Sample Coursework Paper on Book Discussion

In the first two years, Decision Tech was the most promising start-up company in Silicon Valley and was well-funded. This recognition was in the public eye, and it was talked of positively by outsiders.  Members of the executive and in extension the rest of the workforce were work-oriented, and this explains their shock when the new CEO suggested that they hold a retreat meeting away from the work premises for two days.

The problems faced by the organisation included:
  • Lack of cooperation among the workers
  • Hostility between the executives during meetings
  • Poor communications
  • Indecision
  • Poor performance despite having resources

The characteristics of the new CEO include being innovative, observant, courageous and understanding.

The most prominent gifts that Kathryn has are innovativeness and courage, which will help in improving communication and decision-making in the firm.

The actions that Kathryn took in the first two weeks were to walk around the premises of the firm and observe the activities taking place. She further announced to the executive team of a retreat that was to take place outside the premises of the organization.

The interaction between Kathryn and Martin was headed towards a confrontation, but she arrested it in time and still had her way. Martin wanted to use that mail as an opportunity to skip the Napa meeting, and that make him a poor team player.

The discussion between Jeff and Kathryn regarding the ASA meeting was a bit tense. The stance taken by Kathryn is right, as the offsite meeting was more beneficial compared to the sales meeting.

The broken leg analogy given by Kathryn to the chairman in explaining what she is doing to the executive team explains the discomfort that is bound to be experienced in the firm as a result of her actions, just like re-breaking of a leg before fixing it. The possible changes that she is going to make might include letting go of some of the members in the team.

Martin arrived at the meeting later than all the persons and this might have been in a bid to express his displeasure at having been dragged into this meeting by the new CEO. There is a need for the team to hold meetings at offsite locations in order to reduce monopoly associated with the office environment.

The question asked by Kathryn was why the firm was getting poor sales and customer growth despite having better resources. The answer I would give is poor coordination of the activities of the executive team. The reason why it is so hard to put management theory into practice is the different personalities that one comes across and the differing opinions in the management team.  The first dysfunction stated is Lack of Trust, and it is important in that it makes most of the team members secretive.

The relationship between trust and debate is that if there is trust within a team, then the meetings held by the team are bound to have heated debates where the members are not afraid of challenging each other.

Having a person on a phone or a computer during a presentation is very distracting, and can be considered rude towards the presenter or even the rest of the participants in the meeting. It gives the impression that one is not interested in the debate or agenda that is taking place.

It is good for a team if the people in it get to know each other at a personal level. However, too much information might not be constructive as is the case in which the colleagues in a team get to know of the limitations that others might be having such as addictions and prejudices.

Taking time out to talk about the feelings of the team is not psychobabble as Mickey put it. This is because the feeling of the team members influences their performance at the workplace and in the process the outcomes experienced by the firm. Her show of lack of trust in the other members of the management team was an impediment to progress, as it would not allow them to work well with her.

The repeated speech by Kathryn was to ensure that the team remains aware of the purpose of their retreat. It would also help in linking the activities taking place during the retreat with the objectives of the organisation.

The last dysfunction was tackled as the second one by Kathryn because of the importance it holds in the achievement of the goals of the team. It encourages the members of the team to work together and ensure that no one deviates from the assigned duties in the firm. The phrase that when the team loses, everyone loses means that the final results of  a team are used to collectively judge all the members of the team without making any distinctions. The end result such as the profit of the firm is not a good measure for a team, as it might be too late by the time it is realised that they are in the wrong direction.

Just after the group of executives has discussed teamwork, they get into a conflict where each department blames the other without wanting to take responsibility for the low sales and profits that the firm has recently faced.

The diagnosed problem with Decision Tech was that most of the executive team members were not cooperating, but each working towards the fulfilment of their goals without considering those of other departments. Politics is the anticipation of the reactions of others, and aligning ones actions and works so as to produce the desired reaction from other persons.