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Strategy Dynamics Teachers Workshop

Seven Videos from a teachers workshop, Warwick University, 2009

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Note: This event was recorded using mystrategy strategy planning software, This has now been superceded by Sysdea. There are equivalent materials available in Sysdea in segments 2 and 4 below. Models are available to view, no download required however Sysdea does require IE9 or above or current Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser.

The Videos

Segment 1: The strategy problem [26min]

This explains, with examples, why organizations need a way to manage strategy over time, in addition to choosing a strategic 'position', which is the issue that existing strategy help with. [It includes a description of performance problems at Starbucks. Similar issues can be explored with the restaurant business game presented in segment 6].

Segment 2: A short class exercise [16min].

This segment presents a simple class exercise, with participants running the game on their own laptops. The debrief shows the very big difference between good strategic management and average or poor strategy. Lastly, it describes another such exercise and the general learning value that such activities offer.

An exercise using the same structure but using Sysdea is available here (Requires IE9 or above or current Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser.)

Segment 3: Solution to the strategy problem [13min]

This segment explains the general principles of strategy dynamics [which the exercise in segment 2 demonstrated] and how these offer a solution to the problem outlined in the first segment.

Segment 4: Example strategy model - Ryanair [60min]

This segment demonstrates a working simulation of a real company's strategic performance and discusses how it can be used to explore future performance for that company.

The Ryanair example featured in segment 4 has now been done as a series of cumulative models in Sysdea. The first of these is available here. There are links in the models to the previous/next in series and the last is available here. The models form the basis of class exercises in the current version of the Strategy Dynamics online course and video links are included in each model providing some guidance as to their use.

Segment 5: A real strategy challenge [12min]

The segment explains the use of strategy dynamics in a real-world challenge, concerning the launch of a medical product.

Segment 6: An in-class business game [12min]

This is a more extensive in-class exercise, using one of our 'microworld' business games concerning a restaurant business. These games can be set up in a variety of scenarios, and this one explores the issues of value-for-money and over-expansion raised by the Starbucks case from segment 1.

Segment 7: Revisiting Starbucks [9min]

This segment returns to the Starbucks issues from segment 1, picks up learning from the exercise in segment 6, and explains what went wrong. It ends by explaining the very big difference between good and not-so-good strategic management, and next steps that teachers could take.

Options from here.

Depending on your teaching needs, and how familiar you are with the concepts, there are a number of ways you can use the materials demonstrated in the videos.

  • The discussion in segments 1 and 3 is useful for making clear the need for both good strategic positioning and strong management of strategy over time, and shows how strategy dynamics complements existing strategy frameworks.
  • The short class exercise in segment 2 is one of many simple, short, in-class activities that students can run on their laptops in a few minutes. These bring out various insights about how strategy plays out over time.
  • The ideas from segments 1 and 3, with the model demonstrated in segment 4 can be used to show the value of simulating strategy.
  • The Starbucks analysis in segments 1 and 7 can supplement teaching with any good existing case study on the company. These typically explain the reasons for the company's long-standing competitive advantage, so an additional discussion about what could go wrong, and did, is a valuable lesson.
  • The in-class business game in segment 6 can be used on its own, and – with its multiple in-built scenarios – can form a substantial learning activity [It has been used over 2 days or can be run in a series of session over several weeks.] In addition to exploring the management of a business's strategy over an entire industry life-cycle from birth to maturity, it also demonstrates the challenge of dealing with investor expectations whilst at the same time trying to satisfy customer demands for quality and value. it can be paired with the Starbucks discussion by linking the materials from segments 1, 6 and 7.

These materials are provided to enable teachers find out more about Strategy Dynamics.

To learn more about the strategy dynamics approach consider taking the course - more information here - registered teachers can request free access, which includes a number of exercises that can be used in class.

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