Entrepreneurial & Strategic Thinking

The Entrepreneurial & Strategic Thinking course will allow an understanding of how to integrate both internal and external components of the companies in order to visualize the future to increase market position and profits. Strategic Thinking implies an understanding of the company’s resources, capabilities, mission, vision, and external environment and how all of them can be articulated to achieve the organizational goals. This first week will be dedicated to understanding what strategy, why it is important is and the role of mission and vision in the companies. There are two chapters that cover these topics, chapter 1 and chapter 2. After having the Lecture for Week 1 you have a partial view of strategy and its role which must be complemented by studying chapters 1 and 2 and some supplemental readings given by your instructor. Be focused on their learning objectives at the beginning of the chapters and make sure you will understand them very well. I remind you that this course has a high level of application and the knowledge you learn must be on top of mind all the time. Instructions: Read about Business Model page 13. Describe the business model of the current organization you work for by using the same business model components. Is that model effective? Please elaborate on this by using the knowledge learned about strategy. Give your best rationale. Select one of the following companies: Starbucks (investor.starbucks.com), Pfizer (www.pfizer.com/investors), or Best Buy to find examples of strategic and financial objectives and more. (1) List four objectives for the company, and indicate which of these are strategic and which are financial. (2) Click on the investor relations section, and (1) explore the latest annual reports and/or 10-K filings to see if you can identify the key elements of the company’s strategy. Use the framework provided in Figure 1.1 to help identify these key elements. What approach toward winning a competitive advantage does the company seem to pursue? (3) Check whether the company’s recent financial reports indicate that its business model is working. Can the company’s business model remain sound as more consumers go to the Internet to find general information and stay abreast of current events and new stories? Is its revenue stream from advertisements growing or declining? To what degree does its strategic response to changing industry conditions seem positive and deliberate versus reactive and adaptive (emergent)? Go to investor relations website for Walmart (investors.walmatrstores.com) and review past presentations Walmart has made during various investor conferences by clicking on the Events option in the navigation bar. Prepare a one or two-page report that outlines what Walmart has said to investors about its approach to strategy execution. Specifically, what has management discussed concerning staffing, resource allocation, policies and procedures, information and operating systems, continuous improvement, rewards and incentives, corporate culture, and internal leadership at the company? Go to BestBuy.com, click on the investor relations section, and explore Best Buy’s last annual reports and 10-K filings to see if you can identify, and explore key elements of Best Buy’s strategy. Use the framework provided in Figure 1.1 to help identify these key elements. What approach toward winning a competitive advantage does Best Buy seem to be pursuing? Expected outcome: Written answer based on the four questions (All participants must post this written assignment; answers must be submitted in only one word document. Submit the assignment through this link.  See below Supplemental readings to enrich your learning (optional): There are two interesting readings to enrich your learning, (1) “How to make the most of your company’s strategy” and, (2) “Adaptability: The new competitive advantage”. If you want to know how to translate top management’s expectations into specific action in strategy, these documents are for you. Read them if you want.

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