Ensure Shareholders Receive Maximum Walden Univer
To prepar for this Discussion, review and take critical reading notes on this week’s required readings, media, and any relevant resources from your MBA Program Capstone Bibliography document.
Prepare a well-written response to support one of the following points of view that your Instructor assigned to you:
• A: The sole purpose of business is to generate profit for shareholders, as Milton Friedman suggests. The primary responsibility of senior leaders of business is to ensure shareholders receive maximum returns.
• B: The primary purpose of a business is to create and keep customers. Senior leadership’s primary responsibility is to ensure that a company can achieve its strategic intent and win against competition over the long term.
• C: The primary purpose of business is to solve people’s problems. The primary responsibility of senior leaders is to create and maintain an environment of meaning and purpose so that the organization’s people can create value for a broad range of stakeholders.
A contributor to the Forbes business blog noted in 2011 that there appeared to be 10 major reasons that strategies and strategic plans might fail:
1. Having a plan simply for plans sake. Some organizations go through the motions of developing a plan simply because common sense says every good organization must have a plan. Don’t do this. Just like most everything in life, you get out of a plan what you put in. If you’re going to take the time to do it, do it right.
2. Not understanding the environment or focusing on results. Planning teams must pay attention to changes in the business environment, set meaningful priorities, and understand the need to pursue results.
3. Partial commitment. Business owners/CEOs/presidents must be fully committed and fully understand how a strategic plan can improve their enterprise. Without this knowledge, it’s tough to stay committed to the process.
4. Not having the right people involved. Those charged with executing the plan should be involved from the onset. Those involved in creating the plan will be committed to seeing it through execution.
5. Writing the plan and putting it on the shelf. This is as bad as not writing a plan at all. If a plan is to be an effective management tool, it must be used and reviewed continually. Unlike Twinkies or a fine vino, strategic plans don’t have a good shelf life.
6. Unwillingness or inability to change. Your company and your strategic plan must be nimble and able to adapt as market conditions change.
7. Having the wrong people in leadership positions. Management must be willing to make the tough decisions to ensure the right individuals are in the right leadership positions. The “right” individuals include those who will advocate for and champion the strategic plan and keep the company on track.
8. Ignoring marketplace reality, facts, and assumptions. Don’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to marketplace realities, and don’t discount potential problems because they have not had an immediate impact on your business yet. Plan in advance and you’ll be ready when the tide comes in.
9. No accountability or follow through. Be tough once the plan is developed and resources are committed and ensure there are consequences for not delivering on the strategy.
10. Unrealistic goals or lack of focus and resources. Strategic plans must be focused and include a manageable number of goals, objectives, and programs. Fewer and focused is better than numerous and nebulous. Also be prepared to assign adequate resources to accomplish those goals and objectives outlined in the plan.
For this discussion, identify a company that you are interested in, and that either has had a successful strategy or has had a failing strategy (or both).
Prepare your response to the following:
• Identify a company that demonstrated a successful winning strategy or experienced a strategy failure and briefly describe the circumstances in enough detail to communicate what happened.
• Using the framework offered in the Forbes blog post above, identify the potential reason(s) why the organization experienced success (by examining how the strategy enabled the company to avoid one or more of the pitfalls that can lead to failure) or failure.
• If you think that there were other reasons beyond the Forbes list, then identify those also!
To see details on what will be included in the playbook, please review the media piece Capstone Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results: Description of the Playbook now.
The first step in creating your Strategy Playbook is to select an appropriate company or organization for your study. For your Strategy Playbook, you must select a publicly traded company that has more than 100 employees. Ideally, you should select an organization that you are very familiar with and/or very passionate about.
To prepare for this Discussion, you should complete the following tasks:
• Review the media piece Capstone Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results: Description of the Playbook. This media piece provides a description of the contents of the Strategy Playbook.
o You may want to study your current organization if it is publically traded (all names of people within the organization must be disguised).
o You may want to study a direct competitor of your current company, if it is publically traded, and apply lessons learned as appropriate.
o You may want to study an exemplary public company where you could use your analysis to model a new business start-up you are considering.
o You may want to study a failing public company, and analyze what you think are the root causes of the failure and offer strategies for an effective turnaround.
• Be sure to choose an organization/industry that you are really interested in and will commit to studying for the remainder of the course.
o Remember it is likely that no one company or organization will be a perfect selection. So, log on to Walden Library and explore what information is available about your target company.
• There are a variety of databases and resources available that can help you with your research. Explore them to find the most effective ones. Since you are working with a public company, the Business Market Research Collection (includes Hoover’s) database is a good place to start. Remember that research and information literacy are two important MBA program level skills that you are expected to demonstrate.
Prepare a summary of the following:
• The name of the company that you will study and an explanation that demonstrates how your choice meets the criteria given, and why you think you’ll learn the most from it, and have the most fun analyzing it
• A sentence or two that verifies that you have been able to find annual reports and other information about the company at the Hoover’s, Business Source Complete, or other relevant source within the Walden Library