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Benefits of a learning organization, Riordan's strategic plan

1. Assignment: Fifth Discipline Application Paper

- Resources: Internet, research etc, TNA Executive Summary see attached below
- Review TNA Executive Summary below
Provide a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper, describing how the fifth discipline's system thinking model may be applied to your organization.
- Consider action learning and appreciative inquiry as alternatives.
- Discuss possible implementation outcomes.
- Include any templates or notes taken during the assignment.
- Utilize research and readings to provide support for your recommendations.
- Format your paper according to APA standards.

2. Please answer the following questions:

- What are some perceived benefits of building a learning organization? Provide a scenario in which it would be beneficial to build a learning organization. What possible employee resistance does the scenario present?
- Choose a tool or model described in this week's reading. How might this tool affect cohesion, collaboration, and communication in an organization? How may this tool or model be applied to your organization?
- What are necessary elements of an effective learning objective? Why are these elements necessary?
- What methods may be utilized to design effective learning objectives that align with an organization's training strategy? Provide an example of each method.

Training Needs Analysis
Designing a new performance management system is crucial for Riordan Manufacturing as an attempt to align operational performance of the organization with actual performance from employees. To allow for successful development of such PM system, it is important to conduct SWOT Analysis of existing system. This will gather the information that consultants think are strengths in the system as well as the weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT can show many things that will help evaluate and improve the current system. Using SWOT helps analyze the systems already in place so that new and improved systems can be determined.
SWOT Analysis
- Riordan values integrity, and welfare of employees
- Poor internal processes and trainings
- Inability of company to retain top performers
- Inability of the company to offer compensation that aligns with market rate
- Lack of motivation
- Development of a training strategy based on observed performance review system
- Implement long-term career path and training courses to retain new and long-term employees and raise job satisfaction
- Focus on improving strategic planning for employee motivation and retaining high performing employees
- Evaluate current employee benefits for improvement and offer additional benefits
- High level of dissatisfaction among employees towards the company
- Organization is losing many employees who have great deal of information about Riordan's operations. This can affect profits and productivity within the company

Investigation of Riordan using TNA
A training need analysis was done to clarify organization's goals and evaluate possible solutions to achieve those goals. As the first step to identify training needs, Riordan was investigated from perspectives of stakeholders, senior management, and human resources department.
The CEO of Riordan as the main stakeholder is concerned with performance and services the company provides to customers and employees. The CEO, to maximize the market share changed the structure of Riordan. The problem here was that in spite of employee's dissatisfaction over compensation, the CEO ignored their grievance and went ahead with his intentions to expand the scope of operations.
The senior management has the responsibilities of employee performance, increasing company revenue, and becoming role models for employees. The senior management team values the honesty, integrity, and personal gain each employee gives to the company. The senior management is concerned about the change in performance expectations as a result of new vision of the company.
The human resources department has to increase employee productivity, and hence directly increase revenues for the company. The human resources department believes the employees will be more productive if there were more promotions and employment recognition. On one hand the department knows that it is important for employees to get promotions, but on the other hand it cannot go beyond the set guidelines given by the company.
Steps of TNA conducted in the assessment
The following three steps were conducted to analyze the current environment and make informed and sound needs assessment decision:
1. Organizational analysis
2. Task analysis
3. Individual analysis
Organizational analysis looked at the effectiveness of Riordan Manufacturing and determines where training is needed and under what conditions it will be conducted. Major factors in the analysis involved organizational goals and resources available to fulfill those goals. Riordan, to become more competitive developed a new strategy which resulted in low work performance and low work morale within the organization.
Task analysis provided data about a job or group of jobs and the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities needed to achieve optimum performance. A variety of sources are utilized for collecting data for task analysis:
- Job description - A narrative statement of the major activities involved in performing the job and the conditions under which these activities are performed.
- KSA analysis - A more detailed list of specified tasks for each job including Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes and Abilities required of incumbents
- Performance standards - Objectives of the tasks of the job and the standards by which they will be judged. This is needed to identify performance discrepancies.
- Observe the job/sample the work
- Perform the job
- Job inventory questionnaire - Evaluate tasks in terms of importance and time spent performing.
- Review literature about the job - Research the "best practices" from other companies, review professional journals.
- Ask questions about the job - Of the incumbents, of the supervisor, of upper management.
- Analysis of operating problems-Down time, waste, repairs, late deliveries, quality control.
Individual analysis analyzes how well individual employees are doing job and determines which employee needs training and of what kind. Such information was obtained from
- Performance evaluation-for identifying weaknesses and areas of improvement
- Performance problems-these were analyzed for decrease in productivity, impact on product quality, down time in manufacturing, cases of accidents, repairs, and customer complaints
- Observation-employee behavior was analyzed
- Work samples-products produced were analyzed
- Interviews-Managers, supervisors, and employees were talked to. Employees were asked what they wanted to learn
- Questionnaires-these were used to measure job related qualities such as knowledge and skills
- Attitude surveys-used to measure morale, motivation, satisfaction

