Week 1: The Strategic Management Process This week, you will begin a journey of discovery into this system commonly called “strategic planning.” Where are you going, and how long will it take? Those are fundamental questions to which any traveler would want the answers prior to starting the journey. However, would you believe that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has reported that its research into small business failures indicates that up to 50% of all small business start-ups fail in the first 5 years? What is the primary reason for this negative situation? The macro reason is due to poor or no planning, as evidenced by poor site selection, incorrect or lack of market analysis, insufficient capital, no cash reserves, and lack of succession planning. One of the fundamental tenets of project management is to start at the end and work backward. The same approach applies in strategic planning. You have to start by creating the “vision of the end” state or destination the enterprise will achieve when it is fully evolved over the long-term, possibly 10 or more years. To be achieved, that vision needs a supporting “mission statement” or roadmap that provides directions and mileposts, so progress can be measured. In strategic planning, these are referred to as “goals” and “objectives.” Everything in strategic planning is long-term, broad-brush in scope (a macro view), and measurable overall (how much and by when). The final step before starting the journey is the creation of a values statement, which tells all stakeholders what the firm believes in, what it stands for, and how it will behave. This statement includes validation of how the firm views its social and environmental responsibility. The stronger the stand a firm takes in these areas, the better its image can become. That can translate into increased market share and market penetration. Important Planning Note Much of the work for this course takes place in the Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation. Within this online program, time will be automatically calculated for the location of each student (e.g., Pacific Standard Time in California or Eastern Standard Time in New Jersey). However, all work that takes place in Blackboard (e.g., Discussions) is calculated in Mountain Time. Please make note of due dates and times for all assignments to be sure you stay on track. Learning Objectives Students will: Explain the connection between strategic planning and competitive advantage Analyze the importance of a business model Explain why company strategy must pass ethical scrutiny Analyze concepts related to strategic planning and management implementation Apply concepts related to strategic business management Photo Credit: [Blend Images – Dave and Les Jacobs]/[Brand X Pictures]/Getty Images Learning Resources Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus. REQUIRED READINGS Thompson, A. A. (2014–2015). Strategy: Core concepts and analytical approaches (3rd ed.) [BSG electronic edition]. Burr Ridge, IL: McGraw-Hill Education. Chapter 1, “What Is Strategy and Why Is It Important?” (pp. 1–11) Chapter 2, “ Charting a Company’s Long-Term Direction: Vision, Mission, Objectives, and Strategy” (pp. 12–31) Borton, J. (n.d.). E-presentations [PowerPoint presentation]. Minneapolis, MN: Walden University College of Management and Technology. Overbaugh, R. C., & Schultz, L. (n.d.). Bloom’s taxonomy. Retrieved from https://www.fitnyc.edu/files/pdfs/CET_TL_BloomsTax… Document: Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation Overview (PDF) Document: Example Discussion Post (PDF) Document: Week 1 Discussion 1 Template (Word document) Document: Week 1 Discussion 2 Template (Word document) Document: Group Charter Template (Word document) Document: SIM PowerPoint Presentation: Slide Deck Contents (PDF) Document: Strategic Planning System: Flow of Steps (PDF) Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation website: Thompson, A. A., Jr., Reidenback, M. A., Stappenbeck, G. J., Harms, C. C., & Thrasher, I. F. (2014). The Business Strategy Game: Competing in a global marketplace. Retrieved from https://www.bsg-online.com/ Visit this website to read Chapters 1 and 2 of the course e-book course and to begin the Business Strategy Game (BSG) SIM. This simulation provides opportunities for you to make some of the difficult decisions often encountered by managers as they seek to execute the strategy that has been established by senior executives who are responsible to the shareholders. REQUIRED MEDIA Mind Tools (Producer). (2011). How to create mission and vision statements: Examples and guidance [Video file]. Retrieved from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Producer). (2013). Guest speaker: Michael Porter: What is strategy? [Video file]. Retrieved from Discussion 1: Learning Objectives for the Strategic Management Process Discussion Guidelines for the Course On a weekly basis, you will engage in discussions using two different approaches. Discussion 1 (Weekly): In Discussion 1, you will select one of three questions. The initial post is due no later than Day 3. Discussion 2 (Weekly): In Discussion 2, you will demonstrate that you understand the weekly concepts and can discuss them. You will accomplish this by doing research on one of the topics under discussion and/or the weekly Learning Objective(s). You may use a recognized, peer-reviewed