This week¿s focus was on strategy. Class sessions revolved around pondering future strategies and consequentially, what we can take from our practice simulation into our ¿real deal¿ simulation. The reading by Kim and Mauborgne (2004) opened my eyes about blue ocean strategies, about rendering the competition irrelevant, or at least trying to. Thus, instead of competing with everybody else for a large market share, we decided to invest strictly in Racers; which is why we are named Strictly Racers accordingly. We discussed this decision thoroughly, and as a team we decided, seeing as the simulation results are only worth 20%, that we would rather be ambitious and get a great mark, risking not doing so well, than to play it safe and to just get a ¿good¿ mark. We designed three bikes, one racer and another in each of the two largest markets. We don¿t wish to have to produce and sell these bikes, however we must be prepared for everything. Establishing that we are committed to monopolizing the racers market, it¿s not a case of other teams not competing with us out of fear; it¿s just logical that they don¿t. However, it would be unwise to bank on every other team being logical. As the saying goes, the only person scarier than the smartest person in the world is the dumbest person in the world. It is important that we remain fluid, and although it would contradict our team name, if another team tries to compete with us in racers, then we will be forced to release one of our other designs. We will likely release the one that means we mimic that of the team who decided to compete with us. A sort of ¿this will teach you to mess with us¿ mentality. But preferably, we would rather be ¿left alone¿ with the racer market.
The other reading from Kim and Mauborgne (2004) about charting our future was also very helpful. We recognized that the racer market had potential to do well, but seeing as it was only small, then it wouldn¿t really be wise for two teams to compete with each other in this section as it is like a child trying to take another¿s toy when there is a whole box full of toys for everyone. So we decided to make our mark, using the third complementary quality that characterizes an effective strategy in particular; a compelling tag line. ¿Strictly Racers¿, and we wish to be strictly that. We feared that some teams may think that this is a ploy, or a tactic but this is obviously not the case. As CEO, I approached two other CEOs from the teams that we decided had the best potential and explained our situation. It wasn¿t difficult to convince them to not enter into our market as it was an obvious choice not to. Upon hearing my strategy, I didn¿t have to convince them at all, as after a little hard thinking, they were able to figure out for themselves that it would have ended up as a disaster – very smart CEOs! We only hope that the other teams can realise the obvious and ¿leave us alone¿ too.
I¿m looking forward to next week¿s rollover, I have heard from a few other teams and I believe that through careful planning and smart choices, that we can all end up with a good grade.
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