Discussion 5

Module 5 Discussion

After having the opportunity to review Walden’s definition of social change (Walden University, n.d.), I can define in my words what is social change and what it means to me. For me, social change is used to indicate the changes that take place when people interact with each other.   All of human society is a complex web of interlocking social relationships, so to me, social change means to change the system of social relationships. When there is a change in society’s values, customs, social structure, and order, hopefully for good, then I would consider this social change.

Earlier in the course and last week, I took a social change agent test online at Walden, and the score was a social change spectator (Walden University, n.d.). I was not surprised by the results because the description was an accurate description of me. It is true that at some point I have engaged in social change, at the moment I am not an active participant. Sometimes it is hard to see how one person can make a positive change within their community, which is why social change spectators like myself feel that they cannot make any real positive social change.

Reviewing this week’s readings and taking into consideration what type of social change agent I am, has provided me with what I consider the differences between a leader and a change agent. Below are some characteristics that leaders and change agents have.

Characteristics of Leaders and Change Agents
Leaders Change Agent
Communicator

Organizational

Confidence

Respectful

Negotiator

(Kogler-Hill, 2013, p. 297)

Clear Vision

Patient, yet persistent

Asks tough questions

Knowledgeable and leads by example

Strong relationships built on trust         (Edmondson, 2017)

The skill sets for both leaders and change agents seem interchangeable, but with some differences. After viewing some of the differences, a question emerges. Must leaders to evolve to change agents (Allen, Smith, & Da Silva, 2013, p. 28) in order to survive in the 21st century workplace?

The answer to this question is yes. Leaders must evolve and become change agents or otherwise face extension. Change management is no longer a term which means to find ways to cut costs and improve performance (Ashkenas, 2013).   Change management is more significant in an organization and interwoven as a part of an organization’s fabric. Leaders are slowly beginning to realize that their rank or hierarchy no longer matters. In order for leaders to stay relevant, evolve, and compete, every leader must be an agent of a change.

In organizations today, many leaders have realized that their primary responsibilities and roles have changed. An example of this is a basic job description. Looking at an earlier job description will become apparent that the current job has changed and in some cases become outdated. Job titles are also changing as well. Looking at a current job title, an employee might think that the title does not cover what they do in the company. Just as job descriptions and job titles need to be reinvented to reflect the current job market, so must leaders. If leaders do not find a way to reinvent themselves to the current direction of the organization, they may soon see themselves obsolete.

For leaders to continue on the path of success, social change in the workplace is vital. Organizations are multigenerational and multicultural, and both leaders and organizations must adapt to the changing workplace. Namwon Office of Education, in Namwon, South Korea, the organization of my PIP is no exception. Using Walden’s Eight Components of Social Change (Walden University, n.d.), below are some of the components I intend to propose for my PIP.

Walden’s Eight Components of Social Change Application to Retaining Namwon’s GETS
Component PIP Application
Scholarship The PIP application will address the scholarship of Walden’s social change by addressing a real issue for the Namwon Educational Office community, which is the retention of NETS.
Reflection The PIP will address reflection by having both GETS and KETS answer a cultural questionnaire to determine what each would wish to learn more about during the GETS employment with Namwon and placement in the school.
Practice The PIP will use the information obtained from the cultural questionnaire and plan cultural activities for both GETS and KETS around Korea. The hope is that exposure to different cultures and listening to both KETS and GETS would assist in having GETS renew and for KETS to feel more comfortable working with GETS.
Collaboration The PIP will note how the KETS, GETS, and the office of education are working together to encourage cultural awareness between KETS and GETS in Namwon.

For these changes to be successfully implemented in the PIP, it would be easier to bring them about as a social change agent. The business environment is changing rapidly and as a result; leaders are required to change just as rapidly to keep up (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010c). The changing business environment is where the transformation from leader to change agent happens.   A change agent is anyone, not necessarily a leader, who helps an organization transform (Battilana & Casciaro, 2013). This transformation usually takes place by someone taking the lead and showing ways for improving both the business and interpersonal interaction with both employees and customers. Leaders in an organization who focus on change management are called change agents.

There are two types of change agents; internal and external change agents (Sturdy, Wylie, & Wright, 2013). Internal change agents are people currently employed as employees in an organization. These individuals are very familiar with the company; it’s mission statement and goals. External change agents have usually hired outside consultants who re-evaluate operations and make recommendations for improvements.

For someone to be an effective, external change agent, it is crucial to research the company’s structure, culture, processes, finances, and existing technology. Both internal and external change agents are individuals who are proactive about anticipating and initiating transformation within an organization. Using the above definition, I consider myself an internal agent of change. I may not be the leader in charge, but I can be proactive about anticipating how the recommendations of the PIP will come off to supervisors in the English department.

 

References

Allen, S. L., Smith, J. E., & Da Silva, N. (2013). Leadership style in relation to organizational change and organizational creativity: Perceptions from nonprofit organizational members. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 24(1), 23-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nml.21078

Ashkenas, R. (2013). Change management needs to change. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2013/04/change-management-needs-to-cha

Battilana, J., & Casciaro, T. (2013). The network secrets of great change agents. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2013/07/the-network-secrets-of-great-change-agents

Callahan, D., Wilson, E., Birdsall, I., Estabrook-Fishinghawk, B., Carson, G., Ford, S., … Yob, I. (2012). Expanding our understanding of social change: A report from the definition task force of the HLC special emphasis project. Retrieved from http://www.waldenu.edu:

Edmondson, R. (2017). 7 characteristics of effective change agent leaders. Retrieved from http://ronedmondson.com/2017/02/7-qualities-of-good-change-agent-leaders.html

