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This week I have learnt a lot. Not so much in content but from the simulation process of Mikes Bikes in relation to how executives and members feel.

Our Mikes Bikes run for making a decent SHV crashed when we became insolvent in the previous turnover. It really made me question what went wrong and how did it get to this point. Despite being eminent from the beginning about the important role of a market and sales person, our grouped seemed to try and continue without stressing its importance. As a result, we invested in markets we weren't making sales in then further investing large amounts of cash in advertising not contributing to the improvement of our brand name and eventually crashing with the release of five products into unknown markets making the assumption the markets would react exactly as our strategy had predicted. Being in charge of the finances of course made me feel horrible knowing we were insolvent and it was almost like it's my fault that I couldn't prevent this from happening. I really took on upon myself, however. By continuously asking the question "how much do you think this will generate in sales & returns?" the answer was always something positive but realistically impossible to achieve based on hunches and not estimates. I remember in our first class in Bus304 where Peter was taking us as our lecturer wasn't back yet and he asked something about the amount of a specific car in New Zealand. It was a random question considering it was our very first class and all we had covered were admin materials, but in the end he told us that, we're always going to have to make estimates and we need to be able to come up with an answer by thinking in a way that would amount to a reasonable conclusion, i.e. we started of with the population of New Zealand and further dissected our estimates. I'm bringing this into my journal because this week has been heavily based on how bad our group has performed and I feel like unless we take on board something I hoped to have got established since the beginning of this simulation, our group won't see any changes. We wanted to know how the market reacted to our products as it was released. I have no idea how to read that and so I was relying on our marketing director for insightful information, however. It seems like that because it was only the second round, it was like impossible to come up with a reasonable conclusion, and this for me ended up being the failure in our company. We essentially were competing in a market we had no understanding of. We didn't look into how our cash on hand could be allocated effectively to generate maximum returns. I'm really disappointed in our performance and it's not a matter of playing the 'blame game' because when I recall Thursday afternoons, it was a matter deep in my mind that needed solving but it wasn't important enough that I would refuse to allow the allocation of cash without having a somewhat promising estimate. So, ideally, if we let it happen, it's our fault.

Recently we've been taken over and it's really hard for me to let go. I'm not really sure what I was holding onto, I guess I just wanted not to lose the control of being completely free at our own discretion to make decisions and I was really the only one in the group who seemed to have felt that way. It's been a tough week to go through this and by speaking to our CEO I guess things like this do happen in reality- that being in the actual business world. I understand the implications of being taken over as complete lost of culture and control which really bothered me when I was being told, we would still be doing "our own thing." I didn't understand that, I guess it's probably how the game is set out and we act as a Subsidiary but essentially, we no longer exist as our own and for some reason, I became  really emotional about that. It really has been a rough week in Mgmt300, however it's Friday afternoon, and well, things are looking up.

From the readings Katz (1974) three-skill approach stood out for me, basically because I think every individual in every group should develop these skills. If one does not have such strong technical skills to deal with "things" for example, activities and business processes, it becomes a disadvantage for that group when one cannot perform tasks imperative to how businesses function. It is important to recognise and allocate them into a role where they will perform at a higher level to benefit the business as a whole. That may mean those that have better human skills, in terms of dealing with people and perhaps collaborating a group of people's thoughts and ideas can develop them into an overall goal. However, to develop a strong group, it is imperative to have conceptual skills. Being able to see an organisation as one being and understanding that changes made in various functions of the organisation will affect another but also being able to visualise the relationship the businesses have with its stakeholders is important. To develop one's conceptual skills will be beneficial for a group and an organisation. The understanding will be at a higher level, and having these three skills essentially allows for efficiency in organisations, however I can't imagine these skills developing and being possessed by some but not others creating room for conflict. 

Overall, this week has been interesting and a well, a mess, but it makes me wonder how I would actually deal with an event like this had it been an actual career? 

7 Comments

  1. Hi Kakala,

    Wow – thank you – what an honest learning journal. First, I want to say that as a CFO, I also sometimes feel that I could have prevented a negative result but did realize later on, with the support from my team that it is a team effort.

    Your writing was very open and you identified a few problems in Daudelin’s first stage of reflection. Your team was not prioritising roles that you felt were the most important causing insignificant investments. Instead of using estimates decisions were made based on a hunch.

    You have used the second stage of reflection by including the example of Peter and how he said we “need to be able to come up with an answer by thinking in a way that would amount to a reasonable conclusion”. You also link your performance to examples of how your team may have come to these results.

