I found the information and the presentation on the Pittsburg Pirates this morning was very well put together and presented. I am impressed with all the information that the organization had. I thought with a losing team such as the Pirates then you do not have much information on how to turn it around and what you are going to do. What I found was that the ownership and the Gm seem to be working on a plan to get players to come in and put together a young organization eventually instead of just trading away talent after a year or two. The presentation about Pop Warner football was very interesting because of how intriquet the organization is and how old it is. I never knew all about that organization and what they brought to the table on a regular basis. Overall I feel all the presentations today were very in-depth and provided a lot of information within the organizational structure.
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Parker had some good comments this morning on the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. I grew up in northern Minnesota and I watched one of the players in Derek Dormanen as he grew up and then began to play for them. I think it is just great how they build up players and give them a chance is such a small remote city like the Fargo area. It gives small town boys that are playing baseball in the north a chance to look up to players from the area.
I though the information on the Brainerd Lunkers was very informative towards how a very small market team is run and operated. I took special interest in the subject because I am from up north and know the area quite well. There are many opportunities up there with so many vacation travelers liking to watch baseball in a small town atmosphere. The Pittsburg Steelers analysis was very informative with all the information regarding their history and how the organization has beaten the odds by having so many traveling fans. This presents nothing but opportunity and growth even during the down seasons when the team is not doing very well. I am surprised by the Under Armorer product that the CEO took a pay cut because the revenue coming in was not to his liking. I was very shocked to see someone that cares that much about the organization do such a drastic measure. I guess when you have built something from the ground up, you are more likely to care and have more passion towards accomplishing your goals.
Kristen's explanation of Nike was a very informative analysis of the situations and organizational structure that Nike has. I thought all terms were used correctly when it came to class discussions. There were plenty of good points in the presentation and I like the fact that she did not go into great depth about the sweatshop scandals because I believe that has been overdramatized enough in other classes. Erika's breakdown of the Gopher hockey program and the reasons why they are struggling now are very interesting and how there is a coach in Nebraska that has a specific option in his contract to leave and go coach at the University of Minnesota or Wisconsin. I think the MSHSL and the ADIDAS presentations had good substance with information on the organizations that challenge Nike. Nike is trying to compete with ADIDAS and they also would like to get more sponsorships with high school leagues in different states as well.
Since starting back with college this fall and taking this course, my personal philosophy of organizational effectiveness has changed significantly. How you organize your company and sport organization can make all the difference in the world when it comes to productivity and opportunity for growth. Handling the challenging situations with care and concern can help create a positive environment in which employees see your passion for the organization. My philosophy on organizational effectiveness has evolved in the sense that a simple decision at times can not just be easy, and at times a difficult decision can sometimes be less complicated than it actually looks. Looking at this from a hypothetical stand point, a dream job of mine would be to work at the facilities manager of TCF Bank Stadium. Numerous situations have arose since football began on campus and I have had a chance to hear about a lot of those situations through my boss at Mariucci and Ridder Arena. He is very active within the stadium operations and explains some of the challenges to solving the issues at hand. I have listened and watched how they have effectively ensured for the safety of over 50,000 fans for each of the seven home games. Now as I watch them prepare for their first live outdoor concert with U2 coming on June 27th, 2010, I see what it takes to run an effective stadium. All the detail and preparation they will have to go through in regards to the security, dressing rooms, rehearsals and overall stadium operations, I get a chance to see what it takes to be a facilities manager. With the 2010 Woman's Frozen Four coming to Ridder Arena, I will have the chance to see how a National Championship event is run, since I will be performing a lot of the behind the scenes work as an intern. The best philosophy I have to date when it comes to working in facilities and an organization in general is to always work hard when everyone is watching and when no one is watching. Never deviate from the standard and always try to exceed your expectations. With a struggling economy and fans not so inclined to come out and pay top dollar for games anymore, you have to understand that when they do come to a game and take part in what you are providing them, you as the manager have to ensure they have a good time and give them everything possible to keep them coming back. In the end you have to continue to update your ideas and goals to meet the demands of the organization. You also have to look at what is working and what is not while maintaining a flexible balance within the organization to keep things fresh.
