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Mount Cedar Technologies

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Aarus
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The main purpose of the report is to discuss the Mount Cedar Technologies case study and show how Future Point Consultants (FPC), a consulting company, has analyzed the structure and inner workings of a tech company named Cedar Tech. This analysis has enabled FPC to identify current hurdles and difficulties to operating effectively. In addition to addressing each obstacle throughout this report, this report provides an overview of Cedar Tech’s history, current status, and goals. This report is divided into eleven sections that identify different business objectives ranging from organizational culture, building effective teams, to full implementation of recommended solutions.

Introduction and Company Overview
Mount Cedar Technologies also known as Cedar Tech is an Information Technology infrastructure integrator that was established in 1995. The company grew at impressive rates in its first ten years of business. Cedar Tech was originally an importer and distributor of computer accessories but later transcended into a dominant force in the IT community that was able to acquire other companies. Today they specialize in hardware and software products, storage and security solutions, and technical services to Enterprise, Small and Medium Businesses, and to Government, Educational, and Medical institutions (Ghazzawi, 2008). Although the company has grown quickly it has failed to effectively manage and retain its workforce, recognize or reward employees, and implement an effective organizational structure.
Future Point Consultants will study and evaluate reasons for Cedar Tech’s problems with it’s weakness in its procedures, organizational structure, communication and leadership issues, and why a recognition system was never put in place. Future Point Consultants will cover corrective actions that will address each of the company’s inefficiencies and core developmental issues within their organization. In addition Future Point Consultants will work with Cedar Tech to fully implement solutions to enable them to progress their business to the next level.

Organizational Objectives and Mission Statement
A mission statement provides all the key objectives that a company needs to utilize in order to be successful. Future Point Consultants suggests that Cedar Tech adopt the following mission statement:
Our mission is to provide innovative technology services and superior quality in all aspects of our growing business. We strive to focus on professional integrity while maintaining superior value service to our customers. We believe our most valued assets are our employees. We focus on diversity and inclusion which empowers our employees to make decisions with creativity and innovative ideas.
A company’s business values are often thought of as a business’s foundation. The business values establish key areas that are important and embody the direction that a company would like to grow in. The core values state the way in which the business will be engaged and managed and suggest the way that employees will be managed, hired, retained, and develop their employees.
Cedar Tech Core Company Values 1. Develop Employee Creativity 2. Valuing Diversity and Inclusion 3. Continuous Learning 4. Rewarding Employees 5. Employee Development 6. Communication Effectiveness 7. Innovation 8. Thinking Outside of the Box 9. Continuous Improvement
Building an Effective Organization Culture
Personality and situational factors affect organizational behavior. It is the interaction of personality and situational factors that determines how people think, feel, and behave in general and, specifically how they do so within an organization (George and Jones, 2012, p. 66). Effective managers recognize that the various situations and personality types interact to determine feelings, thoughts, attitude, and behaviors at work because an understanding of employees’ personalities and the situation in which they perform best enables a manager to help employees perform at high levels and feel good about the work they are doing (George and Jones, 2012, p. 66). Employees differ in their physical ability and cognitive ability so it is also essential for management to recognize this so that they know where to focus not only when assigning tasks but also when coaching and developing their staff.
Future Point Consultants recognizes the importance in developing their employees. If time is not taken to enhance skillsets then it will ensue in a loss of productivity. Developing employees not only helps the individual being developed but there are also positive outcomes of the teams they work on as well as the organization as a whole. From the individual perspective it brings about new chances for career progression, enhanced confidence from increased skill levels, as well as a sense of satisfaction from awards or rewards that are obtained (Hui, 2007). From the team perspective it helps maximize the effectiveness of the team and motivates everyone to perform well (Hui, 2007). From the organizational perspective it creates a huge advantage in administering gains for the company by tapping into the talent, creativity, and imagination of their employees. Fostering a culture that welcomes development reflects well on the managers who help their employees meet aggressive goals (Hui, 2007).
Cedar Tech grew and expanded very quickly. Its employee base grew in excess of 150 employees in a matter of approximately 10 years. It lacks an organizational structure to improve its employee effectiveness (Ghazzawi, 2008). Because the company has grown so fast it operated with a loose and flexible arrangement of roles. A company that grows as fast as Cedar Tech will run into problems if the organizational structure is not redefined allowing each department to have smaller centralized roles and have the time to focus on their employees. In 2001 one of its top goals was to attract, hire, and retain good sales, technical, and other professional personnel. While Cedar Tech has managed to attract and hire these employees, retaining them is a different story.
The company is experiencing high turnover because employees do not feel as if they are being treated fairly. This is evident in the case of department managers acknowledging that they are very busy reacting to problems and customer issues, allowing them little time to coordinate and listen to their employees. In turn a lot of talented employees have left the company because of this unfair treatment. Because there is no centralized focus managers spend most of their time reacting to problems and customer concerns rather than working one on one with their employees to foster a good working environment.
In the quick time that Cedar Tech expanded they were focused on growing the business and became a company that was more task oriented where financial measures were the main focus. Cedar Tech has been described by many employees as one that will not take risks or isn’t willing to empower employees. When employees are empowered to make their own decisions they become motivated to succeed. A company’s employees are its most important asset; giving them the tools to make their own decisions helps foster their creativity and productivity. When new employees are hired there is little to no formal training or coaching. There is no new hire orientation that provides employees with helpful training on core daily tasks Employees are left to either sink or swim which has become extremely frustrating for employees. The employees that are not able to keep their head above water feel like the only situation for improvement is to leave the company. This in turn creates a bad cycle of turnover and no effective knowledge transfer is given between employees. When one employee leaves it forces someone else to do the work previously performed by the lost employees. This is something that is hard for many people to cope with and coupled with the fact that minimal training exists to perform these job functions creates an enormous amount of stress and strain on the employees themselves.
360 degree feedback surveys include direct feedback from an employee’s subordinates, peers, and supervisor(s), as well as a self-evaluation. In some cases it can also include feedback from external sources, such as customers, suppliers, or other interested stakeholders (, 2005). The survey is confidential so it is useful for employees to be honest. Results from the survey are shared with applicable employees and often used to plan and map the specific paths for company and personal development (, 2005). 360 degree surveys help foster individual growth within the organizational climate. Criticisms are usually seen as opportunities for improvement and it raises consciousness on issues so that changes/improvements can be made thus forth improving the company culture/relationships because these problems would have otherwise taken a lot longer to funnel up to the individual parties. With the feedback being given on a routine prompt basis, individuals can start trying to make improvements both interpersonally and businesswise as well. Figure 1 below shows the 360-degree Feedback from multiple perspectives.
Figure 1: 360-degree Feedback from multiple perspectives.

An employee engagement survey is a survey that measures Employee engagement, continuous improvement processes, and cycle to improve employee engagement. It provides processes, knowledge, and tools to help increase employee engagement. It finds the largest impact items first and focuses on those. Then it sets a course to take actions on the highest priorities to improve employee engagement and financial results.
Future Point Consultants believes that Cedar Tech needs to listen to their employees. By having anonymous surveys it is a way for employees to state exactly how they feel without having any repercussions taken against them. The surveys aim to find out where problems exist, where opportunities lie, and what should be done about them. Future Point Consultants feels that if a 360 degree and an engagement survey were administered it would help them implement a change within the organizations leadership, its organizational structure, and also improve its operations’ effectiveness.
