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. Why The Chattanooga Ice Cream Team Is Dysfunctional
The Chattanooga Ice Cream team is dysfunctional for several reasons. Some of those reasons include an absence of trust, avoidance, and not being accountable. Also, there is a lack of commitment amongst some managers. Moore is also looking for buy-in from all members for group decisions. There was no clear cut rule as to how decisions were going to be made. Simply put Charles Moore failed to incorporate clear operating rules. Week Fours Lecture – Building High Performance Teams suggests that “when managers agree on ground rules in advance, the team are much more likely to run efficiently,” this is especially true with the Chattanooga Ice Cream team. The Wisdom of Teams states that “it is important to agree what will be done when people on the team do not share compatible views.” Agreements should be made about how decisions will be made, how will results be measured and incentive should be given for a team to work together.” The Wisdom of Teams also states’ that if you want a team to gel, you need to offer team-based rewards, not just individual ones,” no of these things took place thus resulting in the dysfunction of the team. The team also failed due to poor management and lack of cohesion. This is a classic symptom of what the Chattanooga Ice Cream Division exhibits. Leading High Performance Teams suggests that during the norming and performing stage, leaders shift focus away from tasks and towards relationships, they take time to develop members and support the efforts of the team members, this is where the leaders lead more than manage and this is the point where the team should coalesce. Although the team never began to coalesce it seemed as though Moore what operating in this level. Team Development
The Chattanooga Ice Cream team members should began to perform exercises that would help them better understand the perspective of other team members and their boss. With guidance from Moore team members should began to “foster commitment.” The team should be aware of the benefits of working together to achieve common goals. Because there is a lack of communication members should start to exercise information sharing but prior to doing this they should focus on rebuilding trust. Researchers suggest that “Through interaction members are able to share information, generate, ideas and take part in decision making and problem solving. Team communication has been described as the backbone of a team’s existence and is the crux of the task and social dimensions, of all groups (Fisher, 1970; Tyson 1989). Tyson further states, “For a group to come to existence, organize itself, and develop into an effective team requires above all else good communication...
References: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/02/22/5-keys-to-dealing-with-workplace-conflict/ Retrieved May 19, 2013
Harvard Business Review Case: “Chattanooga Ice Cream Case”
Retrieve May 19, 2013
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Katzenbach & Smith, “The Discipline of Teams”
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By: Shearouse, Susan H., “Conflict 101: A Managers Guide to Resolving Problems so That Everyone Can Get Back to Work,” In: Conflict One Hundred and One. New York: American Management Association. 2011. eBook.
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