Finally came to the last learning journal, we stepped on another stair and got closer to the end. Now, I am not sure if the stairs we are walking are upward or downward. To be honest, I wish the week before was the last week. Why? We were one step close to heaven and we are now one step close to hell.
On Thursday after we have made our final decision, I was so looking forward to the result because I was expecting the SHV to go back up again (maybe possibly surpass the top company since we were always the second one…). At 5pm, my teammate posted on Facebook “Brace yourself”. I knew the result was going to be bad but I didn’t expect it to be that… worst. (I am sorry for the one who need to provide me feedback this week, because my journal is quite negative)
Let’s get back to our topic, first of all, what we have done wrong!? I have been thinking about this and studying our reports since 5pm yesterday. But the confusion in my head is just non-stop expending. We are still standing strongly on the top of revenue which means that we are still taking up most of the market demand. As a marketing manager in my team, I think I did okay in terms of keeping the awareness and PR relation on the certain level, given that I didn’t have much budget. So which part have we done wrong?! Obviously our costs are way higher than our revenues. Christensen (2010) mentioned “If a company’s resource allocation process is not managed masterfully, what emerges from it can be very different from what management intended.” What did he mean by “managing masterfully”? We have been experienced 8 weeks of rollovers; does it give us masterful management skill? I think the problem was not about how well we allocate our resources but how flexible we can deal with the contingence situations. We knew we were running out of cash in week 7. We didn’t take it as a serious issue but we allocated the little amount of cash onto different departments. I thought we did well since the SHV two weeks ago was reasonably satisfactory. However, I changed my mind because we didn’t take further step to ensure the future operations run smoothly and grow. I thought we used double-loop learning but in fact we only did single-loop. In addition, as I said last week, many firms started taking over other firms. We tried to take over one company last week but we failed. I wish we could have done the takeover two weeks ago when we had chance. I am going to expend this idea with the five phases of growth (Greiner, 1972)
As I said in week 7, our team started using a new strategy which required us to cooperate closer and tighter. Our business then grew smoothly and steadily. I think we achieved the “growth through coordination” stage according to Greiner (1972). This is because we formalized planning procedures from week 7, capital expenditures were carefully weighed and parceled out across our team, stock options and companywide profit sharing (SHV) are used to encourage identity with the firm as a whole and other achievements based on Greiner’s guideline. After reading the five phases of growth by Greiner (1972), I actually felt happy reviewing how we grew from stage one "creativity" to stage 4 "coordination". However, we didn’t take a further step on revolution afterwards – i.e. “Crisis of RED TAPE”. Although the example from the reading doesn’t apply to our team, I think externally expend our company could be another way to get to stage 5 – Growth through collaboration. This is what I said by taking over the other company. However, indeed, we didn’t take the opportunity.
I really haven’t figured out how we can improve and get rid of this valley. Please give me some time and you will see us striking back next week!! We never give up because “The powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money (SHV for us here); it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements.” (Christensen, 2010)
Greiner, L. E. (1972). Evolution and revolution as organizations grow. Harvard Business Review, 50(4), 37--46.
Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46-51.