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This week has, without a doubt, been interesting. It was a few weeks ago that I wrote about how well our team was going, how we compliment each other and had yet to run into any problems. Yes, we haven't been as successful as we were hoping but no, we are not doing badly. One of the issue my own team faced week was that we are not meeting some peoples expectations and either unconsciously or consciously playing the blame game. This conflict definitely took a few of us by surprise.  I thought the readings this week fit well with the events of the past week. Hopefully by the end if this reflection the course of action we need to take to become more successful will be clear.

 

Katz (1974) quite plainly states that a companies success depends on the executives conceptual skill to carry out policy decisions and unify all processes. I do not deny that this skill is of utmost importance, however I can niether agree or disagree with this idea.

 

The conceptual skill is one of the three  key skills to become a successful manager. It is the ability to see the enterprise as a whole and to see how each function depends on each other (Katz, 1974). In MikesBikes, as we all should know (I hope), everything is interrelated. I am still trying to get my head around how each small decision is going to have a huge impact on the results. I truly believe that to focus solely on on department without taking into consideration the impacts those decision will have on another department is a recipe for disaster. We all need to understand this, each member in the team no matter what your role is. To put it bluntly, I do not care what your role is, I will value your opinion on the operations decision because your decisions will affect the ones I make. We all need to communicate. I said earlier that some team members have high expectations, that's great, but instead telling us each week that we did badly give us something constructive to work with. This was an issue that we faced this week, there was a suggestion that we should each go away make the decisions and input them ourselves at home. I was internally screaming because how am I meant to set production levels if I don't know what products marketing is focusing on. I can't "follow my intuition" when I don't know what the other departments are doing. Gut decisions are meant for moments of crisis when there is no time to evaluate courses of action (Buchanan & O'Connell, 2006). Every member of the team is a manager, therefore Katz (1974) suggests that we all need to have the key skills to be successful. However I don't think just because someone is a manager they automatically become a leader. We each have been delegated responsibility for our departments, which works well as we know each possess knowledge and understand of how our own departments works so we can made educated decisions. 

 

Apparently most manager develop from work experience and learn from training (Davis & Easterby-Smith, 1984). To become better at the conceptual skill we could develop it though experiences, right? Katz (1974) disagree, emphasizing that this particular skill needs to be learnt early in life, preferably pre-adolescence. If this is true I hope that I was able to develop this skill as it seems to be extremely important. To analyze my initial problem about whether or not success lies with the executives conceptual skill I will look at Level 5 leaders and also the role of followers. To move a company from good to great, which I desire in MikesBikes, a Level 5 leader is key. This type of leader never blames other people, external factors or bad luck (Collins, 2005). I do agree that all teams and companies need a leader, if it is a Level 5 leader even better! But what about the followers? Another previous weeks reading was revolved around the importance of followers. This reading explored how important leaders are but also how we have lost sight of the importance of followers as a companies success is not solely due to the leader (Kelley, 1988). At top administration levels of a company the conceptual skill is the most important ability of all, it is critical that those in executive positions have this (Katz, 1974). One of the most important lessons that can be learnt in the importance of coordinating the various departments into an effective team (Steinkraus, as quoted in Katz, 1974). This is the responsibility of the executive. Keep us communicating! I cannot stress the importance of communication enough. 

 

A companies success is not purely due to the executive, but at the same time it isn't just a result of good followers. I want to use the metaphor of a see-saw but don't want to create an image of the leader or the executive being separated from the followers. A balance needs to be found of between all three key skills and each manager needs to possess these so that TOGETHER we can pursue our goal of increasing our SHV. We are a team made up of individuals, who are responsible for a department but we all need to be flexible about our methods for achieving a success; it is better to bend than break. 

 

References

Buchanan, L. & O'Connell, A. (2006). A brief history of decision makingHarvard Business Review, 84(1), 32–41

Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolveHarvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136--146

Davies, J., & Easterby-Smith, M. (1984). Learning and developing from managerial work experiencesJournal of Management Studies, 21(2), 169--182. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.1984.tb00230.x

Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administratorHarvard Business Review, 33(1), 33–42.

Kelley, R. E. (1988). In praise of followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142–148

4 Comments

  1. Hi Kimberly! (smile) 

    First of all, your entry reflects how much effort you've put into writing this, from the amount of resources (and not just that, you were able to relate past readings to your reflection) you used and most importantly the content of your entry is really great. Well done. I get where you're coming from and I understood your arguments, which goes to show how much you understand the concepts/theories that you are discussing in relation to the issues you're facing. 

    In relation to Daudelin's framework, you have addressed and analysed your issue well by relating it to relevant theories. You have formulated a theory that suits your issue (i.e. not meeting people's expectations) and came up with an action plan as to how you're planning to go about the it. I really can't pinpoint any holes or whatsoever in your entry, except a few minor issues that could've been looked at if we probably had more time proofreading. (smile) Other than that, I enjoyed reading your entry. Keep up the good work. 

    All the best to you and your team!  

  2. Hopefully by the end if this reflection the course of action we need to take to become more successful will be clear.

    If it is, then you'll get a big tick from me.

    This was an issue that we faced this week, there was a suggestion that we should each go away make the decisions and input them ourselves at home. I was internally screaming because how am I meant to set production levels if I don't know what products marketing is focusing on

    Yes, that sounds problematical.

    After paragraph four, I'm still not clear what problem you are trying to work on. You should feel free to be more blunt in stating your problem. I have a sense that it revolves around being sent home to make decisions ... is it doing that which is the problem, or letting that decision be made in the first place. As I say, it's not clear to me.

     

    You end your journal on (effectively) the issue of mutual accountability. But I'm not sure that you've said what you are going to try and do differently. Did you live up to your aspiration at the start of the journal?

    Having said all of that, I'm pretty please at some of the integration between the readings.

     

     

    1. The issues that you and my other reviewers have outlined are now clear to me. Will definitely work on this in my next journal. I will select one problem and outline all steps more clearly. Thank-you for this comment (smile)

  3. Hi there,

    I thought this was well written and had a good flow to it. You stated a few problems throughout the reflection however i didnt seem to find one problem that you mentioned and then worked to follow it through as to how you are going to solve the issue and so forth. I would recommend touching over the Daudelin reading again in the next few weeks to help you practice as we get closer and closer to the summative learning journal. 

    I think you have a clear understadning of the readings and this is really good, it shows that you have put in the time to go through the readings and share within your journal what you got from it which i think is a really good part about journals.

    Good luck for next few weeks!