42 Reflective commentaryThe initial task to be tackled was role identification. The team was aware that there was nospecific experience in the industry chosen (aero transportation); however the team has a richdiversity of backgrounds. The team decided to pragmatically assign roles similar to theindividual experience of each member of the team as defined in MOSS, “agreeing where topractically focus energy, cash, effort and emotion”1.The following interaction was associated with raising key issues in which the team set aspurpose to promote two main things, participation and procedural justice. One example waswithin the round-robin, in which the team set the goal to accept every point of view from themembers following the recommendations of MOSS. Interestingly, while it is a powerful valuegenerator, “it is not easy for groups to accept different perspectives”2.It was further recognised that some issues were not worded specifically enough. This wasconsequential of misunderstandings in the round-robin methodology, since by allowing anyissue there were some recommendations in MOSS not followed like “less than six wordsmight make the issue to cryptic to others”3.This led to confusion later in process due to theambiguity of the concepts.The process resulted in 56 issues, double than the 25 required, and this was in line with thedescription in MOSS, “typically 70-90 issues will surface in 30-45 minutes”4.While defining the interrelations between the issues the group felt that most of the issueswere operational rather than strategic. However while consulting MOSS it was affirmed that“Operations and strategy must be seen as integral to each other”5.By displaying the issues on DE helped both clarify and rephrase some of the issues sincethe team was benefited of a map projection that permitted the simultaneous analysis of allmembers. This projection also facilitated the identification of central issues throughnegotiations in ascertaining the priorities as indicated in MOSS "The map, publicly displayed,acts as a system to facilitate negotiation" 6Some members were more hands on with the tool and this resulted in them being thefacilitators during the whole process, so the team decided to start the next stage of theprocess with those as the ones facilitating the negotiations.In retrospect the group concluded that the process can be successful only with trade-offs.The two main one’s are between ‘time and procedural justice’ and ‘time and quality ofidentified priority’. Understanding causality leads to different approaches or perspectives allof which are valid because all discussions are founded in the unique way individualsperceive the future. Therefore the quality of negotiations and a successful facilitationprocess were crucial to get team agreement.1 Chapter 3, Page 412 Chapter 3, Page 433 Chapter 4, Page 724 Chapter 3, Page 475 Chapter 5, Page 1326 Introduction, Page 3
53 SSI from issues managementThe key objective of Glasgow Airport for the mid-term (five year) period is to increase therevenue per passenger, increasing the locations which the airport is connected to,which will, in turn, increase airlines utilising the airport.One method of increasing revenue per passenger is to increase the amount of timespent by the passengers in the airside, which can be achieved by increasing theamount of commercial floor space. However due to the increased time spent in theterminal, customer satisfaction may be negatively impacted. Finally reinstating theamount of passenger throughput to 2009 levels will ensure delivery of the objective ofincreasing revenue per passenger.To reinforce the revenue generation it is also important to increase the amount ofdestinations which the airport has connections to. This increase in destinations shouldalso increase the amount of airlines using the airport, which will consequently requireincreasing the landing slots in the airport.Finally and yet surprisingly, a requirement to improve the communications betweendepartments should be reviewed as there appears to be a need for connection betweenthem to deliver improved customer services.
