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Project 1: Leading Strategically

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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 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. In Step 1 you will submit the analysis. 

Competencies

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.

Step 1: Complete Your Skills Gap Analysis

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.

See Attachments: Skills gap analysis instrument

Proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Expand Your Knowledge of Strategic Leadership

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).

· 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.


Discussion

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?

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 Assignments folder. In the next step, you’ll prepare for your next assignment by forming a work team.

Step 6: Submit Your Work

Complete all activities step 1 thru 4.

Submit all work for Project 1 to the Assignments folder. Take note of the recommended delivery dates and file-naming protocols in the following table.

Recommended Project Delivery

Step

Submission Week

Deliverable

Submission and file-naming protocol

Step 1

Week

Preliminary skills gap analysis

lastname_firstname_Project1_SkillsGap.xlx

Step 3

Week

Conference discussion

Lastname_firstname_Discussion.docx

Step 4

Week

Project 1 Report

lastname_firstname_Project 1_Report.docx

Project 1

Instructions: Review each item below and determine your current level of proficiency and the importance the item has for your career success. Use a scale of 1 to 7 (where 1 is low, and 7 is high). See Part 1, Item 1 below for an example, and then overwrite the sample ratings with your own ratings for this item. The gap for each item will be automatically calculated.

Interpreting Your Results: In the example, the gap is -5. The large negative number indicates an item where current proficiency is low and career importance is high—so, this might be an item to address. A gap represented by a large positive number (e.g., 5) indicates that current proficiency is relatively high and career importance is relatively low. In this event, you would not want to pick the item as one to address.

Write Reflection Summary: Use the text box at the bottom of the page to write a reflection of 400 to 500 words describing the gaps you will work to reduce, why you selected them, and the activities you will pursue to develop your selected competencies. Choose at least one from Part 1: Leadership and at least one from Part 2: Strategic Decision Making.

Week 1 Week 1
Using a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is low and 7 is high, indicate your current level of proficiency with each of the following. Using the same scale, select the number that best represents how important each item is for your career success. Gap
Part 1: Personal Leadership Assessment, Goal-Setting, and Implementation
Communicating
1 Organize a document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment. (1.1)

• Present material in clear and/or logical order appropriate to task. (1.1.1)
• Articulate thesis and purpose clearly. (1.1.2)
• Support thesis and purpose fully. (1.1.3)
• Transition smoothly and develop connections from point to point. (1.1.4)
• Create coherent progress from introduction through conclusion. (1.1.5)
• Complete assignment in accordance with instructions. (1.1.6)

2 7 -5
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. (1.2)

• Create meaningful topic sentence for each paragraph or point. (1.2.1)
• Develop each paragraph’s single topic to the appropriate depth. (1.2.2)
• Supply relevant and original supporting detail. (1.2.3)

0
3 Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas. (1.3)

• Use a variety of credible sources to support, extend, and inform an original thesis or idea, integrating source material smoothly. (1.3.1)
• Summarize, paraphrase, and quote accurately. (1.3.2)
• Cite sources properly. (1.3.3)

0
4 Tailor communications to the audience. (1.4)

• Identify target audience. (1.4.1)
• Explain unfamiliar terms and material. (1.4.2)
• Employ precise, appropriate language. (1.4.3)
• Use audience-appropriate, consistent tone. (1.4.4)
• Avoid language which indicates bias against individuals/groups their affiliations, orientations and beliefs. (1.4.5)

0
5 Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience. (1.5)

• Demonstrate variation in sentence structure. (1.5.1)
• Express ideas clearly and concisely. (1.5.2)
• Eliminate sentence-level errors such as run-ons/comma splices and sentence fragments. (1.5.3)

0
Critical Thinkg and Analysis 0
6 Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration. (2.1)

• Summarize the issue or problem, using supporting details to enable a deeper understanding of the issue or problem. (2.1.1)
• Identify potential underlying causes or conditions contributing to the issue or problem and consider the context. (2.1.2)
• Pose significant questions to inform the direction of the investigation of the problem or question. (2.1.3)
• Scan the environment for cues to inform and direct search for information relevant to the issue or problem. (2.1.4)

0
7 Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem. (2.2)

• Explore information sources to increase familiarity and achieve a manageable focus. (2.2.1)
• Develop and implement a search strategy that employs search engines, databases, and inquiries to access the needed information. (2.2.2)
• Assess the search results to determine if there are remaining gaps; revisit strategy as necessary. (2.2.3)
• Identify contradictory information or inconsistent data and seek to reconcile contradictions. (2.2.4)

0
8 Evaluate the information in a logical and organized manner to determine its value and relevance to the problem. (2.3)

• Evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view. (2.3.1)
• Evaluate the structure and logic of arguments and methods. (2.3.2)
• Select and incorporate information that provides evidence for the topic. (2.3.3)

0
9 I can consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem. (2.4)

• Articulate clearly and fairly others’ alternative viewpoints and the basis of reasoning. (2.4.1)
• Identify significant, potential implications, and consequences of alternative points of view. (2.4.2)
• Evaluate assumptions underlying other analytical viewpoints, conclusions, and/or solutions. (2.4.3)

0
10 Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions, or decisions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks. (2.5)

• Present and explain those inferences and deductions that follow logically from the evidence provided. (2.5.1)
• Assert logical conclusions only when sufficient evidence supports them, and distinguish between attainable and unattainable solutions. (2.5.2)
• Incorporate legal and ethical reasoning when formulating ideas, conclusions, and decisions. (2.5.3)
• Complete assignment in accordance with instructions. (2.5.4)

0
Quantitative Reasoning 0
11 Identify numerical or mathematical information that is relevant in a problem or situation. (3.1)

• Extract relevant information needed to solve the problem or situation. (3.1.1)

0
12 Employ software applications and analytic tools to analyze, visualize, and present data to inform decision making. (3.4)

• Prepare dataset for use using the chosen application or tool and execute functions that enable insight into data. (3.4.1)
• Interpret initial results from operations to determine if refinements in choice of formula or search criteria is warranted. (3.4.2)
• Generate required output to support the quantitative tasking. (3.4.3)
• Complete assignment in accordance with detailed instructions. (3.4.4)
• Complete assignment in accordance with instructions. (3.4.5)

0
Leadership, Facilitation, and Collaboration 0
13 Lead and/or participate in a diverse group to accomplish projects and assignments.(4.1)

• Articulate a vision for a team or project via a team agreement. (4.1.1)
• Identify and communicate performance objectives. (4.1.2)
• Distribute/share project responsibilities among team members. (4.1.3)
• Identify gaps in resources and information and plan to meet project requirements. (4.1.4)
• Engage in regular and consistent communication and meetings with team members and external project stakeholders. (4.1.5)
• Create environment to enable team members to share ideas, draft work on project(s), and space for reflection, motivation, and innovation. (4.1.6)

0
14 Demonstrate the ability to plan and execute a project, articulating clear objectives and goals for the team. (4.2)

• Develop a clear, concise plan for work on the project using a team project plan. (4.2.1 )
• Articulate the steps required to complete a task or project and assign tasks to members. (4.2.2)
• Establish due dates and specific milestones and make adjustments as needed with buy-in from team. (4.2.3)
• Evaluate quality of draft work, enabling time for editing and refining of the final project to meet requirements. (4.2.4)
• Prepare a finished project that meets the stated objectives and reflects engagement of the team. (4.2.5)
• Complete assignment in accordance with instructions. (4.2.6)

0
15 Contribute to team projects, assignments, or organizational goals as an engaged member of a team. (4.3)

• Demonstrate professionalism in all situations, conversations, and documents. (4.3.1)
• Work cooperatively and respectfully with a diverse group of people to achieve project goals. (4.3.2)
• Make substantive contributions to projects, planning, discussion, and meetings in accordance with team agreement. (4.3.3)
• Provide individual input in timely, first quality work to enable team to meet its deadlines. (4.3.4)
• Create and share work of a quality that enables success for the team. (4.3.5)

0
16 Demonstrate diversity and inclusiveness in a team setting. (4.4)

• Work cooperatively and respectfully with a diverse group of people to achieve project goals. (4.4.1)
• Solicit and incorporate multiple and diverse viewpoints into team work. (4.4.2)
• Foster a network in which each team member has an equal voice. (4.4.3)
• Demonstrate respect for the differences that gender, race, culture, ethnicity and worldview may lend to others’ perspectives. (4.4.4)

0
Week 1 Week 1
Part 2: Strategic Decision Making Using the same scale, select the number that best represents how important each item is for your career success. Using a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is low and 7 is high, indicate your current level of proficiency with each of the following. Gap
1 Develop constructive resolutions for ethical dilemmas based on application of ethical theories, principles and models. (5.1)

• Identify and explain why a situation presents an ethical dilemma in contexts that are familiar or new, simple or complex, personal or organizational. (5.1.1)
• Introduce and analyze best available alternatives to ethical dilemmas using a set of well supported criteria. (5.1.2)
• Propose and defend the best possible resolution to the ethical dilemmas, including specific recommended actions, expected outcomes, and a contingency plan. (5.1.3)
• Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization and its key stakeholders associated with failing to take actions to resolve an ethical dilemma. (5.1.4)

