The teams were required to develop and sell a new non-alcoholic drink with a digital smart label. The previously single sex groups were mixed, and first off, each decided upon a name. Project Manager Nick’s team called themselves Diverse, and Sophie’s team agreed on Infinity.
We saw Nick’s team develop a drink based on vodka, lime and soda, and Sophie’s team develop a spicy peach flavoured beer. Both PMs have industry experience. “I’ve been around the drinks industry for 15 years”, said Nick. Ditto.
Let’s round up on this week’s learnings
- The value of a diverse team
Diverse teams can bring multiple, diverse ideas and solutions and this is hugely beneficial. Benefits of a diverse group include a balance of skill sets and perspectives, better problem-solving ability and increased creativity. It’s a shame then that despite agreeing to call his team Diverse, Nick ignored every single suggestion put forward by team members. “I didn’t really listen to anyone else and I delivered a product which won the task. I’m happy”, he said. Not sure if the same can be said for your team members, Nicktator.
- The importance of sharing your vision
Nick was clearly driven by a vision for a vodka, lime and soda drink and ultimately succeeded in securing over 10,000 orders (despite the fact that the main ingredient appeared to be salt). However Nick did not share the vision with his team members. This lack of clarity can, and did, result in misalignment (adding orange flavours to the lime drink), inefficiency, demotivation and confusion. Even Karen admitted she felt sorry for the team.
- “There is nothing so seductive as a dangerous idea”
So said the artwork hanging on the meeting room wall where PM Sophie held her team meetings. Despite this reminder of the power of bold ideas, Infinity played it way too safe this week, in the development of their brand (the drink packaging was described as “old fashioned”) and in their inability to establish a strong identity for the product. “You’re saying it’s traditional and that’s its appeal, but then you’re also saying its innovative”, said one confused customer. There were no big, exciting ideas, and nothing seductive about the product.
Management Speak of the Week
Nick: “One thing about me…”
Akshay: “Fore sure”
Nick” “… is I encourage communication”
Akshay: “For sure”
Nick: “Once you’ve said it? And you know I’ve taken it on board? And I’ve disregarded it? Then bury it after that.”
Akshay: “For sure”
Ones to Watch?
Up until this episode we hadn’t seen much of Brittany, but she took the lead on developing the smart label for Team Diverse and the end result was snappy and way more contemporary than “expert” Amy’s output.
In episode four the teams will be creating a fish dish to sell to the public. Can’t wait to tuna in next week.