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I felt a little ("little" perhaps being a euphemism) detached from this week’s readings on decision making; whether this is the readings themselves or just me and my activities of the week I’m not sure. I found the Buchanan & O’Connell (2006) reading to have strong breadth but weak depth; leaving me very little to take away, and all too much to go in one ear and out the other (or eye in this case). So this learning journal will contain a snippet of “decision-related” reflecting and then I’ll see where that takes me – bad for structure, but it’s all I have right now.

My team for MikesBikes is currently following a very broad strategy; it’s not very detailed at all – it’s not that we’re skimping on looking at the details, but it is that the strategy itself has no specific targets mentioned. This sounds bad, I know. But it’s flexible and follow-able – and we don’t have the problem that Mankins & Steele (2006) outline – we don’t have the problem that the strategy isn’t driving our decisions. We’re doing reasonably well. It’s early stages yet, of course. Time may prove me wrong.

Taking a step back, this in itself could be a problem, for me: My doubting of writings by certified experts. I think that I think this because I believe that there’s so much information out there that each individual piece of writing becomes almost insignificant. That I, for some reason, am high and mighty and that I somehow override this expert-who-has-devoted-whole-life-to-subject.

I’m highly dependent on my own experiences and those of the people around me – is it true for me? Is it true for someone I trust? And that trust is only gained through experience of course. Perhaps a relativistic view – is it something that I should change? Should I be more trusting and believing? I admit to sometimes scorning lecturers (especially in Business 101/102) for giving unsuspecting young students readings with questionable content. Because I don’t think we’ve been taught to question enough at that level. I don’t think there’s a single answer to the question. I should take each case individually and take a step back, as I am now, and ask myself – is that really questionable? Last week, in my journal, I wrote “it’s okay to disagree with the readings”. But there’s a point that it’s too much. Is my doubt unrealistic or unjustified? And to turn the circle back to decisions, am I making the “wrong” decisions because of this?

I think part of this is knowing when we’ve made the “wrong” decisions. Is this something we can only determine through consequences and results? Or can we get positive results when we’ve made “wrong” decisions?

I’m still figuring that out. Hopefully further down the track I’ll be able to answer some of my own questions with my MikesBikes experiences. And hopefully I’ll be “better” because of it.

Apologies for the chatter/stream of consciousness. Daudelin (1996) couldn’t keep me in check this week.

 

References:

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

Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36--48

Mankins, M. C. & Steele, R. (2006). Stop making plans start making decisions. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 76--84

 

3 Comments

  1. I like that I can relate to your article because my team's strategy is too broad and I also felt disconnected from the readings. It's good that you have been thinking about what your team needs to achieve, and I like that you've questioned your own thought processes and identified flaws in your thinking. In the end this is what a reflection needs to contain. You have definitely supported the Daudelin article which is a big plus. I love the title of your article and I love your optimism for the future!

    I think perhaps you could have talked more about your group dynamics and another couple of sentences about how you and your team are coping with the logistics of mikes bikes. Maybe even talk about what/how your team will change before the real competition begins. Also, what have you learnt within these first 4 weeks of the course? 

    Overall I love your reflection!! (smile) (smile)   

  2. Hi Sarah, 

    I feel your journal this week was quite confusing to read. There was a lot of questions being chucked around and also I felt it was a little off topic to the readings this week - however I know it is a personal reflective journal so it is entirely upto you on what you decide to talk about. Your brief chat about the decision making and strategy used in your team I thought was interesting and I also completely agree as we also have quite a broad strategy - however i'm sure this will be narrowed down in the following weeks as the real simulation progresses. 

    Overall, although you did start off saying you didnt really enjoy the readings this week, maybe more conscious application of the theory and critical thinking into this with regards to mikes bikes will help you in preparation for the final summative journal. 

    Overall, it was very personal and really that's what we are told to so well done! Good luck for the rest of your semester and I hope your team continues to be successful. 

  3. I really enjoyed the honesty in this journal. You expressed your thoughts in a very up front manner and it made it easy for me to see where you were coming from. This was enjoyable to read and offered an interesting perspective. You definitely asked a lot of questions in here that you weren’t really ready to answer, which you said. I was actually going to give the critique that maybe next time you should try and reduce the number of questions and try to come up with some answers instead, but by the end you had addressed your own mistake and explained yourself. I think that is all you need. This journal kept me interested and I will be waiting to see how you come up with some answers to these questions in the coming weeks. For now, I would like to set my critique aside and see where you go with the way you are writing. Keep up the good work!