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To start this journal off, it must first be stated that we as a team rose to the challenge last week with our SHV increasing significantly with some blind luck, technological and conceptual skill and the power of our team. It has been mentioned in readings of previous weeks about the power of a team but it only really shows when the only defining difference between companies in the simulation is their team. This week however started almost immediately on a very different note than what would be commonly expected from a team that was doing well. In the first meeting, for the members that could make it, the discussion was targeted towards focusing our strategy, changing the business model and moving with the shifting sands of the market. The problem that we identified was firstly our large costs that had reduced our overall profitability. It was apparent it was a problem as we had foreseen warning signs in our competitor’s results. They had created an incumbent position as the dominating team in the market of China, but suddenly what was observed while scrimmaging through the previous rollover’s data was a decrease in profits that had surged over the previous years. As our strategy had been relatively similar to that of the top team it was clear that the market was changing and to make sure that we could escape the collapse, we had to develop a plan.

It is always remarkable to me that the readings prescribed for the week holds such relevance to the actions of our team for that week. As I only readings after the rollovers to effectively reflect upon our teams actions, the fact that our teams focus was an analytical one to first analyse our competitors positions, the markets shifts and a change of stages in the company life cycle makes Baghai, Smit & Viguerie (2009) an immensely relevant reading. Davenport (2006) suggests that many organisations that can be identified as ‘aggressive analytics competitors’ were clear leaders in their fields. It can be well assumed that to gain a strategic competitive advantage in this simulation, one must focus on being an aggressive analytic to overcome competitor’s actions. So from our analysis of the industry and our strongest competitors, we identified several significant changes that our firm wanted to focus on which primarily targeted the problems associated with immense costs as well as focusing our product range to avoid being spread to far like many of our competitors. From these actionable outcomes came the results of the rollover which saw our SHV rise another 10 points. This affirmed our previous analysis of the competitive environment, with special regards to the top competitor falling for the first time in SHV by 10 points. As soon as the results became available, a meeting took place on facebook, only preliminary sharing appraisal but then focused on analysing the valuable data from an extraordinary shift in our market. What could only be observed as competitors falling like houses of cards around us, there seems to be only two teams that were unaffected. Are we going to get stuck in a trap of overconfidence? From our informal meeting, it seems that there is greater fear that although we did not fall this week, there is no certainty we will not fall the next. It is a game of chance, strategy and luck. It will be our actions next week that will define our position in the market, but at least we have a good foot to stand on.   

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 analyticsHarvard Business Review, 84(1), 98--107.

4 Comments

  1. It is always remarkable to me that the readings prescribed for the week holds such relevance to the actions of our team for that week

    I wonder why it works that way????

    Thinking about this piece of writing as a learning journal (and of Daudelin's structure), it is not immediately apparent to me what is what your problem is (as opposed to the challenges that the team/firm faces). As a consequence, I find hard to see what you are going to do differently based on your learning/insights. 

    You would benefit from being clear as to what YOUR problem is, what your 'theorising' is around that problem, and what you will try and do differently to see in you can address the problem meaninfully. It is hard to see from what you say, how—for example—what you are going to do differently to reduce the likelihood that your team will be over confident.

    1. This week I admit it was much harder to identify a fundamental problem after the roll over. It is the absence of a problem where I have identified there is a problem. Cryptic I understand but this absence of an elephant in a room does not mean there is not a problem which I had identified. It is hard to address the problem not in the room, however careful observance and understanding and utilising conceptual and analytical skills are keys to preserving our positively growing position. Although it may not seem like there is much depth, I can assure you the abstraction does not whittle the depth of my thoughts surrounding this. 

  2. Hi Ryan,

    Before I had scrolled down to see that Peter had commented on your journal my thoughts were on a similar line to what he had said in that I struggled to identify what you had identified as your "problem" for this weeks learning journal. It was very interesting to read your response as I have felt too in some weeks that there is often not a glaringly obvious problem to be commented on. However I think that what you have written could have been better explained. My overall feeling (forgive me if I am wrong) was that you were trying to work out what your competitors were doing in order to maximise your benefits in the market. A problem no matter how small can still be effectively reflected on following Daudelin. Although you do not identify your problem so clearly you do go through a good analysis of the problem and have brought in evidence from the readings to support your observations. This I have always felt puts your reflection in the synthesis level of blooms as you are taking and combining information to reach a conclusion just for this section. Overall you are more in the analysis part where you have identified the components that need to be resolved.

    However as you have no clear problem there are no potential solutions that you have worked through to reach a decision to act upon. As such I would agree with Peter that a clearer identification of a problem would help you identify what you are going to improve upon.

    Looking back at week four I remember your journal to be very interesting as you had posed several questions for the commentators to answer. As such I did not identify any problems with your journal's Daudelin structure or Blooms that I specifically commented on. However looking over it again I feel like you did do really well in terms of reflecting on a specific issue and then coming up with some solutions but you instead asked us to comment on them rather than you choosing which one you thought was applicable.

    Good luck for the last few reflections!

  3. Hi Ryan

    You were correct in saying in your comment on my journal that my comment on yours was missing and I must apologise for my poor time management.

    Looking back on your reading from week four, your structure of reflection has not really changed all that much. This is something I feel is a problem as it will impact on the quality of your summative learning journal. From what I gather, the summative learning journal is supposed to be about what we have learnt from the theory in the course. Both your journal from this week and week four have focused primarily on a reflection of the events that occurred during the week, with a few name drops from the readings. This will not be helpful in your final summative journal as it will be much harder to show what you have learnt. All you said about the Baghai and Viguerie reading was that it was "immensely relevant". Immensely relevant to what? If it was so immensely relevant, why did you only write one sentence about it? This shows a weakness in your ability to reach the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy. Your reflections should be completely dissecting the readings in order to find their relevance to your experience in Mikes Bikes. By writing so little you are shooting yourself in the foot.