Team 6 case 2 essay

Team 6: Min Zhu, Sushmitha Kala, Minh Nguyen, Nicolas Seto, Devin Cheong MGT-490A Leading Teams | Case #2 Blake Sports Apparel As Barker's Blake Sports Apparel and Switch Activewear is scaling from a small, local company to a multifunction company within the sports apparel industry, the complexity of organization increases dramatically. Although Barker has the right people for the success of the organization, there are two key details that need to be focused on as the company is growing: individuals that are competent but unwilling to collaborate with others, and Barker's lack of cross-functional leadership. Firstly, even though each executive has tremendous experience in their own field, which has greatly contributed to the rapid growth of the company, there are many conflicts and resentments within the team caused by arrogant individuals and their unwillingness to collaborate. The most notable example is the Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Cook. Barker believes that "although Cook is a technically competent CFO, his peers reportedly find him to be difficult and manipulative" (Groysberg 8). This power dynamic bleeds into the other functions in the team, preventing the organization from acting as a collaborative group. Additionally, Cook's unlikability damages the cohesion and flow of the company. Regardless of whether Cook could benefit the company with his insightfulness, "nobody will not want to work with him because he is strongly disliked " (Casciaro and Lobo 94). Thus, skilled but difficult to work with individuals like Cook are valuable to the company only if they can be integrated into a collaborative work environment. Secondly, the lack of collaboration in the executive team is largely due to Barker's leadership style: he is a passionate entrepreneur, but not a coach who can facilitate team collaboration. Barker founded Switch Activewear last year with good intention to expand market share and explore business opportunities in smaller brands and customization services, while Blake Sports Activewear's uncollaborative and micromanagement culture was disorganized,
Team 6: Min Zhu, Sushmitha Kala, Minh Nguyen, Nicolas Seto, Devin Cheong MGT-490A Leading Teams | Case #2 Blake Sports Apparel leading to only single digit growth rate of the company. He fails to understand that Blake Sports Activewear needs structural improvements (in its internal communications). To top it off, he does not prioritize projects effectively. He continues to pursue his entrepreneurial side projects, which "adds to the chaos because they're not aligned with the global strategy of the Howell business" (Groysberg 9). His personality also ties back to his lack of awareness of the Blake Sports Activewear situation which needs to be addressed immediately. He identified himself to be an introvert who doesn't like to be socially engaged with his colleagues. His disconnection and aversion of daily operational details makes him very out of reach for his team members to discuss problems the company is facing. He "does not hold people accountable" (Groysberg 9) and that leads to unhealthy competition among his team members. The leadership style needs to be adjusted from the top-down, starting with Barker and his executive team, to bring out the full potential of the whole organization. Barker could have structured and managed the teams more efficiently. He is a hands-off leader who does not want to concern himself with the "weeds" and is disconnected from the daily issues of the teams and overall well-being of the company. He is not much of a leader or coach to his team, and he avoids engaging with them socially. Completely avoiding social interaction with them prevents Barker from bonding with his team on a personal level and negatively affects their desire to achieve a common goal. Barker's vision for the company as a CEO and the goals that the teams are working towards are disjointed. The teams seem to be working in silos without much coordination which can be seen by each department having its "own reporting metrics that does not take into consideration the overall goal of the company" (Groysberg 3). The Sales and Operations teams are doing great individually, but together, their lack of coordination is hindering overall firm
Team 6: Min Zhu, Sushmitha Kala, Minh Nguyen, Nicolas Seto, Devin Cheong MGT-490A Leading Teams | Case #2 Blake Sports Apparel performance. The structure of the firm is horizontal with executives in charge of each function and department, lacking middle managers. Executives are constantly micromanaging which has a "negative impact on productivity and growth of people in the firm" (Groysberg 8). Barker's approach to leadership, which lacks a strong commandeering or guiding principle, exacerbates the poor collaboration and communication among the teams. This situation can be improved by introducing middle managers who would handle the daily tasks of the teams, giving the executives more time to focus on strategy. Barker should also hire a General Manager (GM), who would act as a cross functional leader and coordinate across teams. The GM would help bridge communication gaps between departments and act as a liaison between executives and the CEO. This also allows Barker to assist the executives with strategy decisions and keep them on track with the company's long-term goals of growth. As a result, restructuring with middle management and hiring a GM would improve communication issues between functions. Barker would also have more time to dedicate towards his entrepreneurial ventures, including Switch Activewear. A GM would help with cross functional collaboration and can improve the "information-sharing processes that Barker put in place for the protection of proprietary information" (Groysberg 6). Barker's process led to inefficiencies due to different teams having incomplete and different information at the discretion of the executives. A GM would help mediate across teams and make sure that everyone has access to the information necessary for their role, without compromising on the confidentiality of the information. Doing so would establish a "supportive environment" (Haas and Mortenson 73) which is needed for the individual teams to work cohesively. Another positive side effect, assuming middle management does not micromanage in the midst of these changes, is that individual contributors will grow
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