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A week in this simulation is never a dull week. Once again, my belief that ‘everything will become straighter forward’ gets disproved.  To start this journal, we must begin at the journal reviews. With the surprise of I am sure a great many of people in the class, our own team was reviewing our journals. As of the last role over we were in position stagnation, merely being left behind by our competitors which left the team overall reflecting and critically evaluating both our strategy and the team structure. The key problem appears; an overall feeling of confusion, anxiety and despondence towards our efforts as a team and towards the simulation. These feelings although would not be conceded by everyone, which could be for the reason that they had not recognised other team members emotions and positions within the team however right from the start a group meeting that brought up a lot of these fundamental problems that had been weighing heavily on our team members minds had to be addressed. It is where great relevance to one of this week’s readings by Katz (1955) becomes apparent.

 Katz (1955) identifies three key skills: the technical skill, the conceptual skill, and the human skill; for which an administrator/ manager must be comprehensive in to be a competent manager. By applying this reading to our team this week, what can be seen is a competence in many of the team members firstly in the human skill: being able to recognise the perceptions of other individuals in a situation and using this knowledge to overcome negative influences. The next stage for us as a team was to eliminate the confusion and conflicting ideas in regards to the changing and fluid positions in the team as well as asserting responsibility for targets and goals onto each other as a team rather than on individual people, both onto ourselves and onto other people.  Once we had a constructive conflict over these issues, members were able to reaffirm their perceived positions, whilst others found that their positions they were in, and how they had been trying to implement themselves into the team were redundant to how the rest of the team had observed them. This was especially true for myself where as a CFO, there is little for me to do, and had found myself drifting towards a more strategically influencing CEO position. The CEO also was having conflicting roles, as her focus was more on competitors’ actions and hindsight on our previous actions. What resulted was me and the CEO having an intense talk about our own positions in the team, how we interact with each other and develop our roles to both support each other. What was created was the development of a dual leadership position, where we are able to exploit each other’s skill sets to pursue the team forward. It is through the use of the conceptual skill and understanding the context and impact our actions would have that have enabled for us to push through the problems of being laggards in our market, where we didn’t just respond to our competitors actions to hang on for another week, but developed strategies that pushed through and bent the market and our competitors to our actions. It was the implementation of the human skill to utilise our management practices to engage our team members, create targets and push them to utilise their potentials to both communicate ideas and expose their vast technical knowledge. What can be observed from the actionable outcomes is a strong comeback for our company, with shareholder value doubling, entrenching of our market positions, elevation of our production capabilities and a strong impact on entrenching market leaders with other competitors losing profits and shareholder value from our gains.

To make sense to the title of this journal, I must lastly critically analyse Katz (1955) in how he identifies that the higher the position in an organisation, the less required technical and human skill become. Katz suggests that there becomes a point where the conceptual skill overcomes a lack of technological and human skill which sees me first observing this trend in organisations today, which have CEO’s so disconnected with operations and their own employees, but having a collation of all these skills is what is necessary to develop strategies and policies that really positively impact the organisation, not delegating these other skills to managers. This is obviously observed in the flattening of organisations where CEO’s, managers and employees are much greatly intertwined so it is to say that now more than ever that having high levels of all of Katz’s skills is necessary to becoming leader in today’s organisations.

References

Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Ryan

    Reading through your journal it was very apparent that you have a sound understanding of last week's reading. Your journal clearly followed the Daudelin structure of reflection, which I was pleasantly surprised to see you even had results for. In terms of Bloom's taxonomy you clearly reached the evaluation stage by evaluating which of the three skills you needed to work on in order to solve your problem. I also liked that you critiqued the Katz reading. This was definitely one of the best journals I've had to provide feedback on. Congratulations

    Finally, I found it interesting that you decided to settle on a dual leadership position with your CEO as that is something that my team has sort of done unofficially. By the sounds of it our firm has been a little more successful than yours though so it has not been a source of conflict at all. I also think that this is also down to our team dynamics. In our team, anyone can push a strategic decision if they can back it up. That said, I do see how it is easier for people in our position to push harder than someone in HR or R&D.

  2. Hi Ryan,

    Your knowledge on the weeks reading is clearly evident and the way in which you applied it to your experiences in mikes bikes shows that you have understood the theory and in proof of this you have applied it well in reference to your team. Your attempt at experimenting your groups decision making problems shows that you are engaged in the interrelated higher levels of Blooms taxonomy as well as  Kolbs learning cycle. The results of this experimentation of your hypothesis speaks volumes and your active engagement in recent and previous readings espouse the result orientated perspective rather than the method orientated perspective for dealing with issues as well as employing the theory in the double loop reading from last week also. The only caution I would state to be wary of is as a fellow CFO there is plenty of work to be done in managing your groups cash flow as confidence grows. A great journal and all the best.