This week I believe our team showed a genuine sense of realism and honesty, which strongly helped us get back on our feet, rise out of debt, and increase our SHV! So for this reason, I don’t have a “problem” per say to talk about, rather a revelation. The past two rollovers have been depressing and discouraging for us to say the least. We dropped from being at a SHV of $19 to $11 to $1… Thus this week was all about rising out of the ashes and restoring our company to a financially healthy, and sustainable point. While we’re only sitting at around $7 SHV value now, our company has certainly improved as it no longer has large amounts of debt or liabilities.
Because of the state of our company, our team had to meet a lot more than usual during the week and naturally all of us were concerned about our position in the market; whether we’d get taken over (or rather, whether we should advocate to be taken over), whether we’d be able to make our way back, how badly this would affect our grade were amongst the few initial concerns we were all facing. What we found however, is that our team came together a lot stronger this week. We listened to each others strategies and opinions on all areas not just within our own functions, we learnt new ways to interpret the reports to our advantage and we trimmed off all the edges we could to cut costs. In the end, I believe we learnt a lot more about the strength of our team and the how hitting rock bottom can only help you rise back up with more conviction than before.
A large contributor to the success of our team this week was due to our CEO having the emotional and mental power to begin our week of tough decisions, with an even tougher conversation regarding each of us admitting the mistakes we had made and how we could move on from there. That genuineness brought our team closer together and broke down some cognitive barriers some of us were holding that “I am in this position therefore I know this best”. Instead we were far more open to providing constructive opinions and solutions without fear of censure – a “Human skill” that Katz describes as the continuous development of a persons integral being. (1955) For our team I believe this meant that we understood each other more and were more sensitive towards each other. It reminded me of a quote from a computer manager that Davies and Easter-by had cited in their reading which said, “I am allowed to develop ideas and express them, and have been trusted to take action on them. I am always present at marketing meetings so I know what is going on. I have become part of a team rather than a functional specialist”. (1985) This truly embodied our team this week as we all demonstrated a far greater capacity of conceptual skills and understood cross-functional decisions, but we also understood that each of us have spent the past eight or so weeks coming to an understanding of our own positions and therefore do have a fairly better technical understanding of this.
Ultimately the result of our rollover wasn’t as fantastic as we had hoped, but it certainly did accomplish what we wanted it to (get us out of debt, restore our de/e ration and provide us with some cashflow) and along the way we have learnt a lot more about our own “developing culture” and how each of us had the courage to accept our mistakes, take the previous negative downturn with a grain of salt, and improve in our human and conceptual skills along the way.
Davies, J., & Easterby-Smith, M. (1984). Learning and developing from managerial work experiences. Journal of Management Studies, 21(2), 169--182. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.1984.tb00230.x
Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.