85 Reflective commentaryIn the process of agreeing goals, the negotiation skills of the participants play a major role.The fact that a significant agreement is not necessary satisfying all members leaves alwaysa scar that will often come back in following debates. “If a group raises issues and they aredismissed then members can fell more disillusioned than if the issues had not been raised atall”7.While establishing purpose, the team was easily able to distinguish those prime genericgoals from the business goals. However, the team got stuck in finding group criteria todecide whether the endpoints were goals or not. In this section the facilitator role was mainlyto bring the conducive environment for practical discussions, by which the team couldbenefit from the rich diversity of opinion of the team members while following therecommended timings for the task.“Facilitation is not a compromise but rather a creativecombination of multiple perspectives”8.The main breakthrough in this workshop was a required ten minutes break. This recess wascrucial since the team reached to a point of "paralysis by analysis". Heated discussionsensued due to differences of opinion in agreeing priorities/goals and difference in degrees ofpragmatism in team members.. The break released tension among the participants andpromoted a fresh perspective of those already defined goals recusing the teams’ energy, assuggested in MOSS:“Taking time out mid-forum can also allow a mental and physical breakand supply the facilitator/manager-client with an opportunity for catching breath andpreparing for the next part of the forum”9.That break also brought a holistic perspective of the goals map since, in the moment theteam entered in the room back again, the complete map was just in front of the team,sometimes giving one step back is enough find a solution. This global perspective wasenhanced by the addition of the some key goals that the team missed in the catharsis of theround-robin session. Once decompressed it was easier to link the most important objectivesfrom the business goals to the most generic ones, as indicated in MOSS: "It can be helpfulto put time aside periodically to check the pulse of the group."107 Chapter 3, Page 458 Chapter 11, Page 2799 Chapter 3, Page 5810 Chapter 11, Page 283
96 SSI from purposeIncreasing the number of airlines using the airport is a key goal for the Glasgow Airport.By attaining this goal the airport will increase both passenger and revenues per airline. Itwill also benefit the airport to minimise unit costs through economies of scale.Investments into technology to reduce noise and air pollution are required to gain andsupport economic growth in surrounding communities. This investment and communitybuy-in will start to drive Glasgow Airport towards a mutually reinforcing engine which willenhance its international reputation through positive publicity. Becoming Scotland’sleading airport, as well the promotion of Scottish tourism will further generate increasedinterest, thus driving the goals of increased airlines and passenger numbers to 2009levels.Increasing the level of traveller satisfaction will help to enhance the image of theairport, whilst maximising repeat business thus increasing passenger numbers year onyear.These aforementioned factors will generate greater revenues per passenger and airline.Furthermore, these increasing numbers will assist in achieving decreasing operating costdue to greater economies of scale. All these factors will contribute to the airport’s ultimategoal of increasing total profits.
107 Strategy as competitive advantage7.1 Map of competencies
128 Reflective commentaryTeam members found it initially difficult to distinguish between assets, competencies andcompetencies outcomes. As suggested in MOSS, the struggle was not only in our case butin general; “Lack of clarity between (…)the outcomes from competencies and thecompetencies themselves”11. The team decided to differentiate assets from thecompetences as those goods the organisation have rather than have an “ability to.”Furthermore, frustration arose while attempting to identify the distinctive competencies forGlasgow Airport, as stated in the MOSS, “Members of a management team find it difficult toidentify distinctive competences"12. In order to overcome this “paralysis by analysis”, thegroup members redefined the benchmark scope of the simulation; it was concluded thatGlasgow Airport was compared against the other regional European airports.After some discussion we decide that Glasgow Airport does not really have significantcompetitive distinctiveness compared with other regional airports. However, one keydifferentiator identified was the; “ability to host the new generation aircrafts” this is because itis a distinctiveness that can be developed and controlled by the airport as MOSS indicates,“DC are properties of an organisation which can be managed13”.The whole competency surfacing process was exhausting for some participants. In addition,a lack of motivation and disengagement of team members was identified. It was clear that“encouraging members of a team to listen both caringly and analytically to each other isinevitably consuming of both time and energy”14.The group decided to have a brief feedbackmeeting to identify the reasons and define corrective actions.One particular cause was that the team has not set the rule to produce tangible deliverablesat least twice per day. The implemented solution was to compile the first draft document withall the previous steps. Clearly, there were still some issues not fully evaluated, but ashighlighted in MOSS; “there is never enough time to evaluate each issue”15.This decision,allowed members to see the end results of the previous work and estimate the remainingwork to do. Moreover, it was decided to organise the workshops in a manner that resultswere commonly agreed before any coffee break, As an example, MOSS states that "It isimportant that the statement of strategic intent is produced either at the end of the forum orsoon after (preferably the same day)."1611 Chapter 7, Page 17912 Chapter 7, Page 18013 Chapter 7, Page 17914 Eden, Jones, Sims and Smithin (1981:43)15 Chapter 3, Page 5816 Chapter 8, Page 226
139 SSI from competitive advantageThe key competency of Glasgow Airport is the ability to build Scotland’s primaryinternational hub. This competency is driven by utilisation of the landing strip which isable to take large aircraft. Furthermore, being part of the wider BAA family will assist inexploiting regulation and processes thus gaining an ability to build a robust regionalroute hub.Building relationships with local business, communities and the provision of efficientcargo operations will lead to enhanced customer service and powerful customerrelationships being built.These factors will mutually reinforce and strengthen one another to culminate in an efficientcustomer service to airlines using the airport as well as ensuring higher customersatisfaction.These aforementioned factors will contribute to the airport’s critical competency of buildingScotland’s best international hub.An additional strategy to maintain competitive advantage is to develop the airports rail linkto Glasgow and other major cities.
