Game-Winning Moves Our focus this week is on choosing a strategic direction that will set your organization apart from competitors in a

Game-Winning Moves Our focus this week is on choosing a strategic direction that will set your organization apart from competitors in a

 

Game-Winning Moves

Our focus this week is on choosing a strategic direction that will set your organization apart from competitors in a way that enables you to stand out from everyone else. Jack refers to this as “changing the game.” Sherman refers to it as “breaking away from the pack” (Chapter 11).

  • Using the company you selected for your course project, identify a potential game-changing move that you believe will create a sustainable competitive advantage. This move should derive from one of the seven common moves first introduced in last week’s lecture notes.
  • This potential move should represent a possible new move the company should consider for creating even more competitive differentiation. In other words, it should not be a specific move that the company has or is currently implementing.
  • Briefly summarize how the move will fundamentally shift the playing field to the company’s advantage and beat the competition.
  • Explain which of the four positioning categories described by Sherman (Breakaway, Reverse Positioning, Blue Ocean or Disruptive Innovation) best describes the move, and why.

Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone.​

Ist person to respond to is

Chad

 Hello Dr. G. and Class,

Using the company you selected for your course project, identify a potential game-changing move that you believe will create a sustainable competitive advantage.  This move should derive from one of the seven common moves first introduced in last week’s lecture notes.

My potential game-changing move that I believe will create a sustainable competitive advantage is a combination of Moving Into Adjacent Product Segments and New Distribution Channels (JWI, 1).  My idea is for Netflix to expand into an adjacent product group and leverage its existing strong brand connection with customers while uncovering a new distribution channel that can gain access to new markets without significantly disrupting its core business and current function (JWI, 1).  This will be done by offering a complimentary secondary service called “SweatFlix” which is an add-on service for $4.99 per month that offers an expansion into the home workout arena featuring a variety of exclusive workout programs created and curated by some of Netflix’s biggest stars.

This potential move should represent a possible new move the company should consider for creating even more competitive differentiation.  In other words, it should not be a specific move that the company has or is currently implementing.

When evaluating this strategic option one of the questions our lecture notes ask is, “is it big” (JWI, 2)?  According to the Business Research Company, the global online virtual fitness industry is expected to grow from “$11.39 billion in 2021 to $16.15 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 41.84%” (3).  Another question that should be asked is, “is it time”?  With exponential growth from 2021 to 2022 as indicated in the article, now is the time to join the wave of online virtual fitness momentum caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (3).  The third question to ask is, “is it us”?  While fitness is a new foray for Netflix, by utilizing existing Netflix stars to work with trainers to create exclusive fitness programs is a way to leverage existing relationships and branding by offering it a reduced rate for existing Netflix subscribers and playing off of the branding aspect. 

Briefly summarize how the move will fundamentally shift the playing field to the company’s advantage and beat the competition.

Our lecture notes stress that endless deliberation is not an option and that strategic decisions involve risk (1).  The video streaming market is highly competitive, but no major streaming application has combined its entertainment offerings with a virtual fitness component.  Amazon leverages its existing products and services base to lure viewers to its streaming platform.  Netflix has brand recognition and is an industry trailblazer that can create a whole new market segment and revenue stream, one that is growing exponentially (BRC, 3). 

Explain which of the four positioning categories described by Sherman (Breakaway, Reverse Positioning, Blue Ocean or Disruptive Innovation) best describes the move, and why.

I would argue that this strategy would fall into Sherman’s Breakout Positioning option (specifically the breakaway positioning).  I would suggest this breakaway positioning option because it redefines how customers see Netflix by borrowing features from an already expansive virtual fitness market (4).  It is a way to “imbue” Netflix’s offerings with “products and attributes are never before seen, thereby creating a uniquely appealing and sharply differentiated customer value proposition” (Sherman, 4).  By combining its already significant user base, Netflix can attract new customers and new revenue streams by offering a lower-tiered combination pricing of Netflix and Sweatflix at an additional $4.99 per month or by offering Sweatflix on its own for $8.99 per month.  I have chosen the $8.99 stand-alone per month price point as it is slightly cheaper than some of the other popular virtual fitness applications such as Beachbody and Centr Fit, which retail around $120 to $150 CAD per year (about $10 to $15 per month from personal experience).  It is important to consider pricing in this strategy to combine two successful platforms and leverage Netflix’s significant brand recognition. 

