01.07.2022 - 15:12

Chris Peterson at DSS consulting Deborah Ancona and David Caldwell late Thursday afternoon: Chris Peterson was reflecting on the meeting she would have tomorrow with her boss, Meg Cooke. The purpose


Chris Peterson at DSS consulting Deborah Ancona and David Caldwell late Thursday afternoon:

Chris Peterson was reflecting on the meeting she would have tomorrow with her boss, Meg Cooke. The purpose of the meeting was to give Meg an update on the status of the integrated budget and planning system her team had been working on over the last six months and plans for the team to begin marketing this system and other new DSS consulting services to clients. Overall, Chris was quite pleased with the work her team had done. The team had been formed as part of a strategic change, including a somewhat controversial re-organization at DSS. The changes and new structure had created dissatisfaction and a fair amount of anxiety among many of DSS’s consultants, but Chris felt her team had overcome their concerns to become a very effective group. They had worked together well, avoided the conflicts that often plague these kinds of teams, and generally maintained a high level of motivation and satisfaction. Most of all, Chris was proud of the work her team had done. They had created a budget and planning system that the team believed would be embraced by DSS’s clients. The team had not gotten much support from other groups at DSS in developing the system, so team members had done much of the technical work on their own that would have normally been done by support people in the company. Despite this, Chris was very pleased with the system and looked forward to sharing her team’s accomplishments with Meg.

