WMBA 6990: Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA 6990 Week 1 Assignment  

Section 1: The Organizational Profile—Part 1

Capstone Assignment Overview: Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results

In this Capstone experience, you will develop a strategy playbook for a selected organization. You may be familiar with the concept of a playbook as it relates to a sports team, but what might that mean for a business? The Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results is a roadmap, of sorts, that can help an organization achieve excellence, respond to challenges, and attain short-term and long-term goals. The organization you choose for this exercise could be an organization for which you have worked (or hope to work in the future) and for which there is adequate information available to complete all necessary sections of the playbook. For the Module 1 Assignments, you will begin work on the Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results that you will build during the 8 weeks of this course. In this playbook, you will draw upon the knowledge and skills you have gained throughout your MBA program to provide your selected company’s leadership with an analysis of the organization, as well as your recommendations for changes the company could make over the coming years to improve its organizational performance. The final compilation of your Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results will be tangible evidence that you can put your MBA education to use, and it will provide you with a template for how you can help any organization achieve exceptional results.

Important Note: This playbook could be a helpful tool for any organization that is experiencing a problem, either internal or external. Please note that your selected organization may not be currently experiencing any known issues; however, you could bring to the table certain common issues. For example, your organization could be experiencing a decline in sales and losing its once abundant target market, or, internally, the organization could be experiencing a high turnover in the operations department, and the recent climate survey showed a decline in morale throughout the organization. These examples are not all-inclusive to an organization, but they may be present in some form. For the purposes of this exercise, you are at liberty to use your creativity to craft an issue the organization is facing. Be sure to consider the different functional areas, or business units, within the organization to ensure that you are doing a thorough analysis.

With those thoughts in mind, your task for the final playbook is to use the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout this program to perform an analysis of the organization (Section 1), assess its readiness for change and improvement (Section 2), and then develop strategic recommendations for how the organization can overcome its challenges and achieve greater organizational performance (Section 3).

Section 1: The Organizational Profile—Part 1

For the Assignments in this module, you will play the role of a consultant who has been brought in by the CEO of your selected organization to lead a tiger team. A tiger team is an efficient, highly motivated, and diverse team created to solve or troubleshoot specific major issues facing your organization. The Assignment will be a building block for the playbook that you will develop as you work through the rest of this course. Your final, synthesized Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results is due at the end of Week 8, and it represents what can be thought of as a form of “due diligence analysis,” where you are stepping into the role of a consultant to a senior leadership team and are preparing a forward-looking, crisp, and impactful evaluation of where you think the company ought to be going over the next 5 years or so—and how it might get there.

In the Assignments for this module, you will complete Section 1 of your playbook in which you will analyze your selected organization’s culture, social and economic climate, and overall purpose. This week, you will begin to compile Section 1 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Part 1, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources or from others throughout the program, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Once you have selected your organization, proceed to the Class Café and respond to the thread labeled “Playbook Organization Selection.” Include in your post the name of your selected organization as well as the homepage of the organization’s website (if applicable). Please Note: Be sure to select an organization other than Walmart, Amazon, or Apple.

Download the WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 1—Part 1 of your strategy playbook. Note: Be sure to keep a copy of your completed Assignment this week and in every week of this course as you will be adding to the same file for every playbook Assignment for this course.

By Day 7

Submit your approximately 2-page analysis of the organizational culture, to include the following:

Part 1: Analyzing the Organizational Culture

Classify the current organizational culture of your selected organization, including how ethics, values, diversity, and social responsibility play a role in the culture. Provide two or more examples to support your response.

Examine the benefits of organizational culture to your company’s position in the market.

Analyze how conditioning and culture could challenge your organization’s strategy.

Refer to the Week 1 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA6990 Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA 6990 Week 2 Assignment  

Section 1: The Organizational Profile—Part 2

For this week’s Assignment, you will continue to play the role of a consultant who has been brought in by the CEO of your selected organization to lead a tiger team.

This week, you will continue to compile Section 1 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Part 2, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources or from others throughout the program, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Return to your WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 1—Part 2 of your strategy playbook.

By Day 7

Submit your 3- to 4-page analysis of the social economic climate, to include the following:

Part 2: Analyzing the Social and Economic Climate

Identify the external social and economic impacts of the organization.

Examine how the social environment can influence the organization’s business strategy. Be specific, including what factors are most conducive to influencing.

To support your assertions, research and locate at least two organizational examples of business practices that have shown success factors. For each example, do the following:

Briefly describe each organization (including what type of company it is, what sector/industry it is in, etc.).

Provide at least one specific example of how each organization employs (or employed) these factors in its business practices.

