The present case assessment furnishes an objective analysis of FireArt’s team concept. It provides a critique of the organization’s failed try at establishing an interdepartmental team to address the problem of falling revenue share. This is not an evaluation of the firm’s business practices, but the different sections in the report give an intuitive assessment of some of the existing managerial deficiencies which might be impeding their ability to attain the goals. An attempt has been made to understand that why a team, that has the best minds from every department of FireArt Inc., is not able to perform and deliver what it is expected to. The first problem identified was that Randy was not interested in teamwork given his penchant for individual working and he continuously sabotaged the team meetings (Wetlaufer, 2017). Besides, Randy’s sabotaging attitude, the team also suffers other problems which include: lack of effective leadership by Eric, the absence of mutual commitment and group norms, non-involvement of the CEO and status issues etc.
The first section highlights that Randy’s overpowering nature distracted Eric from acting like an effective leader. The second section argues that in absence of mutual commitment, no member is recognizing the actual problem. Finally, in the final section, it is stressed that due to a superiority complex in Randy he looked down upon teamwork. It can be said that no one on the team knew how and what to contribute for the company’s turnaround because they were unclear of their roles and responsibilities.
Problem 1 And Solution
The ineffective leadership of Eric – Eric has not proved to be a sound team leader. He has been having difficulty adjusting himself to the new role. His frustration is taking his focus away from the main agenda. He was working with a prepared script rather than acknowledging the abilities of his team members and focusing on them. His style of leadership resembles laissez-faire and as a result, there is lack of role awareness among the team members (Romager et al., 2017). A lot of avoidance and passivity can be seen in his style of leading. Eric has done nothing to motivate the team members. He did not step in to solve the conflicts as they occurred, instead, he allowed them to build. Randy took advantage of this weak leadership of Eric and inserted himself as the informal leader who through his disruptive charismatic leadership style spent most of the time devaluing the efforts and opinions of others (Nahavandi, 2016).
Eric ought to become a transformational leader. He ought to reflect on the team dynamics and group performance models and determine ways to lead his team back on the right track. He must definitely realize the significance of Randy, but not by overestimating his capabilities and potential but by assessing his ideas objectively. Eric should plan the leadership role with Randy and have a separate meeting with to establish their position and roles on the team, thereby encouraging Randy to share his vital insights, and asking him that how he (Eric) can help him to satisfy his personal objectives whilst turning around the company (Aldag and Kuzuhara, 2015).
Problem 2 And Solution
Lack of common commitment and group norms – None of the team members are used to working as a team. Each member of the team is seeking the approval of others rather than concentrating on effectively devising a solution. There is a lack of purpose in the team due to which there is no commitment among the people. The departmental heads are unsure about how and what to contribute because they do not know what roles they are playing and how to share responsibilities. Moreover, Eric has not established any strong group norms either formally or informally. He has only outlined how the meetings should happen, no roles and responsibilities are defined (Warrick, 2016). This was resulting in disruptive behaviours and hurting the team’s performance.
Eric must firstly outline a clear agenda for the formation of the team and based on Belbin’s team roles divide responsibilities among the people. This way he will be able to extract the best out of each member and every individual will have a clear vision ahead of him regarding what is expected out of them. He must meet with every member separately and ask their views on the team issues, norms and behaviours, and the importance of team performance to save the company (Ruch et al., 2016). He must get everyone’s consent on holding a meeting to especially discuss how the team can perform better, and to set group norms and agree on how to re-start.
Problem 3 And Solution
Status Issues - Randy was proving to be a difficult member of the team, given his past experience and the pride that the company cannot do without him. He has an alleged higher status in the team, both by virtue of his position and his previous successes. The CEO of the company Jack also holds Randy in high regard. Randy himself is besotted by his higher status and hence acts with disregard for the emotions and opinions of others, including even the team leader. Other members of the team feel belittled by his comments (Katzenbach and Smith, 2015).
Eric should involve Jack in some of the meetings to both notices the outlandish behaviour of Randy and reinforce his own status. Through this step, only the members will have a better comprehension of goals, but they will focus less on issues and more on finding solutions. Moreover, Randy’s behaviour may also change in front of his boss (Warrick, 2016).
To summarize, it can be stated that the team at FireArt Inc. was not performing well because of many inherent problems. The main issues among them were lack of leadership displayed by the team leader Eric, absence of group norms and commitment, lack of involvement of the CEO, status issues and poor team dynamics. On recognizing the problems, it was identified that they can be resolved by some change of perspective, different leadership style, and involvement by the CEO who will reinforce Eric’s authority in the team.
I have gained considerable insights from analyzing this case study. The main areas where I developed my knowledge include teamwork, leadership style, group dynamics and importance of setting team purpose. I understood that in absence of a strong leader, a team, irrespective of how qualified and knowledgeable its members are, is likely to falter. A leader is someone who binds everyone together and encourages them to work toward the common objective. It was also comprehended that establishing group norms and dividing roles based on the personalities and qualifications of team members is so important. In absence of strict norms and clearly defined roles and responsibilities, a team is more like an unmanaged herd of cattle.
Such insights and experience will be very helpful in shaping my attitude and behaviour in my existing and future career. I will look at teamwork and team from a different perspective altogether now. While working in a team I would try to understand everyone’s opinions and will respect them. Even if I disagree I will approach it in a dignified manner. I will always keep the team’s agenda above my personal objectives and would try to help my teammates go on the same path too. I will abide by the group norms and will try to avoid getting in conflicting situations as much as possible.
Later in my career when I get an opportunity to lead a team, I will use situational leadership style. This means that I will not follow one style in all situations. Based on the demands and requirements of the problem, I will change accordingly. However, I will always keep my people motivated and encouraged by recognizing and appreciating a good performance. I would first try to understand how every person in the team is and then divide the roles and responsibilities. Moreover, I will give everyone a chance to be heard and set clear norms for group behaviour.
Aldag, R. and Kuzuhara, L., 2015. Creating high-performance teams: Applied strategies and tools for managers and team members. Routledge.
Katzenbach, J.R. and Smith, D.K., 2015. The wisdom of teams: Creating the high-performance organization. Harvard Business Review Press.
Nahavandi, A., 2016. The Art and Science of Leadership -Global Edition. Pearson.
Romager, J., Hughes, K., Trimble, J., Verburg, M., Camp, J. and Jones, M., 2017. Influences of Authentic Leadership Styles and Challenges to Enduring Pervasive Leadership Models.
Ruch, W., Gander, F., Platt, T. and Hofmann, J., 2016. Team roles: Their relationships to character strengths and job satisfaction. The Journal of Positive Psychology, pp.1-10.
Warrick, D.D., 2016. What leaders can learn about teamwork and develop high-performance teams from organization development practitioners. Performance Improvement, 55(3), pp.13-21.
Wetlaufer, S., 2017. The Team That Wasn’t. Harvard Business Review.