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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!

References:

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

2 Comments

  1. Hi Ben, Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is shown as you've analysed the strategy map & four steps of visualising strategy reading - you had your own summary points, which then led to your overall summary of the reading, which then led to you relating the concept of a strategy map to your own life (your future career). It is clear that you've come up with a system/step on how to write your learning journals, and this shows the difference in how you can easily write your learning journals now, as compared to before.

    Daudelin's reflection process was evident in your learning journal this week. You have taken the examples given in the reading (Cirque and Dell example), and turned it over to make connections to other experiences (your own experience with watching Cirque a few years back). You have also filtered it through personal biases, by adding that you do not fully agree with the notion of a blue ocean, and how you've given your own interpretation of what a blue ocean means to you. This shows abstract conceptuaiization (AC), which is done mainly throughout this whole journal. I do hope that as the weeks go on, you would be able to implement these theories/ways of thinking and move onto the active experiementation (AE) phase.

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy demonstrated in this journal is the Synthesis level. The synthesis level is part of the higher order of learning, which shows that you show a high level of critical thinking. This was done when you were able to add all the different key ideas and put them together as a whole. An example from your journal was "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." - from your strategy map reading. Another example is "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." - this was from the blue ocean strategy reading. With these examples, it shows that you have integrated the theories and your own intepretation of the key ideas into a simpler version which makes it easier to read and understand.

    One suggestion for you to improve your learning journal would be to go through Bloom's highest order or learning - Evaluation. This would require you to select one (or more) of your summarised examples of the readings and state how you would implement it & relate it to your current business simulation. You would be able to achieve this level of Bloom's taxonomy if you went a little further by stating how you would use these key ideas to help recommend/apply it to your team's decisions and strategy (without giving away too much information of course!)

    On another note, I like how you add notes or reminders on what you found interesting/important from each reading. I thought that not only does this show that you're learning something new, but this also shows that you've found the key themes/ideas that are important and have noted them down (which will also help you for your final learning journal summary). I also like how you BOLD the key words that stand out and are important from the reading. By doing so, this has helped me to learn to focus on the important ideas from the readings and to also come up with my own personal interpretation of the readings and to implement them into my learning journal.

    Overall this is a really good learning journal with some really insightful examples and ideas. Thank you for sharing your work and Good Luck for your second rollover!

  2. Why hello there Ben, what a beautiful and wonderous occasion it is to be commenting on your journal; I feel truly honoured and blessed!!! Thank you for the opportunity! The main thing which you have demonstrated learning is showing your ability to take away key messages from a reading and develop your own thoughts on them. You have shown with the readings that you have your own ideas; this is great as it shows you are taking your learning seriously and that you are thinking critically about the content of this course along with your own reflection. In regards to Kolb's learning process, you have demonstrated AC (abstract conceptualisation), by creating your own concepts which integrate your observations into logically sound theories. You demonstrated this through the example of your experience with Cirque, showing that your personal observations have effected the way you develop your own personal concepts and thoughts regarding the matter. 

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy you achieved was synthesis. You did this by adding all the different key ideas you surmised and put them together as a whole, applying critical thinking to each point. An example of this is "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." This shows clear understanding of the strategy map and that you have also developed your own take on it after having broken down the theoretical argument provided by the author of the piece. 

    You could improve by perhaps adding more personal reflection regarding your team and experiences you have had. This would allow deeper insight into the reflection you have had over this week.

    Thanks for sharing your work with me, I know it was hard but I understand!! Isn't it weird commenting on someone with the same name as yourself, boy!