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A day in the life of Alex Sander: Driving in

the Fast Lane at Landon Care Products

Submission By - FAS AN2

17F810 Gopi Krishna Kankamaedala


17F814 Jagariti Dadhich
17F829 Raghav Munjal
17F841 Shubhra Bhatia
17F842 Siddharth Sharma
A day in the life of Alex Sander: Driving in the fast lane of Landon
care products

Problem statement

● What Sam as a manager needs to do to channel Alex’s talent and ensure success, for
your product group and for Alex as an individual?
● Given the particular situation, recommendations for the company executives to
improve 360 degree process next year and to help Landon develop leadership talent
long-term

Internal and External analysis


SWOT analysis of Alex Sanders

Strengths Weaknesses

● Has a broad professional background ● Workaholic and taskmaster. Alex


and varied skill set expects the same level of commitment
● Decisive and confident from every team member
● Multitasker ● Impatient with people of lesser
● Driven and relentless intellect than him
● Inquisitive and quick learner ● Narcissist and arrogant
● Technically competent with extensive ● Bad tempered
product and market knowledge
Opportunities Threats

● Youngest product manager at Landon ● Inability to achieve work-life balance


and a star performer. Ability to stay in might lead to burnout
a managerial track at a large place like
Landon.
● Ruffling too many feathers may lead to
Alex being outcast or disliked.
● Alex can develop himself as a leader
and motivator to effectively build a
team.
SWOT analysis of 360-degree process

Strengths Weaknesses

● Provides a holistic review of the ● Feedback may be tainted or dishonest


candidate as it takes into account ● May be costlier and time consuming
feedback from different organizational than the traditional review system.
levels. ● Implementation needs to be fine-
● Easier for an employee to measure his tuned
performance against peers. ● Some people may not be comfortable
● It provides insights into aspects of the reviewing their peers and seniors.
candidate that he/she needs to ● Subject to Group Think and bias
improve for his/her personal and ● Feedback is anonymous. So there's no
professional development. opportunity for clarification.
● Good team development and ● Reviewers might not be qualified
knowledge sharing tool. enough to evaluate certain individuals.

Opportunities Threats

Instrumental in developing leadership in the Might be detrimental if not implemented


company. keeping in mind the larger goals of the
organisation.

