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General Feedback – Skills That Matter

Programa GAIA

Master in Decision Making & Innovation

Hi, Gaians!

After you have submitted all the stages related with the unit Skills that Matter, we want to give you some feedback about this activity. But before we start with that, we would like to tell you that our main goal was that you learnt something worthy and that these contents meant something to you, have we got it?

This activity had many surprises and it required your attention if you wanted to be completely absorbed into it, let’s get started:

The first thing you received was a video of Chris Green, a CEO of Family Care Canada, this video was accompanied by a survey where you had to assess some items related with leadership skills (whether the CEO was competent, knowledgeable, likeable or strong). We will analyze your answers later on.

After you were done with the survey you had to read a whole case about Chris Green and then answer some questions related with leadership, decision making processes, leadership evaluation, leader characteristics and leadership effectiveness.

The goal of these questions was that you analyzed the decision Chris Green had to take about balancing short term need to execute a specific marketing campaign in a tight timeline versus respecting the values and beliefs of the member chapters. If you answered this question perfectly you will have talked about the risks, benefits and possible consequences of this decision. For example, extensive consultation with the chapters and board might take considerable time, extending the length of the decision-making process, thereby reducing the amount of time available for execution. Too much time spent in consultation could result in the campaign being of inferior quality, or not being delivered on time.

The question about the most important characteristics of a leader was interesting and totally subjective. It was curious how many of you used male role models when talking of a “good leader” and how many of you listed male leaders as good examples of leadership. It’s amazing how gender role stereotyping unconsciously influenced your answers.

Regarding the question about how effective the approach of Chris Green’s leadership was you had to take into account the context and think that in a non-profit organization, mission, values and collaboration have a much more significant role. It was perfect if you realised that Chris’ leadership approach works particularly well when there is time for extensive time for consultation and decision-making. More urgent decisions may require a more directive approach that Chris does not appear to feel comfortable with. Apart from that, you had to identify aspects like authenticity, moral reasoning, moral action, sense of mission and interconnectedness, vision, trust, and empowerment.

After you were done with this extensive analysis of Chris Green, the mystery was finally resolved. There were actually 4 different videos and each person got to see only one of them. You didn’t know that the rest of the videos even existed. The 4 videos had the exact same audio but the character was different and only one of them was the actual Chris Green, an African-Canadian woman. The rest of the videos were played by actors and there were: an African-Canadian man, a Caucasian woman and a Caucasian man.

https://vimeo.com/151424929 

https://vimeo.com/151424650

https://vimeo.com/151421829

https://vimeo.com/151421542

These are the results of the first survey you filled in after watching the video you have been assigned:
4b02e59460bc27ab2994e7ea80e798434230

Although the results were better than what we had in mind, this led to an interesting analysis,…

Let’s start with the issues you had to cover when you found out there were 4 videos and Chris Green was actually an African-Canadian woman.

You had to talk about the implicit leadership theories that we unconsciously hold and relate that with both cultural and personal experiences.

Some of you realised that these videos lowered your evaluations of the leaders when comparing to what you read the case at the beginning and others said that there were differences between the videos and that now you would answer these previous questions differently.

It was perfect if you talked about stereotypes, women’s leadership, cognitive biases and cultural influences as well.

Some of you talked about the differences among the videos and that may have affected your assessments (tone of voice, body language, appearance). All these details influence how we evaluate people, most of the times unconsciously.

We recommend that you take a look to the following “best” practices before evaluating anything. Biases exist and we have to learn to live with them:

  • Educate yourself and decision makers on bias. Raising awareness can reduce reliance on stereotypes.
  • Establish clear criteria in advance of making decisions.
  • Ask yourself about the criteria being used. Are these the right criteria for the decision? Or, do they unintentionally screen out certain candidates or outcomes?
  • Explain your decisions about people to others.

Before we reach the end we want to bring up the “privilege” topic. If you are both a Caucasian and a man, think about the following: one of the aspects of privilege is that we are often unaware of our privilege because it is normal to us. Since we aren’t aware that others are treated differently, because we do not have their experiences, we assume that our experience is the same as that of other groups. Do you agree?

Finally, we would like to challenge you to complete one of the following tests, do you dare? https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

General Feedback – Negotiation Models

Programa GAIA

Master in Decision Making & Innovation

Hi, Gaians!

To start with the Negotiation Models activity feedback, the most important step was to plan a good strategy and to think about all the questions you needed to ask the other side. Apart from that, you needed to be prepared for the toughest questions they may have asked you.

On the one hand, you were able to identify lots of interests from the other party and that’s a good point. Uncovering as many of the parties’ interests as possible and working together as partners rather than adversaries enables negotiators to identify mutual gains and discover and create more value overall.

Some of the possibilities you had to consider when identifying Larry’s interests were:

  • Work for an internet and social media company.
  • Feel happy, seen, attended to and cared for at work.
  • Get best position available in line with qualifications.
  • Avoid damaging future reputation.
  • Have growth opportunities.

