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The content for this week focused around strategy. The timing of this topic is clearly to coincide with the development of our strategies for Mike's Bikes that we have all begun to implement this week. Our group has a vague idea of our strategy but I realised on reading the Kim & Mauborgne (2002) reading on graphically representing strategy that it is much more difficult to get it down on paper. I don't think our group has as clear of an idea of our strategy as we thought we did, so we may need to get our strategy down on paper before we continue. The other readings, though, were very difficult to relate to my experience with developing a strategy for Mike's Bikes. The Kim & Mauborgne (2004) article on blue ocean strategy, for example, is difficult to practically apply to Mike's Bikes. Although we can create a strategy that goes into a unique segment and targets them with a unique strategy, all businesses in Mike's Bikes are bound by the same rules so creating a true blue ocean environment seems impossible. Any competitor can target any segment and they can easily imitate any other competitor's strategy. Peter's lecture and strategy theory I have learned from other courses have similar recommendations for strategy in that they must be unique and difficult to imitate in order to be effective. This has created some difficulty for me in trying to imagine an ideal strategy when I know whatever strategy our group chooses can just as easily be used by any one of our competitors.

My initial thought on this issue was that Mike's Bikes was not a perfect simulation and that it had to have limitations on what our teams could do. However, thinking about my past experience dealing with a real company for a group assignment I think these limitations are not entirely unrealistic. Last semester I did a project for Localist in which we had to develop a marketing strategy for the struggling company. As soon as we began the assignment it was clear Localist's business model was flawed, and failed the narrative test Magretta (2002) described and perhaps the numbers test too. Ideally, according to the strategy theory, we would make Localist's business model realistic and move the business towards an area of the market with few competitors. However, the Localist management were insistent upon their business model and the focus of their business put them squarely within a red ocean with little room to move. The course content presents an ideal situation, but in real life, we may not have the opportunity to immediately achieve this ideal state. This is a similar issue we face with Mike's Bikes. Therefore our strategy for Mike's Bikes should not be focused on immediately achieving the ideal situation, as we are not likely to find ourselves in an empty segment, but rather to strive to find the areas where the ideal situation could potentially develop. This seems to be a more realistic mindset to take than the mindset I developed from studying purely idealistic strategy theory at university.

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. Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is how to apply high-level strategic theory to more simple practical situations. You have followed Daudelin's framework well by stating a problem, taking a different perspective on the problem and then stating how the problem can be improved. The highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy you have achieved is synthesis, this was done when you said "However, thinking about my past experience dealing with a real company for a group assignment I think these limitations are not entirely unrealistic. Last semester I did a project for Localist in which we had to develop a marketing strategy for the struggling company". You can improve your learning journals by reaching the evaluation stage of Bloom's Taxonomy through comparing your own experience of learning to other classmates or your previous learning journals. Thank you for sharing your work.

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is that though strategic theory is relevant for real life business situations it may not be for mikes bikes. Therefore strategic theory's outline should be noted but with consideration to the mikes bikes situation. Your journal entry has followed Daudelin's recommended approach for reflection through stating your problems around strategy and the relevance of strategic theory to mikes bikes. As well as the forming some theory about the problems referring through past experience, and stating form of action to take towards solving these problems.

    The highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy you have achieved is 'synthesis' this is evident where you said:

    "Therefore our strategy for Mike's Bikes should not be focused on immediately achieving the ideal situation, as we are not likely to find ourselves in an empty segment, but rather to strive to find the areas where the ideal situation could potentially develop. This seems to be a more realistic mind-set to take than the mind-set I developed from studying purely idealistic strategy theory at university."

    To improve your journal next time it could be advised that you demonstrate the last stage of Blooms Taxonomy evaluation (whilst continuing to demonstrate the others). For example outline a number of different solutions to the problem and then decide the best solution on the bases of a pre-set criteria.

    Thank you once again for sharing your work =), and through reviewing and reading your journal it has highlighted areas I need to consider for this week's journal such as demonstrating my learning and reflection processes clearly.