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.
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.