A 30 Minute Interactive Lesson From Prof. Joshua Margolis and Prof. Tony Mayo

The Leader as Architect

Section 1 of 8
Section 2 of 8

What value does Medtronic’s Cardiac Resynchronization Therapies business unit create?

Peer responses

" "

It transforms lives for people with heart failures. They make devices to synchronize the pumping of the heart.

Dawn, United States

" "

Makes devices that help manage the pumping of the heart when the heart may pump too fast, too slow or another manner that needs adjustment to be at the right pace so ventricles and atrium synchronize. It helps treats over 100k patients a year for those who are having heart failure.

Scott, United States

" "

Devices to resynchronize the heart of people with heart failure. They are potentially saving their patients lives.

Rebecca, United Stated

" "

They create medical devices that help people live their lives in spite of their heart conditions.

Ashley, United States

" "

Improving the health and faulty if life with Heart patients who have certain arrhythmia or disfunction.

Steve, United States

Section 3 of 8
Section 3 of 8

The Cardiac Resynchronization Therapies (CRT) business unit’s mission is to transform the lives of people with heart failure by providing reliable life-saving devices.

  • So, what is the value Kweli’s business unit seeks to create? Better lives.
  • How does the unit seek to create that value? By providing life-saving heart devices.
  • For whom does the unit seek to create that value? People with heart failure.

This value is unique to Kweli Thompson and the CRT business unit. Across all industries, in every organization, leaders will have their own value creation goals and their own ways of creating value.

Building an organization that creates value is the puzzle every leader, in every industry, faces. They have exercised their role as Beacon, shining a light on a path—the direction—to navigate a messy and evolving context. That direction (purpose, vision, strategy, and identity) illuminates the route the organization will take to create value in the marketplace. But, just as a lighthouse illuminates paths for ships to follow, the ship needs a hull and form that can navigate that path.

This is where the role of Leader as Architect comes in: what sort of ship does the leader need? How do they need to design the hull so the organization can pursue the illuminated direction that will ultimately generate value?

With that in mind, let’s consider the Leader as Architect role in a different setting. Imagine you are the CEO of a grocery store organization, consisting of hundreds of stores in various locations. While your responsibilities are numerous, let’s simplify them for a moment and focus on one product, one way your organization creates value: the journey a piece of fruit takes to get to a grocery store’s shelves and in front of the customer.

For the video that follows, think about the following questions:

  • What is your role as the CEO of the grocery company?
  • What organizational levers do you have to ensure the grocery store delivers value?

Section 4 of 8
Section 5 of 8

Reflect on one of the best jobs you have had. What policies and practices did the organization have in place to motivate you? To equip you with the competence you needed to do the job? To coordinate your efforts with the efforts of others in the organization?

Peer responses

" "

Motivate: Providing the best service to our clients and being a strong community partner.
Equip: Made sure I had any training (hard skills or soft skills) needed to do my job and progress upwards.
Coordinate: Team building exercises.

Rebecca, United States

" "

Motivate: I am motivated by others appreciation of my efforts, being treated well and fairly. When I am offered advancement and better opportunities, I am motivated to making more of a difference.
Equip: I am continuously improve when I am offered the right training and materials to do the role successfully. I've also found having a mentor and/or working with a team that provides support and quality feedback to be very important.
Coordinate: We had team oriented assignments, free exchange of information and the org provided the tools to effectively coordinate with others.

Scott, United States

" "

Motivate: Freedom and trust to do my job without micromanagement.
Equip: Provided frequent feedback and opportunities to buy tools or take classes that would help me with my job.
Coordinate: Frequent meetings and updates about the goals of the work.

Ashley, United States

" "

Motivate: The company held worldwide town square sessions and retreats for employees to engage.
Equip: Top-notch training, funded my MBA, allowed to utilize a life coach.
Coordinate: Fostered cross-functional collaboration and team leaders helped connect the dots.

Dawn, United States

" "

Motivate: Being part of a quality team.
Equip: Setting up a quality schedule and supply chain.
Coordinate: Maintaining key specifics in supply, marketing, team members and communication.

Steve, United States

Section 6 of 8

Now reflect on the experiences you’ve had leading teams, divisions, or organizations. Of the three organizational conditions, which one was the most challenging to solve for given what you were facing?

  • Now reflect on the experiences you’ve had leading teams, divisions, or organizations. Of the three organizational conditions, which one was the most challenging to solve for given what you were facing?
Section 7 of 8

What made that condition so challenging, and how did you address the challenge?

Peer responses

" "

It is hard to motivate people to be passionate about what they do and look at their work as more than a job. The situation was challenging because the individuals were in the roles simply to move up and didn't actually care about the work they were doing. I addressed it by making the work more personal and finding one aspect of it that each employee could relate to.

Dawn, United States

" "

It can be hard to stay on top of multiple teams and deadlines, especially if you are new to management. Some people really don't like to work in teams or groups so you have to manage multiple personalities and possible clashes. I try to make sure people are not overwhelmed by the workload which can lead to burnout or mistakes. I also try to make sure people know they can provide feedback if they have a suggestion or improvement to make to the way things are operating.

Ashley, United States

" "

I think the motivation initiative comes from a persons upbringing, background, overall skills. A person needs to want to be successful and approach the position as a value not just a job.

Steve, United States

" "

Finding the right people with the right skills who are willing to learn, adapt and grow is a constant challenge. It was close between that and motivation.

Rebecca, United States

" "

I have had challenges equipping people with the skills they need when I was not familiar with how a propriety software functioned or processes to provide the right framework to put the correct operations in place. When this information is not documented and there are no resources to provide the right kind of demonstration, it makes it very challenging. This issue enabled my team to get the procedures documented and we did this by contracting out old employees who had the familiarity but no longer worked for the company. Eventually we learned the software lacked capabilities and was inefficient, so it was replaced, but until then we had to reach out to a few individuals to help provide the right level of training.

Scott, United States

Section 8 of 8