Mental Model/Mindsets Paper
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AAA is a transportation company that has been an industry leader in the transports of goods and services, currently the company is planning on innovation and expansion for a more competitive edge. AAA Transportation is an interstate trucking company that specializes in transporting wholesale produce in refrigerated trailers throughout the Midwest. With the company under new management and new reform underway to create more revenue and success. The changes have been vast, with the addition of added services like delivery of nonperishable products, such as canned foods, to their delivery routes, allowing AAA to expand the area they cover and to provide expanded service to their existing customers. They think that, because many of the routes do not require a full load on the trucks, there is room to add the nonperishable goods and provide delivery at a lower rate than the customers are now paying. With two long time employees, Vernon and Bud at odds with the new reform of the companies new policies and vision, it is the human resources job to mold the new mental mindset into the very valuable employees. Vernon, who has been supervisor of the company drivers for about twenty-years.
Vernon’s lack of faith in the new goals of expanding out the normal core business services. While Bud who works in the corporate office, has also has been with the company for twenty years. Bud thinks that AAA is not strong enough to compete with existing companies that service the nonperishable foods market (several of whom AAA has had a long history of mutually respecting each others’ customers and routes); they risk alienating long-term customers; and transporting nonperishable goods in refrigerated trailers is inefficient. Both these employees are extremely valuable to the company, but their lack of vision and currently inability to change their mindsets and welcome the change is making the transition more difficult for the company as a whole. This paper will define the four plausible mental model mindsets, and their potential to change the views of both Vernon and Bud.
Mental Models represent the way an individual processes things, the way a person finds meaning and interprets the message. From birth people are subjected to the way the system of how things are supposed to be, and this engulfment of the worlds-views on how the system works makes it hard to change the mindsets of others. It creates boundaries, and limitations on the willingness to change their views on certain situations. “Mental model/mindsets play a significant role in affecting the reasoning, cognition and decision making abilities of individuals. Thus, mental models and mindsets have substantial influence on the behavior and actions of individuals. People use their mindset to filter information and thus develop selective thoughts and perception of issues. (Davidson & Weltz,1999).”
There are five impactful way that mental models and mindsets are influenced. The first and most influential being personal experience, society builds its views and consciousness of the world based on their personal experiences. How individuals live and think of a daily basis derive from what they have learned. Vernon and Bud have both been with the company for twenty years, they both feel they are connoisseurs in their trade of the transportation of perishable goods and the expansion of target audiences with AAA company. This particular mindset shows that the more vast a personal knowledge and experience with protocol and procedures, in this case AAA history, the more difficult it will be to convert these learned skill and knowledge into something new. Vernon and Bud are less likely to adapt to the added on services and expansion, than a new hire would be.
The four that follow are reward, which states that people will be more to adapt and support a new cause if it benefits them personally. This particular methods acts as a beefing up method for people to support a cause, much like politicians do today to win the votes of Americans. Vernon and Buds, hesitancy may be more yielding if the two employees were approached with motivation and incentives. The next highly influential mindset is surrounding influences, people gain their values, beliefs, and thoughts sometimes from others of a like mind. If Vernon and Bud were subjected negativity on the expansion and sale of perishable foods on their routes, this already coincides with their skepticism on the new reform.
Following, is education and training. Both education and training go hand in hand, education systems provide extensive amounts of knowledge and skills sets for different professions and disciplines. This educational institute sets a foundation of beliefs and values into learns, and creates a better understanding on how the world functions. Training is also, a specific set of skills taught to employees and students. Once Vernon and Bud were both thoroughly trained and educated on the job, with constant reinforcement over the last twenty years may have both long time employees cautious about change and risk, after all that they have come to know and believe in.
Changing this mental models and mindset is a challenging thing to over to overcome. There are four ways to overcome mindsets of persons who are resistant to change. The first step is understanding the power and limits of the mental model (Crook, 2006). Taking on changing a person’s views and mindset is not an easy task, it is like changing the foundation of a personal ways of thinking. This takes a lot of conditioning and repetition, this is not something done overnight. Showing Vernon and Bud the potential they have as a company to better themselves would be a start to bending the mental mindset both employees have. Letting them both know that, currently AAA is not the most fierce in competitor in nonperishable goods transportation, the budding potential for success is great and would be a great benefit to all shareholders of the company. Implanting this message constantly in both Vernon and Buds way of thinking is not only creating an incentive, but creating value and vision that AAA has more potential to be more valuable than ever before.
The next step is testing the mental model against the environment ( Clark 2006). This shows people a tangible example of how this new branch and vision is going to impact and create new opportunities from the market that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Showing Vernon and Bud the results and increasing revenue of adding the nonperishable foods will open both of their eyes more to the profit potential of their companies goals. Bus was not as open to the idea of competing with companies that already transported nonperishable goods, showing him that we are just as competitive in the market as other companies will give him faith and motivation to stand behind our companies goals.
The third step is overcome any inhibitors to change. Anything that is holding Bud and Vernon back, must be eliminated or changed so that they both have to the tools to progress. Providing both employee with updated training, incentives, giving both employee affirmation that they will only be positively affected by the company changes. The final step is expeditiously acting on all mental models to set the tone for all employees. The human resources and management team should be constantly looking for new improvements and ways to maintain this vision and success that has come from the new found goals. The moment Vernon and Bud are on boards with the companies vision, it will be AAA’s duty to reinforce the mental model, allowing both employees to be advocates for the change at managerial levels will also instill in the pride for the companies vision.
The most commonly used mindset by myself is the innovative and visionary mindset. This mind is used in my daily life, by constantly striving to be the best and thinking of new ways to advance my career in the shortest amount of time. To businesses, keeping up with the ever evolving and changing market. For example, Circut city. Instead of upgrading with the times of technology, and marketing more towards trends of the year. They failed and fell under, due to lack of innovation and branding while Best Buy and Fry’s excelled in giving the market audience what they wanted. Having a positive and strong mental mindset can be very advantageous in successful businesses. They resistance of change for Vernon and Bud are challenging but it is nothing that cannot be molded in positivity with the right tools and mental models and mindsets.
Crook C. & Wind J. (2006). Changing Mental Models in Uncontrollable World. April 22, 2013. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9a599cdc-b55b-11da-aa90-0000779e2340.html
Davidson M. & weltz J. (1999). Mental Models and Usability. April 22, 2013. http://www.lauradove.info/reports/mental%20models.htm
Griffin J. (2011). Creative Intelligence. April 22, 2013. http://jongriffin.com/business-articles/creativity-and-innovation/creative-intelligence/”>http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://jongriffin.com/business-articles/creativity-and-innovation/creative-intelligence/