Regards,

Chad

Source List:

  1. JWI 540.  2022.  Week Six Lecture Notes.
  2. JWI 540.  2022.  Week Seven Lecture Notes.
  3. The Business Research Company.  2022.  Online Virtual Fitness Market.  https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/03/22/2407884/0/en/The-Online-Virtual-Fitness-Market-Is-Expected-To-Reach-79-Billion-By-2026-With-The-Rising-Penetration-Of-Smart-Devices-As-Per-The-Business-Research-Company-s-Online-Virtual-Fitness.html#:~:text=The%20global%20online%2Fvirtual%20fitness%20market%20size%20is%20expected%20to,(CAGR)%20of%2041.84%25.
  4. Leonard Sherman.  2017.  If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat!

2nd person to respond is 

Anthony

 

JWI 540 Week 7 Discussion
Nikola is a designer and manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric
vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen
station infrastructure, driven to revolutionize the economic and environmental impact of
commerce as we know it today (1). In the past few years, with company leaders admitting to
ethical misconduct, our reputation as an industry leader has been marred. However, due to
those close-knit relationships we have been able to garner over the years that know exactly who
we are at our core and trust in our capabilities, we have been able to sustain thus far. Nevertheless, we
want more for Nikola. It is time to get our heads out of the sand but on our body armor and fight
for the future of this company.

The world is heading towards a low carbon economy; therefore, the decarbonization of fossil
fuels is increasing in importance. The trend towards decarbonization and climate change is
influencing government, businesses, and society to embrace new
technologies coupled with alternative green, renewable energy sources. With that being said, no
single energy pathway will solve the challenges associated with decarbonization, but the science
supports that hydrogen has a definite possibility to be a game-changer. Here at Nikola, we have
already embraced the technological advancements of hydrogen, as we just released our first
Hydrogen FCEV truck, Tre, in Q1 of 2022, purchased by Anheuser Busch LLC, who is so
pleased that they are promising to order up to 800 trucks once Nikola’s new facility is complete
and production officially begins (1). Nikola is also currently in talks with other strategic partners
and currently evaluating various supply chain arrangements. Furthermore, although we now see a
glimpse of sunlight behind those dark clouds that had been hovering over us, we cannot accept
the status quo; we must proceed with renewed vigor beyond the
transportation industry and place our oars in the domestic hydrogen sector with a diverse range
of applications across various venues such as a residential, commercial, and industrialized energy
sources. Nevertheless, we will need help.

Alone, we are fragile, but with the suitable mergers and strategic alliances, we can change the
playing field. We can create a new and innovative pathway to growth. The right combination of
established reliability and innovation can create “economy of scale drivers were larger
enables Nikola to negotiate better deals with suppliers and distributors, manufacturing and

selling more significant quantities of our current and future products, gaining traction in hydrogen fuel cell
infrastructure to create better-operating margins (2). But, even more so, it will also our access to a
new market segment (Energy) that would take longer/cost more to develop organically (2). Not
only will delving into the domestic hydrogen sector help to diversify our portfolio, but it will also
afford us access to research and innovation that we would not necessarily be privy to that can
also help facilitate growth in our hydrogen FCEV market, creating a more competitive edge.

The change initiative considered could be described as breakaway positioning, a sub-category of
breakout positioning. “Breakaway positioning redefines how customers see a company’s services
and products by borrowing attributes from different products/service categories to upend traditional

perception (3) completely.” With a new leader at the helm of the United States government, the future

of hydrogen fuel is looking even more promising. New investments (IIJA law), hosted by the

federal government, have created unprecedented opportunities to extend the United States’ domestic

hydrogen economy, creating opportunities for the deployment of hydrogen hubs. “The bipartisan

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that was signed into law by President Biden on

November 15, 2021, included an unprecedented $9.5 billion federal investment in clean hydrogen,

with the vast majority of this investment ($8 billion, to be exact) directed towards the creation of a

program aimed at facilitating the development of at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs

(the Clean Hydrogen Hub Program) (4).” These endeavors would involve creating a dream team of

diverse industry leaders to bid for the development of a hydrogen hub.

