In last weeks journal I talked about having to make an important decision based on how best to coordinate my team and bring together everybody's ideas. Having reflected on different ways to do this I came away with a clear idea of what I needed to do. My plan was for each member to understand his or her role extremely well and for us to use the 'offline' version of Mikes Bikes multiplayer to find the best move for our team for each rollover. This would mean that while we had an 'idea' of the strategy we wanted to follow we would really be basing it week by week on what would give us the best outcome.
However while parts of this plan are still viable, we no longer have the offline mode and therefore it does not completely stand true anymore. We can no longer go with the flow with a possible idea of a strategy we must make every decision with the big picture in mind. Therefore we must make sure now, more than ever, that we have a clear strategy in place from the very beginning. While I do not want to give away my teams strategy, I have definitely found this weeks readings to come at a perfect time as they have given us great insights into the best way to go about making our strategy and what to focus on.
The 'Blue Ocean Strategy' (Kim & Mauborgne, 2004) reading made the value of creating a new market very clear. However I have struggled with how to implement it most effectively within our team's simulation. The big problems I have found is that the bike market is relatively small and we are directly confined to what the simulation allows. Due to these confinements we cannot do as the reading suggested and create a completely new industry. Instead we must do what the reading suggested as the only other way to create a blue ocean and alter the boundaries of the existing industry. While we are able to do this within the simulation, the only way is to be the first to enter a market and you really need to act as fast as possible. It in fact seems as if it is a race to enter each market first and therefore stake your position.
Another factor I have struggled with is not knowing how well we are going to do from our decisions. Especially as the results of our decisions really don't show until the second rollover after they are made. This means that it is hard to judge from our profits whether our business model is working, as was suggested in 'Why Business Models Matter' (Magretta, 2002). This is terrifying to me (as Peter said last week, we often handle large gaps between action and feedback very badly). Yet is a very good representation of the real world where we would need to wait much longer than 1 week (often years) to know the results of our business decisions. Again this means we must have a solid business strategy and model, which we continually tweak and update.
Looking forward to the coming week my team and I need to continue to work on our business strategy, making sure it has focus, divergence and can produce a compelling tag line (Kim & Mauborgne, 2002). I believe an exercise such as the one suggested in the reading 'Charting your Company's future' where we create a strategy canvas (a visual representation) will definitely benefit us. However unfortunately as we do not know the planned moves of other teams we cannot yet do this and instead will be eagerly awaiting the moves of others to come into play. We must also make sure we have a strong business model which will pass both the numbers and the narrative test (Margretta, 2002). Hopefully after next week's rollover we will begin to see our strategy and model taking form and can continue tweak it and achieve good results throughout the semester.
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