Executive SummaryMGI team were left with three weeks to come up with a business plan before the time line for the Harvard Business School (HBS) Business Plan Contest. The seven members in the team comprised of the three founders - Igor Tkachenko, Alexandra (Sasha) Gimpelson and Roman Yukab, Henry Tam Jr. and Dana Soiman of HBS MBA class students, Dav Clark from MIT and Alex Jan Sartakov from Boston Berklee College. The team had little success thus far working together having experienced conflicts and tensions.
The root causes identified for the team's process problems were firstly, they did not divide the task into sub tasks. Secondly, there seemed to be a main group and subgroups with no integration. Thirdly, no team leader was officially appointed or nobody was empowered to define the role structure, the decision-making process and assessing team performance. And lastly, they did not set the norms and values and did not spend time developing a good working culture from the start.
On paper, the team demonstrated some key strengths. It was a multi talented team composition. The founders' commonality in ethnic background, close friendship and shared passion on their product was great and there was complementary skill sets contributing from the various team members and their shared commitment to the business. However, one danger sign was the personality of the MGI team founders , they had a history of not getting along with outsiders very well as indicated in the case. Hence when evaluating if the team's differences was an asset or liability, we concluded that this team was a liability as they had not met the objectives, forgone the socio-emotional needs of the team and lacked signs of an effective team.
Could this team be salvaged? We certainly think so and we recommend Henry to...