• Managing the Third Floor Team – case study

    The Third Floor

    A case from the book: “Fish!” by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen

    Mary Jane has a positive “can do” attitude.  She has a reputation of managing people in a way that earned her group “team you can count on.”   Thanks to her good work, Mary Jane is offered a promotion to manage a team on “the third floor” she feel she must accept because of the salary and benefits it offers.

    Mary Jane is aware her new team has a “bad” reputation among others at the firm.  She is the third person to manage the group in the last two years.

    In her first five weeks on the job, Mary Jane struggled to understand the work and the people.  While mildly surprised that she liked many of the people who worked on three, she quickly realized that the third floor deserved its reputation.  She had observed Bob, a five-year veteran on the third floor, letting the phone ring seven times before purposely breaking the connection by unplugging the cord.  She had overheard Martha describing how she handled those in the company who “hassled” her to do her processing faster – she put their file under the out-basket “by mistake.”  Every time Mary Jane went into the break room there was someone dozing at the table.

    Most mornings the phones rang unanswered for ten to fifteen minutes after the official start of the day because the staff was still arriving.  When questioned, the excuses were both abundant and lame.  Everything was slow motion.  The “zombie” description of the third floor was definitely deserved.  Mary Jane did not have a clue what to do, only the knowledge and conviction that she must do something and do it soon.

    Put together three possible options for Mary Jane with the strengths and weaknesses of each.  Also, anticipate possible consequences of each option and how it might affect the overall company.

    Though, this case was written about business operations, you can imagine the team in question is a team of reporters, producers, editors – who seem to move in slow motion in response to your requests for more “inspired” news coverage.

    ----------Posted on September 21, 2009 by in 4806, Assignments

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