Project Woo

Today was my first day in Managing in Complex Environments with Professor Lada. After going through the first chapter of the textbook book, I learned just how many variables influence a firm in today’s global society.

To understand the systems my peers and I are leaning, we analyzed a Starbucks case from 2007 outlining their business models, recent stock fluctuations, and current events at the time of the case study. We discussed if Starbucks was a successful company, and our class concluded that Starbucks is, in fact, successful. Even though Starbucks’ CEO Mr. Howard Schultz believed Starbucks was veering away from its value proposition and shares were dipping at the start of the great recession, the firm consistently receives positive profit margins, provides generous employee benefits, and donates to charitable organizations and local communities.

Firms in complex environments have multiple goals. In our rapid markets, profit maximization cannot be the sole focus of a firm, as other factors play the influence on its survival. Companies need to set various goals, unique from competitors, to flourish with a well-rounded business model. Drivers cause change and change brings new business ideas and models for experimentation.

Managing in Complex Environments can be best exampled through Porter’s 5 Forces. The forces are the following: Threat of New Entrants, Bargaining Power of Suppliers, Threat of Substitute Products/Services, and Bargaining Power of Buyers. Each factor determines how a firm can produce its service or product efficiently and in the interests of consumers.

Stakeholders also influence firms heavily. Stakeholders can be, but are not limited to: Managers, Employees, Stockholders, and Government. Each holds separate interests, power, urgency, and legitimacy, but all of these attributes trigger different levels of response by a firm and thus require the firm’s management team.

PESTLE is a system to analyze an environment in a broad perspective. PESTLE stands for Political, Economical, Socio-Cultural, Technological, Legal, and Environmental. Environments need to be assessed in the short and long-term to understand current solutions and future solutions to complex situations.

Megatrends are large contributors as well, and outline mass consumer intuition.

Heuristics are also important, and are simple solutions that can be used generically and applied to numerous problems.

VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, and describes the atmosphere workers have to deal with in everyday situations. Through VUCA we can identify problems and strengthen firms to continue to accomplish their goals.

Finally, Ms. Adams coached me in fully capitalizing on my top five strengths from the strengths finder test. My top five strengths were (in order): Achiever, Woo, Competitor, Ideation, and Learner. I will be reflecting on my strengths during my upcoming weeks and capitalize on what I do best so I can be even more productive in my career. Woo was my favorite strength, which means I enjoy breaking the ice and meeting new people and forming new relationships with strangers. I could easily relate to this strength, as I love to talk and learn more about new people as soon as I meet them.

The concepts above outline new ideas and skills I plan on applying to my own idea pitch as well as my future career. While my career will be much more focused, having an understanding of broad ideas can help better define my goals. MCE skills can be applied to simple projects at a future job. I would use these skills independently in my own daily work to stay focused, but I would share them to help guide group projects and find solutions for my company. As for my strengths, I will be reflecting on them throughout the weeks and will understand how I can use them effectively in my future careers.