The Skill of Coming Back From Behind
The information from week eight’s reading that stuck with me the most was that of what skills one should typically demonstrate in order to succeed. I am not the CEO of my team, however since the beginning of the simulation my team has approached team work, leadership and decisions and a very open way where standard leadership roles are shared among us and our CEO brings us together in the most effective way.
This approach to teamwork makes the Katz’s article on the three quintessential skills of administration, technical, human and conceptual, even more relevant to my team as we all need to demonstrate all three (1955). In the two rollovers prior to this week my team experienced decreases in terms of SHV. After much thought, hours of team discussion, pros and con charts and a whole new approach to strategy that has the unanimous support of team members, we managed to turn this trend around and finally increase our SHV. We used Kolb’s learning cycle to create next concrete experiences, and it worked (Kolb, 1976)!
As it is week eight of the semester and each of the members in my team have had 7 weeks of classes to become accustomed to the roles we are meant to fulfil the technical skill, which Katz says is the skill that is most often focused upon, of the team is rather high – we have the knowledge that comes with our positions, know which reports to look at and which techniques to employ within the simulation (1955). The human skill of the team, although it is more focused towards managers and those with workers below them, is also high, in my opinion. Especially in the last rollover, the team really banded together in order to communicate. We looked at things from each member’s point of view and adjusted our behaviours to better suit working in a team where we all have influence over each other. For example, we began our first meeting of the week by putting our pride behind us and admitting our mistakes and what we could do better, individually, in order to become more successful successfully as an attempt at putting blame aside and move towards double loop learning from last week (Argyris, 1991). Finally the conceptual skill of the team was something new we trialled. The text makes reference to a change in marketing policy – which is one of the active changes we, as a team, employed this rollover – and says that all the effects, every single one, that can stem from this change must be considered (Katz, 1955). This is something we tried to do. We looked at if we decrease x by y amount, what will that do to z and is it worth it?
From our results, this week was a very positive one. We managed to turn our negative trend around, we communicated clearly effectively and became better aligned as a team with the skills that we have. However, obviously, nothing is perfect and although we did well this Thursday, next week we must focus on how to do even better.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4--15
Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.
Kolb, D. A. (1976). Management and the learning process. California Management Review, 8(3), 21--31