Recently in Brian Grant Category

Presentations 12/10

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
It was really nice to round out the final day of presentations with a fluster. I thought the majority of presentations were well organized and delivered. I thought the presentation on the Texas Rangers was the epitome of what a presentation should be. We had talked about brevity and being concise in our presentations and I thought the presentation on the Rangers was exactly what we had talked about. I appreciated that Bryan was so brief and concise with his presentation because he only presented information that was relevant and demonstrated that he had controlled and synthesized a large amount of information into an effective presentation. It was interesting to see recommendations for an organization like the Rangers who really don't deal with issues relating to resources. A lot of the presentations, like those on the Twins, dealt with organizations that have to struggle with being effective with their financial resources but in the case of the Rangers there is an apparent abundance of financial resources and it was interesting to think about an organization that could have the financial ability to change the course of the organization without severe financial hardship. Overall the presentations I think hit there mark but it was continually difficult to manage the time restraints that each day of presentation was on and there were some overall issues with too much text in the presentations which makes it difficult to be drawn in to the topic of each presentation.

Presentations 12/8

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
Obviously the presentations today were really crunched in terms of time. Despite the time crunch I felt that there were some really interesting things to come out of the presentations today. The presentation on the Oakland Raiders really brought to light some issues with the organization that I don't feel get discussed enough. Al Davis was at one point, as the presenter indicated, an innovator. However, I think over the last decade or so, through senility or just general mental distance, Al Davis has lost touch with the current version of the NFL and how a team needs to operate within the framework of the NFL. I commend the presenter for touching on this issue in a very interesting way, with the billboard paid for by the fans. This is a tremendous representation of how the leadership of this organization is stuck in a thick culture (resistance to change) that no longer exists or is no longer active. AL Davis and the Raiders were once a proud organization and have since fallen, much like the Pittsburgh Pirates, but in order for the Raiders organization to change Al Davis needs to do the exact opposite of the Pirates organization. Al Davis needs to understand his limitations in the current NFL system and advance toward a future where others, who can better lead and conduct the business of the Raiders, are placed in a position to help this team move forward toward the image of the once proud franchise that the Raiders once were.

Presentations 12/3

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
The group of presentations today as a whole was probably the most well put together and most well articulated group of presentations that we've had to this point. I was very impressed with Ryan's presentation on Lifetime Fitness. For the first time in these presentations I felt that someone actually made a presentation that wasn't completely text laden. Ryan did a great job of speaking to individual point rather than reading large portions of text that were on the slide. I felt that many of the other presentations did a very good job of creating slides that were not extremely heavy with textual information. Ryan's biggest strength was that he was also providing information that was NOT contained on the slide. That's a sign of a good presentation. I'm fully capable of reading the information on a slide so having an opportunity to hear information that I wasn't already reading kept me more engaged with the topic and therefore I paid more attention to what Ryan was telling me about Lifetime Fitness. Obviously some of the later presentations were pressured for time but I thought the group of presentations as a whole today were phenomenal and did a great job of balancing their time appropriately.

Presentations 12/1

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
Presentations today were long in general and a little heavy on the text and reading from the slides. From a presentation stand point there were some areas that could have been cleaned up but at least the information seemed relevant and well researched. I thought the presentation on the New Orleans Saints was very interesting from the perspective of how a team's actual performance can change the culture and effectiveness of an organization as a whole. To consider that the Saints were so poor in terms of performance for so long and yet able to turn that's culture of failure around nearly instantaneously coinciding with the arrival of Drew Brees and Reggie Bush. Now, it's probably not surprising that a number two overall pick can have the potential to change the performance of an organization but for the culture to change as fast as it did with the Saints is very interesting and something that other organizations may need to try and identify in the future. If the Saints can change their culture so quickly with these individuals other teams and organizations should make concerted efforts to identify these kind of high quality and high character individuals and make that a focus of the individuals. The other presentations today were pretty enlightening albeit a little boring in the delivery but I suppose that's all to be expected. At least the information is very good.

Presentations 11/24

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
Today's presentations were a little bit "text heavy" in terms of the technical delivery but there were some interesting notes contained in each of the presentations. I thought that the presentation on the University of Minnesota Gophers Hockey team was a very honest critique of how the team has regressed over the last 5 years of so. Considering the University's Athletic Department's organizational structure it would appear that the issues surrounding the hockey team and coach Don Lucia are very similar to the issues facing the football team and coach Tim Brewster. Joel Maturi admitted that he is by nature not overly confrontational and I think the issues with both football and hockey can be traced to Mr. Maturi's desk. That being said, I don't mean that as a bad thing or as a slight on Mr. Maturi's sterling reputation. However, this may be an opportunity for Mr. Maturi to redefine the leadership of both of these teams. Considering the success of many other University sports the mediocrity that has plagued football and hockey over the last five years becomes even more prominent and I would urge Mr. Maturi to consider a coaching change with both sports in order for the University to gain positive momentum for the future.
I think the biggest thing that remains in my estimation in terms of organizational effectiveness is the success on the field. Perhaps I didn't fully analyze organizations that don't involve on-field competition but I think that the understanding that on-field success breeds financial success is important. The issues of financial resources become even more important when these resources are mismanaged or when resources are short. In this case I think organizations that are effective are the organizations that can be effective at managing limited financial resources. The Minnesota Twins are a pretty good example of this idea considering that they operate in a moderately sized market within Major League Baseball. The Twins have to operate with limited financial resources and they have managed to be competitive with teams like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston despite the fact that they can not compete with the resources that these teams have.

