Hello folks! I’m new to this course as well as the discussion, so please let me know if I’m doing anything wrong! For the first section, there were 5 discussion points, and I’d like some view on them if I could.
The first asked how Goodwill’s P-O-L-C would differ from Starbucks. I am not familiar with the management of Starbucks, but I would assume that the hiring process would be considerably different. (The “controlling” portion I suppose). Whereas Goodwill prioritizes those people who may need a bit of help in becoming financially stable, Starbucks is more interested in turning a profit. This would require people with a higher and more specific set of skills. The “planning” portion would be different as well. Goodwill would have to plan for the dynamic future and the requirements in obtaining a job in that future, whereas Starbucks would plan for efficiency and quality of the product. Leadership would be the same, I would think, because in the end both organizations are still working with people. Perhaps the belief systems, priorities, and cultures would be different (in fact I am certain they would be) but the overall practice of encouraging people to do their job well wouldn’t chance too much, other than Goodwill spending more time insisting employees work together regardless of personal prejudices.
The second question asked what Goodwill’s competitive advantages were. The price for the products are considerably cheaper in Goodwill than in retail stores. They are able to do this through massive donations from the community of used goods. Their labor force is a good advertising gig, motivating people to buy from Goodwill to support the betterment of those in need.
The third question asks about the difficulties that might arise from hiring such a diverse group of people. The obvious answer is the cultural conflicts that would ensue. Certain people are not comfortable with certain sexualities, certain religions, or certain races. Different cultures also prioritize different things, such as family life versus the amount of money one makes. A “good job” could have different connotations that would strain the camaraderie of the workforce. The fact that the also hire people who don’t speak English fluently would add to their struggles.
The fourth question asks if I personally have experienced discrimination. In the school setting, I never noticed any discrimination. We all had our cliques, but each clique was formed by personality types rather than activities and were open at any time to newcomers. Obviously this was not always the case as we did have a few…narrow minded people, but I never saw any bullying, I myself was never turned away from anyone. My school was pretty awesome. The work force is a little different. I am a female that works in a field that is predominantly male. Usually this just exposes me to a lot of lewd jokes of which not only do I not mind, but partake in sometimes. Occasionally, it does hinder me in certain areas. People around me are rather afraid to be free with their thoughts, thinking that I might report them to the authorities if I get insulted and such action would seriously upset their career. With my sex comes a prejudice, however light it may be, that assumes that I will struggle with lifting heavy objects, understanding the systems that I work on, the type of activities I am likely to do on my off time and so forth. It does not significantly impact my career, and I knew all of this before I entered this field, but it is still there.
Finally, the last question asks why Goodwill finds it necessary to innovate. With their goal of giving a hand up to the people in need of finding a job or learning the skills required to do so, innovation is required. For one thing, the set of skills required to get a job has drastically changed from my father did this so I will, to I need a high school diploma, to I need a college education, to I need a college education specific to the job I am applying for, and job experience. As the economy suffers, more people are looking for jobs, and so managers can afford – and have – to be more specific in their hiring process. For Goodwill to be successful in their goal, therefore, they have to have a large number of programs that allow for many different skills to be learned. Innovation is also required for any organization. The use of social media, for example, is becoming a hotspot for advertisement. Managing a large workforce needs to continuously improve in efficiency, and the product needs to improve quality in order to keep up with their competitors.
Thank you for your time.