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The Team that Wasnt Case

FireArt, Inc. is the company established by a family that experienced in making wine goblets, beer
steins, ashtrays and other glass novelties within 80 years. This company also has a good reputation as
a high-quality, high-price producer, catering to hundreds of Midwestern clients. Fraternities and
Sororities seemed to be steady customers, which made respectable increases of earnings three years.
However, in the last 18 months, sales and production flattened, and FireArt only served mass
production. Thus, FireArt started to begin focusing only on niche market.

Actors involved :
Jack Derry CEO of FireArt
Eric Holt New Director of Strategy
Randy Louderback Director of Sales and Marketing
Ray LaPierre Director of Manufacturing
Maureen Turner Director of Design Division
Carl Simmons Director of Distribution

Due to some considerations of sales and production flattening within 3 years, Eric (as a director of
strategy that has responsibility to put together a team of top people) initiated to have a meeting to
assemble all the directors to find out what the company could enhance to turn the situation into
profitable again. Eric should make a comprehensive plan for the companys strategic realignment,
running and winning within 6 months.

1st Meeting
Eric has already have dread about Ray and Maureen. Eric thought that due to the lack of higher
education of Ray had, It could have made him to feel intimidated to be surrounded by other directors,
and he should work together with them. Secondly, Eric thought that Maureen felt the company not to
appreciate its artists and known to be hard to collaborate with people who didnt have understanding
in design process.

However, What Eric believed was wrong because the real problem was Randy. Although his work
was brilliant with his previous experience in building Advertising & market research firm from the
bottom, graduated with top honours and having close relationship with the CEO, Eric found out that
Randys behaviour is rude and uncooperative but somehow he was determined to bring the company
to achieve its main objectives. He also was offered many jobs which made Jake to think that Randy is
the asset of the company.

2nd Meeting
Second meeting seemed not to be different. Randy didnt pay attention, and when Randy was required
to answer a question, he simply said that his assistant who gave the answer. He also joked around
when a important question regarding sales to fraternities is asked to him. Eventually, his scepticism
always brought negative conversation regarding sales and competitors related issues into the

3rd Meeting
Third meeting turned into disaster. It began when Ray expressed his though about cutting the possible
throughput time and raw material costs, and Maureen seemed to agree with Rays suggestion. She
also suggested that FineArt needed to invest on new artists, so the company can generate new better
design and wider variety. Ray and Maureens suggestions are sincerely to make the company to be
better. Carl had the same impression, stating that FineArt needed to accelerate its service and trucking
system to increase the speed of delivery.

However, Randy mocked their ideas, and he excused himself that he had another meeting. Eventually,
others followed to empty the room.
4th Meeting
In forth meeting, Eric decided to talk about the group. During his talk, Randy cut the conversation
with his sarcastic laugh. Therefore, Ray was triggered, standing and walking toward Randy. This
results that they two were arguing, and Randy came up with comparing that brilliant idea didnt come
from a team but brilliant individuals.

After the dispute, Eric broke the tension and he emphasized that Randy needed to understand of his
position which was in a team. Therefore, no matter what, Randy needed to be able to cooperative with
his other directors. Eventually, Randy promised to behave but it seemed not sincere because he said it
with smirk.

The issue : Randys personality and his past experience made it difficult for Eric to make Randy
to participate on a team and give up his ego.

Why Doesnt This Team Work ? according to some experts

John R. J. Richard Genevieve Paul P. Baard Kathleen Michael Garber

Katzenbach Hackman Segol Hurson
- No team - His self- - Erics - - Leader - Eric is not
purposes and a perception leadership is Psychological powerless to leading a team.
working was grounded weak, and its fusion control the Instead,
approach in reality objective is situation. facilitating a
too vague. meeting of a
group who
understand the
Eventually each is
lobbying for its
own goals.
- How each is - the - Eric gave - Lack of
expected to guideline for pressure and supportive
contribute is developing a fear on the corporate culture.
unclear plan for deadline only
strategic within 6
realignment months
within 6
months is
- Erics - The - Erics
experience as analysis guideline for
consultant is sought by group debate
completely Jake about do not begin
different from a the entry of with
team large orientation or
glassmaking skills
companies training.
into niche
market is
- Eric is too - Lack of - Skipping the
focused on leadership. critical team
feelings and CEOs hand- launch
past off attitude is process = a
experiences inappropriate classic
than on the task critical team-
at hand. leadership
- The team - CEO hired - Not focused
seeks consensus an outsider to on the
rather than correct the effective
accomplishment situation cross-
solutions and
- Too
focused on
of the
process and
only hoping
for harmony

Solution :
- John R. Katzenbach : he can decide to make this group to be more a leader-driven working
group rather than a team without a leader, but no person knows best. If a leader driven
group is not important, a team should have specific work making members to work together
- J. Richard Hackman : Eric could meet privately with Randy after and before meeting to seek
new ideas. Its possible in a organization that has solo performer. However, the most realistic
alternative is not to involve a team with a talented one because it can reduce the risk.
- Genevieve Segol : finding the primary cause of FineArt declining market share. Eric should
keep on the team because he has valuable information insight. Eric should arrange for the
CEO to attend the meeting.
- Paul P. Baard : Eric should tell Randy that he is to be a member of the team. Eric should be
more firm to make sure whether Randy wants to work as it is described? If no, Eric should
accept randys resignation. Eric should make sure that Randy would not use the sarcasm and
have a meeting privately with Randy to help developing new strategy.
- Kathleen Hurson : 1.)Eric should open things up through a series of team meetings in which
progress check is made, mistakes are admitted, everyones reaction and felling are elicited,
and agreement is reached on the next steps.
2.) Eric should talk to Jake, he needs to make it clear that without more involvement from the
CEO, this team is history.
3.) Eric should try to create a useful and compatible role for Randy as a special consultant to
the team.

- Michael Garber : 1.) Jack visit the team and demand a periodic updates from the team. Then
the group needs to learn the concept behind teamwork (ex. An on-site workshop run by Eric
or outsider with experts) that discusses about the theory behind team management.
2.) The workshop should be including interpersonal skills.
3.) The team should focus on developing a mission statement ( to reduce individual lobbying)