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