Its hard work thinking about strategy constantly. I have stumbled across a lot of literature review, journals, articles and books about strategies all of which are formulaic and cliché and some highly prescriptive on how to go about with strategy. It¿s much the same when we read about management and leadership they either say to be a good manager we have to be good leaders; to be a leader we have to be good managers. The same can be said with strategy, planning, making decisions and building a business model all of which either complements or conflict with the other. The point is there¿s just no certainty when it comes to making core strategies because every author has convoluted ideas on strategy. The market is so volatile and unpredictable so it is hard to have a core defining strategy that is consistent and guaranteed you success. I learn this through playing Mikes Bikes that being in a market with other competitive firms is hard to have a strategy because the market changes all the time when one firm decides either to take over or change their business strategy. Thus we are constantly moving back and forth adjusting every decision we make. Which brings me to my next point. How can i incorporate strategy when i make decisions? In our group we make decisions based on figures not strategy. Or is strategy a precursor to making decisions? My experience with Mikes Bikes is that strategy is the last thing I could think of when I make business decisions based on other manager¿s decisions. Being an HR is kinda hard to have a strategy because I'm only in charge of a small sector. I usually based my decisions on reports and production/operation guy's decisions. But then again i think back in Oakley's(2004) reading that every decision is important because no matter how small it is, it will have an indirect/direct contribution to our shareholder value and market capitalization in the end.
This weeks reading reinforced the importance and benefits of having a good solid strategy within every group or organisation. According to Kim & Mauborgne strategy ¿usually involves preparing a large document, culled from a mishmash of data provided by people with conflicting agendas. That kind of process almost guarantees an unfocused strategy¿ (2004). In our group we have different strategies and agendas of what we think is best particularly in our respective areas. Those individual strategies we have don¿t always adhere and align with our group overall business strategy (or whatever my group strategy is¿). Again it reconfirms Kim & Mauborgne (2004) point aforementioned of having different strategies from a mismashed of information creates an unfocused strategy. It could be because we didn¿t have a group strategy to start with?... Kim & Mauborgne (2004) argues the importance of having a clear communicable strategy across all managerial areas. By doing so it needs to be initiated through drawing a 4 four stage strategic canvas. The first stage begins with a 'visual awakening'. This is where ¿managers compare their business's value curve with competitors' to discover where their strategy needs to change¿ (Kim and Mauborgne, 2002). The next phase is all about getting managers out there and observe to ¿see for themselves¿ what¿s happening in the market. This stage is important because managers are able to see and identify areas that needs to be altered or improved. Much like learning from our first rollover where we as managers in our own respective areas observed and identify areas where we went wrong and make changes. The third phase is basically all about drawing your strategy based on observations and feedback. I think this step is pertinent to Mikes Bikes because we usually base our decisions on our observations of whats happening in the market (within our competitive world) and also the feedback we get from each team member. The last step is simply communicating your proposed strategy throughout the organisation. By going through these steps, Kim and Mauborgne (2002) believe managers would get a holistic perspective (big picture) and a good feel of the organisation overall strategy. I think its important for my group to have a clear and communicable strategy that is realized throughout our roles. By doing so through the 4 steps I mentioned earlier. I think we have a goal and that is to win but we don't really have a strategy.
With a good strategy Magretta (2002) asserts that organisations need a good business model. But do we actually need a business model? i don't know i just need a good strategy.
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