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Organizational Culture vs GB/BB Effectiveness

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  • #53223

    UoCS
    Member

    Lets say, hypothetically speaking, that we were to develop a GB/BB candidate selection tool based on the results of a technical assessment as well as the candidates’ emotional/personality characteristics (ie Myers-Briggs, emotional intelligence and/or StrengthFinder results). 
    My question isn’t whether that methodology could result in an effective candidate selection model, but rather if you think that there is any set of predictors that would identify effective GB/BB candidates across all industries & organizational cultures.  For example, the personality characteristics required to be a successful BB in a GE-type structure (tending to embrace conflict as a means to problem resolution) might not be as valued or effective in an organization that is more conflict-averse. Therefore, a candidate that would score higher on a BB selection tool in Organization A wouldn’t necessarily score well in Organization B. 
    So I guess I’m wondering about examples where a GB/BB was effective in one type of organizational structure but struggled in another due to cultural differences between the two.
     

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    #189083

    Darth
    Participant

    The situation is not confined to just GB or BB. It can applied to MBB or consultant. In fact, it can be applied to any employee. A person comfortable and successful in a GE environment moving to say a banking or healthcare organization may have some difficulty. A person going from insurance to mining may struggle. An American may be challenged working in a German or French environment. I am not sure that there is an indicator or predictor other than common sense that would warn of impending doom. But, it would be obvious that a BB working in a hardcore male dominated manufacturing environment where profanity is rampant may find him/herself with an occasional slip of the tongue going to a pharmaceutical company. Likewise a hugger from banking might be chewed up in a company where macho and thick skin is the rule.

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    #189098

    Jim Bossert
    Participant

    Darth, I agree wholeheartedly.  You and I have seen many different cultures and companies where people have had difficulty adapting.  I have not seen any psychological test yet that would be a good measure of effectiveness for anyone trying to be a change agent.

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    #189099

    Darth
    Participant

    Hey Yoda,
    Good to hear from you. Hope all is well. Your name came up this week at the iSixSigma conference. Apparently you were one of the trainers for a former BOA guy I was hanging out with.

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    #189102

    B2B
    Participant

    I watched, and unfortunately had to report to, an MBB from GE Healthcare who was re-deployed as a manager into an Engineering arm of what used to be GE Industrial Systems.  This move, taking an individual who was not an engineer and not used to the “rough” walking and talking of the industrial world, basically started the ball rolling into what eventually caused this segment of the GE business to fail.  It was rolled into and bought by another GE business all together as a result of bad decisions, not knowing how that type of business was run and lack of customer sensitivity.  So, in addition to moving from one totally different company to another, I would be careful of moving personnel within large corporations, such as GE, when the businesses are completely independent P&Ls.

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    #189104

    Leprechaun
    Participant

    “Likewise a hugger from banking might be chewed up in a company where macho and thick skin is the rule.”Hilarious Darth … unbeknownst to us you haven’t lost your sense of humour!!!!!(Please excuse my blimey limey)

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    #189119

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    While there may not be one universal set of characteristics that will lead to success, there are certainly some characteristics which will guarantee failure.  Lack of curiosity, acceptance of status quo, and poor project management skills are tops on my list of killers.  In one deployment, the continuous improvement organization ended up being the “dumping ground” for people who the company couldn’t find the will to get rid of – hence there were a bunch of duds with the title of “continuous improvement.”  You can guess how much improvement was happening.

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    #189130

    Andrew Banks
    Participant

    Getting them out of the value stream may actually have
    been perceived as a continuous improvement. ;-)

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    #189135

    Don Strayer
    Participant

    I’ve seen that happen where the company wasn’t really committed to quality management and improvement.  I’ve also seen the converse, where only fast-track promotion candidates were trained as BB’s, and of course they were quickly promoted and stopped doing SS.
    One place where I worked used something similar to Myers-Briggs which assigned 1 of 4 colors and everyone had their color on a badge so you’d supposedly know how to deal with them.  It became somewhat of a joke since you already knew that, for instance, most managers were “red” — direct, decisive, and easily irritated if you didn’t quickly get to the point.  Most accountants and QC/QA people were “gold” — do things by the book, dot the i’s, cross the t’s.  Not necessarilly the best traits for SS pros.
    If you want to understand cultural differences I’ve found Geert Hofstedte’s 5 Cultural Dimensions particularly insightful.  Hofstede’s work concerns global cultural differences but the same dimensions can apply to organizations and to individuals.  In Hofstede’s terms I’d say that an SS BB candidate should have low “power distance”, moderate “individualism”, moderate “masculinity”, high “uncertainty avoidance”, and high “long-term orientation”.

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    #189140

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Perhaps, but then there should have been a control plan to ensure future re-entry was prevented. 

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    #189143

    Darth
    Participant

    You are correct in that the model does a good job in describing cultural differences across countries which would be useful in understanding cultural behaviors when working within that country.You sought to apply the model by describing some middle of the road characteristics of a BB. But, just like the model shows, there are extremes amongst countries and to extend the thinking, across companies. If we had a similar model for an organizational culture and was able to type a person, then we could assess whether moving from one company culture to another company culture can be predictive. Or, possibly within a same company like GE with a wide multitude of cultures. I don’t believe your suggested five attributes or MB or Belbin or any of the other individual/group behavioral tools answer the original posted question.Can Hofstedt’s model be expanded to a company level? Possibly a nice dissertation subject for all those clowns coming here to find a topic.

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