Every student has that one week in the semester where most of their subjects have an assessment of sorts, and this week was mine. However, at the start of the week I felt as though management was the only subject I was prepared for. After the unsatisfactory results of the first few rollovers my team decided it was time to seek help and so we met over the break to discuss our strategy with the lecturer. From this we learnt that about the key areas we were having trouble with. The meeting put my mind at ease a little, as we were ensured that we weren’t doing as bad as we thought. Meeting over the break also meant that I was able to prepare my marketing decisions before the break was over, giving me a head start on this busy week. Whilst making decisions this week, my team was very cautious with our budgets and we tried to minimise costs as much as possible. Unfortunately this did not pay off with our performance this week. One thing I struggled with this week is trying to figure out why our shareholder value continues to drop even though every decision was carefully considered. It is significantly discouraging when this happens. In reviewing the results for this week I came to the conclusion that we just did not have the means to produce more and therefore could not meet demand. Unfortunately what this meant was that we were losing sales. It seems that my team and I will need to sit down and revise our strategy in order to overcome this.
I found the readings this week to be quite interesting even though I cannot entirely relate them to my experience this week. From Argyris’ (1991) reading I learnt that those who play the most significant roles in an organisation are the weakest at learning. I found this to be interesting because anyone would assume that those at higher levels of an organisation would constantly be learning, about the market, about new and efficient ways of producing their offering etc. What I also found interesting in Argyris’ (1991) reading was the idea that professionals rarely fail because they master their roles and so when they do fail, they find it difficult to cope. This was interesting to me because I believe that without failure one cannot succeed and therefore learn. There is no way in which you can better your approach to your work if you do not fail. Argyis’ (1991) readings also argue that when something goes wrong, a professional’s response is to be defensive and they try to place the blame on someone else. This got me thinking about how my team responds when our performance is not what we expected. I am happy to say that my team responds very well when things do not go according to plan. Fortunately, nobody tries to blame another, instead we work collectively to improve the areas that need attention. Katzenbach & Smith (1992) call this mutual accountability, one of the key characteristics of a team.
Although this week’s outcome was not a truthful reflection of my team’s efforts, I still believe that we can achieve good results. We just need to refocus our strategy and goals and hopefully our shareholder value only improves from here on.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4—15.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3—27.