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This week's lecture and readings focused on strategy and business models, Peter introduced us to the topic by making us arm wrestle, it was probably one of the most unusual things I've ever been asked to do in a lecture, but I thought the point he made was incredibly effective, most of the class immediately assumed the object of the game was crush their opponents, when in fact Peter had specifically stated that between us we needed to get as many points as possible, something that was much easier to do if we just worked together...point taken. 

I'm unfamiliar with the idea of business strategies and models, so this week left me feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the ideas surrounding strategy and models, with so much advice it can be hard to decipher which is any use to you. Kim & Malbourne (2004) talk about blue oceans strategies, about tapping into a market space that is yet unknown to us, instead of competing in the red ocean, just trying to keep your head above the water as you compete for ever shrinking market space. The idea of blue ocean strategy was really interesting and then somewhat puzzling when I tried to apply the theoretical to reality, how can you create a blue ocean in a Mike's Bike's simulation, when the products you can develop and produce are limited to the market segments that Mike's Bikes gives you. Our team are trying to target the market segment which we predict will be untouched by other teams in our world but who's to know? When trying to differentiate your product from the masses its tricky because you're pretty much limited to that tiny circle a bit to the right, or a bit to the left and you could lose sales dramatically. One of the difficulties we face as team is predicting just how sensitive the simulation is to the tiny tweaks and changes we make. I think it is something that as the course goes on we will come to understand a lot better, for now I'm afraid we have to play the guessing game a little. 

One suggestion this week for a future meeting was to take Kim & Renee's (2002) advice and create a strategy canvas, something that can only really be done next week after the other companies in our world have launched new products. We have to compare and identify how our strategy needs to differ from other companies to give us an edge. Our goals for next week are to create a strategy canvas, a big picture for us to follow, with 'focus, divergence and a compelling tag line'. Kim & Renee (2002) assure us that the details will all fall into place if we can just create a big picture. 

Lastly we must write a story, identify a narrative, an insight into computer simulated human motivations and hopefully an end in riches, or at least a simulated high SHV and profit. The reading by Magretta (2002) states that if a business model can tell a good story then it can be used to get everybody on board with a common goal in mind. A good story is definitely something that our team needs to unite us, whilst we work well together and have proved to be somewhat successful I can't help but feel that our team could benefit from being more cohesive, after all wasn't that the whole point of the arm wrestle? Things would be much easier if we learnt to work together. 

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 strategyHarvard Business Review, 82(10), 75--84
Magretta, J. (2002). Why business models matterHarvard Business Review, 80(5), 86--92

2 Comments

  1. Hi Francesca,

    Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is state how the Blue Ocean reading was relevant to MikesBikes. I too felt that although this reading provided insightful information about innovative 'blue oceans', it is limited when applied to MikesBikes as we cannot really create new platforms, only target different segments. I felt though you could have developed more on this point by mentioning another past experience, especially something that detracted from your performance. I know this is pretty much impossible because I doubt you as well as the rest of us have the ability to create multi-national firms - but in saying that you could have diverged into another reading's main takeaway (i.e. the business model reading Magretta (2002)).

    I feel that there is room for improvement in regards to the Daudelin's approach. More specifically I felt that you haven't covered experiences in where you were lacking and that these readings could help in some way (for eg; you only mentioned 'in passing' the Magretta (2002) reading and only provided a definition). In future you should apply these takeaways to these experiences.

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy demonstrated in this journal is Application where you applied the Blue Ocean concept to MikesBikes.

    Like I mentioned before, I think if you focused more on the Evaluation stage your journal would improve.

    Thanks for sharing your work and all the best.

  2. Francesca, 

    Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal, the main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is the development of your understanding of creating effective business models and strategies. You have expressed in the journal that the concept of strategy and business models were a relatively new thing to you at the beginning of the week but have demonstrated through the analysis of the readings and application of theory to reality that you have a better understanding of them now.  

    You have followed to some degree the recommended Daudelin approach, there is the articulation of a problem, and the analysis, some formulation of a tentative theory, although the decision whether to take action or not is a little unclear. 

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy of learning in this journal is analysis this is most obvious in the attempt to apply the theoretical knowledge of the blue ocean strategy to the somewhat inflexible Mikes Bikes simulation. 

    The journal could be improved by providing a clearer structure of the Daudelin approach, perhaps even sub headings would help to do this. 

    Thank you for sharing your work with me, it has aided my learning of business models and strategy through good analysis of the readings.