Refer to the Week 2 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA6990 Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA 6990 Week 3 Assignment  

Section 1: The Organizational Profile—Part 3

For this week’s Assignment, you will continue to play the role of a consultant who has been brought in by the CEO of your selected organization to lead a tiger team.

This week, you will complete Section 1 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Part 3, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources or from others throughout the program, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Return to your WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 1—Part 3 of your strategy playbook.

By Day 7

Submit your 3- to 4-page analysis of the purpose of the organization, to include the following:

Part 3: Analyzing the Purpose of the Organization

Analyze how organizational purpose can empower a business strategy.

Explain what a purpose-driven organization is and identify how it can lead to a competitive business strategy.

Select one of the organization examples that you identified in Part 2 and analyze how the organization’s structure impacts its strategic business practices.

Specifically, in what ways does/did the organizational structure enable the organization to take advantage of strategic opportunities, have an impact, and/or achieve or maintain a competitive advantage?

Refer to the Week 3 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

MBA Success Planner IconThis module’s three-part Assignment (submitted in Weeks 1, 2, and 3) has been identified as one that could be added to your MBA Portfolio to demonstrate to current or prospective employers the skills and knowledge you have attained in your MBA program. Once you have completed this multi-part Assignment and incorporated any feedback from your Instructor, you may choose to upload the final artifact to your MBA Portfolio. For more information about creating your MBA Portfolio, please refer to the Career Services section of your MBA Success Planner.

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA6990 Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA 6990  Week 4 Assignment  

Section 2: Organizational Readiness for Change—Part 1 and Part 2A

For this module’s Assignments, you will continue in the role of a consultant who has been hired by the CEO of your selected company to lead a tiger team tasked with addressing issues the organization is facing. You will build on the work you completed in Module 1 and will resume developing your Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results.

As a reminder, you should use the same organization you selected in Week 1 and continue developing your narrative based on the problem or issue you identified for the organization. At this stage, you have already analyzed the culture, social and economic climate, and purpose of the organization. Now you will use some of that information, along with the knowledge you have developed throughout this program, to evaluate the current state of the organization. Specifically, your task for this module’s Assignments is to evaluate the health of your selected organization, its needs and opportunities for change, and its readiness for change. As in Module 1 and for the purposes of this exercise, you are at liberty to use your creativity to fill in gaps in the details about the organization. Be sure to consider the different functional areas, or business units, within the organization to ensure you are conducting a thorough assessment.

This week, you will begin to compile Section 2 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Parts 1 and 2A, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources or from others throughout the program, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Return to your WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 2—Part 1 and Part 2A of your strategy playbook.

By Day 7

Submit your 2- to 3-page evaluation of the organization’s health and the need and opportunity for change for the organization, to include the following:

Part 1: Evaluating the Health of the Organization

Based on your analysis in Section 1 of the playbook (in which you classified the current organizational culture of your selected organization), assess the health of that organization’s culture. As part of your assessment, describe the influence of the culture on morale (both positive and negative).

Then, evaluate the overall health of your selected organization. In your evaluation, be sure to do the following:

Explain what a healthy organization is.

Include at least two examples of organizational health demonstrated by the organization.

Include any areas in which the organization is demonstrating a lack of health.

Part 2A: Evaluating the Need and Opportunity for Change

Describe the characteristics of a successful business. To further support your assertions, research and locate an organization that has achieved success. Identify at least two examples of business practices the organization employs that have helped it achieve success.

Based on the characteristics of a successful business that you have identified, analyze the ways in which your selected organization is currently successful. Provide two or more specific examples to support your response.

Refer to the Week 4 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA 6990 Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA 6990  Week 5 Assignment  

Section 2: Organizational Readiness for Change—Part 2B and Part 3

For this week’s Assignment, you will continue in the role of a consultant who has been hired by the CEO of your selected company to lead a tiger team tasked with addressing issues the organization is facing. You will build on the work you completed in Module 1 and will resume developing your Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results.

This week, you will continue to compile Section 2 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Part 2B and Part 3, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources or from others throughout the program, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Return to your WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 2—Part 2B and Part 3 of your strategy playbook.

By Day 7

Submit your continued evaluation of the need and opportunity for change for the organization, as well as your evaluation of its organizational readiness, to include the following in approximately 2 pages:

Part 2B: Evaluating the Need and Opportunity for Change

Conduct a SWOT analysis of your selected organization and provide the findings. Synthesize the opportunities for future success; be specific.

Summarize the purpose of change for a business and how a business can overcome its resistance to change.

Part 3: Evaluating Organizational Readiness

Analyze how organizational readiness supports the success of a strategy.

