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.
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.