When Key Employees Clash: Case Study

Topics: Project management, Prince, Cash flow Pages: 8 (1670 words) Published: September 5, 2014

The Issue
Though the issue looked like personal conflicts on the face, it actually stems from the friction between two departments fundamentally different in their working methods and thought processes. The fact that the two managers, Ellen and Ronnie, with different working styles leading these two departments has only compounded the problem. Ellen’s complaint was that Ronnie’s team is not sending their timesheets in time, which is leading to late payments from the insurer and shortage in cash flow. Even Ronnie acknowledges this but the solution appears to be different in each other’s minds. Ronnie is adamant that they just need more time, while Ellen is saying that genuine effort is required, not just time extensions. As much as possible, company should not leave any process to individual’s judgment. As long as the company does not have a proper procedural framework to ensure both the silos work together, any personnel change will not work. Company’s leadership should stop this before it trickles down to individual team members and takes a dangerous transition as a war between two departments that are key components in the organizational setup. Each of three main characters played their own role in jeopardizing the healthy working environment. Matt’s Contribution

Mathew’s biggest fault was not to clearly stating the business mission of the company because that is what employees such as Ellen (who will go by the rules) will refer to repeatedly. By trying to run Florida business from Chicago, he gave the impression that profits are most important and do not care about smaller details of how Florida managers conducted business. If only he had been in Florida, he might have been able to cut this issue in its grass roots without letting it go out of bounds. Moreover, he promoted Ronnie to a managerial position for the first time based on this exceptional performance over the time and did not emphasize on proper transitional training to Ronnie. He just assumed that the individual excellence would somehow translate into managerial success. Ronnie’s Contribution

In his prior role, success depended solely on his actions. He probably is under the impression that if each of his team members performs well as individuals, it will enhance the performance of the whole team. Over his career, nobody questioned him as he was always up to the task. He is taken aback when, all of sudden, Ellen started questioning his working style and demanding him to do some things. As the article “becoming boss” talked, Ronnie should feel he is responsible for enhancing his group’s performance rather than limiting himself to making sure his team functions smoothly. He should align his team objectives so that they complement the overall organizational strategies and direction. He is also too much concentrated on the mission of helping patients and ignored other functions that keep the ship moving forward. Ellen’s Contribution

Ellen was confrontational towards Ronnie and behaved in a manner that projects profits are superior to customer service. While profits and cash flows are important, they cannot come without serving their customers (children). Ellen should understand that business is nothing without the actual fieldwork that clinicians are doing on a day-to-day basis. She just cannot blame Ronnie and his team is not submitting the paper work. Instead, she could have come up with some sort of creative and integrative solutions keeping all players in mind.

The main actors who are the center stage of the problem – Mathew, Ellen and Ronnie – are primary stakeholders. This issue also directly affects all the employees working under Ellen and Ronnie. Secondary stakeholders include all other employees, the private investors supporting the company, all those kids who are patients of Kid Spectrum and the local community. Solution

There is no one shot solution to this, it does not happen overnight. Each of the three main actors will...
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