Riding off with cohesive teamwork
Week two of MGMT 300 provided what feels like the springboard for the rest of the semester. Not only did I meet my team, but also the importance of what this team means to the project became clear and the actual simulation has begun.
I was appointed Marketing Manager, which, as a Marketing Major, I was happy with. My group seems to be made up of five other individuals both ready to learn and get a good grade in the class – most, if not all of us had specified ‘learning-oriented’ on our CV’s. Within the first five minutes we, as a group, had begun thinking in terms of Katzenback and Smith’s article, Why teams matter (1992). Naturally we spoke our concerns and established a desire to have clear communication be an inherent factor to our group dynamic which resulted in a group Facebook page and an understanding that we must all work equally – together but also separately – in order to hopefully achieve an A in this course. I felt that although I had only just met these four other individuals (our CEO was not present at the lecture and we are still yet to meet them) we were clear-headed in our approach to becoming a cohesive team by acknowledging that there most likely will be conflicts within the group, but committing ourselves openly to dealing with these possible issues early on.
Many of us come from different educational backgrounds that lend certain advantages and expertise to dealing with the roles we have been assigned within our MikesBikes team. We commented on the fact that Peter had said that if students were individually prepared outside of class, then groups would be able to have their decisions for the simulation completed in only class time. As a group, it was unanimously decided that although, yes, we would be doing much individual work – including trying out certain decisions on SoloMike before suggesting them to the group for the multi-player simulation – we would feel most comfortable still meeting outside of the three hours of class time each week. This idea openly ties in with the ‘mutually accountable’ criteria of becoming a good, successful team. As individuals we have responsibilities, but as a group, together, we do as well. Hopefully as the semester goes on, we will find our current agreements with each other to be effective and our goal of becoming a high-performing team capable of an A will be realised.
The team aspect of this week left me with an overall positive outlook on the class, however the process it took to get there – the CV and by extension the task of getting at least $25 SHV – was something that took a lot of reflection. At first with SoloMike I got nowhere. Trial and error over and over seemed to offer no improvement. As per Daudlin’s, Learning from experience through reflection (1996), I had to ask myself just what was happening. The answer was quite clear – I was failing miserably. Then why was I failing? I had the marketing aspect down pat, my quality was good, then it hit me – I was completely overlooking the financials. The third step had me asking, how should I do this differently, now that I know how I am doing badly, which came with a light bulb moment; I needed a more well-rounded outlook of the business. This was the whole point of the simulation – cause and effect, distribution of tasks, running a successful company takes understanding of many different factions. Finally I asked, what should I do now? I tried it again with fresh eyes and succeeded. Not by a lot, but enough for a starting point and enough to make me feel like I had learned something.
I have confidence that the people I have already come to call my team members can use this approach along with clear communication and understanding of our roles and responsibilities to navigate our way to becoming successful in this class and MikesBikes.
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36-48.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3—27