academic journal (found in the Walden Library), a recognized business publication (such as Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, Fast Company), or a company website. You will read and synthesize the article and write a 225- to 250-word synopsis following APA writing and style guidelines. In your post, you will include a link to the article so your classmates can read it in its entirety if they choose. The initial post is due no later than Day 4. Each week, you will explore and discuss one of the week’s key Learning Objectives. A selection of three topics will be provided and you will select one of the three for a detailed post. Your initial post should be 225–250 words and follow APA style and formatting requirements (including bold headings, full citations, and references at the end of your post). Check all posts and responses for spelling and grammar. BY DAY 3 Post to Discussion. BY DAY 6 Complete your responses. For Discussion 1, choose one of the following three discussion topics. Your post should be 225–250 words and APA formatted. Explain the concept of “strategy” and the connection between strategic planning and competitive advantage. Explain the concept of a “business model” and why a company’s business model is important. Explain why a company’s strategy needs to pass ethical scrutiny. Please use the Week 1 Discussion 1 Template located in the Week 1 Learning Resources to draft your post. Discussion and Participation Guidelines Initial Discussion Post Your Instructor will engage with the class on a daily basis. You and your colleagues who fully understand the topic are expected to coach and mentor those who do not. It is also expected that questions from the Instructor posed in the discussions will be answered by you and your colleagues. In the Week 1 Learning Resources you will find an Example Discussion Post that illustrates what is expected in the initial post. Weekly Class Discussion Participation Responses Weekly discussion participation with your colleagues students and the Instructor for each question occurs over a minimum of three different days. You are required to engage in discussions with a minimum of three different colleagues. To be sure you are addressing all of the Learning Objectives for the week, respond to colleagues who selected different questions than you did for their initial post. Each response should be 100–125 words. One-line responses will not earn any points. After your initial post, engage with colleagues and the Instructor in clarifying and mastering any concepts not fully understood. Points to explore in the first discussion topic could include: How is the concept(s) used in your current or past place of employment and/or career? How does the concept(s) relate to other concepts in the Learning Objectives? Why is it important for you to know and master these concept(s)? Be specific, using Bloom’s Taxonomy for Critical Thinking. Please refer to the Bloom’s Taxonomy document in your Learning Resources. Your responses to colleagues should be a minimum of 100–125 words each. You must post to Discussion 1 no later than Day 3, and complete your responses no later than Day 6. You must post to Discussion 2 no later than Day 4, and complete your responses by Day 7. Full engagement in this Discussion, including the initial post and active participation over a minimum of 3 days per week (preferably every day) is worth 20 points for each of the two Discussions. SUBMISSION AND GRADING INFORMATION Grading Criteria To access your rubric: Week 1 Discussion 1 Rubric Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6 To participate in this Discussion: Week 1 Discussion 1 Discussion 2: Research Weekly Concepts for the Strategic Management Process Discussion Guidelines for the Course On a weekly basis, you will engage in discussions using two different approaches. Discussion 1 (Weekly): In Discussion 1, you will select one of three questions. The initial post is due no later than Day 3. Discussion 2 (Weekly): In Discussion 2, you will demonstrate that you understand the weekly concepts and can discuss them. You will accomplish this by doing research on one of the topics under discussion and/or the weekly Learning Objective(s). You may use a recognized, peer-reviewed academic journal (found in the Walden Library), a recognized business publication (such as Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, Fast Company), or a company website. You will read and synthesize the article and write a 225- to 250-word synopsis following APA writing and style guidelines. In your post, you will include a link to the article so your classmates can read it in its entirety if they choose. The initial post is due no later than Day 4. BY DAY 4 Post to Discussion. BY DAY 7 Complete your responses. For Discussion 2, please visit the Walden Library databases or select a recognized business publication such as Forbes, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, etc. Select an article addressing strategy, mission statements, vision statements, or another topic that relates to these ideas and this week’s Learning Objectives. For example, you could explore topics such as strategic approaches to growth; multicultural strategy; entrepreneurship; change management, leadership, technology, or innovation. Think outside the normal paradigm. You live in a global economy, so the world is open to you. Do not limit your