This Economic Crisis Affected The Credit And Equity Markets, And Will Challenge Our Endowment. Downsize At Least 30% Of The Class.

1402 words - 6 pages

Sustainable change, while healthy and necessary for any entity, is extremely difficult to achieve due to the required buy-in of those members charged with executing the plan for change. This challenge exists within both parts of the plan development process, devising a justifiable plan and successfully implementing that plan. Both steps create a series of emotional stresses for the management team.As a team charged with the task of downsizing our class, our first step was to determine how to rank our classmates against each other in a justifiable manner. Ranking our classmates was a difficult task because of the emotions aroused while determining the selection criteria and the importance of those criteria. While the categories were easily determined, the weight of each category varied drastically. These differences resulted from opinions driven by the different backgrounds of the members, and infused a very personal element to each team members' rationale for determining what criteria were most important. As a result, we became defensive and closed off rather than collaborative and accepting. In addition, some members strived for the most quantitative approach, while others wanted to design a bias system toward certain student groups. These opinions further created tension with other members committed to being fair and partial to each classmate.During the ranking of our classmates for each criterion, there seemed to be two polarizing emotions which threatened to compromise the ranking process: anger and anxiety. Some group members showed disdain for certain classmates, which transformed into anger when confronted with the idea of a purposed good ranking for any particular criteria. Anxiety was experienced when we were forced to give a low ranking to individuals who we held in high regard on a personal level.Aside from the emotional element, we also experienced challenges with establishing justifiable metrics for comparison. We did not have quantifiable data to work with (i.e. class rank, GPA, etc.) Without direct comparative data, we were required to make assumptions with indirect data in order to create our own quantifiable data set. For example, we used concentration as a metric for financial success, which increases one's potential to donate in the future. By using the average starting salary of MBAs by concentration, we created a value system which we used to rank each student.We encountered additional issues with unintentional biases. We tended to subconsciously offer higher scores to those that are more familiar to us (i.e. the candidate had a similar race, gender, or nationality), or who are considered friends. Personal perception acted as a filter creating these biased opinions. In an effort to resolve cognitive dissonance with respect to our predispositions, we held round table discussions for each classmate. This challenged each group member's reasoning for each ranking, in an effort to uncover these unintended social screens. We would...

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