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When I think of strategy I tend to think of games, sports and plots rather than in the traditional business sense. Strategy seems like a topic that we learn about in some shape or form in every course that we take in our commerce degree, however I believe I have learnt something valuable and different this time around in MGMT 300. Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed Peter's lecture on Friday when he explained a former student's Mike's Bikes strategy of perfecting a market and having total control of it by plotting bikes all over a specific type of bike's perceptual map to cater to every single person - maximising total market share. At first I thought it was quite a silly idea but upon further pondering I actually quite liked the thought of the complete dominance of a particular market sector and idea of being "perfect" at the particular sector really caught my eye. Peter then went on to blowing my mind by explaining to us the Blue Ocean theory (also part of this weeks reading by Kim & Mauborgne) and its advantages. I felt very stupid sitting in class unable to fathom why I didn't come up with a similar idea or strategy when he drew out the perceptual map in a more linear format, alas I'm still young and have much to learn. However, the introduction of this strategy can reshape the entirety of my Mike's Bikes team.

Although my team won the Mike's Bikes practice rounds - something I didn't want to happen - I believe that we still have a lot of work cut out for us, particularly in consistently executing our strategy but also not being afraid to adapt and adjust should we need to. Other than that, I'm extremely with my team and the dynamics that our team members bring. I find not being able to roll back a rather large challenge but, again, I believe my team can cope and make the best of the experiences we've gained in the practice rounds.

The readings this week were moments of epiphany for me. Magretta's reading (2002) completely changed my perspective about business models and their actual helpfulness, especially after reading the part about the traveler's cheques and that particular business model was a float since most business' costs precede revenues. This broadened my horizon on the actual possibilities of how businesses operate which I want to take advantage of. Although I'm still yet to come to wraps about how business models are completely separate to strategy, hopefully a few more days of pondering the matter will solve that.

Kim & Mauborgne (2004) on Blue ocean strategy fascinated me, much like Peter did in class on Friday. I simply had never thought about such a business concept before. Sure I had always wanted to be that person who invented something world-changing that nobody has thought of yet but to put such a concept idea into concise words really hit home. I like the fact how the reading reiterates constantly how demand is created from blue oceans rather than fought over against other firms which is the blue ocean strategies greatest strength - short-term monopoly of an entire new market segment while your competitors are frothing at their mouths trying to play catch up.

The other readings by Kim & Mauborgne (2004) I thought was not as thought provoking as the first two mentioned. However one useful piece of insight I gained from it was the 4 steps of visualising strategy. Breaking down the strategy into 4 steps really aids in identifying what you want to achieve in each stage which is something you can't see when you just look at strategy as a whole.

I'm beginning to see a thread that links all of the subjects and readings that we have done so far in this management course. It seems to me that learning, team work, leadership, decision making and now strategy - although they come across as simple business factors - are all concepts and attributes that can be applied to everyday life and be developed upon. The world is always changing and it is quintessential for people, particularly us as we are only young and just entering the world, to be adaptable and embrace change or we risk falling behind and, consequently, being left behind. Although the readings cover the more business-y side of the concepts, I think these learning journals force us into applying it to our everyday lives and writing about our past experiences further ingrains it into our head. I think Peter might be trying to develop us as people rather than just simply a student of the business world.

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

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main way in which you have demonstrated learning is though gaining new knowledge especially from the 'blue ocean strategy' reading. You have made good plans to implement this learning within your mikes bikes team.

    You appear to have completed Kolb's cycle well with the only weak link being in the formation of abstract concept and generalizations.

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy demonstrated in this journal is comprehension. One area in which this is shown was when you said 'Breaking down the strategy into 4 steps really aids in identifying what you want to achieve in each stage which is something you can't see when you just look at strategy as a whole'. 

    One way in which you could improve for next time would be to strengthen Kolb's cycle by reflecting on 'why' e.g. why you found the concept interesting and/ or why the insight you have gain is useful.

    Thankyou for sharing your work, by reviewing it I have been reminded again of the different levels of Blooms taxonomy and by objectively reading someone else's work I have been able to better gain an insight into which level has been reached and will be able to apply this to my own work. 

  2. It is quite tough to review my own learning journal as when you write it, you don't critique your own thought process at the time but when you read over it again you understand how your mind was working at the time.

    I think i did well in explaining what insight I gained and how I'd apply it in the future, particularly with the blue ocean strategies and business models. However, one area I think I can further improve is the explanation of my thought processes and how someone with no knowledge of this course can read my journal and understand everything being written about.

    I think my learning journals have improved since the start but still have a long way to go.

  3. Hmmm, no journal for week six.

    I was quite disappointed by your journal until I got to the final paragraph; then I began to think "*good stuff(". You start to draw some threads together and that places your work higher up Bloom's Taxonomy than Charlotte suggests.

    Perhaps the biggest weakness in this journal is that you try and cover too much. Any of the main ideas here, could be the basis of a really good (rather than okay) journal. That way you'd be able to be clearer on your 'journey' around Kolb's cycle.

    Keep up the good work.