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This week began for me with less furious reading of wiki pages to understand what was happening and more furious MikesBiking to get that Shareholder Value up.

One aspect from my feedback last week I particularly wanted to focus on in this reflection is specifically referring to the readings about points or ideas I may discuss. Its easy for me to type my own thoughts and see who i'm referencing but its not easy for a reader to follow the where these ideas have come from and see if i'm on the right track or not. 

As I struggled with Shareholder Value like many others I came to the conclusion that my overall strategy or business model was not conducive to being successful at the game. And yet, I didn't seem to mind that so much. As Katzenbach & Smith (1992) presented that teams achieve more together than the sum of individuals work; individually getting a good score in SoloMike didn't particularly matter to me as much as understanding the course itself and doing the readings. Therefore I didn't try and achieve the goal of 'winning' and being ultra competitive. In hindsight I am even more glad of this decision: as teams are picked based on congruent goals, my outcome of about $30 SHV reflected the time and effort I put into it and therefore reflects my goal for the course- using MikesBikes help myself and my team mates learn more about teamworking together than by individually studying the readings. This week I have changed my goal and therefore outlook for the entire semester and i'm glad that through reflection I have realised this.

My first recollections of our initial team meeting are certainly positive, we listed our shared expectations and guidelines as per Oakley, Felder, Brent and Elhajj (2004) and understand the importance of feedback and communication to teamwork. All good and dandy. More importantly though, I think our team  'gets on well'. Kaztzenbach and Smith (1992) wrote that team members take on different 'social roles' within teams which I jotted down after reading but couldn't really relate to in a professional sense. However, I do genuinely understand this topic better after meeting the group and then chatting briefly and starting to get to know people. And this actually affects how I consider each persons role in team discussions in terms of moderating, voicing opinions etc. How can I act on this knowledge? By understanding my 'role' in a particular context I can help the team better; if one team member is particularly quiet at a team meeting for example, at least one other team member should be able to acknowledge this and change their own behaviour accordingly. 

Another topic that interested me this week was regarding the fairly cliched but relevant fact that people can’t really gain in-depth expertise in a field until they have made lots of decisions and as likely made lots of mistakes as Leonard, Barton and Barton (2013) explain about attaining ‘deep smarts’. Given that we have been in our teams for approximately one day, this has not been able to occur, at least for me. At least we have prepared by agreeing in writing to perform and receive feedback whenever apt. Well at least I sort of hope I have not made any mistakes yet despite whatever ‘learning’ this may result in..

 

REFERENCES

Leonard, D., Barton, G., & Barton, M. (2013). Make yourself an expertHarvard Business Review, 91(4), 127–132.

Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matterMcKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27

Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teamsJournal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9–34.

2 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this learning journal. It was well written and well referenced. You made a good effort to understand and discuss the readings from this week. I enjoyed the way you related your understanding of the reading to your personal experiences in getting to know your team. I feel your learning journal could have been more effective if you had focus on less content but with more depth instead of covering a range of content. Overall i felt it was very well written and a great read.   

  2. Hey Matt,

    I enjoyed your reflection and especially admired that you spoke about applying the insights from last weeks comments. First time I've seen someone say they are consciously doing that. It makes clear to me that there are plenty of sources of knowledge which we can test our ideas and actions against in order to learn more effectively through this course; the readings, our own reflections, the comments of others, peter, team mates etc. 

    In terms of room for improvement, the last paragraph kind of lost focus and clarity... All the paragraphs beforehand seemed to follow really well the intended reflection process. The last one however seemed to be more of a 'stream on consciousness'. I assume that after making an effort to put together the first sections of the reflection really well you were a bit over it by the end. Fair enough. I guess I'd suggest depth and quality over quantity and spread of ideas? No harm in exploring just one or two ideas really well aye. 

    All the best!

    Jeffrey