Socialization has been unheard of at Cedar Tech. Company sponsored social events are non-existent. Future Point Technologies believes that socialization can result within a sense of uniformity within a society. It helps feed employees work values while at the same time lets them relax. As a result, we recommend that Cedar Tech administer bi-annual off-site gatherings (one during the winter holidays and the other during the summer time). This type of off-site socialization results in less stress and better work because it allows the employee to take a break from their day to day routine and enjoy themselves doing something different. It enables them to come back to work with a fresh mindset and will also help the employees get to know each other in a different environment other than work which will nurture better working relationships and increase work morale.
Future Point Consultants believes that “Management by Walking around (MBWA)” is a great management style to have. In MBWA, all levels of management have a direct participation approach to the work related affairs of their subordinates, in contrast to rigid and distant management. MBWA managers spend a significant amount of their time making informal visits to employee work areas listening to employees. They are able to hear suggestions, complaints, and keep an eye on how the organization is responding to things by wandering around. This in turn helps make managers more approachable on an everyday basis versus a manager staying in their office all the time. While John Curtis, CEO of Cedar Tech, does practice a form of MBWA by actively showing up to meetings’ his management style has proven to be very disruptive by showing up unannounced, being intimidating and asking for answers to questions that were very unexpected. John Curtis is not practicing MBWA in the right way. To begin with, as the effective leader wanders they coach, develop, and engender small wins. At least three major activities are occurring usually at once. They are (1) listening, (2) teaching and (3) facilitating: Listening is the "being in touch" part, getting it firsthand and undistorted - from suppliers, customers and your own people. The very act of listening suggests a form of caring (Peters & Austin, 1985). MBWA is also a "teaching" (and "coaching") act. Values simply must be transmitted face-to-face. The questioning routines, order of visits and a host of other variables add up willy-nilly to the teaching of values. Finally, the wanderer can also be of direct help (Peters & Austin, 1985). Curtis has not displayed acts as he makes his employees frustrated when he shows up unexpectedly.
Future Points Consultants believes that all managers, not only the CEO, should go through management and leadership training. It is not only for managers to develop their employees but they cannot grow themselves if the proper steps are not taken to improve their management style and repertoire with their employees. Future Points Consultants recommends that all levels of management will go through a series of leadership classes conducted by an outside certified training company. The leadership classes will be held quarterly and will be very interactive. The trainings will be held offsite so there are no work distractions and learning can be maximized. It will be an ongoing process so that all managers continue to grow. Successful managers must learn the importance of creating a functional and effective structure, processes, and understanding and managing the human side of the organization as this will enable people to effectively work together to achieve agreed upon goals (Ghazzawi, 2008). An example of why it is so important can be shown with Cedar Tech. Cedar Tech has been so focused on growing the business that they have not had the time or resources to focus on developing and growing their people. In turn, they have lost several employees as a result. In order to retain employees and keep them within the organization they have to be given the proper tools to do their job well. Future Point Consultants will help Cedar Tech to develop an on-boarding process and training program so that they can get the most out of their associates and maintain the best talent. Each New Hire will receive a training deck and outline package of everything that they are to be to be trained on within their job role. Each employee will be trained for a minimum of 4-8 weeks before they are released to perform their job role on their own. In addition to the on-boarding process, standard operating procedures will be documented on most processes and complete documentation on employee job roles and responsibilities will be drafted. All training records, core policies, newly drafted employee handbook, and standard operating procedures will be stored online for easy access on an employee intranet system.
Future Point Consultants believes that knowledge should be shared. If an employee decides to leave the company, gets sick, or obtains a promotion into another department there is no other employee available to help cover that employees tasks. Complete documentation of employee job roles and responsibilities will be developed. Department Cross-Training will become mandatory for employees. There should always be subject matter experts (SME’s) for each area but having other employees with a broad base knowledge of certain roles is essential to keeping Cedar Tech productive. It shows that this will be productive because having just one person with all of the know-how to do a particular function has become a paralyzing handicap for Cedar Tech. When one person leaves the company, the next person that has taken their place scrambles to learn the new role. Cross-Training and implementing key training procedures will become extremely beneficial in reducing the pressure of employees learning new or different roles.
Techniques for Motivation
What people think and feel about work in general, and about their jobs and organizations in particular, affects not only how they behave at work but also their overall well-being and how happy, healthy, and prosperous they are (George and Jones, 2012, p. 92). Maintaining high levels of employee satisfaction and commitment over time can be hard for a company like Cedar Tech who has recently seen an uptick in their employee turnover rates. Cedar Tech needs to change their focus from being task oriented to making their employees happy and treating them with respect. When employees are satisfied, committed, and happy they tend to be more productive and do an overall better job. An example of this can be shown in a recent study that spanned over five years. It states that “employees put greatest value on interesting work, full appreciation for a job well done and a feeling of being in on things. Wages, job security and promotions rank at, or near, the bottom of employees' wish lists (Jay, 2002). And a three-year survey of employee attitudes conducted by the Hay Group shows that committed employees find their greatest satisfaction comes from respectful treatment.” (Jay, 2002). If you make the effort to make a happy and fun work environment employees are more enthusiastic about their work. Job satisfaction influences turnover, the amount of work that is completed, and an employee’s overall well-being. Work values are an employee’s personal convictions about what outcomes one should expect from work and how one should behave at work (George and Jones, 2012, p. 93). Work values are important because they reflect what people are trying to achieve at work. If an employee thinks that he/she should be learning new things on the job then they may be unhappy in a work environment that doesn’t provide continual learning. Employees that desire to be challenged, learn new things, make important contributions, and reach their full potential on their jobs have intrinsic work values. It is important to challenge these employees and empower them to make their own decisions and allow them to grow. Employees who value extrinsic work values get a higher sense of satisfaction from what they get out of work. Such things are high pay, job security, benefits, and time off. Many people have a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic values. Therefore it is important that if changes are made in the workplace it is important to be open-minded about which of these values is being affected.
After Cedar Tech acquired Denta Solutions, Frank the VP of sales stood up and made a statement to the employees that “there can be little doubt that the most significant contributions to playing in the IT solutions arena was the acquisition of Denta Solutions. At this time there was no mention of the employee work it took to get there. Employees want to feel appreciated. Acknowledging and rewarding an employee for their hard work can go a long way.
Employees at Cedar Tech have complained about being treated unfairly. This is evident because their promotion and/or salary increase is not systematic or standardized. It is based on the managers’ recommendation and justification for each employee’s raise, profitability, and other financial measures that employees may not be directly accountable for. Job performance may be overlooked for some employees. If the employee doesn’t have a good working relationship with their manager then some of the work that they do will never be represented in their performance management system where each employee is given a raise. Employees are completing their responsibilities, some of which at a faster rate than others and there is no accurate way to account for this. Employees that are capable of taking on bigger roles and tasks are never noticed and their talent is being wasted. The current performance management system doesn’t give the employees any motivation to do a good job or to get work done completely and efficiently. It only motivates them to create a good relationship with their boss so that they can get a raise which is unfair and has caused many employees to leave.
Lacking a performance management system also means that there is a lack of goals, both personal and department specific. Employees need goals to work towards as well as to determine how well an employee is progressing in their current role. Coming to work every day not having anything to work towards makes work dull and un-motivational. It becomes a task that they no longer enjoy doing but just have to do. The Cedar Tech goals that were presented to each employee were to have highly motivated, highly skilled, entrepreneurial, team players, high performing, and committed individuals at all levels. Although this is their goal they have not taken the proper steps to retain, motivate, sustain, or develop each individual employee which is the reason for the low morale of the company as a whole.
