At first knowing that this week would be my last journal reflection ever really set my mind at ease. Excluding the 3000 word summative journal, I thought would never have to reflect on my learning each week again. Although when I think about it, I don’t think I will be able to stop reflecting ever again after this. Maybe I wont do it in such a formal manner, like writing down my thoughts. But I have most definitely gotten into the habit of mulling over my actions and considering what I have learnt after this Mikes Bikes experience. Interestingly enough this whole reflective process has made me more aware and shown me how looking back can give you ideas how to move forward.
Without the need to reflect I doubt my team would have done so well. By going back and looking at the problems and faults in our strategies we were able to fix anything we had wrong. The whole point of Daudelin’s process of reflection and learning was to identify and solve problems by going back over them in your head to improve yourself. I feel I have really gained the ability to do this after being required to write a journal every Friday, much to my annoyance sometimes. Yet realistically it has been the key to our successful performance.
Now that the journals are nearly over I do understand their importance, Daudelin found ‘ that one hour spent reflecting can significantly increase learning’ (Daudelin, p. 45). And I completely agree with this statement. If we hadn’t consciously evaluated our problems we wouldn’t have been able to find solutions and make better decisions. Critical analysis has never been more helpful and necessary to play this game, without reflecting I feel a team would be blindly fumbling in the market.
In the reading ‘How will you measure your life’ by C. Christensen a point that stood out for me was when he talked about creating a culture. He was talking about how managers knowing ‘what tools to wield to elicit the needed cooperation is a critical managerial skill’ (Christensen, 2010, p.50). He also felt these tools were needed more or less depending on how willing employees agreed on their participation in an organization and how much they agreed upon the actions needed to produce the desired results. He talked about ‘power tools’ being threats, punishment and coercion. Yet if an organization embraces procedures and knows its priorities then culture has been created. I feel very lucky that in my team we skipped any need for coercive power tools and went straight on to shared culture. As there was no manager from the start we all knew what we wanted to achieve together and what was expected of others. And so we drew up a contract and all understood our responsibilities.
Our culture helped us solve problems and reflect on them each week together. Christensen felt ‘ culture in compelling but unspoken ways, dictates the proven, acceptable methods by which members of the group address recurrent problems’ (Christensen, 2010, p. 50). I agree with him that this was a key aspect, which helped my team through its Mikes Bikes journey. I realize its not over yet and we still have the double rollover, but I still think if we keep reflecting like Daudelin wanted us to and we actively continue to embrace our culture. I think we will have done the best we can.
Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46-51.
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36--48