Draw on the material in the background readings and do additional research to prepare a magazine article in which you do the following

Draw on the material in the background readings and do additional research to prepare a magazine article in which you do the following:

  • Analyze the five steps of the Cycle of Excellence and discuss the added value of using the Cycle of Excellence.
  • Critique Hallowell’s Cycle of Excellence and use it as a starting point to create your own cycle of excellence. Share real-world employer examples (by employer name).
  • Discuss how the cycle of excellence you have developed is the optimum approach for managing human capital.
  • The magazine article you are writing should be similar to an article you might find in TD: Talent Development (magazine of the Association for Talent Development) or in HR Magazine (magazine for the Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM). Both are found in the Trident Online Library.
  • Utilize at least three other reference sources to build your article. Cite sources within your paragraphs and include them in a References list at the end of your article. (Note: Even though practitioner magazine articles at times do not cite sources or have a reference section, they are needed for our academic purposes. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper for additional information.
  • Include a cover page and a reference page.

Written Communications Assessed

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As you may recall, in MGT302 (Organization Behavior and Teamwork) written communications was assessed at the “introduced” level. Now at this “reinforced” level, MGT407 Case 3 takes written communications a step further by having you work on a submission that could be presented to a practitioner’s magazine for publication.

Later, in MGT491 (Capstone in HRM), your written communications skills will be further developed.

The skills needed in these three assignments build on each other and offer you the opportunity to enhance and practice your written communications preparation skills.

The grading rubric for written communications at the undergraduate level has been developed to measure student success in meeting the MGT407 Case 3 expectations related to written communications. Rubrics for the other two courses are included in their respective written communications assignments


Expert Answer


The Cycle of Excellence

The Cycle of Excellence

How to reach peak performance 

By (name)

27th Feb 2020

The modern working environment is becoming challenging and dynamic, something which makes a manager’s jobs tougher. Managers are now required to find ways through which the can draw better results from the employees they supervise. In some organizations, managers are forced to exert pressure on employee so that they can get things done and meet strict deadlines. These demands have an impact when it comes to productivity and work-life balance hence affecting the performance of an organization. Possibly, making employees work under pressure is an unfriendly approach. What can managers do so that all employees can reach their full potential, bring out the best from them and avoid unnecessary pressure? Perhaps considering the Cycle of Excellence, a concept developed by Dr Hallowell could help managers achieve this (Hallowell, 2010). Analysis and critique of the Cycle of Excellence could be helpful to managers who wish to realize an optimum approach to human resource management.


The cycle of excellence refers to the process through which managers can bring out the best from employees. It is based on neuroscience, clinical study and the developments like neuroplasticity and the fact the brain develops throughout life. Research reveals that employees often wish to work hard if they realize that they can do well by developing their skills. This cannot happen when they feel frustrated while in a working environment. Hence, scholars like Dr Hallowell thought about coming up with steps that leaders can use to address such problems and use employee’s talents effectively (Hallowell, 2010). The Cycle of Excellence has five steps that lead to optimal performance. They include Selection or allocation of duties, connecting, play, and grapple and grow as well as shining.


Human beings have different talents and abilities and hence before doing something they must determine or think about what they should do or wish to engage in.  This is applicable in a working environment. Potential employees ought to inform their managers about what they want to do. By doing so, managers can help them attain peal performance by ensuring that the allocate duties, responsibilities or tasks based on an individual’s abilities and passion. If employees do what they like they will do it passionately (Hallowell, 2010). Therefore, leaders ought to do what it takes to add value not only to the organization but also to employees. Excellence is achieved when employees do what they like, what they are good at and an activity that adds value to themselves and the organization at large. Most employees fail to realize what they wish because they find themselves doing the wrong tasks.


This is the second step of the cycle which involves building relationships within and outside working environment. People who are likely to feel connected when they do things that suit them. They feel connected by one mission and hence work towards attaining the highest level possible.  They are motivated and can easily encourage others.  An organization having a positively connected workplace where people feel safe appreciated and understood is necessary for employees to do their best (Hallowell, 2010). Fear and unnecessary pressure bring about negative emotions while complexity and speed in today’s workplace leads to isolation, exhaustion, stress, anxiety and disconnection.  Restoration of connectedness fuels performance. It is important for managers to recognize the power of connection and networking.


