In terms of how well our pack worked this week, I'm happy with how well we're working together! It was good to see some of our quieter members contribute more and speaking up with their ideas of how we should proceed with our decisions. For instance, it could be argued that there were a few tense moments where we had differing views, however, we worked well to overcome these. We did this by letting everyone contribute their ideas and talk about it's implications and then as a collective decided which would be best. Also, our Facebook Group page is shaping up to be invaluable in allowing us to keep each other up to date with information and our various thoughts regarding the simulation. This is great because it is allowing us to work on fostering and maintaining a comfortable working environment. I'm quite pleased with how we're progressing and I hope that as the weeks progress, we become a stronger, cohesive unit.
This week's Mike's Bikes results had Warp Speed Bikes near sleeping with the fishes. While some of my peers may be worried about our position, I think that it is a reasonable outcome considering our decisions, which were put in place with our long term strategy in mind. Personally, I don't think that we should be wallowing on our results and questioning what we could have done better, rather, focus on what we the results tell us in terms of our future decisions/actions. For example, financially, it's looking like the Pacific Rim reviews, it's rocky and wasn't what we had hoped, however, considering our choices, a foreseeable outcome. Instead of berating ourselves, perhaps we should focus on the implications of this outcome on next week's decisions and the affect on our long term game-plan (i.e. Looking at all the reports, does that mean we shouldn't develop more bikes in the next rollover? Are there areas where we can make improvements for optimal financial gain?) That is not to say that we shouldn't not reflect on our previous decisions at all, I just believe that it would not do us any good to do that now, as it could make us second-guess ourselves. Possibly the reason that I don't think we should be too concerned about our results, is that we have discussed not having a rigid strategy, rather having an one that allows for continuous improvement.
Speaking of continuous improvement, I think this relates quite nicely to the Kim & Mauborgne (2004) article in which they point out that a large majority of blue ocean firms have come from existing firms competing in a red ocean, instead of what I would have assumed (where they arose from a new entrant). Upon further reflection, it does make sense because when competing in the red waters, good firms are continually evolving (thinking about new products, possible marketing tactics to get ahead of the competition and the like), so it makes sense that they would have a better chance of seeing gaps in a market, leading them to developing an initial blue ocean concept. Following this line of reasoning, it seems obvious that that is possibly why there a few firms that can create a crystal, blue ocean. What I took away from this reading was the importance of having an innovative and creative (real) team. Innovation seems to be the key when looking at Cirque de Soleil's success, as well as other blue ocean firms such as Ford Motors, Dell and Apple. Most of the technologies are already in existence, it seems to be the use of these through managerial decisions, made by a well-functioning team that drive success (by allowing a firm to simultaneously put into place a low cost and differentiation strategy without the trappings of being "stuck in the middle")
I look forward to pouring over the reports this weekend and plotting possible future actions, putting to use some of the changes I've made to my own decision-making process (something I have been working on from last week). Challenge accepted.
Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2004). Blue ocean strategy. Harvard Business Review, 82(10), 75--84