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Presentations 12/10

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Presentations 12/10/09

 

The presentations as a whole seem to be getting better every class period.  I have commented after past presentation that it seemed like too many individuals are reading the information on their slides.  That seems to be happening less and less.  The majority of the presentations now use their PowerPoint's as a guide to the topics they are discussing.  

Two presenters today are or were part of the organization they talked about, which is great, because it gives them a unique perspective on the issues discussed.   However, neither one of them made it explicitly clear that they had been or are a part of the organization.  It was a little confusing when half way through the presentations the presenters went from talking about their organization from an outside perspective to changing and talking about how they are involved.  Simply by talking about how "we" communicated or what "we" could improve upon.  This could have been easily avoided in both situations by mentioning at the beginning of the presentation how they are involved within the organization the decided to analysis.

Presentations

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December 8th presentations:

 

Brian Grant's presentation of the Pittsburgh Pirates came across very well.  I liked that fact that Brian explained how he was approaching his organizational analysis assignment.  Specifically he used a goal attainment approach to measure how his organization was effective.  Brian mentioned this specific approach several times throughout his presentation to reinforce the fact that this was his approach to this assignment.

            I also enjoyed the organizational analysis of the Intramural Department at the U.  Due to Rebecca's unique perspective of insider for the organization it was interesting to hear her own personal stories about some of the aspects of waste within the organization.  It was also interesting to hear about her recommendations for the organization because of her unique perspective.

            The Under Armor presentation was interesting because it was very similar to a presentation that took place previously.  While much of this analysis was similar to Emily's analysis, I found interesting that two different projects came up with very similar analyses to each other.  This leads me to believe that both of the presentations were well researched and based on class concepts.

Presentations

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Day 4 Presentations

 

After watching several days of presentations I have noticed that almost every presenter seems to be reading the slides to the class.  While this approach is fine for certain slides like a Mission Statement, the information should be expanded on besides the basic information about the topic that is on the slide.  I am able to read and would like more information then what I can read.  As an example Parker Kruckenberg's presentation, was very well done.  Parker had basic information on his slides but then shared a bit more about the topics presented.  Parker's story about the baseball player that would show up to practices hung over was presented in a basic manner on the slide.  After reading the slide Parker then expanded on the information by giving specifics about how he knew this information to be true and how it was not communicated vertically within the organization.  While Parker could have typed out all this information and read it to the class it was just as effective to tell the story without having to read it to us. 

Vancouver Olympics

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2010 Winter Olympic Games

 

The start of chapter 13 on page 257 in our text begins with a closer look at the Vancouver-Whistler Olympic bid now typically called the Vancouver Olympics.  This bit of text was only meant to give a very brief summer of the events that went into deciding how Vancouver was chosen to host the games.  According to the text, this bid was backed by 70 public and private organizations putting up the 34 million dollars to complete the bid.   This summary also talks about how the City of Vancouver did a public vote to see if residents supported the city making a costly bid to host the Winter Olympic Games.  The text also states that the city's residents approved the bid with 64 percent of voters voting in favor of continuing the bid.  Vancouver and two other cities being consider, then hosted delegates from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help sell their city as being the correct choice for these games. 

This whole situation is full of various groups making strategic alliances to accomplish their own specific set of goals.  The Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation is clearly a strategic alliance.  This alliance was created with the idea of bringing the games to the Vancouver area.  One of this alliance's main goals was to persuade the IOC to vote in favor of Vancouver.  According to the text on page 258 the IOC voters have created a, "Voting allegiance (members are known to vote in cliques)."  The situation has one strategic alliance, the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation, trying to persuade another strategic alliance, the IOC voters, to vote in one particular way.  I find in fascinating that despite the amount of formalization in the Olympic bid process that the process basically comes down to a couple of strategic alliances all vying for a very limited number of votes, and even those voters rely on alliances (cliques) to help determine how they will vote.

According to http://www.vancouver2010.com/ Just before the Olympic games where awarded to Vancouver the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation was dissolved and was evolved into the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation, which is another strategic alliance to complete the 2010 Olympic Bid.  Upon the awarding of the games this alliance was charged with organizing the building venues and other preparations for the games.

With all these strategic alliances trying to persuade each other and the very lucrative nature of the games, it is not a surprise to me that this process has at times run amok.  As an example, look at the bribery allegations that some individuals faced after the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.  All these strategic alliances make it to simple for unethical actions to be hidden from the general public.  Clearly I have only scratched the surface on Olympic strategic alliances, but it is my opinion that the IOC and its related alliances need to be held more accountable.

