As the number of weeks remaining in the course dwindles I have to pause and reflect on the progress I have gained in this course thus far, I realise that my engagement has been steadily increasing and not just of my own but of others too. I notice through reading the journals that most seem to be getting more an more involved with the bikes bikes simulation, even previously once withdrawn members of the group are now feverishly engaged trying to master each of their fields and not just of their own designated areas but there has been a flow over of interest into other departments. I find myself going over calculations which I suppose can be loosely grouped into part of the financials but really something which are in anothers domain but why?
As I finish the slightly gender biased 1950's reading by Katz I can notice some striking similarities between what is being stated in his attempts to explain the skills of an effective administrator and what is happening in the groups efforts. By this perhaps, by chance or through some other means is the higher administrators requirement for a greater level of conceptual skill which as stated by Katz does not rest on the technical knowledge so much but rather "the recognition of how the various functions of the organisation depend on one another" perhaps this is the incentive for the cross departmental interest I am developing or perhaps it is due to boredom of being in control of only one aspect of the firm thus far. I note too the striking similarities between Katz method of developing these skills and Daudelins paper on critical reflection, stated by Katz regarding the development of human skill is the "opportunity for critical reflection" which offers the administrator the opportunity to develop his/her skills. This aspect of critical reflection is held on by Katz as he explains how those who may not be naturally disposed to exhibit the traits required in the administrators role can develop them through critical reflection on their decisions, actions and behaviours. This development of skills through critical reflection and active experimentation are aspects which were further expanded by Daudelin and this commonality seems to continue through the course readings thus far. Regarding applying this weeks theory in a manner in which critical reflection could help my learning process in mikes bikes I suppose that it can be used to explain the rise of cross department interest or perhaps our rising interest merely reflects the groups greater performance and we are merely more engaged as a consequence. Being interested in the other fields obviously helps us to develop a greater understanding of the whole workings of mikes bikes and thus helps us in our departments decision making for example understanding the calculations for a new product development with a desired prime cost helps me understand why the new product development needs to be at a certain amount or rather being able to calculate a more approximate figure which can alleviate the cost of another part of the financial decision making process.
As the CFO I feel that this has been a steep learning curve for me and which has offered me the chance to develop some technical skills in the understanding of finance basics as well as cause and effect interrelations of market forces. It too has helped with the human skill element of understanding the manner in which different people process the manner of their work in different ways but I feel as I would not have been able to develop a full understanding on how each interrelated aspect of the mikes bikes functions would affect the outcomes in regards to the overarching conceptual skill in the time available for this course but it too was identified by Katz in hie retrospective commentary whereby he states it is "impossible to for anyone to perform well in a continually changing role without help".
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36–48
Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.