Fouad-Ghoneim

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Fouad has 13 years of planning experience in cement and glass industry. Over five years of experience managing projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes short and long term planning, project management, contracts and procurement, data analysis, claims adjudication and business writing. Fouad was a certified in 2015 as a Project Management Professional. Search to answer the big question "Life is a big project...How we can successes in it...???"

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Posted on: December 31, 2015 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Human Behavioral and Project Management - (2) Cultural Intelligence

Cultural intelligence refers to your ability to adapt, function, and thrive when interacting in different cultures or within culturally diverse situations. Developing your cultural intelligence involves opening yourself to experiences — cognitive, emotional, and physical — in order to acquire a higher-order understanding of a new culture.

Your success in today’s globalized world requires an ability to adapt to a variety of cultural situations. Conventional wisdom has been telling us this for decades. But only in recent years have academics discovered a proven way to quantify and develop this ability; it’s called cultural intelligence, or CQ, and it’s defined as the capability to function effectively in a variety of cultural contexts.

Activities to Develop Your Cultural Intelligence

If you have high cultural intelligence, then you can do that no matter where the people you’re interacting with are from. Fortunately, just as you can change your general intelligence, you can do the same with your cultural intelligence.

Through a series of activities, exercises and advice from leaders around the world, we could improve our CQ skills through three key ways:

A. Cognitive:

  • Read articles and digests about the history, religions, traditions, etc. of a given culture.
  • Read news sources about contemporary events, mores, etc. of a culture.
  • Watch reliable news and documentary coverage of topics that interest you about a culture.
  • Surf the web for factual information regarding the culture of interest.

B. Physical:

  • Interact socially with people from a foreign culture when they visit yours.
  • Note the ways individuals of a given culture interact physically with one another (personal space, touch, etc.)
  • Observe gestures, physical demeanor and body language, then try modifying your own to match.

C. Emotional:

  • Try using social networking services to "virtually" meet and get to know people from a given culture.
  • Keep a journal regarding your experiences with a new culture, and include your feelings as you write.
  • Consider the forces that you perceive to motivate the people of a given culture, and then compare them to your own cultural values (wealth, national pride, etc.)

Employees who possess a high level of cultural intelligence play an important role in bridging divides and knowledge gaps in an organization: educating their peers about different cultures; transferring knowledge between otherwise disparate groups; helping to build interpersonal connections and smooth the interpersonal processes in a multicultural workforce. Culturally intelligent employees also possess the potential to drive up innovation and creativity, due to their ability to integrate diverse resources and help the business make best use of the multiple perspectives that a multicultural workforce brings to the workplace.

Finally, everywhere is now part of everywhere. The world is global. There’s no going back. As you commit to increasing your cultural intelligence, you can join a community of individuals who are experiencing the benefits of the CQ difference.

Posted on: December 07, 2015 04:33 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Human Behavioral and Project Management - (1) Organizational Theory

What’s Classical Organization Theory?

Classical organization theory evolved during the first half of this century. It represents the merger of scientific management, bureaucratic theory, and administrative theory. In 1917, Frederick Taylor developed scientific management theory had four basic principles:

1) Find the one "best way" to perform each task.

2) Carefully match each worker to each task.

3) Closely supervise workers, and use reward and punishment as motivators.

4) The task of management is planning and control.

In 1947, Max Weber expanded on Taylor's theories, and stressed the need to reduce diversity and ambiguity in organizations. The focus was on establishing clear lines of authority and control. Weber's bureaucratic theory emphasized the need for a hierarchical structure of power. It recognized the importance of division of labor and specialization. A formal set of rules was bound into the hierarchy structure to insure stability and uniformity. Weber also put forth the notion that organizational behavior is a network of human interactions, where all behavior could be understood by looking at cause and effect.

Classical management theory was rigid and mechanistic. The shortcomings of classical organization theory quickly became apparent. Its major deficiency was that it attempted to explain peoples' motivation to work strictly as a function of economic reward.

Neoclassical Organization Theory

The Neoclassical approach began with the Hawthorne studies in 1920 (Wikipedia, 2013). It grew out of the limitations of the classical theory. Under classical approach, attention was focused on jobs and machines. After some time workers resisted this approach as it did not provide the social and psychological satisfaction. Therefore, attention shifted towards the human side of management. George Elton Mayo is considered to be the founder to the neoclassical theory (Gupta C B, 1992).

Up to the certain point it means a compromise between the classical theory of organization and the empirical investigations based on behavior sciences. The organizational theoreticians of the neoclassical school take into consideration the principles and proposals of the classical theory of organization as assumptions in their investigations. It is also characteristic of them that they expand and link their investigation with the ten modern theories of organization other scientific disciplines. Through their expanding the areas of organizational investigation and through their empirical research they have enriched the organization theory with new knowledge.

