DENVER BRONCOS AND COLLABNET
Kelly Lynn Snyder
Strayer University Online
Dr. Dennis R. Darlak, PhD
Leadership and Organizational Behavior BUS 520
May 27, 2009
The Denver Broncos are a great franchise that has won the support of their fans. A team with a record as good as the Broncos is definitely one that the fans will love. The Broncos won three super bowls in a four-year period. Fans love the success and excitement of having a great team in their state. Having such a successful team has opened the door to many marketing ideas that help draw in an even larger crowd. The Broncos are one of the biggest franchises in the NFL. The team is worth approximately seven hundred million dollars and is known for being a well-run organization.
The Broncos marketing team has a great philosophy about their decision making processes. They believe that it takes more than one person to make things happen. The team comes together for sit-downs and they discuss new marketing ideas. They take these ideas and discuss them thoroughly. A decision is made when the team comes to a consensus. There may be times that the team does not agree on a decision. Derek Marlin who is the corporate partnership executive says that sometimes the team just has to agree to disagree (Griffin and Moorhead, 2007). In these sit downs, the team opens up the discussion and each member is expected to speak freely.
If a member of the team has an idea that could improve on an idea, they make it known and the team can decide if it will help. Members of the group know that they can speak their mind without being ridiculed. The team knows that their final decision has to be one that is best for the team, not for themselves. Their main goal is to make the players, fans, and executives very happy. One cause of groupthink in today’s corporate offices is sleep deprivation. Authors Barnes and Hollenbeck (2009) state that there have been many cases of decision-making errors due to sleep deprivation among the team. The Broncos marketing team does not have to worry about this problem because they are a close-knit group that works well together. They are not only friends at work, but they also see each other after work and on the weekends.
Group decision-making is not an easy process. Many times groups have a hard time coming to a consensus. It seems that there is always someone that is not happy because they thought their idea was better than the idea the group went with. Denver is known for their successful team and their innovative ideas that
bring fans to the stadium. The Broncos would not be as successful as they are if they did not have such a great marketing team.
The Denver Broncos marketing group is a mature group, which is why they have high decision quality and high effectiveness. They show very strong group performance norms, which is a sign of high effectiveness. The fact that they take pride in their work shows how hard they work to do the best that they can for the team. The team members are all very motivated and cooperate with one another. This makes for a happy working environment, not to mention high decision quality and effectiveness. The group knows that they are to be open and honest with one another and also be supportive. This helps team members feel comfortable with their colleagues.
There are many things that could happen among the team that would result in reduced decision quality or effectiveness. If one member of the team resigns from their position for any reason at all, the team would have to replace that member. The new addition to the team might not be as cooperative and flexible as the previous member. This could cause many complications within the team. The team is comfortable with the members now; replacing a member may cause some turmoil until the new member can prove themselves to the group.
Groupthink is when a group desires unanimity over making the best decision for the team. The Broncos have a great way to get around groupthink. The group has a “agree to disagree” policy. This allows the team to be all right with a decision that is not unanimous. According to Daphne Jameson (2009) “whether in the workplace or the classroom, many teams approach problem-solving as a search for certainty- even though certainty rarely exists in business.” She could not have put that any better. The marketing team for the Broncos can avoid groupthink by keeping their motto of agreeing to disagree.
The Broncos have many positives things going for them. They have a great team and a great marketing group that comes up with innovative ideas everyday. As long as the team continues to stay away from groupthink and they work together for the good of the team, they will stay successful. It is important to be
flexible and cooperative when working in a team. The marketing group works hard to keep the Broncos successful.
CollabNet is a software company that has come up with a way to avoid the silo effect. The silo effect is when the different departments of a company think they are better then the others. One example of this would be sales versus marketing. Sales people see the marketing department as being too focused on creativity and not very concerned about outcomes. The marketing department sees sales people as being too focused on making a sale no matter how much it costs. The two need to find a middle road and work together for the good of the company. CollabNet has come up with a plan to make both of these departments happy. The answer to their problem was collaboration.
