Self-Reflection Essay

In the increasingly dynamic market, companies unable to react or even adapt to new developments risk collapsing. Parida and Wincent (2019, n.p) point out that companies need to move away from static and traditional strategies if they want to improve their competitiveness. Therefore, fast and agile companies are required, known as organizational agility (Zimmerman, 2002 p.89; Tanriseven, 2014 p.1). Before embarking on this course, I knew very little about agile organizations. In this case, I looked forward to learning about agility in organizations and get insights into the aspects of competitive contemporary organizations. Other areas I looked forward to learning include agile organization management, organizational ethics, leadership, and developing and sustaining agile organizations, among other topics. This self-reflection paper’s primary intent is to reflect and demonstrate the lessons learned and my learning styles. It will also examine ways in which the knowledge acquired throughout this course can be implemented in improving individual and organizational performance. The paper will also explore how the course information will assist in future endeavors. Self-reflection is an excellent instrument for students to study their experiences, learning preferences, and think critically about what they have learned.

After taking the course, I agree with Zimmerman’s (2002 p. 90) insights on an excellent performance. He argues that attaining an optimal academic performance not only involves high-quality instructions from the teachers or requisite mental capability by the students. On the contrary, it also requires a personal initiative, self-directive skills as well as diligence. One of the most used strategies in the course is self-regulatory learning, where students use this cyclical process to plan, monitor, and reflect on an actions’ outcome (Tanriseven, 2014 p.1). When undertaking this course, I emulated a couple of self-regulatory techniques from Zimmerman’s work. Self-regulation is defined as thoughts, feelings, and actions planned to attain personal goals (Li et al., 2018, p.1). According to Zimmerman (2002, p.90), self-regulated learning is not one-size-fits-all.

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On the contrary, learners can modify it to suit their needs. These techniques significantly contributed to my success. Examples of them include goal setting, self-evaluation, task strategies, help-seeking, and imagery. Zimmerman (2002 p.93) defines goal setting as an action towards specifying the intended actions. In goal setting, I had a few goals listed down, which I looked forward to attaining. Examples of such goals included completing assignments on time, attaining a good grade, doing further research (help-seeking) on why organizations become agile, and the advantages of being an agile organization. Also, I researched the reasons why Zara is an agile organization, as the learning material had proposed.  Such a strategy can also be referred to as help-seeking. As Cazan (2012 n.p) argues, high performing students engage “help to seek” technique where they research more on various concepts.

Another strategy that was used and especially in understanding the topic of the organizational structure is imagery. As will be explored below, I am a visual person where I learn easily using visual representations. According to Zimmerman (2002 p.88), using imagery contributes to excellent performance. He adds that imagery involves creating and recollecting vivid mental information, including images that help learn concepts (2002 p.88). From the above analysis, this course engaged many strategies, and while I enjoyed some, I struggled to understand and to use a few. For instance, I used the help-seeking self-regulatory approach to do various assignments. Using this technique, I can attest that I had a rough time differentiating genuine and reliable sources from unreliable ones.

Whenever I researched the required readings, I searched for more online journal articles related to the topic. Apart from my favorite self-regulatory techniques that I implemented, another thing that I liked about the course is the diverse methods that tutors implemented in handling the class. Examples of useful teaching methods, as proposed by Hoidn (2017 n.p) and Landoy et al. (2020 p.66), include teacher-centered learning, independent and group work, case studies, and participative discussions. Among the above methods, I only disliked group work assignments, which can be hectic and especially when you are working with uncooperative group members.

Students adopt four main learning styles, including visual, reading/writing, auditory, and kinetic (Bhagat et al., 2015, p.s58). In a visual approach, students enjoy real-time examples and illustrations (Soundariya et al., 2017, p.1023). During the course, the study material had an illustration of the agile organization flow chart. Over the years, I have been a visual learner who quickly grasps concepts presented in an illustration form, as mentioned earlier. According to the study that was conducted by Bhagat et al. (2015 n.p), students who enjoy visual learning process information they can see better compared to the info listened. Soundariya et al. (2017), in their work, also adds that these kinds of learners prefer to read over to write and to write over speaking. Back in class, I can recall almost all the information presented in the form of graphics. On the part of “what makes an organization agile” in the course resource, the components that make an organization agile are presented in a visual illustration. Since this is a graphic format, I found it very easy to understand compared to other concepts presented through lecturing. Apart from being visual learning, I can also state that I enjoy reading/writing learning techniques. Once I read and note down a concept, it becomes so hard for me to forget. Throughout the course, the lecturers used visual learning models that mainly helped me in attaining good grades.

