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Loading MikesBikes after 5pm on a Thursday can give you a fright for two reasons.  One, you are desperately anxious to see where your teams sits in regards to shareholder value - did we increase?  Did our investment pay off?  Did the dog tell us we are doing 'good'?  Once that horror is over - for even if you team has done badly, to know bad news is better than to know no news - the second horror is coming to terms with the unpredictability of others teams.

Being exposed to my own industry only I cannot speak for others, but I have noticed this week in particular the alarming rate at which teams can shoot up or down in what seems to be a haphazard fashion.  A few weeks ago we witnessed a team in last place with a negative profit suddenly shoot to first in the next rollover.  This type of thing can unhinge you a little, as you feel like you can never feel safe writing a team off.  When I look at teams that suddenly drop in SHV I now ask myself one question: are they sitting down the bottom in a well, or on a springboard?

This brings me nicely to the inescapable concept of analytics discussed by Davenport (2006) in this week's reading.  Judging by their examples, I have whittled analytics down to two key factors: numbers and questions.  If you can ask the right questions and understand the numbers, you are on the right track to an effective analysis.  As a psychology student, it was pleasing to see Davenport (2006) cite experiments as a commonality among analytical firms, used in these cases to measure the impact of an intervention strategy.  This reminded me of a key concept I learned in marketing earlier this year, that both effective and ineffective strategies should be examined with equal intensity.  Too many companies, I believe, spend a lot of time focusing on what went wrong, whereas when an intervention succeeds there is little analysis (or little depth) conducted to discover why it worked.

On reflection I notice a similar occurrence in my own team.  When loading the dreaded rollover results for the past two weeks we have been pleasantly surprised with the outcome, immediately contacting each other to share our joy.  When we meet, the first thing we discuss is how happy we are and where we stand next to the competition, including identifying which teams we see as threats.  What we perhaps don't do enough is focusing on the changes we have made from one period to the next and asking why they worked.  So our shareholder value increased by 20%, why was that?  Did our advertising differ from year to another?  Was it increased sales from the new modification we launched that caused profits to rise?  Likewise I think we need to work on extrapolating these analytical questions to involve other teams, for example taking our closest competitor and examining the changes they made from one year to the next in an attempt to identify the key factor(s) that led to their improvement.  Adopting this approach in future may help to shed some light on the changes in SHV rankings between rollovers, and may help those crazy, colourful lines that seem to dart sporadically across the page to make a little more sense.

Reference

Davenport, T. H. (2006). Competing on analyticsHarvard Business Review, 84(1), 98-107.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Beth

    Your reflection this week was very readable and flowed nicely from point to point. The quality is up from week 4 and I can see you reflections getting better no only through better structuring of your points but also a more skillful use of Daudelin's framework. You did well to pull theory into your reflection this week, although you could have used slightly more of theory to back up your points. You talked about the problem of you and your team failing to reflection on both sides of the success equation, failures and successes (an topical observation considering the readings). You explored the surface of this problem drawing from your teams difficulty to predict results. Bringing in knowledge from outside this course (from marketing and psychology) is always a good idea, so well done with that, it really added to the depth of your analysis of your problem.

    As a psychology student I'm sure you could agree that you could delve deeper in with your thinking (reaching higher in Bloom's Taxonomy). In moving your reflections from good to great, I think this depth is a very necessary step. You have the foundation of a great reflection down, and if you're applying the feedback you've been getting from the past weeks I'm sure you'll do well. There are two simple ways you can encourage a deep reflection. The first is to pick a really hard "problem" that require a lot of thinking to solve/understand/put into words. The second (which I feel applies to this reflection a lot more) is even when you're stuck with a seemingly surface "problem", keep asking yourself provocative questions. Questions like" why am I thinking like this, what assumptions am I making, How am I really I'm framing this issue, what are the perspectives of others on this, so what, etc. 

     

    These type of questions will fuel your thinking and help you fast-track some quality insights from your reflections.

    All the best and good luck for your summative journal. 

  2. Hi Beth,

    Nice reading your journal again. I really enjoyed going back to your week 4 journal and seeing the progress you have made not only in your group, but also in your journals. It is evident that you now have a wider knowledge and awareness of the different components of mikes bikes and are able to interrelate your knowledge to your journals, reading and vice versa. Because of this, I can safely say that your journal entries have improved in a number of ways. Firstly your week 9 journal compared to your week 4 is much more critical, and you are very naturally incorporating Daudelin's framework to your writing. I also liked how you incorporate knowledge from outside the course. Tacit knowledge and previous/outside experience in a relevant field (for you this would be psych) is a very effective way to take a journal entry from good, to great.

     

    Another great journal entry, all the best for the final weeks of semester (smile)