The theoreticians of management process and of the human behavior approach expanded the areas of their investigations to completely new views within the organization, such as participation, communication, motivating, morale, role and position of personnel in the organizational hierarchy and perceptions, and similar views.

The major advantage of the neoclassical theory over the classical model is that the former viewed workers as emotional beings, rather than as functional components that serve the organization. Applicant of the neoclassical theory believe that if employers gain a better understanding of their employees' needs and adjust their organizational structures to those needs, the organization will achieve greater success.

Modern Theory of Organization

Modern understandings of the organization can be broadly classified into: systems approach, socio-technical theory, and contingency or situational approach.

The systems approach considers the organization as a system composed of a set of inter-related - and thus mutually dependent - sub-systems. Thus the organization consists of components, linking processes and goals.

The socio-technical approach considers the organization as composed of a social system, technical system and its environment. These interact among themselves and it is necessary to balance them appropriately for effective functioning of the organization.

The contingency or situational approach recognizes that organizational systems are inter-related with their environment and that different environments require different organizational relationships for effective working of the organization.

The organization design framework portrayed above is called the “Star Model™.” In the Star Model™, design policies fall into five categories. The first is strategy, which determines direction. The second is structure, which determines the location of decision-making power. The third is processes, which have to do with the flow of information; they are the means of responding to information technologies. The fourth is rewards and reward systems, which influence the motivation of people to perform and address organizational goals. The fifth category of the model is made up of policies relating to people (human resource policies), which influence and frequently define the employees’ mind-sets and skills.

The Star Model™ consists of policies that leaders can control and that can affect employee behavior and shows that managers can influence performance and culture, but only by acting through the design policies that affect behavior.

Finally, as you move toward understanding each core concept, there will be times when you get caught in the intersections and become confused as to which concept, theory or perspective you are using. Expect this. Try not to feel discouraged when it happens because this is part of the process of becoming knowledgeable about organization theory. Trust that out of your confusion new possibilities for theorizing, designing and managing organizations will emerge in ways that you would never have imagined before you studied organization theory.

Posted on: November 30, 2015 05:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Manager or Leader...Who is the winner?

What does leadership mean to you…?

Leadership doesn't have a one-size-fits-all definition; you will be found many definitions for this word. But while the definitions may vary, the general sentiments remain the same “leaders are people who know how to achieve goals and inspire people along the way”. In some point of views divided humans to three categories people, experts, and geniuses. People do what experts tell them to do. Experts’ help people cope with reality. Geniuses create new realities; but you do not have to be a genius every time in order to be successful.

In last period many author tried to kill a “Manager” word and moved your vision to must be a “Leader” – This is not true; we need the both. Managerial development at the time focused exclusively on building competence, control, and the appropriate balance of power where Leadership focused innovates, inspires trust, and influence.

The combination of good manager who has leadership skills is far more useful than either one alone. So let’s stop debating about which one is better.

Golden Rule #

You should not be a manager to be a leader”.

Genuine leadership is not complex but it is difficult because it requires that we do the inner-work on a continual basis. And that is a lot to commit to. It’s lifelong. And what we want to do is to check it off and mark it as good enough.

Honesty: is the single most important “building block” in the leader-follower relationship. To many people, honesty is the same as sincerity, truthfulness, integrity, frankness, candor, and openness.  Though some leaders don’t consciously realize it, honesty includes not only telling the truth, but also leaving the right impression.

Vision: is a statement of words describing where and what an organization wants to be in the future.  A visionary leader who clearly and passionately communicates his or her vision can motivate employees to act with passion and purpose, thereby ensuring that everyone is working toward a common goal.

Confidence: As the leader, by staying calm and confident, you will help keep the team feeling the same. Remember, your team will take cues from you, so if you exude a level of calm damage control, your team will pick up on that feeling. The key objective is to keep everyone working and moving ahead.

Positive Attitude: leader should know how to manage stress in difficult situations and soon moves beyond this disappointment. He responds quickly to the adverse event and interprets it as being temporary, specific and external to himself and his team; inspire team and get up every morning and see every effort they make as part of a great plan to accomplish something wonderful with their lives and push forward with a positive attitude.

Commitment: By proving your commitment to the brand and your role, you will not only earn the respect of your team, but will also instill that same hardworking energy among your staff. It’s important to show your commitment not only to the work at hand, but also to your promises. Once you have gained the respect of your team, they are more likely to deliver the peak amount of quality work possible.

