musings of a budding social entrepeneur

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Strategy Journal Post #2

This past week we refined the project proposal for our POL with JBEI. To give a little background, JBEI has not been terribly inclined to participate in a strategic planning exercise for their organization. They see clearer value in us doing a finance project for them, but the reality of their situation is not one where a strategic plan will give them much value. They are a research driven facility with very little focus on business. That’s not to say an exercise and documentation of their strategy would not be valuable, but very likely the output of anything we delivered would not be applicable.  That said, they believe there would be greater value in such an exercise if it were paired with a different partner organization such as a VC or perhaps a company looking into extending into the cellulosic refining market.  We will be exploring this option moving forward, though at this point the team is not committing to keeping this within scope.

I feel a tinge of remorse for getting the team working with a partner where our strategic plan will not be as impactful, and I hope we can get the most learning out of the exercise. Looking back at the way the engagement was conducted, I think there are opportunities for improving, perhaps getting the faculty and administration more involved from the get go would have been advantageous.  I will be making recommendations to Erin, specifically for the cases where teams are recruiting companies who have never worked with a Presidio Team in the past.

The first few chapters of Blue Ocean Strategy have provoked a lot of reflection on the situation at my own company . I see a great need for more strategic planning to get out of the red oceans its been competing in and into the blue.  I have witnessed very incremental strategies that are shortsighted and not innovative. With our resources and talent we should be able to pioneer ahead. I hope to play a leading role in making the Maxis studio a pioneer in the Free2Play space.  While I would love to participate in this, the only question is, how do I get engaged at the right level?  Do I put together a strategy canvas this semester as an exercise and float it up the chain of command? Do I continue down the grass roots community building that I’ve started with the online discussion forums? Maybe I can use my current project as an exercise in strategy and keep it scoped down to my business unit.


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