Getting back into MikeBikes thinking was a bit like running through mud, it was a tough journey back into embracing our individual roles and ways of doing things. Meeting during the break wasn’t viable for most of us and our long period of MikesBikes abstinence left us a bit behind. As I cautiously reemphasised my favourite idea of Pursuing a Very Worthwhile Strategy I realised that I just wasn’t feeling like the team was interested or convinced at all. I wasn’t even sure if I was convinced when it came down to it.
Explanations for the collective lack of conviction were many. Although I generally wondered if the strategy was actually okay, but the lack of feedback struck me as the main problem. The paradox of roles may be playing some part where my team members are being cautious in telling me their real thoughts even though this situation is not a formal feedback situation (Peiperl, 2001).This could mean that despite being able to say something constructive they are too cautious of the consequences of doing so. Our strategy has been a bit slow to ease in to and the game situation has given little feedback causing the internal whisper: I am doing the right thing with pushing this strategy and might be making my team uneasy at my apparently unfounded decisions? I wonder if a lack of learning from my continued average response about the strategy from my team members- should I be reflecting on myself more closely as Daudelin (1996) says? Am I simply readjusting myself on the same path, some form of single loop learning that could be a much worse implementation of the strategy than what someone else could suggest (Argyris, 1991)?
If this happens each week I’m sure that I’ll begin to feel more complacent about the whole decision making process and encourage the team to make separate decisions which really lack the juicy team-work element of shared goals (team work). This will likely produce mediocre results and keep everyone on strained terms. Eventually I might entirely drop all pretenses of a strategy to avoid conflict and throw the idea to the wind if it gets really bad. So what options should I consider? I am convinced at this point that I should stay strongly devoted to the strategy so my team members and industry competitors can see that we are really serious about our plan of action. This should introduce some sort of better camaraderie amongst our team members. Also if we wholeheartedly focus, we can avoid getting stuck in the middle as Porter so aptly puts it and hopefully emerge with big results on top of a pile of our competitor’s broken bicycles (and dreams). There is also the option to let it slide but this one doesn’t have much conviction in it. Hopefully we’ll all be ignited and aligned in mending our broken strategy by next week.
My plan of action will be to arrange my attitude into a leader of great conviction and to really push the implications and things to be aware of in our chosen strategy. I want my team to succeed and believe in me so I hope that these first steps will help us come together and fight for the greater good.
On ya bikes, kids, we’re going to take this industry by storm ;)
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4--15
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36—48
Peiperl, M. A. (2001). Getting 360° feedback right. Harvard Business Review, 79(1), 142—147