DSS Consulting

DSS Consulting was formed in 1997 to provide administrative support to small school districts primarily in the mid-west and mountain west. The company was founded by three retired school district administrators to help small school districts that had limited staff deal with difficult and somewhat specialized administrative problems, such as negotiating labor agreements or setting up procurement systems. During the late 1990s, DSS grew rapidly as small school districts faced more complex challenges and pressures to cut costs, particularly in administration. In response to this growth, DSS organized itself into four practice departments: Procurement and Systems, Information Technology, Contract Negotiation, and Facilities Planning to deal with different types of engagements. Business came primarily through contacts the five founders had developed. Once DSS was engaged, the project would be referred to the head of the appropriate practice group who would assign consultants to the project. By 2005, a number of changes had begun to affect DSS. First, the founders were cutting back their involvement in the company. As a result, management decisions were being passed on to new leaders, including people hired from other consulting companies. In addition, since much of DSS’s business was generated through contacts established by the founders, their reduced involvement was creating a need for new marketing strategies. Second, the types of problems for which districts were looking for help were becoming more diverse and often didn’t fit clearly into a specific practice area. The increasing complexities districts were facing were both reducing the need for the relatively straightforward projects DSS had been working on and creating demands for new types of services. Finally, state standards for school districts were diverging from one another, so that certain issues were more important in one region than in another. All of these changes led to stagnation in revenue growth for DSS. Because of these changes, the founders decided that a shift in strategy would be necessary for DSS to continue to grow and be successful. As a first step, they promoted Meg Cooke to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Meg had joined DSS in the Contract Negotiation group about four years earlier after spending time with a larger east coast firm. Two years after joining DSS, she had been promoted to head the Contract Negotiation group. The founders and Meg had concluded that if DSS was to continue to be successful, it would need to expand beyond its traditional customer base of small districts and offer services to larger districts much more than it had in the past. They felt that accomplishing this would require developing new services and reorganizing into a more cross-functional, customer-focused organization. A major part of the strategic change involved reorganizing DSS from a purely practice-oriented functional structure to a hybrid structure. Most of the consultants would now be assigned to new cross-functional teams that would be responsible for marketing and delivering services to districts within a particular geographic region. The practice groups were maintained to provide specialized expertise to support the cross-functional teams in their work but with many fewer staff members than in the past. The new cross-functional teams were given two responsibilities. Over the long run, the teams were to build relationships with the school districts in their regions and provide a full range of DSS consulting services to those districts. The teams were also to develop new consulting offerings in response to district needs. The expectations were that the cross-functional teams would eliminate the functional silos that constrained the services DSS could provide and help DSS develop services that could be sold to larger districts. Both these were seen as crucial steps in the plan to grow DSS. Chris Peterson and the Southwest Region Team Chris Peterson joined DSS in 2001. She started her career as a high school teacher in a small school district in Iowa. When the district began to deploy personal computers, she was asked to head up the implementation in her school. The process went so smoothly that she was asked to give up classroom teaching and work full-time for the district in rolling out technology across all the schools. After five years in that job she joined DSS as a consultant in the Information Technology group. She rose to the position of project manager in the group and had been very successful in leading consulting projects. When the decision was made to reorganize into cross-functional teams, Chris was seen as a natural to lead one of the teams and was assigned to head the Southwest Region team. Chris looked on her new assignment with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Much of the excitement came from the opportunity to lead a permanent team rather than coordinate individuals for short consulting projects. Her apprehension came in large part because of some uncertainties about how the new strategy would unfold. Chris was aware that many people were ambivalent about the new strategy and uncertain about the necessity of the change and whether or not it was likely to be successful. The result of this was that there was a great deal of anxiety among many consultants about the future of DSS and their roles in the new structure. Chris also suspected that the strategy was still evolving and might change as management got a sense of how well the new organization was working. One of the decisions that Meg had made about the new teams was that the team leaders ought to have a great deal of flexibility in inviting people to join their teams. Chris welcomed this opportunity. In thinking about who she wanted for the team, she considered two factors. First, she wanted people who had good skills and were experienced in the DSS consulting process. Second, she felt she needed people who would be able to work together well. She believed this would be important because of both the nature of the work to be done and her fear that the anxiety created by the change would boil over into dissatisfaction if people had trouble working together. Chris gave a great deal of thought about who to ask to join the Southwest Region team. She decided that one thing that would help the group work together smoothly would be to select people who already had some experience in working with one another. Overall, Chris was quite happy with the team she was able to put together. She ended up asking two consultants each from Contract Negotiations, Procurement and Systems, and Information Technology, and one consultant from the Facilities group to join the team, all of whom accepted. Even though the consultants had not worked on specific projects with each other in the past, they knew one another and had a great deal in common. Nearly all of them had worked on DSS’s annual Habitat for Humanity project and all had started at DSS at about the same time. Many members of the group socialized with one another outside of work. At the first group meeting Chris realized that her strategy had worked well. Two of the consultants marveled about how nice it would be to work with people who were both very competent and friends as well. Another consultant mentioned that he didn’t know many people at DSS other than the members of his new team and he was really looking forward to the project. Like most DSS consultants, members of Chris?s new team had some questions about the new strategy and leadership; however all believed that their new team had tremendous potential. Beginning the Work As DSS was making the transition to the new structure, consultants continued to finish existing projects even as they began working with their new teams. Chris believed it was very important that her team members be located together as soon as possible even though the team would not be working together full-time right away. She believed that co-locating the team would allow the group to get a quick start on the major deliverable of developing new products for DSS and prevent the group from getting distracted by some of the uncertainties created by the new structure. Chris was able to identify some space and a plan that could bring the full team together. Since none of the other new team managers felt as strongly about the co-location of their teams as Chris did, Meg allowed Chris’s team to move together before the other teams did. Once the team got settled into its new location, they quickly got to work. Chris believed that the first issue for the team would be to share their experiences and use their collective knowledge to identify one or more potential new products, and that her initial job would be to help the group pull together their experiences. The group had a number of meetings over the next month discussing their perspectives. Chris was very pleased with what happened in the meetings. The team members seemed comfortable sharing information with one another. If a disagreement emerged, the team dealt with it without creating animosity or substantial delay. Chris was particularly pleased when two of the team members told her that this was one of the best groups they had ever been a part of. Even though they were from different functional areas, the team members found that they had very similar experiences in dealing with districts. All of them had at least one story about how they had been delayed in a project because the people they were working with in the district were not able to get accurate data about budgets or long term plans. What emerged from the discussions was that small districts seemed to lack any integrated system for linking plans and budgets over time. The superintendent of the district seemed to be the only person who knew everything that was going on and if he or she was not available it was difficult to get timely information. The team concluded that what small districts needed was an integrated system for planning and budgeting. Although most large districts had the systems or the human resources to do this, the costs were prohibitive for a small district. The team determined, therefore, that a scaled down s What does a team like the one being led by Chris require from outsiders in order to succeed? What did Chris do right in leading this team? Why did Meg react the way she did to Chris’s performance? What could Chris have done differently in leading this team?

Answers (0)
  • Ladonna
    April 10, 2023 в 18:50
    The annual percentage yield (APY) earned on Chris's savings account is 2.73%. To calculate the annual percentage yield, we need to use the formula: APY = (1 + (r/n))^n - 1 where r is the interest rate, and n is the number of times the interest is compounded in a year. First, we need to calculate the total amount of money Chris had in his savings account over the year. We can do this by adding up the average balance for each month: Total balance = (400+250+300+150+225+300)/6 * 2 + (350+425+550+600+625+300)/6 = $3,800 Next, we need to calculate the interest rate. We can do this by dividing the interest earned by the total balance: Interest rate = $13.64 / $3,800 = 0.00358 Finally, we can use the above formula to calculate the APY: APY = (1 + 0.00358/12)^12 - 1 = 0.0273 or 2.73% Therefore, the annual percentage yield earned on Chris's savings account is 2.73%.
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