Project 1: Leading Strategicially
Over the past several years of working for the Baltimore-based consulting company, Maryland Creative Solutions, LLC, you have seen quite a bit of growth in the agency. The organization’s recent expansion, led by CEO Jillian Best, to incorporate clientele in need of digital strategy consultation has led to another boost in company revenues as well as a promotion for you. As a part of your new leadership role, you have been asked to attend the Future Directions Conference in Chicago, Illinois, to further your knowledge of best practices in business leadership, trends in the field, and project management.
Additionally, Jillian has already emailed all MCS conference attendees requesting follow-up activities upon your return: (1) a discussion with other MCS attendees about strategic leadership, and (2) a report on current strategic management and leadership theory and practice.
As you prepare for your trip to the conference, you receive an email from MCS Human Resources requesting that you submit a new skills gap analysis, which will serve as a reminder of your current leadership skills and experiences and direct your focus for the conference.
This course is the final step in your MBA journey. In this course, you will develop your skills in strategic decision making, planning, and implementation. You will also have the opportunity to reflect upon your growth and accomplishments as a result of your participation in the MBA program.
This project invites you to expand your knowledge of the principles behind strategic leadership to cope with the emerging challenges and steer the organization to greater heights and to consider those principles in a discussion with your classmates and in a final report.
Click Step 1: Complete Your Skills Gap Analysis to get started.
Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.
1.2: Develop coherent paragraphs or points so that each is internally unified and so that each functions as part of the whole document or presentation.
1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.
1.5: Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience.
1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
5.1: Develop constructive resolutions for ethical dilemmas based on application of ethical theories, principles and models.
5.3: Create, implement, and evaluate a personal leadership development plan.
6.3: Analyze an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses for strategic value.
6.4: Develop and recommend strategies for an organization’s sustainable competitive advantage.
9.2: Evaluate how human capital serves as a source of competitive advantage.
Submission for Leading Strategicially
No returned assignment data
Drop files here, or click below.
Step 1: Complete Your Skills Gap Analysis
INBOX: 1 New Message
Subject: MCS Personnel Review—Skills Gap Analysis
From: Rebecca Sterling, Life & Leadership Coach
Hope your projects are going well. I saw that you were going to be attending the upcoming leadership conference in Chicago—looks like a good mix of professional perspectives and market insight.
As you may have heard, MCS Human Resources is requesting that all personnel use the attached gap analysis instrument to self-evaluate business knowledge and skills before beginning work on upcoming projects.
Select the Project 1 worksheet in the bottom left of the file to complete this request. When you have completed your self-evaluation, use the text box at the bottom of the worksheet to write a reflection of 400–500 words describing two to three gaps you will work to reduce, why you selected them, and the activities you will pursue to develop your selected competencies. Please note, you will need to return to this file later to complete a final gap analysis.
Be sure to reach out if you have any questions.
Email signature with Lotus flower, Rebecca Sterling, Life & Leadership Coach, and contact info
Skills gap analysis instrument
Submit your skills gap analysis to the dropbox located in the final step of this project, then proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Expand Your Knowledge of Strategic Leadership
Now that you’ve downloaded and tested Microsoft Project for the IT department, you’re all set to travel. You pack your bags for the Future Directions Conference and put up your out-of-office email response. After a smooth flight into Chicago, you catch a ride to the conference center to get settled.
The focus of the Future Directions Conference is strategic leadership, and you capture some notes from each presenter as you attend various sessions throughout the weekend.
Notes from Future Directions Conference—Chicago, IL
Sarah Emerson, COO of Digital Blitz
Keynote: Why Leading is Strategy
Notes on strategic leadership
Jeffree Daily, Digital Strategist for Pyle Force
Session 1: Deep Roots: Theories and Research Still Apply
Notes on perspectives in leadership theory and research
Carson Sizemore, VP of Human Resources for Enterprise Today
Session 2: Spare Change
Notes on management of change and trust
Note on Resilience
Note on Circular Economy
Johanna Gillmont, President of Continental Shift
Session 3: Quite the Contrary
Notes on managing ambivalence
Jarrell Faust, Entrepreneur and Founder of SOURCE3
Session 4: Pulling in the Pieces
Notes on shared and distributed leadership
Catherine Condorro, Director of Leadership at Parsons Institute for Finance
Session 5: Connecting on Another Level
Notes on relational leadership
Nina Orenstein, Experience Engineer at Hefler-Miller Systems
Closing Keynote: Complicated Yet Sophisticated
Notes on complexity theory of leadership
The conference concludes and you are exhausted—there was a lot of information to digest. After the conference reception, you grab a bite to eat while reviewing your notes in depth. You know that the CEO, Jillian Best, expects you to not only report out on these materials, but also to discuss many of the highlights with your peers and other attendees from Maryland Creative Solutions, LLC.
Please review all materials in the links above and then proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Discuss Conference Materials
Your first day back in the office, Jillian Best has requested that you participate in an open discussion with your peers about some of the takeaways from the recent Future Directions Conference you attended in Chicago as well as your professional leadership experiences outside of the company. Now that you have returned to the office, it’s time to get the discussion underway.
