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This week was all about business models and strategy something I like looking into in great detail. This is because unlike most of you, I walk down the street and think about the inner workings of a company when I walk past one, for example walking down Queen Street, when I pass shops like Swarovski etc, being a customer of the store and a business student, I think about the business objectives, marketing etc instead of saying ¿Oh that¿s a nice a poster¿ in regards to their marketing campaign.

This week I came into class all geared up for the real Mike Bikes filled with confidence. This essentially led to my downfall and hence resulting in my team not doing that great. I thought because I am world number 23 and hence in the top 2% of the world for Solo Mike I¿m awesome and thought that I was going to ace Mikes Bikes team. The thing was because we had finished 2nd in the class in the practice rollovers, this had put a whole lot more confidence in as majority of the decisions made had a great deal of input from me. However when I woke up at 1335 hours on Thursday to check how well we did, my company Pedal Power Ltd in which I hold the position of CFO did absolutely CRAP! Out of 6 teams we came out at number 4. Even though the difference in shareholder value wasn¿t that much I believe that we performed horrendously only because I made a few decisions with a lot of confidence rather than a lot of thinking. With a shareholder value of $16.86 and a rating of steady I know that we could have done better, however all that aside, my confidence in myself and my ego are still intact and with that attitude I will soldier on into next week and think more. I understand that we have a few more teams competing against us, but in order to be number you must know exactly what you are doing and not deviate from the set goal which for my company and myself is to win and be number 1.

The other daunting thing this week was that there was no offline mode, so whatever we decided on was solely from the reports provided and there was no chance to even see what would happen even if the competitors had absolutely no intelligence. Even though the offline mode was rare thing for me to use in the practice rollovers, given the fact that this was the real deal I just had to make sure that whatever we did was perfect so that we did not do something stupid causing our shareholder value to decrease.

This week, there was a lot more readings to be done compared to the previous weeks in my opinion I guess because as I didn¿t have a huge workload this week, I actually went through and did the readings in detail.

Having done the Young Enterprise Scheme in 2010 at High school with great successes at both regional and national level, I somewhat understood what business models and business strategy were but I came to use the terms as if they were the one thing (sorry I forgot the term). However the Magretta (2002) reading really explained it well using the Walmart example. Now I have actually come to learn what the two terms are and how best to define it. After doing this reading, I have come to learn that that a business model is how the business and its different elements come together and fit as a whole, and the business strategy is where you would assess and differentiate your business from that of the competitors to get a better edge.

Having read the Harvard Business Review for a few weeks for my other course, I have come to understand that it explains a theory through a story. Doing the Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2004), I guess we can say that the markets within Mikes Bikes are red markets because they are already there and broken down into the five segments already. The reading talks about the blue market as the driving force of growth and what every company that is starting up looks for. Reading this made me somewhat ponder what Peter was talking about with regards to the perpetual map and how you can create a market outside the circles (segments in Mikes Bikes), I am still sceptical as to whether or not we would sell any bikes at that point and wonder if this is the way to create a ¿blue market¿ in Mikes Bikes and create growth within the market. I will perhaps revisit this reading later on once my company had enough of the market share and think of ways of creating growth later on once I am satisfied as to where my company has reached.

In conclusion, this week was one filled with excitement, anxiety and over confidence. Going further I would like to see my decisions being made using my head instead of my ego, because when I made a few decisions I was thinking about my reputation of being in the top 2% in the world etc. I guess this will be achieved with more active and responsive group work where we all critique and question each other¿s work/decision/recommendation instead of just being sucked into that idea of ¿group think¿ 

References:

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

2 Comments

  1. Hey Umar, Umar here ;) LOL

    Firstly I would just like to thank myself for being awesome and constant in writing these journals even when I have a huge workload.

    On a serious note,

    personally I don't feel as I have mastered Daudelin's approach nor the Bloom's approach.

    I guess to better myself for the summative it would be best if I re-read the Bloom, Daudelin and Kolb readings to get a better understanding on how to properly write my journal in accordance with what they prescribe as the proper approach to be.

    However from the journal, I like how I have a set structure that I follow each week which is to have an intro, followed by my Mikes Bikes experience and then the readings followed by an overall conclusion, I guess this is the format I am comfortable with and reckon if I stay with this format and master the Daudelin approach I will be ok.