Kogler-Hill, S. E. (2013). Chapter 12: Team leadership. In P. G. Northouse (Ed.), Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed., pp. 287-318). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010c). Leading and managing educational technology: The manager as change agent [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.waldenu.edu

Sturdy, A., Wylie, N., & Wright, C. (2013). Management consultancy and organizational uncertainty. International Studies of Management and Organization International Studies of Management & Organization, 43(3), 58-73. http://dx.doi.org/10.2753/IMO0020-8825430304

Walden University. (n.d.). What kind of social change agent are you? Retrieved from http://impactreport.waldenu.edu/

Walden University. (n.d.). Social Change. Retrieved from https://www.waldenu.edu/about/social-change

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Module 4 Discussion

Module 4 Discussion

            An effective team leader is someone who has a variety of traits and characteristics that encourage other team members to follow him or her (Torres, 2013). It does not matter if the team is face-to-face or virtual. Effective team leaders naturally possess certain qualities such as compassion and integrity. The qualities of an effective team leader can inspire the trust and respect of the team and stimulate production within the workplace.

A leader may believe that if he or she has lead face-to-face teams, then a virtual team is more or less the same. Leaders may think they already possess leadership skills so, leading a virtual team would not be a problem, but it takes a highly skilled team leader to be able to build, manage, and maintain a successful virtual team (Kogler-Hill, 2013, p. 295). A virtual team leader will need all of the skills necessary to be a face-to-face leader and some extra ones as well. Below is a chart showing some ways that face-to-face and virtual team leaders differ and how in some ways they are the same.

Leadership Skills of Face-to-Face vs. Virtual Leaders
Face-to-Face Leadership Skills Virtual Leadership Skills
Communicator

Organizational

Confidence

Respectful

Negotiator

Facilitator (Kogler-Hill, 2013, p. 297)

Transparent Communication

Patience

Rapport Builder

Results Driven

Intercultural Skills

Technology Skills

The challenge of leading groups of people from different backgrounds, genders, ages, and experience, should not be underestimated (Han & Beyerlein, 2016, p. 367).  The workplace of the 21st century has several different generations working together than in previous generations Now the 21st leader needs to be able to handle not only cultural challenges but generational challenges as well (Han & Beyerlein, 2016, p. 355).  Managing this diverse group of people can be challenging to leaders working face-to-face, so working in the virtual world can be even more challenging. There are however some ways in which to mitigate challenges and work together for the good of the team and the company,

The most obvious method for mitigating challenges is for leaders to recognize their team’s differences.   Effective team leaders take the time to learn more about the members of their group despite the geographical differences and varying degrees of work experience.  Effective team leaders want to learn everything they can about their team members in order to make the team better and successful.  A leader who fails to acknowledge the differences that exist in a highly diverse group is making a crucial mistake (Levasseur, 2012, p. 216). While it is important to understand differences, leaders should make sure to be aware of the potential of using stereotypes in the virtual workplace.  Everyone is different, so generalizing large groups of people is reductive and unhelpful.

Another method for mitigating challenges in the virtual workplace would be to provide feedback (Weimann, Pollock, Scott, & Brown, 2013, p. 337). People working in teams need to know they are doing a good job. Providing feedback is especially true for people working on a virtual team. Providing feedback lets the team knows they are valued, and their work is essential.

There is not a need for a separate theory of team leadership for virtual teams. Transformational leadership style would be the appropriate one.  One of the most unfortunate things about virtual teams is the possibility to have conflicts, lack of trust, and collaboration from members of the team (Levasseur, 2012, p. 214).  In some cases, the cultural differences between the members of virtual teams can cause conflicts.  For example, while someone from the United States would write a straightforward email describing an awful situation, this could be perceived as impolite by someone from say Korea.   A simple cultural misunderstanding like a direct email could lead to conflicts, mistrust, and difficulties in the virtual team environment.  A transformational leader would be someone who would listen to both sides, understand why one party would be upset and diffuse the situation before it had the opportunity to escalate into something more.

Transformational leadership is the type of leadership which inspires people to achieve unexpected or remarkable results (Northouse, 2013, p. 191). Transformational leadership provides workers autonomy over specific jobs, as well as the authority to make decisions once they have been trained. Transformational leaders have a way of inspiring workers to find the best way to achieve a goal (Bird & Wang, 2013, p. 16). Through the strength of their personality and vision, transformational leaders can influence others to change their perceptions, expectations, and motivations to work towards common goals.

References

Bird, J. J., & Wang, C. (2013). Superintendents describe their leadership styles: Implications for practice. Management in Education27(1), 14-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0892020612459287

Han, S. J., & Beyerlein, M. (2016). Framing the effects of multinational cultural diversity on virtual team processes. Small Group Research47(4), 351-383. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1046496416653480

Kogler-Hill, S. E. (2013). Chapter 12: Team leadership. In P. G. Northouse (Ed.), Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed., pp. 287-318). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Levasseur, R. E. (2012). People skills: Leading virtual teams-A change management perspective. Interfaces42(2), 213-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/inte.1120.0634

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Chapter 9: Transformational leadership. In Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed., pp. 185-205). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. .

Torres, R. (2013). What it takes to be a great leader [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/roselinde_torres_what_it_takes_to_be_a_great_leader

Weimann, P., Pollock , M., Scott, E., & Brown, I. (2013). Enhancing team performance through tool use: How critical technology-related issues influence the performance of virtual project teams. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication56(4), 332-353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TPC.2013.2287571

 

 

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Meme of the Week

Dec 4 Meme

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