At a typical firm a salesperson goes out and sells the product. Their job is to find companies that need their product and provide them with the best service and price so that the company buys from them. A marketer’s job is to come up with creative ideas and products for the salespeople to sell. It is very important for the marketers to be innovative and come up with the newest product available. Picardi, Lippert, and Wagner (2009) claim, “successful organizations understand that to align their business units with corporate strategy and priorities, barriers between individual divisions must be eliminated in favor of a shared business vision.” If a company is the first to market a product, they will head to the top of the charts. This can only happen when there is no separation between departments.
CollabNet has their marketers and salespeople work together. The marketers go on sales calls with the salespeople so that they can see what really happens. The salespeople get to be involved when a new product is being made. They get to see the process that the marketers go through to come up with the next best thing. Salespeople are now asking customers questions about competition and such in order to get feedback for the marketers. This helps the marketers make better decisions about their products and their pricing. The customers are most important and need to feel that their opinion matters. Collaboration is the biggest difference between a typical firm and CollabNet. If the two departments work together as one and see how each one
operates individually, they have more respect for the other department. In the end, the company becomes more successful.
The employees at CollabNet feel that they are treated with equity. One department is not better than the other. The employees get to see the marketing side and the sales side. This makes both departments feel equal. There has to be a balance between inputs and outcomes in order for the departments to be happy and help the
companies become a success. CollabNet has done this very well. They allowed both departments to see how the other department works. This gave each department a better understanding of each other. They now work well because of collaboration. These two departments are both recognized equally by the company. The marketers may make a bigger salary than the salespeople because they are the ones that come up with the ideas that the salespeople sell. It is the salespeople that make commission off of their sales though. If the ideas and products are a success, the salespeople are going to make more money and be much happier.
The literature can be interpreted to mean that they are both equally responsible for the success of the company. One cannot exist without the other. If the company did not have creative marketers, the salespeople would not have desired products to sell. If the company did not have good salespeople, they would eventually go bankrupt because nobody bought their products. The two have to work together in order for the company to prevail.
Research leads to the opinion that worker satisfaction definitely leads to higher performance at CollabNet. Many firms have a constant battle between the marketing and sales departments. At CollabNet, the departments know how each one operates and they work together to be a success. The employees in each department look at each other as their better half. The two cannot exist without each other. Higher performance can also lead to satisfaction. When a company succeeds, everyone is happy. The employees know that they did their job and are rewarded for their superior work. Anyone would be happy knowing that they were a part of the reason a company was successful.
CollabNet has a really great system running between their marketing and sales departments. The employees are happy and feel like equals. They know that one department cannot exist without the other. They
remember that when times get tough. Allowing their employees to see the way other departments work has given the employees a better understanding and appreciation of each department. Mills the marketing vice president for CollabNet is the one that helped the two departments realize that they needed to see the bigger picture (Griffin and Moorhead, 2007). It seems as though the employees enjoyed going to the “other side” and learned a lot from their experiences.
Barnes, C., & Hollenbeck, J. (2009, January). Sleep Deprivation and Decision-Making Teams: Burning the
Midnight Oil or Playing with Fire?. Academy of Management Review, 34(1), 56-66. Retrieved
May 31, 2009, from Business Source Premier database.
Griffin, R.W. & Moorhead, G (2007). Organizational Behavior. (8th ed.). Boston & New York: Houghton
Jameson, D. (2009, June). What’s the Right Answer? Team Problem-Solving in an Environment of Uncertainty.
Business Communication Quarterly, 72(2), 215-221. Retrieved May 31, 2009, from Business Source
Picardi, J., Lippert, K. & Wagner, L. (2009, April). Learning and it: Playing for the Same Team. Chief Learning
Officer, 8(4), 38-41. Retrieved May 31, 2009, from Business Source Premier database.