    The highlight of your writing, in my opinion, is the final paragraph where you merge your writing by using theory, more specifically - “It is important to recognise and allocate them into a role where they will perform at a higher level to benefit the business as a whole”. I could relate to this because of how I have also been feeling about the assigning of the roles. This provides a well-supported journal reflection.

    Overall, I could not really fault this journal because I feel it is very reflective. You have opened up about the issues and it is evident that you are taking action to try and mitigate the effects of the take-over. You are talking to your CEO and identifying your emotions and trying to cope in a professional manner which is great. I really appreciate your journal because of its “no holding back” honesty. I have felt this to be relevant to my experience and have learnt that although we may experience bad results or things do not go our way, we must continue to link it to how this would work out in the real world, because after all, we are working towards a professional career.

    Thank you for teaching me something through your reflection and all the best for the rest! Your group is going to be fine! :D

    1. Thanks Maaola (smile) 

      It was a rush writing this journal after my class at 4pm on Friday but it was something I wanted to include in last weeks journal. I've read it again and I kind of feel like a FOB really. Lol.

      I appreciate your review though. Good to know I'm not the only one feeling this way. All the best with the next couple of roll overs (smile)

    2. I also sometimes feel that I could have prevented a negative result but did realize later on, with the support from my team that it is a team effort.

      Very true.

  2. Dear Kakala,

    The learning journal that you have crafted this week has been extremely enjoyable to read and has provided a very in depth and honest insight into how you are as a person and how you are as a CFO. From reading this journal, you have made me think of my own decisions as a CFO, and all I can say is that although we, as CFOs have the overall control of the decisions, our job is only to moderate the spending to ensure what you are planning on spending is going to be less than the amount that your marketing executive’s sales predication is. For when a rollover goes bad, my suggestion is to take the blame as a team, rather than as yourself, as this project is a team effort.

    With regards to Daudelin’s reflection process, you have clearly incorporated very successfully this process into your journal. You have gone through all the processes and identified ways in which you can not only improve as a CFO, but how through this learning curve, your team will become more successful with more prioritised and specific decisions made to match your overall business goals.

    Your incorporation of theory with your experience of mikes bikes, is mind blowing! When you state “It is important to recognise and allocate them into a role where they will perform at a higher level to benefit the business as a whole” as when I reflect on not only my own experiences as a CFO in mikes bikes, but also the journals from other CFO’s from this semester and previous, we all tend to have the similar problem of allocation of the team’s roles.

    Overall, this journal is one of the most reflective and comprehensive that I have read. With regards to improvement, I would suggest maybe a little bit more incorporation of theory, but not as direct quotes, rather a synthesis of your experiences from life and mikes bikes and the theory. With regards to talking to your CEO, I think this is one of the best possible outcomes to implement, I would also suggest reading other articles in google of the mikes bikes CFO position, I found that helps when I need some assistance with my role, as I am in a similar situation.

    Your journal has been extremely insightful and has made me rethink the way I am operating as a CFO for my team. I believe with the implementation of what you suggested, you can get things sorted out and within no time have your team’s SHV skyrocketing J all the best for the future.

    1. Cheers man! (smile) 

      I will have a read of the CFO reports too. Haven't really thought about doing that, but will do! 

  3. It really made me question what went wrong and how did it get to this point.

    I can imagine you doing that. It must have been a surprise.

    It's been a tough week to go through this and by speaking to our CEO I guess things like this do happen in reality- that being in the actual business world.

    You are correct in saying that.

    it makes me wonder how I would actually deal with an event like this had it been an actual career? 

    I remember a CEO of an organisation saying to the whole company "I want you to feel secure, not because you believe the company will go on forever, but because you belief you have skills that other companies will want". The realty is that most folk will face something like this several times in their careers. Thinking about how you will deal with it, will give you a slight edge when it does happen (you might like to do some reading on Scenario Planning and how it builds mental flexibility to (a) spot bigand unexpectedchanges, and (b) to have the mental agility to respond more effectively to those changes).

    Takeovers, redundancies, whatever, in MiikesBikes or the real world are unlikely to be easy. However, in the world of MikesBikes you get the chance to experiment with the situation.

  4. Overall, this week has been interesting and a well, a mess, but it makes me wonder how I would actually deal with an event like this had it been an actual career? 

    I've come back to this journal after a short break. If you can work your way through to answering this question they you would have a stunningly good learning journal. As it stands, you have thoroughly set out the groundwork but not quite followed through. But I am content/happy with what I have read here.