Allows planning for classes, cross-functional


responsibilities, and cross-training. Might be misused to create disharmony and
discord.
Factors affecting the problem with theoretical examples
Alex was a high performing employee at Landon care products with successful branding of
two products at Landon care products. Given his potential he was also one of the youngest
product mangers among other senior product managers which makes fair treatment
amongst all even more mandatory for the product department to function smoothly.
However, given that he was motivated by performance and demanded his salary to be
justifying the kind of work that he did revealed in his conversation with Sam, he was an
individual who feared nothing. He has proved himself all his life with only one strategy
decision going wrong as mentioned by him. He knew himself in and out, therefore he
considered processes like 360 degree feedback as unnecessary and wastage of his time as
we see in a conversation with his neighbour. He is young and brash with expectations of
similar competency from the team he works with. His stint with Garrison, the senior analyst
from marketing where he literally blazes him for substandard work tells the same. Even in
the conversation with a senior Sam mentions that he knew that he’ll create waves when he
joins the organization but his competency sets him apart and gives him an edge over
everything even getting him an excuse for the temper issues that he has. But, Sam in a
conversation while convincing him to go through feedback papers tells him clearly that he
may earn the respect of others, but might never be looked upto as a leader given his temper
and other work related idiosyncracies(High performance expectation even from employees
with different caliber, mails at odd hours in the instance of foreign officials meeting).
The 360 degree feedback system though giving an all round feedback from employees,
seniors, customers etc may have certain issues. Any such system is made for the people
working in the organization and has the soul purpose of serving the organization and it’s
employees that make it, who need to believe in it completely for it to work. However, like
Alex, there were many who had their doubts about this system.
How the feedback will be used was on the minds of these employees?. Is it here to help with
development, or is it for performance appraisal? People like Alex have an impression that
feedback will be less than honest and tainted in some way which is self explanatory about
the success of such a system in near future.
Compensation may not be the only measure of performance as cited by Sam who is
advocating 360 degrees in front of Alex, but an employee like Alex thinks the opposite. He
demands this compensation given the efforts he puts in his work and is not going to be
bogged by some feedback given by others, though it even has some nice things to say. Given
the new developments like acquisition of the company by Avante Garde and their
expectations from Landon care products in their development, Alex’s importance increases
many fold which gives him all the safety net for going rogue(don’t want to sound extreme).
However, it can’t be ignored that this same entity is pushing for this 360 degree system
which leaves the organization and the employees in a fix, whether to adopt and encapsulate
a system that they don’t believe in or ignore it focussing on their performance since they’ve
already been hired by the company and this process should’ve ended there itself.
Critical factors
Company’s at the cusp of change. With the new acquisition by Avante Garde, new priorities
are set for Landon. Along with increase in its performance banking the pre-existing success
of Landon, Avante is seeking new system implementations like 360 Degrees feedback
mechanism. The employees have a mixed reaction to the system with a few complying and
giving feedback and a few like Alex Sanders having their doubts which are justified.
Supervisors like Sam Glass are in a fix whether to impose a system which doesn’t comply
with the beliefs of employees or look at their performance and hence the compensation
which is a crucial means to be served.(Alex’s case).
The critical factor over here is the situation that Landon is facing. It has seen two successful
branding projects in the year, thanks to employees like Alex who despite their issues with
social dealings are highly competent. The company is also responsible for an all round
development of the employees but whether to impose it against their will is the question.
Belief in the system by employees is the most critical factor. As in case of Alex, his opinion
about the definition of a leader, and what 360 degrees can contribute in making him
become one is a critical to the respective problem statement.

Options:

The following are the various alternatives with which the situation can be improved and Alex’s talent
can be channeled in the right direction.

Leadership development training: Sam should invest in getting Alex training in leadership skills.
He can hire an external consultant for the same task. As per the 360 degree feedback, Alex
lacks skills to motivate team members instead uses his temper to things done. He can be
trained on employee motivation skills. It might invoke negative reaction from Alex.
However, it is good to try it out.
Moving Alex Sander to new team: It is clear that the teammates have problems with the way
Alex handles the team. It is also clear that he is a high performer and Sam and the
organization won’t be inclined to lose him. If Sam thinks that option 1 may not work out and
Alex will be reluctant to change his attitude, he might think of moving him to a team where
it demands more of individual contribution and less team management.
Sam’s Regular meetings with the department: Sam should get more involved with the
department so that he gets chance to solve some problems right away. He can conduct skip
level meetings with the employees of the department. Sam can share the feedback regularly
with Alex. This way Alex would also get to know the gravity of the situation and gives a push
to change his behavior. He can also introduce Quality circles in the department to improve
employee engagement with the supervisor.

Improving 3600 process:

The following can be the areas of improvement that Sam can suggest executives so that it could help
generate right leadership talent and Landon.

Improve on Outsider feedback: We can observe from the outsider feedback to Alex that only 2
people have given the feedback and that too without any comments. They should find out
the reason for the same and improve the responsiveness of the feedback from outsiders
which might also help in a big way.
Insufficient Information: As per the exhibits, many of the feedback statements are too general.
They might require little more details so that they can be acted upon easily. It will also
reduce the chances of misinterpretation.

Recommendation:

We can consider two things while we evaluate the above 3 options. The new skin care project
(Nourish) and right utilization of Alex’s talent in the organization. By this consideration, option 3
weighs more compared to other alternatives.

Action Plan:

Sam should make Alex understand the importance of being a leader and motivate him to pursue
leadership skills through one on one meeting. Same needs to involve more and more with the
department employees through weekly meetings and share feedback regularly with Alex. As leaders
can inspire employees to become leaders, Sam should take lead and motivate Alex.