Learning strategically in the form of reflections and experience may require having an orientation towards activities of life rather than mental process itself (McDrury.J, Alterio.M,2002). Kolb(1984) has stated the experiential learning into four modes- They are Concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation. The formulation of strategies in different organisation is solely based on their organizational learning (Eden and Ackermann, 1998, p36).
This was the first activity of learning workshop. I have been told to think about an issue and the persons related to that issue keeping myself in centre of the page. It was quite difficult task for. And there were two reasons behind that, first it was the first activity and was not familiar what was going on and second it was quite difficult for me to think what others were thinking about the issue and their relationships. I have drawn the map as I am playing with something. But the continuous instructions from tutor helped me to complete the activity. It was really difficult for to think about others position and also their relationship individually. We also have to write who was having the most impact of that issue. But I can say that whatever I have drawn in the map will be agreed by my, if the same thing have impacted them. But there was a doubt after completion of this activity and also thought for minute that the other person to whom I was blaming might be in some force. It helped me to think about other position.
Further reading & research: positioning mapping helps us to think more than our own personal belief that can be only myth in real. It helps us to know the others position during the course of period. It can help us to know the scenario or scene quite clear if we think from others perspective. We normally take our position on our own assumptions and always think that what we are thinking is right. Generally it happens and it is the only think which build blogs in making important decision. We should always think in wider scope.
I have learned: we should always think of the belief or things which according us is some particular in wider way and should start thinking from others point of view. In fact we should from the position of the other person to whom we considering the reason for the problem or issue. It will really help us to make decisions.
Business use: according to me it is a useful tool in real business. It is also useful to map other organisation’s position it will help the business to preparing competition strategies and new business plans. It will also help to reduce communication gap between staff of organisation. It can be used in negotiation and solving conflicts.
We have been told to write a story after the first activity. The story which I have wrote was about my experience during the period of time when I was working in a call centre. I wrote the story after spending very few minutes because I was having clear idea what I have experienced during that issue. It was completely based on my personal experience and in the conclusion of the story I wrote what other might be thinking during that period or for that issue. After writing the story we have been told to write my belief statements as well. I can say that the conclusion of the story could be different if this activity kept first before positioning mapping. Because after that activity I come to know that we should also think about others position before coming to any conclusion. The only thing questionable about this activity was the importance of it in business strategy or planning. Is there any use of this activity in the business? And to what extent it can help us in real business planning.
Further reading & research: Storytelling is usually employed to achieve specific results within an organisation, but stories also give rise to unmanaged and often unforeseen effects. story telling is a way of flowing knowledge into organisation. It helps organizations, work teams, and boards of directors to develop red-hot, values-based stories that spread like wildfire and propel them toward their vision. Storytelling enables the individuals in an organization to see themselves and the organization in a different light, and, through storytelling take decisions and change their behaviour in accordance with these new perceptions, insights and identities. It gets inside the minds of the individuals who collectively make up the organization and affects how they think, worry, wonder, strive and dream about themselves and in the process create and recreate their organization and their lives. The initial story can be based on myths and with lot of jargons. But it is good to write a story initially without any management perspective and after that there should be refined version of the story. It will definitely used in business planning and strategies.
I have learned: story telling is a effective tool for knowledge management and as initiative for scenario planning. While story telling we can put all our thoughts thinking about any particular thing. We can know that after the end of that we have plotted lot of things or information which might not possible to find without this activity or exercise. It also helps in management communication between board of directors and employees including managers and clerks.
Business use: As I have discussed that storytelling is an initial tool used for scenario planning and flow of information or knowledge in organisation.
This was the third activity. We have been told to select an issue. After that we have to write that issue in the middle of the paper. The issue which we have selected was frequent absence of course leader from university. It was and upwards and downward mapping process, by plotting causes and consequences on the paper on different level. We have to also write each positive and negative point for each of them. The causes were on the lower side of the map.
Personal belief: it was like a child play for us in the group. We have started to plot all the things on the paper, and as per tutor we were going on the write direction. To wards the end we saw that there was very little difference between the causes and consequences. After the completion of this activity I was very eager to know that is there is any theoretical method of creating cognitive map.
Further reading & research: It is a comprehensive account of all facets of cognitive mapping research. It provides an overview of the historical genesis of the subject area, a description of the current states-of-play, and a ‘map’ of what future research should investigate.
I have tried to find perfect theory way to make cognitive map, but I found that there is no perfect method for it. The things we have to keep in mind is think of any issue and try to look for its consequences first. We have to write an opposite statement for each one we found. The best map can made with around 4 to 5 level on both upper and lower side.
It is also known as a wayfinding technique. The mapping is made onto a whole company of information which is useful and readily and rapidly accessed. By assuming that information is organized in appropriate bundles, with the relationships between the bundles made readily accessible, the mapping process seems to be much easier to understand.
I have learned that it is a process of collecting information or data on a particular area which is called map. This can be used to make scenarios. It helps use to know the various possible causes for any issue and at the same time consequences that might happen because of the issue. It is really amazing that we can know many different things with only a single piece of information which was the issue in wider prospects to use or may be used to make proper strategy or scenario.
Business use: Cognitive mapping is a initial stage or tool for making scenarios and thus it is very useful in the business as now a day scenario planning and forecasting are in use in the business extensively.
It is a last activity of strategic learning workshop. We have to analyse a ValuJet crash case study in a group. We have to note issues coming out from the case study on the piece of paper. After that we have to check the piece of work which we have done with the other group which ends with making flip/flop statements. In the last we have prepared a cognitive map based on the flip/flop statements. The flip is the positive attributes and flop is negative attributes. The map is a scenario for the year 2013.
Personal belief: I was having idea about scenario because of strategic management. But the practical approach towards making of scenario helped me to learn more about it in fact after this I read many things about scenario making and its importance in real life.
Further Reading & Research: Scenarios are specially constructed stories about the future. Each scenario represents a distinct, plausible world. The purpose of scenario planning is not to predict future; but rather, to show how different forces can manipulate the future in different directions.
Scenarios as used in business, other organizations, and government planning fall into two broad categories. One is scenarios that tell about some future state or condition in which the institution is embedded. That scenario then is used to stimulate users to develop and clarify practical choices, policies, and alternative actions that may be taken to deal with the consequences of the scenario. The second form tells a different story. It assumes that policy has been established. Policy and its consequences are integrated into a story about some future state. As business globalizes it puts the typical large business in the position of dealing with customers, suppliers, and regulators, cultural, social, governmental, and economic factors different from the ones that they are most familiar and comfortable with. Scenarios come to the rescue. They are educational, and integrative in dealing with the complex new factors. Making scenarios are quite easy process as well. It is merely based on assumption of different peoples keeping negative and positive aspects of that assumptions and future in mind.
I have learned from this activity that forecasting is a perfect future but it is not possible to do so, scenario take us to the wide range of possible future possibilities. After preparing scenarios we have the perfect idea what we can do now to deal with the future possibilities. It is a part of making business plans.
Business use: It is quite popular in the business in all kind of planning and forecasting process of business. This can be also used in joint ventures and while doing expansion of business.
The strategic learning workshop was very fascinating and the activities performed during the workshop were very much effective as I discussed all the activities and learning outcomes in this report. The important aspect of the workshop was how to learn strategically as an individual or as a member of a group. The interesting part of all activities are they all were mostly about real life experiences and what we learn fron those and how we implement that learning out comes in the practical field. I learned a lot from this workshop and it will surely help me to become an effective manager and strategist in future.