Art of Delegate: Delegating isn't always easy. So during delegation leader must be a specific, solid understanding of the skills and knowledge of team, occasionally following and how to motivate the delegated after finished his role.

Trust: is the primary building block for developing effective relationships at work. Trustworthy leaders are rewarded by employees who stretch, push their limits, and volunteer to go above and beyond. When leaders create a high trust environment that is consistent over time, collaboration increases and organizations leap forward.

Communication: is about more than just exchanging information. It's about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information. Effective communication is also a two-way street. It’s not only how you convey a message so that it is received and understood by someone in exactly the way you intended, it’s also how you listen to gain the full meaning of what’s being said and to make the other person feel heard and understood.

Finally, let say it in simple way – You are a Manager O.K., Leadership skills will give you the secret way of bringing people together to accomplish your project goal to be the winner; you are not – O.K. learn how to turn your leadership skills into actions and it will get you to the top of the tree.

Posted on: November 21, 2015 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

What can I do about Culture Shock...?

Culture shock is the holistic reaction to displacement from one’s familiar environment. Suddenly, you find yourself unable to understand, communicate, and function effectively. Common symptoms of culture shock include:

  1. Feelings of frustration, loneliness confusion, melancholy, irritability, insecurity, and sometimes helplessness.
  2. Unstable temperament and hostility.
  3. Paranoia.
  4. Criticism of local people, culture, and customs.
  5. Excessive concern over drinking water, food dishes, and bedding.
  6. Fear of physical contact with locals.
  7. Over-sensitivity and overreaction to minor difficulties.
  8. Changes in eating and sleeping habits.
  9. Loss of sense of humor.

The first thing to realize about culture shock is that it’s perfectly natural to experience it. Despite how often culture shock occurs, though, a lot of people are resistant to talk about it, and that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If you feel yourself going through culture shock, take some time to reach out to others, especially other travelers, for help in adjusting to your new culture. One of the other things you can do is force yourself to engage more in the culture that you’re immersed in. This can be difficult to do, because part of culture shock is feeling unhappy with the culture. But, as Robert Frost once said, “The best way out is always through.” Going out and interacting with the culture that surrounds you is going to help you overcome some of the difficulties you’ll be encountering.

Culture shock generally moves through four different phases: honeymoon, frustration, adjustment and acceptance. While individuals experience these stages differently and the impact and order of each stage varies widely, they do provide a guideline of how we adapt and cope with new cultures.

The Honeymoon Stage
The first stage of culture shock is often overwhelmingly positive during which travelers become infatuated with the language, people and food in their new surroundings. At this stage, the trip or move seems like the greatest decision ever made, an exciting adventure to stay on forever.

The Frustration Stage
Frustration may be the most difficult stage of culture shock and is probably familiar to anyone who has lived abroad or who travels frequently. At this stage, the fatigue of not understanding gestures, signs and the language sets in and miscommunication may be happening frequently. And while frustration comes and goes, it’s a natural reaction for people spending extended time in new countries.

The Adjustment Stage 
Frustrations are often subdued as travelers begin to feel more familiar and comfortable with the cultures, people, food and languages of new environments. Navigation becomes easier, friends and communities of support are established and details of local languages may become more recognizable during the adjustment stage.

The Acceptance Stage 
Generally - though sometimes weeks, months or years after wrestling with the emotional stages outlined above - the final stage of culture shock is acceptance. Acceptance doesn’t mean that new cultures or environments are completely understood, rather it signifies realization that complete understanding isn’t necessary to function and thrive in the new surroundings. During the acceptance stage, travelers have the familiarity and are able to draw together the resources they need to feel at ease. 

Another thing that many people don’t think about is making sure to stay healthy while in their new home. One of the things that people with culture shock are tempted to do is stay home and eat junk food. It’s understandable, but it’s also unfortunate, because eating well and staying physically active can play an important role in not only staying physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well. Staying in touch with your family and friends back home can be an important tool to help you avoid culture shock. Luckily, today it’s easier to do this than ever before – in addition to making long-distance phone calls and writing letters or postcards, you also have the option of using tools like webcams, email, and social networks to take part in more immersive conversations with people. Family and friends are often the foundation that we build our sense of self upon, so keeping the foundation strong can be essential in working through your feelings of culture shock.

Lastly, make sure to keep a realistic perspective. The honeymoon stage of culture shock involves you getting an unrealistically positive idea of the culture you’re immersed in, but the next stage involves an unrealistically negative idea of it, coupled with an unrealistically positive idea of your culture at home. Like they say, “the grass is often greener on the other side” – it’s important to keep a level head about your experience and remember that neither side is full of green grass and roses.

Posted on: November 13, 2015 07:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)
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