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Following the end of the final single roll-over of the mikes bikes simulation the competition seems to be intensifying and a few groups have SHV's rising at a really quite accelerated pace. This makes me glad that my own team has put a reasonable margin between ourselves and the rest which based on current projections we should be able to ride out until the end of the simulation. However if the simulation was extended anywhere between 1-3 more rollovers the story could be quite different. My assessment on why some teams have suddenly been able to improve their SHV's so significantly is just due a greater overall awareness of how the simulation operates as a result of decisions made, in a sense throughout the past roll-overs they have learnt and adapted. This brings me to my reflection of the past week; how to help others learn.

The problem: One of our subsidiary firms was not investing enough into their designs and based on their sales demand were not saving $1.5M+ each roll-over with one simple adjustment. This in and of itself is not actually the problem, the problem was the R&D manager of our subsidiary did not seem overly interested in making any changes - I have referred to it in past learning journals but will state again that I believe this is the result of the 20% weighting towards performance not being enough for people to care. However for the sake of my own team to reach our best performance - we want our subsidiary  to perform to their best too. The action I took as I did not perceive further discussions with our subsidiaries R&D manager to be worthwhile was I showed my calculations to their CEO. He seemed far more interested in the idea however not as engaged as I would have hoped for, whether or not he implemented any changes I also do not know.


Analysis of the problem: Whether or not their CEO implemented what I had suggested is not of a major concern, rather the more interesting point for analysis of this problem would be 'How would I have motivated their R&D manager to be more interested/engaged without increasing extrinsic rewards (a higher grade weighting)'.  If this was a real life business situation where I were the manager of a project team, what would I really have done to ensure this individual was using their abilities as best they could. I believe the answer would require more investment into understanding the individuals rationale/current situation more than what the effort expended in this instance would have required. However in the hypothetical world where I do discuss and understand why this individual wasn't really interested in improving their performance in what I perceived to be a blatantly obvious way, what would my next step be?


Implications for the future: This has been actually a quite interesting experience writing this particular reflective journal but with only four minutes until it's due (oops) I won't be adding any theory form the wider management field. For me though what I feel like I've learnt the most from ahving this experience with the individual is that it is really important when working in a team to gauge and monitor the motivation/engagement of your team members. It is also important to figure out how to incentiveize them in a way which brings their best foot forward. Strictly speaking, a further development of people management skills is what I will seek and a better understanding of how I would encounter this again in the future. Rather than being something which I have learnt, what I have learnt is what I should endeavour to learn next.


4 Comments

  1. Hi Glenn,

    I’d like to shed light so you can understand my “individual rationale/current situation” seen so you have written a review about me on a public forum. I also think this will help you to reflect and understand how you could have motivated me to be more “interested and engaged”. 

    Firstly, communicating this to me in person while our teams were working alongside one another for an hour and a half would have been the most effective way to deal with this problem. It’s difficult for someone to know there is an issue if it has not been communicated to them.

    In all honesty, I didn’t find complaining to SmartSims about their manual or your excel spreadsheet “interesting or engaging”. As for my “individual rationale”, I literally value my time too much to go as in-depth as you were expecting me to on a simulation worth 20%.

    I’ll see you next week in the real world.

    Ngā mini,

    Claire Ryan

  2. Hi Glenn,
    It was very interesting to me to read your journal, as I can relate to both sides of the story, having acquired a company earlier and then later on having been acquired by another company. The way I understand it, your group is doing well, and I thought it is great that you still found a valid issue / problem to reflect on by realizing that you need to learn how to motivate others. I thought that your explanation and analysis of the problem were well written and I hope they helped you in possibly learning from the experience. As a suggestion, even though you have mentioned this issue, maybe you  could have placed more focus on what you could have done differently / better and what will you do differently in the future?
    I also hope that the insights from Claire's comments will help you both to come to a mutual understanding and cooperate more successfully!
    Best of luck to you guys!

  3. Hi Glenn, 

    Just like to start off by saying the journal follows a really nice structure and is easy to read. There is a good amount of detail and information about the problem, theory and etc. From reading above I agree with Regina, I believe you could focus more on the solution and what can be done differently next time. I agree where you're coming from but it's all a learning experience and we are all in this together. 

    I hope you have a good rest of the semester and do well on the summative. 

    Thanks, 

    Neel

  4. Hi Glen

    You have identified the problem well, as working with others is difficult, especially when there is an inequity in effort put in by different members. I can agree with you that the lack of reward for this assignment can lead to people slacking off, which is evident through the disagreement with the other student, and as you have suggested before; changes to the simulation could negate this problem and lead to better functioning teams. Obviously including theory would have been ideal for this journal, as it would have fleshed out your ideas and have shown deeper insight.