This week’s reading was a bit of a hit and miss in terms of my team and how we’ve been doing on MikesBikes this semester. Our company didn’t get a good start, our team’s lack of knowledge and technical skills kept us on a steady decline, and even after we were bought over our profits remain low.
As Greiner (1972) suggests, my teams downfall can be attributed to our past and continuous mistakes, however, the question I faced in the past few weeks was how to rectify these errors and move forward, as it seems that my company’s whole MikesBikes experience has consisted of revolution rather than evolution (Greiner, 1972). According to Greiner (1972) companies continuously go through evolution and revolution periods as evolution naturally brings about revolutions, more in larger companies and less in smaller companies. He names five stages, namely; creativity which leads to leadership crisis, direction which leads to autonomy, delegation which leads to control, coordination which leads to red tape, and collaboration which leads to something currently unknown. I think it is safe to say that my team did not go through any of these crises. Ever since the first rollover our main focus was to generate more demand, therefore being stuck in phase one and two. Again, I believe our issue is that no one in our team is business oriented, therefore it was dificult to even complete phase one. In support of this, Greiner (1972) suggests that "The company's founders are usually technically or entreprenuerially oriented..." which we weren't and which is also why we found it so difficult to get past the first hurdle. It seems as though we didn't develop at all as a company. Balance played a huge role in MikesBikes which I never perfected and was something I didn’t look at enough in my Marketing role. For example, I rarely looked at the cost of making a bike in relation to how I would spend on advertising. This week, it seems that we spent too much while revenue was too low. MikesBikes has been a huge frustration as well as struggle and no matter how indepth we looked at the reports and how much analysis we did, we never seemed to get it right. One thing we could have done was to seek help earlier on in the simulation. I feel that my team, determined to do as well as we did in the practice run, continuously attempted to tackle MikesBikes even though we were inadequate in doing so. If we sought help from smartsims or Peter earlier, we could have done much better. Sometimes it is better to be humble and seek help than to try and forge on on your own.
The reading by Christensen really resonated with me, as I have little to no interest in working for a corporate, being a manager in a business firm, or any typical career that comes with taking management and commerce. Rather, I am here to educate myself and open my mind to different views, opinions, and theories that will hopefully shape me into a better and more knowledgable person. This is something that I along with Christensen (2010) believe is far more important than "buying, selling, and investing in companies". Contrary to the more typical right wing view of business people, I believe that the welfare of the people brought about by society is far more important than business and simply "making money". What I learnt from this reading was to allocate your time wisely and make room for the more important things in life other than work such as family, friends, hobbies, and travel. For me, I feel that I may be too embedded in the 'leisure' side of things as I find it very difficult to get motivated by uni work, perhaps because I have no short-term goals regarding academic/professional plans proceeding university. In regards to this course, which I feel was a mid-point between critical thinking and business, I have enojyed doing the weekly journals far more than the MikesBikes simulation. I found that I got disinterested in the simulation after our profits kept declining which led to me begrdugingly doing my share of the workload (which I did do to the best of my ability), however, my attitude wasn't in the right place. This leads me to believe that group work and business isn't something that's meant for me, which would be very different in a real world situation where I would be passionate about the products (not bikes), and therefore more engaged and directed to succeed.
Overall, I believe that this course was a great learning experience for me. My groups failure in MikesBikes led me to learn things from my mistakes and also where my downfall is. I can also safely say that I have learnt more about business in this course through MikesBikes than I have in my whole commerce degree.
Greiner, L. E. (1972). Evolution and revolution as organizations grow. Harvard Business Review, 50(4), 37--46.
Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46-51.