The University of MN basketball team presentation had a lot of interesting components to what is wrong with the organization other than the obvious. We all know about the player scandals, but I didn't know about the organization itself. I was impressed by the fact that he did tell us so much and explain what is going on with the team and how Tubby runs things. I am surprised that Tubby takes so much time to ensure everyone is on the same page. For the MN Twins presentation I thought the in depth research within the organization of how the culture is changing and what is to come. I am impressed with the fact that they are looking to diversify within the organization to help bridge any gaps that could be underlying. Overall the presentations were informative and interesting with a good amount of information that is benificial to everyone going into the sports markets.
The organizational methods that have been talked about through the course have been used in many different sport organizations to help effectively create a solid environment to maximize production. The greatest organizational method I have used is the creative leadership method. I have learned this throughout my time in the military. It takes a very creative leader to motivate your soldiers that range in age from 18 to 53 years old when you are a 26 year old leader of 42 soldiers. You need to always come though and make the decisions that will be affecting their daily life when you are deployed overseas. Leadership in my mind is the single most effect way to motivate your workers and your soldiers to get solid production out of them. Strong leadership can get you through the most difficult situations with calmness and poise to ensure the people under you know that even in the most difficult situation, you as the leader are calm and are not worried even though you may be terrified deep down. A classic example of this is when you get ready to move out on a convoy outside the wire and into the Iraq desert. As a leader you must maintain a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the most hectic situation, and moving vehicles over the road in Iraq can be a very difficult situation in which to maintain a strong calmness among the soldiers. Another method that has come into effect that I have learned in class is proper organizational management. I will also relate this my time in the army as I have watched a couple different situations happen in which proper organizational management was the key to maximum production. Taking the proper amount of control of you people and letting them have freedom is a very fine line in the military and in the sports world. You want your soldiers and sports workers under you to think freely and carry out their new ideas as best as possible, but at the same time you are the one that is overall responsible for their accolades and failures. You have to impart your wisdom and judgment when needed, but allow it to still be their idea for them to feel that sense of pride and accomplishment. At times you need to step back in a controlled environment and allow your soldiers or sports workers to plan, create, execute, and evaluate something that they have built from the ground up. This way if they succeed or fail they are allowed the chance to learn from it by evaluation of the project at hand. If you have this type of controlled environment and capability, this can be a very effective way to mentor and evaluate your workers or soldiers. Overall these methods have been proven for me in Iraq on two different deployments. I have seen them work when executed properly and I have seen them fail miserably when you get away from these methods.
When the 4 speakers came to class and spoke of the merger of the University of Minnesota men's and women's department, it was interesting to hear of the whole process starting in 2002. I found it interesting how Joel Maturi made his first decision by allowing the student athletes to vote on which M they would use in representing the new merged department as one. The leadership style of Joel seems to fit well with all of the student athletes when he sends out weekly emails discussing issues regarding them. He also knows most of their names and attends so many different events to show the athletes that he cares and that he wants to be an important figure within their lives. The cross country coach Gary Wilson informed us that he did not have that much of a role, but you can clearly see that he played a significant role behind the scenes helping get the other coaches on board. Over hearing other coaches bad mouth the new system and hearing of this, by stepping in and confronting the situation he was able to try and fix the problem or point the angry coach in the direction to communicate with the person that needs the issue addressed directly too. Talking behind one another's back only causes issues within a changed program as opposed to communicating directly your concerns and trying to address them. As Gary and Joel both said it does no good to try and cause friction once the decision has been made to merge. You must move forward and find a way to be happy with the administration's decision. Standing behind your leadership and making peace with the decisions they make will only help for a smooth transition. One of the more frustrating things when you are a leader is the same person coming into your office complaining about one decision after another. As a leader I know from personal experience that you can never make everyone happy and you will just wear yourself down to the point of absolute frustration. I have dealt with this several times. On a couple different occasions I have dealt with a couple soldiers that you cannot please no matter what you try. They want your job and they enjoy working behind your back. One thing I noticed from the 4 person panel is that when it came to answering questions on conflict and resolution, they seemed to slide around those conversations. I have a feeling that there were more issues that have been kept secret than they led on. I think the media can make these situations worse by always digging up the controversy in everything in order to make a good news story that will sell. Overall I thought the work that these people did was remarkable to bring the two departments together in a merger.
