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Chattanooga Ice Cream Case Essay

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 between members” (p. 77). Dickinson and McIntyre (1997) state that communication is the binding force foe all elements of teamwork actions, including team adjustment, leadership, advisement, response, support and planning. In fact, communication is considered among the most important forecasters of team performance. (Indian Streams Research Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, April 2013)”

This should be done individually with members what exhibit trust issues and then as a group. Team members should also make an inward and outward commitment to trust and when team members do openly trust, Moore should openly recognize them. Some behaviors that that indicate team members are rebuilding trust openness to others ideas, critiquing idea not the person, offer assistance, self-disclosure or admittance of ones faults, asking for feedback, etc. Some indications that team members have ot embraced commitment to rebuild trust are indifference, failing to keep confidence, withholding information important to decision making, lying, and withholding credit when it is due. Most importantly team members should make a commitment to be accountable.

Most importantly because there have been a lot of name calling and probably even lies per the Human Resource Guide one of the most difficult ways to rebuild trust would be to admit that you lied, “If trust at work is damaged because you lied, you will need to admit you lied and apologize with honest, sincere, and unmistakable humility.

No other solution will work to rebuild trust at work. Recommendations About How Moore Can Effectively Manage Conflict “Conflict is inevitable for leaders, and it exists at the root of some of their best ideas and at the core of many of their worst failures. ” (Shearhouse, Susan) Moore should revamp his leadership style in a manner that would demand his team to coalesce as team members. Moore should first take a look at what his leadership/management style is and then see how best to manage this group of team members. Moore should be open about his failures and began to insist that team members follow suit.

Moore should assign clear roles and responsibilities to each team member and hold them accountable when they fail to meet his expectations. According to Everything Disc Management Style, Moore should shy away from exhibiting steadiness style of management. This style leans towards being accommodating. Being accommodating leads towards being unassertive according to the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Initially, Moore should adapt to the Dominance style of management resulting in him being direct/candid and firm. Moore should help his team set results-oriented goals.

In “What Great Managers Do” by Buckingham, Moore should get to know each of his vice presidents and “discover what is universal and capitalize on it. ” If Moore would lead this team by the following guidelines I believe he will be more successful at leading the team; Don’t “fear conflict; embrace it – it’s your job. ” While you can try and avoid conflict (bad idea), you cannot escape conflict. The fact of the matter is conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. It will find you whether you look for it (good idea – more later) or not.

The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall. ” (Forbes. com) Conclusion In order for the Chattanooga Ice Cream Division to be on the path to reclaiming its place Charles Moore is going to need to revamp his style of leadership and be assertive yet cooperative. Team members need to rebuild trust and be accountable to the mission and values of the organization.

Team members must be forthcoming and offer assistance with appraising the ideas of other team members. Most importantly the channel of communication is going to need to be reopened. In terms of team management Moore needs to assert a Dominant Style of Management, take a step back and reform the team with clear directive and expectations, setup a team charter and hold team members accountable for faltering from his expectations. Once the team begins to perform as a team should, Moore should then move on and began to lead and incorporate different management styles.

According to Managing When Spark’s Fly, “to manage conflict, you must work through it. Avoidance is generally not an option. ” According to Rick Johnson, “A leader has to win the hearts and minds of his management team to create a common purpose. This doesn’t happen by accident. It depends on the values and beliefs that create the foundation for how the team works together. It is imperative the leader understands these values and beliefs. They may be unspoken and linger at the subconscious level, but they do affect individual attitudes. That is where the leaders communication skills become critical. ”


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