Feedback on mid-term assignments BSP3001 Strategic Management 1. Learning objective The purpose of the assignment was not merely grading – it was learning. By applying strategy tools and concepts we discussed so far in practice you will get a better grasp of them. Cases like the ones we discuss in class are “pre-cooked” for use in the classroom to focus on certain themes. That’s useful for a limited timeframe, but also less “real”. Moreover, our printed cases are usually outdated by the time they appear. An assignment like this requires you to decide what the problem is, how it evolves in real time, how to analyze it, and how to search for your own data, rather than having it readily available in a case. This makes the learning experience richer as concepts in a class can never be neatly applied to a messy real-life case like Hyflux. As such, this assignment required you to make some useful choices, assumptions and modifications to the tools and concepts used in class. This is actually my ideal learning cycle: read in a book, explain in class, experience in practice, reflect, and adapt the tool/concepts to new situations. 2. General feedback Most groups did a great job on the assignment and came up with all kinds of innovative ideas and recommendations. Most considered the venture into energy a mistake and recommended going back to basics: water. In coming up with sensible recommendations, all teams used course concepts well so that I can see you actually mastered the content of this course. Thanks for your good work – privileged to have such good students! Here are some points that were common across many submissions: • BCG analysis : this was not so easy as you had to decide whether to use Singapore market share or global market share, and some market shares are very small. I got very different versions, which underlines what we discussed in class: this tool depends highly on crucial assumptions and the outcomes are therefore subjective. Some teams did the analysis well but failed to link the results to their recommendations, for instance by focusing on growing a “dog”. • Many groups talked about corporate governance and risk, echoing some of the comments made in the media about the composition of the board and how often the risk committee meets. While these are all valid comments, these are symbols of an underlying problem where the company grew too aggressively from 2010 onward, and with the same people in charge did not adequately change the strategy when it emerged that things were not going well. I also noted few people recommended to replace the founder, but a few groups did. Olivia Lum owns aout 34% of Hyflux, and it is possible to argue that at this stage of Hyflux’ journey, another type of leader may be more adequate.
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- Spring '15