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Blake Sports Apparel and Switch Activewear Bringing the Executive Team Together

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2861 2294 Words (9 Pages) Boris Groysberg and Katherine Connolly Baden Harvard Business School : 417048
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Blake sports apparel is a sports apparel and accessories manufacturer that works with different small to medium-sized companies for whose labels they need licensing, which they do hold. Cameron Barker's father established the company, and after 10 years of the company, Cameron became the CEO of the company. He then utilized the relationship with Cartlock to become a successful business as the company became 15-20% of Cartlock's business, which he later shifted to Howell as he did not see a future with Cartlock. The shift to Howell was difficult, and the company had a shaky 5 years of transition, but it was a very successful change as their profits tripled. The main issue highlighted is the organizational challenges which were that there was a lack of communication and teamwork, and power dynamics. People were blaming each other for whatever went wrong, and every team looked at their own benefits but not what was good for the business.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. Define the characteristics and structure of successful teams. Describe how independent teams are vital to organizational success.

  2. Discuss the important factors to consider when leading teams within the various levels of an organization. Discuss specifically which factors are important to consider when leading teams at the executive level.

  3. Describe the aspects that are essential in identifying appropriate members for teams and ensuring the teams are successfully launched.

  4. Discuss the important factors for ongoing team dynamics. Describe guidelines to evaluate the function and productivity of teams.

  5. Describe strategies that can create collaboration and leadership initiative among team members. Based on the content provided in the case, explain the action that Barker can take to improve collaboration among the team members.

  6. Compassion is a significant attribute of many religions and philosophies, as well as being important for both authentic and servant leaderships. From a Christian worldview perspective, discuss how would you empower your teams as a leader through compassion, honoring diversity, engaging team members in civil discourse, and supporting equality for all members as they work toward a common goal.

Case Study Questions Answers

1. Define the characteristics and structure of successful teams. Describe how independent teams are vital to organizational success.

For Blake Sports Apparel, teamwork is very important for the company to reach not only its potential targets but also the company's growth. For a successful team, there should be some characteristics that they must have. Beginning with leadership, it is important to not only direct the team but also to help it solve problems and conflicts so that the whole work process is smooth and easygoing. Secondly, there needs to be proper communication between the whole team which means that the information should be shared with all team members equally so that everyone is on the same page while working together. This causes there to be collaboration among the team members so that the team remains a unit. Lastly, there should be diversity in the team to have more creativity and efficiency. There should not be just a team full of men or just women but a good mix of both, along with some analytical thinkers and some critical things to actually get the best results.

Having independent teams can be helpful for Blake Sports Apparel in many ways; they can not only reduce the risk of having to roll back if the work is not successful, and they also help to get work done faster, but these can only be possible if the management of these teams choose their members wisely and also make their roles clear for each of the members. This is because teams are made to reach a common goal for which the team itself is only accountable. Many companies might use them as they seem easy to manage and get the job done, but an improper team made can cause major issues for a business.

2. Discuss the important factors to consider when leading teams within the various levels of an organization. Discuss specifically which factors are important to consider when leading teams at the executive level.

The common techniques that Blake Sports Apparel should follow while coordinating and leading teams include making a structure, planning out tasks, communicating decisions and aligning everything.

By creating a clear chain of command, an efficient workflow may be created. Everyone will know what to do if job duties and associated tasks are spelled out in clear terms. By creating an organizational chart, everyone will know who to call if something goes wrong. Project coordinators often need to create detailed blueprints to outline the effort required to produce their sports goods. They use the methods that expert groups like the Project Management Institute advise. They contend that the project manager establishes the goals and collects stakeholder requirements during the planning stage to organize the team and focus the work. There won't be any misunderstandings about what needs to be done and when it needs to be done because team members may check the project's specifics.

Conflicts, delays, and disagreements are avoided with effective communication. Project managers may promote successful communication through regular team meetings, the distribution of status updates, and the recording of decisions. Influencing and inspiring team members to follow set policies and procedures to ensure smooth operations is a common component of effective leadership. It often takes scheduling frequent meetings to share information and utilizing written communication to document processes to coordinate the actions of several personnel, especially when they are not in the same location or time zone. A new product requires strategy and time to develop. Several teams may be working simultaneously to meet a tight deadline. A strong liaison is necessary to effectively coordinate the efforts and make sure that supplies are ordered and delivered in time for usage in manufacturing operations.

3. Describe the aspects that are essential in identifying appropriate members for teams and ensuring the teams are successfully launched.

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