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As always I found this week very interesting in management 300. I guess I say this every week because every week in this class is more interesting than the last. I am really enjoying the unpredictability of this simulation now as I feel like every roll-over there is a huge uncertainty as to what might happen and this excites me. Although I know I may only be feeling this way because my team is doing okay, I really hope I could say that I would have the same enthusiasm about this course if my team was doing not so well. This week’s reading was extremely relatable to my experiences this week in this paper as this week we were carefully looking and scrutinizing our growth strategy. This was where my problem for this week lied, as with all humans I have a problem with change and this week we discovered that yet again our strategy would have to be changed in order to grow.

With one team member’s careful analysis of the rise and fall of other competitors this week, there was a discovery that now we were doing okay we could not become over-confident and get ahead of ourselves. This was because as what could be seen with other companies is that they were getting ahead of themselves with aspects of the simulation and oh how great their fall was. I believe this one member’s analysis was vital to our success this week as he made the team start to look very in depth at every market, question each market and critically analyse our success and performance in each market not only relative to our own performance but also to our rivals and this is what is vital according to the reading for growth (Baghai, Smit & Viguerie, 2009).  In this analysis we managed to unearth hidden growth segments and from that we managed to unearth a hidden growth strategy (Baghai, Smit & Viguerie, 2009).  In a sense what this meant for us is that in this particular simulation we found that maybe doing less is more. The reading highlights the importance of this smaller segment growth strategy. This importance is said to because the reason why these finer grained strategies may work is because as can be seen directly in our simulation complexity by catering to broad ranges of market segments can mean a sharp increase of costs (Baghai, Smit & Viguerie, 2009). I think these difficulties around complexity were starting to be seen within other companies that had spread themselves too thin and the costs were mounting with little returns.  While this strategy has proved so far to be the smarter move for us to take, there was a lot of hesitation within our group of making this move to these smaller slices at first, as ultimately this is change and this change seemed a strange one to us. Many of us didn’t see the point in this strategy when we are trying to grow, because this meant cutting back and limiting ourselves.  Dropping some segments and going into these smaller segments was overall a seemingly opposite strategy to growth and seemed strange to us when we were doing actually okay in the simulation. But in reality as the reading suggests the relocating of these resources can mean the increase of growth rate for the whole company (Baghai, Smit & Viguerie, 2009).  It was interesting to read that the reading this week backed up many of the discussions we had this week in class that through as we give way to precision in our analytics, it was easier for us to see hidden parts of our organisation that were being both successful and not successful  (Baghai, Smit & Viguerie, 2009). 

I believe through careful analysis and the reasoning of one our team members we managed to see the evidence he was laying out before us. I think in part the solution to my problem with the difficulties I had with changes this week comes down to analytics. I think if I had the right focus when it came to analytics of the reports then maybe I could have seen earlier where the one team member was coming from and why the change was vital. The right focus is something the reading suggests as being important as choosing what you will analyse contributes to your overarching strategy (Davenport, 2006). While some departments are very good at these analytics, I believe there are still definitely roles and departments that could benefit by more effort put into the analytics, as through this lack of right focus there was the confusion about the changes we needed to make. I also suggest this because as the other reading suggests while many organisations embrace analytics, such as ours, only a handful have achieved proficiency in competitively using analytics (Davenport, 2006). The only reason I suggest this as because I think perhaps if more of our team, even myself, was more efficient in using this analytics then maybe the difficulties we had in understanding why the change was needed wouldn’t be so large. Also since we almost didn’t believe the team member and change our strategy until last minute I can see how this lack in proficiency in analytics could have led to disaster within our team.

So yes while this change of strategy ultimately was my greatest issue in my experiences this week, I believe that ultimately by choosing to act by acceptance and coming around to the idea of this change, this action has proved beneficial to our team. Hopefully this strategy and changes we seem to be continually making in our team continue to work.

