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Contrasting Leadership Development Techniques to that of a Transactional Organization compared to a Transformational Organization
Which of the leadership styles are better in today’s business environment?26. Oktober 2010 von Greg Procknow
This paper works to support the commonly held assumption held by most leaders today, that most businesses i.e. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) are in fact a transformational organization that employs only transformational leaders. Further, this paper works to support other assumptions that most military organizations demonstrate a transactional leadership approach, in which they would employ transactional leaders. First we begin with a brief comparison of transactional and transformational leadership styles. Then provided is a brief overview of the training methods employed by the Canadian Armed Forces to train their potential leaders into transformational leaders, as well the benefits of each training program and how they develop new transformational leader competencies as a direct result of being participants. Then discussed are the leadership development training programs offered by J&J and their respective benefits to the participant’s.
According to Robert Bacal, “the core of transactional leadership lies in the notion that the leader, who holds power and control over his or her employees or followers, provides incentives for followers to do what the leader wants”. [Bacal, 2007, pg1] If an employee does what is expected of them, often a reward will follow, on the other hand, if the employee does not comply, a punishment or a withholding of the employee’s reward will occur. The prime purpose of a subordinate is to comply with what their managers tell them to do. Some common assumptions about the transactional leadership style are that people are motivated by rewards and punishment, and that social systems work best with a clear chain of command. [Bacal, 2007] Transactional leadership is most evident in the military, for the purposes of this report specifically the Canadian Armed Forces. Military leaders often demonstrate management by exception, which is if something is operating at desired performance, then it does not require their attention. [Bacal, 2007] Transformational leadership can be defined as a process where a leader and the followers work together, by doing so they ultimately make changes and or transform the organization. [Changing Minds, 2002] Transformational leadership is most common within business settings. For the purpose of this report Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will be used to exemplify great transformational leadership traits. Common traits of a transformational leader and their respective style, is that they usually base their leadership on inspiring, getting followers to buy-in voluntarily as well creating a common shared vision. [Bacal, 2007]
Military Leadership Development Methods
Chief of the Defense Staff, General Ray Henault, said Canada was going to commit itself to fostering enhanced leadership and professional development across the CF: “Effective leadership and professional development are essential ingredients in building the CF of the future... Transformation... will require visionary thinking, as well as the ability to inspire, empower, and network.” [DND, 2003, pg20] According to Lt. Col Nauss, “leadership skills must be developed throughout an individual’s career, for that reason, the Canadian Army uses a progressive system of education, training, experience and self-development”. [Nauss, 2002, pg6] Military education often takes place in a formalized academic setting; training occurs largely within a unit context; and experience is collected either through routine employment, operational tours or command assignments. [Nauss, 2002, pg6] With the CF working to move more towards a transformational leadership approach they are looking at ways to incorporate transformational leadership principles with their new leadership training programs. This section is divided into three parts, education (transformational leadership concepts), experience (adventure training) and self-development (Continuous learning).
Education: Transformational Leadership
According to both Lt. Col Bradley and Dr. Charbonneau, the two measures of transformational leadership, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) and the Organizational Description Questionnaire (ODQ), are useful in developing transformational leaders, although they have been used in some CF military development programs, there are still used sparingly in the CF. [Bradley & Charbonneau, 2008] MLQ is the one most often used, as according to Bradley and Charbonneau, “for several years, the MLQ has been included as part of the student assessment component of the Advanced Military Studies Courses at the Canadian Forces College (this is a Developmental Period 4 course in which students are Lieutenant-Colonels and Colonels)”. [Bradley & Charbonneau, 2008] These students when completed their MLQ on themselves, they sent a copy to both former subordinates and supervisors to obtain a 360-feedback assessment of their transformational leadership development. Transformational leadership for example, is covered briefly in the curriculum at the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada, and during basic officer training at St. Jean. [Bradley & Charbonneau, 2008] At RMC the students are involved in group discussions surrounding the topic of transformational leadership. With middle and senior level courses transformational leadership is taught at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and the MLQ is employed in a 360-degree mode as part of the leadership development portion of the Advanced Military Studies Course. [Bradley & Charbonneau, 2008]
Experience: Military Adventure Training
According to Lt. Col Nauss, the Army places particular emphasis on adventure training. Adventure training is directly linked to raising morale and team building skills. [Nauss, 2002] This section argues that adventure training can play a role in the development of specific competencies required for effective leadership for members of the CF, in particular the Army. [Nauss, 2002, pg3] When adventure training is conducted successfully, it has the potential to provide a basis for establishing a foundation for leadership at senior levels. [Nauss, 2002, pg4] Canadian Armed Forces headquarters suggests that the adventure training fosters the development and practice of military leadership, by exposing these leadership candidates to a varying degree of personal risk that is both mentally and physically demanding. [CFAO, 2001] Gaining operational experience is very important in the development of leadership skills, and without this experience “a leader’s effectiveness may suffer”. [Yukl, 1998, pg475] This is why adventure training is so critical for military leadership trainees because it offers them the right