Analysis of First Scenario
In the first video, Liz the CEO of CanGo is invited to give a speech at a local business association on how to create an effective game plan as an entrepreneur. She will also be receiving an award at the event for the success and financial contributions of her business to the community. The video illustrates that there is no specific plan or even a framework in place for managing entrepreneurially-based new ventures based on her current success, and evidently no solid strategic plan in place for her to speak to in front of the group.
Entrepreneurs often fail to create strategic plans as they value agility and responsiveness to the market over structure and perceived rigidity of strategic plans (Balducci, 2011). It is evident CanGo has little if any of these frameworks or structures in place. While not mentioned in the case analysis video, a lack of precise, clear strategic vision in any business will eventually lead to operations and process inefficiencies over time (Morita, Flynn, Ochiai, 2011). That is on the horizon for CanGo if they don’t get focused on strategy planning relatively soon and be driven by a more market-driven direction that allows for exploration of new ideas instead of being purely random in direction (Balducci, 2011).
The strengths of the strategic planning process at CanGo are its agility and relatively open structure, and ability to listen to customers and response fast. The deficiencies or limitations are many, including a lack of customer focus and precision. These limitations are not troublesome for the business model yet, but if CanGo continues to grow rapidly, the need for standardized business processes and systems will over time become more acute and obvious in their lack of synchronization across the entire company (Morita, Flynn, Ochiai, 2011). The CEO of CanGo needs to treat this as a wake-up call to create a highly coordinated, synchronized strategy to keep her company moving forward despite the challenges that will arise as they grow.
Analysis of Second Scenario — Video #2
At its most basic level, the video shows the dangers of CEOs who become too myopic over time and begin thinking literally everyone is a customer for their firms’ products, even employees. Liz makes this statement in her speech along with the concept of building a better mousetrap. At the center of the lack of focus on strategic planning, Liz isn’t ca0pturing what makes her business unique, differentiated and inherently more valuable that competitors. The problem is one of myopic focus on the business that gets in the way of seeing the potential to use customer experience as a valuable differentiator or segmentation boundary for example. The lack of strategic planning with boundary conditions or parameters is especially evident in how the speech doesn’t get down to key points and provide actionable advice.
This lack of coordinated outside view of the markets, competition, trends in the market and how CanGo can capitalize on them shows the company needs a more robust strategic planning framework. The solution would be to standardize on the Porter Five Forces Model (Porter, 2008). Using this model will streamline and organize the capturing of information while also showing how each aspect of competition, buyers, suppliers, substitute products and competitive rivalry impact the company over time.
This model would also give CanGo the ability to be more thoughtful and informed when evaluating potential new business opportunities, preserving their agility as a company while bringing in the necessary discipline to drive new sales (Balducci, 2011). There also needs to be a strong focus on financial accountability as part of this new approach so that Liz will have a very clear understanding of where her company is excelling and where it needs to focus more efforts (Morita, Flynn, Ochiai, 2011). Overall, the second video shows just how critical it is for the company to get a strong, agile strategic framework in place to deal with future growth.
Balducci, A. (2011). Strategic planning as exploration. The Town Planning Review, 82(5), 529-546.
Morita, M., Flynn, E., & Ochiai, S.. (2011). Strategic management cycle: The underlying process building aligned linkage among operations practices. International Journal of Production Economics, 133(2), 530.
Michael E. Porter. (2008, January). THE FIVE COMPETITIVE FORCES THAT SHAPE STRATEGY. Harvard Business Review: Special HBS Centennial Issue, 86(1), 78-93.
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