 

Questions

1.     What is your opinion of how the IOC voting works?  Do you have a suggestion on how to prevent voting cliques?

2.     Do you know of any other sport organizations that work in a similar manner?  How could they improve their process?

Day 2 Presentations

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I have to say I was very impressed with all of the presentations I have seen so far.  Some parts that I found helpful as an audience, was Kristen's second slide that included the overview of how her presentation was going to go.  While this slide had nothing to do with her information about Nike and the Jordan Brand it was very helpful to have a layout of how the presentation was going to take place.  I also enjoyed Erica's recommendations for the future of Gopher Hockey.  Again, while this was not a vital piece of her presentation, it did cause me to pause and think about ways of solving problems within my own organizational analysis.

Re-Reading My Philosphophy

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Re-Reading My Philosophy

 

            In my initial effective organization philosophy I talked about how the most important aspect of an organization is the balance between the individual and the organization.  I used a specific example from the readings to make my thoughts clearer.  I also used my own original ideas to talk about how that lack of balance could negatively effect a sport organization.  Near the end of my initial thoughts I concluded that while the book had not yet talked about a balanced approach, I expected at some point it would.  Looking back through the textbook, lecture notes, other readings and recalling what I learned, I cannot remember any of the sources making any mention of the ideas that I talked about.  While the book does talk about balance between some ideas, such as on page 41 in our Slack and Parent book, it discusses a balance between effectiveness and efficiency, and on page 217 they begin a discussion about the balance between differing types of conflict.  While I do not recall the book ever specifically talking about a balance between an individuals needs and an organizations needs, it is my opinion that in a round about way it does talk about this idea. 

Much of this book is dedicated to talking about how to deal with individuals or small groups within an organization.  Some of the ideas behind leadership or the decision making process clearly are trying to talk about a balance between individuals and the organization.  While the book chooses several different ways of going about this (such as talking about types of conflict and effectiveness versus efficiency) it still gets the same basic ideas across, with much more specific language. 

            After re-reading my initial ideas and thinking critically about them I do not think they my ideas were incorrect.  I do think that my ideas ended up being a bit superficial but I think that is perfectly acceptable.  I have never learned about information like this or taken a course with similar content to this one before. The closest thing I have taken is a human resources course that was mostly about training of employees, but that is considerably different.  If I had known at the time how to articulate my ideas in a way that was relevant to an sports organization or sport organization class, then what could I have possibly learned from this class.  

            In retrospect that is probably the biggest single thing I have learned in the class.  The thing that will stick with me most is the specific language to clearly talk about a sport organization and if necessary evaluate it in several different ways and from multiple points of view.

 

Questions:

1.     After reevaluating your own initial thoughts on what makes an effective organization did you come up with anything or a small number of things that you will take away from this course?

2.     What do you think of my idea that I was not incorrect with my initial ideas about what makes an effective organization, but what I really lacked was the language and ability to articulate those ideas well?

AHA Effectiveness

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Effectiveness:

 

I have decided to talk about the effectiveness of an organization I am involved with.  The organization is the Adult Hockey Association or AHA for short.  I have been playing hockey in this organization for about 4 years and have recently realized that the top teams are always the top teams and the bottom teams are always the bottom teams.  The AHA's mission according to their own website at ahahockey.com is:            

 

"We are a Twin Cities based amateur adult hockey association. Our mission is two fold 1) To provide instruction to adults who want to learn to play the Coolest Game and 2) To foster safe, fun competition for adults who want to play no-check hockey."

 

To me this mission clearly states that they want a competitive league but then why do that same teams always finish in the top of the league and the bottom of the league. To me this is clearly not effective and does not accomplish the mission statement they have published.  The AHA has implemented things to combat this from happening.   When new players sign-up for the league they are required to go through an evaluation and are rated and placed in the appropriate level according to their hockey skills and speed. There are 8 levels that are possible, with 6 to 25 teams at each level.  From this separation the individuals can be drafted similar to professional leagues, but simplified.  The bottom finishing team gets the first pick and the top finishing team gets the last pick.  If your team has enough returning players from the year before you are not required to draft any players.  On the surface, this system seems like it should work well but it has just not worked out the way it was intended.

            While this formalized process has proved very efficient at placing players in an appropriate level for their skills, it has not helped the bottom teams in those levels become more competitive.  It seems that part of this problem is the drafting system itself. While each team can receive players, the players are so evenly matched that it makes little difference if you receive the 1st pick, the 25th pick or a pick someplace in between.  The AHA has worked out their evaluation system so well that all players that are placed in a particular level are extremely evenly matched.  Due to this fact adding more players to your roster does not guarantee that the overall skill of your team will improve or that your level of competitiveness will improve.

