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I end this week winding down on the disillusioning realization that Mikes Bikes has become more complicated than I ever imagined. Going through every report is not enough; there is an abundance of information but limited time. Every decision has a roll-on effect. Knowing exactly which variables to alter to grow our business is just straight up difficult. As if that is not enough, we throw competitor intelligence into the mix. Trying to work out their decisions and the impact it will have on our own decisions is tricky.

Our strategy seems to be ever changing as we have taken on board double loop learning, From the governing variables to action strategies and consequences, I would like to reflect back on Argyris (1982) double loop learning. I feel our group is reaching those higher levels of effective decision making whereby we no longer simply advocate what went wrong or who made what decision which was less than optimal but rather take that consequence such as miscommunication and not let it hinder our next decision by learning from it. We have gone from recovery thinking to strategy thinking. I believe we are learning to double loop back to the beginning to control the actions which follow with every decision.  This process has allowed us to further develop as a team through improving our group dynamics and communication.

 The problem you ask?

This week we unfortunately did not have every member come to the meeting, this meant every other member had to pick up extra work, as a team we accept that this is sometimes the case and part of being a team is being able to cope in these situations. The challenge with this was that I did not always know how to read and understand reports of other sections in particular the complications of operations. With my focus always being on R+D, I have had a focus of that with our companies overall strategies in mind bikes have been built around those core beliefs. This reading showed that growth opportunities lie in the finer details of the system so with my previous intentions in mind perhaps as a company we have lost out of the opportunities by focusing on the big picture.  The underlying causes of my inability to understand and fathom operations and the complicated workings of those variables may stem from a number of things. Firstly, either lack of experience as a management student (being only a stage two student this is my first stage three paper) or perhaps it is that fact that majoring in business and marketing I have no previous experience with analysis which operations is largely compromised of, I also thought it may be a result of simply not wanting to take responsibility and initiative in another section. Not to be too optimistic but as a group we tend to sit on the higher end of the class average competing for a space at the top so perhaps this may be why everyone in the group seems to be comfortable in their own departments but the overriding problem leads itself back to, are we missing potential opportunities? Whilst the reading emphasises that “greater granularity” is not necessarily about gathering more information or splitting up into smaller units such as we have done for mikes bikes with the different departments, it is about optimizing these processes and refining the information we do have to find or create opportunities (Baghai, Smit, & Viguerie, 2009).

I believe this is something I can take with me and apply to a wider context for future decision making; I hope that through this process we can capture any potential opportunity to succeed.

 

References

Argyris, C. (1982). The executive mind and double-loop learning. Organizational Dynamics, 11(2), 5-22.

Baghai, M., Smit, S., & Viguerie, P. (2009). Is your growth strategy flying blind? Harvard Business Review, 87(5), 86—96.

 

2 Comments

  1. Hey Jessica, I really enjoyed reading your journal. It showed some insight into what your team and yourself are going through. I was not able to see what I wrote as a comment on your week 4 journal as I was unable to find it at the present time, but needles to say you have provided a good reflection. However although you identify problems and you analyse these problems in regards to the readings and granularity, what decisions or actionable outcomes have your provided yourself to take into next weeks meetings? How will you refine the information and data you have available and then communicate this to your team. Whilst looking at the small pieces there are many different directions the data could lead you and I feel the reading actual forgets to identify that these grains are only relevant when they are composed into a larger picture of both your company, other competitors and the market. Try to focus on applying these granuals rather than dig deeper as it seems you and your team members are highly effective in your own technical aspects to dig them up. It was in last weeks readings that the three skill model was raised and for me and my team, the skill that we felt was msot relevant for developing a competitive team was the conceptual skill as we already had the technical side sorted. Just some things to think about and hopefully I have given you some ideas that you could utilise in your next team meeting or your own self learning. Other than that, once again I must say I enjoyed your journal and that you have developed your journals effectively over the course.

  2. From what I can see, you have addressed the concerns that were raised during week 3/4.

    You have integrated your experiences with mikes bikes with relation of the readings/theories provided. While this is am improvement in itself, it still feels more like a train of consciousness with the addition of theories rather than a full reflective reporting. As Ryan has already addressed, you could improve by detailing what you plan on doing and what you got out of your experiences rather than just acknowledging things have changed.

    You could also benefit by grouping specific themes into a single paragraph to create a better dynamic flow of logic and structure.

    Basically, more details and structure would enhance the quality of your journal.