On several exit interviews, Cedar Tech employees stated the ultimate success of the organization was dependent on ensuring the culture supported the organization’s strategy. They stated that the culture was currently inert, super conservative, cautious, and does not value taking risks. These factors make many of the remaining employees cynical of management and the overall company. Top management believes that a flexible, playful environment needs to be encouraged because it motivates creativity. However those organizational objectives that Cedar Tech states its focusing on are not what it is currently pursuing. Current objectives only focus on future expansion and more growth instead of its employees. If they focus more on their employees and the work environment the other measures will fall into place.
Cedar Tech lacks a solid performance management system. Future Point Consultants believes that a new performance based system needs to be developed not only to rate each employee accurately but to create a morale and motivational booster. Raises will be based on performance and what goals and accomplishments each employee has achieved compared to the current method of giving out raises for having a good working relationship with your manager. Each employee will be assigned achievable company given goals that pertain to their daily job role. The employee and their immediate supervisor will both sit down and go over the goals to ensure that they make sense for both the employee and the company. All goals should be smart driven goals that will in the end be performance boosters. Each employee will also be required to set a minimum of one goal for themselves which will serve to be a developmental goal. This goal should be something that the employee seeks to get better at and can be trained to do or something that the employee would like to accomplish for themselves. Having a goal that they would like to perform themselves is a huge motivational booster for each employee because they will seek to accomplish each of their own performance goals.
Ratings for the performance management system will be numbers based. For each goal accomplished a number rating will be given to that particular employee. Each of these numbers will be combined in the end to give a cumulative number in which the base merit increase is based off of. If the employee has accomplished other things beyond their goals that benefit the companies productivity and bottom line, those performance measures will be combined for a yearly bonus.
Employees want to be valued for their work no matter how big or small the task. Future Point Consultants will help develop a reward and incentive program that bolster employees creativity processes and empower them to think outside of the box. Cedar Tech will start to award employees for their innovation. Innovations will be captured throughout the year and several employees will get Innovation awards based on improving work environment, cost savings, increased productivity, and overall creativity. These innovation awards will be permanently captured on a company wall called “Innovation Island”. Having the employees work open for everyone to see enables the workforce to want to do the same thing because they know that they have made a difference and their work is being appreciated.
Other reward programs include the development of a “Spotlight on Excellence” program where employees are rewarded for exceptional work among different departments. This program is something new developed by Future Point Consultants to help employees feel more appreciated. The “Spotlight on Excellence” program rewards top employees among different departments for outstanding work performance. The employees that make it into the program will be rewarded with an expense paid local trip during work hours for the awardees and their bosses, a company parking spot, lunch, and a recognition ceremony in front of the rest of the staff.
Building Effective Training and Diversity Programs
Cedar Tech is currently promoting organization norm “Welcome To Our LEARNING ORGANIZATION” because management believed that the learning organization will lead to positive change and growth in the individual, team, and organization. However, in reality, there is no learning environment exists within the company. In addition, there is little time to give for training new employees. Therefore, new employees were not functionally trained. Most new employees were thrown into their jobs and let them learn by on-the-job training without any expert supervisor. New employees were not provided adequate training, this resulted in role ambiguity. Moreover, Cedar Tech not only lack of training throughout the company, but also lack of diversity in the workplace. As a result of treating inequitably among employees, Cedar Tech lost many talented and skilled employees. A feeling of inequity by Cedar Tech employees was also perceived as little chance for advancement for certain sectors of the Cedar Tech workforce such as women and minorities
The goal for Cedar Tech is to create a learning organization that promotes learning of current employees as well as training of new employees to assist in job sharing opportunities and improve employee morale and loyalty. Additionally, Cedar Tech would like to create a diversity programs which would also be used to assist women and minorities in gaining promotional opportunities and make the company more family friendly. Furthermore, the organization wants to wipe out inequity in order to reduced employee turnover rate because employees felt that they were treated inequitably and lack of motivation. In order to achieve goal, first of all, Cedar Tech must identify desired behavior which is learning environment. New employees will be trained 4 to 8 weeks before they are allowed to conduct their job by themselves. During training session, management may use partial reinforcement schedules because there is little to give training. While new employees are trained, management may add positive reinforcement to them as well as remove negative reinforcement from them to put desired behavior into their mindset. In order to assist new employees learn about the company’s culture, environment, policies, and their job duties, management may create a mentoring program. In this program, every new employee will be required to attend two days of training when they first begin in the company. The two days training includes information on company policies such as benefits, payment day, vacation date, and diversity programs. During this training, all new employees will be assigned a mentor to assist them for the first six months. However, every mentor will go through a mentor training program before being accepted into the program. Mentors are responsible for training new hires as well as providing them with any assistance during their employment. Beside new employees, other employees will use 360 degree feedback survey in order to design training programs that help their needs because not all of employees will require a same training. Cedar Tech employees will be trained by learning through creativity. By using continuous learning through creativity, it will result in enhancing employee enthusiasm and benefiting employees who lack of motivation. ‘‘Free thinking and imaginary flights develop human’s mental dexterity, but the pursuit of purpose is the fertilizer that can change ideas into reality’’ (Joubert, 2001, p.19). Cedar Tech will offer job shadowing training to employees who are interested in finding a new challenge. This training program is by application only. This program allows applied employees to suggest a position within the company that they would like to learn more about. Furthermore, the employees must detail why they have chosen that positions and what skills they currently have that could apply to that position and which skills they wish to learn. Therefore, management will determine where to place the employees if they are eligible. Not only does job shadowing training allow for cross training, but also helps employees out when promotional opportunities become available. Each job shadow opportunity will have a mentor assists and evaluates the employees during their time. Cedar Tech could begin its diversity program by hosting a variety of diversity awareness training courses. These courses might include Sexual Orientation, Understanding Multicultural, and Women Rights in Corporate. * Sexual Orientation * Understanding Multicultural * Women Rights in Corporate
Finally, empowering training program is needed for upper level managers including top executives. Cedar Tech must recruit experts and specialists from outside in the fields of specific training need. Because top executives and upper managers possibly have high ego to prevent them “listen” and accept training from each other, outsourced experts and specialists would be the best choice for them.
Organization Structure
The growth of Cedar Tech has been so fast it operated informally with a loose and flexible arrangement of roles. Although this old structure, flexible roles, and informal relationships had worked well in the past, there were signs that problems were arising.
Cedar Tech’s operational effectiveness is greatly impacted by its organizational structure this does not support achieving organizational goals effectively.
In addition, Cedar Tech’s highly decentralized decision making process has an impact on the communication process among managers and creates an unstable synergy condition.
According to Melita Rant, company’s organization has two perspectives, static and dynamic. The former refers to organizational structure; the later refers to organizational processes. Organizational structure can be either more organic or more mechanic in its nature. Mechanic structure assures higher level of efficiency of company’s operations. Organic structure assures a higher level of inventiveness and flexibility in company’s operations. Organizational processes include planning of business processes and company’s organization, enforcement of planned organization and controlling of business processes and enforced organization. Through constant repetition of organizational processes company learns and develops new insights and knowledge about appropriateness of its organization, about effectiveness of its operations and about its environmental threats and opportunities. Through constant flow of knew knowledge company can operate more efficiently, flexibly and innovatively and, consequently, improve its chances for survival (Rant, 2004). 1. Cedar Tech’s top management belief of the “Learning Organization” concept was non- existent because rapid growth for expansion took priority over employee empowerment. Top management needed to understand the essential components of a learning organization, and the positive impact employees will bring with their knowledge and understanding that all elements throughout the organization are inter connected. In order for Cedar Tech to improve its learning organization strategy is essential to clarify the key activities central to a learning organization. Peter Senge, a learning theorist has identified five keys activities that need to be considered: 2.1. Encourage personal mastery or high self-efficacy. In order for members of an organization to strive to find new ways of improving organizational effectiveness, they must have confidence in their abilities to do so. 2.2. Develop complex scheme to understand work activities. In order for the members of an organization to learn to cut costs and increase revenues, they must have an appreciation of not only their own jobs, but also how the work they do affects the work of others and the organization as a whole. 2.3. Encourage learning in groups and teams. New discoveries often take place in groups and teams. Members of groups and teams need to strive to find new ways of doing things and manage the learning process by, for example, increasing the self-efficacy of group members who may question their own capabilities. 2.4. Communicate a shared vision for the organization as a whole. Members of an organization need guidance in terms of what they should be striving for. What are really needed are creativity and innovation to develop new products, concepts, and experiences that customers don’t even know they want and then realize they can’t live without. 2.5. Encourage system thinking. Organizations are systems of interrelated parts. What one part of the organization does or learns affects other parts of the organization. Organizational members must be encouraged to think in these terms and address their actions in groups and teams influence other parts of the organization (George & Jones, 2012).
