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After watching various video clips trying to figure out what Mikesbikes is all about I have decided that I don’t know. No matter what I do, my share price always decreases. I kinda cheated, well I googled ‘how to win at Mikesbikes’ and I received some suggestions as to what to do. The problem that I have is do I apply all these suggestions at once or a couple after every rollover? I will certainly not be the CEO of my group. Apparently I should reduce retail margins, sell shares at the beginning to raise capital, invest money to maintain good relationships, re-purchase shares, pay off debt, improve the quality of the product, strive for a high efficiency plant and increase batch size, lower inspections, increase prevention type expenditures, put new product in the centre of the maps, undertake product design and development every year, lower prime cost as much as possible, spend a lot on advertising and PR, pay and train employees well, never spend more than 1.5million on Branding, increase extra support costs, etc… So with all the aforementioned factors, how much am I supposed to decrease and increase the elements by? I just hope I get a handle on this guys I really do because I don’t want to let my team down. As I practice with the software more I know I am getting better.

I also feel like in this class it is the individual’s responsibility to plan their time around individual work and team work. We have to care about our grades more so then we usually do because our marks affect others, everyone must learn to work in a team. I really do like the idea of working in a team providing the people who I am working with are fun and chatty, not monotonous and all about making life hard.

In the ‘Why teams matter” article, teams are important because individuals use their combined skills and opinions to achieve more objectives than individuals would on their own. For this mikesbikes business we are all committed to increasing our shareholder value to beat the other organizations, thus our focus on high performance is what we should all have in common to get a better grade. I like the idea that I can have help from others to better my grade, rather than struggling through it myself (I am no good at business studies). Teams also change our attitude as we work through the simulation and get to know each other’s strengths, weaknesses and how we can stay motivated. The best teams spend time on finding a purpose that belongs to them collectively and individually and through permanent meeting times, the development of skills and mutual accountability I do hope that there are no problems with the teams.

In the 2nd reading ‘Turning student groups into effective teams’ the article reinforces the aforementioned reading and collaborative learning. Small-group learning achieves learning at a deeper level, students are less likely drop out, and better communication and teamwork skills are acquired. When I realized we would not be picking teams for ourselves I was quite happy because I really do like working with others. I want to practice socializing with different people to prepare myself for the workforce, and I like to know why different people think the way they do. Peter will also be creating teams of 3-4 people to further assist our learning by making sure if there are any early dropouts then the team will still be able to thrive. We had to fill out a CV which illustrated how we were feeling about mikesbikes and what role we would like to obtain, this helped Peter to more effectively put us into teams and allowed the students to think about what we would like to get out of mikesbikes. Obviously we can’t fire anyone but we can motivate and negotiate with them, give them a task to do which they are interested in and are good at. Although we can’t use crisis clinics or evaluations to solve problems, it’s a matter of understanding why the person feels a certain way and how we can go about improving their situation. They may rather talk to Peter about their issues but as a group it is important that we negotiate and work through group problems ourselves.  

I really liked this article because it made me think about how to work effectively with my mikesbikes team and what problems I may encounter and ways in which they can be resolved. It will a great time to test ourselves on how well we work with others and it’s all about doing the best we can to achieve the grade that we want. It made me understand that cooperative learning has positive effects on learning outcomes providing a healthy sense of urgency to achieve the task at hand. I’m not sure if Peter will do these various team evaluations with us but it does seem like a really good way to go about it, if anything, mid-evaluations and team policies should be conducted with a team who is struggling to find common ground. It’s a necessity to explain to the problem team that in order to resolve conflicts, ‘team assessments should help your group understand individual members and why the group may be struggling’.             

Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34.    

2 Comments

  1. You have a good understanding of the readings and describe each separately in their own paragraphs. I think it would have been more effective to combine the paragraphs and talk about their similarities and differences in a more integrated way. you have already demonstrated that they are very comparable readings in your eyes with "the article reinforces the aforementioned reading". By mixing the knowledge, you have a greater chance of showing that you are meeting the higher levels of learning that Bloom's taxonomy attempts to explain. This is one of the objectives of the course.

    Your journal entry highlighted that you have some very sympathetic and interesting views about team comparability. "Obviously we can’t fire anyone but we can motivate and negotiate" and "how we can go about improving their situation" shows me some of your views on teamwork, as I took it: you are concerned with making the team function by understanding where the problem stems from, from the point of view of the person experiencing the challenge. This small section intrigued me and could have been expanded on because not everyone shares your caring views.  

    Lastly, I would have liked to see what you learned in terms of the process of learning that we have discussed in class; both the Daudelin (1996) and the Kolb (1976) readings show what the reflective process should entail... (you can go back to that) ending in what action you plan to take. I think you could have easily incorporated this (mostly just) to show off a little. Maybe you could have used this method more explicitly when you describe that you will be practising ad practising so you don't let your team down.

    Overall, your reflection drew my attention, I was very interested and the above changes are mainly academic ones to help you achieve in the final reflection.  

  2. Really interesting reflection to read. I enjoyed how you have listed all recommended actions to take in MikesBikes as it emphasizes how confusing it can be and also how much we will need to be juggling. Great how you have directly linked back to the readings using references however I cant see any in-text citations which is a must. An improvement would be to tidy up the structure by using the Daudelin structure. I can kind of see it in the two separate paragraphs about the readings but it should be clear.
    Where you have talked about how instead of firing someone you should work with them to motivate and negotiate with them. I really like this, it shows that you already consider yourself part of the team and want to remain together instead of getting rid of someone. However depending on how bad they are this may have to happen. Explain this by providing a critical argument to your journal, show the other side of the coin and how you could overcome it.
    Another improvement could be to bring in other experiences to emphasize certain points.
    I think you are on the right track and with the improvement recommended  to you the journal will be even better.