1410 Aggregate SSIIn its quest to be the leading airport of Scotland and achieve higher total profits,Glasgow Airport aims to increase the level of traveller satisfaction and to increase thenumber of airlines using the airport. To achieve these goals, Glasgow Airport will put allefforts into enhancing its international reputation and attracting the major airlines ofthe world. Furthermore, through its already strong commitment to the environment andsupport of local communities, it will be able to promote its growing stature as a sociallyresponsible airport. These efforts will mutually reinforce one other and will help to achievethe required increase in passenger numbers thus leading to greater profits.Powerful customer relationships are achieved by a reinforcing set of competencies thatleverage the tacit abilities such as building Scotland’s best international hub, the abilityto build relationships with the local businesses as well as the ability to build regionalroutes. Glasgow Airport aims to utilise favourable assets, such as being a part of BAA andpossessing a landing strip which is able to take large aircraft to develop these abilitiesfurther in order to build powerful customer relationships.Increasing the number of destinations that the airport has connectivity to is crucial forGlasgow Airport to both enhance its international reputation, as well as to nurture itsability to build Scotland’s best international hub. In order to improve on its ability tohost the new generation of aircraft, there is a need to increase amount of operatingpersonnel. Furthermore, a strategic measure that the airport needs to undertake is todevelop the airport rail link connecting the airport to Glasgow and other major cities.The achievement of such a strategy not only helps the airport to fortify its ability to buildScotland’s best international network but also helps the airport to promote Scottishtourism through commercial alliances.
1511 CommentaryAfter the confusion and friction within the team during the issue and competency stages theprocess of combining the SSI was smoother and more productive. The earlier stages hadbeen more animated, it is also important to observe that it was largely driven due to theassociation of the person with the issues and their point of views. While the friction has to bemanaged in any team routine, the absence of any friction can also mean lack of involvementor buy-in of the process as stated in MOSS “Rather than the common presumption thatorganisational politics are a bad thing, on the contrary, organisational politics will often be asign of real debate- a fight for what is believed to be best for the organisation”.17The display of the issues, competencies and goals on a single screen allowed the team toboth see the obvious linkages as well as debate the ambiguous ones. The process wasmore amicable for the fact that the goals and the competencies brought by the teamcomplemented each other and thus easier to merge into a single SSI.While each of the SSI’s describes a snap shot of discussion of a particular process, theywere not as meaningful individually when the next step was finished. Combining the threeSSI’s issues, goals and the competencies gave a holistic and more complete picture of thefirm’s current strengths and the fittingness for the organisations goals.Comparing the final SSI with the earlier one’s brought out a crucial learning of the process;the need to ensure the description of the SSI at every stage on completion of that particularstage as suggested in MOSS “Writing it (SSI) at the end of the forum acts as a take-awaythat gives a sense of closure to the forum”.18 The inability of the group to chalk out the SSI atthe prescribed stage resulted in the SSI not giving a snap shot of the mentioned activity butalso mentioning elements of the next stage. However, analysis of all the SSI’s also pointedout the flow of the process right from the first stage of issues till the final stage of linkingcompetencies to goals and the progression of a simple outburst of emotions through issuesto a convergence of competencies and priorities with goals.The conflicts at this stage were less also due to the fact that the team was mentally drainedby the whole process. The lessons learnt at the competencies stage also ensured the teamwas more receptive to others views and thus contained intergroup frictions.17 Chapter 3, Page 4118 Chapter 8, Page 227
1612 Appendix12.1 Table of abbreviationsAbbreviation ExpansionDE Decision ExplorerSSI Statement of Strategic IntentMOSS Mapping Out Strategic SuccessBAA British Airport AuthorityDC Distinctive Competency