According to Peter Senge, learning is “about changing individuals so that they produce results they care about, accomplish things that are important to them”, and it is the best way for a company to come to terms with a rapidly changing world (Senge, 2008). 2. In order to design a more effective organization structure, we must consider the different factors and conditions that have an adverse impact on the organization’s operations interfering with reaching organizational goals and producing positive outcomes. Uncertainty conditions affecting Cedar Tech’s highly decentralized decision making may be better understood by utilizing the “Contingency Theory” approach. According to Charles Hofer, if contingency theory of business and corporate strategy can be successfully developed, their implications are obvious and important. At a minimum, they should help improve the productivity of corporations, large and small, by improving the strategy choices made by such organizations. This, of course, would lead directly to improvements in the overall productivity of society as a whole (Hofer, 1975). There are three essential components on the “Contingency Theory” we must analyze in order for Cedar Tech to possess an organizational design that aligns with its organizational goals. 3.6. The Organizational Environment: Cedar Tech management’s main focus on rapid growth and expansion had an impact on communication among themselves as well as their decision making becoming highly decentralized. The lack of culture impacted human capital retention affected by a high turnover rate and socialization was non-existent. 3.7. Technology: Cedar Tech’s large variety of computer technology offerings in order to stay competitive in the market environment presented an obstacle among employees due to the lack of flexibility to make decisions that will arise from unforeseen situations. 3.8. Human Resources and the Employment Relationship: Cedar Tech lacked formal training for employees and advancement for women and minorities. There was a non-existent employee relationship structure with human resources neither fostering motivation nor team empowerment. 3. Cedar’s Tech current organization structure does not provide the necessary communication support among middle managers and their employees. Due to the lack of structure at the first-line managers/supervisor level, there is a non-existent employee relationship at lower levels in the organization structure. Crucial changes need to be made at the first-line managers/supervisors level, this essential management structural change will enhance the communication process between employees, first-line managers/supervisors, middle managers and upper management team.
In order to enhance the communication process and involve everyone in the organization-management and non-management is necessary to make organizational structure changes. Cedar Tech’s organizational management structure must be adjusted to emphasize an employee Career Planning/Advancement program. This Career Planning/Advancement program will consist on giving an opportunity for promotion to first line employees that have not been considered due to Cedar Tech’s top management focus solely on rapid growth and financial gains. There will be fair application process open to candidates from each of the departments throughout the organization. These new roles and functions to be added to its organizational structure will have a clear impact on taking Cedar Tech to the next level on their rapid growth. The structural changes will improve the communication process among middle managers and employees. These management changes should be implemented as of May 2013 with the beginning of the new Fiscal year. Future Point Consultants, Inc. firm will present its findings to Cedar Tech’s top management prior to finalizing their budget for Fiscal year 2013 – 2014.

Table 1: Areas of Management as of August 2013 Levels/Areas | Sales | Finance and Human Resources | Operations | | | | | Upper Management | | | | * President/CEO (1) | | | | * VP (3) | 1 | 1 | 1 | | | | | Middle Managers | | | | * Directors (1) | 0 | 0 | 1 | * Managers (11) | 4 | 2 | 5 | | | | | First-line Managers/Supervisors (13) | 5 | 2 | 6 | | | | | Employees (144) | Inside Sales 25 | Accounting 12 | Shipping 24 | | Bus. Development 20 | H. Resource 3 | Customer Service 8 | | Software Advisor 5 | Rec. /Admin. Support 3 | Project Managers 7 | | | | Engineers 13 | | | | Technicians 22 | | | | | Total Organization | | | | | | | | (171) | 60 | 23 | 87 |

Figure 2: Organizational Chart as of August 2013

Most adequate organizational structure based on contingences and level of uncertainty.
According to Norman H. Wright Jr., rapid advances in technology and the ever changing competitive environment of the market place are turning more and more managers away from traditional business structures to an organizational approach provides quicker and more flexible responses to customer needs. Traditional hierarchical organizations work fine for business with limited or well defined product lines, but industries that place a high premium on inventiveness, deal with hybrid technologies, and require quick expansion or development of product lines often find the strict functional structure of organization too confining (Wright, 1979).
The Matrix structure seemed the most appropriate organization structure based on Cedar Tech’s uncertainty conditions, but due to the current lack of organizational structure, the Matrix will not produce positive outcomes instead it will create more conflict and instability throughout the entire organization. Based on Cedar’s Tech high levels of uncertainty on their environment, technology and work force, it is imperative to create a structure that is flexible and responsive to the current market conditions. As previously stated during the “Contingency Theory” approach for Cedar Tech’s analysis, it would be essential to provide the organization with an organic type of structure. An organizational type of structure that improves the development of tasks enhancing team work, while allowing employees to be more efficient meeting market demands, and as an adequate structure to bring Cedar Tech’s into a more personal relationship with their employees is the creation of a “Cross-Functional Team Structure”.
According to Patricia Buhler more organizations are utilizing cross functional teams. These teams are comprised of people from various areas within the company. For example, accountants work with marketers, human resource people with engineers and finance individuals with operations employees. People from one functional department are placed on teams with people from other functional areas. The ultimate goal is to improve organizational performance by cutting production time or time to market (Buhler, 2007).
Figure 3: A Cross-Functional Team Structure

Effective Communication
Communication is imperative for the success of Cedar Tech because it essentially affects the business in every facet of the organizations behavior. Author Akinchan Buddhodev Sinha, Journal of Soft Skills (Business Communications: The Mainstay of an Efficient Business, 2012), states, “Human relations will disappear if communication becomes extinct.”
When communication is done appropriately it gives each person of the organization the capability to understand the goals of the company, and to better adhere to each other’s personalities, attitudes and values (Jennifer M. George/Gareth R. Jones Understanding and Managing Organizational Behavior, 6th Edition, pg. 403).
Open communication provides employees with motivation due to the confidence of knowing exactly what is expected of them within their job specifications and leaders can provide guidance and encouragement through effective communication. Listening to and understanding the employee’s needs and problems is greatly important to a business and should be given priority (Akinchan Buddhaodev Sinha, Business Communications: The Mainstay of an Efficient Business, 2012).
Cedar Tech’s main issue is that communications and information sharing are becoming limited to individuals within departments or divisions. This causes a problem within the company, because each department is making decisions based on what would be most beneficial for that specific department without considering the welfare of the company in its entirety. Managers within the departments are all decentralized and making decisions without regard to other departments, causing alienation within the company and redundancy. Very few employees know of the company’s goals and strategies due to the lack of communication by top and middle management. Employees have a general consensus that they are not valued at Cedar Tech due to the absence of communication, not having the knowledge of what is expected of them, and not understanding the goals and strategy of the company.
