Revelations through revolutions
As this is the final weekly learning journal for this course, I feel it is appropriate to pay particular attention not only to the past week and what I have taken from my Mike’s Bikes experiences during that time, but also the entirety of this course, looking back all the way to week two – when Galaxy Bikes was formed and ten weeks of MGMT 300 was in front of me.
While reading through Greiner’s article about an organisation’s evolution and revolution periods, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to many experiences that faced my team during the simulation and how we very much followed the model of organisational development that he described. Greiner theorises that the combination of five key dimensions of an organisation, age, size, evolutionary stages, revolutionary stages and industry growth rate, lead on from one another and determine the success of the organisation (Greiner, 1972).
It is not surprising tat through Mike’s Bikes we find ourselves in a high-growth industry. At the beginning, with each firm only producing one bike, there is so much potential for many different markets. I cannot speak for other groups, but right from the start my team reflected Greiner’s creativity phase to a ‘T.’ The six members of our team were slightly weary of each other, as we had yet to find the boundaries to which we should adhere, communication was informal and we had stars in our eyes as we thought about the future and where we could take our business – we wanted more bikes to sell. Of course, this evolutionary phase did not last long (only one year/roll over) before we hit a revolutionary phase and a leadership crisis of sorts resulted, and it is through the revolutionary phases that we have learned the most. Our team took a long period to fully work out how our roles within the simulation would interact with one another and we found we needed more comprehensive and unified direction, which lead us to our second period of evolution just as described in the article (Greiner, 1972).
As a company we made mistakes, had many fall-backs and as of the current rollover (second-to-last with next week being the double rollover) we have a SHV lower than what we began with, however in the long run, I do not believe this is overly important. Every single member in my team selected ‘learning’ as their primary goal for the class, and there is no question whether this was achieved. As our second reading from week ten discussed, one of the biggest motivators in life is having learning opportunities, having responsibilities and the ability to contribute to others (Christensen, 2010). Having experienced the Mike’s Bikes, being faced with the complex dynamics involved with an organisation (even thought it is a mere simulation), having to deal with problems and come up with solutions and try, try again, it is blatant that although the growth of our company and SHV is not what we envisioned at the beginning of the course, the growth and learning we have experienced as a group is undeniable. We have taken the concrete experiences from both within the simulation and outside of it, used the observations and reflections of our experiences to form new concepts and generalisations of things we could do within the simulation to achieve our results, and put these ideas into practice with each new rollover and thus, formed new concrete experiences which will go on to further enhance our learning, just as Kolb has told us since week one, (Kolb, 1976).
Of course, the results of next week’s double rollover will be important, however I strongly feel like I have already experienced the most important aspects of the class; I have learned and this is a revelation.
Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46-51.
Greiner, L. E. (1972). Evolution and revolution as organizations grow. Harvard Business Review, 50(4), 37--46.
Kolb, D. A. (1976). Management and the learning process. California Management Review, 8(3), 21--31