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With the companies decisions been removed and wiped clear, so did our strategy. A new formation of values, insight and strategies was then born.

Strategies are known as drivers, they hold you accountable for every decision you make. Once all your members have that same strategy in mind, every decision they make or implement will make them think ¿how will this get us to our goal?¿.

 

The practice round was a big learning curb for our team. We absorbed so much information from this, the decisions we made and how it affected us in a slightly bad way. Mr. Smith said last week, if you did not perform or achieve your goals, this experience shows you where and what you can improve on. If you were on top of the leader board, how do you go beyond this? Was it really your decisions, or was it luck. Anyways, that is last week.

 

This week our foot was on the gas pedal. Everything changed from how we structured meetings, to how we communicate with each other. For example; prior to meetings we had a general agenda. Now we are working more together, as we now see how our roles are intertwined and effect our results.

 

Monday¿s meeting fixated on creating a strategy. Our practice strategy was partially non-existent, it was flawed, with all honesty. So prior to our meeting, I was expecting there to be some heat-y conversations as to where we go from here. In reading the Charting your company¿s future, it talks about a company that goes into creating a strategy canvas and changing their old ways into new ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Taking this into NetMike, they advise each player to go for 100% success rating when developing a bike. However where does this differentiate us from another company, if we all go and hit that bulls eye? We will be competing in a red ocean, as Kim & Mauborgne (2004) calls it (all offering the same product and fighting for a piece of the market).

 

Going back to the original subject, creating a strategy. Unlike the heated top management discussions which usually happen when developing their new strategy as described by Kim & Mauborgne (2002), ours was simple. There was two options. We weighed the good and the bad of each option and came to a conclusion to incorporate both.

 

Without exact figures; or even a glimpse of what our competitors are planning, or potentially what market¿s they are entering, we are blind.

Starting from scratch with a clean canvas was hard. We decided that in order to make our mark, we will make our focus clear. We changed our company name to make a stand. Whether or not our competitors take it as a ploy or truthful, they will soon find out.

 

When making decisions this week, it was tough. So many factors to think about, more importantly you are constantly reminded how this decision will work towards the overall strategy. Mr Smith¿s words, ¿it is not about the strategy, more about the execution of it¿, is fixed into my mind. Kim & Mauborgne (2002), holds the same view, after they incorporated their new strategy, each decision had to show how it fits into their strategy or it will not take action. I kept asking myself, why are you making this decision now, I would then justify it. I then think, how will this impact the following year, where can I save, what should I invest in now to meet our strategy? How will my decisions affect another department, could I possibly cut costs to allow Marketing have more advertising or PR budget. These are all driven by the overall reality that we are working towards the same goal to fulfill and potentially stick to our strategy.

 

Our strategy brings us back to the basics, providing for our customers wants and needs. The basic things they want as opposed to our wants for them. The strategy we have chosen to implement focus¿ on our segments solely. In order to do this, we will listen to the values of our customers and incorporate those into creating bikes specialized for them. In order to be successful, Kim & Mauborgne (2004), suggests you need to create a blue ocean within a red ocean. This means for example, even though you are in the same market, you need to make your company unique and focused, as did Southwest (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002). Another example is the recent franchise, KiwiYo. They worked out Wendy¿s Sundaes and Movenpick have to offer and found the gap to build something.

 

I really have gone a bit over board this week, so I shall not even attempt to talk about the last reading! I also heard it is very similar to the Charting your company's future reading. 

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

2 Comments

  1. Hey Robyn, 

    Firstly, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal and reading my comments/suggestions. I shall attempt to make a conscious effort in providing a balanced reflection on your writing - to the best of my abilities. 

    The primary aspect that you have demonstrated from this piece is your understanding of the importance of having a sound strategy. It seems like your team has developed a well-defined plan of action to take your business forward. In particular, I admire the fact that you have acknowledged how your ¿practice strategy was partially non-existent and flawed"._ _After all, the whole point of these weekly journal entries are to allow us to gain an insight into our learning experiences by being introspective and gaining some clarity. Furthermore, looking forward, it is great to see that you guys as a team seem to have improved from the previous week by making an effort to come up with a solution. As per Daudelin's stages, this also shows that you have articulated and identified the primary issue - which seems to be the lack of a team strategy/vision. Likewise, by identifying this problem I believe that you have also demonstrated the stage of ¿analysis¿ throughout the journal. Furthermore, the constant use of questions shows that you have adopted Daudelin¿s power of questions – which is something I am yet to master.

    From a Bloom's Taxonomy viewpoint, you have definitely showed proof of application throughout this text. From my view, the highest stage you have achieved is the analysis stage as you have constantly shown that you understood the main issue your team faced and subsequently, applied what you learnt in class and the readings into your Mikes Bikes simulation. Throughout, the reflection you divulged into analysis stage when you refer to how ¿it is not about the strategy, more about the execution of it¿ - which shows how have successfully separated material concepts and applied them. However, I do believe that the higher stages of synthesis and evaluation are yet to be achieved. In saying that, I myself, find it extremely difficult to achieve these ¿high order¿ stages so I believe that this is something we both must strive to achieve!

    Robyn, there are many aspects of your journal that I find insightful and interesting. In particular, I believe that you have a sound strategic and analytic focus which would benefit your team. Additionally, I also found myself wholeheartedly agreeing to your views about how we are meant to "differentiate ourselves from other companies" in Mikes Bikes. This conundrum is something that many teams are facing and it shall be interesting to see how we all fare in Mikes Bikes – both individually and as a team. Honestly, in terms of improvements it seems that the only aspect of this whole journal I could find fault with is perhaps the lack of critical evaluation of what exactly went wrong for your team during the practise week. Perhaps you could evaluate the driving forces behind the driving forces behind the practise decisions? Apart from the result, what do you think happened during the practise weeks that might have affected this result? In terms of my personal development, I believe that I need to start asking more questions and question my thoughts/decisions etc which could help me perhaps attain the ever allusive higher stages that Daudelin talks about.

    I hope my comment has been helpful and I apologize if I have come off as being condescending in any way. I do invite you to read my journal and any feedback shall be more than welcome!

    Best of luck for the course Robyn, I¿m sure you will do great!

    Regards

    Kartik  

    PS- Apologies for the somewhat long feedback haha!

  2. Personal review:

    After reading through this journal entry, I feel that there is no exact problem that was experienced before and have now been able to do at the end of the week. What I instead focused on was my team's lack of strategy and executing it.

    This journal entry, I believe, express' Daudeline's approach well.
    1. Articilation of a problem: lack of strategy and execution
    2. Analysis of problem: our strategy was partially non-existent, it was flawed, with all honesty
    3. & 4. Action/decision to act: Monday's meeting where the team changed their views, how meetings were run, and build of their strategy. Then it showed how I personally questioned myself in how the decisions I make will affect the other dept's and affect the strategy in a good way.

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy demonstrated in this journal is analysis. Evidence of this is the execution of finding the issue and building on what was learnt in the lectures and following through to build a new strategy with the help of the readings.
    Moreover, the two last stages of the Bloom's taxonomy will need to be researched a bit more of how to implement these into my future journal entries. I have personally come to the realisation, that the start of this journal entries, I have not successfully ever come to the synthesis and evaluation stages. This will now become my goal. 

    My first thought of reviewing my work was, why, this is silly. Now I appreciate this chance to publicly put forward my faults. In the future, and in the next journal entry, I am able to show that I have taken on board my faults and change how I do things. I am now determined to reach the evaluation stage of Bloom's taxonomy.