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Imagine participating in a running competition where you were not given the exact clear course for you to run, but instead you were just told that by the end of the race, you need to have completed 10km. How you get there is dependent on you and which path you chose to carve out for yourself. This results in a great deal of ambiguity and uncertainty of whether you win at the end of the race, or will you lose because you took a long and winding path with mountains and valleys. Well, I have never participated in such an event, and do not ever plan on doing so, however, MGMT300 feels that way so far. It seems as though we have been given an end goal, however, how we get to that end goal will be determined by how efficiently and effectively we work. This is applicable at both at the individual level and at a team level. Getting through this course is like being given a cubic-shaped bolder and asked to push it to the end of the 100m line. How you get to the end the end of the line will be determined by your technique. Some people are strong, so they will muscle their way to the end of the line (just as how some people have tenacity and will muscle their way to the end of MGMT300), some people will give up and claim that it is a fool’s errand (those people who have dropped the course) and some will change the shape of the bolder and make it into a circle so that its easier to manage (which is what my team and I have done by laying out a partnership agreement regarding our work ethic when it comes to this course). We want to work smart, not hard.

So, being the stubborn individual that I am, I refused to be challenged by MGMT300, so I decided to stick it out, at least till my group members and I were introduced. From the very moment I met my group, I knew we would be very compatible in so many ways including our skills and work ethic. Our group has graduated from being just a group, to becoming a team, as already we have identified that we have complementary roles that will help us through Mikesbikes, also, we are committed to a common purpose and performance goals (achieving personal growth, while helping each other along the way). Katzenbach (1992) states that teams are essential organizational units achieving performance results as well as accelerating personal growth. Our team statement also states something along those lines of achieving personal growth. That is what we are looking forward to by the end of this course.

Behavioral change occurs more readily in teams. Their collective commitment keeps members from being as threatened by change as individuals left to fend for themselves. I find this to be very true, especially when it comes to this course. Before our groups were assembled, I felt like I had to do things on my own and find my own path, however, after meeting and discussing in our small group, about the course, I started to feel safe as I felt like I wasn’t alone in the struggle. Reflecting on it now, I think that my team members helped me solidify my choice to tough it out in this course. So far so good….let’s hope it remains this way.

 

References

Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3--27

7 Comments

  1. I agree with your point that "we want to work smart, but not stupidly hard". People say in old days that if you work harder, you would gain better result. For present time I partly agree with this statement because it does not always like equal input-output equation. Sometimes you just need 'tricks' to achieve strategic personal goal. Moreover, team work is about trust and believing. I am glad that you feel happy and comfortable with your team. This is a sign showing you are confident of team mates. I wish you keep this feeling going and be willing to contribute to your team as smart as you can. Reasonable hard work is also needed of course.

    1. The main purpose of giving feedback in this course—and in many business situations—is to help improve performance. I'm not sure I can see how your feedback to Arlette Munkombwe will help her to do a better job. Look at the instructions on giving feedback; have you provided her with any indication as to how well she has used Daudelin's model, or what level on Bloom's taxonomy she is achieving?  You need to provide her with actionable ways to improve her learning journal.

  2. I do have the same experience like you did, I felt ambiguous of this paper and I almost cried on Wednesday night due to the hardcore Solo Mikesbikes. However, life is like Solo Mikesbikes and the ambiguous running race like the one you mentioned, it is up to you to figure out the smart learning method. I really like to read your journal because you have explained your stress feeling toward the course and you have also mentioned that how the team brings the hope to you. At the same time, it is great that you have link your experience to the weekly reading but I personally suggest that it will be great to bring more knowledge from the readings and lectures and link toward your life experience, like your future team development and expectation of the team progress.

    Overall, it is a good journal and I am sure you will find your smart way to finish your 10k race.

    1. I have the sense that you are trying to encourage Arlette Munkombwe to use theory for something else other than just labeling things. That's good; you are suggesting ways she might be more reflective. You could be more explicit in that encouragement by linking what you say to works of say, Daudelin, Bloom, or Kolb.

  3. Imagine participating in a running competition where you were not given the exact clear course for you to run

    Ah, you are talking about the great sport of orienteering. As something of aside, whilst a few of my running buddies really enjoy that type of competition, I'm more of an endurance runner (smile)

    Nevertheless, they would all report that their first orienteering competition was challenging, but at the end the regarded it as fun and many (but not all) would do it again (and again, and again). 

    I'll return later to give you a more structured (and hopefully, useful) set of feedback later. But in the meantime, I think you might have inspired me to do a running/teaching related blog post. Thanks.

     

    1. I have done a bit of research on the great sport of orienteering. i was not aware that there was even such a sport that existed, but with that said, how I felt about this course truly felt like an orienteering race.

      In the future I may try to participate in such an event, just out of curiosity.

      Thank you very much Peter Smith for enlightening me on that subject (smile)

  4. are essential organizational units achieving performance results as well as accelerating personal growth

    This is pretty much a quote from Katzenbach.

    Their collective commitment keeps members from being as threatened by change as individuals left to fend for themselves.

    That's true here too.

    You really must take care to ensure that you clearly identify what are the words of others by (a) using quotation marks and (b) including page numbers in the appropriate citation. It is important that you distinguish between what are your words and thoughts, and what are the words and thoughts of others upon which you are building.

    You learning journal would be much improved if you were more explicit. For example, in what way are you changing the shape of the boulder? What, in Daudelin's terms, is the tentative theorising and experimenting you are doing there? Or, in Kolb's terms, what is the active experimentation underway–what, based on your reflection—do you expect the result to be of the 'boulder reshaping'?

    I can see elements of Daudelin's framework at work here, but you could be more explicit about those steps and stages (or Kolb's framework if you prefer it).  Specifically, it might help you if you mention each of the steps and what you are thinking/doing there in relation to the topic/problem/focus of your learning journal.