References:

1. Nikola Content Team. (2022). More game day cheers, fewer emissions: Anheuser Busch
delivers a new beer era with an innovative zero-emission fleet. Nikola Motors.
www.nikolamotors.com

2. JWI 540 Week 6 Lecture Notes

.
3. JWI 540 Week 7 Lecture Notes.

4. Friedman, E. and Reiter, B. (2022). Hydrogen hubs are coming. Nixon Peabody.

www.nixonpeabody.com

Reply Email AuthorHide 1 reply (1 unread)  

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JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 1 of 9

JWI 540: Strategy

Week Seven Lecture Notes

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JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 2 of 9

IDENTIFYING GAME-WINNING MOVES What It Means

Building a winning strategy is energizing and can provide insight into the future. With focus, it should take

anywhere between a few days and a month to create it. After that, it’s time to act. It’s time to make your

game-changing move that will enable your organization to win. A winning strategy is a chosen direction

that is executed with passion. The readings and exercises from the previous weeks have probably helped

generate a number of possible winning strategies for your organization’s future. Now, it’s time to focus on

determining which ones you are ready to pursue.

Why It Matters

• Being open to lots of new ideas is essential for the “What if…?” portions of strategy development but having too many initiatives going at once will lead to clutter and lack of focus.

• Most organizations cannot effectively manage more than two or three key strategic initiatives at once. If the strategies are large-scale or are a significant departure from the way business has been done in the past, that number may be reduced to a single core initiative.

• Selecting a clear, straightforward plan of action makes it easier to explain to your organization where the company is going and to rally everyone’s support.

“Good business leaders create a vision,

articulate the vision, passionately own

the vision and relentlessly drive it to

completion.”

Jack Welch

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JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 3 of 9

YOUR STARTING POINT

• In what ways has the 5-Step Strategy Framework helped you to develop several possible

game-changing moves that you could pursue?

• Which of these moves do you feel confident will drive growth and customer loyalty, and which

of these can be implemented in the upcoming year?

• Which ones do you feel are high-potential game changers, but are further out on the time

horizon for implementation? What is preventing you from implementing these now?

• As you get ready to implement your game-winning move(s), do you feel confident you

understand the culture and limitations of your organization so that you don’t try to pursue too

many initiatives at once?

• What events could surface that may require you to change your strategy?

• Have you clearly identified the additional resources that will be needed to pursue your game-

winning move? Have you validated these with others on your team?

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 4 of 9

IDENTIFYING YOUR GAME-WINNING MOVE

In previous weeks, we have looked at several components of strategy development, including:

• Assessing and defining the market segment – the playing field – in which you want to

compete.

• Evaluating your competitors to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities.

• Evaluating your company’s core competencies and how they measure up as potential

sustainable advantages relative to your competitors’ capabilities and market opportunities.

• Exploring ways to generate strategic options and refine these options down to those that are

most likely to lead to meaningful differentiation in the market.

Now, we will narrow our focus and consider game-winning moves that have the potential to create

more profit, market share, and competitive advantage.

You now know that strategy development is iterative. It is adapted and refined as we learn more

about business environment realities and we act on them. While some strategy models advocate a

rigid step-by-step process, even the most linear models are intended to help you ask questions in

ways that get the creative juices flowing. This means that, despite your best efforts to “check the

boxes” sequentially as you develop your strategy, you will naturally have new discoveries at

various points along the way. They might cause you to go back and rethink something you were

quite certain about when you began. That’s good, but still, we have to make our choices and move

ahead.

To help accomplish this, we suggested in last week’s lecture notes that you organize your strategic

options into seven categories of game-winning moves. The use of categories is not intended to

pigeonhole your ideas. It is to help you better understand where your idea fits into a framework of

moves. There are two primary advantages to this approach:

1. These categories of winning moves have proven themselves over time and across

industries. While different strategists may organize such lists in different ways, the point is

to be able to leverage the categories as a tool to clarify what your potential moves are

actually doing.

