1. Smit chooses people he likes and gets on well with to be part of his team. Smit understands the Social Identity Approach and sees everyone as being equal in the group. In doing this he is eliminating self – categorisation. Smit also sees everyone’s individual skills and using the Belbin Team Role Inventory he makes up an effective team ‘Tim’s Secret if there is one, seems to be that he can bring people of very different disciplines and skills together, get them to brainstorm and collaborate and come up with the impossible’ (Vital, j. 2004 quoted in Mullins, L, 2010, p 419). Although there are some risks associated with liking everyone who works for you there is also many benefits.
Tim Smit is taking a positive organisational behaviour approach. He understands that working within an organisation in which he has a good rapport with his colleagues leads to high job satisfaction and high morale for everyone in the team. Having high job satisfaction and high moral means that the team will work harder and will be more creative and energetic ‘They also work outside opening hours often at night to carry out certain potential hazardous activities’ (Mullins, l, 2010, p 420). Another benefit to this strategy is that ‘Teams tend to be a mirror image of their leaders’ (Mullins, l, 2010, p 317). Tim Smit believes that the work environment should be full of people he gets on well with. Co-operation is vital for a team to get work done. The employees will see this and reciprocate Tim’s ability to get on well with and co-operate with each other.
Because of Tim’s fondness for his work colleagues it may lead him to be bias when decision making. In turn this will hinder the progress of the team. Tim needs to be emotionally resilient ‘it also shows some of the very human problems associated with such an enterprise including conflicts of interest between the projects main purpose and some of the professional teams’ (Mullins, l , 2010, p 419).
In conclusion it is reasonable to say that Tim Smit’s hiring tactics are valuable and effective, ‘The achievement of this objective requires both
focused and decisive leadership but also powerful teamwork’ (Mullins, L, 2010, p 419).
2. Leadership is influencing others to do work willingly. Tim Smit is a passionate and effective leader. Tim sees his leadership style not as autocratic but as being ‘analogous to the conductor of an orchestra’ (Alex Wade, 2011). Tim’s Style can be seen as autocratic to an extent but you cannot say that is leadership style is autocratic. He wants people to wok together with him and the team but he does not want people to feel that he is not a valuable asset.
Tim’s Frequent type of leadership behaviour in the path goal theory is an achievement oriented leadership, he really pushes people to achieve the impossible and sets challenging goals for the team, ‘he can bring people of very different disciplines and skills together, get them to brainstorm and collaborate and come up with the extraordinary’ (Vital, j. 2004 quoted in Mullins, L, 2010, p 419).
Smit uses transformational leadership. This is evident throughout his interviews and actions. He motivates his team to succeed and makes them see his vision of which he is so passionate about ‘My job is to fizz people into getting excited about horticulture’ (BBC DVD, 2005 quoted in Mullins, L, 2010). Tim’s skills are not to do with horticulture, Tim has a remarkable ability to get people to achieve skills they thought was out of their reach. That is his main skill, getting the best out of people.
In turn Smit can be seen as a visionary leader, ‘the big word now associated with leadership is vision, the ability to see the bigger picture, to take the long term view.’ (Whitehead, 2002, Supply Management, p 22-4 quoted in Mullins, L, 2010 p 392).
Although he is not a horticulturist and we see some conflicts of interest because of this as with the ice rink and the lights obstructing the horticulturists work. ‘Two managers of the biomes deeply resented the disturbance and damage done to their plants by teams of electricians hired’ (Mullins, L, 2010, p419), ‘Rift between members of the green team and Smit since many felt their values were being compromised’ (Mullins, L, 2010, p420). It is reasonable to say from outlined above that Smit’s lack of experience in horticulture does not hinder his leadership skills.
3. Smit believes that his management approach can be applied both to the public sector organisations and profit making organisations. ‘Eden believes the way it runs the site should be an inspiration and example to both commercial and public bodies’ (Mullins, l, 2010, p 418).
In order for any organisation to work you need three key aspects: Leadership, experienced staff and good communication. Smit chooses people he has a good rapport with to work in his company. His leadership skills as a result of his passion for the project are tremendous, his staff are skills and reciprocate Smit’s drive for the success of Eden and finally they have excellent communication skills as they are all part of a team and have their opinion voiced. Eden is a project that is in the public sector but does generate profit ‘I guess it demonstrates you can have and organisation that is highly effective financially, environmentally and socially’ (Vital, j. 2004 quoted in Mullins, L, 2010, p 419).
Smit’s ability to influence people and get them to co-operate effectively as a team is an interesting point for both public sector organisations and profit making ones, ‘ The Eden project is the realisation of one man’s extraordinary vision through powerful team work and global co-operation’ (Mullins, L, 2010, p 417)
Smit’s management approach is perfect for both types of organisations. When you can make people reach beyond their ability the impossible will happen.