Based on your reading, research, and analysis, respond to the two discussion questions below and adhere to Jillian’s discussion requirements:
Your two main postings, one each for topic 1 and topic 2, should be completed by the end of Week 1.
The titles of your two main postings should indicate the discussion topic number (e.g., #1, #2).
Respond to a minimum of two postings from your classmates, one each for each topic 1 and topic 2, before the discussion area is locked at the end of Week 2.
For the choice of your organization, you can choose your current employer, past employer, a supplier or customer that you are very familiar with, or an organization where you volunteer.
Discuss the two topics listed below:
Discussion Topic 1: Drivers of Change
What are the major external and internal drivers of change in your organization?
Discussion Topic 2: Strategic Leadership
What is, or should be, the role of the strategic leadership in your organization to meet its performance objectives, develop a resilient organization and respond to the challenges of environment and sustainability?
Review the MBA Discussion Guidelines for instructions on participation in discussions.
After the discussion, proceed to the next step, where you will write a report on strategic management and leadership.
Step 4: Complete Your Project 1 Report
Following up on Jillian’s request, it is time to write a report that responds to the questions below. Your answers should demonstrate your understanding of strategic management and leadership theories. You should not only incorporate references to class discussions and learning topics but also cite at least two relevant scholarly resources on strategic leadership, such as many of those listed in the reference list of your course readings.
What values, traits and abilities do you think are most important in a CEO to meet its performance objectives, while simultaneously developing a resilient organization that can respond to the challenges of sustainability? Why are resilience and sustainability important?
Identify a CEO who has those values, traits and abilities. How have they played a role in the company’s success?
What are the major barriers to being an effective CEO?
Which theory or theories of leadership do you feel are relevant to your situation at work?
Describe an instance when you demonstrated leadership.
The report should be six to seven pages, excluding cover page, executive summary, reference list, and appendices. Any tables, graphs, and figures should be included as appendices. Your report should have one-inch margins and be double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. In-text citations and references should abide by APA format. The report should be organized using headings and subheadings to improve its readability.
Submit your Project 1 Report to the dropbox located in the final step of this project. In the next step, you’ll prepare for your next assignment by forming a work team.
Step 5: Prepare for Project 2
Meeting with Jillian Best, CEO MCS
Jillian closes her door with a pleased smile on her face.
“I wanted to reiterate my appreciation for your debrief from the conference and your recent report on strategic management and leadership. I have to say, I continue to be grateful that we have you on the team.
“Looking ahead to your next assignment, you will be working with a small team to create a project management plan for a new client. To get a jumpstart on this project, you should download MS Project software on your computer or have access to this software. I’d like you and your team to prepare by filling out our team agreement template and our project work plan template. This step is especially important because (1) you are a new team, and (2) team members will be widely distributed, geographically.
“I’ll be in touch with more details about the project—I’ll tell you now, it’s an exciting new venture. That’s all for now.”
You leave Jillian’s office reviewing the templates, already thinking about your ideal working team.
Before the end of Week 2:
Post your team agreement and project work plan to your team’s discussion area for review and feedback from your instructor. Your team agreement will guide your work in Projects 2, 3, and 4.
Complete your MS Project Practice Exercise in the class discussion area by the end of week 2
Also download Microsoft Project onto your personal computer. You will need to be sure this software is installed and functional for your use in Project 2. Then, proceed to the next step.
Step 6: Plan Ahead for Capsim Practice Round and Projects 3 and 4
INBOX: 1 New Message
Subject: REQUIRED Capsim Briefing
From: Nick Berryman, Training Manager
To: All MCS Employees
By start of Week 1, your Capsim Industry ID will be posted in the class. If you do not see your Industry ID, please be sure to contact your course professor.
Go to https://www.capsim.com and register with the Industry ID. Registration involves creating a login, choosing a password, and paying the registration fee of $43.19. If you are unable to register with the Industry ID shown in the class, please contact the Capsim support team. Their office hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. Weekend support consists of email support and callbacks. The support team can be reached at email@example.com or (877) 477-8787.
Once you are logged in, you will see the Capsim course page with your professor’s name, and your course name, Strategic Decision Making. To enter the Participant Dashboard, click the Capsim button. Once you are able to see the Participant Dashboard, click Training. There are three training levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
After your Capsim and training, your course professor will assign you in the team in Capsim to start your Capsim Practice Round in week 2.
Thank you for your attention,
Email signature with MCS corporate logo, Nicholas Berryman, Training manager and contact info
Note that successful completion of training is a prerequisite for working in Capsim.
It is important to complete all three levels of training by the start of Project 3. When you have finished all three levels of training, post the following in the Training Completion Confirmation discussion area: “I confirm that I have completed all three levels of Capsim training: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.”
The next step provides important dates and instructions for your Project 1 deliverables.
Project 1: Leading Strategicially