Through knowing those who have taken part in the Mike’s Bikes case study through the business club MCC, I was under no illusions of the difficulty that the simulation brought. At first glance, Mike’s Bikes seemed overwhelmingly daunting. The sheer amount of reports and forms to read alone was enough to bring on a caffeine urge – I was going to be here for some time. On top of the quantity of reports, the fact that each report was filled with numbers sank my heart even more so. Being a student who studies an Arts degree and has made a conscious effort from high school to university to distinctly choose to study subjects and majors that require a higher level of literacy, to say the least, I was disheartened. Math in no way, shape or form, is my forte – in fact I would go so far as to say that it is the bane of my existence. I have never been ‘good’ at it, and each time I have been faced with having to pass a paper that includes maths or numbers of any nature, I struggle immensely. To add onto this issue, for achieving a SHV of $51.75, I was made CFO of my team.
Though two fellow students stood in front of our class and explained how they went about placing the class into teams, and while I appreciate and understand the difficulty they must have faced to place everyone according to their preferences, I am sceptical that much more beyond our SHV was taken into account. It seems that our preferences for whether we wanted to be a leader or a follower this semester were not taken into account, or the majors we study. Or perhaps the most important element to take into account was our SHV. However, if this were true, then essentially students could have asked those who have previously had experience with Mikes Bikes to carry out the simulation for them to achieve above $25 for their SHV. While this is unethical and unfair, this also made me think about those students who may have potentially dropped out of the course and not handed their CVs in under the assumption that if they did not achieve this threshold of SHV then they would have to drop the course regardless, yet those who did not achieve $25 were still placed into teams. This unfairness makes me feel that the selection process should have been standardised well in advance as opposed to on the day based on the CVs received.
I sense that this experience is an indirect reflection to demonstrate roughly how the workforce would select employees. However if only our GPAs were taken into account, or that we are offered positions based on our final result rather than the journey to that result, then essentially this is only a reflection of graduate positions rather than any other position. If this is the case, then this issue of mine as being placed as CFO is just a window towards the future and an opportunity that I should welcome. Though this is easier said than done, as years of results proving my lack of ability in relation to numbers has depleted my confidence. When faced with this concern I recalled an interesting sentence mentioned within the Katzenbach and Smith reading; “A strong performance ethic gives people both the confidence and the capability to figure out for themselves the best way to go after specific performance opportunities”. (1992) Being someone who prides myself on my work ethic, this sentence particularly stuck out to me. The entire reading focused upon team work and the relationship that individuals have that can influence each other towards creating cohesive or detrimental groups. This reading was a welcome reminder that regardless of the role allocated to me, the various other skills and competencies I can bring can assist me towards performing as the best CFO I can be to achieve not only a successful end result on Mike’s Bikes, but also to assist in creating a well-bonded and cohesive team.
At the end of the day I hope to not drag my team down and to aim to be the most effective CFO possible. Though I have previously never had any form of Financial experience before, and though I have previously performed poorly in Maths papers, I can attempt to read more on how to perform as a CFO, research into strategies that can be employed for effective business management, invest in resource investigation and finally to trust in the various other skills I can bring to a team beyond my apparent knack for achieving SHV on Mike’s Bikes.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3—27