In the year 2004, the Rockwool Group which is the world's number one producer of stone wool appointed a new CEO. The new CEO, Eelco Van Heel, changed the culture of the business from engineer-heavy culture to value-led organization (Hansen & Soerensen, 2009). The company has over 8500 employees in 23 factories located across three continents. The CEO came up with a programs known as People and Brands and leading People and Brands to focus on people management and organizational growth. These initiatives focused on the soft skills and the general ability of managers throughout the business by encouraging them to mobilize the employees under them to take charge and make a positive difference ( Hansen & Soerensen, 2009). From these programs, there are two leadership strategies that can be identified and they include transformational and participative often referred to as democratic leadership strategy.
Participative leadership highly esteems the input of peers and team members, but the duty of making the ultimate decision rests solely with the participative leader (Johnson, 2016). The participative leaders enhance the employees drive because of their involvement in decision making. This kind of leadership strategy make the employees feel appreciated because their opinions are put into consideration when it comes to making important decision in the organization (Johnson, 2016). This strategy is also a big advantage to the organization when it comes to making changes; changes in organizations that embrace democratic style of leadership are easily accepted by the employees who play a part in the process. The transformational leadership strategy is dependent on high levels of communication to meet goals. Leaders encourage employees and enhance efficiency and productivity through communication and high visibility.
Leading people and Brands program which is an improved version of People and Brand initiative incorporates both participative and transformational leadership strategies. This initiative clearly defines the type of organization Rockwool should be, its focus, business activities and the type of organizational culture and management behavior the organization wants to experience and deliver ( Hansen & Soerensen, 2009). Through the Leading People and Brand, an open forum was open to discuss corporate values. By opening a forum free to all, employees are involved in decision making. They are encouraged to participate in making important decisions about the kind of company Rockwool wants to be and the kind of behavior linked to it. Through the same initiative all employees are encouraged to be Rockwool group ambassadors and represent the organizations brand values in everything they do ( Hansen & Soerensen, 2009). This kind of participation and sense of belonging satisfies the employees high level needs because they are motivated by growth. The initiative has also been successful in communicating the mission and vision of the organization. An employee whose morale has been boosted and has confidence in the organizations vision can be productive (Ekaterini, 2010).
Under the Leading People and Brands program, 360 degree feedback survey was developed. In this survey managers are required to participate because this survey which align specifically with the Rockwool values measures perception of management quality. The result of the survey is the foundation of opening a discussion about management and managerial behavior within the company ( Hansen & Soerensen, 2009). This encourages a culture of feedback in the organization and managers are advised on where they could improve and made aware of where they are doing well. Managerial styles have an impact on how goals are set. The 360 degree feedback survey encourages transformational leadership. In this case empowerment is emphasized and clear goals created. Empowered employees under the guidance of company goals are able to make sound day to day decisions (Ekaterini, 2010).
Leading People and Brands program which is a combination of transformational and democratic leadership kill has yielded positive results. It has provided the Rockwool group with a reference point and a common language making it easier to discuss objectives and goals within the organization ( Hansen & Soerensen, 2009). The program has also positioned the employees management leadership skills to grow within the business. The positive impacts of the two types of leadership strategies under the program can be witnessed in a number of successful projects like the establishment of an appraisal system founded on the organizational values and strategy and the managerial leadership program based on Leading People and Brands issues ( Hansen & Soerensen, 2009).
Democratic leadership style is a very productive strategy to most organizations. This strategy is still being used in the present day organizations, for example Amazon.com. Initially Amazon was known for selling books only but after incorporating participative leadership model, the company has expanded its market niche by selling a wide variety of things including big data security storage and cloud services. Another good example is Mayo clinic which thrive on participative leadership values (Democratic Leadership Style, 2016). This non-profit organization attracts some of the most brilliant people in the medical field by giving them an opportunity to work jointly among peers on democratic teams. With the help of democratic leadership style office politics that threatened growth in an organization can be reduced. Communication gap is also reduced and tension between leaders and the employees is reduced, consequently fear or rejection also reduces and all sorts of problems made addressable. It also creates a positive work environment and employee turnover is reduced, this increases productivity (Ekaterini, 2010). Taking long to come to a decision, missing opportunities and being stuck in the middle are some of the drawbacks of this leadership strategy. However this strategy cannot be used in all organizations, especially organizations where decisions have to be made at the nick of time like in the armed forces (Democratic Leadership Style, 2016).
Transformational leadership is effective in creating visions, dealing with changes, listening to customers and employees concerns, encouraging members to perform and in facilitating innovations. There are a number of organizations that use transformational way of leadership in the present day. A good example is in the social media technology, which is twitter and Facebook which apply technology use to social connections which has also had an impact on how business connect and interact with customers (Duggan, 2016). If not implemented properly transformational leadership can have some negative impacts which include inappropriate use of influence by leaders, leaders should be enthusiastic and should inspire employees, however, giving unreasonable deadlines and making employees work for long hours are some of the negative influences. Idea generation without merit, by arousing creativity and intellectual curiosity , leaders help their employees come up with ways of solving problems although if proper acknowledging procedure is not developed, some employees might not be given credit for their ideas (Disadvantages of Transformational Leadership, 2016). Leaders may not take into consideration situational changes and leaders may ignore individual need. Leadership should balance the needs of the group while putting into consideration individual preferences because in this form of leadership, leaders tend to put more emphasis on a single members needs or consideration.
Hansen, P. G., & Soerensen, J. (2009). The Rockwool Group:delivering business growth through culture change. Strategic HR review, 5-9.
Democratic Leadership Style. (2016, April 8). Retrieved from Career Advice: http://www.speedupcareer.com/articles/democratic-leadership-style.html
Disadvantages of Transformational Leadership. (2016, April 8). Advice America.
Duggan, T. (2016, April 8). Transformational Leadership Examples in Business. Your Business.
Ekaterini, G. (2010). The Impact of Leadership Styles on Four Variables of Executives Workforce. International Journal of Business and Management, 3-8.
Johnson, R. (2016, April 8). 5 Different Types of Leadership Styles. Small Business.
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