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Now that I’m realizing this is my second to last journal entry, ever, I am finding it very difficult to take this seriously. Trying to scrape whatever information I can from this week’s readings, I have found that Davenport’s (2006) article was a lot more interesting than the other. This is because the author discusses competition, something all of us in this course can relate to. The thrill of earning that number one spot in the rankings is what motivates most of us to do a good job, while others’ determination is stimulated by merely wanting a decent grade to get through this course. Regardless of whichever one of these categories we fall in, at the end of the day, every single team (and every individual) aims to stay far away from the lowest ranking. Since we’re all up against each other, seeing ourselves come up last is just plain humiliating. In attempting to avoid this humiliation (in my team at least), our stress levels have greatly increased, trying our best to gradually improve after every rollover.

The lack of differentiation between the teams is what makes this situation even more stressful in my opinion. Davenport (2006) claims that competitors are draining almost all value from our business processes considering many industries sell similar products and use similar technologies. In considering the real world of work, if this scholar is right and processes and technologies are becoming increasingly similar, thereby gradually losing its value in certain organisations, how might one of them come out on top of the rest? This seems almost impossible. Looking to our own make believe organisation in our make believe worlds, there is always a team that has clearly achieved better results than the rest. With this in mind, I wonder what it is that they do differently to achieve the results. Using the exact same system as the rest and selling the exact same product to target markets that a majority of us also sell to and still coming out on top is very impressive.

Davenport (2006) moves on to explain that sources of strength come mainly from the following:

-          Acquiring the right focus

-          Creating the right culture, and

-          Hiring the appropriate candidates

With very few rollovers left to completely understand, once and for all, how one might differentiate a business that’s similar to multiple others, I hope to fully understand this before I head off to work in the real business world, and further build upon this understanding with experience in order to know exactly how to focus, create culture, and hire the right staff, as a good manager would.

Davenport, T. H. (2006). Competing on analytics. Harvard Business Review, 84(1), 98-107.

3 Comments

  1. Trying to scrape whatever information I can from this week’s readings

    Why do that? Why not start with a problem that is meaningful to you. Why, for example, do you find this hard to take seriously?

  2. Hi Reem,

    Last time I commented on your journal, all the way back in week four, I mentioned that in order to improve I felt you should seek depth in your journal entry, using examples from your own team learning.  I believe you have succeeded in doing this: you take an idea from Davenport in your first paragraph (competition in the real world reflected in our simulated environment), then begin to analyse it in the second paragraph (questioning how one team can be greatly out performing the others when we are not extremely differentiated).

    Taking the material in the readings and using it as a springboard to formulate your own questions is (in my own uneducated opinion) the best way to tackle these journals.  You have not merely summarised the readings but added your own insight and applied it to our MGMT 300 setting.  I like also how at the end you mention your hopes for the 'real world of business' regarding what you can take away from this learning experience.  My advice for you this time around is to craft these hopes into actual actions, e.g. "I aim to take my learning of culture from this course and utilise them in my future career" or "I endeavour to work on my focus in the remaining two weeks so that I might master it by the time the course has finished" or something similar.

    Overall great work and great improvement, don't feel too disheartened - it's not over yet!

  3. Hi Reem,

    At this point in the course my advice from week four seems largely irrelevant. I'm sure that you now know the significance of Daudelin's structure and have taken a different route for your reflections.

    As you have stated, it is unclear what you have learnt from this weeks reading. This is where your reflection is supposed to help. Perhaps a better way to go about writing it would be to focus more on what you have learnt instead of what you haven't. It is not challenging. All you have to do is keep asking yourself "why?". "Why does Davenport say that competitors are draining value?", "Why is this happening to my team", "Why are we at the bottom". The possibilities are endless (smile)