I managed to take only a brief look at the readings this week. My first impression is that they seem to reinforce the value of acquiring useful, applicable and practical knowledge and skill versus just abstract knowledge and skills or abilities which don't connect meaningfully with practice. Davies's (1984) article seemed to explore this concept through the lens of managers needing to learn and advance in acquiring useful skills through effective analysis of experience. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn't, implying that the capacity for learning needs attention. Katz's on the other hand looks at what skills and abilities make great managers and which are more or less superficial. The readings bring to my mind the question as to whether my team is learning the right things? Are we developing new skills and abilities that actually matter? Have some of us become more effective in what we are doing and other have not?
Our business performance has not been great for the past two turnovers. Our sales and revenues are great, but our overheads are way too high. If we can maintain the same market share but reduce costs we should start to do well again. I think we have got into this situation largely because we have not really mastered the ins and outs of the simulation. Since doing really well and placing highly in the first practice roll overs we may have become really comfortable. I think that doing well early on actually put a hold on our learning. We must have begun to lack motivation to do better because we were really happy with our performance as it. The question was raised as a group this week about how we are feeling with our performance and whether we want to up the game or not, but there was no indication from any of us that we want to make more effort than we already are. So in terms of whether or not we are learning the right skills and abilities, I think we could do much better in this regard.
In terms of whether there is a difference in performance or learning capacity between team members, there is definitely one team member who in my opinion puts in more effort and contributes with greater dynamism than the rest of us. She is eager to study and learn each week and often comes with new ideas and offers greater depth of understanding to the rest of us.
One thing I think wee should be doing as a group is to share our own reflections each week. Surely if we did that we would be able to become aware of room for improvement, develop greater unity of vision and purpose and attain higher degrees of dynamism. I'll pose this question next week and see what the response is.
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.