First things first I'm the realest... Kidding, first things first if this reflection is puzzling for my reviewers I apologise in advance. I think I am still in a dysfunctional mind state from our rollover outcome yesterday. I think that doing this reflection this week will help me review over my week and look at what actually went wrong. By engaging in double loop learning which is when the underlying assumptions and premises that support our stated goals are examined I can look at what exactly caused our shareholder value to drop by such a significant amount (Synnott, 2013).
Following Daudelin's reflection writing process, my problem being examined this week is the confusion surrounding what decisions we made which were wrong. We decided to pay off debt, increase certain aspects of each bicycle by a large amount and increase our dividends which we thought would increase our shareholder value but clearly not. The first meeting our team had this week was not as productive as we had imagined as coming back from the mid-semester break meant that we had a lot to cover and did not really know where to start. This could mean that maybe we rushed our decisions yesterday before rolling over and did not think things through as much as we should have?
If I were to analyse the problem further, the thinking process behind our team's decisions this week would be reflected upon. We thought that by increasing certain aspects of our bikes by a large amount we would gain a competitive advantage over the other teams and also make up for the sales we had lost previously. One thing that we could have done differently is taking more time out of our meeting to calculate how much money we would have leftover including our overdraft instead of assuming we would have plenty of money left over after our big decisions. But then again, I could be wrong to assume that this is the reason why our shareholder value dropped. The other reason could be that we focused on increasing numbers which did not need to be touched. As you can probably tell already, my mind is in a disorganised state of double loop engagement. But I would rather be in this mind state than to become defensive about my learning and solely look at single loop learning. Chris Argyris believes that defensive reasoning can block learning no matter how high the individual's commitment is which I agree with strongly (Argyris, 1991). For example, If our team was to reflect upon the drop of our shareholder value and if each person was to put the blame on others rather then looking at what part they played in what went wrong then this would block their individual progress and we would not reach a solution.
But one characteristic that our team has is that everyone accepts they have played a part when something goes wrong and then each person communicates their point of view at the next meeting. Which I believe also differentiates our team from most of the others. Through communicative learning a person constructs an understanding of a situation with others, which becomes especially relevant in the context of wicked problems where there is no clear knowledge, or perhaps there is conflicting knowledge, available about the situation or the best solution (Synnott, 2013). So although we have a big bridge to build in terms of climbing back up the shareholder value, I feel as though our team's communication process and double loop learning engagement will get us through it. Solutions I have thought about are to firstly try and talk to my team about structuring our next meeting so that each person can discuss their view point on the problem I have analysed and what they think is the reasoning behind their behaviour and secondly to go through the reports relevant to my role within my team and reflect upon what went wrong in the segments I have control over then think of ways to work around the problematic figures.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4–15
Synnott, M. (2013). Reflection and double loop learning: The case of HS2. Teaching Public Administration, 31(1), 124--134. doi:10.1177/0144739413479950