BA506 4 Discussion Questions & 7 Responses


Throughout the previous seven weeks, we explored a variety of human resources topics from the perspectives of managers and HR professionals. Reflecting over the topics in this course, identify a topic of interest and share issues as well as current trends regarding your chosen topic.


What is the learning opportunity for you from reading the Chapter 7 Scenario: American Greetings Corporation from pages 159 – 161 in the textbook reading from this week?


In Week 2, you submitted an individual assignment evaluating corporate entrepreneurship to integrate innovation and effect change applying the course material in this assignment to their workplace.”


Based on the supplemental reading this week, do you believe you are more of a thermostat or thermometer type leader? Briefly explain your choice in the context of organizational culture.


Thermostat or Thermometer

A thermostat sets the temperature whereas a thermometer merely reflects the temperature. Entrepreneurs are like thermostats setting an appropriate climate conducive to success. These thermostats, or entrepreneurs, are responsible for setting the vision of an organization. The climate they set includes trust and respect for others, as they know that without either, communication will break down and the climate will be uncomfortable for everyone. Whether in times of calm or of high stress, leader heroes seek better ways to show others that their best days are yet to come.

As a thermostat does, an entrepreneur who perceives that the climate is no longer comfortable for everyone will take action and adjust the temperature as needed to ensure comfort for everyone involved. Knowing when to change the climate setting is critical because entrepreneurs can sense when such changes are needed and can then take the necessary actions to make it happen.

Other leaders, like a thermometer, reflect and understand the climate and are entrusted to follow through, maintain, and achieve the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness to accomplish the vision of the organization as set by the thermostat or leader hero. These intrepreneurs develop the mission steps necessary to maintain the climate using their followers and processes. Although these intrepreneurs leaders are not responsible for changing the climate, they can and often affect whether or not the current climate is the one needed for the good of the organization. They work within the level of the organization wherein communication problems commonly occur, so they best know when to inform the leader hero that a climate change is necessary.

True leaders move beyond maintaining the status quo and are always looking to move well away from a kind of “box thinking” that hampers creativity and innovation. The “thermostat” leaders will be the entrepreneurs who are first to the marketplace with a new product or service, one that soon becomes a cultural norm. Steve Jobs, with his vision for Apple products, was one such example of a thermostat leader.

Kleenex™ is an example of a cultural norm. Although many others similar products now exist, most people still refer to the soft tissues as Kleenex regardless of the brand. John Kimberly was president of Kimberly Clark in 1924 when the brand name “Kleenex” was coined. Kimberly was an entrepreneur hero because of his visionary marketing strategies, which established the cultural icon now known as Kleenex. Steve Jobs and John Kimberly were examples of visionaries able to conceive new ideas and ways to do things differently to get better results.

Looking to solve the complex problems of tomorrow, entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs purposely look to the future and set out to create a new or better product or service to eliminate problems before they become a reality. Some leaders are also known as futurists, who, with their intuition, can foresee the needs of people before the people themselves even know it. Futurists are systematic thinkers who look to make the future a better place through the development of breakthrough strategies. Not sure who is a futurist, check it out at:

R2, R3, R4, R5, R6 & R7

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