In last week’s readings we learnt about how working in a team can help an individual learn better than if that person had been taught with the traditional method. I concluded that yes working in a group was beneficial for my learning although I also needed to work in the traditional way as well in order to memorise definitions etc. This week was not about learning definitions and content that you might find in a regular lecture around university where they expect you to learn the information projected onto the screen word for word, no, this week we began our group work for MikesBikes. I admit being nervous about my group before the formation of groups were projected onto the screen as I had ticked “grades orientated” for my goals. In order to achieve this goal, a good, hardworking group was something that I needed. Within five minutes of knowing my group I knew I had been placed in a good group. In Jim Collins’ article Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve (2001) he talks about good leaders getting “the right people on the bus, [and moving] the wrong people off.” There was no need for this. Nobody was shy, everybody was happy, and it was evident everybody was keen to begin the simulation. This week we got that opportunity to get started. On Tuesday it was enjoyable listening to different peoples’ ideas on what should be the best strategy for the team in order to get the best grade. Halfway though the meeting, however, we were briefed with the news that the selectors of the teams had all been placed in the same team and that this team had a significantly higher shareholder value score from MikesBikes solo version. We were asked what we would do and together as a team we came up with possible solutions to this problem. Although what we considered the best option was one that I fully supported, it did surprise me a little for a team all wanting to get the best grades. I thought everybody would want that particular group to be dissembled and split up evenly between the groups in order to give every team the best chance of winning. What has to be remembered here is that the wining team got an extra 5% (1 whole grade) which is valuable if you want a good grade. Instead what we thought was the best way forward was to let them stay together as we all wanted to beat them. We knew we could. Several of us had only begun the day before and we knew with practice that we could improve. We all had experience working in teams and knew that we could learn from one another, and we all sure have a competitive nature. I remember a quote from a movie that says “if you want to be the best, you have to take out the best” and I think that was our mindsets here. When you are out in the workplace, it is very unlikely that things will be made even for everybody and so we have to learn what it is like to face stern opposition. It is a competitive world and I think this particular incident has reinforced that. I think it has also brought our team together even closer as we now know everybody is on the same wavelength and we all can’t wait to see how the next few weeks pan out.
What also amazes me about my MikesBikes group is how kind-hearted and down to earth each member is. When asked about their individual shareholder value score or other marks for example, each member wouldn’t talk themselves up but rather choose to say “it was a fluke” for example. This leads back to Jim Collins’ article Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve (2001) where he was “struck by the way they talked about themselves - or rather, didn't talk about themselves.” There are no show ponies in our team and I think this will be a positive going forward and something that I hope can be maintained. One way we have decided to try maintain this good team spirit is my taking turns to bring a bag of lollies for the team every time. I like this as it is not always the big things that bond teams. This helps put a smile on everybody's face and makes the session a little bit more enjoyable! So far everybody seems to get along well with each other and this will be needed as there is going to be a lot of group decisions made over the rest of the simulation!