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It never ceases to amaze me at how well the designated weekly readings seem to directly fit into the reflections I have made for that particular week. I arranged a team meeting during the holidays and my team were all ready and eager to succeed. We knew what our goal was and we knew our strategy had been working well. Despite this, after much consideration regarding Peter’s blog of the previous roll over, it became evident that the challenges were no longer simply our decisions and our results but the results of the competing firms within our world. Of course, it is great to be in the lead and doing well, yet it became very clear that there was a glass ceiling which we could not break through on our own. We knew we needed to find a way to work with the other teams to grow the China market, but at the same time we had to be mindful of the effect that this could have on our own performance.

A regional summit was arranged to try and find a way to work together to grow the market in order to achieve a positive outcome. I understand that this was a logical and necessary requirement but I became anxious as to how the other regions would perceive us. I was scared that we would be seen as cheats who were colluding, when the reality was that if we helped other teams, we would be more likely to see declined sales for ourselves with the long-term goal that all firms would be able to benefit from a growing market. This notion was mentioned by Synnott (2013), in the way that national strategies need to be reviewed and analysed yet this poses a risk of alienating other key institutes. Synnott (2013) also emphasised that sections of a community usually appear in two distinct ways. One group will often lead the charge in organising the meetings whilst the other will arrange for the relevant experienced individuals to link together (Synnott, 2013). Perhaps the latter scenario would be best suited when thinking about regional summits, in terms of grouping departments together across the firms to allow for shared knowledge and problem solving rather than only involving the CEOs which was not that successful.

The key lies within creating a shared understanding of the glass ceiling and what it creates for all of the firms, as well explicitly identifying the underlying motivations and rationale for meeting in the first place (Synnott, 2013). Though we are all individual companies, there is inter-dependence between the firms and a requirement to build their trust. In trying to create a trusting bond, it was clear that we needed to be transparent and honest about our intentions and reasons to assist other firms. From the onset, we were clear that we are still highly competitive and that we are not operating under purely altruistic motives, in brutal honesty we’re helping other to also help ourselves. This is definitely a situation in which there is a need for double-loop thinking, where focus is placed on how other firms think, and their cognitive processes in decision making and reasoning (Argyros, 1991). Too much time is often spent reflecting on the feelings of an experience rather than incorporating this with the cognitive processes that have occurred. Though we might be approaching the situation in terms of achieving an even higher performance, other teams may be feeling slightly embarrassed, confused or purely misunderstood during this process. Failure to recognise this prior to the meeting may definitely be a contributing factor as to why it was not as successful as hoped, something we can definitely consider for the future.

Each firm is different as they comprise unique individuals and team dynamics and though one firm may be willing to cooperate and work together, other firms may not be as co-operative. This week I learnt a lot about how to approach tricky situations and how to positively work with other teams to achieve a successful outcome. It is easy to be caught up in your own needs and understandings and therefore forget that other teams may see suggestions and outcomes very differently. Though our regional summit was not as successful as I had hoped, it taught me the importance of effective and well thought out communication. Often it is the lesson you do not seek which ultimately teaches you the most. I’ve learnt to be realistic, to be honest and most importantly to think carefully before jumping in ‘boots and all’.



Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4--15

Synnott, M. (2013). Reflection and double loop learning: The case of HS2. Teaching Public Administration, 31(1), 124--134. doi:10.1177/0144739413479950



  1. This week, I think I have effectively described the problem, in terms of the issues we are facing with a non-growing market. Perhaps I could have further delved into how the problem affected morale and motivation in the team to given a deeper level of reflection of the extent of this problem. My analysis of the problem revolved around incorporating it with the readings in order to give a more theoretical foundation. In theorizing possible solutions, I focused on how single-loop learning may have been a limiting factor in the success of the regional summit, however I feel that I perhaps could have expanded on this more. I could have also talked about other possible solutions, should the next regional summit also fail to assist the market. I feel that I am starting to reach the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy and continuing to follow the Daudelin structure in my journals will be highly beneficial to my summative journal at the end. 

  2. Hey Shannon,

    I really enjoyed your reflective journal and it's evident that you have spent both thought and time in preparing this piece of writing. Your structure is very good and I am struggling to fault it according to Daudelin's structure. The point of these peer feedbacks however is to critique where possible and I believe you could have further added to the discussion around your 'Analysis of the problem' around our non-growing market. We mentioned earlier in the week around potentially treating the bottom two teams as 'dogs' in our market and state why: A Decision based on their poor performance and their lack of class attendance which limits our capabilities in helping them grow as a company. This could be linked in further with your 'Action (or deciding whether to act)'.

    Overall I believe you have produced a fantastic piece of reflective writing and enjoyed reading it tremendously (smile).

    All the best,




  3. Okay Shannon, as requested by you, I'm going to be fairly direct here.

    Did you follow Daudelin's structure? Only in a 'lite' way. A t the end of your learning journal I'm not clear what you have learnt as I have no understanding as to what you are going to do differently as a result of your reflection.

    It never ceases to amaze me at how well the designated weekly readings seem to directly fit into the reflections I have made for that particular week

    Window dressing; you might as well jump straight in and say "The problem that I'm trying to address is how do I ..." or "My learning this week centres on the issue of how do I...". I have to work hard to see what your problem is (and even then, I might be anchoring on the wrong thing). So, be explicit. Yes, your team is facing some challenges. But what is going on for you—note, my construction of the introductory sentence. Your learning journal is about your learning; in other words what are you going to do differently to get some better outcome (albeit, say, with/through your team/region/whatever). Even if you want those around you to do something different, it is ultimately down to what you are doing (and how you are doing it). Too often you are using 'we' when perhaps you should be focusing on 'I'.

    A better starting point (if I've read what you say correctly) would be "The problem that I'm trying to address is how do I get the people in the other teams on-board with my belief that I want to help them (because if the other teams aren't doing well that will be a drag on my firms performance)" . 

    You can then dig into the various ways you might do that; the cognitive and affective elements of each approach. With your psych background you should be able to do a good job using your understanding from your other major. 

    This is definitely a situation in which there is a need for double-loop thinking

    Yes, but you go  down a pretty familiar (to Argyris) route of 'win, don't loose' (Mode 1). That's not really double-loop learning (Mode 2). If you really want to go down that path (or which ever path you choose), you will probably need to do some extra reading to enrich your understanding.  You might have even questioned your initial problem (often we have already picked a solution as we frame the problem; that doesn't always work well).

    So, to reiterate,

    This week, I think I have effectively described the problem, in terms of the issues we are facing with a non-growing marke


    So, what have you learnt? What are you going to do differently as a result of your reflection?  I'm really not sure. You've not expressed what actions you might actually do as a result of your reflection.


    In your own commentary on your learning journal, you say:

    This week, I think I have effectively described the problem, in terms of the issues we are facing with a non-growing market.

    I would say, that you go somewhat to describing the situation—but not in a concrete experience kind of way, as per Kolb—and that's not the same as describing the problem you face. 


    Overall, most of this seems to be something of a post hoc rationalisation of something you have done already, rather than a reflection on what you have done and what you might do better (i.e., what you have learnt from the experience).

    Shannon, I look forward to seeing your comments on this commentary (if you are inclined that way).


    1. Thanks, Peter. It's nice to have some actionable feedback that I can work with for the Summative. I've got a much better idea now of what I need to focus on to make sure I've got the right level of depth and critical reflection (smile)