 

References:

Baghai, M., Smit, S., & Viguerie, P. (2009). Is Your Growth Strategy Flying Blind?. Harvard Business          Review, 87(5), 86-96.

Davenport, T. H. (2006). Competing On Analytics. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 98-107.

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Hi Marama, I think your journal has improved significantly since week 4, good job. First off, its good to hear that your are enjoying the course. I think that this is reflected very well in your work such as the journal, as it is very well structured and I can clearly tell that you have put a lot of thought and analysis into it. You have done a good job in applying the readings to your experience this week, as you identify that the idea that deep analysis of markets are vital to growth is true as you applied this in your experience of change this week. In week 4 I asked to you to make more clear what it was that you had learnt or identify what you could do now that you couldn't do at the start of the week. It is great to see that you have taken this on board and identified that you learnt that "maybe doing less is more" and you also outlined that by the end of the week you were more accepting of change. I also asked you to question your thoughts further which you have done a great job of when you say that you questioned whether cutting back was in fact a move toward growth. I especially like that not only did you question this but you answered it as well when you say that the reallocation of resources leads to growth. This analysis helps you to reach the higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. One way in which you could maybe improve your journal for next time is to maybe be careful to not overuse the readings as your own experience may be overshadowed by them. But this is just a small improvement, I really enjoyed reading your journal. It was well written and well thought out, good job and good luck for next week.

  2. Hey Marama, 

    Looking back at week 4, you talked about your concrete experience regarding the dangers in running with the first idea that one person has creating complacency. Reading this weeks journal gives me the impression that one persons due diligence with regards to analysis and data collection, you were inspired as a group to look in depth at all other aspects. Its amazing how weeks can change the scenario of a group dynamic. 

    Concrete Experience:  This week you experienced the role of individuals on a team which can lead to beneficial results. Your enthusiasm is great to see for the course and the constant flip-flopping and uncertainty might be thrilling as a student of a business class but not to the shareholders in the company. I thought that was an interesting dynamic between simulation and reality. 

    Realization: I completely see your point with change and how it can upset the dynamics of a strategy. Doing this over and over again allows for no long term push for an active strategy. I think you can talk more in depth about what specifically is changing? In terms of decision making? After looking at the data- is there someone saying we must abide by what the data says? Or is there a consensus on which data set to ignore etc. ? For the summative journal, this realization of what is actually changing will provide the reader with more insight into the problem with change. I say this because change is such a broad topic and cannot be experienced by the reader unless the context is narrowed down. 

    Active Experimentation: I think your move to incorporate data sets and more in depth analysis of markets is the experimenation for the week. if results look up next week, then you can see exactly where you made the growth and where you can make yourself leaner. This type of thinking with regards to cause and effect would be great and would highlight actively changing the decision making process and eventually the results. 

    The journal has improved considerably with regards to talking about specifics and has an excellent flow. The theory is implemented well but can be a bit overbearing. The reflection process steps are visible and your active implementation of the reflection can be very useful for future learning. 

    All the best
    Regards
     

  3. Hi, I can see you have made extraodinary improvement in your academic performance since week 4. It seems you have a deeper, maturer understanding of these readings, well done!!! The journal has improved significantly since you have applied these ideas really well to your weekly academic performance. I do feel that a key point of Mgmt 300 is to reflect our past conduct, so I suggest if you can reflect back your past few weeks' efforts, you will realize how much you have been improved.

    Well done!! Highly appreciate of your improvement and academic performance.

  4. Hi Peter Smith just wondering if you could give me some feedback on my journal. Just want to know how I'm doing as getting closer to Summative Learning Journal hand-in? Just when you have time or if you even have time. Thank you! (smile)

    1. You have good feedback from the others here (especially from Zaynah Sacranie and Harsimran Dhaliwal). I wouldn't say much if anything different from them ....

       

      ... but that may leave you unsatisfied, so I'll note that at first I was worried by the amount of "we" talk. However, you brought it back to yourself in a solid manner.