We barely had moved out of the month of exams when we realized that the month of November dawned upon us with lots of case studies and a stream of group projects. The days without any case study are hard to come by and the ones with two or less group meetings are cherished. The interesting thing about group projects is that we get to work on so many teams with people from diverse backgrounds. And whenever we find ourselves in a team setting, we quickly adopt different roles as the situation demands; planner, expert on subject matter, innovator, program manager, leader and of course the devil’s advocate (as we call it). How does this even work? I have no idea, but this is one thing Dr.Kudisch (BUSI664) has instilled in us. The other thing I would credit him for is to avoid the groupthink trap and understand the importance of constructive arguments and conflicts. Sometimes, “a single fact ruins a good argument”, but usually the arguments are quite rationale. No wonder, we always have at least one devil’s advocate in our teams.
The fact that most of the times we are working in multicultural teams makes it even more fun. Watching five or six people coming from all parts of the world sharing their ideas quoting examples from their lives is an experience in itself. I realized how much can diversity add to the quality of the aggregated wisdom of the group. There are few better learning experiences than to have smart folks around you who have very different point of views and diverse knowledge skills. That’s what Smith is so good at. Clearly, it takes a while to know each other and start producing as a team. A sense of belonging is developed, mutual trust is established, each team member’s skills are valued and sooner than later results start to appear synergetically. More importantly, knowing that there is no “I” in “team”, it’s amazing how much work is done without caring about who gets the credit.
With this post uploaded, I am off to my marketing class to discuss the strategy to price the contact lenses for chickens…no kidding !!