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.