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Master of Business Course APMG 8099

Facilitator : Ken Simpson

A thought to begin with

Education is not what the teacher does; it is a process spontaneously experienced by learners. It is not acquired by listening to words; but by experiencing a relevant environment. The teachers task is to prepare activities located in that environment; then refrain from interfering in the process. (Maria Montessori, n.d.)

The postgraduate philosophy


We do not set out to teach you anything no facts, figures, rules, or other answers Instead we try to create an environment where you can choose to learn to the extent that you want to So very few answers, but plenty of questions You can therefore : - respond with minimal enthusiasm and focus on a passing grade - respond with maximum application and focus on improved capability Your choice !!!

Objectives for the first session


Describe the structure and process of the course Explain the meaning of business strategy in the contemporary business environment Present a useful strategy framework model Learn a little about each other

Key points from the course schedule


Attend all classes, email me in advance if you are unavoidably detained Pre-break what class based on assigned reading : absolute necessity to have read the material Post-break how class based on personal development for improved capability What class assessment is 70% of total grade, assessed through written business strategy How class assessment is 30% of total grade, assessed through on-line participation What assessment may need extra information it is your responsibility to ask, not mine.

Some hard facts about the New Zealand economy

We are self-sufficient in food items, but import dependent for non-food items We generate large quantities of primary produce, which are sold as commodities and not as value added products New Zealanders are legendary at thinking up new ideas, weak at making money from those ideas Paradoxically, our competitive efforts are far too heavily based on imitation rather than innovation The result is a conservative and less than ideally efficient economy

Some hard facts about New Zealand businesses


New Zealanders are very keen on self-employment, thus almost every business is over-shopped The average New Zealand business is classified as small, and often as micro Technical skills are quite strong, generic management skills are very weak The planning horizon is measured in weeks, months if we are lucky, and those plans are seldom written down A common approach is open the doors and see what happens All of this equates to an anti-strategic approach!

Good news or bad news?


If you are the New Zealand government, desperately bad news These characteristics dont make for international competitiveness Especially with a high wage and low productivity labour market For a new business start-up though .... - the playing field is crowded - but most of the players arent very good! - smart new businesses have a slight advantage So how do we come a smart business?

A chain of logic

In 5, 10, 15 years time, your life will be one of three things better, the same, or worse than today This will happen, cant be avoided So you can (a) plan for the future or (b) do nothing and wait and see what happens To do (a) means to better understand the world you live in geographic, industrial/commercial, personal Understanding leads to identifying opportunities and anticipating problems Identified opportunities and predicted problems mean improved future.

Grants case studies


A solid appreciation of their own strengths and weaknesses An uncanny ability to understand the world in which they lived An ability to develop a set of long-term goals that are realistic, achievable and will contribute to longterm success An ability to successfully combine all of these elements in an implementation plan that will lead to goal achievement.

The strategy ladder 1-5


1.
2. 3. 4. 5.

Know the factors that make you behave the way that you do Develop a workable understanding of the world you live in Develop an intimate understanding of the industry you work in Know exactly what it is you want to build as a future personally and professionally Know your current and potential skills, talents, capabilities

The strategy ladder 6-10


6.
7. 8. 9. 10.

Know what are they key things you have to get right in order to succeed Combine all of those elements into a formal future planning document List the specific things you need to start (and keep) doing, as of tomorrow! Understand and prepare for what could possibly go wrong Measure your progress regularly