In order to provide effective communication unity within Cedar Tech Future Point Consultants recommends that Cedar Tech adhere to a shared principle that employees can unite around in order to motivate the employees with a shared goal in mind. The shared principle that is recommended is based on McKesson’s Corporations shared principle of “ICARE” ( The acronym of ICARE for all Cedar Tech employees that is based on the mission statement of the company will stand for I=Innovative Technology, C=Continuous Learning, A=Accountability, R=Rewarding Environment and E=Employees are assets.
It is important that Cedar Tech is transparent within the company in order for there to be cohesiveness between each department. Future Point Consultants recommends that Cedar Tech provide employees with an online newsletter that will provide details of what each department is doing in that month; for example special projects that may be occurring or if an employee is being recognized for exceptional performance and birthdays can be announced as well. Employees will know what is happening within the company at all times and this will provide motivation and high performance due to feeling as if they are a part of the company as a whole. In order to coincide with the mission of the company in regards to diversity, the newsletter will be translated into several different languages and there will be a special section for women in business.
It is imperative for employees to feel that they can communicate their problems or concerns that they may have about the company or their department that they work in with top management at Cedar Tech. It is significant for employees to feel free to speak openly without have any repercussions. It is recommended that Cedar Tech put an “open door” policy in place, however, in the beginning stages immediate supervisors and or human resources will provide the “open door” to the employees and eventually the employees will have the opportunity to take their ideas and concerns to upper management. A suggestion in order to have upper management involved in the beginning stages is to give an employee of the month award with the reward being a set time spent with the CEO of Cedar Tech to discuss his/her ideas or concerns.
A virtual suggestion box for the employees is recommended as well for employees to have a means of providing feed back to the company without having the worry of repercussions. The virtual suggestions will be extracted by the human resources department on a weekly basis and the suggestions will be considered and discussed with middle management and will involve upper management if need be. Upper management will make all final decisions of the suggestions. Employees will also feel that their ideas are contributing to the department that they are working in and the company’s goals as a whole.
Personal technology such as smart phones can contribute to better communication as well. Most employees are tied to their phones and use their devices to receive emails and text messages. Cedar Tech has the opportunity to use the employee’s phones for communication in a clever and informal way to keep employees reminded of the company’s goals on a daily basis. An example would be that employees could sign up for a daily text from their department or from top management.
Training in communications would benefit all employees of Cedar Tech and quarterly training is recommended for all departments from an outside communication training consultant group. This type of training will assist employees with communicating with each other on a peer-to-peer basis, middle management and upper management. Middle management will receive training in order to communicate with each other, lower level employees and upper management. Upper management will receive training to assist with communicating with the company as a whole. Communication is not only about expressing ones ideas, but the knowledge of how to express ones ideas effectively and communication training will provide this service. Training in effective communication will be provided to new hire employees within the first 4-8 weeks of being hired and will continue throughout their employment at Cedar Tech. Communication training will be done on sight by an outside communication training company and will be based on the principles of the 7 C’s of communication (Herta Murphy, Herbert Hildebrandt and Jane Thomas, Effective Business Communications), which are clear, concise, concrete, correct, coherent, complete, and courteous. Cedar Tech will also provide training via seminars and workshops in written communications, in-person communications and face-to-face communications.
Cedar Tech does not currently have monthly meetings that involves all employees where there is an open platform to discuss ideas, ask important questions or raise concerns. An informal monthly meeting is recommended in order to unite all employees in the involvement of the company’s goals and strategies and to give the employees the opportunity to observe upper management as leaders. This meeting should be a fun and exciting meeting in order to excite the employees about the company they work for, Cedar Tech.
An intranet computer network will be put into place in order for each department to share information internally in order to stop the redundancy of work being done. This communication process will involve a company dashboard that employees can log into at any moment of the day to see what projects are being done or completed and it will be a means for employees to communicate to each other or their immediate supervisors.
Future Point Consultants recommends that the channels of communications be open at all times and that upper management and middle managers communicate on a daily basis to the employees. Open communication is effective due to the fact that all employees will know the goals and expectations of their job and the company as a whole.
Quality of Decision Making
Cedar Tech currently had the decision making process in this organization highly decentralized, so different departments making decisions based on what is best for their department not the company. The departments are functioning independently because of insufficiency communication and too oriented task. In addition to information sharing were limited, Cedar Tech usually made reluctant decision. These conditions prevent the company to maximize profit.
The bottom line of decision making problem is lack of communication while Future Point Consultants has recommended solutions for resolving communication problems in “Effective Communication” part. However, effective communication is not enough to promote improved decision making process. Cedar Tech needs to create effective groups and teams in order to improve quality of decision making. Creating effective groups will allow employees at Cedar Tech to become more creative and persuasive. Therefore, effective groups would bring new ideas to the organization. As a result of obtaining input from various departments, Cedar Tech will be provided with a diversity of resources, knowledge, and ideas.
There are many techniques that Cedar Tech may be applied to improve group decision making. For example, brainstorming, nominal group technique (NGT), Delphi technique, and Total Quality Management are few techniques that Cedar Tech can promote to improve their decision making process.
In a mean time, Cedar Tech can use classical model of decision making for an urgent project (George & Jones, International Sixth Edition). To put it simply, just follow these four steps: 1. Listing all alternatives from which a choice will be selected: These alternatives represent different responses to the problem or the opportunity. 2. Listing the consequences of each alternative: The consequences are what would occur if a given alternative were selected. 3. Considering one's own preferences for each alternative or set of consequences and then ranking the sets from most preferred to least preferred. 4. Selecting the alternative that will result in the most preferred set of consequences.
Leadership Style Cedar Tech is using a situational approach leadership style called the low supportive-low directive style, or a delegating style. In this approach, the leader offers less task input and social support, facilitating employee’s confidence and motivation in reference to the task. The delegative leader lessens involvement in planning, control of details, and goal clarification. After the group agrees on what it is to do, this style lets subordinates take responsibility for getting the job done the way they see fit. Cedar Tech is giving control to subordinates and refraining from intervening with unnecessary social support. People in general have aspirations to improve their quality of life which entails opportunities to grow with a company and move up. But when managers are too busy to listen to their subordinates and develop meaningful relationships, employees feel ignored, and end up moving on to other employment where they can feel valued.
Cedar Tech leadership style causes many problems, among those are decentralized decision making, communication only flows downward eliminating valuable feedback from subordinates that can impact productivity goals, strategy, and the vision of the company. The company is financially driven rather than being culturally driven which is a extrinsic value that only last in the short term when a company is growing at a rapid pace. In Cedar Tech’s case employees see a company with a huge bankroll, but they are not being rewarded for the company’s financial success. Not being rewarded is a harsh de-motivator to employees that are working hard and makes employees not want to come to work. When employees don’t show for work it makes other team players work more harder causing emotional exhaustion. The leadership at Cedar Tech does not have a good performance evaluation process to assess their employee knowledge, skills, and abilities’, nor a leadership development plan. Management and supervisors relinquish employee esteem, confidence, and commitment when they don’t provide constructive criticism. Cedar Tech leadership is very un-organized and managements poor communication has destroyed employee morale and job-satisfaction. We realize Cedar Tech does not have a formal set of rules, policies, and processes for managers that are non-negotiable. Therefore, managers cannot be held accountable, nor their employees. Holding leaders accountable will drastically decrease leaders and employees from being unobligated to high performance, motivation, and entrepreneurial ship. Good processes drive organizational effectiveness which drives all aspects of a company achieving its plans. Processes are the characteristics enabling a culture to form and its effects shape the attitudes and behaviors of individuals and groups. 70 percent of the variation in levels of job satisfaction can be influenced by managers. To influence employees to do what we need them to for Cedar Tech our first step will be to establish trust so our employees feel secure, stable, and assured that they will have the tools and resources to do their jobs well. We will suggest processes that empower the Cedar Tech organization so employees will be motivated to contribute. In addition, we recommend job enrichment, job design, and mentorships programs so employees will have a feeling of accomplishment. Cedar Tech does not have a diversity training program where managers can learn to accept difference and equitably advance women and minorities appropriately. The company is autocratic and conservative and misuses power.
