TerraCog Case Analysis
Part 1 Analysis
The situation of dysfunction during meetings in TerraCog is obvious. Both the participants and the facilitator don’t play professional in the meetings and they don’t have necessary communication with others before the meeting. All these poor performances make all meetings which are described in the case study has very low efficiency and cause so much negative emotion amount team members. Primary and secondary tensions
Primary tension comes from the unfamiliarity with task or the other group members; one conversation on page 4 of the case study shows how it happens. We see this conversation between Cory Wu and Alice Gorga. C: those cost estimates are surprisingly high…It doesn’t seem justified that the cost should come out as you say. A: I’m not sure, Cory. Those costs look realistic; given how my team upgraded the hardware. Cory is the Software & Firmware Design Manager, Alice is the Hardware Design Manager, and they both belong to the Design & Development department. These two people suppose to have enough communication and enough understanding of each other’s job, but they don’t. Through the conversation, we see Cory was surprised by Barren’s cost estimation, he think they are too high. And we know from his speaking that his judgment is only based on his Software design team but ignored the fact that Alice’s team made a lot changes on the design. And the disagreement which is the main content of secondary tension can be found everywhere in their meetings. They don’t agree each other’s plan and idea, they distrust each other’s judgment and we can even see they come to the meeting with different purpose and goal. Communication style
Within the case study there’re not enough conversations that we can use for guessing these people’s communication style. But some of these people’s communication skill unquestionable contributes to the dysfunctional meeting culture. Ed Pryor, the VP of Sales, he don’t really has communication with others during the meeting. He judged Barren’s report number, he ask the team just get the pricing out and forget about the positioning and he tell Allen what he should do without asking design team’s situation and at the last of the first meeting he made his announcement without asking others’ opinion. He put his own thinking over the team’s discussion and refuses to listen.
Level 1 disagreement is those caused by lack of shared information. Just like the conversation between Cory and Alice which mentioned before, even within a same department they don’t really know each other’s work and work progress. Also we see Pryor keeps giving orders and never explain why, Barren didn’t discuss with design team how he come out with his numbers. Level 2 disagreement is caused by different values or expectations. In these two meetings at TerraCog, we see so many level 2 disagreements. Obviously the VP of Sales ED Pryor only care about the price, his only purpose of the meeting is persuade the design team make some change on the product and cut the cost, so he can sale this product at the price he feel comfortable. Allen Roth, the Hardware Design Manager may be not really wants to come to the meeting. In his speaking, we see he still thinking about other projects which were put on hold for Aerial. All these people are lack of shared sense of purpose. From their speaking, we can guess everyone was come to the meeting with their own intention and own expectation. They don’t share a same goal and they seems don’t have vision of the entire company. Preparation and facilitation
The secret to preparation is the same: they must achieve a clear understanding of purpose, product, participants, probable issues and process. (The Secrets of Facilitation, Wilkinson, M (2002) page 38) The preparation work doesn’t goes well for all these meetings in TerraCog. For example, in page 4 of the case study, it shows Richardson already notice that more employees...
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