  2. Dear Umar,

    Thank you for taking the time to read through my feedback on your learning journal. It is a privilege for me to be able to read and comment on your work as a journal is from a personal nature.

    The best I can offer you is my clear and honest feedback and reflections on your learning demonstrated here. Of course, as with any feedback, you may take it and digest it and accept however much of it you like – that is entirely up to you. I hope that I may serve you best here with my honesty.

    I feel that you have demonstrated a personal learning experience here, rather than a purely academic one. You have commented a lot on your over-confidence and how you would like to focus more on ¿using [your] head instead of [your] ego,¿ which is excellent to hear having read your latest journal as well as your previous writings.

    Going through your journal, your writing read with a lot of description, indeed Daudelin¿s first step of articulation about your week, but little with regards to analysis, hypothesis and future action. Your articulation was very sound, including what your Queen Street walks and 1335 Thursday wake-up hours are like, and there were indeed tid-bits of analysis, hypothesizing and planning for future action sparsely scattered throughout your writing, but some parts left me wanting more. For example, in your second paragraph where you stated ¿I believe that we performed horrendously only because I made a few decisions with a lot of confidence rather than a lot of thinking¿, I would be very interested to know how you got to this conclusion. What were the factors that made you arrive here? Why do you think that your over-confidence led to your less-than-appealing result? Apart from the result, what happened during the week that you think may have affected this result? There is a lot of concrete description here, but I would encourage you to take a moment to dig deeper into the reasons why, rather than more than adequately describe the what.

    Unfortunately, the above may pose a negative reflection on your advancement through the stages of Bloom¿s wonderful Taxonomy. From my reading, it seemed that the highest order of Bloom¿s Taxonomy that you accomplished was in ¿Application¿ in your sixth paragraph when you considered the markets in the perceptual map. Here, you related the Mike¿s Bikes rings to ¿red markets¿ – which is quite appropriate, and I thoroughly agree with you – yet then you ¿pondered¿ whether creating or establishing a blue market was possible within the scenario, and left that train of thought for another day. Now, while I can understand that now may have not been the optimum time to consider the creation of a blue market, I believe that considering and reflection upon these ideas would have been feasible given that you ¿didn¿t have a huge workload this week¿. As a result of which, this unfortunately inhibited you from reaching the ¿Higher-order¿ skills of Bloom¿s Taxonomy.

    Umar, you have an excellent attention to detail and what appears to be a sound strategic mind, particularly for Solo Mike in which you have clearly demonstrated your exceptional competence for the simulation. However, I would urge you to take a step back, pause, and concentrate on Daudelin¿s analysis aspects of your learning (the third stage of reflection). You have the potential to develop a very analytical mind – you¿re crunching of reports and relentless attention devoted to takeovers is testament to this – but I worry that you¿re being held back by not taking the time to stop and carefully analyze your situation. By that I don¿t just mean crunching your numbers and meticulously dissecting your firm¿s reports, but by taking a moment to take a slide back from the driver¿s seat, stop and listen to the insights of your teammates and peers.

    Perhaps what struck me the most in your journal was an egocentric kind of ¿pondering¿. Contrary to your ¿unlike most of you¿ beliefs, some of your peers may well have very interesting and insightful perspectives on their roles and how to enhance the performance of their firms, particularly as the semester rolls over. From one CFO to another, I urge you to take a moment to thoughtfully internalize the inputs and views of your teammates. They may have excellent reasons for why they have proposed the decisions they have come to; it is up to the CFO to actualize the how of their proposal, if it is to eventuate at all. You can be an excellent support for you team, Umar; to assist your team in your utmost capacity, I encourage you to mindfully consider the perspectives of your teammates before making decisions with either your head or your ego. I believe that this will certainly assist your analysis in the future and promote you through the higher levels of Bloom¿s Taxonomy.

    Thank you for your time in reading this feedback, Umar. I hope it this has been helpful for you, even in the slightest way possible. This has certainly helped me become more analytical in my own writing and efforts, as well as a further understanding in applying Daudelin¿s Taxonomy to contexts other than my own.

    Of course, as mentioned earlier, the best I can do for you is to be as honest as possible with you, and I really appreciate having the platform here to do so. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if you would like to go over this feedback further. I¿ll be more than happy to assist however I can.

    Good luck this week! I hope your learning has stood you and two strong wheel rolling ahead.

    Best Wishes,

    -Matt