choices to these areas. There are many topics in the first two chapters of the text. Following APA style and formatting guidelines, summarize the article into approximately 300 words (do NOT copy the article), and explain the knowledge you gained from it. Post to Discussion 2 by Day 4. Include a link to the original article so your colleagues can read it. Please use the Week 1 Discussion 2 Template located in the Week 1 Learning Resources to draft your post. Engage in class discussions of the article, starting no later than Day 4, and continue until Day 6. All discussions must be complete by Day 7. In addition to your initial post, respond a minimum of three times (100–125 words) over a minimum of 3 days. To earn full points, full engagement in this discussion requires an initial post and active substantive responses with colleagues over a minimum of 3 days and preferably every day. SUBMISSION AND GRADING INFORMATION Grading Criteria To access your rubric: Week 1 Discussion 2 Rubric Post by Day 4 and Respond by Day 7 To participate in this Discussion: Week 1 Discussion 2 Weekly Quiz, Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation, Audio-Enhanced Group PowerPoint Presentation Weekly Textbook Tutorial Quiz This week, you will complete a tutorial quiz for each of the two assigned chapters of the course text. You have up to three attempts per quiz to achieve a perfect score. There are two quizzes each week. Notes: All quizzes and exams (located under Assignments in the SIM) are completed in the SIM and are automatically graded. The quizzes are tutorial in nature and are worth 10 points per week. At the end of each final quiz attempt, you may open the quiz and see the correct answers. Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation BACKGROUND The Business Strategy Game Simulation (BSG SIM) is a combination of group and individual efforts that spans the entire 6-week course and acts as a “final examination application” to evidence your mastery over the knowledge gained during this course and entire BSBA Program. This week, all students will be assigned to four- to five-member groups (referred to as “Companies” in the Simulation). The group assignments can be found in the Announcements in the Course Home area of the course navigation menu. The Simulation (SIM) covers a total of 20 virtual operating years, divided into two practice years (which are nongraded), and 18 graded playing years. The first two years allow you to orient yourself to the SIM decision-making procedures and gameplay. At the end of Week 1, the SIM is automatically reset. Graded gameplay starts on Day 1 of Week 2. STARTING GROUP PREPARATORY SIMULATION GAMEPLAY IN WEEK 1 Ideally, for efficiency and effectiveness, your group should plan to meet several days per week to discuss company strategy and decision making outside the class in real time (synchronously), using BlackBoard Live Chat or conferencing tools such as Google Hangouts, Instant Messaging, Skype, Zoom, and so forth. There are five weeks of SIM activity: Week 1 is nongraded practice time, and Weeks 2–5 are graded activity weeks. Week 6 is for wrap-up and presentations. Upon arriving in the course on Day 1 of Week 1, log in to the BSG SIM. Combine the Company Access Code (provided by your Instructor in the Announcements area) with the Master Access code (obtained from the Walden Bookstore) to log into the BSG SIM and familiarize yourself with the interface and various SIM tools. Download and read the BSG SIM Player’s Manual and the BSG SIM Decision Schedule, which you can find in the BSG SIM website under the Player Materials and Decision Round Schedule tabs, repectively. Print out the Decision Schedule and keep it close by for reference purposes. Then, start working with your group. Complete and submit the Group Charter to your Instructor no later than Day 1 of Week 2. Please use the Group Charter Template document located in the Week 1 Learning Resources. During this week, engage in group discussions on SIM strategy and plan, and assign group member roles as virtual co-managers. Engage in the two ungraded “Practice Rounds” in the SIM. Read the Player’s Manual and view the “Intro to BSG video” (both found in the BSG SIM website under the Player Materials tab). Audio-Enhanced Group PowerPoint Presentation (Due Day 7 of Week 6) Starting this week, watch and review the PowerPoint presentation and written guidelines (Borton [n.d.], found in the Week 1 Learning Resources), for instructions on creating the Audio-Enhanced Group PowerPoint Presentation. Throughout Weeks 1–5 of the course, each group will create a group presentation of 15–20 slides, covering the points on the list of Slide Deck Contents, which is a PowerPoint file located in the Week 1 Learning Resources. Each group member is required to create and participate in the Audio-Enhanced Group PowerPoint Presentation. This is accomplished by dividing the slide deck among members and then assigning a section to each member to create and narrate. Once complete, the deck should be reassembled and checked for spelling, grammar, contents, and audio sound quality. One group member will post it to the Audio-Enhanced Group PowerPoint PresentationDiscussion 3 thread in Week 6 for review by the whole class, who will serve as the virtual Board of Directors and provide comment and feedback. The entire presentation will be submitted to the Week 6 Discussion 3 area.