Moving Away from the Comfort Zone by fionan



                             Moving Away from the Comfort Zone

         Caroline Sparkle has been an administrative assistant for three businesses during her
career. She prides herself on her attention to detail, her organizational skills, her communication
skills, and most recently, her computer skills.

         When Caroline accepted her present position as administrative assistant to the Director of
Marketing, she knew she had found the place where she belonged. The Director, Rosemary
Tollin, was extremely creative. She had won many awards for excellence in design throughout
her career at Software Solutions. Rosemary explained to Caroline that she would be her right
hand woman. She stressed how important keeping the lines of communication open was in this

         The weeks flew by and Rosemary realized how much she could depend on Caroline and
how little supervision she needed. Caroline appreciated the trust Rosemary had in her. Caroline
found herself engaging in activities that were different. Challenging herself in these ways was
refreshing. Her creativity brought new aspects to her job that was once mundane. Turning the
creative ideas into action provided Caroline with a great sense of satisfaction. Caroline was
realizing the power that positive thinking was having on her personally and her work

         Caroline soon found herself bouncing ideas off of co-workers including Rosemary.
Rosemary, in turn, started bouncing ideas off of Caroline. She, too, found a great deal of
satisfaction from this new way of getting the job done. It was no longer a matter of just getting
the job done but how can the job be enhanced.

Responding to the Case
     1. Why is it important to think of yourself as creative?
     2. What is meant by move away from your comfort zone?
     3. Why would you want to play your own devil’s advocate?

                           Would You Like to Open a Gap Charge?

         Stevie Reynolds is the manager of a high-volume Gap, Inc. There are ten full-time
employees and 35 part-time employees. Stevie knows how important teamwork is in reaching the
expectations of the District Managers. For this reason she holds daily meetings with her assistant
managers. They discuss the goals being set company wide and brainstorm different ways of
motivating the employees to help attain these goals. The Assistant Managers in turn, meet with
the employees in their specific departments discussing with them the goals reached earlier in the
day. They encourage all employees to actively participate in discussions and give their
suggestions for ways to attain these goals. Stevie has found that this method of actively involving
each and every employee creates an atmosphere of pride.

         In a recent meeting, upper management informed Stevie that company wide new credit
card accounts were down sharply. A contest was instituted in which each employee in the store
obtaining the largest number of new credit card accounts would be able to pick a scarf/hat,
scarf/mittens, or hat/mittens combination of their choice at no cost. This contest was to run for
one week giving all employees an opportunity to participate. When Stevie presented this
promotion to her Assistant Managers, it was decided that an ‘in store’ incentive should be added.
They quickly came up with a plan to include all employees whether on the floor, at the register, or
behind the scenes in stock. Cards would be printed up and each time an employee persuaded a
customer to open a new account a hole would be punched on this card. When a total of 15 holes
was punched on an employee’s card, they would receive a gift card worth $10. When the
announcement of this incentive was made, the employees decided to keep a poster board with
everyone’s name and progress on it.

Responding to the Case
     1. Stevie encouraged all employees to actively participate in promotions offered by the
        company. How did this benefit everyone involved?
     2. What purpose would keeping track of each employee’s progress achieve?
     3. List the ways Stevie went about involving all employees in order to achieve a cooperative
        winning atmosphere in her store.

                                      The Dream of a Lifetime

          Scott Little was a graduate of Duke University. He worked his way through college at
various jobs. After graduating, Scott had his sights set on opening his own business. He knew
that if he was going to be successful, he would have to gain experience. Scott landed a job as an
inspector for Nationwide Insurance Company in their Center City location. Scott’s territory
covered hundreds of miles all over the tri-state area inspecting business properties. He quickly
earned the reputation of being an extremely thorough inspector, by producing extremely detailed
reports. Always keeping the goal of owning his own business in the back of his mind, Scott was
determined to learn the ins and outs of this profession. Throughout his time as an inspector, he
took great pride in his work and was rewarded as a result.

          As a manager, he expected the same quality of work from the employees as he would of
himself. This often proved to be frustrating because employees often found short cuts and made
careless errors that would eventually reflect back on him.

          More determined than ever, Scott set out solo starting his own business. He was fully
aware of all the risks and rewards associated with a business venture. He realized that the success
or failure of his business landed squarely on his shoulders. His reputation preceded him and
many companies sought him out to do their investigative work. He set out one job at a time not
requiring any contracts with these companies, confident his work would speak for itself. As his
business grew, Scott was aware that to maintain the high standards he had set he would need help.
He successfully hired a secretary, bookkeeper, and inspector, insisting that they possess the same
pride in their work as he had.

          Scott’s self-imposed high ethical standards proved to be the key to his success.

Responding to the Case
      1. Define entrepreneurship.
      2. How does an entrepreneur approach starting a business venture?
      3. How does this approach differ from that of a traditional supervisor?

                                           Delivery Day

         Kohl’s, a National department store chain, recently opened it sixth East Coast store in
Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Upper management hired a full-time stock supervisor, Fran Hillman,
and three part-time stock assistants, Nick Tratelli, Joe Buck, and Sharon Luff. Kohl’s established
a method of how the stock was to be taken off of the truck, and either stored in the stock room or
brought out onto the floor. Fran and her assistants became very efficient at emptying the
delivery trucks twice a week. The assistants varied their work schedules making sure that two
were always working on delivery nights.

         Three months after the store opened, sales were phenomenal. Management realized that
in order to keep up with the demand for merchandise they would need to hire more stock room
assistants. When Nick, Joe, and Sharon realized that more assistants were going to be hired, they
were all upset. The three of them had been together since the weeks leading up to the store’s
opening. Together they had, with Fran’s help, organized the stock room, and brought all the
merchandise out on the floor. They felt as though they were like a well-oiled machine.

         They expressed their feelings to Fran. She felt they were resisting the hiring of new
assistants because of fear of the unknown and that they perceived the change as a threat to their
job/income. Fran immediately set out to open the lines of communication encouraging Nick, Joe,
and Sharon to become involved in the decision making aspect of how to utilize these new
assistants in the best way. Fran wanted the three to know how much she appreciated their loyalty
and how much she relied on their insight. Through these discussions, the four came up with
creative ideas they planned to present to management to utilize all the assistants to the fullest

Responding to the Case
      1. Describe the traditional view of change.
      2. Why do employees resist change?
      3. In what ways can supervisors reduce resistance to change?

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