Mike and Karen are part of your social group. They joined Missile's
Financial Services together as middle managers. Each of them reports to a different senior manager. These managers' report to the Managing Director. Once a month after payday you all try to have lunch together.
Mike is very distressed. 'I've had an awful week and this morning was the worst!' He recounts what happen between himself and Nicholas his manager. 'Nicholas and I were to meet with a new supplier to finalize a contract. I have been dealing with the supplier all this time and we just needed to finalize the costing. We had reached an agreement about the cost both of us were comfortable with it. All week I have been trying to get Nicholas to look at the contract and agree the figures etc. We really need this guy's company they are fast, a good price point for us and willing to customize the stationary for such a small company. Anyway, Nicholas was always too busy to meet, I emailed him the contract and my teams thoughts on how we should proceed hoping he would read it.' 'Anyway we met with the supplier this morning. We are going through the contract, the next thing I know Nicky says. 'This won't work for us, the cost is too high, and where did these calculations come from?' 'If the floor had opened up and swallowed me I could have not been more embarrassed, I mean I spent three weeks working on it with accounting and legal! Joseph shaking his head continued, 'he just took over the conversation, I mean we got the contract signed but in the end all that happened was that the figures were rearranged we still end up paying the same.' 'I am tired of this foolishness, he stays locked in his office on his cell everyday only God knows what he does in there.'
Karen's problem was very different but she was equally worried. Yesterday she attended a meeting with her manager and the managing director himself. She is the manager for one of the locations. The MD had called because he received the third quarter results and he was concerned that the new business loans and new customers' targets have not been met for the third quarter in a row. In fact, the third quarter results were worst that the second quarter. The MD asked Karen what remedial action she has taken over the time period. Karen has not been idle. She spoke with her colleagues who also manage other locations and they gave her some tips. She therefore proceeded to do the following. She has reorganized the tasks across the staff and given everybody new targets, which had been emailed to them. She had also brought in a sales trainer to give the staff a pep talk on meeting new people and how to confidently start conversations with strangers, finding sales prospects and marketing loan services. She had also intended to add a target that would require the loans officers to give a minimum of two monthly financial talk organized by them as well as each would visit two organizations to drum up business by introducing the company and its produces during staff meetings. Shirley confirmed that Karen had emailed her about this some two weeks ago and she had signed off on it and suggested that Karen have a meeting with the staff to discuss. To this point Karen had not done the latter. Karen told her lunch partners that her manager Shirley, and the MD were concerned about her communication style. Further, they suggested that this was perhaps the reason why the initiatives were not appear to be working for Karen or Missile Financial Services. The MD had just received the results of the annual staff attitude survey. Karen received acceptable grades from her staff on her one to one communication style. However only 1 of the targeted three 3 general staff meetings had been held. Staff satisfaction in her location also lagged behind that of the other 6 locations and did not meet the minimum 60%. Shirley and MD are of the opinion that a programmed of activities needs to be developed to bring the targets back on track. They think that a general staff meeting in Karen's shop is a first step and they promise her that they will be in attendance to give Karen support.
1. If you were in Mike's shoes how you would have handled his manager's behavior prior to the meeting with the representative from the other company? Discuss the pros and cons of the various ideas along with an explanation of how the decision was arrived at.