When I enrolled for the Masters of International Business (MIB), my objective was to diversify myself from the existing marketing & corporate sales field that represent a big part of my working experience. My aim is to go towards more the business development field, having also some experience in that area as well.
After working for 10 years, I was looking for a new challenge and used my experience to start either a business or self- develop myself in entrepreneurship to go into consultancy or work in the business development unit.
I am still not 100% sure of my exact future professional plan as after completion of this MIB program, I am planning do a professional course with regard to my future plans and start looking for an internship in the business development unit or consultancy. Working for myself is part of my long term professional vision via the development of a startup which is one of the main reason why I decided to enroll for the design thinking module.
2.0 Mauritius and Small & Medium Enterprise
My plan since a while was to develop a startup, as the Mauritian government wants to make the small and medium enterprise as another pillar of the economy. They are investing quite significantly in terms of infrastructure, technological advancement, and financial grants, mentoring programs to potential investors who require guidance to implementation of their startups. However, if I delayed myself from starting a business was because I wanted to create something that makes a difference in my country or elsewhere and not creating the next restaurant or textile store or any other traditional businesses
3.0 WHEN CREATIVITY MIXES WITH MANAGEMENT
3.1 Refining potential business ideas
Design thinking and the teaching has been most valuable and instructive specially when it comes to the idea generation for startups .I believe this is one important reason for potential entrepreneurs students to follow the design thinking class. Speaking of my own personal experience, given that my objective can be to start a business, the difference after following the design thinking class is to learn how to think and research about potential ideas. We all have a lot of potential ideas but we cannot do all at the same time. Design Thinking has helped me realized how I could shortlist ideas when using the Lean Business model.
3.2 The creative aspect of design thinking
Speaking from an MIB student perspective, another valuable element that I find extremely important for potential entrepreneur that would benefit from this module is to have another view of doing business. The teaching method itself is way different than any traditional management course and it offers an understanding of real business model, how it can be used in real business context. It emphasizes student to be imaginative and creative, which is the essence of innovation .For a company to survive in today’s world, it requires more than just creating a product or service and expecting people to buy it. Customers are exposed to international trends irrespective of the field therefore there demands are more sophisticated, refined and accurate which imply a high expectation level from any product or service which is being created.
I was always stuck when it comes to potential business ideas. Before even starting I would simply reject the idea as not good for starting a business but doing the design thinking class, some guest lecturers, the teaching itself simplified the process of building a startup. More importantly, not to restrict our imagination. After looking at the products that the MACE has developed and the other students that we had the opportunity to meet in the fair , I realized that ideas do not need to be fancy to start a business. This has been a key element that we have been taught during the design thinking module. Business ideas sound very different to me after this module.
Remembering the beginning sessions of the course where we were given a theme and how we had to expand our research to develop potential business ideas. Despite some of them looked really fancy, but the experience I retain from these exercises how we should be having a more observing attitude towards everything and everywhere we are if we want to be creative and how it makes idea generation flow more easily.
3.3 Design Thinking & Innovation
Having done an innovation module part of the MIB program, it has been easy to correlate the different business models that we have been taught in both modules. Design thinking uses the Lean business model to develop product and services and the whole program is about refining the product development based on customers needs and wants .To do so , I have been able to implement the other business models discussed in Innovation module in terms of incremental or radical business model in the product development of lucky 5 .For potential entrepreneurs I believe the more valuable experience comes from the implementation of the learning .
3.4 Real Business Experience
Having done a real business, created a product, selling the product is a big experience that after doing it, for sure it makes a big difference in terms of experience what it is to handle a business .I already knew working for oneself is not an easy job but I have treated this lucky 5 Business not as a module but as a real life experience.
The whole MIB program for me is not about earning another degree but to learn about new ways and techniques in the world of business and how to become better in the field I want to further my career. There is no better way to learn than from real experience which I believe is one fundamental reason why entrepreneur student who want to start their own business and having no experience in startups should go for Design thinking module.
4.0 Lean Business Model & Innovation
The lean business model as discussed in the blogs is one business model which seriously created a lot of doubts in my mind .It is only after visiting companies implementing the Lean business model and when we used the model in the whole process of product development that I realized how valuable it contributes for a company to remain at the edge of innovation .One of the greatest challenge that companies have to face today is to be able to react to changes in the external environment as fast as possible .Below are examples of successful companies having failed to innovate at the right time and experienced downfall.
- Polaroid Corporation
- My Space
- The entire publishing Industry
- Blockbuster Inc.
These are live examples that we should not forget and learn from it .I would definitely be using Lean business model if I was to start a business as I find it no better to remain ahead of innovation by being constantly aware of what your customers want and be open to what is happening in the external environment.
Design Thinking is a great opportunity for potential entrepreneurs to benefit from and I would strongly recommend that this module should be highlighted to management student having pathway in entrepreneurship.
The design thinking module creates a simulation of the work environment more precisely how a business run .It implies why we have to develop a business in a team. But unfortunately, just like in real life, working in teams is not always easy. More importantly is to have constructive teams and very often how much goodwill some team members may have , but it might not be the case from all team members.
Each member has it’s own perspective about the module which determines their attitude and their level commitment towards the project. Other factors like age, cultural differences, attitude towards people, time available to choose members to build a group is very limited at times. This leads to certain group formation that might not be functional despite a lot of effort and goodwill. This problem even we find it in real life.
Same as we would treat these problems arising in the work context, It would be good to have an assessment of each member of a team by the lecturers, based on attitude toward other team members, towards their project, their commitment to the project, respecting other members opinion. I think it would be a great help for the students to know that the lecturer will assess their behavior just like each employee would have a performance appraisal based on a lot of factors.
To conclude I would say it is a great opportunity for management people to work with the creative industry .I also think both the management and creative people if they are open to learn and accept the different skills that both the management and creative people possess, both parties will get so much out of this learning .A company can be highly innovative but if it does not manage it’s cash flow properly, the human resource of the company, the inventory that it has, does not have an understanding of it’s client database for example , it would be very difficult for this company to survive.
“ Great companies start because the founders want to change the world….not to make a fast buck”
Guy Kawasaki (speaking at INBOUND)
THANK YOU FOR READING
1)Year Published: 2014
Title of webpage: Big Companies that weren’t innovative
Last Accessed: 24th April 2016
Title of webpage: Companies that went bankrupt from innovation lag
Last Accessed : 24th April 2016