challenges and an appropriate mix of risk and stress, which has the potential to provide a meaningful leadership development opportunity one that emulates operational experience initiatives intended to improve leadership development across all levels. [Nauss, 2002] Adventure programs can be classified into two different categories; either wilderness-based or outdoor-centred. [Wagner, 1991, 53] Wilderness-based programs often keep their participants outdoors for a significant amount of time, making them overcome difficult physical activities such as white water river kayaking. Outdoor centered programs usually focus on permanent facilities, i.e. camps that have wall climbing, high rope obstacles. The CF policy on their adventure activities must include the learning of navigation, planning, survival training and leadership. Some more benefits of adventure programs include, “increased effects in terms of greater conscientiousness, better decision-making, improved teamwork, improved organisational ability, improved time management and finally better cooperation and interpersonal communication”. [Hattie, 1997, pg69] Surprisingly, Ibbertson and Newell concluded that adventure training can provide life long development of emotional intelligence and social behaviour. [Ibbertson & Newell, 1998, pg239] Furthermore, the CF policy, which states that the aim of adventure training is to provide members of the CF with the opportunity to participate in useful training of a hazardous nature, with a view to developing qualities of self discipline, leadership, initiative, integrity and courage. [CFAO, 2001] The establishment of this leader-follower relationship is an important aspect of transformational leadership, and one way adventure training can profit from this theory is to allow participants who normally fulfill leader roles to assume the role of a follower and followers to take on the role as leader. This approach is based on leaders transforming the attitudes of followers in order to make them conform to the leader’s vision. Within the unique adventure setting leaders and followers practice and develop transformational leadership behaviors by experimenting with their cognitive competencies such as meta-cognition and analytical thought; and their social competencies, such as empathy, and behavioral flexibility. [Nauss, 2002]
According to the Department of National Defence Leadership Guide (2007), “Leaders must increase their professional competence through self-study, reading relevant professional publications, taking courses offered by various colleges and universities, and perhaps above all, analyzing their own experience objectively to determine where they might improve their performance the next time”. [Canadian Armed Forces Leadership Guide, 2007] A forward transformational CF leader would seek out formal courses offered within the CF. These could include technical courses related to the individual’s occupation and or general courses such as those offered at the CF Management Development School. According to the DND Leadership Guide, “professional leadership and military education courses, such as those offered at the Canadian Forces College and the NCM Professional Development Centre, are of paramount importance to a leader’s professional development”. [Canadian Armed Forces Leadership Guide, 2007, pg48] Achieving professional competence is not a static event. It requires continuing and ongoing vigilance to ensure that the CF leader is always aware of changes and advances in their field.
Business Transformational Leadership Competencies
According to Colonel Homrig, business literature has stated their preference to which of the two leadership styles they would like their leaders to adopt, “today’s networked, interdependent, culturally diverse organizations require transformational leadership to bring out…in followers…their creativity imagination, and best efforts”. [Homrig, 2001, pg2] Johnson &Johnson is one of those transformational organizations that require transformational leadership. J&J formed a team of Senior Executives and called it ‘FrameworkS’. This team was to work towards identifying those leadership competencies required of future leaders to move the company forward. Internal surveys and research back in the 90’s concluded that the company lacks strong potential leaders to succeed those in senior management. This group of senior leaders drafted what is now called the “Standards of Leadership” model which describes the relationship between J&J credo values and desired business results and the leadership competencies required to achieve these results. The leadership competencies identified by Johnson and Johnson were: “that the J&J leader lives the J&J credo values; focuses on the customer and marketplace; encourages innovation (to forge a vision for the future); builds interdependent partnerships; and master’s complexity focus (managing complexity and implement positive change”). [Goldsmith, 2001, pg140]
Johnson & Johnson Transformational Leadership Development Programs
Johnson & Johnson’s goal for leadership development is to identify talented young managers who can move upward in a global, decentralized organization. The company is less hierarchal. It is faced with a “fast-paced, competitive environment with increased focus on costs and the need for continuous innovation and teamwork”. [London, 2002, pg104] Today, programs like Executive Conference III, The Executive Development Program, and the Leadership Challenge continue to pay high dividends for the current and future leaders of the organization. [Giber, 2009] Executive Conference III is targeted to senior executives and management boards, and the Executive Development Program is tailored to advanced managers. The J&J Leadership Challenge is for new managers at all levels, from first line manager to presidents and managing directors. Participants have to focus on listening, asking questions, probing and exploring to build the understanding that forms solid relationships in such a diverse group. [Giber, 2009] The goal is to start developing someone “six months before he or she assumes a new position and stay with employee for six months on the job”. [Goldsmith, 2001, pg126]
Executive Conference:The Company runs an Executive conference annually for its top 1,000 leaders across their businesses. This keeps executives apprised of developments throughout the business. J&J’s Talent Scope project was to build a pool of up and coming leaders who “represent and enact the company’s values in a global environment and who are able to adapt to situational changes”. [London, 2002, pg104] Firms like J&J used web technology to provide managers with ongoing information about career and learning opportunities as well as actual training. The leadership competencies they try to create in the participants are as follows: the tools to create a future full of new opportunities for success; to challenge basic assumptions; to reflect on feedback from self and others that can lead to personal change; and develop the competence and courage needed to lead changes that bring about a successful future. [Vicere, 1998, pg132] A unique feature of the conference was that each person had an individual session with a professional psychologist who helped interpret date from a 360-Feedback assessment. These individuals also “helped participants develop personal action plans for improvement”. [Vicere, 1998, pg135]