Organizational effectiveness can also be accomplished by successfully implementing leadership positions and filling them with leaders who are capable of managing the responsibilities of their position. After reading the Slack and Parent chapter on leadership I believe the most important part of developing important leaders is by utilizing the trait leadership model detailed by Slack and Parent. I think effective leaders are people who are well educated, well spoken, demonstrate superior judgment, and are above all responsible. I think Slack and Parent's description of traits that are exemplified by trait leaders really missed the mark when the text said that a trait leader is someone who is of "above average height." I refuse to believe that a good leader is defined by any physical attributes. However, the trait leadership approach is one of the most effective ways to identify leaders. I think another key attribute to see in the leadership of an effective organization is the Instrumental leadership theory or the Supportive leadership theory. I think the instrumental leader is the most important of these two styles to have because instrumental leaders place priorities on planning, coordination, and directing according to Slack and Parent. I think the idea of communication that is carried by supportive leaders is also important for effective organizations. I don't think that I truly understood the importance of leaders within an organization before reading the Slack and Parent chapter on the topic. When you consider the volume of people who apply to work in a sport setting there are a lot of people who may not have the qualifications to be part of the organizations and therefore placing leaders in critical positions becomes even more important for developing an effective organizations.

I think effective sport organizations also take advantage of the culture that an organization possesses. I think rituals, symbols, and slogans can play a vital role in how an organization shapes it's culture and how an organization can become a stable entity. The Minnesota Wild are a great example of how to effectively create a culture that is thick and stable. The Wild are a relatively young organization yet the organization has taken incredible advantage of the culture that they were able to create. The slogan "The Team of 18,000" demonstrated to the Wild fan base that the organization valued their commitment to the team and that the team considered the fans to be so important that they were actually as much a part of the organization as the team is. The Wild hockey song also demonstrates that everyone in Minnesota is part of the Wild family and that hockey is in every Minnesotan's blood.

I think an organization is effective if it can manage financial resources, develop and cultivate leaders, and take advantage of organizational culture. These are all things that I think I have come to appreciate more throughout the path of the course and I think these items are three things that each effective organization demonstrates when they are being effective. Obviously, these three things don't all go hand in hand but they do seem to interact within an effective organization quite often. For that reason I believe these three aspects need to be considered extremely important for any organization to be considered effective.

Presentations 11/19

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
Considering the first day of presentations, there were a lot of great topics discussed today. I was particularly interested by the presentation on the Twins and the comments following the presentation. Due to my affiliation and affinity for the Twins I found the presentation very interesting. To address the discussion following the presentation, the Twins actually rank very high within all of Major League Baseball in terms of the presence of ethnic and gender minorities. I can remember receiving and email to the Twins Front Office back in mid-February that stated that the Twins rank 6th overall in terms of the overall presence of minorities. To delve into this idea further, Major League Baseball has a program designed to place ethnic and gender minorities in prominent and advanced places within Major League Baseball front offices. Several years ago the Twins had one of these individuals, Kevan Graves, who is now a baseball operations assistant with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Considering these facts, I believe that the Twins Front Office is being effective at incorporating ethnic and gender minorities.

Charge Up Recall

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes

Ashley Deisting, Alex Maschoff, Brian Grant

 

1. The central decision making issue was whether or not ChargeUp was responsible for making people sick or not. The top management of ChargeUp was responsible for determining the causal relationship between sickness and ChargeUp. Nutrorim's top management elected to pull ChargeUp off of the sales floors after concern about the potential link between the product and the illness was raised. Eventually, the product was exonerated as safe and the top management elected to continue with the launch of expanded sales of ChargeUp.

 

2.  The decision to recall ChargeUp was made under extreme stress and time-sensitive pressure. The top management behind ChargeUp was forced to make significant and calculated decisions extremely rapidly and under dynamic and unanticipated change.

 

3. In determine the risks and rewards involved with a recall o f ChargeUp it's most helpful to have scientific and statistical data to represent the potential danger of NOT recalling ChargeUp. The Rationale/Management Science model is the most appropriate choice because under this model the management of Nutrorim would be able to calculate the cost of a recall versus the potentiality of a law suit or continued exposure to adverse reaction to ChargeUp. Based on this data the top management at Nutrorim would be able to determine if the opportunity cost of a recall would be beneficial to the organization or if there is still enough profit to be made by avoiding a recall and defending ChargeUp's history as a safe product.

