Management Skills for Project Leaders: What to do when you do not know what to do by Marie-Claude FosterManagement Skills for Project Leaders: What to do when you do not know what to do by Marie-Claude Foster

Management Skills for Project Leaders: What to do when you do not know what to do

byMarie-Claude Foster

Paperback | December 1, 2001

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Managing projects involves being able to deal with uncertainty and complexity in the workplace, but traditional management models have severe limitations under these circumstances. We require new paradigms to help us make sense of the world in which we live and work. This book is the result of many workshops and courses for project leaders working in a variety of settings in low- and middle-income countries. It brings together some of the thoughts of leading management writers in an accessible form, using fictitious case studies to illustrate important points. The various activities described can be used in workshops, by project leaders and managers. The book is of interest to project leaders both in the governmental (public) and voluntary sector as well as members of non-governmental organisations from a wide range of disciplines, e.g. health, agriculture and community development.
Title:Management Skills for Project Leaders: What to do when you do not know what to doFormat:PaperbackDimensions:202 pagesPublished:December 1, 2001Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3764364238

ISBN - 13:9783764364236

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Table of Contents

1 Dealing with uncertainty and complexity.- The issue.- Complexity in the work situation.- Complexity as normal.- Work organisations as complex systems.- The limitations of traditional linear models.- The future is always uncertain.- Implications of an uncertain future for project leaders.- Long-term plans are problematic.- Self-organisation in work organisations: from ossification to disintegration and the edge of chaos.- Organisations which do not thrive and are not effective operate in a stage of ossification or disintegration.- The edge of chaos - both order and disorder.- We co-create the future although we are not in control: the importance of "taking part" 13 Emergent strategies: the importance of conversations and relationships.- Other useful strategies in the light of an uncertain future: short-term planning and continuous monitoring.- Implications and useful strategies.- Paradox is a characteristic of the chaotic edge.- Implications for project leaders.- Surviving and thriving at the chaotic edge.- References and suggested reading.- 2 Managing complexity - unhelpful and effective strategies.- The issue.- Protective but uncreative mechanisms.- Secrecy.- Busy-ness.- Paralysis.- Control through the search for set procedures, rules and regulations.- Belief in a conspiracy plot.- Belief in a parent figure.- Fantasy of omnipotence and of perfection: the "playing God" game.- Becoming aware of our unhelpful strategies.- Dealing with unhelpful strategies: the importance of giving people protective skills.- Positive strategies.- The skills for living and working with complexity and uncertainty.- Admitting to not-knowing.- Knowing what to do when we do not know what to do.- The importance of action when we do not know what to do.- Different modes of thinking: left brain hemisphere vs right brain hemisphere.- Usefulness of the right brain hemisphere.- The importance of "slack" quiet times.- Intuition.- Developing intuition.- The creative process.- Organisational factors facilitating the use of intuition and creativity.- Keeping the child in us alive: having fun at work.- Images and metaphors.- References and suggested reading.- 3 Decision-making in the face of complexity and an unknown future.- The issue.- Appropriateness of the manner of decision-making.- Agreed objectives and known means: logical rational models.- Certainty about means and conflict about outcomes:politicking.- Agreed objectives and unclear means: intuition and trialand error.- Conflict about objectives and unclear means: keepingclose to the user, politicking, intuition and trial and error.- Teleological decision-making.- The Gestalt cycle of energy use.- Impediments to the smooth completion of the cycle.- Decision-making in the light of paradox.- The dialectical approach.- Synectics.- Creating opposition.- The use of oxymorons.- Polarity management.- Creative methods for generating ideas.- Brainstorming.- Analogy.- Patterns in chaos: order in the midst of disorder.- Identifying the primary task.- Being aware of our interconnectedness.- Project design.- Realistic objectives - no utopia.- Decision-making in complexity: the continuous development of aspirations.- Using left and right brain hemispheres.- References and suggested reading.- 4 Valuable perspectives to help us deal with complexity.- The issue.- The construction of reality.- Valuable perspectives and outlook.- The "both¡­ and¡­" view of the world.- Multiple perspectives.- The normality of "mistakes".- The importance of shifting outside our habitual perspectives.- Revelling in change as an important skill.- Embracing paradox.