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As we edge closer and closer to the completion of MikesBikes the nerves are kicking in. In China we have seen the top teams surprisingly decrease in performance, which my own team wants to avoid at all costs. What have they done wrong and how do we avoid making that same mistake? This supports the idea about Evolution and Revolution stages as organization grow and change. Revolution doesn't need to be bad, but the turmoil it can cause, as the readings described it, doesn't sound appealing. Therefore I would like to question how we can increase the benefits of the Evolution stage and minimize the negative consequences of the Revolution stage. 

My teams SHV has been steadily increasing. Its the same for our profit and sales. We haven't experienced an extremely damaging period of revolution (touch wood) however there has been years where results have been disappointing and growth has slowed down. Talking to other teams and watching their performances it is clear just how easy it is to suffer in these revolution stages and how hard it is to bounce back from them, some company's may not even reach the stage that they were at during Evolution. No team wants to see their SHV plummet, so how can this be avoided?  I struggle to clearly see the Phases of growth in my own team. We all experiences the Creativity stage of creating products and markets (Greiner, 1972). My own team could still be going through the stage of Direction, where growth is sustained, which can be seen in a steadily increasing SHV and Profits (Greiner, 1972). No ground breaking outcomes have been made but at the same time no drops that would cause my heart to hit the floor. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we did experience a few autonomy problems but these were resolved with clarification of roles and the implementation of procedures, this would represent the Delegation stage, which is a crisis of control (Greiner, 1972). I do not doubt that my team is co-coordinating and collaborating. It is a necessity in this paper to do so. However, I wonder how long an organization can move through these to reach optimum performance. According to the reading an evolution stage of prolonged growth can last 4-8 years. I hope my own team wont experience disastrous revolution as now there is limited time to resolve the situation. I realize that growth isn't linear (Greiner, 1972), I can see it from the other teams but my own team is growing slowly, but steadily.

Perhaps is the best way to minimize the revolution stage is to make incremental changes rather than risking too much. If a risk is successful this the results would be great, but if it goes the other way then the results could be extremely difficult to get out of, especially with our limited time frame. If one does find their team in the revolution phase the best way would be to respond. Quickly. But with educated and carefully selected decisions. Look at new practices as suggested by Greiner (1972). The reports are there to help us pin point what needs improvement. As the article "Is your growth strategy flying blind?" a granular approach is recommended to develop growth strategies (Baghai, Smit & Viguerie, 2009). In order to increase the benefits of the Evolution stage and minimize the negative consequences of the Revolution stage would be to look at markets and performance microscopically and make incremental changes rather than making blind leaps into the unknown.


Baghai, M., Smit, S., & Viguerie, P. (2009). Is your growth strategy flying blind? Harvard Business Review, 87(5), 86---96.

Greiner, L. E. (1972). Evolution and revolution as organizations grow. Harvard Business Review, 50(4), 37–46.


1 Comment

  1. Hey Kimberley, it has been nice to read three of journals this semester and you always have great insights into how mikesbikes has been for you and your team. As one of the China teams who saw a massive downfall I like that you are taking preventative action to try and reduce the risk of this happening to you. In terms of your journal, it would be good if you clearly defined the problem. From what I understand it seems that your problem was trying to identify which stages your own firm was in. Clearly defining the problem form the onset will really help you create the depth in your summative. I really liked the way that you were able to engage with and articulate the theories and make them specific to your experiences. I would also be great to hear some concrete examples of what you have learnt - you could expand on the way that your team now collaborates - what made you get to this point and how could this apply to life after uni? Perhaps re-looking at Daudelins stages of reflection will help you will narrowing down how to approach the problem, articulation and hypothesize side of the reflection.

    You have posed some interesting points and I have no doubt you have the basis for a great summative. Good luck (smile)