2. Reviewing your strategic options against a set of categories of moves may help to turn up

additional options that are worth considering, but which have been initially overlooked.

Sometimes, the categories of winning moves can overlap. For example, an M&A deal may also

achieve considerable geographic expansion. A move into an adjacent product segment may also

be paired with a strategy around new price tiers. The important takeaway is to under stand how

these moves can be used by your company to create more traction on the playing field and to be

able to recognize them when your competitors use them.

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 5 of 9

EVALUATE THE OPTIONS

Once you generate strategic options, the next step is evaluation. Although the more strategic options you

can generate, the better, you’ll want to eliminate weak ideas early in the process. Ideally, as you consider

options, you will improve them, too. Say you come up with the idea of a low-cost, mobile fast food service

targeted at young suburban office workers. What if you combined that idea with novel approaches to

ordering via mobile apps and the storing of repeat customers’ preferences, since these workers will

presumably want to call in their orders and get back to work quickly? Details could be worked out later.

But an initial evaluation of whether this newly identified market segment values convenient, technology-

enabled ordering could transform a strategic option with modest prospects into one with significant

potential.

The initial screening of options can begin with three simple questions:

1. Is It Big?

What is the size of the potential market? This question is not intended to bog you down in

detailed analysis. But you need to quickly eliminate good ideas that have only limited potential.

2. Is It Us?

Sometimes, a strategic option is great, but does not fit with the rest of your company’s strategic

activities. Alternatively, it runs counter to your history, values, or skill set. Assessing the value of

the idea with specific reference to your organization can quickly flash a red or a green light.

3. Is It Time?

Being too early to market is sometimes worse than being too late. Ask yourself whether there is a

critical mass of eager customers ready to adopt this option. Are necessary complementary

technologies ready to support it?

Of course, most evaluations will also contain a financial component, such as a net-present-value analysis.

The farther the options you are considering are from your core business, the less useful the traditional

evaluation tools will be. But estimates of market size and demand trends can still help narrow your

choices, even when you are moving into unfamiliar territory.

If a plausible business model for the option connect be identified, it should be rejected or recycled. It may

need to be reconfigured in some way, either through creative insights or additional economic analysis, if it

is to have real strategic potential. Some situations – such as when considerable uncertainty about

demand, external trends, or new technologies exists – call for the pursuit of options despite the lack of a

strong business model. However, investments should be kept small and implementation should be

discovery-driven – that is, with the aim of gaining more information about market size, demand, and other

variables during the experimental period.

LOOP IN THE RIGHT OPTION EVALUATORS

Some people are great at generating ideas. Others are astute at choosing combinations of ideas that

reinforce each other and fit an organization’s existing skills and energies. These people are particularly

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JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 6 of 9

valuable during the evaluation stage. There are also a number of useful roles that people can play during

evaluation.

• The provocateur asks the questions that force people to think, or voices the unspoken truth that

people are unwilling to address – the elephant in the room.

• The devil’s advocate argues against an emerging viewpoint in order to test its logic.

• The facilitator ensures that all voices are heard and that agreed-upon processes are followed.

Choosing among options is typically not an either-or decision. It involves weighing options in the context

of your organization. It requires the creative combination of apparently unrelated ideas into a single,

powerful strategy. But first, you need a menu of options that are robust and even inspiring. Too often,

companies focus on the ultimate selection at the expense of the list from which it is selected.

Far too many meetings consist of some team at the front of a room offering three choices to senior

executives – the gold-plated option, the bare-bones option, and the just-right option. A choice is made

from among these three, and off it goes to be implemented. An effective strategist asks questions at such

a meeting: What are you not showing me? What alternatives did not make it into the presentation? What

was your second-best option? Ask these questions, and you will bring additional alternatives and

potentially stronger strategies to the surface.

