Chattanooga Ice Cream

Topics: Leadership, Management, Harvard Business School Pages: 5 (1477 words) Published: December 4, 2013


New Direction for Chattanooga Ice Cream
Clint A. Stockton
Jack Welch Management Institute
Dr. Denis Tocci
JWMI 510
11/16/2013

Chattanooga Ice Cream Case

The Chattanooga Ice Cream case shows a decline in sales for 5 consecutive years. The Division is headed by Charles Moore. Although Charles Moore was successful in leading teams he seemed to have major issues with this team of vice presidents. According to the Harvard Business Review Chattanooga Ice Cream Case the team was very dysfunctional; they exhibited a lack of trust, high in conflict, disrespectful of each other and exhibited avoidance issues with accountability. Team members seemed to always lay blame to other member. Moore needs to be more assertive in dismissing the ways of the past and the loss of Stay & Shop business needs to be put aside. Moore needs to give clear direction and assign responsibilities to each team member. Moore needs to convey that team cohesiveness is a must and this will go a long way to help ensure no further loss of business. This paper will examine how Moore’s leadership approach contributed to the teams’ dysfunction, discuss what the group of employees themselves could do to better understand the perspectives of each other and their boss as well as make recommendations about Moore should do now to help his team work together and manage conflicts more effectively. 

Charlie’s Leadership Style
In assessing where Charlie Moore goes wrong, it’s important to look at his leadership style. According to the DiSC style, Charlie is a “Steady (S) Leader.” Specifically, this means Charlie operates at a methodical pace and likes leading in an orderly environment. He may readily view leading in a “fast-paced” environment as intimidating or stressful. His leadership style is collaborative in nature and he values group efforts. Charlie is a cautious leader that seldom leads by authority as he is comfortable working behind the consensus of the group as he doesn’t like making decisions alone. He is demotivated by competitive environments and changing direction abruptly. He enjoys leading in a harmonic environment with little or no confrontations or conflict. Leaders prepare the organizations for change; Charlie does not build trust nor align his people.

Lack of Leadership
As a leader Charlie needs to “prepare organizations for change and help them cope as they struggle through it” (Week 2, Lecture 2). The first evidence of Charlie’s failure as a leader is when he calls the group together to communicate the news about losing their major customer. The mood is somber as Charlie calls the group together to “mourn” (Sloane, The Chattanooga Ice Cream Division, HBR, p.1) and to figure out what needs to be done about it. As a leader he must exude a sense of “positive energy” (Jack Welch, Winning, p.84) to prepare his people to act and energize their best thinking to deal with this challenge. His style of (S) may not like change, but he needs to set a tone of optimism and decisiveness that says that they will come through this challenge successfully. First of all, Moore should master self-leadership for himself. Then encourage and model it for others on the team. Manz indicates that “Leaders facilitate employee self-set goals and reward effective self-leadership when it does occur. Overall, they create and nurture systems that allow teamwork and a holistic self-leadership culture to flourish” (Charles Manz, 2001, Leading Others to Lead Themselves, p. 221). I believe that Charlie and Charlie’s team would benefit from learning about their own leadership style by taking the Disc and TKI assessments and possibly creating smaller strategically paired teams within the group to come up with a foundation and vision for the direction in which the company should go as a whole.

Lack of Candor
Another example of where Charlie goes wrong is that he doesn’t develop an environment of trust where his...

References: Welch, J. W. (2005). Winning. New York: HarperCollins.
Johnson, Rick. (2013). Solving Team Dysfunction, Supply House Times, Vol. 55 Issue 12, p49-50. 2p. Database: Business Source Complete.
Ferrazzi, Keith. (2012), Candor, Criticism, and Teamwork, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 90, p 40.
Manz, Charles C. and Sims, Henry P. (2001). Leading Others to Lead Themselves, p. 221.
 Boule, M. "Best Practices for Working in a Virtual Team Environment. Library Technology Reports. Jan2008, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p28-31. 4p.
Welch, J (Retrieved 2013). The Team the Fields the Best Players Wins. JWMI Curriculum, 10, Week 3.
Lencioni, Patrick (2002). The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. San Fransico: Jossey-Bass.
Paul Hersey Defines Situational Leadership Terms. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies (Baker College). Spring2002, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p87-87.
Sloane, Carl S. (1997). The Chattanooga Ice Cream Division. Harvard Business Review. Harvard Business School.
Thomas, Kenneth W. and Kilman, Ralph H. (2007). Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. CPP, Inc.
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