Articulation of the problem
Week 10 means that the final 2 rollovers are upon us, with only one set of decisions left to make to decide the final fate of our business, and 20% of our grade for this course. Throughout the semester our team has been able to apply creative and innovative strategies to try and maximise SHV whilst scaring our competitors a little. However, after yesterday’s rollover, it has become apparent that we have dropped a spot in the leader boards, now being second in our economy and third on the scoreboard for the class. The challenge I find myself facing now, as I’m sure is the same as the rest of my team, is where to go from here? Our goal was to attempt to increase our SHV to a point where we could be at the top of the class as a whole, however that seems slightly less likely now.
Analysis of the problem
Looking back over our results from all 10 rollovers that we have carried out as a team, it can be seen that from 2018 until 2022 our team was able to consistently grow our Gross Margins by a substantial amount to see growth within the company. However, since 2023 onwards we can see a flat line of Gross Margin. Looking back to the year 2022 (the last year where Gross Margin increased) it can be noticed that this is the rollover where we decided to purchase PeakPerformanceBros – resulting in our company not generating profits for the years 2022 and 2023. Also, during the year 2022, our team decided that along with this buying out of another company that we would continue with our strategy but change it slightly to try and bring change and disruption to the marketplace. Each rollover since 2023 we have modified our bikes to try and implement the slight change in strategy slowly, which has resulted in a halt in the growth of our business. I am assuming that both of these factors are the cause of our lack of growth within our company
Formulation and testing of a tentative theory to solve the problem
We now have one final chance to increase our company’s SHV to attempt to regain our placing on the leaderboard. This means that our team must band together and work both collaboratively and efficiently to ensure that our last two back-to-back rollovers are ones that have a positive effect on the business, not just keeping us in the same position. After reading through The Hidden traps in Decision Making (Hammond et al., 1998) I realize that my team may have fallen into ‘The Status-Quote Trap’ for the fact that the strategy we formulated at the beginning of the semester was so creative and seemed to be foolproof, we were all on board, or so we thought. Our desire to protect our ego is often what results in the status-quo trap, where I believe my team (including myself) may have gone along with the decision to carry out this slight change in strategy over the last few rollovers as the previous decisions had gone so well. No one wanted to speak up and take action, as this would then mean taking responsibility had the opposing view taken place. Although in some cases sticking to the status quo may be a viable option but sticking to it purely because it is comfortable is not what should occur within a business setting.
Form of action
I believe that for our next rollover my team should attempt to divert away from the status quo and focus on other factors that could be greatly contributing to our lack of growth that may not have anything to do with where our bikes are sitting perpetually in the marketplace. My form of action before the next rollover will be to discuss ways in which our team can implement change that diverts from the status quo, whilst not changing too much so that we do not result in a drastic decline over the last two rollovers.
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36-48
Hammond, J. S., Keeney, R. L., & Raiffa, H. (1998). The hidden traps in decision making. Harvard Business Review, 76(5), 47-58.