The Team That Wasn't

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Case Analysis for "The Team That Wasn't"

Fire Art is a family owned business in the glass making industry based out of Indiana. The company has an 80 year history of producing high quality and high priced glass merchandise. About 18 month ago, sales and earnings bottomed out which drove the need to implement a strategic realignment plan to have the business running and winning within six months. The problem in this case is building a collaborative team with various backgrounds and skills to create a strategic realignment plan in the glass industry to take on the competition, build brand loyalty, increase sales and maximize earnings. Assumptions

The assumptions in the case are the employees lack of knowledge of the family business being in trouble due to flat earnings and sales, participation in a team environment now needed versus contributing individually, the Directors of each division needs help with learning how to collaboratively operate and co-exist together to achieve company objectives, the company is not technologically savvy with the necessary tools to compete, and the company is not known nationally or global in their industry.

Some of the key issues in the case are Team Dynamics, Team Development, Leadership Styles, Managerial Decisions, and Industry Competition which are discussed in further detailed as follows. Team Dynamics

Team Dynamics plays a key role when forming a team because it is important to ensure the team is cohesive with positive energy. The team would need to reflect not only individual ideas but be mutual and complementary as they reach the goals set for the team. Team base activities are becoming standard in today's business environments. Having a team establishes a way for businesses to collaboratively reach their objectives and hold each other accountable for the tasks at hand. "Teamwork is everywhere. More than ever before organizations are recognizing the types of situations for which group work can provide a key competitive advantage" (Miller, 2003 p 121). Eric, the Director of Strategy had experience working in a team environment in his previous job function, however he lacked the experience needed for team development not utilized in a family business. Team Development

Various reasons, such as different objectives, priorities, personalities, perceptions, methods and styles get in the way of having effective members on a team (Adkins, 2004). Teams are very conventional in new management thinking and have become a main stay in many businesses for collaboration of ideas, goals, and strategies. However, when having a team, there may be members who are not accustomed to a team environment and cause division within the team as they try to reach their objectives. To maintain team performance, it is increasingly important to ensure each individual on the team have high emotional intelligence. "The premise for linking emotional intelligence to team performance is that high emotional intelligence enables team members to manage and be aware of their own emotions and the emotions of other team members" (Jordan & Troth, 2004). Emotional awareness and emotional management are essential attributes for team performance because they cultivate effective relationships with fellow workers to enhance team dynamics. Leadership Style

Leadership skills are integral to team dynamics and development in order for the team to perform proficiently. Leadership encompass many styles and variations based upon several factors that make up the individual leader. Forbes magazine highlights four key styles of leadership, which are Visionary, Empathetic, Humble Servitude, and Moral or Ethical (Karlgaard, 2009). These key leadership traits work together when running a major business like Fire Art. Jack, the CEO, ran the company based on his family values and lacked the vision needed to forecast changes in the glass industry. "To know and understand yourself is fundamental to knowing and...
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