The name of the game this week was, well, the game! That is to say, our lecture content was centered on strategy. I am a bit apprehensive to actually read the material this week, given that we have already developed a strategy through the use of the practice rollovers. Going into this week I am struck by the idea that we have a certain naïve perception of hopefulness and expectation. We, in our mikes bikes group, think that what we are doing is correct. I feel, as I cannot go through Daudelins normal reflective stages as a result of this, as I feel that there is no inherent problem that needs to be analysed. With that in mind, I am going to write my thoughts about our strategy and decisions based on nothing but what I have learned from previous classes; this is in the interest of reflection. Then I will read the prescribed readings and determine if I can apply Daudelins thinking to further reflect on our position and future strategy, as well as predict how our strategy may or may not work and what we can do to overcome any challenges we may face.
We used the practice rounds to determine how we are going to piece together our final strategy. What we found is that the major players in our practice world, also were in our real competitive world, therefore we have a basic idea of where we think they are going to make their decisions. We feel like we entered into the simulation with each member having a basic understanding of their role and the functions of their role within the game. Therefore, we did not need to spend a lot of time bringing people up to speed or using the practice rounds to understand the interrelations of decisions within the system, we could use them to flesh out a strong strategy that would allow us to compete against real competitors (who we assumed knew the simulation also) as opposed to competing against the simulation itself. I think we wanted our strategy to be flexible enough to adapt, but strong enough to compete on its merits. We settled on the fact that we would move into the markets, which we noticed that all the other teams did not attempt to move into. We feel as though this prediction will remain appropriate regardless of whether other teams notice the same information that we did. With this limited ideology however, I feel that in the interest of deep reflection I do need to apply the readings to our decision and strategy process, even if that means shattering the blissful ignorance about the ability of our strategy to succeed.
Joan Magretta (2002), I felt, was the most relevant reading. She discusses the concepts of Business Models, rather than strategies. The main point that stood out for me is that you need to define your core benefits and customers, in turn you need to redefine the actual outcomes you are trying to achieve. That means understanding wholeheartedly the situation you are in; for example, it is unnecessary to think that trains and trucks are both in the same market even though they both offer transport services. Trucks are more versatile and short haul, whereas you need trains to move larger objects a longer distance; it is meaningless for them to model themselves both on the same transport strategy in an effort to compete with each other. In the same way, we can apply this logic to mikes bikes by only taking a focused market strategy, and making competition irrelevant rather than threatening. If we reconsider that our market is completely separate to the other groups (by moving into the market we have noted that others are apprehensive to move into) then we can rest on our own merits and not have to worry about what the other groups are doing at all. Even though Magretta considers the market and redesign of models to suit a well defined market, I think that the competitive and organizational structure also needs to be included into our model consideration, magretta does indicate these are important as well but not as much as market definition (Magretta; 2002). What magretta also seems to indicate to me is that you can be successfully in whatever market you move into as long as you fully understand the market. We can use whatever strategy we want, but we need to focus on that strategy and make decisions that accentuate it, we can¿t have liabilities (which deviate from our strategy) that we would consider risk aversions. Anything we do, even if it is to have a plan B, will undermine our efforts to propagate our focus, IN short, we may need to take a risk to maintain a longer-term strategy. Magretta¿s (2002) story test and numbers test blend together in our simulation, this is because the psychological market aspects that define her Story test are not prevalent, the market needs and wants are simple percentages and numbers that are given to us in the scenario information, we simply need to hit the specs that they indicate are ideal. This makes our strategy, in Magretta¿s Definition, fare less sensitive to risk.
Magretta, J. (2002). Why business models matter. Harvard Business Review, 80(5), 86--92