Alignment of PM systems to Riordan's strategic plan
The existing performance management system does not align with the new vision of Riordan Manufacturing. In the past few years, the company has been experiencing decrease in sales which is causing the management to rethink their business strategy in manufacturing and marketing. The Human Resources department is aware of this issue but has not been able to do anything so far. As a result the department is failing to fulfill its role of supporting core business functions. The particular areas which are of concern in this respect are lack of employee motivation, lower pay level, small group of high performing employees, and lack of structure in performance reviews. It is a challenge for the management to understand the importance of mentoring and making a place for career development for employees which makes the PM system fall out of sync with the overall strategic plan of the organization.
Person analysis as linked to actual performance
Employee's main interests are in opportunities provided by the organization, job satisfaction, and recognition. They believe that they have a right over the company and need to be told what's going on in the organization on a timely basis. The employees value loyalty, fairness, and reliability between the senior management team and human resources. However, as Riordan is changing strategy, employees feel that there is a lack of communication. As a result, employees believe that they are not being recognized as team players and hence there is a lack of motivation among employees. As a result the direct impact is on the organization leading to decrease in actual performance of the organization.
Reactive or Proactive TNA
At Riordan, majority of problems have stemmed up as a result of inefficiency of the organization to pay attention to employee issues. This has been due to lack of attention by CEO, senior management, and the human resources department. Hence, to address the current problems, it is required to adopt reactive TNA. Once the organization is back on the track, proactive TNA should be used so avoid facing such issues in the future.


Solution Preview

Application of fifth discipline's system thinking model to Riordan Manufacturing

The fifth discipline focuses on group problem solving using the systems thinking method in order to convert companies into learning organizations. The fifth discipline, systems thinking integrates the other four disciplines, which are personal mastery, mental models, building shared vision, and team learning. Just like previous four disciplines, there are many ways to implement systems thinking in the organization but the organization must choose the method which fits in its culture. In Riordan Manufacturing, due to lack of learning background, employees are not aware of benefits of such a concept. To understand how the model could be applied to Riordan, it is important to understand what is meant by a system. In simple terms a system is a group of parts or subsystems that are interconnected to accomplish an overall goal. The system has a number of inputs which go through established processes to produce certain outputs which together accomplish the overall desired goal of the system. In the same way, Riordan is a system which is made of various smaller systems like administrative function, management function, products, groups, and individuals. The systems theory focuses on understanding the organization from the perspective of the whole system, its various subsystems and the relationships between various subsystems. This broad view of organization helps to quickly identify the real causes of issues in organization and know where to work to address them.

The fifth discipline systems thinking provides a toolset needed to encourage seeing of interrelationships for seeing patterns rather than using static snapshots. This shift of mind is necessary to deal with complexities of dynamic systems. There are some concepts linked with systems thinking which can be applied to Riordan Manufacturing:

? Focus on the purpose for which the system was created over the processes and procedures of the system
? Simple cause and effect relationships are insufficient to understand or explain a complex social system.
? Think in terms of overall system rather than parts
? Excessive focus on short term gains interferes in the use of systems approach
? Leaders must see what is actually happening over what they would expect to happen
? Leaders should attune to important aspects of organizational behavior

Riordan Manufacturing would greatly benefit from systems thinking approach. Particularly important would be the feedback loop which would be a guiding factor in measuring success. Prior to changing the structure of the organization, employees at Riordan were satisfied. However, they raised objections to the new course of changing structure which eventually proved disastrous. The ...

Solution Summary

This solution helps with various business analysis problems. Concepts discussed include appreciative inquiry, performance management systems and SWOT analysis.