This week by far was the most interesting week (in terms of content and knowledge). This week we focused on (in my eyes) 2 important aspects of management, business plan and strategy. Both striking great interest in my life, retaining great interest in the expansion of my knowledge. In this perspective, i didn't approach this weeks learning outcome in my typical analytical aspect, giving knowledge of what i already knew and how i expected the learning outcomes to be, instead, i approached it in a open mind accepting the knowledge and increasing my own knowledge base.
Firstly i would like to approach the aspect of strategic planning, there were various important key points in the planning of strategy. There are 3 important key ideas that stood out to me when reading the article and that was the approach to the strategic canvas, the characteristics of Focus, Divergence and a Compelling tag line. Focus is the key to any strategic canvas, as it points out what the purpose of the company is (Kim & Mauborgne 2002). Secondly is divergence, divergence is what separates you from the competition and that relates directly to your companies strategic canvas, as this is the ideal differentiation method that seprated you from your competitor (Kim & Mauborgne 2002). Finally is the compelling tag line, this is the tag like or motto that makes your company memorable (Kim & Mauborgne 2002), for example coke "open up happiness", this is what keeps your company in the customers mind and finally sums up the strategic canvas of the company.
In relation to mikes bikes, these 3 aspects have great affiliation to our strategic canvas. However, we did not do it in the order suguesting in the reading, First of all, our group had first decided on a compelling tag line (company name) we wanted to signify how our competitors will remember us by, then we focused on the focus (cannot disclose) and finally our group decided on what will differentiate us from the others. This we wrote down on a piece of paper and sent it around so everyone can keep focused on our strategic canvas, as we see that visual rememberance will assist us in keeping with our goal.
Now on to the aspect of Blue oceans and red oceans, this idea expanded my knowledge towards a innovative process verses a evolutionary incremental process. The idea of Blue oceans is related to the innovative process of creating somewhat a new industry (Kim & Mauborgne 2004). The red ocean on the other hand is based on the competitive scope of rivalry it is improving on the existing market against your competition, this in most cases is the meaning of war (Kim & Mauborgne 2004). However one important aspect of blue oceans is that, blue oceans arise from red oceans, i.e. new industries arise from the competitive scope of red oceans (Kim & Mauborgne 2004). This in relation to our group project, the idea of red and blue oceans showed great similarities where, through the set up of our strategic canvas we discovered in the ability of dominating our competition, we needed to work smarter not harder. We needed to divert from the battling competitive scope, and create a new diversified industry that really separates us from our competition, so this will lead to a first leader advantage.
Business plan i have learnt, is far different from a strategic plan. This two words have been thrown around loosely by people (including myself), to my realisation, a business plan is rather different to a strategic plan. According to Magretta (2002), a business plan is a model of your scientific calculations of how your company will work together, on the other hand a strategic plan is the consideration of the competition to your business model. Therefore i have learnt that on the basis of both plans, they cannot be one without the other, they form a 2 step process and sees (in my point of view) incremental steps of from one stage to another towards the business as a whole.
In relation to mikes bikes, i saw a brief and slight similarity to the business plan and then strategy, where at the start, after the appointment of our various positions, we figured out how each section will work together and how each part, say operations, depended on R&D and HR and fianance. Basicly we discovered how to operate as a whole, immediatly after we turned out focuses on competition, thus proving that after a business plan was structured and implemented, our focuses turned onto competition and thus strategy.
In conclusion, i see that this week has been a rather positive week in terms of expanding my knowledge to the field of strategy and business plans, there has been a clear cut resemblence between the theotical readings and actuall life situations (mikes bikes), therefore seeing that this week has been one of the most applicable week in management 300.
Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2002). Charting your company's future Harvard Business Review, 80(6), 76--83
Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2004). Blue ocean strategy. Harvard Business Review, 82(10), 75--84
Magretta, J. (2002). Why business models matter. Harvard Business Review, 80(5), 86--92