Growing Managers: Moving from Team Member to Team Leader Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Situation Analysis

Melissa Richardson was a 32 years old, high potential candidate for management at ColorTech Greenhouses Inc. and was a very devoted and hard working salesperson in Chicago. Richardson had been waiting for an opportunity to get promoted to ColorTech and finally her boss recommended her for the position of manager at ColorTech when the position opened. She was assigned to the Phoenix office, which was the location of ColorTech’s headquarters and was the site where the founder of ColorTech established its first greenhouse. In this regard, the location and the office were of great importance for the company and was thought as the heart of the company. Richardson was very excited for the new job and while she was leaving Chicago; she juggled her sales manager training courses with an aim to perform effectively at the new office. This was a totally different type of job for Richardson as she was never exposed to paperwork, management issues, cultural issues, legal issues and other work related issues.

Richardson had to join the office on Monday, but she couldn’t wait so long and she visited office immediately after her arrival to phoenix on Friday. Friday was a casual day at ColorTech however, she was a bit disappointed when she reached to the office as there were a few members of administrative staff and her team members were absent. Being a regional manager at Phoenix office she had five members in her sales team, three were account representatives and two were store merchandisers. There was no formal setup and work fashion in the Phoenix office and the five team members of Richardson were very informal, casual and non-serious towards their work. They were not showing a positive attitude towards Richardson and were highly resistant to change. This situation collapsed the entire planning and enthusiasm of Richardson about working at ColorTech. Richardson also faced several issues in managing the team and in motivating the team members. Additional to the management of the team, she also had to perform a heft of paperwork, which was unusual for her and this also created difficulties for her in effectively dealing the scenario. She was inexperienced and her co-workers were not ready to work in her style rather they were happy in their own style. Sales of this office were dropping rapidly due to the irresponsible behavior of the team. All these issues made her overwhelming and she became worried about her future. She was seriously thinking about an effective solution, however; she also assumed to return to Chicago on her previous position.

Growing Managers Moving From Team Member To Team Leader Case Solution

Company Overview

ColorTech Greenhouse Inc., was a privately held supplier of annual and perennial flowers’ large stores and warehouse like a retail store. The company was located in the southern region of the United States and headquartered in Phoenix. ColorTech was well known for its hybrid plants that were protected by patents. The overall industry was experiencing tough price competition and ColorTech was also part of this competition. The major operational units of the company were in Phoenix, Arizona, San Diego, California, Columbia, and South Carolina. ColorTech was trying to acquire other companies to stay in competition and to capture a huge market share.

Character Analysis

In this section we will analyze the major characters of the case that are as follows.

Melissa Richardson: She was a very hard working salesperson at Chicago and was recently promoted to Phoenix as sales manager. She had much experience in the field of sales, but was inexperienced in paperwork and management. She had been working as a team member and had no experience as a team leader. Prior to join Phoenix office Richardson taken a few management courses; but still she was not very clear about her duties and responsibilities.

Beth Campbell: She was the regional sales manager of ColorTech and was the boss of Richardson. She appeared to be a very busy person and she had not provided any support to Richardson throughout the situation. Moreover, she also had not provided enough information to Richardson about the previous sales manager and the reasons for which the previous sales manager was fired. She had also never communicated the issues and her expectations with Richardson which further intensified the situation.

Alex Hoffman: He was a 32 years old account representative who had been with the company for eight years and was performing very well and was the top sales person in the company however, his attitude was not good towards Richardson. He did not agree to share his working style and work progress with Richardson and was also resistant towards a change in his working style and attitude. It seemed that he was not accepting her as a manager therefore, he was acting in a dismissive manner. He did not agree to sell the cut flowers to customers and would only work in.....................

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This case describes a newly promoted middle manager in a global, multi-cultural organization that has challenged a number of factors at work that affect her and her team's ability to meet the expectations of its regional manager. While it would be easy to blame the new manager, a closer look at the reality shows that many forces are at work here, in addition to her lack of experience, including communication strategies and goals, wrong team members, cultural conflicts and a lack of leadership management and / or the ability to from the top of her head. "Hide
by Brenda Ellington Booth, Karen L Cates Source: Kellogg School Management 11 pages. Publication Date: April 1, 2012. Prod. #: KEL629-PDF-ENG

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