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This week was an interesting week as we tweaked the way we made decisions and the strategy we had chosen. This was due to a number of factors. Firstly, we had gained more experience in operating within worlds and against other teams. Secondly, the sizes of the worlds have increased and we are now competing in a world of six rather than four. Thirdly, we had to think more carefully about our strategy and create more precise and long-term goals because we have nine roll-overs ahead of us. This time, we took a bit more risk with what we chose to do since we now understand the simulation better and what results our decisions will have. The way we approached the amounts we chose to spend, particularly on advertising, PR, and operational systems was particularly important in this first roll-over because we knew there would be six adventure bikes and so we had to make sure we got a decent share of the market in order to be successful. Theory on decision making presented by Buchanan and O'Connell (2006) can be applied to this as we used a combination of gut decisions, economically rational decisions, and analytical abilities. Advancing through the simulation, we could run into problems if we use too much gut instinct and not enough reasoned decisions. To ensure we stay on track, when a team member suggests a figure, I will question why they have chosen that particular one and ask them to explain the logic behind it.

In class on Monday we analysed forms of strategy using arm wrestling as an example. We were told to see who could win the most arm wrestles in 30 seconds. In this case, two approaches were obvious to me: either work together going back and forth so you will get a high number, but your challenger will too, or work against each other where one person will most likely come out on top, but they won't have been nearly as successful in their number as the two individuals who decided to help each other gain. This posed the question of whether it was better to both do equally well and get high numbers, or both get low numbers but one person does better than the other. In the case of MikesBikes, the first strategy seems the smart choice because we are aiming for high capitalisation, and if we all try and run each other out of the game it is unlikely we will manage to do very well ourselves either.

Just as these two main options were immediately presented to me, two main strategies for a single firm in MikesBikes were also highlighted: produce all bikes or decide between producing bikes for certain sectors, either low or high quality. This seems problematic to me and rather limited. Every team is aware of these two strategies and so will most probably be doing similar things within these fields. This makes it hard to stand out from your competitors. Following on from reading Kim and Mauborgne's (2004) piece on blue ocean strategy, alongside their article on strategic planning (Kim and Mauborgne (2002), I began to think about what could be done within the MikesBikes simulation to create a blue ocean within a red ocean, and to create focus in what we were doing. This seemed a big question, and creating bikes outside of the five coloured areas on the perception map was not an option, so at the next team meeting I posed it to my peers. We pondered the issue and decided on a strategy that doesn't limit ourselves to one section, nor does it force us to go into all of them, and is hopefully a move different to what other teams will decide to do. The two ideas for options presented to us in class were just the two most obvious ones, and it is important to think outside of what is presented to you in order to discover something that is (hopefully) successful and great and that will set us apart from our competition.

Reference list:

Buchanan, L. & O'Connell, A. (2006). A brief history of decision making. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 32---41

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

2 Comments

  1. I have decided to assess this journal and write feedback to myself as if it were not my reflection in order to try and be critical and get the most out of it.

    Hi Rosie, thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is the understanding of different types of decision making and the impact a bad balance of these types can have on results.

    You make a good attempt at following Daudelin's approach to reflection, however I feel like it could still be further implemented. The last two stages of the cycle, 1. formulating and testing of a tentative theory to explain the problem and 2. action (or deciding whether to act) could be better addressed by spending more time digging into the issue and really trying to understand the relationship of a given theory to the issue. This would not only help give it more depth, but it would also place your reflection within a wider context outside of the weeks learning focus and the course in general. This would be beneficial as it seems like you are still having difficulty tying the bigger picture together and bring in different bits of information/experience from outside of this week's learning topic in order to form a new whole.

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy demonstrated in this journal is 'application'. This was done when you said "I began to think about what could be done within the MikesBikes simulation to create a blue ocean within a red ocean, and to create focus in what we were doing". 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.

    You can improve in the coming weeks by re-reading the main points of the week one readings before writing a reflection and then again afterwards to help you remain on the right track in order to reach a high level of learning and produce a quality piece of writing. Additionally, an important next step will be to try and tie in outside theory when analysing problems in order to use it to help and find a solution, as suggested by Daudelin.

    Assessing this work as an outsider has helped me pinpoint what problem areas I have in my reflection that need attention and that I should strive to really work on in the next few weeks in order to improve as a whole.

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal the main thing that you have demonstrated in your learning journal is that you have differentiated between blue ocean and red ocean strategies and thought about applying it to the mikes bikes simulation and how this may set your group apart from other competing teams.

    The degree to which you have followed Daudelin¿s approach is that you have used the theory to clarify the issue by identifying strategies  for mikesbikes simulation and creating  focus  to address the problem.

    The highest level of Blooms taxonomy demonstrated in this learning journal is applying the reading articles to your learning journal  this was done when reading blue ocean strategy and by stating ¿not limiting your group by just one strategy¿ you started thinking about how you could create a blue ocean within a red ocean.

    You can improve your learning journal using ideas from Daudelin¿s reading by focusing more in-depth on one of the points or a single idea than the other.

    Thank you again for sharing your work, it has helped me improve my own work by seeing strategies from different perspectives.