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It is imperative to utilize an effective strategy in business. The differentiating factor between being successful and unsuccessful in the business environment usually comes down to the effectiveness of their strategy. This weeks learning was extremely useful in trying to understand how an effective strategy can influence you business's success, and how you could begin to implement an effective strategy.

Kim & Mauborgne (2002), argues that an effective strategy places significant weight on focus. The notion of focus is essential in the business world. Without a clear, narrow focus, your business cannot clearly plan or carry out the important operations that are key to any business's success. My team and I discovered the importance of focus after the two practice roll overs of MikeBikes. We failed to have a clear, distinctive focus on what we really wanted to accomplish. We focused too much on the broad, rather than the depth. We tried to please everything and everyone, whereas, as suggested by Peter, we should have determined whether we wanted to be high-cost/high-quality, low-cost/low-quality, etc. By taking this into consideration you are able to begin to make effective decisions on how you will produce, market, research etc. As team, we have decided on a clear cut strategy, we know exactly what markets we want to enter, we know exactly how to go about and as a team we have successfully implemented a strategy with a clear focus, and I believe that we will be successful. 

With regards to blue/red ocean strategy, Kim and Mauborgne suggests that red oceans represent industries in existence today i.e. the current market, while blue oceans are those industries that are not in existence today, "untainted by competition", which if managed to be successfully entered then the potential for that organisation is huge. Trying to apply that theme to MikeBikes, I think it is a difficult idea to suggest that it is possible to enter a blue ocean. We are confined by a predetermined, and hence we are automatically constrained a sort of "red ocean". Does this mean that there is a limit to success? In my view, absolutely not. If anything I feel that being able to be successful in the red ocean is an interesting challenge. The competition is intense and every single decision made by your firm will impact on your overall market share and level of capitalization. Firms need to make smart decisions, and be aware of every single repercussion that could result. 

Magretta (2002), place particular importance on business models. She states that "a good business model remains essential to every successful organization". Business models are an essential part of a business strategy, it is important to note that a business model, and a business strategy are not the same thing, and our team made this mistake in the practice rollovers. We failed to established both a successful strategy and an effective business model. An effective business model has a direct correlation to business success. A business that can create a significant "unique selling point", will undoubtably be more profitable and more successful all round. Being able to create unique selling point in MikeBikes, will differentiate your business from the other firms. Again, as a team we experienced this first hand in the practice rounds. As previously stated, our team focused too much on the broad, as a result we were unable to create such a unique selling point, and our sales suffered.  

This week we learnt about, I believe, one of the most important topics that can be learnt in business. Strategies have to be taken into account, and designed with extreme care and a smart mentality, or else you risk being left in the dust by those companies that manage to successfully implement an extremely effective strategy and business model.

References

Magretta, J. (2002). Why business models matterHarvard Business Review, 80(5), 86--92

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 strategyHarvard Business Review, 82(10), 75---84

2 Comments

  1. Hi Anthony, thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is acknowledging the utilisation component of strategising as key to having an effective strategy. Alongside this, you have discovered you did not implement a strategy so well in the past and have now learnt of its importance. Through this experience, you are now more likely than those who did not have difficulty to actively make sure you continue to be aware of this going into the future.

    I feel you haven't managed to demonstrate a complete cycle of Daudelin's stages in the reflection process. You identify finding Blue ocean within the MikesBikes strategy as a problem and you analyse why this is a problem, however you accept this problem and do nothing more such as testing its boundaries and limits, questioning what you know, and trying to act accordingly. Doing so could create some interesting results.

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy demonstrated in this journal is 'application'. This was done when you said: "Trying to apply that theme to MikeBikes, I think it is a difficult idea to suggest that it is possible to enter a blue ocean." This showcases your ability to apply theory in a practical context. Through what Bloom's taxonomy describes, if you were to work on Daudelin's reflection process, this would directly help you reach the first stage of higher learning: analysis. As described, analysis is reached when a student can explain why a particular solution process works to resolve a problem.

    To improve in the coming weeks, I would focus more closely on Daudelin's reflection process by identifying problems and following them through. A good way to add depth to this would be to re-address issues looked at in your previous journals and comment on the development of them.

    Thanks once again for sharing your work, I found it interesting because you addressed similar issues in your journal that I did in mine, but thought about them differently, allowing me to once again see the importance of trying to think outside of my normal thinking frame and assess a situation from multiple perspectives.

  2. After hearing Peters comments this week in regards to learning journals and the useful feedback given by Rosie I now have a new view towards how my learning journal should be. 

    I found that my approach is useful but it does not fully utilize the process by which Daudelin outlines. Just as Rosie had suggested I need to go further in my reflection by "testing its boundaries and limits, questioning what you know, and try to act accordingly". By doing this I can begin to establish a more effective grounds for successful learning and reflection, which will help to maximize what I get out of this course. 

    I also happen to agree with the fact that I have only reached the application part of Bloom's taxonomy. I need to begin to break the learning barrier, to again maximize my learning and reflection. I need to analyse what I have learnt and begin to learn at a higher level. An effective approach to stimulate an approach to break the learning barrier would be to follow the IW/IW/WI that Peter suggests. This could help stimulate the question process which is a key part in the reflection process. This adds a critical approach and view towards what I have learnt, and opens up an entirely new degree of learning. If I want to try and analyse, synthesize, and evaluate then I need to take a slightly different approach to how I am tackling my reflection journal.

    In summary, I could benefit greatly from following Daudelin's process more succinctly. In previous learning journals I had applied what I had learnt in the previous weeks, and this week I did not do that same application. I feel as though by applying previous learning journals I can begin to piece together the overall themes behind this course and further prepare myself for the future. I also need to begin to break the Bloom's Taxonomy learning barrier to increase my level of learning.