Subject: Business    / Management

Learning Activity 2 Theme Two: Leadership drives competitive advantage when he or she can create a culture of inclusion of people and ideas, is responsible for its supply chain decisions and organizes a culture that promotes people, innovation and creativity. Inversely poor leadership creates little to no competitive advantage.

Use the facts of the case scenario below and the course readings for week 2, theme 2 to explain how Simon’s investigation and the accident prove the following statement:

The culture of the company if not reinforced at all levels of the organization can kill sustainability.

As part of the movement toward making money Rockfish reviewed the Human Resources (HR) departments of GDD nationwide. He realized that worldwide departments were staffed much like GDD North America, with a personnel officer and a benefits specialist. Further, he found that most of their work was focused on form review and collection for benefits, approving vacation and sick time, as well has processing applications for employment. Rockfish decided to hire a department head for HR in North America as a test to see if the department could provide more value to the company. The new Department Head, Carly Simon, has great ideas on shared leadership and is hoping to be involved in other departments of the division by providing what she calls a “people take” on departmental tasks.

Rockfish has asked Simon to review the safety record of the Chicago station because it seems to have the highest incident of injury. Simon looked at the number of workmen’s compensation claims that the Chicago station employees filed. The results show that the claims total was 24% higher than the other stations. Simon began to look for answers. Her conversations with the employees in the lunchroom revealed some very important ideas:

Employee attitude towards injuries was cavalier. They wore injuries almost like a badge of honor because it meant employees were able to cut down on time moving more packages out the door
Employees often worked double shifts to make up for the employees who were injured. Employees seemed to fear the idea of speaking up because it was not considered good to do so in the eyes of the team
When pressed, the employees admitted that when met with possible delays in conveying the packages to the sorters or planes, they would ignore safety procedures
Some believed that management cared more about productivity and profits than the welfare of the employees

Simon suspected that the attitude of the employees of the station did not help the situation, but management was creating the problem. A major accident validated her suspicions. An old baggage machine that uses hydraulic lift to get the packages loaded in the cargo hold collapsed seriously injuring two men. One was not likely to recover the use of his legs. When Carly heard of the accident she ran to the tarmac and talked with James Taylor, the station manager. Distraught, Taylor confessed that he was pushing the workers to use the old baggage machine because production was much higher than the new machine. Taylor indicated that he had made several requests for two new machines but only received one. Management said that they did not care about the safety of the machine; that the men would just have to be careful.

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