Alden Erickson, TMMBA Student, Class 13
Teams… Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, they are a part of our business life. Given that, how does one transition from merely surviving to thriving in a team? TMMBA students came together as part of immersion week to answer that very question.
Right from the start, we were each assigned to a study team of 4 to 6 people which was formed based on geography, background, and personality type considerations to ensure a broad range of skill sets. After all, what better way to learn than by doing? As a team, we will be responsible for completing a variety of assignments together over the next nine months and, more importantly, helping to get one another through the program. Interestingly, at random, I asked several classmates over the week how they liked their team, and they all responded that their team was terrific! We are off to a great start.
In addition, we attended three half day sessions taught by the incredibly engaging Professor Bigley who is a master of Socratic questioning and draws his classes into lively discussions. Together we reviewed a number of articles exploring the pitfalls of teams, decision making, and how to create high performance teams. For example, we learned about the downside of Groupthink by studying the Bay of Pigs decision-makers. We talked of decision making as a process rather than an event. We were introduced to the idea of inquiry in decision making which generates multiple alternatives and fosters the exchange of ideas. We studied the Army’s high performance OPFOR team which uses after-action reviews to continually learn and thereby regularly bests numerically and technologically superior opponents in training competitions. It was an incredibly packed week and yet it was only the beginning.
Now, we bring these concepts into practice as we go forward and continue to build upon our study teams. My team, the Red Bulls, is off to a great start and I for one am bullish on TMMBA teams.