Under the outlining conditions Future Point Consultants have thoroughly analyzed multiple leadership styles and are sure that Cedar Tech style of leadership should be Transformational in the short term and then evolve to Authentic and or Leadership of the soul by New York Time’s best-selling author Deepak Chopra; a physician, public speaker, and writer of 65 books totaling over 20 million copies sold and translated into 35 languages worldwide. We recognize that Cedar Tech Top Management does not have a systematic way to lead its company into the future.
Key Dimensions that underlie the concept of trust in organizational relationships
The key dimensions that underlie the concept of trust in organizational relationships have to do with the Leader’s ability to create an image of an attractive, realistic, and believable future.
Bennis and Nanus (1985) say that “a vision must be simple, understandable, beneficial, and energy creating”. The compelling nature of the vision should touch the experience of followers and pull them into supporting the organization. A clear vision allows employees to learn how they fit into the organization. It empowers them because they feel they are a significant dimension of a worthwhile enterprise. Leaders shape and form the shared meanings employees maintain within their organization. A leader’s communication needs to transform their organizations values and norms and mobilize employees to accept a new group identity or a new philosophy for their organization. Leaders create trust in the organization by making their own positions clearly known and then standing by them. Trust has to do with being predictable or reliable, even in situations that are uncertain. Leaders build trust by articulating a direction and then consistently implementing the direction even though the vision may involve a high degree of uncertainty. Also transforming leaders need to use creative deployment of themselves through positive self-regard. “Leaders need to know their strength and weaknesses, and they need to emphasize their strengths rather than dwelling on their weaknesses. Based on the awareness of their own competence, effective leaders are able to immerse themselves in their task and the overarching goals of their organization”, says Bennis & Nanus (1985). The leaders should be able to fuse a sense of self with the work at hand. The positive self-regard in leaders has a reciprocal impact on followers, creating in them feelings of confidence and high expectations. In addition, leaders must be committed to learning and relearning, with a consistent emphasis on education. When leaders establish trust in an organization, it will give the organization a sense of integrity analogous to a healthy identity (Benis and Nanus, 1985). The nature of trust has a high cost to organizations of distrust and betrayal. In order to achieve organizational excellence intimate relationships must be considered. The key dimensions that underlie trust in organizations is not just critically important; it is the main thing; the essential element of organizational success.
Cedar Tech Leadership Development Plan
Part 1 - Cedar Tech leadership can be improved by self-monitoring human behavioral energy and power. Leadership can’t obsess over risks but rather keep their focus on positive outcomes. Face problems when they are still in seed form. Be attuned to the groups needs first and foremost. Show confidence in those to whom they delegate authority. Open themselves to every avenue of information and wise counsel. The most effective skill would be for a leader to continuously self-evaluate their higher purpose and how it fits with the organization and those they lead. Most leaders act from their five-sensory modality. Leaders use their five senses of feel, smell, taste, hear, and see when they make decisions rather than using their multi-sensory human modality; the state of non-physical external powers of authenticity such as the soul. Leaders fail to realize what the soul is and the power the soul has to make great decisions. Leaders who rely on external powers produce energy needs for physical dominance that produces a type of competition that affects every aspect of their employee’s lives. “The same energy affects relationships between lovers, between siblings, and between races, between classes, and between sexes. It disrupts the natural tendency toward harmony between nations and, between friends” (Zukav, 1989). For example: the same energy that sent warships to the Persian Gulf sent soldiers to Vietnam and Crusaders to Palestine. The same energy set Lee Harvey Oswald against John Kennedy is the same energy that set Cain against Abel. Brothers and sisters quarrel for the same reason that corporations quarrel; they seek power over one another. Anything a leader fears to lose is a symbol of external power. As leaders ourselves we can see on the newscast and in newspapers countless sufferings as individuals and as a species, that the perception of power as external brings only pain. There’s no way to predict who will be a good leader. Leadership traits point us in the right direction and the studies are useful but the trait viewpoint conceptualizes leadership as a property or set of properties possessed in varying degrees by different people (Jago, 1982) “This suggests that traits reside in select people and restricts leadership to those who are believed to have special, usually inborn, talents.” Therefore, I’d recommend leaders to learn to use their multisensory human skills, that authentic power will align their thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of themselves. They will be filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning. Their life will be rich and full.
Part 2 - Among other things, leaders can ask for feedback from those who let them lead. Research shows that when leaders have face to face communication with each employee it will help retain top talent from moving on to other organizations where the grass may be greener, gifts of flowers, birthday cakes, and parties are perceived as better. This is why it’s important for leaders to be emotional intelligent if they listen empathically and see their employees’ ideas and feeling versus who they are, leaders will be more effective. Goleman (1995) “suggested that emotional intelligence plays a major role in whether people are successful at school, home, and work”.
Part 3 - Also the leader’s performance evaluation should have objectives that require leaders to communicate job roles and responsibilities with their subordinate’s. For example; a couple of questions like “Did you have a one on one face to face sit-down meeting with each of your employee’s,” or “How often did you meet with each employee?” These questions need to be asked by leader managers on a leader's performance evaluation. Setting this process as a non-negotiable will help motivate leaders to make time for their employees and allow leaders to keep their employees informed about Cedar Techs strategy and goals. The quality time spent with employees will have some psychological benefits as well; such as employees feeling like they are valued. Employees need to feel they belong to the company rather than just work for the company. This communication process will help maintain employee self-esteem and provide mentorship. “One very important developmental experience that affects career success is effective mentor relationships” (Ensher & Murphy, 2005).
