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This week is the beginning of the real games on Mikes¿ Bikes, which makes me both excited and anxious. What keeps me excited is that we finally can start the true ¿battle¿ between the different groups in the class. Just as Kim & Mauborgne (2004) said, we enjoyed fighting for the market share in the red ocean competition. On the other hand, I feel a little frustrated and worried because we now have to design new strategies for the real rollover. After I finished reading the articles this week, I found the idea of ¿creating a clear strategy picture¿ quite impressive and useful in helping our Mikes Bikes team.

I came to understand that in a market that is constantly changing, members that makes their decision independently from one another may end up with disastrous results. Kim & Mauborgne (2002) focused on one approach to solve this problem---drawing a strategy canvas. Reading the essential factors of the strategy canvas reminds me of the lecture on Monday which emphasized on why companies likes to have similar strategies to successful firms. It is usually because they are driven to follow competitors who are gaining profit in the existing markets, so that they can share the benefits without spending too much on investment and exploration. On the contrary, the author argued that organizations should stand apart from traditional ways and try to pick up different decisions that suits their own strategies. Kim & Mauborgne (2002) also explained the four steps to drawing a strategy canvas (which I feel I have come across before in the past), but revising on it again, has given me a deeper understanding on how to make good decisions as a whole and within a team. What I found to be the most interesting is the aspect of attaining feedbacks from non-customers and competitors customers to realize what can be changed to meet their demands. The theory also taught me the importance of comparing strategies with the competitors on Mikes Bikes and contrasting the past decisions to current decisions of our own organization so that we can attain an overall picture of the market and to make the best decisions possible.

The concept of Red and Blue Ocean is a completely new thing for me (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004), and it has opened my eyes to a new strategy. The red ocean describes a market space that already exists with a large number of firms competing over the same market share. On the contrary, the blue oceans capture the uncontested market space which is free to design features and demands. It is interesting that organizations feel uncomfortable to shift into the new fields of markets and this is usually because they are scared of paying too much for exploration and losing opportunities. However, it is not difficult to get into the blue ocean markets, as ¿it is right next to you in every industries" (Kim & Mauborgne 2004). It means that the blue ocean is within the existing core business and it is not as hard to create new features and ideas, as organization believes. An advantage of the blue ocean strategy is the increase of brand awareness that results from the blue ocean creators earning the customers' loyalty from the very beginning.  Another advantage of the blue ocean strategy is that it can design the boundaries and demand of the market by themselves, and they don't need to follow rules and regulations as you do in the red oceans. In my team, we talked about new strategies together and figured out suitable plans for the real game after analyzing some data and information of markets. I also learned something about determination of giving up the stable strategies and trying new fields of markets from my team.

In terms of business models, Magretta (2002), believed that it is a basic structure of the business that is independent of competitors focusing on maximizing revenues and profits. It is different from the business strategy, which emphasizes on identifying and segmenting customers by interacting with competitors. Furthermore, the reading points out the fact that there are internal connections between a business strategy and business model. If a company has established a business model that works for them, then they have provided themselves a basis to successfully implement a business strategy. This is an important point for my group to take on board, as we are focusing on a new strategy we have to make sure that our business model is in place and can support us.

In summary, strategies are an important part of businesses because it helps companies identify their advantages and disadvantages, understand what needs to be changed, and how  changes can be made so that they can strive in their chosen market place. As long as we make good strategies we have a good framework to make good decisions. Also, I am glad to see this week¿s result of my team after following the blue ocean strategy instead of red oceans, and we have full confidence for next rollovers.

References:

Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2002). Charting your company¿s future. Harvard Business Review, 80(6), 76--83

Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2004). Blue ocean strategy. Harvard Business Review, 82(10), 75--84

Magretta, J. (2002). Why business models matter. Harvard Business Review, 80(5), 86--92

2 Comments

  1. Hi, myself. I think it is a smart way to reflect the learning journal by ourselves so that we can know our strengths and weaknesses more clearly, and also, by re-reading my learning journal, I realize that I have some extra ideas and opinions coming to my mind. For example, we may have the same business model when we are operating Mikes¿ Bikes, but we get totally different results by using different strategies. So in reality, after we choose the business model, we can analysis the competitors¿ strategies who have the same model as ours to check whether it is successful or not. And then we can have better strategies according to our situations.

    For this week's learning journal, I learned a lot from three article because the knowledge which the articles mentioned is useful and helpful in the real business environment, and it also provides practical methods to help us make better strategies and decisions on Mikes' Bikes. But I found some drawbacks of this learning journal: I talked a lot about the theories in my understanding, but I didn't connect them to the reality including my daily life and Mikes' Bikes. I will put more personal thinking and experience in the next learning journal.

    I am also thinking about the differences between comments from others and ones from myself. As far as I am concerned, when I read others¿ learning journals, I learn from their ideas from the articles and the way they explain them. But when I read my article, I try to think deeper such as the reasons of choosing red ocean strategies more in reality instead of blue oceans which is a better way for modern markets. I think it is why the lecturer let us comment the learning journal by ourselves.

  2. Excellent first paragraph, I enjoyed the emotive language and feedback on how you experienced the weeks learnings and group situation.

    Could possibly expand on the learnings and takeouts from the mondays lecture.

    I love the idea of what you found interesting from the reading and the reflection on what the theory taught you, also the reflection on how it was used in the mikes bikes context.

    -earning the customers' loyalty from the very beginning" is a key takeout, and I believe that this is an effective tool for your path going forward, possibly some future forecasting on how this learning could be useful in your future business environments (although you have added some future "real business environment" forecasting in the comment above)

    You mention about blue and red oceans, blue's being a bit more flexible as to what they're enabled to accumplish and do from a marketing standpoint, possibly compare to a company such as red bull, who now they have customer loyalty and awareness, they can more or less do what they want as they have a following market, unlike... coca cola who has to fight or even copy the popular trends to gain sales. - possibly understanding what it takes in the real world to become a company in the blue ocean from a strong red ocean situation. (loyalty is the key)

    They competitor based approach to understanding your business or market is new, which is exciting, a way to no longer ask the customers but seek as to why a competitor does, thinks or experiences something and how you can use their competitive nature toward your group or business as a competitive advantage. Ie. V and red bull, red bull made energy drinks popular, then now that theres a market for red bull, customers explore other options such as V, therefore V, without the compatition (or inspiring / putting the pressure on Red bull to promote more to non energy drink uses actually allowed for greater growth for V as Red bulls advertising against V encouraged non energy drinkers into an energy drinking market).

    This is a well rounded, excellent reflection.