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The readings this week were about analytics, and how modern organizations are surging ahead of their competition by using copious amounts of complex data to create models and systems to better understand and target markets.  In MikesBikes there is SO MUCH data. Even now I struggle to make sense of it all. When I was doing SoloMike I had serious difficulty reconciling all the variables and, as such, did very poorly. I didn't think too much of it because I felt that, surely, the students who assigned the teams would place weaker students with stronger students. You know... so that they could learn and develop from them. Unfortunately our fellow students made some unfair and incorrect assumptions about those who achieved a low SHV in SoloMike. Perhaps if they had taken note of my 5.0 GPA they would not have assumed that I'm a "slacker" that would be an imposition on a team of high-achievers. Our team has struggled to be successful at the simulation. Our team dynamic is really good. We get along well, we are all quite driven to be successful. The problem is, quite bluntly, that we lack the technical skills to be successful at the simulation. We have made serious errors in our analysis of the data and variables in the simulation which left us insolvent last rollover.

Obviously, there's nothing I can do about how the teams were made up, and my point with this entry is not to complain about it. Rather, the experience has taught me how fundamentally important it is for an organization to have people with the right skills and abilities to be successful. Huge amounts of data are completely and utterly useless if no one knows how to analyze it. Fortunately, our firm has been taken under the umbrella of a more successful firm. With a new parent company we are hopeful that in these last few rollovers we can regain lost SHV and, ultimately, end the simulation somewhere in the middle.

In the past I used to underestimate the vast complexity that organizations have to navigate. Admittedly I found the idea that organizations (especially corporations) are sociopathic to be attractive. However, now I understand that all organizations in a competitive marketplace are just a few bad decisions away from crashing and burning. In a fight for survival you are bound to make decisions that many people won't like, whether it be workers, the community or the government. Making decisions sounds straightforward enough, and in MikesBikes the number of decisions we have to make are certainly much fewer than the ones a real organization has to make. Yet even with the relatively few decisions we have to make it is incredibly easy to fail epically. I've gained a much greater appreciation for the fine line that all organizations, big or small, walk. Thus, perhaps it is better to think of ways to help organizations be successful considering the realities of global competition with the understanding that organizations who are not under threat will make better choices for their stakeholders.

1 Comment

  1. I had serious difficulty reconciling all the variables and, as such, did very poorly

    Me too at the start. The challenge is finding the level of detail that fits with where you're learning is at that time. So, for me, my early forays into SoloMike was about finding out what three or four reports made enough sense to me to guide my actions. In NetMike, I found that I needed much more detail in which ever area I was working (e.g., R&D). But, still I only needed 3 or 4 reports ... albeit different reports. Others in other areas used 3 or 4 other reports. That way, as a team we had great/deep coverage of most of the key information.

    The trick is finding out what is the right level of 'big picture' or perhaps 'small picture' for where you are in the organisation (in any organisation). In principle you should understand the reports you need at your level and those that your boss needs at her/his level.

    I can see where you are going with this journal and how it will integrate into your theme for the summative learning journal. 

    If there is something you could do better here, it would be focus–you need to be clearer as to the purpose/goal of the learning journal; e.g., the material on team dynamic is in many ways a distraction.