The organizational process of leadership can be affected in many different ways. Leadership in numerous different businesses and organizations can make or break you as a company. There are many different components on how leadership can impact the organizational context. The actors within the organization are the CEO's, GM's and middle management staff that makes up the leadership of the organization. How they act and what they do in their work makes a big difference in how the employees will react and how they will produce for you. If you have a boss that is always riding you and nothing that you say or do makes him happy, then you will have disgruntled employees that do not produce the way they should. On the flip side of the coin if you encourage the workers through free ideas and opinions with an open environment to work and grow, you tend to get much better results than the dictatorship approach. The process of leadership and the culture in which you are born into leadership will always differ from one person to the next. Leadership for some people can be born into and for others they will never know how to lead from the front. The culture in which leadership is born into can change from one country to the next. In other country leadership is much different than in America. In Japan people lead from the front by keeping all emotions in check and they never display hardship or frustration. They do all there leading with their words to get the point across. In America there tends to be much more emotions displayed in leadership, especially when running a major sports team. In Japan the manager does not yell or get upset when his team makes a mistake, however when the player comes into the dugout after a bad play the manager will sit him down with a stern talking to in order to get his point across that the player made a mistake and that it will not be tolerated again. The structure of leadership within an organization can be vital in making leadership decisions. The army is structured in such a way that there are many levels of leadership going all the way up to the President of the United States. In this form of environment you can have lots of confusion because of all the different leaders that you have to answer to within your day to day decisions. Overall leadership is a critical aspect to running a sports organization and without good leadership, your organization can fail.
When Kenny Mauer came into class to speak about his current situation of the NBA Referee lockout, it got me thinking about the management and business side of sports. As Mauer stated on the business side of the sport can be a cruel function of business. Any way to save money and create more for the owners and the league is what David Stern will do to increase his profits. The information that Mauer explained to the class can also be related to the movie that we watched on the Seattle Supersonics. The NBA is interested in making profits and they will take a team out of town and threaten their Referee's in any way possible to ensure that the NBA can save money. The organization of a major business conglomerate coupled with an attitude to get as much revenue as possible can lead to these types of issues where money is all that matters and it does not matter how you treat your employees. The hiring of replacement Referee's is a slap in the face to the actual ref's that have worked their way up through the ranks for many years. The one thing that helps the Referee's is the fact that they have a committee of senior ref's that make decisions for the group. Since Mauer is on the committee he gets to witness all the decisions made that will affect the younger ref's. This is a critical position as he stated because of the fact that it can change the completion of someone's life. As an organization the NBA has had lockouts before this and the most noted one came in 1995 when the players locked out until the season was half over. During that year four different contracts were offered and finally the last one was put into place. The recurring theme was the fact that this offer was the "final offer." This was not the case as the league continued to make offers to get basketball players back on the court. I feel that this situation is a prime example of the fact that you need to set yourself worth and value before you take a job. You need to understand what the stakes are and what you are willing to accept for a contract offer. If you are part of a union then you cannot sell yourself out as well as your fellow workers. You need to stick to your guns. Always prepare for a raining day in which you may be on strike or be locked out. This will prevent you from making a decision that only benefits you and is not carefully thought out. In the end make sure you know what you are signing before you lock into a contract.