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Mikes Bikes and $25. When I first started Mikes Bikes I thought how hard could getting above $25 be. $25 to me represents a little under 2 hours work or at least it does in the 'real' world, however I soon discovered the same didn't go for Mikes Bikes! There were some aspects of Mikes Bikes that I found I understood easily enough, but other aspects were harder to grasp or in fact I still haven't grasped yet. But Katzenbach & Smith (1992) mention 5 key attributes of a team; meaningful purpose, specific performance goals, common approach, complimentary skills and mutual accountability.

Complimentary skills. In particular technical or functional expertise. Within each team we have our assigned roles, the areas where over the coming weeks we will (hopefully) become experts in. Peter mentioned in one of our classes that in the past some teams have tried to make all the decision together. However I think this goes against what Katzenbach & Smith (1992) say about teams in some regards. We all have different skills and I think one way of having a really strong team is to play to the strengths of the individuals. We might not be 'strong' at our assigned roles just yet but by having control over the decisions within that role, we will gain that knowledge and be able to exert more effort on the one aspect of Mikes Bikes rather than just be alright at all the aspects. The collective power of us all individually knowing our roles will be far stronger than a team of people who have a more basic knowledge of all the roles. This is why, although initially nervous about working in a team, I'm glad we are. Because suddenly Mikes Bikes doesn't appear quite as scary as when the shareholder value was going in the wrong direction of the $25 mark. 

Of course, in saying all that, I think there is still a need to go through the decisions as a team and the effects of them. Maybe just not the whole background as to how we got to those decisions. Because another part of complimentary skills that Katzenbach & Smith (1992) mention is problem solving and decision making skills. We all see things differently and have different approaches when it comes to solving problems. Therefore by going over the decisions as a team other members can question the decisions and collectively see if the decisions are congruent with the team's objective. 

So all in all, from playing solo Mikes Bikes I understood some aspects better than others, and by being in a team hopefully together we will have an understanding of all the different aspects of Mikes Bikes. Or if not now, at least in the next few weeks by making decisions in our respective roles we will gain expertise in our areas. Then coming together as a team each week to discuss those decisions, how they relate to one another and any problems that we have, I think we have the strongest potential to do well. 



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


  1. Hey Phillipa, to begin with the way you have separated your points in spacing, flow and outline really makes this easy to read and the integration of your experiences clearly being linked with the readings throughout your journal makes it an effective read. The key point for me is where you mentioned that you understand parts of Mikes Bikes but you are using strength in your teams to fill in the potential knowledge gaps and  allow all of you to perform well as a team.

    Your experience with the shareholder value was shared with me if you take a look at this weeks reading journal as we both struggled in order to reach the target of $25.

    It is difficult to find criticism but rather to tweak your next weeks journal perhaps just continue to link more theory as you did this week and link it with your experiences as that is the part that I enjoyed the most in reading. But again a minor point because I am struggling to find out how you could improve, hopefully your other piece of feedback can identify something else (smile)


  2. I found your journal straightforward as you outlined what you learnt from the reading then applied it to your experience in class.
    In particular, your take on complimentary skills was spot on with peters examples from previous classes with linkages to teams .
    I have no suggests on how you could improve your next entry as you have clearly followed the criteria. 
    Overall, a well written entry.