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Apart from being good in visual a learning style, I realized that in the future, I might be required to listen to trainers even at the workplace. One of the significant weakness I have in learning through listening to lectures is my short attention span. In many instances, I lose focus, especially when listening to complex ideas that can be helpful. Apart from losing my attention easily, I also realized that my analytical skills were a mess in my first assignments. However, I have worked on them, and even though there is room for improvement, I can confidently say they have improved. With intentions to ensure that I still retained my good performance even with few weaknesses here and there, I engaged deliberate practice defined by Zimmerman (2002 p.89) as individualized training activities. Notwithstanding having a class where we learned together, there are some elements that I could not understand, and the lecturer used repetition. I also went back to my soft copy notes and read and reread various concepts to fully understand. Through such an exercise, I was able to generate my feedback and monitor my learning performance. Zimmerman (2002 p.92) argues that elite life performers begin to implement a deliberate practice at a very young age compared to fewer performers.

In future endeavors, I plan to engage various learning strategies proposed by Zimmerman (2002) towards contributing to my workplace. My organization may face pressure to address social values, which is a critical change in business demanding agility.  In such a case, the knowledge of how to come up with a social initiative is required. I plan to engage help-seeking one of the self-regulatory strategies to gather information on how to solve such issues. Apart from the success that we will expect in the future regarding the organization’s ethics, there are inevitable challenges that we may face. However, getting to know the problems and their nature assists in working towards solving them. Some of the issues that face agile organizations in their efforts to implement changes as learned through the course include lengthy decision making, conflicting goals, inconsistent IT infrastructure, high costs, and difficulties measuring performance (Zimmerman, 2002 p.89).

Using the seven steps proposed by Newman et al. (2020 p.1455), I will recommend and even start a social initiative to deal with the pressure to conform to social values if need be. The seven steps include firstly researching thoroughly on social initiatives that suit our company, building support both internally and externally, developing an approach, and executing. Other actions include ensuring sustainability, measuring the social initiative impacts, and finally communicating the results to the organization (Newman et al., 2020, p.1455). Knowing these challenges early enough allows the room for preparation. When it comes to conforming to social values, money, and time commitments will be required. Besides, the process will require IT infrastructure, and getting to know that we need such resources early in advance will largely eliminate the organization’s success barriers.  Apart from playing my part, I also look forward to educating my colleagues on the benefits of self-regulatory techniques towards excellent performance.

Effective group writing skills, how to focus, and self-regulatory skills discussed above are things I felt like I lacked before embarking on this course. Through reading the work written by Zimmerman, among other scholarly articles and books, I feel like every student should engage self-regulatory techniques to register excellence results in their academics. Overall, I can confidently say that the course was a success where I learned not only various techniques related organization’s management but also incorporated self-regulatory techniques proposed by Zimmerman in excelling in my academics. Before embarking on the course, I knew very little about agile organizations. The course has handled many of the agile components, and in the future, I plan to use self-regulatory strategies in helping my organizations face various challenges. This paper has conclusively demonstrated the lessons learned and my learning styles throughout the course. How the knowledge learned throughout the course was also analyzed, noting down the challenges I faced. In summary, self-reflection is an excellent tool for not only students but also workers towards learning more about their failures, successes, and thinking critically about what they have learned. Besides, self-reflection helps people note down future endeavors.

Bibliography

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Bhagat, A., Vyas, R., and Singh, T., 2015. Student’s Awareness of Learning Styles and Their Perceptions of a Mixed Method Approach for Learning. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research, 5(4), p.58.

Cazan, A., 2012. Enhancing Self-Regulated Learning By Learning Journals. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 33(2012), pp.413-417.

Hoidn, S. 2017. Student-Centered Learning Environments in Higher Education Classrooms. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Land√ły, A., Popa, D., & Repanovici, A. 2020. Collaboration in Designing a Pedagogical Approach in Information Literacy. Cham, Switzerland: Springerope.

Li, J., Ye, H., Tang, Y., Zhou, Z. and Hu, X., 2018. What Are The Effects Of Self-Regulation Phases And Strategies For Chinese Students? A Meta-Analysis of Two Decades Research of the Association between Self-Regulation and Academic Performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(6).

Newman, C., Rand, J., Tarp, F., and Trifkovic, N., 2020. Corporate Social Responsibility in a Competitive Business Environment. The Journal of Development Studies, 56(8), pp.1455-1472.

Parida, V. and Wincent, J., 2019. Why And How To Compete Through Sustainability: A Review And Outline Of Trends Influencing Firm And Network-Level Transformation. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 15(1), pp.1-19.

Soundariya, K., Deepika, V. and Kalaiselvan, G., 2017. A Study on the Learning Styles and Learning Approaches among Medical Students. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 7(9), p.1.

Tanriseven, I., 2014. A Tool That Can Be Effective In The Self-Regulated Learning Of Pre-Service Teachers: The Mind Map. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(1).

Zimmerman, B.J. 2002Achieving Academic Excellence: A Self-Regulatory Perspective” In Ferrari, M. (Ed) the Pursuit of Excellence through Education. Lawrence, Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, pp.85-110

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