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Assignment Details

In this assignment, you will reflect on what you’ve learned and assess how it fits with your professional experiences and prior knowledge.

Instructions

Write a minimum of one page reflecting on your activities and readings in this module. Be sure to ask yourself and respond to the following questions. Please note that this is an informal reflection and does not require citations or references.

Have you created a leadership philosophy in the past?

How did you derive your leadership philosophy? What are the roots of your thinking?

Looking back, what changes would you make?

How do you think this will help you lead a distributed team?

BUS562 M3.2 – Module Notes
These module notes have been drawn directly from your weekly readings to provide a view
across all of your sources. Resources are included at the end of the Module Notes document.
Ethics, Legal Compliance and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Distributed Workforces
To bridge the gap between ethics and Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), you must first formalize
goals that further the organization’s social and corporate responsibilities. Some of the following
suggested goals can be built around D&I initiatives:
• Emphasize the business case for diversity and inclusion.
• Recognize bias.
• Practice inclusive leadership.
• Provide sponsorship programs.
• Hold leaders accountable.
In addition to having open discussions on ethics and D&I with employees, an ethics support line
can be set up to allow employees to address any issues anonymously. Proactive measures to
foster an ethical and inclusive environment include:
• Planning and implementation of the D&I plan.
• Conflict resolution skills and bias training.
• Communication training.
• Ethics and integrity training.
Remember that ethics and D&I are not one size fits all considerations; they need to be
customized for the organization and cultures involved. It is crucial that the leadership team be
involved and committed to organizational goals and behaviors with respect to ethics and D&I.
This support can cultivate commitment, motivate employees, and fuel innovation.
As workforces go global, human resource compliance needs to go global as well. Business rules
differ across countries. If you wish to hire global talent, you must comply with the country’s
work policies. Therefore, the companies need to understand the policies well to remain safe
from legal trouble arising from non-compliance issues. It is equally important for the employees
to be aware of the company’s compliance management so they too can abide by the rules for a
safe continuation of their professional journey. A manager of a distributed workforce needs to
make sure that their human resources practices are compliant with both foreign local laws and
the organization’s own in-house code of conduct, other international policies, employment
agreements, and corporate values and norms.
International human resources compliance audits transcend employment law and become
relevant to operations within an organization well beyond the human resources function (e.g.,
insider trading, bribery). Be sure to work with your global human resources department to
verify areas of compliance that may be unfamiliar to you in other regions and territories. If you
don’t have a human resources department, a cross-departmental compliance team can be
assembled to proactively manage these concerns.
Digital ethics refers to ethical behavior in digital and online environments. These include email,
instant messaging, chat platforms, social media, and other environments where in-person
contact with another human has been removed. People may behave differently online than
they would when sitting with another person or even speaking with them on the phone, making
digital ethical concerns more challenging to manage. Rules barring unethical behavior can go a
long way toward prevention if they are thoughtfully developed, transparent, and
communicated effectively. However, rules are not enough; these values must be lived and
reinforced in the culture. The good news is that research shows that people who are more
inclined to manipulate or abuse others have a harder time succeeding in digital environments
due to the text-based, traceable, communication. Behaviors like this are often visible to others
and discoverable by IT systems. If you are concerned about your virtual employees engaging
ethically with one another, be sure to connect often, connect in depth, discuss the things that
matter, and discuss the social component of digital communications. A culture of open and
transparent communication regardless of physical distance can mitigate ethical problems.
Distributed Team Leadership
Mind shifts needed for distributed work include:
• Designing business operations and work spaces to be more collaborative and responsive
to what workers need.
• Rewarding collaboration and openness, not just individual expertise.
• Recognizing and responding to the paradox of employees wanting more connection but
also more flexibility in working.
Distance does not need to create distance. The virtual environment appears to risk increased
disconnection and isolation, and may, if the organization leaders do not do the following:
• Shift toward a more systemic, integrated view of the organization, and communicate
with everyone to know how they fit into the whole.
• Support the network infrastructure that facilitates hyper connection.
• Actively support a culture where workers share in the rewards of team collaboration.
