How will I measure my life? This week's reading posed and interesting question which to be honest, I have never considered before. We are constantly told to live your lives, enjoy our lives, find purpose in our lives - but measuring our lives? This notion seemed to imply transforming the utmost unquantifiable thing into a set of numbers of units for measure. I wasn't sure how I felt about that.
Christensen (2010) states that “companies’ decision-making systems are designed to steer investments to initiatives that offer the most tangible and immediate returns”, an aspect that my teammates and I have seen a lot of during our time competing in the MikesBikes challenge. The teams that have suffered most in our industry are those that have prioritised quick returns over long term strategy – being a hare instead of a tortoise. This is generally to maximise profit or earning as quickly as possible, though Christensen mentions that finding a purpose to your life and looking outside the field of money is more rewarding than prioritising earnings over family. How does this apply to MikesBikes? To be frank, it doesn’t really, as in our simulation the only thing that matters IS money, raising that shareholder value and decreasing debt. We don’t have simulated families with simulated needs that we must consider when plugging in our rollover figures each week.
Though in regards to ‘real life’ Christensen’s (2010) statement is of utmost importance. Too many executives become addicted to work, sacrificing families to earn big dollars which they have to time to spend and no one to spend it on. This is allure of money: once we start earning, all we want is more, and suddenly more is a never-ending benchmark. In my own life I am always astounded to notice how rapidly I adjust to my pay over the summer holidays which is triple to quadruple times the pay I receive during semester due to the busy season and working extra hours. I always think ‘I can’t wait until Summer, I will earn so much and be able to save so much money’. But as soon as my pay check some in, I adjust. Suddenly I don’t need $60 for food a week, I need $150. And I suddenly need new clothes and shoes and before you know it I’m saving just as much as I was during semester: nothing at all.
This, I believe, is one of Christensen’s (2010) main messages, that there is more to life than the dollar bills that fill our bank accounts every payday. While I made mention before of how little this theory applies to our MikesBikes performance, if we take a step back from SHV for a moment and consider the teams behind them we can see where the theory ties in. Growing as a team, listening to each other, supporting each other, and making fully collaborative decisions do (in some respects) outweigh our overall monetary performance. In future, while the chances are my MikesBikes abilities will provide little use in my future occupation, the aforementioned skills I have developed will be used in my future career for many years to come.
Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46-51.