Strategy was the focus of my learning this week. The readings focussed greatly on strategy and it tied in well with the first official rollover for MikesBikes multiplayer this week. In relation to MikesBikes, strategy is an imperative part of the simulation. During the practice rollover, my team had a brief outline of where we wanted to go and what we wanted to achieve after the second practice rollover. However there was no main focus and this eventuated in my group making incremental decisions based on our instincts and whims at the time. Looking back on this process now, I can see that my team had a lack of focus. Although we knew WHAT we wanted to achieve, we didn't know HOW we were going to achieve it. Our decisions were made in the moment and this resulted in a peer, albeit brief, performance in the practice rollovers.
Considering the concept of strategy now, it is clear to see how beneficial determining a strategy actually is. Kim & Mauborgne (2002) focus a great amount of attention towards establishing a strategy canvas in order to bring decisions under one central mentality, or under one common goal. This eliminates individuals making decisions irrespective of the decisions of others and creates a more cohesive overall decision making process. Because of its high value in this aspect, many companies tend to have similar strategies, as they often seek to adopt those of more successful firms. Although this will work to an extent, what I have personally taken from the reading is that it is far better to come up with a more unique and individual strategy because when everyone is too similar, nothing begins to differentiate companies, thus the market becomes stagnant and there is no room for growth. Relating this overall concept to MikesBikes, I think what I have learnt is that it is better to have a proactive strategy, where you seek to make the first move, and decide on innovative decisions as opposed to merely reacting to the market. The risk in the process is a lot higher, as going into unmapped territory often carries a lot of uncertainty and if you are to follow the status quo, there is a greater safety net available in case of failure, the reward is far greater when pursuing the road that is more riskier. However, the apprehension of teams to take this route is obviously understandable, which makes strategy a complex concept full of risk and uncertainty.
Magretta (2002), emphasises the need to combine an effective business model with a proper strategy as the combination of the two is necessary in differentiating the various companies in terms of their overall performance. In our MikesBikes performance, our business plan in terms of the processes and activities we undertook, was sound and carefully planned. We budgeted properly, effectively utilised our marketing and properly determined the effective quality and operations of the business. However due to a lack of strategy, we ended up performing very badly. This taught me that the combination of the two aspects is definitely necessary in order to effectively perform in the simulation.
I look forward to next weeks rollover and hope to implement what I have learnt this week in my performance for the next rollover.
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