Most managers acknowledge the importance of work and fail to consider the significance of play. Any action or activity that triggers imaginations can be described as play. Play constitutes advanced productive action that a person’s brain can engage in (Hallowell, 2010). When employees appear dull while at the workplace, then this means that they are missing something. Maybe, this might indicate that they are not engaged in creative, innovative and playful activities.

Grapple and grow

Every Job has its own challenges, there is no task that is free from drudgery and hence it is possible the enthusiasm can fade with time. Yet, most managers fail to recognize this and end up thinking that employee is not committed and hence they influence them to work hard in unpleasant ways leading to burnout, a move that is against ‘play’ the third step that is often fueled by a feeling to work in the most effective way.  Such leaders fail to understand that the problem may not be a commitment but rather an employee’s feeling that he cannot do well in the task assigned to him or her. Given good working conditions, right connections and a playful environment, grappling and growing will definitely take place. Employees ought to be given tasks that suit them and challenged them to grow and feel trusted (Heathfield, 2017). Leaders must challenge employee at the right time for instance by introducing a new system for them to master new ways of doing things. Failure to facilitate the progress of employees disrupts self-esteem, confidence and motivation.


Shine is the ultimate event after an employee has worked hard and advanced his knowledge. At this stage, they are recognized, confirming that he or she has done something valuable. Leaders appreciate can choose to appreciate work done through awards and rewards (BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, 2012). Those who shine feel connected to the management. They become loyal and ready to help others grow.

A Critique of Hallowell’s Cycle of Excellence

Dr Hallowell studied excellence at the workplace and came up with the five steps the cycle of excellence as discussed above to help leaders to find the best from employees. Hallowell clearly explains what managers can do to support the growth and development of both employees and the organization. In his model, he states how it is important for managers to determine what employee can do and allowing them to do to what is suitable for them, a critical aspect of human resource management (Heathfield, 2017). However, he fails to recognize the fact that there are some tasks that no employee may be willing to do depending on the nature of operations of an organization. Possibly, encouraging employees to do they like and at the same time encouraging teamwork could help managers deal with such problems.  Some difficult tasks could be well-accomplished if employees work as a team.

I support the idea that connectedness and play plays a great role in establishing strong relationships and encouraging employees. But then, the connection should be established beyond organizational boundaries. When employees develop a strong relationship with other people in the same field within and outside the organization, they are likely to share ideas that would enhance their knowledge. Moreover, connecting with people in other fields allows employees to share their experiences. I agree that play is a critical aspect of matters pertaining to creativity and innovation. Hallowell fails to effectively address motivation at this stage. In my view, this is a critical stage that should be coupled with motivations to promote creativity. Hence, Hallowell could have considered incorporating motivating factors in the third step

The fourth step is well described. It is true that after exploring what they can do best, connecting with others and exploiting their abilities workers begin to grow. Organizing discussion forum and training sessions could further stimulate growth and development of employees so that they can reach their full potential at the same time enhance the efficiency, productivity and profitability of the firm (Heathfield, 2017). Thereafter, workers can shine in their respective areas, get promoted to higher positions and rewarded for a good job as suggested by Hallowell.

The Cycle of excellence that I would develop

Step 1: Selection and team development- Allocating duties based on employees skills, abilities, passion, what they feel suits them and encouraging teamwork.

Step 2: Networking/building relationships- Establishing valuable relationships and overcoming the forces of conflicts and disconnection at the workplace. Working towards achieving the shared goals through teamwork.

Step 3: Play and Motivation- Encouraging creativity and innovation through imaginative engagement to boost organizational performance and personal development. To encourage the participation of all employees in matters concerning the organization. Besides, the provision of rewards and better compensation and adequate time for an employee to achieve a desirable work-life balance.

Step 4: Grapple and Growth – Creating good and challenging working conditions where individuals are required to accomplish tasks that provoke thinking rather than ordinary tasks. This promotes commitment and self-actualization

Step 5: Shinning- Acknowledging employee performance through recognition, promotions, regards and awards and creating a culture that supports excellence.


BigSpeak Speakers Bureau. (2012, August 20). Bob Nelson: Employee motivation, reward,          retention and recognition expert, keynote speaker [Video file]. Retrieved from          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK_ytpNVSyk

Hallowell, E. M. (2010). What brain does science tell us about how to excel? Harvard business            review88(12), 123-4.

Heathfield, S. M. (2017). Tips for transferring training to the workplace. Retrieved             from https://www.thebalance.com/training-can-make-a-difference-tips-during-       training-1919303


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