2008-02-28

Bible for Business Seminar#6 Appreciation of Situations

About 15 people gathered together for the Seminar#6 on Appreciation of Situations. We have a quick review of Vision and Values. We quoted
  • "A life that has no order and discipline is a life that focuses on survival, not vision."
    from Jeff Calloway's new book , "VisionalLife".
Using examples of J&J Tylenol and Perrier incidences, we stressed the importance of values in action - Choosing Life over Profit or Integrity over Profit.

Besides covering the content of Appreciation of Situations, the following additional points were added:
  • Luke 14:28 - We must make sure we have enough cash to cover the cash-outflow in the initial stages of the new business until the business can be self-sustaining in cash. Many businesses fail prematurely due to lack of cash (funding). Conserving cash is a key principle in running new business.
  • Luke 14:31- tells us to consider whether we can overcome the competitors in the market we are entering.
  • On SWOT analysis,
    • We stressed on capturing the keys 2-3 factors and not too many.
    • Strengths and Weaknesses are to be viewed from the external Market Opportunities and Threats.
    • We advocate the "Strengths Based" approach and challenge ourselves to see how we could convert Threats to Opportunities. By re-phrasing problem, like high-turnover rates, into a positive one, like "making the company attractive to attract new and retain old", put our mindset into positive mood to work out the many possibilities.
    • We can use our strengths to overcome weaknesses. We cited examples of learning. Each of us learn differently, typical school-teaching method is Left-Brain based and so Right-Brain people has difficulty. If we change the teaching to suit the learning methods, reading to watching tv, to motion and exercises, etc according to the student learning profile, all can do well.
    • Another easy way to overcome our weakness is to outsource it to others with the needed strengths.
    • On the eternal O&T, we are to look at the macro-economic factors P.E.S.T (Political, Economic, Social, Technology), Environmental & Legal/Regulations. On the micro-level, we look at our firm, competitors, market, customers, suppliers.
    • As a reminder, SWOT should leads to a plan of actions, also called strategies, to use our strengths to exploit the opportunities and minimizing the risks of threats. Also a challenge to convert the threats to opportunities - applying the Invert Operator of BVITS.
  • In the area of looking at Customers, we combine the contributions of "Strategic Insight in Three Circles" HBR Nov 2007, "Seeing What's Next" and "Blue Ocean Strategies" to classify customers into
    • customers that bought from us - what are our differentiating factors?
    • our customers who also buy from our competitors, - what can we learn? why are they better?
    • customer needs not fulfilled by us -why not?
    • our products&services not bought - to be take away,
    • overshot-customers - exposing to disruptive low-end entrants,
    • undershot-customers - opportunities for sustaining innovations,
  • non-customers
    • those falling off the edges
    • those rejected us
    • those we have not address
  • non-consuming context
    • barriers to consumption.e.g. mobile phone opened up opportunities that line-phone could not. e-Learning allows new overseas customers to sign-up.
We did not have the time to cover the 2nd aspect of AOS (Appreciation of Situation) which is reading the trends and getting ready and Michael Porter's 5 competitive forces that determine the profitability of firms in a market. These we will cover in the next seminar on 12 Mar 2008.

The Seminar Feedback
10 Feedback forms were received from attendance of 14. Overall score is 82% with highest score to Speaker Knowledge 92%, Subject Area Coverage 86% and lower scores to Expectation Met 76%, Relevance to Job 72%.

Like Best
  • SWOT:working on strengths; converting weakness to strengths; consideration of internal and external factors d study on market share.
  • Check multiple sources and verify claims, not be be misled
  • Case Study, better understanding
  • Overall Good
  • SWOT
  • Dissection of the SWOT Analysis and how to go about doing it.
  • SWOT, something new to me
  • Focus on Strength
  • HBR-3 Circle, own, customer, competitor. This is a new angle of looking at the business. Had done SWOT before, a good refresher.
  • SWOT analysis, more detailed and easy to understand compared to other lecturers in schools :)
  • SWOT, because I can use it for my own business to see it in a different angle
Like Least

Others
  • More practical application will be interesting and better understanding. Can touch more on area where we can apply in our daily operations, especially for employees (not business owners)
  • May be can be given some exercise.
  • Suggest to use a well-know e.g. in the mkty textbook to apply the analysis(SWOT)
  • Make the seminar more interactive and participative. make this group like a case-group style. Know each other and may be one day can do business together.
  • More real life examples and relates to those who do not have their own business
  • Get the student to do a "SWOT" before the class & submit to the lecturer for case study. Have a website we can automatically input our "SWOT" results.

1 comment:

Jeff Calloway said...

Dear Lim,

Thank you for quoting fomr my book VisionalLife. I have foud your blog and have began to read your writings, Excellent! Before entering ministry, I was employed in mainstream corporate America. Once again, Thanks and God Bless.