How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations

SOURCE 1: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t: Chapters 1 & 2

SOURCE 2: HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership: pages 322-36, “What Makes an Effective Executive”, Peter F. Drucker

SOURCE 3: The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, 5th Edition: Chapter 5

Case Study Review and Answer

Manny Flavors CC, Inc. is a family owned company now in its fourth generation. The company began in 1889 making only one standard sugar cookie. Over the years it has prospered, and now it produces over 50 flavors of cookies. The company’s motto is “cookies for any occasion.” Rising sales revenues have brought in a lot of dough, so now money can be allocated to increasing line personnel and managerial staff. Manny, who is addressed as “Mr. Flavors” by employees, has finally added an HR specialist (you) to help with personnel and organizational behavior problems.

He has asked you to help with what he feels is a problem of worker morale in the operations division. Willie Keepum, VP of operations, has complained to Manny that most of his workers have bad attitudes and don’t seem to want to work. He says he’s prepared to fire them all if they don’t shape up. Willie has informed Manny of his intentions, and believes he (Willie) needs to “clean house” to show them who’s boss. Besides, he thinks a lot of them have become complacent and don’t care about quality. Willie also pays little attention to the mid-level managers’ opinions stating that, “I’m ultimately responsible, so I’ll make the decisions.”

Manny knows that Willie can be heavy-handed in his management style and that he believes workers come to work either motivated or not. Willie has told him “there’s nothing you can do to make them work if they don’t want to.” Knowing everything about cookies, but nothing about people, Manny isn’t sure whether it’s the workers or Willie that’s creating the problem. He wants to know that if it is Willie, can he be changed? Or is it hopeless? He wants you to tell him if you think Willie or the workers should go. If you think neither should, then what are the ingredients needed to cook up a solution? This thing’s getting on his nerves. He wants to get it behind him and get back to his cookies. Therefore, Manny asks you to analyze the situation using your knowledge of leadership theories, and recommend a possible solution so he can decide what to do.

1. Decide if either the workers or Willie should go
2. Analyze Willie’s management style and compare it to others that might be better
3. Consider whether the workers or Willie can be changed and if so, how to do it

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