Part 4 - Another plan is to institute a viewpoint survey that The Gallop Organization administers. The survey can access employee job satisfaction among other things. The viewpoint survey is a series of questions each employee submits an answer to. The survey is autonomous and employees are asked to answer the questions honestly. Once all the employees have taken the survey, each employee’s answer including their manager’s answer’s are compiled and analyzed by Gallop and then given back to top management. The surveys results are a painted picture of the organizations culture and a barometer as to employee job-satisfaction. Leaders can then implement processes to drive what they believe “good” should look like or rather best practices. Overall the company score is rated against other businesses alike and leaders focus on improving defunct areas. For example; a score of 70 in 2012 should move to 80 in 2013 upon Best Buys store leadership team developing a SMART plan for improving processes. The survey has been proven to work for Best Buy in 1995 when the company was nearly bankrupt. If not for the Viewpoint survey Best Buy would have not grown from a 1 million dollar company to a 10 billion dollar company. Instead of growing, Best Buy would have gone out of business in 1995 because Best Buy stock hovered around $8 a share and not many expected it would avoid bankruptcy. I worked for Best Buy from 1994-2009. In 1995, the owner and CEO Richard Shultz paid 5 million dollars of his personal money to the Gallop Organization in hopes that he could improve the organizations effectiveness in delivering the best customer service experience a retailer could provide. The Gallop Organization suggested Best Buy select and pay several customers that disliked shopping at Best Buy to see why they did not like shopping at Best Buy. Then they asked employees and managers a list of 50 questions for their likes and dislikes about company processes and employee relations. A survey now called the “Viewpoint Survey”. The 1995 survey results revealed Best Buy had many redundancies and inefficiencies. Therefore the company came up with a strategy to be implemented called “Retail Simplification”, which meant making processes simpler for employees that would enhance a customer’s shopping experience. For example: I was an audio sales supervisor in 1995. Best Buy would make its sales staffs unload trucks and stock merchandise during peak hours of business which inadvertently perturbed customers who needed questions answered about the products they were interested in. The task of off-loading trucks with a dedicated merchandising team was implemented freeing the sales departments to help customers during peak times which translated to more revenue dollars per transaction per store hour. Also employees were frustrated and unmotivated on truck nights and would purposely call off or change their availability so they would not have to deal with a nagging customer, product organizing, clean-up, stocking, go-back’s, powering down, cart collection, and much more. Sales employees would take short cuts and made many errors multitasking between many tasks that needed to be completed every day. As a result Best Buy turnover was extremely high because most employees felt they were underpaid in relation to how much work was required of them. Customers also viewed Best Buy as an unorganized cluttered working environment when they walked inside a department and saw pallets of product and merchandise scattered throughout the walk-ways. It was determined that customers associated work area cleanliness with sales expertise. Moreover, customers did not trust that our sales associates new what they were talking about, if they couldn’t even keep their work areas clean. However, things got much better for Best Buy as top-management was enabled to see employee and customer feedback conversely. Our customer’s perceptions became our realities and set up a customer service competitive advantage. Best Buy new how to listen and use it’s people more effectively is what really changed the company around for the better. I remember the turning point for the company vividly on one Saturday morning during a mandatory meeting derived from the “viewpoint survey”, of which several Best Buy customers told their most displeasing concerns about Best Buy service on video. From that day on I knew Best Buy was serious about improving its inefficiencies. The Gallop Organization's “Viewpoint Survey”, was conducted every year I worked for Best Buy; centralizing decision making and empowering all employees. Seeing my ideas and feelings taken seriously meant a lot. I had a purpose and I was an intrinsic part of something phenomenal which was caring about a customer’s unique situation and recommending the most appropriate product for his or her or someone else’s happiness. After one year management had turned things around and by the end of the next decade, Circuit City had gone the way of the dinosaurs.
Part 5 - In addition, leaders need to institute a continuance learning cycle through the company’s intranet so all employees can easily access the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Top management initiatives should be implemented through information systems whereas all employees are given electronic access to learn new strategies, structures, and processes. A good IS will allow new employee’s as well as existing employees to learn their role and responsibilities when it’s convenient. Processes, rules, regulations, and an employee handbook should be easy to find and available to any employee who would like to know something about Cedar Tech’s business. The company’s should have an open book policy for resources and tools employees need to be highly effective because employees will not stress out when they encounter a problem when all the information they need is available on a IS system nearby.
Company-Wide Empowerment Plan
Future Point Consultants has designed an elaborate empowerment plan for Cedar Tech company-wide. We recognize that an empowerment plan will be an appropriate development characteristic to improve quality, productivity and employee satisfaction. Currently Cedar Tech does not have any empowerment plan. Empowering the Cedar Tech employees will create a positive work atmosphere affecting employee attitudes, feelings, and emotions. Empowerment promotes teamwork and encourages all employees to contribute to the organization. Cedar Tech employees will be more creative and innovative when they are allowed to do things that help the company with their own ideas. Cedar Tech employees may have great ideas how to improve Cedar Techs product lines, but if there is no process to do so leaders leave that untapped potential on the table. Packard’s Law, “A great company is more likely to die of indigestion from too much opportunity than starvation from too little.” We can trace this back to an early age, when rules imposed by teachers and our mother and fathers seemed impossible to challenge. As a result, we felt repressed for most of our childhoods, and we found relief by rebelling. In our youth we never thought of changing the rules because that simply wasn’t an option, our social systems were set in stone (Chopra, pg. 209). The day we get a pat on the back and a superior say’s “Do It”, whatever our idea is, we are in such utter shock that we explode with passion, dedication, and enthusiasm like a pressure cooker!
Problem & Solution
The problems with Cedar Tech not having an empowerment plan, is it hampers the top managers, leaders, supervisors, and employees ability to produce organizational effectiveness. Employees are less committed to the company and not participative. Employees will not actively engage in work outside of their areas voluntarily. Therefore, Future Point Consultants recommends delegating authority and responsibility so feelings of accomplishment can be achieved. Feelings of accomplishments are high on research surveys for producing job- satisfaction. Future Point Consultants recommend enrichment methods to allow employees to plan their work. This will allow employees to use their cognitive and affective skills in a range of task and challenges of varying difficulties. Employees do a complete unit of work and meaningful task. Enrichment programs allow managers to give feedback, encouragement, and communication employees need to feel good about what they’re doing. Also Future Point Consultants recommend creating opportunities for employees to learn new skills. When employees are engaged with learning new skills it will help them perform at higher levels for the organization. Among other things, we recommend job diagnostic surveys, redesigning jobs, and open feedback on many channels. These programs will allow leaders to give job assignments to employees that can demonstrate what they can do. When employees are given the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do it will lower job- dissatisfaction and make leaders powerful in their positions. Because when employees can try something new, it improves their feeling about getting promoted and making more money. Leaders also feel good about their efforts to improve the quality of life for their subordinates. For example: if a manager has been notified by one of his subordinates that they are having marital problems that is causing the employee to be depressed, the manager can redeploy their employee to another job assignment that will motivate the employee better and release some work stress. Under these programs managers will also be able to provide coping strategies that maintain employee self-esteem. Author William C. Byham has written a terrific book about the lightning of empowerment; Zapp! Byham suggest five steps a group leader can do to empower employees: 1. Maintain and enhance self-esteem with employees. 2. Listen and respond with empathy. 3. Share thoughts, feelings, and rationale. 4. Ask for help and encourage involvement. 5. Provide support without removing responsibility for action.
Byham say’s “a leader’s job is to point out which direction we have to go in, and guide them so they get there on their own, but with no one straying too far off the path, so we all get there together.” Future Point Consultants agrees with Byham and are sure these methods will empower Cedar Tech company-wide.
Reason why we are sure it will work if implemented: 1. Best Buy became the retail electronics leader in its industry by empowering employees to give feedback of their likes and dislikes about Best Buy on the “ViewPoint Survey.” 2. William C. Byham, PH.D.; the author of “Zapp,” 5 steps for empowerment is used in more than 12,000 organizations across every industry.

3. Deepak Chopra has been associated as a senior scientist with the Gallop Organization, which has collected more data on leadership and the workplace than any other source in the world. 4. Mark N. Mithers, Ph.D., say’s empowering employees is essential to achieving organizational effectiveness.
The empowerment plans physiological and psychological factors will positively affect employee emotions, feelings, and attitudes. Leading from the soul will allow managers to be unafraid of forming emotional bonds, not hide from any need as it unfolds, giving of themselves, consciousness, awareness, inner qualities, hierarchy of needs, friends of subordinates, grow the group from inside out, play the right role for every need, and anticipate group needs for safety, security, achievement, cooperation, understanding, creativity, moral values, and spiritual fulfillment. Empowerment will be the emphasis of the culture; an obligation for all employees. Empowerment will be placed on managers and employees performance evaluations as a non-negotiable obligation. Leading from the soul will be part of the continuous learning cycle and leadership development. Employee emotions, attitudes, and feelings will be measured through multiple sources; the Gallop Organization survey, 360’s, assessments, job studies, and observations.