Some of the possibilities you had to consider when identifying May’s interests were:

  • Hire a strong team player with drive.
  • Look good to her boss.
  • Enhance personal credibility.
  • Establish a good working rapport.

Talking about the different outcomes of the negotiation process, you did a good job on the whole. The negotiation processes were well organized and it was clear that you had researched and learnt your role at heart, good job!

It was interesting to see that some of you actually did not share all the interests with the other party while some of you did. We want you to reflect on the following questions:

  • For those who played Larry, did you tell May that you had another offer? Did you reveal that it wasn’t one that you were very interested in? Did you tell her about your debt or financial concerns? Why? Why not?
  • For those who played May, did you disclose to Larry that you put your reputation on the line to get approval to make him an offer or that you knew the offer was below the market and your company standard? Why? Why not?

Many negotiators fear that by disclosing information about their interests, they could weaken their position and enable the other side to take advantage of them. As a result, they tend to under-share information that could lead to higher value agreements. But, it is much easier for parties to construct proposals that satisfy the other side’s interests if they know what those interests are.

On the the other hand, you were too centered on the deal at hand and this could be a risky attitude at the end and can result in poor decision-making (getting more money today may mean getting less money next time).

Regarding the REVIEW questions, most of you (the parties who actually got better result in the negotiation) stated that your outcome was good because you got everything you wanted but you did not take into account the risk of attempting to get more money without legitimacy and thus risking losing the whole deal. If you were only focused on money, you probably lost the possibilities of creating more value, don’t you think so?

Taking into account the seven elements framework used to define the strategy we can say that a good outcome is one that:

  1. Is better than our Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.
  2. Satisfies our interests well and theirs at least acceptably.
  3. Is among the best of many options.
  4. Is based on legitimacy so everyone feels it is fair.
  5. Is built on good communication.
  6. Contains well-planned commitments that are sufficient, realistic and operational.
  7. Improves the working relationship.

Finally, we want to take advantage of this opportunity and say that some of you had problems when recording their videos. In the future, we highly recommend that you test the platform you are going to use before the actual role-playing takes place, thus, you will avoid any unexpected event that may occur during the recording.  

I would now congratulate all of you for this activity, I am sure you have learnt a lot, we have, for sure!

General Feedback – Negotiations Models Activity

Programa GAIA

Master in Decision Making & Innovation

Hello, Gaians! To start with the Negotiation Models activity feedback, the most important step was to plan a good strategy and to think about all the questions you needed to ask the other side. Apart from that, you needed to be prepared for the toughest questions they may have asked you.

On the one hand, you were able to identify lots of interests from the other party and that’s a good point. Uncovering as many of the parties’ interests as possible and working together as partners rather than adversaries enables negotiators to identify mutual gains and discover and create more value overall.

Some of the possibilities you had to consider when identifying Larry’s interests were:

  • Work for an internet and social media company.
  • Feel happy, seen, attended to and cared for at work.
  • Get best position available in line with qualifications.
  • Avoid damaging future reputation.
  • Have growth opportunities.

Some of the possibilities you had to consider when identifying May’s interests were:

  • Hire a strong team player with drive.
  • Look good to her boss.
  • Enhance personal credibility.
  • Establish a good working rapport.

Talking about the different outcomes of the negotiation process, you did a good job on the whole. The negotiation processes were well organized and it was clear that you had researched and learnt your role at heart, good job!

It was interesting to see that some of you actually did not share all the interests with the other party while some of you did. We want you to reflect on the following questions:

  • For those who played Larry, did you tell May that you had another offer? Did you reveal that it wasn’t one that you were very interested in? Did you tell her about your debt or financial concerns? Why? Why not?
  • For those who played May, did you disclose to Larry that you put your reputation on the line to get approval to make him an offer or that you knew the offer was below the market and your company standard? Why? Why not?

Many negotiators fear that by disclosing information about their interests, they could weaken their position and enable the other side to take advantage of them. As a result, they tend to under-share information that could lead to higher value agreements. But, it is much easier for parties to construct proposals that satisfy the other side’s interests if they know what those interests are.

On the the other hand, you were too centered on the deal at hand and this could be a risky attitude at the end and can result in poor decision-making (getting more money today may mean getting less money next time).

Regarding the REVIEW questions, most of you (the parties who actually got better result in the negotiation) stated that your outcome was good because you got everything you wanted but you did not take into account the risk of attempting to get more money without legitimacy and thus risking losing the whole deal. If you were only focused on money, you probably lost the possibilities of creating more value, don’t you think so?

Taking into account the seven elements framework used to define the strategy we can say that a good outcome is one that:

  1. Is better than our Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.
  2. Satisfies our interests well and theirs at least acceptably.
  3. Is among the best of many options.
  4. Is based on legitimacy so everyone feels it is fair.
  5. Is built on good communication.
  6. Contains well-planned commitments that are sufficient, realistic and operational.
  7. Improves the working relationship.

Finally, we want to take advantage of this opportunity and say that some of you had problems when recording their videos. In the future, we highly recommend that you test the platform you are going to use before the actual role-playing takes place, thus, you will avoid any unexpected event that may occur during the recording.  