IDENTIFYING THE POSITIONING CATEGORIES

In the text, If You’re in a Dogfight, Become a Cat! Sherman describes several positioning categories

for the range of strategic options. They include:

1. Breakout Positioning. Developed by Youngme Moon, these strategies are designed to

break away from the pack. They include two sub-categories:

a. Reverse positioning: Reversing the trend of constant augmentation of product

performance by stripping away features from high-end offerings that don’t add

appreciable value and replacing them with unexpected alternatives.

b. Breakaway positioning: Redefining how customers see a company’s services and

products by borrowing from attributes from entirely different products/service categories

to completely upend traditional perceptions of these categories.

2. Blue Ocean Strategy. Sherman briefly references W Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne’s

positioning concept of creating and capturing uncontested market share by combining unique

differentiation and lower costs to open up a new market and create new demand.

3. Disruptive Innovation (or Technology). Originally developed by Clayton Christensen, disruptive

innovation includes positioning moves that create accessibility and affordability in products for

mass adoption, thus redefining the product or service space. This is often misunderstood to

mean that the disruptive innovation needs to include breakthrough technologies. This is not

necessarily the case. It can include an innovative business model that targets new customers

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 7 of 9

who had not been in the market, or consumers who could not previously afford to buy the

products. It may also include an improved value network with suppliers and distributers that

provides customers with additional value from the disruptive innovation.

Many strategic objectives might fit into more than one of these positioning categories, but it is helpful

to be able to identify the correct positioning strategy and to be able to recognize it in the strategic

moves your competitors make.

MAKING THE CALL

Endless deliberation is not an option in the real world. After the research has been done, and key

members of the team have had their say, you will have to make the call. All str ategic decisions

involve risk. Postposing a decision also involves risk – the risk that your competitors will make a

game-winning move before you do, leaving you on the sidelines saying, “Why didn’t we see that

coming?”

Even with the best research and the best processes to generate and refine ideas, strategy remains a

game of probability that must balance risk and reward. If you have done your homework and

leveraged the tools of strategy development, then the time has come to put a plan into action. When

this happens, you must focus firmly on the execution, something we will discuss more thoroughly in

Weeks 9 and 10. Second-guessing the strategy before it has been given a chance to succeed will

undermine your plan before it even gets off the ground.

In short, you are well advised to take Jack’s guidance seriously: “When it comes to strategy, ponder

less and do more.”

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 8 of 9

SUCCEEDING BEYOND THE COURSE

As you read the materials and participate in class activities, stay focused on the key learning outcomes

for the week and how they can be applied to your job.

• Identify the most viable moves for your chosen company

Together with your team, review each of the short-listed strategies to determine if any cannot be

done in the next year and why it is off the table (e.g., funding limitations). Next, ask each member

of the team to prioritize the list in the order they think is most likely to disrupt the marketplace. To

get the most out of this exercise, ask each leader to work independently on the ranking. Collect

the individual feedback and summarize the possible strategies in the order most team members

suggested.

• Understand how your options relate to the range of positioning categories

Use the positioning categories we covered as a framework to determine where your most viable

moves fit and how they align to the market opportunities and capabilities of the organization.

Rank the moves from most aligned to least aligned. Your growth initiative needs to be significant

enough to make a difference to your growth trend. Remember, the goal of your new strategy is to

create a source of competitive advantage that can’t be easily replicated, at least in the short

term.

• Narrow your strategic options to a preferred strategy

The time has come to stop pondering and act. Strategy development can’t be a never-ending

undertaking. You must select the best option and move forward. Ask yourself:

o Will this strategy disrupt the marketplace to our advantage?

o Will it generate revenue growth for our business?

o Will it increase customer loyalty in the longer term?

o Will it create a sustainable advantage and not be easily replicable?

If any of the answers to these questions is “no”, then you need to revisit the strategy and modify it

to make it more impactful for your business. Remember, the goal is to select a winning strategy

that will generate growth for at least the next several years.

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University.

JWI 540 – Lecture Notes (1214) Page 9 of 9

ACTION PLAN

To apply what I have learned this week in my course to my job, I will…

Action Item(s)

Resources and Tools Needed (from this course and in my workplace)

Timeline and Milestones

Success Metrics

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