Growing Managers: Moving From Team Member To Team Leader Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


Color Tech, which is located in Phoenix, is a privately held supplier of annual and perennial flowers to big-box stores such as Home Depot and Walmart. Color Tech became one of the largest and the international company in the Western Hemisphere. Due to the globalization of world economy and the differences between the various countries, this led the national and international companies to face multiple issues and challenges such as high competition, cultural differences, political and economic differences. Moreover, the issues include inflexible working environment, unethical standards, and diversification issues.

Therefore, Color Tech was facing high competition in terms of price, quality and customer’s advantage and decreasing sales. At this time, the market was experiencing low demand for the flower industry. Color Tech was constantly receiving costly customization orders and was to aggressive demands for lower prices. The objective of the company is to improve the declining sales and maintain the future growth of the Color Tech.

Moreover, the company established a strategy to expand its business through the use of vertical integration and diversification. However, ColorTech faced numerous management issues such as lack of communication, lack of negotiation skills, the inflexible working environment, and lack of trust. In addition, Melissa Richardson, the newly hired sales manager was not sure about her ability to lead the team due to few management challenges.

Furthermore, from Campbell, there were no proper guidelines for Melissa to consult and lead the team effectively. Due to the language barrier, it was unavoidable that Richardson’s first interaction and meeting with her team would be unclear without an effective strategy and a proper plan to follow.

As a result of miscommunication, one of the greenhouses stations in Colombia was infected by the fungus and this lead the company to face weeks of delay, customer dissatisfaction, and potential profits for the company. Therefore, it is highly important for the company to consider these factors and develop winning strategies to mitigate the potential risk of the company, in order to gain customers and competitive advantage in the long run.

Q. Examine and analyze the Melissa Richardson’s mindset as a manager and her actual approach while taking on a new role?

Melissa Richardson was a top Chicago salesperson and a top candidate for management at Color Tech, Greenhouse. She was promoted from the salesperson to the sales manager due to her excellent performance as a sales representative. On the other hand, she was also transferred to a different place, where she was not familiar with its language. However, Melissa was excited about her new position and hoped that her previous skills, experience, and success will help the struggling Phoenix division gain success.

Moreover, she had no previous managerial skills and experience, but took some of the sales manager training course that helped her in understanding her job description and duties. On the other hand, Campbell, the regional sales manager, did not provide a clear guidelines and support to Melissa that she needs. Moreover, Campbell Beth had a very busy schedule and did not communicate her expectations with Melissa. Therefore, Melissa faced multiple issues and challenges initially, which demotivated her.

However, as a manager, she realized that her role was now as an effective sales leader. Moreover, she shifted her focus to leveraging the strengths of the team members and each salesperson. Furthermore, she was dedicated in improving her teams’ performance more than her because she was on the stage, where she had to think strategically and to understand each team member(Rich, 1997).

Melissa initiated some of the approaches while taking her new role as the sales manager. First, when she reached the Phoenix division she took the stock of her office, which she required and made few notes to enlist her work. Secondly, on Saturday she returned to the office to place everything in order as she had to start working from the Monday morning. Moreover, when she was leaving the office, she took a tour of the area where her sales people work to analyze the working conditions as well as the environment.

Third, she assembled some of the basic information of her team members, in order to better understand her team, and to make the initiate the meeting effectively that will not only help Melissa to build the relationship with her team but also to help the company to increase its revenue in the long run. Lastly, she arranged a one-on-one conversation with her team members for better communication and positive relationship............................

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