Critique Briggs’ management of the first meeting. What, if anything, should she have done differently?
The approach employed by Amber Briggs in the first meeting of the Kerzner Anniversary Task Force can be described as traditional. Firstly, Briggs, the head, prepared the agenda, which mainly consisted of the activities to be done within the one-hour meeting, followed by the members’ introduction of themselves wherein they stated the different departments they are connected with and lastly, the head reminded them to solicit information from their department colleagues on how the anniversary celebration should be done.
In my analysis, there’s actually nothing wrong with the way Briggs handled the first meeting, but considering that the purpose is to prepare for an upcoming event that is special and grandiose, she could have handled it a little differently than the conventional way. I understand that this event would really call for commitment and teamwork so she could have awakened the interest and stirred the creative minds of the task force’ members by brainstorming on the appropriate theme for the event. This would serve as the guide of all the committee heads (task force members) in coming-up with the plan for their respective committee assignments. The meeting could have been more fruitful.
Since the group members are coming from different departments, Briggs should have done better by explaining to the members the main purpose of the task force’s creation so that each one will know their vital role, the presentation of the budget they will be working on so that they will have an idea of how much the management is willing to spend in order to make the event successful and the presentation of the committees. The members, being the committee leaders, will now pick the committee they are willing to handle, which is supposedly prepared by Briggs prior to the first meeting’s schedule.
Sample committees with specified tasks that will help realize the goal of the celebration could be: a) promotions to take charge of the intra-company advertisement (e.g. bulletin boards update, flyers, etc) and gimmicks prior to the actual celebration in order the set the pace for the much awaited activity; program to take charge of the entire flow of activities, program layout, invitation, and selection of the program hosts or emcees; games and awards to take care of the fun games to serve as fillers for the lull moments and the identification and preparation of awards to be given (e.g. per department to acknowledge their contribution for recovering and staying in the business despite the national recession).
Food to select the caterer and menu; decoration to plan and supervise the decoration of the venue in accordance with the theme or concept of the event; physical arrangement/lights/sounds to take charge of the layout of the venue, the lights needed to make it livelier and the sound system, which would include the selection of the music to be played throughout the activity; and documentation committee to capture every moment for everyone to cherish including the preparation of an article on the event to be published in the company’s newsletter.
Before ending the meeting, rather than merely reminding them to solicit information from their colleagues, each member should have been reminded to prepare a plan with the proposed individual committee members and estimated budget, which will be presented in the next meeting. All the task force’s members will then give their comments and suggestions to improve the prepared plan.
It would have been better also if the actual date of the next meeting was decided upon. Briggs, as the head, could propose a schedule before adjourning the meeting so everyone can give their comments. Once schedule has been agreed, the members should ensure that if they could not attend due to operational concerns or unforeseen circumstances, a capable and committed representative, who has been briefed of his or her role, will be present to attend the meeting and give updates.
What barriers is she likely to encounter in completing this project?
What can she do to overcome these barriers?
Note: Answers to q. # 3 is imbedded (italicized) in the answers to q. # 2
The major barrier that is likely to be encountered in completing this project is the availability of the task force members. It would have been better, if after the discussion of the objectives, the members were asked on how interested and committed they were to be part of the team. As mentioned in the case, most of the members were assigned rather than volunteered so a very pertinent issue involved here would be commitment. It’s also possible that because the company is composed of 1,100 employees, not all of them know each other personally.
This is very essential to encourage teamwork. Briggs, being in the HR department, should ensure that this group would have a chance to meet each other more frequently in other company engagements or activities. It would also be good if they could work in pairs in their assigned committees. Briggs could also allot 5 minutes every time the task force meets for group dynamic activities to promote teamwork. For a start, a getting-t- know-you activity would be nice.
What should she do between now and the next meeting?
After the meeting, she could send an email to all the members on the minutes (what has been discussed) including their specific committee assignments and the things expected of them in the next meeting. She could also send a separate email to the two absent members to update them on what has been discussed. She could ask them too if they are available and would commit to the future undertakings of the group. As stated above, a five-minute group dynamic activity could strengthen the group’s teamwork. This would also make the meeting more interesting. Briggs should also acknowledge the team’s progress to encourage more their participation.
Park Manor Condominium: Analysis of social and psychological market factors
Case written by Prof. John M. Hess, University of Colorado
Park Manor, a condominium apartment community located twenty five minutes from downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is troubled by a significant decline in sales in recent months. The developers Herbert Klein, Hilton Howard and Lloyd Franklin, analyzed the different strategies employed by the condominium in attracting customers and debated whether they have reduced the market too severely by their age and no-children barriers. Howard believes that they have already exhausted the over-forty market and should therefore lower the minimum age limit.
On the other hand, Franklin said that they have barely touched the market by focusing too much on the retired individuals instead of the working people and those whose children have left home and no longer desire for a large house. Klein also thinks that they have taken the wrong track by limiting their efforts on the local area. It would have been better if they have attracted retirees from a regional or national market. He specifically identified Chicago, which has approximately 200,000 eligible retirees with an additional 20,000 persons retiring each year (cited in Stanton, 1978).
To provide the right solution to the problem, they conducted a market study, which revealed some public misconceptions and prejudices that probably aroused from shifts in promotional emphasis. A summary statement of the report reads: a) age – most respondents view Park manor as an old-people’s home; b) income – majority of the respondents identify Park Manor as an expensive, high income and high cost place to live; c) institutionalization – people fee that they will loose their freedom if they move to the place; d) not quite respectable – many perceive as not being quite respectable and e) apartment living – homeowners do not like to live in an apartment and apartment dwellers don’t wish to invest or tie up funds in their residence (cited in Stanton, 1978).
As a result, the development company has learned that buying a home and moving are emotion-laden activities and that each type of the market has different reasons for changing residences, which is often at cross purposes, thus appeals to one may alienate the others. Park Manor also feels that they have to identify and select the most compatible market elements (cited in Stanton, 1978).
CVS/Pharmacy: Market Expertise Is Key to Success
CVS/Pharmacy, one of the largest retailers in the US, wanted to launch their new camcorders with the aid of market experts to ensure success. They believe in the power of PR and they have sought the help of the best agencies for their unique PR programs. For the photo division, they wanted an agency with solid media connections and with an understanding of the imaging market. Furthermore, they wanted an agency with the ability to generate results instantly, thus they hired Matter Communications (http://www.matternow.com/CaseStudies/case_cvs.htm).
This agency is known for its unparalleled knowledge of the imaging market, with a philosophy to directly align PR programs to business goals. When the agency launched their new product, it was a success, which was even applauded by the national news outlets including Wall Street Journal and Time. With the successful outcome, they engaged Matter Communications to build an ongoing and sustainable PR machine with the goal of driving local consumers directly into local stores for its one-time-use digital camcorder.
Matter, aiming to become CVS long-term partner, in turn developed a media program that focused on product placement, reviews and feature stories across the country. 200 articles, television segments and radio spots featured CVS’ camcorder in just five months. It was also included in regional holiday gift guides, “Best of 2005” round-ups and targeting syndicated writers paid off wherein one article yielded 34 articles. Results matter for Matters Communications. This was evidenced by their success in launching CVS’ new product. In December alone, Matter helped reached more than 107 million readers/viewers. (http://www.matternow.com/CaseStudies/case_cvs.htm).
Matter Communications. CVS/pharmacy: Market Expertise Is Key to Success. Retrieved December 28, 2007
Stanton, William J. (5th Ed.). (1978). Fundamentals of Marketing. United States: McGraw-
Hill Book Company