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Learning Style - Part 4 of 7
Part 1  Part 2    Part 3   Part 4   Par 5   Part 6   Part 7

The Engineer has a PHD in the third law of Thermodynam­ics. The Marketing manager skydives for a hobby. The Production Planner started as an assembler. The purchasing lady is concerned about partnerships and long-term relationships. These people are all going to work together to better serve customer needs, cut time to market in half, and make designs more buildable. How?

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Role of Leadership Styles in Achieving Common Purpose

The inability to define and communicate a common purpose at the outset of team formation is one of the most common causes of team failure.

Fortunately, by following the lead­ership sequence shown in Figure 1, teams can create a common purpose. The sequence is as follows.

• Type One, communicating. Why? What is the value of doing this?
• Type Two, defining. What? What needs to be done to achieve the vision?
• Type Three, doing. How? How will we get it done?
• Type four, challenging. If? If this works, what are the new possibilities?

Concurrent Product Development is a good source of ex­amples for using the sequence of leadership styles, shown in Figure One, to achieve common team purpose. Concur­rent Product Development teams face problems of dealing with a very large job scope and needing major cultural changes. For these reasons, Concurrent Product Develop­ment teams are particularly susceptible to the inability to define and communicate a common purpose. By following the sequence of leadership styles below, Concurrent Prod­uct Development teams can achieve a common purpose:

• Why do we need to do this? We need to introduce manufacturable products quickly.
• What are we going to do? Eliminate departmental hand-offs, ensure quality of design at the source, consider manufacturing and purchasing issues from the onset of the design.
• How will we get it done? Multi-functional team approach supported by analytical tools and shared databases.
• If this works what are the possibilities? Two tothree times as many new products as our competitors, incorporating two to three times as many technologies, introduced twice as often with superior profit margins.

What If We Used Learning Styles?

What if we put learning styles and leadership styles to work building the learning organization? What would the outcome be? Improved process design? Faster implementation?

The outcome will be improved rates of learning with the resultant improved problem solving and process improve­ment capabilities.

In this section we will look at the impact of learning and leadership styles on the following:

Sales and Operations Planning requires that senior management come together and function as a process. Successfully motivating senior management to define and implement a planning process is dependent both on learn­ing and leadership styles.

Concurrent Product Development depends on the abil­ity to build cohesive, cross-functional teams from groups of people who have spent most of their careers in a single function. A knowledge of learning styles can help these teams learn the technical, functional and process knowl­edge needed to work together. Application of the leadership style wheel in Figure 1 can help build mutual accountabil­ity for achieving the team purpose.

ISO 9000, Class A Performance, TQM and other im­provement programs are dependent on the design and execution of a comprehensive education program. Success of an education program is dependent on the ability to account for the unique way in which people acquire knowl­edge and skill. Learning styles account for this unique ability.

Part 1  Part 2    Part 3   Part 4   Par 5   Part 6   Part 7

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