This week has been rather interesting and somewhat stressful, learning about different team dynamics and what constitutes making up a good team. Katzenbach and Smith (1992) define a team as being a small number of people who are working towards a common goal with complementary skills. This week has also seen the introduction of Mikes Bikes which I have now realised is going to be the basis for all our class time, no more lectures for this class already. It is an odd feeling.
My experience with Mikes Bikes I thought was going to be easy but it ended up being stressful and rather hard. I had been practicing for about 8 hours and I still could not get a Shareholder Value (SHV) of $25. It wasn’t until two hours before our CV’s were due that finally, relief! I got a Shareholder Value of over $25. I was beginning to doubt myself and wonder whether I really should be taking this course, but with anything, good things take time and I believe my impatience got the better of me. I found it even more difficult because accounting is not my forte and I don’t think I have touched a finance report since Accounting in stage one. But none the less I had a few options throughout this time. I could have given up trying to get a Shareholder Value of $25 and given up on the course or dig deep and pull upon past experiences to solve my issues. In the end my saving grace was research online, through watching videos and reading articles. By doing this, I was able to gain a different perspective into how Mikes Bikes works and eventually get my Shareholder Value to above $25. However, I think I still require more practice so I can effectively contribute to my team members.
This week also saw the formation of yet another team at University. I have always been sceptical about teams as I am introverted and would rather complete work myself. But this semester has shown me something new and good about working in teams. In another one of my papers this semester a lecturer pointed out the effectiveness of working in teams of four. It wasn’t until this week, when I read about turning teams into effective high-performing teams that I understood there could be something of value here (Oakley et al., 2004). Oakley et al. (2004) pointed out that cooperative learning has positive effects on team learning outcomes, where as three to four people in a team was the most effective means of achieving this outcome. This semester I would be rather interested to see if these methods of learning help to improve my overall grades and deeper understanding.
This week I was nervous as to what the performance of my team would really be and who would be in my team. There were several outcomes that Oakley et al. (2004) suggested to bring about a high-performing, effective and collaborative team. I could suggest to my team we implement team expectations and best practices or we could also take the approach that Oakley et al. (2004) suggest of creating team expectations, policies and give regular team feedback on team members performance. By today I found out that initially (from what I can tell) I have a really good team. We implemented team policies, what we expect from each other and we also decided to give each other regular feedback on how we can improve. We finished off by signing our team agreement.
This week has been a new learning curve through Mikes Bikes and understanding the making of a good team. It has had highs and lows but at the end of this now I can say I am a little more optimistic as to what the rest of the semester holds. I can’t wait to see how the following weeks and first few rollovers pan out.
Katzenbach, J. R., & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly(3), 3-27.
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams