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Krista Acklen was the 'golden girl' of metropolitan government in a large




Krista Acklen was the 'golden girl' of metropolitan government in a large;midwestern city. The top graduate of a local high school,she studied in France;and interned at Vogue in Paris before returning to the states to get an MBA, and;she landed a postion with a top New York firm. She knew everyone and;chatting with or 'doing lunch' with the rich & famous was a normal day for;Acklen.;The only child of a single mom, Acklen dropped it all & willingly returned to;her Midwestern hometown when her mother's health declined suddenly. She;had barely settled in and established home care for her mother when the;mayor's office contacted her with a job proposal. Would Acklen consider a;position developing & directing a public arts program for the city? She;enthusiastically accepted the job. With her winning connections, drive and;abilities, she quickly expanded her mission to develop a range of art programs.;Donations & grant money poured into the programs under her established nonprofit organization developed to support city parks. Headquarters for Acklen;and her staff was a comfortable unused third floor space in the city library that;used to hold books and magazines that were now stored digitally.;Then John Mitchell, director of parks & recreation, summoned her to a meeting;to learn of a decision I have made that will affect your group' Acklen was;curious to find out what was going on. Knowing that budget factors recently;forced reduction in staff and office space throughout city government, and;aware of the importance of dealing carefully with public opinion, aswell as the;feelings of employees and other stakeholders, Acklen felt that she was prepared;for any decision Mitchell might have reached.;She tried to get comfortable in the chair across from Mitchell, who seemed ill;at ease. Avoiding small talk, Mitchell said that he intentionally did not discuss;the decision in advance because he believed Acklen would object. He would;not accept her objections anyway, he indicated, so the decision was final.;What is the decision?' asked Acklen.;The mayor wants half of oyur group's office space for the Greenways project,;Mitchell replied, and I see no alternative except for you to agree. The mayor's;idea makes sense and you must go along.;Acklen felt fury rising in her chest as she stared at Mitchell while thinking;This people- pleasing, brown-nosing jerk. He will do anything to win the;mayor's favor.;The greenways project, directed by Lisa Todd, had developed a number of;beautiful areas throughout the city. In recent years, Greenways had received the;bulk of new money & attention from the Federal Gov't and Todd's staff had;grown with the additional funding and development projects. As Acklen;regained her composure, she shot back at Mitchell, Not consulting me on this;is unacceptable. I should be part of any decision affecting my staff and;program. I could have helped plan a solution that worked for everyone.;Mitchell started to speak, but Acklen cut him off. 'You have the responsibility;to my group as well as to the mayor. I think you are giving us the shaft as an;easy way to please her.;The 2 argued a while longer, but Mitchell wouldn't budge. Finally, Acklen said;John, since this was your decision, you should be the one to tell my people.;You better come over soon before word gets out.;No,' Mitchell said, you are their immediate boss. You have to tell them. That's;your job. Where is your team spirit, anyway?;Acklen returned to her office, seething and vented about the problem to Joanne;Franklin, her most senior employee. 'Oh no, Joanne moaned. 'We really need;all this space. Our program is growing too.;Acklen agreed, but she explained Mitchell's support of the suggestion from the;mayor's office to make additional office space available for Lisa Todd and her;staff. Joanne started brainstorming, I suppose we could pair up in the offices.;Acklen shook her head. 'We are team players. But John Mitchell and the mayor;need to know that this was not handled in a way that shows respect for our;employees.' After a pause, she continued, 'I'm too frazzled to think about it;anymore today. Let's talk about this tomorrow.;Questions;1- What mistakes do you think john Mitchell made with the way he;solved the problem of limited office space? Explain.;2- What approach would you have used if you were Mitchell? Why?;3- What are Krista Acklen's options for responding to Mitchell's;decision? What should she do now? Why?


Paper#18454 | Written in 18-Jul-2015

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