Group and Team Effectiveness
“Teams of people working together for a common purpose have been the centerpiece of human social organization ever since our ancient ancestors first banded together to hunt game, raise families, and defend their communities” (Steve W.J. Kozlowski and Draniel R. Ilgen, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Enhancing the Effectiveness of Work Groups and Teams).
The lack of teams at Cedar Tech has been detrimental to the company. Teams provide products, services, negotiate deals, coordinate projects, offer advice and make decisions. Teams motivate employees and allow them to feel as if they are a part of the success of the company and they encourage innovation.
Future Point Consultants recommends that Cedar Tech develop teams in order to motivate and encourage innovation amongst the high-level managers and employees based on the goals and strategies of the company. Different types of teams will be put in place based on the goal(s) set forth by the upper management of Cedar Tech.
Mission of teams
Each team at Cedar Tech has a common vision for the future of the organization and they hold great value in being team players and team members. They are strategic thinkers with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills and are committed to continuous learning and creating new and innovative ideas for the future success of the company.
Types of Teams
Future Point Consultants recommends that Cedar Tech have different types of teams in place in order to effectively accomplish the goals and strategies of the company. The types of teams that will be assembled will be based upon the needs of the various projects set forth by the company.
Problem-solving teams will be put into place in order to share ideas and suggestions on how work methods can be improved. Each department at Cedar Tech will select 5-12 hourly employees to meet for a few hours each week to discuss ways to improve quality, efficiency and the work environment.
Self-managed teams will be put into place in order for Cedar Tech to offer superior customer service. Each team will consist of 10-15 employees and will perform highly related or independent jobs and they will take on the responsibilities of their former supervisors. The responsibilities includes planning and scheduling of work, assigning tasks to members, collective control over the pace of work, making operating decisions, taking action on problems, and working with suppliers and customers. The recommendation for the self-managed teams is for the team to select their own team members and have the members evaluate each other’s performance. As a result of self-managed teams supervisor positions may be decreased or eliminated.
Cross-functional teams will be put into place in order to accomplish one task. These teams will be made up of employees from the same hierarchical level, but from different work areas and will come together to accomplish a common task. The goal of the cross-functional team is to improve communication and the tracking of work, which leads to increased productivity and more satisfied customers. An example of how a cross-functional team works is a customer’s account is handled with one team instead of separate departments. Cross-functional teams are an effective means for allowing people from diverse areas within an organization to exchange information, develop new ideas, and solve problems and coordinate complex projects.
As needed, virtual teams will be put into place in order to have a shared involvement with other organizations or suppliers. Virtual teams will use computer technology to tie together physically dispersed members in order to achieve a common goal. Team members can collaborate on line using communication links like wide area networks, video conferencing, or email whether they’re in the same room or continents apart. Information can be shared, decisions can be made and tasks can be completed virtually. Members can include all Cedar Tech employees or employees of outside organizations. Virtual teams can convene for a few days to solve a problem, a few months to complete a project or exist permanently. Virtual teams can complete their work even if members are thousand miles away and separated by a dozen or more time zones. Management teams will be put into place in order to take on the overall goals and strategies of the company. The CEO of the company will select the team and members will come from diverse roles and backgrounds. The management team is multifaceted and requires that top management to rigorously interact in order to achieve the goals of the company. The management team is similar to the cross-functioning team whereas the team will consist of managers from different departments with different skills and experiences.
Future Point Consultants recommends that team members be selected based on their skills, experience and diversity in order to have team effectiveness. The consideration of various other aspects when selecting teams for Cedar Tech will include, personality styles, team roles, organizational culture and the goals set by the company. Employees that collaborate as a team are motivated by the purpose of reaching and obtaining goals of a company in a joint and effective effort.
Implementation of Your Plan
How difficult will your plan be to implement?
Changing the areas of management at Cedar Tech and complementing this change with an organic structure which will bring flexibility and better efficiency throughout the organization will not be successful unless the attempt is a group effort. According to Rossall J. Johnson, in any dynamic organization changes are implicit, yet when the proposed changes are perceived as threatening, resistance can be expected. A number of research projects have indicated that to bring about change it is more expedient to have the initiative for change come from within the group where the change is desired. All too often when an organization's procedures and processes have become inappropriate or obsolete, those working within the system are the last to acknowledge or even recognize the inadequacies (Johnson, 1974). Over all there will be some resistance at Cedar Tech, but this challenge can be managed by having Future Point Consultants emphasize the group effort strategy which requires the involvement and input of every member at any level of the organization.
Who will implement the changes to the organization?
To best answer the question about the type of change agent is required to execute the implementation of a new organizational culture at Cedar Tech; it would be to focus on the new areas of management at the First-line Managers/ Supervisor level. These new acquired management roles represent a pool of talent that may bring Knowledge Management as well as empowerment and motivation to their team members. This group of people whom we may also call mentors bring something additional besides their experiences, skills and a specific an invaluable intrinsic value to the job they do.
According to Evrim Calkavur, The Learning Organization Practice Teams transformation starts with small teams working to achieve bottom-line results, with sponsors (top-level managers) supporting the teams. Consultant coaches – assist in the whole process and support the team members, sponsors, and internal coaches in using the disciplines and tools of organizational learning. The following will outline the aspects of the kind of performance improvement system that supports and sustains a learning culture in organization: 1. The focal point of the performance improvement system is the company’s shared vision and how to align everyone around it. It starts with workshops in which top management, middle management, line managers, and employees participate. Vision is shared, discussed, and understood, and all the targets are aligned to the company vision. 2. Workshops are designed to create a space for conversation, ownership, and positive feedback. The basis of the performance improvement system is these workshops; it is not the forms or written documents or procedures. Organizational learning tools and concepts are used in these workshops to encourage substantive discussions, to help participants see the bigger picture, and to help workers understand each other with the help of sponsors and Learning Organization Practice Team coaches. 3. The work of the Learning Organization Practice Team members and coaches is recognized as a part of the company operations in the performance improvement system. Team members and coaches are not given any extra reward but they are also not punished for their time and efforts. 4. Reflective workshops every three to four months ensure that there is continuous conversation among different departments and levels of the organization about the shared vision, targets, how to support each, and how to reflect and learn together. 5. Sharing with, helping, and supporting each other to reach the shared targets and the shared vision is one of the most important aspects of the performance improvement system. It creates space for social networks of performance to expand. 6. Ownership of the system is shifted from human resources to company management. Even the forms to be used are designed by the company management, coaches, and human resources managers working together. Only a few forms are used, so there is no undue burden of paperwork.
Six months after the new performance improvement system is in place, managers and human resource personnel must be asked to evaluate it (Calkavur, 2006). The gradual approach in order to implement a plan that will have the least impact on company operations, it must the understanding from upper management that these changes are necessary to enhance the productivity of Cedar Tech as a company as well as an organization that allows its employees to transform themselves into a vital component of the company’s organizational structure. These changes will be implemented according to a strategic plan presented by Future Point Consultants which will include a define timeline and utilization of minimal amount of company resources which will not have an impact on productivity and company revenues.
Throughout the implementation process Future Point Consultants will get team members from different departments to share and interact in a number of different training programs so as momentum is built for each team member to understand the contribution and importance of each member in the “Learning Organization” process.

Table 2: Implementation Timeline

Table 3: Gantt’s Chart

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