Aligning the it human Resource with Business Vision: The Leadership Initiative at 3M

Download 230.22 Kb.
Size230.22 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8

Conceptual Foundations

Concurrent work to address the leadership initiative and the recruitment and retention problem led to some important conceptual developments. The Transition Model (Exhibit 1) is a fundamental conceptual model of several transitions from an older style of management-worker relations to a newer model. The assumption underlying this model is that the traditional hierarchical, command-and-control management style will not work effectively in the information age and the era of the knowledge worker. For an organization to thrive, it must create an environment that attracts people to join and to offer their best everyday. The diagram in Exhibit 1 provides an overview of three key transitions:

  1. from a command-and-control management philosophy to a more collaborative philosophy,

  2. from an environment where value is placed on the job to one where value is placed on people and their competencies, and

  3. from a workforce that offers compliance to a workforce that favors participation.

This conceptual model has been used to guide other elements of the leadership initiative, e.g., to develop training materials that help build understanding of the changes needed in the way managers and leaders relate to one another. [See Appendix 1 for an example of training materials, viz., excerpts from a reading used in the Positional Leadership Initiative (see Exhibit 3).]
The orientation at 3M is that successful implementation of these transitions will be achieved through a change process that appeals to the head and the heart, not through non-volitional, mandated imperatives. Moreover, this change requires understanding and acceptance of the transitions by both those in nominal leadership positions (i.e., IT managers) and those not in nominal leadership positions (i.e., IT professionals).
Understanding and acceptance by IT Professionals is built through the Personal Leadership Curriculum, which is driven by the Personal Leadership Model (see Exhibit 2). Personal leadership includes eight skills identified for successfully transforming IT: initiative, emotional self-management, cooperation, customer service orientation, self-confidence, achievement orientation, flexibility, and interpersonal understanding. Example behaviors for each skill are defined for IT professionals. Lyla Campbell, Employee Development Manager within IT Education and Performance Services, and others at 3M identified the behavior attributes in a focused workshop setting by asking the questions: “How do good, contributing employees behave? What do they look like?”
Exhibit 2

Personal Leadership Model

The following model is a representation of what good Personal Leadership looks like. It represents skills needed by all of us in today’s work world. It is intended to be used both as a guide and as a self-assessment tool for on-going Personal Development.


Definition: Preference for taking action; doing more than is required or expected; finding and creating new opportunities.

Example Behaviors:

  1. If I see something that I can do that needs to be done, I do it; I do not wait for others to tell me what needs to be done.

  2. When I do not understand an issue or task, I seek out people to ask questions of and I keep asking questions until I understand.

  3. I take responsibility for my personal development (behaviors & skills), seeking out new opportunities from which to learn.



Definition: Mindfulness of my personal emotions and channeling them toward constructive outcomes.

Example Behaviors:

  1. I consider the feelings of others and treat others with dignity & respect.

  2. I assertively and respectfully ask for what I need from others.

  3. To improve my future performance, I continually assess my work, and know that failure and resiliency are generally a part of the process for success.

  4. When decisions are made that I may not agree with, I realize that I have choices and I manage myself and my choices in a productive manner.


Definition: Working cooperatively with others; fostering teamwork; dealing with individuality within a group.

Example Behaviors:

  1. I value, honor and rely on individuals in the workplace.

  2. I agree to disagree amicably.

  3. I participate willingly, support group decisions, and I do my share of the work.

  4. I keep people informed about the group processes in which I am involved and share all relevant and useful information.

  5. My positive attitude impacts the morale of everyone with whom I come in contact.

Exhibit 2

Personal Leadership Model (Continued)

Customer Service Orientation

Definition: Focusing on discovering and meeting the needs of the customer or client; desire to assist others.

Example Behaviors:

  1. I realize that I am here to assist/meet my customer’s needs, and do all that I can to do so in an efficient and effective manner.

  2. I continually put myself in the position of my customers, clients, co-workers and leaders as a double check on my performance.



Definition: Belief in personal capabilities and sense of self-worth, confidence in dealing with challenging circumstances, reaching decisions; and recovering and learning from failure.

Example Behaviors:

  1. I believe I can make a difference and act that way in performing my roles at work.

  2. I “challenge the process” in a positive, contributing manner.

Achievement Orientation

Definition: Concern for working well, or aspiring toward a personal and/or group standard of excellence.

Example Behaviors:

  1. I work hard at whatever I do, setting a higher standard of performance for myself than others would set for me.

  2. I follow through on my commitments.

  3. I set goals for myself and work to achieve them.


Definition: Understanding and appreciating different and opposing perspectives on an issue; adapting to changing situations; accepting change in my organization or work requirements.

Example Behaviors:

  1. I keep an open mind and honor the thoughts and ideas of others, striving to understand their view prior to agreeing with them or presenting my view.

  2. I accept that my way is not the only way.

  3. I take personal responsibility for adapting to changes around me and continually work on my own ability to quickly adapt, realizing that change has become a way of life.

  4. I work at understanding my department and division visions and aligning my efforts towards achieving them.

Interpersonal Understanding

Definition: Hearing and understanding the thoughts, feelings and concerns of others, including those unspoken or partly expressed.

Example Behaviors:

  1. I am truly interested in and open to gaining perspective from the ideas and contribution of others.

  2. I am mindful of the impact my words have on others.

Download 230.22 Kb.

Share with your friends:
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8

The database is protected by copyright © 2022
send message

    Main page