            My recommendations to improve this situation are to have the top team or teams in a level move up or down to the next level.  This system does not have to happen on a yearly basis but perhaps if a particular teams finishes in the top 12% or bottom 12% for two consecutive years or 3 out of 4 years, the AHA should require that team to move up to the next level or down to the next level.  I say 12% because if a level that has only 6 teams then you are only have one team (6 x .12 = .72 rounded to 1) that will be moving up and one down.  If a level has 25 teams that total will be 3 teams moving up and 3 teams down, with the other levels falling someplace in between 1 and 3.  By using 12%, this process can be formalized throughout the league rather then different rules for each level.  It is unlikely that all these teams will move up or down on the same year because of the requirement to have 2 years in a row or 3 out of 4 years in the top or bottom 12%.

            It is my opinion that this would help to make each level more competitive and would also help the AHA's mission to "foster...fun competition."

 

Questions:

1.     Do you think this plan is formalized enough and will it be effective?

2.     If a plan like this were implemented in would clearly create an environment of change.  How do you get teams and players to buy into making this change work?

Decision Making

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1.      Decision making issues included the recall on the drink, lack of structure in chaos control situations or no procedure, and too much participation from too many members of the organization in making the decision.

2.      The conditions in which this decision was made were high pressure and priority and were time constrained do to the urgency and risk involved.

3.      Using the Carnegie model we addressed this as a high uncertainty issue also with high risk and a high possibility of failure. Therefore, in order to take a conservative approach while also being responsible to our company we decided a coalition formation of upper management along with a crisis control team was necessary. The crisis control team would research as much information about the issue at hand and form possible solutions as to why this problem is occurring. From there upper management would make the decision that best suits the situation both from a socially responsible standpoint and keeping the best interest of the company in mind.

MLB substance policies

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Objective:

To rid MLB of performance enhancing substances while educating current and future players about the effects these drugs have.

 

Current Culture: 

·      The current MLB culture seems to be if you are going to use these substances, do not get caught.  The MLB culture should be we will not allow these substances to be used at all.

·      Current culture has little reason to change.  Until enough fans revolt and stop going to games and watching them on TV it will be difficult to get MLB to make major changes in their current culture.  If this revolt happens change will happen swiftly because profits will be affected.

 

Unfreeze:

·      Stricter clubhouse rule similar to ones in place within the NBA

·      Adopting an independent drug control policy like the World Anti Doping Agency's, that includes more strict tests and more random testing, also increased random testing

·      Allow players to come forward with drugs they plan to take within a season and ask questions about what is acceptable and what is not, similar to a policy in place in place in the NFL, allowing for more open communication

·      Hold mangers and owner responsible for failed players, with substantial fines, this could have the effect of regular users not be able to sign with a team because owner and managers would not be willing to accept the risk of having that player, very effective scare tactic to prevent use

·      Encourage player, managers, owners and MLB to speak out against players that have tested positive

 

Change:

·      Using motivational style speakers to talk with players on an annual basis about the effects the even minimal substance abuse can have, include in this group former players that have used

·      Create a voted in committee within MLB made of multiple stakeholder groups that will continually evaluate drug policies and create formalized procedure to handle situations, this committee must be kept independent from the commissioners office or MLBPA to ensure more impartiality

·      Create a recognizable, anti-substance logo for the committee that could be a symbol for change within the MLB culture

·      Include language in contracts that will allow players and players managers to lose a percentage of there salary for the rest of their contract if they do test positive, a percentage would be more effective then a set amount because players salary ranges are extremely large and this would take a more equitable amount from each offender

·      Require players in the off-season to make appearances at schools or with youth groups to encourage non drug use, hopefully by talking about it the message will resonate with players more effectively

 

Refreeze:

·      Make rules permanent with committee review to modify slightly

·      Make rules that effect all levels of an organization, players, managers and owners this will lead to self policing of drug abuse situations

·      Offer rewards to players and managers for providing proof of other players substance abuse

·      More open communication about what is acceptable and allowing players to ask more questions about what is acceptable


Andre Phillips
David Dahlstrom
Rebecca Picha
Ryan Hooser

Presentations

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Day 3 Presentations

 

Overall I enjoyed all the presentations, but two in particular I found especially interesting.  The Brainerd Lunkers Baseball I found interesting because it was a much smaller organization then most of the others that have been presented in class.  I enjoyed learning a bit about an organization that I had never heard of before.  For similar reasons I also enjoyed the Under Armor presentation.  Clearly I have heard of Under Armor before this presentation, but of the many business and teams that have been talked about in various Sports Management courses at the U, Under Armor has never come up.  In both of these instances I found it interesting to learn about an organization that I had not studied before.