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Drawing a ¿strategy canvas¿ can lead to ¿strategies that are easy to understand and communicate, that engage more people within the organization, that engage more people within an organization, and that unlock the creativity of participants" (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002, p.78). Using the strategy canvas approach allows a business to map out the current factors that affect competition within the market. Although I find that a strategy canvas might be a handy tool to use while we¿re in this MikesBikes simulation, the time constraint of only having 5 rollovers might be a little tight for us to spend time planning on a whole strategy canvas. After reading about the strategy canvas, I believe that we should've been given this article when we started on our practice rollovers, as this would've given us more time to map out a strategy canvas and plan with a longer time frame. The Four Steps of Visualizing Strategy set out by Kim and Mauborgne (2002) emphasised on the four visuals; Visual Awakening, Visual Exploration, Visual Strategy Fair and Visual Communication. I believe that my team and I have used parts of this four step strategy plan. We have yet to identify our competitors main strategy (but we will after we analyse the first and second rollovers), however we have gone through the visual exploration stage, where we¿ve explored all the possible options/strategies that we can take. This would allow us to view and map out patterns of the various markets. I did a pros/cons for all the bikes that we are able to produce, and brought up some key points in our team meetings. This leads us to the visual strategy fair part of the four step strategy plan (whether to compete in a Red ocean or a Blue ocean, which will be discussed later in this journal). By discussing the benefits and disadvantages to the different strategies brought up in our meeting, this allowed us to really consider which strategy would be the best for us to take (which then links in to our readings last week and how to make effective decisions). As for the last step -  visual communication, I believe that this is the only step that needs to be done after our first few rollovers, as we would be able to take our previous decisions and compare them to the strategy we have. Therefore, I am hoping to go through the visual communication step as we go through MikesBikes, and to see where our bikes excel and where our bikes fail to make an impact in the market. Our group meetings does not have many ¿visuals¿ during our discussions, but I hope that after reading this article, we would learn the importance of mapping out our ideas and strategies to see how we are aligned with our long-term goals and also the strategies of our competitors. By using these four steps, I am hoping that as a team, we would be able to gather all the data that we¿ve collected and analysed, and form it into a strategy canvas that would give us a better view of our strategy and if it aligns with our goals as a company. After our practice world and our first rollover, we have been communicating well with one another, and I do hope that we would be able to use these four steps and implement them into our decision making process in the future. I always find that theories and ideas can be easily understood with a picture/visual aid, therefore I hope what I've said can be summarised with the diagram below.


Retrieved from shauvik-the-one.blogspot.com

According to Kim and Mauborgne, ¿Red oceans represent all the industries in existence today-the known market space.... Blue oceans denote all the industries not in existence today-the unknown market space, untainted by competition¿ (2004, p.77).  Red oceans are where competition within the industry is fierce and where companies try to maximise sales of existing demand. Blue oceans are where new markets are created and where there is opportunity for expansion and growth. When you take these theories and put them into our business simulation, it is obvious that teams can either choose to compete in a Red ocean or a Blue ocean (this relates to our class discussion on Monday, which will be discussed later in this journal entry). Risk plays a big factor when teams create a strategy – to play it relatively safe and tap into the segment with the biggest potential market, or to take the risk, and go into the smaller market where there are a lot of uncertainties, but with bigger rewards. This comes down to the each team¿s long-term goals and strategies. In our team discussion, we came up with advantages and disadvantages for operating in both ¿oceans¿, and as a team, we¿ve finally decided on a strategy, and here¿s hoping that we¿ll follow through with our plans and be able to adjust to any changes in the industry.

The class discussion on Monday brought up the idea of having a focus strategy and what we need to do as teams to facilitate that strategy. Should we go for a Broad or Focus strategy? It was clear that we would have to choose either one, and make sure we put our whole focus on it. It would be risky (and almost impossible) to have both a Focus and a Broad strategy as you would most likely not pose a threat to competitors and would not dominate in either market. So which strategy is better - a focus or a broad one? I¿ve taken many papers in Uni (Innovation and Entrepreneurship, International Business, Infosys, Marketing and Business papers) where I¿ve come across articles about strategy, business plans/models and I must say that after reflecting on all the papers I¿ve done, the relationships with one another is starting to show and theories are beginning to link in with other theories. I¿m hoping that my experience with these papers and my past experience of working in groups will help me translate some of my knowledge into our business simulation.

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

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to review your learning journal. The main thing of which you have demonstrated learning is how you've emphasized on the Four Steps of Visualizing Strategy by Kim and Mauborgne, and have elaborated on the steps that you feel have been done by your team and the steps that you wish to carry out as you go through with MikesBikes.

    There hasn't been strong evidence of Daudeline's reflection approach. However, you have touched on how the team hasn't had a 'strategy canvas' and how having a strategy diagram of some sort should be planned in order to see the overall strategy of the team. You need to have a clear problem statement and how you would overcome that problem (after you've gone through Daudeline's suggested reflection process). This journal entry mainly focuses on the Concrete Experiences, and should move on further down Kolb's learning-cycle - reflective observation (RO), abstract conceptualisation (AC) and active experiementation (AE).

    The highest level of Bloom's taxonomy demonstrated in this journal is in the Analysis stage. You have touched on several key ideas and have elaborated on them with some examples. This level is evident when you said "When you take these theories and put them into our business simulation, it is obvious that teams can either choose to compete in a Red ocean or a Blue ocean.....Risk plays a big factor when teams create a strategy – to play it relatively safe and tap into the segment with the biggest potential market, or to take the risk, and go into the smaller market where there are a lot of uncertainties, but with bigger rewards."

    A way to improve along the levels of Bloom's taxonomy (to Synthesis and Evaluation) would be to form individual opinions/come up with summaries on the key ideas/topics and use them to form a whole. This can be a bigger summary or an example that ties all of the ideas together. In addition to that, you could use the final summary that you've come up with and relate it to your business simulation and how you can apply it to different situations.

    Using examples from your team situation and how you plan to improve discussions/meetings show that you're looking towards the future and that has helped improve this journal. Thank you for sharing your work.

  2. Hi, Stephen. Your learning journal and comments are impressive. You talked about we should draw our strategy canvas of Mikes' Bikes on the practice rounds, and I think it is an outstanding idea. But it is also risky to follow primary strategy for the real game because in practice time other competitors might have already analysis your team's plans. They may change strategies to be against your team. So I think modifying plans in the appropriate time depending on different situations is also important for organizations in the reality.

    In terms of your first paragraph, I admire your way you write. In my learning journal, I just chose a few ideas which interested me to explain how to draw the strategy canvas. But you give the overall picture to make readers understand clearly. What is more, you use four steps of strategy canvas into practical activities--Mikes' Bikes to provide logical ideas and opinions. You really make me learn a lot, and thank you for your journal.

    You should give more details and examples when you talked about strengths and weaknesses of both "oceans". But as a whole, I am really enjoy reading your journal with insightful and interesting ideas. Good Luck for your team!

    1. Hi Limei,

      Yes, I agree with you with how we should modify our plans during the appropriate times depending on the changed environment/situations. But definitely a Strategy Canvas would be helpful (especially for my team as I feel we sometimes get lost of our 'main 'strategies/ideas') as we usually face new challenges and new ideas come up. Thank You for your comments and your time. Will definitely take your suggestions on board :) Good Luck to your team too!