The reading on strategy map was definitely interesting. It felt a bit more straightforward than what I usually expected, but I still enjoyed the idea and the examples from the airline industry. A point to make; having pictures/graphs makes understanding and getting invloved with concepts so much easier, so that was great. The four steps of visualising strategy (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002) Visual Awakening, Exploration, Strategy Fair and Communication laid out this 'strategy canvas' in a really appealing way. The process seemed a simple solution to facing strategy problems and its readings like this that make you think, why haven't people been doing this all along? Simple solutions to immediate problems. Awakening - Compare yourself to competitors to find out where you 'are', and see what needs to be changed (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002). Exploration - Dive into the field and figure out the advantages of offering different productcs/services, what things need to change, and should they be? (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002). Strategy fair - Now draw a 'to be' canvas of where the company should be, collect feedback and then use it to develop the best strategy possible (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002). Communication - Allow employees to understand the changes by building a comparison, then only support changes that will lead to this new strategy coming into fruition (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002). Once it is spelt out simply it really does look very simple; but I can see the great complexity and extreme effort that would need to go into a plan like this to make it successful. You would definitely need a management team that is highly motivated and works well together (a real team), along with a leader with a high-level leader (how great would a level 5 leader be here?). I can relate this concept to many things which is something I like about it; it could be a strategy used for change in any situation. Personal life matters for example, trying to get your head around a problem or a difficult decision in life - such as where you want to head in your career? Build a map following these principles and modifying it so it makes sense to you (replace competitors which potenital study or job options, then what they can all offer you). Build your 'as is' and 'to be' maps and have a clear goals and purpose. That would be great actually, tempted to give that a go!
Seeing the 'blue ocean', 'red ocean' again was a nice surprise. I remember having studied this before, and the concept of red being the competitive, already in place 'space' against the blue of new innovation and no competition. After having read the story of Cirque and its blue ocean strategy, I would say I definitely agree with the general principles (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004). I remember going to a Cirque show years ago and the experience was definitely magical and fantastical; something very different I had ever been to before. It definitely existed in its own market space and was extremely differentiated from anything else. Still, I don't think I quite agree with the notion that a 'blue ocean' is something completely new and radical (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004). I think anything in a blue ocean still exists within that market space of a red ocean in terms of 'family traits'; being what the fundamental image of the company represents. In Cirque's case; a circus. The fact they are pulling people away from their red ocean competitors shows that although they have supposedely innovated something brand new and completely different, they are still effecting red ocean companies; thus the relation (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004). If they can effect eachothers customers directly then there definitely is a bridge between them in my opinion. This being said, I still readily agree with the reading's perspective on blue ocean viability as a means for creating new strategy; it would open many doors to new innovation(Kim & Mauborgne, 2004). One problem from my view would be peoples cognitive capacity to actually constantly create new ideas to make these blue ocean companies. Most of our existence is based upon patterns and incrementalisation; constantly building upon what we have and making it better. Not everyone can be a radical inventor, not even 50% or 60% in my opinion. Still, the pro's of being blue ocean are definitely there and I would love to work within a business in this space. The Dell example in Magretta (2002) gives a good example of this 'incrementalisation'. Dell's strategy was effective in its new business model, but further improvements and decisions had to be made to make their strategy continuously profitable. It is not all about blue waters or creating a booming strategy; there are many constantly always working to fix and improve the systems already out there.
Overall, this week was a lot more tense than I thought it would be, due the first real rollover against 5 other competitors. The stakes we're definitely higher and our group had to consider some new strategies going forward this first week. I'm proud to say my team engaged a lot more this week; the enthusiasm and drive to do well was evident. We struggled with some decisions, and a few of us had differing ideas on what we should do. I found our struggle refreshing in a way however, it made me feel as if we were all committed and really pushing to make this week count. We haven't got our results back yet, but I hope we do well. We have a sound strategy, it just depends on how our competitors have acted!
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