Culture

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
One of the biggest determinants for success in an organization is agreement. When it comes to generating a great organizational culture that will generate success agreement is also important. A thick culture is one where the organization's members and stakeholders agree on what type of things are important for the organization. A thick organizational culture allows the organization to function effectively and creates a culture that will be strong and powerful in the business of sports.

When you consider creating a sport organization's culture there are several factors that come into play. Taking for example the story of Joel Maturi and the merging of the University of Minnesota's Athletic Departments. In this case there were multiple cultures that were changed and molded into on cohesive culture. When Mr. Maturi arrived the Men's and Women's Athletic Departments were extremely different both in terms of organization and organizational culture. The Men's Department was, as Mrs. Regina Sullivan admitted, a little individualistic where sports would go seasons without dealing with the leaders of the athletic department. In contradiction to the Men's department the Women's department allowed their leaders in the athletic department to be more involved in the decision making process and be more involved generally in the operation of the sports.

When Mr. Maturi arrived he had to deal with the separate cultures that existed within the two departments and while struggling to merge these two departments he had to establish a new culture for these departments to coexist within. In this case there isn't a previously established culture for Mr. Maturi to work within and in this case I believe that this was the best case scenario because if there was a preexisting culture that Mr. Maturi tried to use the change wouldn't have been as successful. By establishing a new culture Mr. Maturi had to work from a thin culture where there were feelings of disagreement about how best to deal with change and he managed to develop a sense of commitment where eventually a thick culture would arise.

Developing a thick culture isn't easy and it takes time. One of the biggest skills that Mr. Maturi had going for him when he took over the U of M Athletic Department was role modeling, teaching, and coaching by the leaders. In his case he became the biggest leader of the organization and his style of supportive leadership was instrumental in his ability to lead through teaching and role modeling. Mr. Maturi is a great speaker and its difficult not to share that passion that he has for the U or M organization and the sports that he oversees. In this respect he's able to role model how best to affect change in the organization as well as the organizations culture.

One of the key things that Mr. Maturi was able to capitalize on was the idea of slogans. His "We Are Minnesota" slogan was effective at getting stakeholders to understand what he thought was the most important part of the U of M Athletic Department culture. To Mr. Maturi the most important part was that everyone was committed to representing the state of Minnesota in an effective and positive way. By creating a slogan that everyone could buy into Mr. Maturi was able to create and reinvent the culture of the University of Minnesota Athletic Departments and he continues to do so today.

Organizational Context

user-pic
Vote 0 Votes
Organizational structure plays a key role when determining whether or not an organizations leaders are effective. Leaders are predominantly successful when they are placed in situation or contexts when they have subordinates and peers that compliment their styles. When you consider the four key types of leaders (supportive, instrumental, participative, and achievement) the best context for the leaders of these types is a situation where there are every type of these leaders present. Great leaders are ones who surround themselves with different types of leaders. When there are different leadership styles present in an organization that organization is better able to react to different situations effectively.

Supportive leaders are great for group dynamics because they demonstrate concern for other as well as the organization as a whole but supportive leaders generally lack the conviction and confrontational character to address the issues with employees and peers that will thrive over conflicts. There are inevitably times when an organization will go through change or conflict and when those events occur these supportive leaders will struggle with the challenges that these situations bring. When conflict does arise there are innate traits that supportive leaders lack when it comes to dealing with conflict. There are employees and peers that will take advantage of supportive leaders and in those select cases it would be difficult for supportive leaders to over come the difficulties of these situations.

Instrumental leaders, are in general, great in a large variety of situations because they capitalize on planning, coordination, and directing. These skills can get a leader very far but there are things that any amount of planning can't account for. In these cases leaders need to be able to react to the dynamic change that can occur to any organization. While planning is great, the ability to adapt and manage the changes that occur in an organization without warning is also key and is what sets many leaders apart from another. The Arizona Diamondbacks underwent some dynamic change during the 2009 season when they fired their manager and replaced him with relatively newcomer A.J. Hinch. While previous manager Bob Melvin was great with the preparation and planning part of managing he was somewhat less adept at adapting to the changing nature of the game of baseball. As a former player, Hinch, was more well prepared to deal with the change that was going on in the Diamondbacks organization at the time. Hinch was recently retired from playing baseball and had a better understanding about how to adapt to the changes in personnel and other changes within the organization.

The greatest leaders are able to understand the limitations of their leadership styles and capitalize of these shortcomings by surrounding themselves with subordinates and peers whose leadership styles compliment their own styles. In these situations leaders are able to benefit from the leadership styles of others and therefor they can learn and succeed in situations where they may not have been able to succeed before. While leaders are leaders for a reason every leader should be willing to learn from the leadership styles of others and any organizational context that supports a wide variety of leadership styles makes this type of learning possible and these organizations will be better able to adapt to change that comes with sport organizations.