I started this week with a rather complex problem. As a firm with 0.09SHV, no profit, soaring legal fees and a lack of cash turn itself around. We had been reassured during the holidays, when we had around $2SHV that our firm was fine and require some fine-tuning. Obviously our fine-tuning hadn’t worked and now I had a team that was extremely nervous to do anything. I immediately recognised it was imperative that as CEO I had to use my initiative to drive the team forward.
I organised a debrief meeting for the day after the roll-over and after having a bit of a laugh at the apparent hopelessness of the situation I tried to get members to discuss possible solutions. I would like to think that I was showing a level of human skills in this meeting, but I feel like it is not really something I can judge (Katz, 1974). This is because I think by inspiring some humour in the situation I could see that individuals felt more comfortable in expressing their ideas and opinions as to what they think went well and what did not. One individual had already spoken to some friends and felt more comfortable to share what they had discussed. I felt that from discussions we had a lack of conceptual understanding where we were unsure with how some aspects of the organisations relied on each other (Katz, 1974). From these discussions we determined that our lack of funds required outside assistance. We emailed Peter, who then advised us to email SmartSims. In hindsight I think this is also an example of learning from experience (Davies & Easterby-Smith, 1984). Although it might be a bit of a stretch for this reading, I felt that our team was continually developing through its experience with confronting situations. We constantly felt that we were catching up, or making decisions to fix one problem that would cause another that we had not really considered.
The response we got from SmartSims contained the silver bullet we needed. It answered so many of our questions and thoroughly explained a couple of concepts we had been struggling with as a group. Armed with our new knowledge we were able to sit down and work through our decisions with better understanding of where we were going wrong (Davies & Easterby-Smith, 1984). Our previous experiences and new knowledge was effectively blended together to create a survival strategy that should bring us out of debt, get our profit up and increase our SHV. I waited with baited breath for the roll-over, and our efforts were rewarded.
Finally after weeks of disappointment things are finally looking up for Wicked Wheelz. After languishing at the bottom of our market segment we have managed to turn ourselves around. It took a lot of collaborative effort and outside assistance but our team is so happy to be out of the red. Our little dog has his hands behind his head and is cruising along rather than heading for a face plant like last week.
Then I read “You have been taken over by another company!” I had completely forgotten takeovers even existed, partly because we were in survival mode and partly because Peter had listed our company as ‘dump’ so I had not even considered the possibility. With this simple statement the rose tinted façade shattered. I knew what it meant to take-over a company in the simulation, but what did it mean for us, the taken over firm? My biggest concern was that all the hard work my team had put in to figuring out what was wrong and fixing it was all going to amount for nothing. Another experience to learn from and a problem perhaps for next week’s learning journal.
Davies, J., & Easterby-Smith, M. (1984). Learning and Developing from Managerial Work Experiences. Journal of Management Studies, 21(2), 169-182. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.1984.tb00230.x
Katz, R. L. (1974). Skills of an effective administrator. [Article]. Harvard Business Review, 52(5), 90.