Two common virtual roadblocks include:
• A lack of support for and from middle managers.
• Continuing to manage distributed teams using traditional management habits that are
not suited for a distributed work environment.
Removing these roadblocks requires training and coaching, beginning with communication
about the hows and whys of virtual team leadership.
In order for enterprises to evolve organization design to embrace virtual work, leaders need to
further their understanding of the integrated relationships among people, technology, and
process. We’re not just linked, but inseparable. People are often on multiple teams and have
multiple alliances. You cannot build networked organizations on electronic networks alone; the
culture must encourage human networking. Drivers of virtual work include:
• Collaboration
• Meaningful work
• Flexible work
• Social responsibility
• Cost savings on workspaces
The key to successfully expanding virtual work is integrating the following four critical success
factors (CSFs):
1. Collaborative tools and systems
2. Intranet and networked infrastructure
3. Business processes
4. People and inspiring leaders
Remember these guidelines as you lead your organization’s changes:
• Structure teams as interlinking nodes in a network of teams and alliances, rather than as
a hierarchical chain of access and reporting.
• Make conversations happen, rather than “cascading” information down and out.
• Activate robust (push, post, and pull) communication systems.
• Reach learners and develop leaders in many ways (face-to-face and online, live and selfpaced, individual and team learning).
• Tap people as knowledge-rich nodes in the network.
Six ways leaders are failing their remote teams:
1. Lack of clear goals, direction, or priorities.
2. Being too rigid.
3. Ineffective communication and collaboration.
4. Nonexistent, inconsistent or unconstructive feedback.
5. Lack of engagement.
6. Not recognizing and praising good work.
Company culture refers to the spoken or unspoken beliefs about the environment in your
company or on your team, the values that people live by, and the most prominent behaviors
witnessed in company meetings, on projects, in conflicts, with clients, and between leaders and
their teams. Culture builds organically over time through workplace experiences, common
character traits of the people you hire, and the way leadership communicates and interacts
with each other and employees. It can be influenced through intentional effort and is one of
the most important sustainability strategies for every company and every team.
Attributes of a healthy organizational culture include:
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Team members are engaged.
Employees and managers share mutual respect and trust.
People feel they’re being treated fairly.
Everyone has a clear sense of purpose.
Employees can balance their work and personal responsibilities.
Employees feel safe and respected.
You have a fantastic reputation in your industry, and people are knocking down the
doors to work for you.
Employees stay in jobs longer, and the company enjoys a low attrition rate.
Regardless of an organization’s core culture, strive for the following responsibilities, shared by
everyone regardless of status, longevity, or experience:
• Build trust instead of suspicion, and value sharing over secrecy.
• Achieve the end product together; no one “hands off” responsibility until the goal is
achieved. Everyone is responsible.
• Seek knowledge. No one is excused because they “didn’t get the memo.”
• Create meaningful work.
• Leverage learning across the organization.
Be a leader your team wants to follow. The following behaviors can help you do this:
• Don’t ask anyone to do anything that you wouldn’t do yourself.
• Lead in alignment with a strong sense of purpose and values.
• Be vulnerable and courageous.
• Share information with your virtual team early and often.
• Create space for innovative solutions to be considered.
• Be a skillful listener.
• Practice self-care.
References
Communication Coach Alex Lyon. (May 25, 2021). Leadership philosophy and how to clarify
yours. YouTube.
Devonish-Mills, L. (October 22, 2020). How ethics and diversity are inextricably linked. Thrive
Global.
Douglas, A. (n.d.). By the numbers: The 2021 world’s most ethical companies data. Ethisphere
Magazine.
Dowling, D.C. (May 23, 2014). Auditing global HR compliance. SHRM.
Hoefling, T. (2017). Working virtually: Transforming the mobile workplace: Vol. Second edition.
Stylus Publishing.
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Chapter 1: Vital mind-set shifts in a mobile world
Chapter 2: Virtual roadblocks and essential drivers
Chapter 3: Redesigning the workplace for the human network
Chapter 4: Systems ready, people willing, organization enabled
Lepsinger, R. (April 27, 2015). 3 companies with high-performing virtual teams. Linkedin.
Powers, T. (2018). Virtual Teams for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
• Chapter 8: Making work culture considerations
• Chapter 10: Transitioning from old school manager to virtual team leader
• Chapter 18: Leading by example
Rampton, R. (August 28, 2020). 6 ways leaders are failing their remote teams. Entrepreneur.
Ritterbush, E. (December 12, 2019). Digital ethics in the workplace. DDI.
Skuad Desk. (December 20, 2020). How to manage HR compliance with global talent on your
payroll.
Waye, T. (November 13, 2017). Leadership: How you change the future – motivational video.
YouTube.

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