Commentary

Tom Jones

WORx Consulting is the cornerstone of a firm founded by Tom E. Jones. Dr. Jones is a specialist in Organization Development with more than thirty years experience working with private businesses, public agencies, health care organizations and educational institutions to better manage change.

Thanks to the introduction of his book-IF IT'S BROKEN, YOU CAN FIX IT Overcoming Dysfunction in the Workplace-Tom's powerful messages are now reaching an even wider audience. He appears regularly on television and radio and his nationally syndicated column Breakaway Management is featured in business journals.

Dr. Jones consults with organizations on such issues as Transition Management, Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, Management Rejuvenation, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Team Building, and Process Improvement. Dr. Jones is a platform speaker who presents keynote addresses, lectures and motivational speeches at conferences, conventions, and professional associations throughout the country.

He is a practitioner working with real organizations to provide contemporary solutions. As a facilitator; he works with differing personalities in complex situations to build trust, strengthen relationships, and foster resolution. A rich educational background supports Tom's experiential learning. He holds Bachelor's degrees in Business and in Management, a Master's degree in Management Engineering, and a Doctorate in Organization and Leadership. For eleven years Dr. Jones was a faculty member and research advisor for the College of professional Studies at the University of San Francisco where he was named 1991 Teacher of the Year.

Breakaway Management

The whole point behind a corporation is to create a place where individuals can achieve collectively what they cannot accomplish by working alone. And, in a good and positive environment, where everyone is treated as a corporate citizen, managers and employees can do great things together.

Getting your point across to a subordinate who may not be as attentive as you'd like requires some skillful crafting of your message. On an individual level, it requires you to say what you mean, and mean what you say.

The traditional way in which people look at their role in the organization creates problems. The most serious of which is that labor and management won't face up to the reality that Corporate America is not about taking care of people -- it's about taking care of business.

Every expectation is followed by a response, which is measured by time.

What management doesn't know can, and ultimately does, hurt everyone. Withholding bad news may give the person(s) responsible additional time to cover their tracks, but in the long run it prevents management from taking corrective action. Open communications between organizational levels, even when it raises tempers, will ultimately pull people together and build trusting relationships.

Relax, you're not crazy -- people are becoming more disingenuous and disrespectful. Rage is no longer limited to the road-agitated and angry people are showing up at work, too. Common courtesy and civil behavior are being replaced by an in-your-face attitude that not only breeds contempt among peers, but also dampens their collaborative spirit.

Frustrated by the influx of undisciplined workers, more and more managers these days are abdicating their responsibility for addressing poor performance and correcting inappropriate behaviors. Opting instead to report either them to the HR department or simply ignore them in the mistaken belief, they'll get the message and leave.

It's sad to hear the "D" word applied to the efforts of organizational leaders whose attempts to improve things don't work out as planned. If this happens often in your workplace, it may be time to think about a more effective way of bringing about change by pulling people together rather than driving them apart.

One of the first things new employees encounter when they enter the workplace is an intensive effort by other employees to recruit them into a clique.

Clearly, a manager's motivational objectives should be to praise the efforts of the high achievers and raise the standards of the low performers. Yet many struggle with the latter. Finding ways to heighten the expectations of unproductive employees is not easy.

There appears to be a growing number of managers and staff in both the public and private sectors who can't make the connection between the results of their individual and collective efforts and the future success of their organization. Rather than offer solutions or makes suggestions, these folks watch noisily, but unhelpful, from the sidelines, expecting someone else to take care of the problem.

As a general rule, a productive work team should devote most of its time thinking about what lies ahead. Spending too much time on the past is distracting, unless the results can be used to positively impact what happens in the future.

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