Critical analysis of subjects noted in LLB (Learning Log Book)

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Strategy is one of those aspects associated with an organization that not only shapes its orientation, but also takes care of its operational aspects. It is strategy that decides fate of an organization during various dynamics of the corporate world. Strategy is the basic parameter that could enhance performance of the organization by taking all the factors concerned into account and making best possible decision in this regard. This case depicts four phase model in synchronization with spiral dynamics in order to make sure that best possible outcome in terms of performance could be attained. This model is based over four innovative outcomes which will ensure that every possible outcome will not lead to organization productivity in appropriate harmonization with organization strategy and vision. It will act as a roadmap for improving both organizational as well as individual performance. These four phases are vitalizing, optimizing, shifting, and transforming in such a manner that organizational goals could be achieved in both efficient as well as effective way without any ambiguity. Also orderly combination of all these phases is an essentiality as without it, this strategy will lose its essence.

Key Learning Points

With constantly changing external environmental conditions, it has become inevitable for the companies to exist without following a dynamic strategy. Companies have to comply with both corporate sustainability as well as responsibility to ensure their profitable existence.

Four phase model made an inclusion of core assets, i.e. material asset, commercial asset, socialization asset, and intellectual asset. All these assets interact with each other at one point or the other which finally helps in identification of factors like cost & revenue at organizational level and input and output at individual level.

These assets in harmony with organizational goals helps in focusing of both internal and external issues associated with the organizational functioning by orienting the strategies. Strategic orientation includes effectiveness, i.e. market based approach directed to raise effectiveness of the organization, efficiency, i.e. orienting productivity to raise efficiency of organizational working, flexibility, i.e. orienting human resource to raise flexibility of organizational functioning, and creativity, i.e. orienting innovation to raise creativity of the organizational functioning.

This model makes an inclusion of various features, because of which it may also have several reverse effects that must be taken into consideration. If level of efficient performance is pushed beyond a particular limit, it will result into rigid organization, if flexibility of pushed beyond a limit, it results into anarchy, if creativity is pushed beyond certain point, it results into amateurism, and pushing effectiveness beyond that limit leads to segregated organization.

It is highly necessary to maintain control of all these parameters so that organization could function profitably. This can be done by defining specific priority for all the interventions. There are 32 basic interventions that can be considered as significant for the organization and have to be taken care of. It is also important to identify the timing associated with all these interventions as all of them are not important at the same time and their significance vary in accordance with time.

There are certain bottlenecks in organizational functioning which ultimately define the pace and orientation of organizational functioning. It is extremely necessary to identify those bottlenecks in order to enhance organizational performance. It can also be backed up by Theory of Constraints by Eli Goldratt that performance of an organization as a system is impeded by a single parameter. It is highly important to identify that factor as without proper identification of that factor, any improvement in organizational performance will not bring much difference.

Whenever working cycle of an organization is taken into account, we come across a fact that it will certainly reach a stage of maturity, i.e. organizations continuously enters into new domain that makes an impact over their strategies and the manner in which they are applied.

Value system acts as a fundamental entity that defines performance over the period of time. It is primarily derived from external conditions, i.e. confronts and risks. it also has personal aspect related to it, i.e. impact from historic events, societal conditions, location, and existential problem. But development of a value system is a monotonous process that occurs in a fixed manner, i.e.

survival

safety

energy and power

order

triumph

society

synergy

holistic life system

For entire discussion performed above, there are certain challenges that have to be dealt appropriately, like operations should be managed properly to retain margins, conversion of effective innovations and ideas into market acceptable goods and services, employees should be adequately motivated towards their work as they are most crucial elements in defining success of an organization, and continuous monitoring of the environment is necessary as organizational work is highly dependent over environmental conditions that changes very fast with time.

With the help of four distinct strategies and four contexts, a mixed strategy could be formulated that will help in appositely channelizing organizational strategy and working. This can be with the help of a 4*4 matrix that contain all the elements. there are several benefits associated with it, like

It depicts basic objective of four phase model as well as spiral dynamics.

Matrix acts as a framework for designing business strategies and policies by keeping academics literature as its basis.

Different level of complexities could be well depicted with the help of this matrix.

Scanning of strategy is done a regular basis and this matrix provides a basis to perform that action without any ambiguity. It is required as it helps in formulation of further strategies.

Matrix also helps in identification of performance cycle which ultimately define a roadmap following which all the pre-defined goals of the organization could be achieved.

Relevant Statements to the session

Following are the relevant statements,

In practice, the Four Phase Model® has appeared an effective model for managers and management consultants to analyze the present state of organizations and to determine the most likely strategy to further improve their organizations.

Ideal type interventions can be plotted in the basic graph of the Four Phase Model: four assets, four quadrants (result areas) and two dichotomies (orientations) makes 32 interventions.

A metaphor can explain this in more detail: a top in-door cyclist engaged in a sprint duel can be forced to a standstill sur place as he does not want to take lead position. In cycling this is a strategic option. It takes great skills to remain on one spot, but he cannot stay there forever. Inevitably, in order to prevent from tumbling when his skills are fading or when his adversary was finally forced to take the lead, he moves his cycle downward while building up speed, heading for the finish line.

Critical Analysis

This case has presented a comprehensive study of the strategy formulation and various aspects related to this particular feature. It has defined and related almost all the parameters that are present in the vicinity and interact at various level of management and affect the strategy of an organization. But this case lack explanation through practical and real time examples of several concepts that are mentioned in it. Mixed strategy has always produced better results in most of the situation, but it could also fail deliberately in certain condition which makes it necessary to portray both the circumstances that may incur into such outcome. This case does contain an explanation through a metaphor, but it is quite idealistic. Author could have specified more practical aspects to the strategy formulation for the purpose of implementing sustainable performance.

Practical Implications

Organization: Etisalat

Etisalat is a telecommunication major based on Middle-East. Telecommunication has emerged as a sector with one of the highest echelon of competition for which continuous growth is the only option. It has made inevitable for Etisalat to follow a single strategy to enhance its performance, which resulted into following a mixed strategy. It has to follow a mixed strategy as it is facing competition from global players, like Airtel (India) as well as local vendors. Following a mix strategy it is expanding its domain and has recently stretched a fiber optic from India to Europe which will provide its customers with high speed network. Its geographic location, i.e. center of the world provides it a strategic advantage over its rivals and also one of the best possible business examples suitable with given case. (Etisalat, Airtel launch fibre optic cable from India to Europe, 2010)

Learning Reflections

Strategy is an entity that defines working of an organization irrespective of its scale and level of operation. Thus it is highly mandatory that it should be made in compliance with all the factors that could enhance the performance of the organization and provide it with maximum benefit. For this reason following single strategy to enhance profit would not provide best performance returns as compared to a mix of strategy in a scenario like present which is highly dynamic in nature. This case depicts four phase model along with spiral dynamics that results in a strategy matrix that finally helps in attaining the desired objectives, i.e. vitalizing, optimizing, shifting, and transforming.

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