As we close in on the last few roll overs reflection on the course of our firm has seen its fortune go from completely dreadful, getting even worse, plateau and then a bit of a lift... thankfully. Through these rolls I suppose you could say that as each cycle passed the team was going through stages as Greiner (1997) identifies as stages of revolution as the business increased its operations and we found ourselves struggling with a dominant management problem and adapting to a new management style which would allow us or not as the case has proved to be grow our firm.
By applying the theory of Greiner to my experience in mikes bikes it is also apparent that the firm does not necessarily need to grow during each one of these phases but merely the management style needed to change for the firm to be able to move forward out of the revolution stage. As long as this has occurred the firms viability will still be intact and productive progress and learning can be achieve. For example during the early roll over period our firm had a falling shareholder value as well as market share, this occurred during what would have been termed in Greiners work as the creative phase, all the team were being highly creative in the methods and modes in which our overall market strategy was going to be played. The subsequent roll was met with a revolutionary period as we came to terms with the terrible state the firm was in. During the following week we came up with a solution to our management problem in order to bring a structure of leadership where we could be accountable for our departments performance which had to be reinforced with information derived from the manual and or the spreadsheets. It was not until the 4th phase in which we began coordinating our efforts were any rewards for our firm realised. Where we now stand I believe us to be in a collaborative phase with team members time being taken up with other assignments requiring increasing amounts of time and effort to be directed elsewhere. It is in this phase we team members as they are able are applying themselves into the areas which typically are the domain of another member but as the situation dictates a more collaborative approach is needed.
To apply this into a real world example I feel that it would be a lucky firm indeed to survive such a prolonged period of poor performance but yet be the ground of critical reflective learning of which benefits the business and those who work there for as long as they are not fired. As far as the implications goes for future periods of revolution it provides no real insight as to what they may be only that there will be periods of instability and that those that can and are able to meet the challenges and preemptively adjust their managerial; practices as the issues present themselves will be the ones which emerge with a competitive advantage. As Greiner stated it is important for those running the firm not merely to be content in the success of their firm but to be aware of it's current location and the processes which are required to continue the presently enjoyed evolutionary period of high growth.
Greiner, L. E. (1972). Evolution and revolution as organizations grow. Harvard Business Review, 50(4), 37--46.