This week we were put into our teams and had our first team meetings. Before the meeting I was unsure as to what my problem that I would reflect on in this weeks journal would be but once I had met my team it was immediately apparent what i was going to write about. I am clearly not as competent at using mikes bikes as my team mates and I am worried that my performance in the simulation will negatively impact the grades of my team.
Despite putting a good amount of effort into the Solo Mike simulation I was still unable to get a shareholder value of over 25 dollars. I thought I had gained a reasonable level of understanding for how each of the parts of the simulation worked on their own but couldn't get them to work particularly well together. On the day that the CV was due I finally managed to reach a shareholder value of just over 23 dollars, a score that I thought was not too bad considering my previous attempts. I was disappointed once I met my team as my entire team had reached shareholder values ranging from 29 dollars to over 80 dollars.
The reading by Katzenbach and Smith (1992) began to make me less worried. It defines an effective team as having "a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable". From the small amount of time that I have already spent with my team I feel as if we fit this definition quite well. Mutual accountability means that I will have to put more effort into my work in this course so that it does not impact the grade of the team. The reading by Oakley, Felder, Brent, and Elhaji (2004) demonstrates how team members in my position can in fact be beneficial to the learning of all members of the team by saying "In well functioning diverse groups, the weak students get the benefit of seeing how good students approach assignments and they may also get some individual tutoring, while the strong students who do the tutoring may benefit even more". In our first team meeting I got to see how other people had approached the Mikes Bikes simulation and their strategies within it. This was beneficial because it showed me things that I had been doing wrong in the simulation and therefore things which I now know not to do for the actual simulation. I also put forward questions about things I didn't know about the simulation which started discussions that further clarified how well everyone knew the simulation.
As a result of my lack of knowledge on how to use the simulation and the need for mutual accountability in order to be an effective team, I am going to have to put in more effort into the Mikes Bikes simulation than the rest of my team mates. Simply doing the work will not be enough. I will have to do more than simply study the Mikes Bikes player guide/document, I will have to completely understand it, or at least the sections that pertain to my role in the group. I will also have to practice playing the Solo Mike simulation more as well in order to get up to the level of competency that my team mates have. If I don't do these things, the grade of not only my team, but myself will be impacted through the lower team performance, and the peer review process, respectively.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34.