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Last week we experienced our most unsettling and disappointing rollover yet. Our shareholder value dropped slightly for the first time, and we had a product development failure among other things which reduced our total profit. Consequently we came into this week feeling quite anxious about whether we could pick ourselves back up to the top 6 in the class. In our first discussion we were quite hesitant to make final decisions, scared of making the same mistakes as the previous rollover. So instead of making decisions about finer product details or marketing figures, we decided to look at the broader picture. The problem we faced was trying to decipher what the underlying causes were of our poor results in the previous rollover.

We all agreed that we could have spent different amounts of money on things, invested more here, and less there. But these were all the obvious things, and weren’t going to help us understand what went wrong, and how to prevent it happening again. After a long discussion, what it boiled down to was that we had lost sight of our original strategy that we had outlined in the first rollover. Baghai, Smit and Viguerie, (2009), question the effectiveness of certain growth strategies of some organisations, and stress the long-term consequences of having a feeble growth strategy. I believe that in the first week of rollovers, my team and I established a good strategy that had a lot of potential for success. However by losing sight of this strategy and not making all of our decisions cohesive with it, we had the equivalent of what Baghai et al, (2009), describe as an inadequate growth strategy (which was evident in our lack of SHV growth).

In order to not make the same mistake this rollover we had to re-align all of our decisions with our original long-term growth strategy. For example in the past 2 rollovers we had been focusing on getting as much sales as possible to grow our market share and capture as much revenue as possible. This went against our original strategy, so we made all of our decisions this week based largely on turning our current sales into profit and creating better margins, where increased sales would just be an added bonus. As the marketing manager I contributed to our restructuring of decision making by looking at where I could cut costs as much as possible without losing our current customers. As Devenport (2006) discussed, the power of analytics must not be underestimated, as they are a good tool to create powerful strategies and make accurate decisions down to a science. My analytical skills are far from this level of competency, however by comparing how much we were spending over the years and the corresponding effects on awareness and PR, I was able to make more informed and accurate decisions about how to allocate our spending accordingly.

This week I learnt that by stepping back and looking at the bigger picture it is sometimes easier to see the underlying causes of what is going wrong. By refocusing on our original strategy that had been successful in the first few rollover and using our analytical skills to make better, more informed decisions we were able to increase our SHV. This made me understand the importance of keeping focused on a powerful long term growth strategy, and not getting lost or distracted by the competition.

 

Baghai, M., Smit, S., & Viguerie, P. (2009). Is your growth strategy flying blind? Harvard Business Review, 87(5), 86---96.

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

3 Comments

  1. As per Peters instructions I have reviewed your journal and the feedback I gave on your journal in week 4 (I used the second comment I made as my first comment of feedback was rubbish).

    This week you describe your main problem as your team falling away from your original strategy and as such resulted in a drop in SHV and unsuccessful product launch. The change you plan based in this is to instead of try maximise sales, you focus on profit and margins.

    In week 4, I recommended that your use of references could be in more depth and provide more critical analysis to your own particular situation. I feel that your use of references is a little more appropriate this week but still I find it a little paradoxical that your Baghai et al (2009) reference is about creating a strong initial growth strategy to stick to and that your Devenport (2006) reference is about using data to 'create powerful strategies' - presumably your aim is to go back to your initial strategy and then use data and patterns to fine tune the strategy in to individual decisions.

    To be honest I think you could reflect a little deeper on how you "lost sight of (y)our original strategy". As your journal then goes on to describe the importance of having a good strategy and sticking to it but you don't really pose any potential reasons why your team went off track- for example perhaps your team was blinded by success in sales and stopped accounting for cost drivers, or certain team members became overly dominant and affected decision making.. This way you could go on to analyse how you could prevent your team losing sight of your strategy in the future.

    In terms of Daudelin- you identify your problem symptoms, and then rush to how to fix these symptoms without questioning or analysing the root cause. In Week 4 Peter commented that you need to spend more time on developing solutions which I feel you have clearly improved upon, however, as I say for me this left a lack of depth in other areas.

    1. Cheers Matthew, that was really helpful and honest feedback

  2. Hi Carina, is joyed your journal and how you clearly linked this weeks problem to the readings and that you came up with a viable solution which has been applied. However I am not sure how much reflection this involved as it seemed very straightforward and there were no other hypothesises.  Maybe you could work on this for next weeks journal by exploring other possible options. Other than that, hopefully you are able to carry out your original strategy and increase your performance. =)