All entries for March 2014
March 21, 2014
After 2 days of module, our tutor expected us to learn every tool, their applicability, and choose the suitable tools for Wave riders case study. When I saw first the case, I thought that it is not going to be very challenging; however, after I read all of the scenario and its possibilities, it gets complicated.
We as team C decided to distribute the each tool on the module notes to every member of our team, before we jumped to deal with the case, because we aimed to spend time effectively. In the forthcoming days, we discussed interactively these robust decision tools, and compared their usefulness. We eliminated some of the tools such as expert systems, because we thought some of them were not suitable for Wave Riders. The presentation is supposed to answer basically two questions: which location we have to choose and which marketing strategy we should deploy.
Even though the case looked complicated due to different possibilities, to make sense of it, we decided to use the decision tree, which analyses different options and their possibilities. There was a small conflict about converting all of the case to decision tree, because decision tree in some cases limited us, such as buying factory and equipment in advance for developing the prototype. After agreeing in the team, I prepared a detailed discount cash flow analysis to overcome this confusion. For the quantitative analysis, we reinforced our decision tree with this analysis which investigates every possible cases’ net present values. From the financial perspective, Lymington is the best choice for all of the scenarios, because it has a,lower investment risk, and higher expected estimated net present values (probabilities are taken in consideration).
From the qualitative perspective, SWOT alone is a great tool for understanding situation. To decide to continue this project or not, so we used it, showing us the investment’s strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. After that, we defined our significant criteria for location, such as geography, and warehousing, and prepared a weighted matrix. Weighted matrix helped us to compare each location in terms of each defined criteria, and Lymington got the highest point from the qualitative perspective, so we chose Lymington too.
Before we jumped into marketing tools, we prepared an agenda for marketing. According to our plan, we had to determine the target customer profile, and then find the appropriate marketing tools to achieve this customer group, and finally utilize the marketing budget efficiently. To determine which marketing tool(s) should be used, we exploited from the one of the robust decision making tools called SMART. After we chose our tools with respect to the results from SMART, we had to decide that how much we are going to spend. By researching the every tool’s possible annual cost, and I believe that we utilize efficiently the marketing budget.
March 18, 2014
As I mentioned briefly on my previous blog entry, situational leadership is one of common leadership theories in literature. Basically, depending on followers’ readiness level in terms of psychological and knowledge-based, a leader is able to put forth different leading style.
This figure provides what actually situational leadership looks like. Let’s assume that one of our subordinates is not capable of doing a task alone, because of the lack of competence and confidence. So his readiness level can be seen as D1, so the appropriate style of leadership would be “Directing” (Telling what to do, how to do), which is very task-oriented and less relation-based, because he/she firstly needs to learn how to cope with. On the other hand, let’s assume that even though one of our other subordinates is capable enough to deal with the case alone, he/she does not have sufficient confidence level, so the readiness level of this person is D3. He/she only needs some supporting, and the leader should encourage shifting these peoples’ readiness level one more step forward which is D4.
The methodology of Situational Leadership can be seen as deploying the right way of leadership to the right type of the followers. To sum up, the leadership style is not totally fixed in the situational leadership model; however, it is flexible enough to adapt to different styles over time depending on the self-development of people.
March 17, 2014
Although I had believed that there are some leadership skills or examples in my mind before I took this module, actually I can say that I learned lots of things about leadership itself, leadership ways, and its theories too, because I had a chance to see the each leadership skills with the in-class examples (simulations). Also I was one of the leaders of mini-project and felt that I am responsible for both establish the team harmony and complete all of our duties, so this module gave me enough time to show my leadership capabilities.
What I learned especially about leadership theories is that situational leadership is really important, a leader who is able to alter his/her styles for different situations and find the right leadership trait for a particular case, sounds an important trait to have. I read lots of articles and case studies about this theory, and decided to use on my PMA too. There are 4 levels in the Situational Leadership, a leader can be very task-oriented and can be less relationship-oriented, or can be both very task-oriented or very relationship-oriented, or can be less task-oriented but can be very relation-oriented, or lastly can be less task and relation-oriented.
Actually there is no perfect leadership style, so our leadership style depends on the situations which we deal with. For instance, in one of the in-class games, building the tallest or most creative structure, there are time constraints of completing the job, although autocratic way sometimes sounds so undemocratic or very low motivated way of leadership, we all have seen that autocratic way of leadership was best suited for that case.
March 12, 2014
We unconsciously make hundreds of decisions every day either by ourselves or as a group, because it is our duty to cope with. I believe that making decisions by self is one of the differences between being mature and being a person who deals hard time with making decisions, so it can be seen as an indicator of self-development. Surely, sometimes the decisions that we’ve made might not right, although we aim to choose optimum ones. Actually, it is inevitable, because human is not a perfect creature; however, it does not mean that we cannot reduce the vulnerability of decisions.
In this module, we, as future leaders, have learned some tools and approaches to make right decisions. I think that it is too optimistic to say that now we are always going to make right decisions in every environment (at work, at home, etc.) until now; however, no doubt that these tools and methods will contribute a lot during deciding phase. For instance, “Tree Analysis” not only is one of the tools which helps making reasonable decisions, but also compares every option’s outcomes, such as cost and time, one by one by converting them to branches of trees. After visualization, the person or team who is/are going to make decision is able to choose the best option among others. To sum up, the tools like tree-analysis will simplify the complex situations and convert them to more understandable level than usual, so basically despite making any decisions for us they only show us a perspective of view from which we need to look.
In these two days, although some topics were duplicated, it gave me different point of view to evaluate the alternatives of decisions. Lastly, I want to talk about groupthink. Although being a group has beneficial points, there are some obstacles that reduce efficiency of making decisions in groupthink which are illusion of invulnerability, belief in group morality, rationalization, shared stereotypes, self-censorship, direct pressure, mind guards, and lastly illusion of unanimity. We need to avoid coming across these situations which I mentioned above in order to convert team effort to team success in the long-term, because these eight symptoms affect badly making decisions, and may lead running into bad outcomes afterwards.