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This week was a massive challenge, filled with major decisions, intense  discussions and a lot of stress. As a firm, we have been doing really well but we continue to fear that this will come to a sudden end and we need to focus on finding ways to develop the company into being a long-term winner. With takeover enabled, our focus shifted to whether or not we would takeover one of the insolvent companies in our world and how this would ultimately affect our leader-board position.

Taking over an insolvent company is immensely risky and without in-depth knowledge about the team, we could only speculate as to why their performance was not looking too good. After a meeting with the team on Wednesday, we kept gravitating to the takeover idea, knowing they were a cheap acquisition and feeling as if we would be able to successfully turn insolvency into profitability. In terms of the reading, it can be likened to the fact that we have learnt a vast amount from the past few roll-overs which has allowed for us to better predict the way that our actions and the environment would combine to influence the outcomes (Davies and Easterby-Smith, 1984). In terms of development, our ‘job move’ would involve managing a new group of people and ultimately changing the way in which they function (Davies and Easterby-Smith, 1984). This desire to develop and succeed became very enticing especially considering the growth in technical skills of our own management team and learning how to best approach the decisions in Mikesbikes. We also have relatively high levels of  human skill in the way that we work extremely well together, are comfortable to voice our concerns but never face extreme conflict, as well as the conceptual skill in how our departments work together to successfully co-ordinate and operate according to a defined strategy and an understanding of the interdependent relationships operating (Katz, 1955).

Though we may have the skills to successfully operate our own company, we have not had any opportunity to learn how to successfully run another company. There are group dynamics to consider as well as the extra time that would need to be invested into turning a company around.  As pointed out by Katz (1955), you can develop the required skills for a high performing executive team, yet conceptual skills remain to be most important. We began to question the extent to which we could develop these skills in a very short space of time, in order to receive a worthwhile return on our investment. Davies and Easterby-Smith (1984) highlighted the way in which development tends to occur over longer periods of time and as such we decided not to proceed with the take-over as we were concerned that the financial implications would be too large.

Ironically, it was the focus on the financial implications of the takeover that ultimately led to a massive negative financial implication for our firm this rollover. I’ve learnt that letting our focus shift from our own company to another company was highly detrimental and a definite failure to use our conceptual skills we have worked so hard to develop (Katz, 1955). In saying that, once again we have learnt an enormous amount about ourselves and the simulation. We will never again become complacent in thinking that it will all work out, but we will rather focus our next stage of development on re-assessment, re-defining and re-focusing of our strategy and our decisions. We have all the skills that are required, yet this does not mean we do not still have a lot to learn. I am extremely proud of my team for working so well together and despite our CFO being absent so close to the roll-over, the rest of the executive team were able to justify each risky decision, which is bound to pay off in the future.  At the end of the day, we are one team with different ideas and contributions and this is a clear reminder that everyone has the available skills to succeed.  Development can occur in a number of ways, but the most important thing is that individuals are given the opportunity (Davies and Easterby-Smith, 1984). The absence of members, actually gave others in the executive team a chance to learn and develop skills in a different role and this extra knowledge will be a benefit going forward. Once again, there is always a lesson learnt, an opportunity gained and a lot to reflect on.

References

Davies, J., & Easterby-Smith, M. (1984). Learning and developing from managerial work experiences. Journal of Management Studies, 21(2), 169--182. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.1984.tb00230.x

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

2 Comments

  1. It’s good to read that your group is working as a real team with each member offering different perspectives on their roles and are able to develop within these assigned roles. It appears for the outside that you are leading the team while allowing them to develop. However your decisions are somewhat predetermined as you have already shared the assumptions which may lead to groupthink. Your writing this week does show some evidence that you are analysing the problems you face and then finding suitable solutions. In deciding whether or not to take over another firm you have gone through a process of self evaluation and whatever the outcome you will all be better off for doing the exercise. Whether you have made the ‘right’ decision cannot be predetermined. You will only find out by doing.

  2. Hi Shannon,

    I enjoyed your journal as it made me reflect further on weighing up risk and the devlopemnt gained by taking risks. It would of been great to hear your perspective on how although this risk didnt quite payoff, you did however get to learn. Do you think you would take similar risks to benefit the devlopemnt of your team? I think this is an interesting dillema that most teams will face. Overall you have thought in depth about your learning this week and have used good examples to back it up.