This week¿s class and reading emphasized the importance of strategy within the team or organization we are part of. The class reiterated what we already know by showing us the table of Porter¿s generic strategies. This is a table that has been drilled into our knowledge ever since Business 101 however; I still found it difficult to suggest a strategy before I was refreshed with this table. I believe this table triggered something for other members in my group also, because after the Monday class we all unanimously agreed on a set strategy where before we had very little strategic purpose. This reminded to me the importance of actually learning class topic and not forgetting after the semester is done, as it is all interrelated and could assist me in the future.
This leads in the readings of the week, Kim and Mauborgne (2002) what I took from this reading was the importance of managers and myself to look at the big picture, and for companies to have a clear strategic vision. I think this is significant to the Mikes Bike stimulation for several reasons. Firstly, I wholeheartedly believe a clear strategic approach must be set before any long term moves can be made in the stimulation. This is a concept that applies to all business as having that strategic vision seems to be a head start in the direction of success. As a team we have only developed our strategic vision this week. This may be a limitation as we may not have conducted adequate research, however I am feeling glad that as a team we are all on the same page and have a clearer direction that previously where decisions may have been made with more reliance on the gut feeling. I hope that as a team we can revisit our strategy each week before we make decisions to ensure everything is in line with the ultimate goal we have set. In addition I propose at our next meeting we have a look at the bigger picture within the stimulation, which is how strategic decisions we make now will affect our firm in the long term.
Secondly, I believe that looking at the big picture is very important on the individual level also. Kim and Mauborgne (2002) pushed me to look at the big picture of this class and what Peter is trying to teach us from the stimulation and not get bogged down on the little things. Furthermore, I need to look at the big picture of this class and how it fits into my university degree and what I can take from it into the workforce and my future life. This makes me think about what the main reason is for me to be at university. Personally, my reasons are knowledge and skill but mainly to come out with the ability to secure and thrive in the workforce. Kim and Mauborgne (2002) suggest not to try keep up with competition as this is how companies lose their uniqueness also they highlight the importance of a tag line or clear message. This is something I feel I have learnt and can take with me from this class so far. This is the consideration of me and my skills and not to conform and change to ¿keep up with the Jones¿ also by making clear choices and decisions and understanding why I have made these. Magretta (2002) also furthers this notion of uniqueness; she says organizations achieve better when they have a unique strategy to differentiate from the crowd. This is something I will endeavor to out forward in future job opportunities and in organization I am part of in order to ensure better success.
The last message that I took from this week is the importance of mangers to get a first had view of the product in use, how the customers use and feel about the product. Kim and Mauborgne (2002) explain that this is not only the current customers but also lost customers and users. Managers must understand: how customers use the product/service, improvements desired and find alternative ways customers could meet their needs this reveals areas that customers find more important that are not currently given attention to. Magretta (2002) also highlights the importance of knowing your customers culture, desires and needs. For example the reading talks about Disney land and the trouble they found when launching in Europe and customers wanting food at the same time as European have more routine eating habits that Americans. The interaction of managers within the business is something I find very important. For example one of the jobs I have requires me to report back 10 customer comments to the manager per shift. This is a strategy that I think is very valuable as receiving first hand interaction from all users/customers may be difficult, however, having staff relay this and report what they think worked well and what didn¿t is another method to ensure the organization is working in the direction that their customer truly cares about. This type of learning and customer interaction is an act that I am determine to use in companies that I am a part of in the future.
Kim, W. C. & Mauborgne, R. (2002). Charting your company's future Harvard Business Review, 80(6), 76--83
Magretta, J. (2002). Why business models matter. Harvard Business Review, 80(5), 86--92