Diagnosing

… a core topic in Leadership Skills and Atlas109
and study materials for Week 14 of Atlas206 Internship Reading

Topic description

diagnosisThis topic introduces students to the task of diagnosing the leadership challenges in any particular public management context.

Note: In addition to elaborating a core topic in Leadership Skills and Atlas109, the concepts below constitute study materials for Week 14 of Atlas206 Internship Reading. The Atlas quiz can be found at Quiz 14 – Diagnosing and Strategizing. All 15 quizzes for Atlas206 Internship Reading are available at Concept Quizzes for Atlas206 Internship Reading.

Topic learning outcome

Upon completing this topic, students will be able to apply a number of effective practices to diagnose the leadership challenge in a specific public management problem.

Core concepts associated with this topic
6 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES FOR DIAGNOSING LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES
Determining the Nature of the Leadership Challenge

Determining Who Is Us (Our People)

Engaging the Issue (Getting on the Dance Floor)

Framing the Problem

Identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT)

Taking a Detached (Balcony) Perspective

Recommended 2 hours of study for Week 14 of Atlas206 Internship Reading

Concept pages in Diagnosing and Strategizing

Val Renault, SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, Community Tool Box, at http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/assessment/assessing-community-needs-and-resources/swot-analysis/main, accessed 6 March 2016.

Leonard, H. B. (2002). A Short Note on Public Sector Strategy-Building, uploaded to the Atlas on 28 December 2015 at http://www.atlas101.ca/pm/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Leonard-Note-on-Strategy-2002.pdf.

Michael Porter, What is Strategy? Lecture at the University of North Carolina, November 3, 2012, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvYwKM5bY0s, accessed 31 December 2015.

Complete Quiz 14 – Diagnosing and Strategizing.

Recommended 10 hours of study for Atlas109 Leadership and Communication

Concept pages above and concept comprehension questions at bottom of this page.

Chapter 2 in Williams, Dean, Real Leadership – Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges, San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2005.

Marshall Ganz (2010), Leading Change – Leadership, Organization, and Social Movements, Excerpted from Chapter 19 in Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice: A Harvard Business School Centennial Colloquium, Edited by Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business Press, Boston, Massachusetts, at http://marshallganz.usmblogs.com/files/2012/08/Chapter-19-Leading-Change-Leadership-Organization-and-Social-Movements.pdf, accessed 6 March 2016.

Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky (2002), A Survival Guide for Leaders, Harvard Business Review, June 2002, at https://hbr.org/2002/06/a-survival-guide-for-leaders/ar/1, accessed 6 March 2016.

Catherine Smith, Framing the Problem – Purposes and Tasks for defining a policy problem, Public Interest Writing, East Carolina University, at http://core.ecu.edu/engl/smithcath/ppolicy_book/frame/tasks.htm, accessed 6 March 2016.

Wikipedia, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis, accessed 6 March 2016.

Val Renault, SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, Community Tool Box, at http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/assessment/assessing-community-needs-and-resources/swot-analysis/main, accessed 6 March 2016.

Recommended readings in MPP and MPA courses

University of Toronto PPG2014

Dean Williams, Real Leadership, all of Chapter 1 (“Odin, Enron, and the Apes”), pp.1-30, and pp. 31-37 from Chapter 2 (“Diagnostic Work”)

Mad as Hell Scene from Network (1976 film) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE and TV producers response at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxqkrmkhrjw.

Rick Mercer, rant, March 29, 2011. Link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYgwUQTSC3I.

Jonathan Alter, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, pp. 3-14.

David Byrne, Creation in Reverse, Chapter 1 of How Music Works (McSweeney’s: San Francisco, 2012), pp. 13-30.

Graeme Smith. (2013). The Dogs are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, Chapters 11 and 12, Alfred Knopf Canada, Toronto.

“Toxie,” This American Life radio episode, WBEZ Radio, November 5, 2010 (listen at http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/418/toxie).

Mike Hulme. (2009.) Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity. Preface (pp. xxv-xxxix). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Concept comprehension questions

CCQ206.14.01. Among the statements a-d pertaining to determining the nature of the leadership challenge choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. In the activist challenge, the group or a faction of the group refuses to face some element of reality that actually might improve the people’s quality of life or institutional performance.

b. In the development challenge, the group can make significant improvements to its quality of life or organizational performance if latent abilities become effective.

c. In the activist challenge, the group or a faction of the group refuses to face some element of reality that actually might improve the people’s quality of life or institutional performance.

d.  In the crisis challenge, the group faces a potentially explosive situation that could threaten the life of the group or some aspect of the prevailing order.

e. All of a-d are valid.

CCQ206.14.02. Among the statements a-d pertaining to determining who is us choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. A story of us expresses the values, the experiences, share by the us we are evoking at the time.

b. A story of us helps by identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieve that objective.

c. A story of us can also distinguish our community from another, reducing uncertainty about what to expect from those with whom we interact.

d. The collectivity is everyone in a particular company, or a particular political jurisdiction.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.14.03. Among the statements a-d pertaining to engaging the issue (getting on the dance floor) choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky use the image of a dance floor and a balcony to describe different perspectives.

b. Students typically have spent many years studying matters from a detached perspective and now have to learn how to get off the balcony and onto the dance floor.

c. Once one becomes engaged in a problem that involves other people and institutions new ideas, perspectives, and potential solutions emerge that are much less likely to occur to the detached observer.

d. Once you have engaged the issue on the dance floor, you should remain there until the issue is resolved.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.14.04. Among the statements a-d pertaining to framing the problem choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. The first step is to describe the problem and name the interested parties, or stakeholders.

b. Describing the problem involves recognizing problematic conditions, identifying the problem that those conditions create, and specifying individuals as well as collectives that have a stake in the problem or its solution.

c. When a problem has been identified, it is not yet a policy matter until its issues for policy are specified, where issues refer to stake­holders’ concerns, political disagreements, and value conflicts.

d. The next step is to propose a solution, typically one that relies on policy instruments that government can use.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.14.05. Among the statements a-d pertaining to identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. A SWOT analysis can be carried out for a product, place, industry, or person and involves specifying the objective of the venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable to achieve that objective..

b. A realistic recognition of the weaknesses and threats that exist for your effort is the first step to countering them with a robust set of strategies that build upon strengths and opportunities.

c. SWOT usually reflects your current position or situation and a drawback is that it might not encourage openness to new possibilities.

d. Although SWOT was a popular technique in the late 20th century but is rarely used today.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

CCQ206.14.06. Among the statements a-d pertaining to taking a detached perspective (from the balcony) choose the one that is invalid or choose e if all are reasonably valid.

a. The biggest challenge to taking a detached perspective is seeing yourself objectively.

b. Sustaining good leadership requires the capacity to see what is happening to you and your initiative as it is happening.

c. It is possible to learn to be both an observer and a participant at the same time, through techniques such as watching people’s body language.

d. Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky use the image of “getting off the balcony and going to the dance floor” for taking a detached perspective.

e. All of a-d are reasonably valid.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 19 April 2017.

Image: HealthCentral, at http://www.healthcentral.com/schizophrenia/cf/slideshows/7-tools-diagnosing-schizophrenia, accessed 18 February 2016.