Part 1: Due 18 Nov 2017
Strategy Development (Amazon)
Leveraging Jack’s 5-Step Strategy Framework, conduct an analysis of the competitive landscape leading to the identification of a “game changing winning move” that will take your organization forward and beat the competition. As a reminder, those steps are organized into questions as follows:
1. What Does the Playing Field Look Like?
a. Who are our competitors in this business, large and small, new and old?
b. Who has what share globally, and in each market? Where do we fit in?
c. What are the characteristics of this business? Is it a commodity, high value, or somewhere in between? Is it long cycle or short? Where is it on the growth curve? What are the drivers of profitability? d. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each competitor? How good are their products? How much does each one spend on R&D? How big is each sales force? How performance-driven is each culture? e. Who are this business’s main customers, and how do they buy?
2. What has Competition Been Up To?
a. What has each competitor done in the past year to change the playing field?
b. Has anyone introduced game-changing products, new technologies, or distribution channels?
c. Are there any new entrants, and what have they been up to in the past year?
3. What Have We Been Up To?
a. What have we done in the past year to change the playing field?
b. Have we bought a company, introduced a new product, stolen a competitor’s key salesperson, or licensed a new technology from a startup?
c. Have we lost any competitive advantages that we once had (such as a great salesperson, a special product, a proprietary technology, etc.)?
4. What Could be Coming Around the Corner that Could Upset Everything?
a. What scares me most in the year ahead—what are one or two things a competitor could do to nail us?
b. What new products or technologies could our competitors launch that might change the game?
c. What M&A deals would knock us off our feet?
5. What’s Our Winning Move?
a. What can we do to change the playing field—is it an acquisition, a new product, globalization?
b. What can we do to make customers stick to us more than ever before and be more loyal to us than to anyone else?
Part 2 Due 25 Nov 2017
Financial Analysis (Amazon)
Perform a financial analysis of your selected organization (Amazon) in order to determine its current financial condition and identify opportunities and threats. This analysis should accomplish two things: (1) establish a baseline for current financial performance, and (2) provide a cost/benefit analysis for the strategy (your “winning move”) you are proposing and the changes you will need to make to execute that strategy.
As a reminder, the purpose of this part of the Capstone Project is not for you to present an exhaustive analysis of all financial elements of the organization. The purpose is to focus on those elements which impact (and are impacted by) your plan. Approach this as a CEO, not a CFO.Where will you get the money you need to fund your initiative? What is the proposed payoff in terms of increased sales or decreased expenses? How do these stack up to key benchmarks (like IRR) against which your success will be measured? Which market related financial data impact your numbers, and strengthen your conclusions and help you defend your arguments?
As you analyze, derive meaning from, and present your recommendations, you will want to consider the following:
1. Asset Review: Cash Position, Working Capital (Current Assets vs Current Liabilities), Long Term Assets (including depreciation/condition) and Intangible Assets
2. Company Structure: Debt vs Equity, Liquidity, Dividend Payment, Debt Terms/Interest
3. Growth: Revenue Growth Trends, Net Income Growth Trends
4. Profit Margins: Gross Margin, Operating Margin, Net Income Margin 5. Cash Flow: Cash from Operations, Investing, Financing
Part 3 Due 2DEC 2017
Leadership and Management (Amazon)
Strategic and financial analyses are just words and numbers without the right people in place to execute the plan. The final component of your research prior to your presentation requires that you assess the “human element” of the organization. This includes: taking stock of the culture; examining team structures; reviewing incentives to drive performance; and last, but certainly not least, ensuring you have the right people in key leadership roles. As you consider these issues, address the following:
1. Assess the current situation related to leadership, management, and organizational structure. a. Explain key roles of personnel and team(s)
b. Explain any recent changes that were made and the reasons for those changes
c. Explain any challenges/limitations that exist within the current structure and offer your recommendations
2. Describe and defend what the organization should look like 12-36 months from now?
a. Should there be any changes to the mission, vision, values? If so, why and how will you implement these changes?
b. What are the current unchallenged assumptions about, “how work is done around here”? Explain.
c. Describe and defend how you will align people, processes and resources to your vision over the next 12-36 months, considering the following:
i. Which are your strategic positions/roles?
ii. Where will your talent be coming from?
iii. How will you develop your talent?
iv. How will you motivate your talent to overachieve?
v. What is your performance management plan?
vi. How will you differentiate performance?
Part 4 Due 9 Dec 2017
Powerpoint Pitch: (Amazon)
Your presentation will need to be well-organized and compelling, and it will need to be delivered with the “executive presence” expected of a CEO. It will include the key insights, ideas, investments, arguments, and support for your Strategic Leadership Plan.
Your presentation should make use of PowerPoint or other visual tools to support your delivery, but there is no required sequence or organization for your presentation. You must decide how you wish to initiate, advance and conclude the presentation.
Even though you are presenting to your Board as the CEO, you should not assume they have any prior knowledge of key facts. If there is data that is important in presenting your plan, you must reference these in your presentation, but do NOT waste your opportunity in front of the Board by delivering a “data dump.” Judiciously referencing key data to support your position is a demonstration of your depth of knowledge and your capability as a leader, but analytics alone will not win the day.
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