I would now congratulate all of you for this activity, I am sure you have learnt a lot, we have, for sure!

General Feedback Recruitment & Hiring

Programa GAIA

Master in Decision Making & Innovation

Hello Gaians,

First of all, it is important to congratulate all the students that decided to take part of this activity! It has been a pleasure to read all of your contributions and ideas!

The main objective of this activity was for the student to be able to put themselves on the candidate and the company roles talking about Recruitment & Hiring. The idea was to reflect on two types of recruitment processes (internal and external) from the company point of view and to reflect, at the same time, as candidates about factors that students consider more or less important. At the same time, you were provided with a case study to analyze different jobs offers and, according to a particular situation and taking into account all the information provided, students should advise our friend Goyal which offer he should choose.

feedback gaia program

Let’s start with the first question proposed. The idea in this first part was the students, taking the information of the ebook, could enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of the internal and the external recruitment. The idea was to read the whole ebook concentrating on Chapter 2, pages 15 and 16 of the ebook of Recruitment and Hiring and read the information provided. This way, you could develop the activity in a successful way.

A majority of students completed the 4 lines in the internal and external tables, some others added more rows but the number of advantages and disadvantages was completely the same in both recruitment processes. Only some students made clear that, for them, there was a clear interest for just one of the processes by adding more advantages. The idea was that you could compare both and establish some distinctions.

Almost all of you were able to enumerate good advantages and disadvantages according to the recruitment process and assuming the role of the company. Well done! There were some other students that surprised us considering technology or Internet a clear disadvantage of the external recruitment. As we saw in the ebook, there are some interesting external recruitment sources to take into account; e-recruitment is very present nowadays and Recruitment 2.0 is a very interesting concept to review.

The second question was about you and how you grade some factors we have provided you related to a job offer. It was really interesting to read your explanations and see how, depending on the person, there are some factors that are more important than others. Almost all of you have been able to assume in this question the candidate role and have justified the way you have graded them. Here, the important aspect was that you could reflect about you and to establish preferences.

The last question was the most important one and, probably, the most difficult for you. You were proposed to read in deep and very carefully the case study proposed about our friend Manish Goyal. The synopsis was:

“In August 2016, Manish Goyal, a student in this second year of the two-year MBA program at XLRI Jamshedpur, India, had to make career-related choices about which industry, company, function and role to pursue after his MBA. He had limited previous work experience to rely on, but rather than choosing the first job that came his way or trying to join one of the more popular firms among MBS students, Goyal sought a job offer that best aligned with his own career objectives. He sought advice from his classmates on career options in the investment banking, management consulting and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries. He realized that while these were valuable inputs, ultimately he had to make his own decisions.”

The main idea was that taking into account Goyal’s situation, skills, preferences and background, the pieces of advice of his friends, the information of the companies and the different recruitment processes, the students could make a decisions if they were Goyal.

Goyal hails from New Delhi, and he may wish to return to his hometown in the long run. So, he may choose a company that is headquartered (or has significant operations in or around) New Delhi. In addition, he had specialized in HR management, so choosing an organization that offers him an HR role may be perfect to him. Moreover, he had previously worked in a software role for clients in the banking domain. He may wish to take advantage of this work experience to get recruited at a higher level than his classmates who had no work experience.

In addition, as you could read in the case study provided, Goyal was looking for a challenging role. All the three offers (Accenture, HUL and Goldman Sachs) were likely to be challenging, if only in different ways. This factor was important and Goyal needed to make a finer distinction between the kind of challenges he would enjoy and the ones he wanted to avoid.

Moreover, the case explains that Goyal was comfortable working with other people and he didn’t want to work in front of a computer all day, and therefore he might prefer consulting or FMCG over investment banking role. So, at this point, we could discard Goldman Sachs’ offer. The fact that he saw himself as a problem solver and wished to be involved in high-impact decisions also indicates us the possibility of having success in management consulting project situations.

Furthermore, it was important to take into account his excellent communication skills that would be very useful independent of the job he select; however, he would be valuable in management consulting where he would be expected to make presentations and interact with clients every day. However, remuneration would not become a really important factor for Goyal because his expectations of receiving a good compensation would be met by any of the three jobs offers. In addition, the recruitment process and the company’s requirements were also a help for the students to advice Goyal with the best decision possible.

In short, taking into account all the previous aspects, the best option to fit with Goyal’s objectives and expectations is to select Accenture, the consulting company. This company completely fits with Goyal’s career objectives but Goyal should consider, at the same time, to have a fallback option: preparing for a job in an FMCG company, in this case, HUL.

Almost all of the students selected Accenture, as the best option to Goyal but there were some others that selected HUL and, as you could read, this company could be the fallback option of Goyal. Goldman Sach’s offer could be completely discarded!

Finally, almost all of you were able to make a decision but only few students were able to go further on their answers by justifying why HUL and Goldman Sachs were not a good option including some important aspects of the recruitment processes. These aspects were part of the expected answer!

Remember that in the Community you have your personalized feedback available! Take a look!

Regards.

Academic Team

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