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Positive Influence Plan, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 861

Essay

Abstract

This academic paper discusses a hypothetical career-changing workplace project that is supposed to take one year to complete. No details are given as to the project itself, except to itemize five more or less unique skill-sets generically applicable to nearly any substantive project. As author, I write as the senior-most team leader. For reasons of space, I assume only two very general principal modes of team building (communication and documentation). For reasons of time, I went to the Web for easy-to-assimilate sources.

Since I have never been a top-level team leader in a professional setting myself, my research method was to imagine some classmates of mine as co-workers and then extrapolate problem-scenarios from them. So this paper’s primary source is imagination, not experience. For simplicity I used universal standards likely to resonate with any reader, such as the need and preference for privacy and autonomy. I also present two “wish-list” goals (keeping meetings to a minimum, and not stigmatizing downtime) at the end of the paper to minimize any perceived naivety on my part, which I further reduce by concluding on a note of detachment. Since this paper discusses my intent and not results, there are no conclusions to draw at the end.

Team Management Plan

I am the team leader of a new project that will take one year to complete. My team-members will consist of industrial designers, artists, craftsmen, academics, and programmers. Upper management has stressed that they will closely supervise my resolution of any problems that come to their attention. My goal is to investigate and manage problems independently to demonstrate my managerial skills. Thus, to maintain my independence as a manager, I must take the initiative to ensure there is no reason for that independence to be compromised. In other words, I must keep any problems within the scope of my responsibilities by expanding those responsibilities when necessary, and reducing them likewise when I can plausibly do so.

The standard protocol to better team-building starts with 1) communication and 2) documentation (Crampton, 2011). I must incentivize communication by mandating documentation. Knowledge among team-members that their own choices and actions will be available for future reference will ensure that they obtain consensus to direct responsibility upwards to me. In turn I must ensure that this does not incentivize team-members to game the system: towards that end I will not rely on self-reviews by team members (Picoult, 2009).

My first active task is to hire people who are satisfied with their career-choices and are not seeking to use this project as a way to gain promotion into management or a skill-set cross-promotion (the industrial designer isn’t going to use this project to become an artist, and vice-versa). Note however, that my goal is not always to prevent such promotions or changes.

Next is to establish working equality among members. I can do that by ensuring my people have equal autonomy and privacy, two workplace factors that are always appreciated by every kind of genuinely productive personality. I do not want a false, shadow hierarchy exploitable by would-be climbers. But since there are wide ranges of education and pay, I must achieve equality in site-specific ways. Cubicles are apportioned on a practical basis – whoever needs the most room professionally gets it. But whenever possible the smaller cubicles will have window views or be placed otherwise advantageously. My own cubicle is not conspicuously advantaged in view and location. It doesn’t need to be. Little things mean a lot.

Everyone has their quirks and I must learn them, and I must encourage each team member to learn them as well, and tolerate them. Among the team members will be introverts and extroverts. I make sure that the introverts are not expected to participate in social events. I stress the voluntary nature of such events, and make sure they stay that way. I have noticed in the past that even coworkers who dislike each other deeply can work perfectly well together if they have a common professional goal and contact between them is kept strictly business. Towards that end, I will not try to build a false sense of ‘family’ or ‘team’ at work. I will avoid saying ‘good morning’ ritually to everyone upon arrival, and in the evening I will simply leave in the hopes that others will feel free to do likewise. If others see it as a quirk, so be it.

I will keep group meetings to a minimum, and reserve them only for special work-occasions. I view excessive group meetings as counterproductive. Since not everyone will need to be invited to all of them, I will make sure they do not become, in effect, exclusive occasions conferring status upon attendees. I will quietly make sure attendees know it.

Very few productive personalities prefer to be micromanaged. And very few productive personalities never have downtime. I will make sure that downtime is not stigmatized. I will encourage the free enjoyment of earned downtime by openly enjoying mine. It’s a bonus.

So my plan is to set parameters appropriate for productive personalities, and then watch.

References

Crampton, D. (2011, May). 5 Tips for Improving Your Team Building Success. Retrieved from http://corevalues.com/uncategorized/5-tips-for-improving-your-team-building-success/

Picoult, J. (2009, July). How To Do Performance Evaluations Right. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/29/performance-review-employees-leadership-managing-pay.html

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