• February 8th, 2017

Assignment 2: LASA 1 Assignment—The Leader as a Strategist Report

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For this assignment, you will choose an organization to analyze. This organization can be one you are personally familiar with, or one you have observed to be an effective organization, You now become a newly appointed senior leader in that organization.
As a new leader, you must prepare a report for the CEO that assesses the organization’s overall alignment between its vision, mission, values, and strategy. This report should consist of the following sections:
1. An analysis of the strategic cascade of the organization

This includes assessing the organization’s strategy and market position. Use the framework implied in Michael Porter’s (1997) article “What is Strategy.” When describing the business strategy of your organization, consider the following questions:
• What is the target market (target customer)?
• What is your organization’s value proposition (How does it deliver value that satisfies the target’s wants and needs?)?
• How is your product or service positioned in the market (What specific features and attributes define the product/service and how is its value reflected in its pricing, distribution, marketing communications, etc.?)?
• How is your organization sustainably different from your competitors (What is the source of uniqueness and how sustainable is it from being diminished by competitors?)?
2. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis

A SWOT analysis is a strategy planning tool that examines both internal and external environments for factors and trends that should shape planning and operations over the next five years. Environmental factors internal to the company are classified as strengths (to be leveraged) or weaknesses (to be mitigated), while external factors are classified as either opportunities (to be pursued) or threats (to be monitored and responded to).
Some primer questions for the SWOT analysis include the following:

Strengths
• What advantages does your organization have?
• What do you do better than anyone else?
• What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others cannot?
• What do people in your market see as your strengths?
• What factors mean that you “get the sale”?
• What is your organization’s unique selling proposition (USP)?
Weaknesses
• What aspects of your product or service could you improve?
• What market segments or competitive areas should you avoid?
• What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?
• What factors can make you lose sales?
Opportunities
• What good opportunities can you spot?
• What interesting trends are you aware of?
Useful opportunities can come from such things as the following:
o Changes in technology and markets on both a broad and narrow scale
o Changes in government policy related to your field
o Changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle changes, and so on
o Local events
Threats
• What obstacles do you face?
• What are your competitors doing?
• Are quality standards or specifications for your job, products, or services changing?
• Is changing technology threatening your position?
• Do you have bad debt or cash-flow problems?
• Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your business?

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