Merlin Exercises: Which resulted in individual presentations to the CEO or member of the J&J Executive Committee. This further involved the participants each day to apply course concepts to the creation of a future vision of the firm. This exercise gave the leadership participant the opportunity to describe a future they would recommend to senior management, one that they would feel fully committed to supporting with their own efforts. It required them to think about the truly critical responsibility for creating a future for the company. One participant wrote, “The session was successful in allowing me to begin declaring a future and understanding what is needed to achieve this vision”. [Vicere, 1998, pg140] Participants describe Merlin as a unique way for dealing with future possibilities. [Vicere, 1998] One colleague, wrote, “forcing us to look out in the future is clearly the right direction. This should be used at the individual company level to help develop a common vision and identify the core competencies required to achieve it”. [Vicere, 1998, pg140]
Executive development program: The Executive Development Program (EDP) focuses on future leaders, which intends to develop bench strengths and future leaders who can work effectively across global, functional, and operating company boundaries. It’s a three week course involving “25 high achievers per session”. [Goldsmith, 2001, pg124] The EDP focuses on future leaders who are considered advanced managers. These leaders normally report to the functional head of the operating company. [Goldsmith, 2001, pg124]
The leadership challenge: The initial target audience for the leadership challenge (LC) was newly advanced managers. However CEO received feedback that all advanced managers should be put through this course. So, the current focus of the program is on bringing the Credo and standards of leadership to life. [Goldsmith, 2001] Senior executives are brought in to teach the programs and to help make the standards real for participants. The LC involved discussions of how to incorporate Credo values into the organization. The LC also addresses role expectations to implement leader’s plans. [Goldsmith, 2001, pg125] The LC inspires to develop new leaders at key transition points in their careers. At first this program targeted only “newer directors”, but has since evolved to include all directors. [Goldsmith, 2001, pg125]
According to David Giber, when they attend anyone of these leadership training programs “they shift in the way they think about the business, increase their awareness of themselves as leaders, sharpen their ability to identify business needs, deepen their relationship and expand their global networks, learn how to influence at a board level, learn how to get to the heart of an issue, learn how to work as a global team, and learn how to orient, and move forward in the midst of ever-increasing data and continuous change”. [Giber, 2009, pg1] One of the leadership skills that are guaranteed to be learnt by all candidates is how to improvise. For example, they must be able and willing to convene ad hoc meetings, rearrange their schedule, and produce teaching experiences on the fly at a given time. What is important is that the leader is willing to drop their agendas and deal with what is happening in the room. [Giber, 2009] Johnson & Johnson have a multitude of different leadership development programs specific for developing those skills relevant to a certain company area i.e. Supply Chain Management.
Some of J&J’s development program include: the Procurement MBA/MS Leadership Development Program, Human Resources Leadership Development Program, Company-focused Leadership Development Programs, Finance MBA Leadership Development Program, and International Recruitment & Development Program. These are all leadership development programs that help the leadership candidate develop into more a senior management position in their respective specialization of development. [Johnson & Johnson, 2007] A common theme in the training of these participants is that they undergo coaching and development relationships with the programs supervisors, as each participant will be allocated a mentor to provide continuous guidance throughout their training. When these participants have completed any one of the development programs they are placed immediately into a leadership position within their specialized career choice. [Johnson & Johnson, 2007] They learn how to own and lead strategic change for their organizations. J&J’s great leadership can be seen in the way the company has been performing: For sixty-six consecutive years of sales increases; Fifty-Five continuous years of dividend payments; and thirty-six consecutive years of dividend increases [Carter, 2001] These are some survey results of the ECIII (J&J’s leadership program of 1993) leadership candidates when finished their development training: 72% reported an increase in leadership effectiveness of the participants; 5% of their Mentors saw the participants as less effective. [Carter, 2001]
Transformational as the best leadership style for both Military and Businesses
Bernard Bass has noted that, “Most experimental research, unfortunately, has focused on transactional leadership …, whereas the real movers and shakers of the world are transformational leaders” [Bass, 1998]. Robert Gates Defense Secretary of the United States had accused military leaders of being stuck in the old ways of doing business. This is a man who knows at first hand that the military is in the tradition of control and command leadership which inadvertently creates a top-down management style which fosters orderliness and predictability but stifles innovation and adaptability. [Truskie, 2009] All of the literature researched and reviewed consistently argues that the transformational leadership style is the most profitable leadership style adopted by either a military or a business. Transactional leadership is mainly a hierarchy driven model, often found within the military. Transactional leaderships are often flawed for these reasons, trust is low; information transaction is very limited and on a need to know basis; participation is often controlled resulting in very little influence on outcomes; the brunt of the decision making rests solely with one leader not with the group as a whole; thinking “out of the box” characters are almost always viewed as being trouble makers and lastly; the followers roles are determined by the head of the organization. [Gardiner, 2002]
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