Evaluate the change readiness of the business. Include specific examples to justify your evaluation.

Explain how change management can be an effective tool for development and execution of a business strategy.

Refer to the Week 5 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA6990 Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA 6990 Week 6 Assignment  

Section 3: The Organizational Strategy—Part 1

For the Assignments in this module, you will continue in the role of a consultant who has been hired by the CEO of your selected company to lead a tiger team tasked with addressing issues the organization is facing.

You will continue to use the same organization you selected in Week 1. You have already analyzed the culture, social and economic climate, and purpose of the organization and evaluated the organization’s health and readiness and opportunities for change. In this final section, you will combine all your previous work and develop a strategy for the organization to address the issue(s) you have identified and help improve its performance over the next 3–5 years. As in the previous weeks and for the purposes of this exercise, you are at liberty to use your creativity to fill in gaps in the details about the organization. Be sure to consider the different functional areas, or business units, within the organization to ensure thorough strategy development, validation, and implementation.

This week, you will begin to compile Section 3 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Part 1, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Return to your WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 3—Part 1 of your strategy playbook.

By Day 7

Submit your 2- to 3-page strategy development for the selected organization, to include the following:

Part 1: Developing the Strategy

Based on the organizational issue previously identified (and in light of the organization’s mission, culture, and practices), propose the strategy you will develop for the organization related to improved organizational performance.

Examine how the diverse perspectives of the organization’s internal and external customers/stakeholders (i.e., customers, employees, and the community) influence the development and execution of this business strategy.

Identify anticipated risks associated with your proposed business strategy.

Refer to the Week 6 Assignment 1 Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA6990 Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA 6990 Week 7 Assignment  

Section 3: The Organizational Strategy—Part 2

For this week’s Assignment, you will continue in the role of a consultant who has been hired by the CEO of your selected company to lead a tiger team tasked with addressing issues the organization is facing.

This week, you will continue to compile Section 3 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Part 2, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Return to your WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 3—Part 2 of your strategy playbook.

By Day 7

Submit your approximately 2-page (plus Appendix) strategy validation for the organization, to include the following:

Part 2: Validating the Strategy

Explain how strategic planning can provide a sense of direction and help in the development of measurable goals.

Analyze your strategy using the following validation tools. (Provide the notes for each analysis in the Appendix of your document.)

Strategy map for your selected organization

PEST analysis

Five forces analysis

Key success factor analysis

Stakeholder analysis

Synthesize the results of the analyses you performed using the validation tools in the narrative section of your playbook.

Refer to the Week 7 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

WMBA-6990B-4/WMBA-6990-4/MGMT-6990

WMBA6990 Sustainable Business Practices and Strategies

WMBA 6990 Week 8 Assignment  

Section 3: The Organizational Strategy—Part 3

For this week’s Assignment, you will continue in the role of a consultant who has been hired by the CEO of your selected company to lead a tiger team tasked with addressing issues the organization is facing. You will build on the work you completed in the previous weeks and will finalize development of your Strategy Playbook for Exceptional Results in order to present it to the CEO.

This week, you will continue to compile Section 3 of your playbook. Be sure to address the requirements for Part 3, and include specific examples (where appropriate) and relevant citations from the Learning Resources, the Walden Library, and/or other appropriate academic sources to support your work. In addition, as you compile your final, polished document (to include Sections 1–3), incorporate any feedback from your previous work and craft an executive summary that will serve as page 1 of your playbook. Instructions for the executive summary follow Section 3.

To prepare for this Assignment:

Return to your WMBA 6990 Assignment Template to complete Section 3—Part 3 of your strategy playbook.

By Day 7

Submit your 4- to 5-page strategy implementation for the organization and 1-page executive summary, to include the following:

Part 3: Implementing the Strategy

Explain how a strategy framework can provide the foundation for your overall business strategy.

Explain the purpose of strategy reporting and how it can lead to a competitive business strategy.

Analyze the effects of the organization’s mission/vision and its practices related to diversity and corporate social responsibility/positive social change on implementation of your proposed strategy.

Using all the information gathered from your work thus far, explain how you would implement your proposed strategy.

As part of the implementation, propose a recommended approach to effective change management leadership that would promote the success of strategy implementation.

Recommend strategies for mitigating any anticipated risks identified in Part 1.

Executive Summary

Provide a 1-page executive summary for your entire strategy playbook as follows:

Clearly identify the purpose of the playbook for the organization (from Section 1).

Summarize the results of your evaluation (from Section 2).

Concisely synthesize your recommendations.Refer to the Week 8 Assignment Rubric for specific grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use this grading rubric to assess your work.

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