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It’s the second week and it is team selection and formation time. To me this was quite daunting. I am used to team environment in sport and to some extent in workplace settings but this was a new challenge. The team environments I usually involve myself in are usually familiar and comfortable to me. This new challenge I am facing is neither familiar nor comfortable.  I have worked in teams in fields ranging from sports, to Boards of Trustees, but given my recent initial struggles to achieve a shareholder value of over $25, I began doubting my ability to contribute effectively in this new team setting. However after putting in more hours toil, reading the players manual once more, and consulting fellow students for advice, my shareholder value increased exponentially. With this out of the way, my concern about my competence moved to concern about how my team will actually operate.

My use of the word ‘team’ in place of the word ‘group’ is deliberate.  Teams and groups have distinct differences, including the capacity of what they produce. This supported by the idea that ‘with a group, the whole is often equal to or less than the sum of its parts; with a team, the whole is always greater’ (Oakley, Felder, Brent, & Elhajj, 2004, p.13). Teams, unlike most if not all groups, have homogenized goals and objectives which they are collectively accountable for. (Katzenbach & Smith, 1992). Groups, by contrast, are often characterized by individual efforts rather than collective efforts, often with the absence of a homogenized purpose (Oakley, Felder, Brent, & Elhajj, 2004).

Upon meeting my team for the first time, I have come away with the impression that we a committed to operate as a team. We all seem to be committed to achieving a high and competitive shareholder value, as well as being learning focused. The extent to which these goals and objectives manifest themselves will depend on the degree to which we work as a team (Oakley, Felder, Brent, & Elhajj, 2004). In light of coming across this information, I now have even more incentive to work effectively as a team.

I see this team-based challenge of being pushed into a setting that unfamiliar and outside of my comfort zone as an opportunity. For me, it not just the specific content I will be learning, but I see this as an opportunity to learn how to deal with these diverse and unfamiliar environments in the team setting because that is what the workforce will require of me. As a prospective manager, I know that I will encounter team-based challenges regularly when I enter the workforce as a full time worker, and I see this as a great proving ground to hone my skills.

 

 

References:

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. First of all, this is a great learning journal and I find myself at a bit of a loss as to how to provide any constructive criticism to help you improve in the following weeks. So well done! 

    I enjoy reading this journal, your experience with MikesBike echoes my own and like you I gained a lot of confidence once I had surpassed the $25 threshold. I like how you have incorporated your quotes into your learning journal as well rather than just quoting them, but I still feel that they could have been supported by an example that relates to your own experience to show the contrast between groups and teams. Personal examples I feel are important in a learning journal as they show that you can apply the theory into practice. 

    This is my only improvement, and again it is nitpicking for something to comment on. I hope that this helps you for subsequent learning journals. Good luck for the rest of the semester!

  2. Congratulations a well thought out and executed reflection journal, however seeing as it was so well executed, it makes my job as a reviewer a difficult one as there are no easy to find stand out issues with your journal.

    after reading through your journal for the second time i found myself slightly confused with the first paragraph. The topic seems to shift without warning from the formation of your mikes bikes team to you struggling to obtain a SHV of over $25. If there had been a smother link between these two points then there would have been less confusion, if any, for the readers.

    Other than this very minor point, it was a high quality entry, keep up the good work!