- Acceptance and confrontation: combining the "feminine"and the "masculine" principles.- Recognition of constant flux in life and in projects.- "Riding the waves".- "How to fall down and get up again".- Working with energy.- Learning preceded by unlearning.- Taking part in the action: being involved.- Adaptability and flexibility: the importance of listening.- Interconnectedness - 'agape" in the workplace.- Working with groups.- Skills for dealing with the void.- References and suggested reading.- 5 Empowerment and self-development.- The issue.- A chaotic model of development.- Starting with oneself.- Doing and being.- The search for meaning.- Being, doing and complexity.- Dealing with our fears.- The importance of self-esteem.- Positive thinking.- Affirmations.- Living life fully.- Taking responsibility and knowing when we are not responsible.- The secret of empowerment: the perception of choice.- Reframing: a powerful method for empowerment.- The dangers of passivity.- How to deal with helplessness.- About winners and losers.- Self-fulfilling prophecy.- Pro-activity.- Authority.- The work instinct.- On the importance of aspirations.- Self-empowerment and being.- References and suggested reading.- 6 Facilitating the development of staff.- The issue.- Life positions.- Belief in the potential of workers.- "Agape" - love in the workplace.- The essence of managing individuals effectively andhumanely: unconditional love, empathy and authenticity.- Recognition in the workplace.- Conditional and unconditional strokes.- Self-fulfilling prophecies revisited.- Change through modelling.- Healing the injury of previous learning.- On being a mentor.- The outcome of learning: celebration of differences.- Leadership styles.- The servant leader.- The ethics of influencing others: indoctrination or education?.- The meaning of support.- Dealing with anxiety in the workplace.- Clarifying the nature of the working alliance.- Elements which damage staff development.- Supporting groups in the workplace.- Unconscious processes in the group.- Valuing people.- On the importance of our own attitude.- The empowerment myth.- References and suggested reading.- 7 The unlearning and learning organisation.- The issue.- The importance of culture.- Power, culture and organisations.- Culture, power and change.- Managers as culture workers.- The organisation at the edge of chaos.- A tension between stability and instability.- In the effective organisation subversion is encouraged.- Self-organising groups.- The "both¡­ and¡­" of power.- The creative organisation.- Celebration of dissent.- About risk-taking and "mistakes".- Being involved.- Suspending judgment.- The importance of slack time and time-out.- Organisational culture for promoting creativity.- Organisation analysis.- The environment.- The social setting.- Technical support.- Use of time.- The nature of the work.- The organisational culture.- A celebration of conflict: the importance of freedom ofexpression.- Eustress and distress in work organisations.- On the importance of continuous change.- References and suggested reading.- 8 The change process.- The issue.- Organisation development.- The change process.- Complexity revisited: the future is always uncertain.- Change occurs in far-from-equilibrium conditions.- About fractals: the part contains the whole.- Small interventions lead to important results: thebutterfly effect.- Valuable organisational change: continuous learning.- Organisational change to be avoided: moving towardsstability.- Mental flexibility.- Change "management": discovery.- About endings and beginnings.- Endings: grieving and bereavement.- Helping people deal with loss: an important role fordealing with change.- Emotions at work: allowing emotions to surface.- A note on survivors' guilt.- First-and second-level change.- Unhelpful change.- Common occurrences with second level change.- Letting go.- The void revisited.- The role of the "community" in change.- References and suggested reading.- 9 Change agent skills.- The issue.- What it means to be a change agent.- Fear as a hindrance to change.- The importance of relationship.- "Disturbing the field".- On risk-taking.- Inviting others to the edge of chaos.- Helping people through the void.- Finding out the stories.- Changing the stories: how to be a culture worker.- Encouraging people to discover their own stories.- The beginning of a change process needs careful nurturing.- Helping people through the "getting worse before it getsbetter" phase.- No utopian promise.- Changing what can be realistically changed - no utopia.- On the importance of being realistic.- Enantiodromia or the flip-over phenomenon.- When the solution is the problem.- "More of the same" does not work.- The paradox of change.- Doing while "not doing": working as a "rainmaker".- Not "why" questions, but "what" and "how".- The rationality of "irrational" behaviour.- "Both¡­ and¡­" revisited.- Reframing revisited.- Working with so-called "resistance".- On the importance of questions.- Introducing confusion to bring about change.- Importance of unplanned and trivial incidents.- Self-care of the change agent.- The magician and the scientist.- References and suggested reading.