0
2 Assess the implications of legal, ethical and cultural (national) standards on an organization’s operations in global markets and make recommendations for appropriate actions. (5.2)

• Investigate the legal standards and best sources of information relevant to an organization in a non-domestic market. (5.2.1)
• Identify and analyze common ethical issues facing organizations operating in global markets and apply relevant best practices. (5.2.2)
• Analyze the implications of cultural (national) differences for an organization operating in global markets and recommend appropriate actions. (5.2.3)

0
3 Create, implement, and evaluate a personal leadership development plan. (5.3)

• Complete and present reflections on a leadership self-assessment. (5.3.1)
• Create and defend a set of personal leadership development goals with an accompanying action plan that incorporates milestones, self-monitoring, and regular reports on progress. (5.3.2)
• Create and/or leverage internal and external networks for personal and organizational strategic advantage. (5.3.3)
• When in the role of a project, program, team or organizational leader, employ the best decision style for specific situations and followers. (5.3.4)

0
4 Resolve workplace conflicts using the optimal approaches and techniques for the situation and involved parties. (5.4)

• Discuss typical types and sources of conflict in organizations and their potential implications if not resolved. (5.4.1)
• Recognize the merits of different approaches and techniques for preventing or resolving workplace conflict, including illustrative examples to strengthen your analysis. (5.4.2)
• Recommend and defend responses to specific workplace conflicts, both familiar and new. (5.4.3)
• Analyze your personal conflict resolution approach and recommend areas for improvement. (5.4.4)

0
5 Identify the general (external) environment in which an organization operates and discuss the implications for enterprise success. (6.1)

• Estimate size and growth of market for the organization’s product/service. (6.1.1)
• Identify the general environmental threats and opportunities confronting an organization and evaluate the likely implications for long- and short-term performance. (6.1.2)

0
6 Evaluate strategic implications for domestic and international markets of an organization’s industry. (6.2)

• Conduct an industry analysis to determine threats and opportunities for an organization’s strategic sustainable advantage using Five Forces Industry Structure Analysis. (6.2.1)
• Conduct an industry analysis to determine threats and opportunities for an organization’s strategic sustainable advantage using an industry life cycle analysis. (6.2.2)

0
7 Analyze an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses for strategic value. (6.3)

• Evaluate the alignment of the organization’s mission, vision, goals and objectives with the organization’s short and long-term strategy. (6.3.1)
• Determine the buyer value of the organization’s product/service. (6.3.2)
• Conduct a value chain analysis to determine the strategic value of the assets and processes of an organization (human, financial, technological, processes, etc.) (6.3.3)
• Evaluate the likely impact of an organization’s culture and climate on its future performance. (6.3.4)

0
8 Develop and recommend strategies for an organization’s sustainable competitive advantage. (6.4)

• Identify and analyze strategic domestic and internal risks and opportunities using a SWOT analysis. (6.4.1)
• Develop, recommend, and defend strategies to help mitigate risk. (6.4.2)
• Develop, recommend, and defend strategies to enable an organizaiton to leverage opportunities for strategic advantage. (6.4.3)
• Evaluate and create business-level strategies for competitive advantage. (6.4.4)
• Identify appropriate triggers for exit or modification of strategy. (6.4.5)
• Evalute and create enterprise/corporate-level strategies for competitive advantage. (6.4.6)

0
9 Analyze the legal forms of business organization and make recommendations to support business decisions. (7.1)

• Articulate the ways businesses can be created and altered, including the rights, limitations, and liabilities of all actors and entities involved. (7.1.1)

0
10 Analyze the impact of international and foreign laws on US organizations acting domestically and abroad. (7.4)

• Articulate the similarities and differences between the US legal system and laws regulating business and the legal systems of other nations. (7.4.1)
• Analyze the impact of foreign and domestics laws on US businesses operating globally (e.g., FCPA). (7.4.2)
• Understand the role of international treaties and their implications for business decisions. (7.4.3)

0
11 Evaluate major business/organizational systems and processes and make recommendations for improvement. (8.1)

• Analyze existing organizational processes and identify those that could benefit from improvement. (8.1.1)
• Create, recommend, and defend a plan to improve processes, identifying obstacles and benefits. (8.1.2)
• Identify and evaluate options for out/near/off-shoring. (8.1.3)
• Evaluate an organization’s operational capabilities and present conclusions about the implications for current and potential performance. (8.1.4)

0
12 8.2 Analyze an organization’s current technology capabilities and needs, identifying specific strengths and areas of weakness. (8.2)

• Evaluate and recommend technology solutions to help strengthen an organization’s operational capabilities and competitiveness. (8.2.1)

0
13 Design organizational structure, systems and processes that support the strategic goals of the organization. (9.1)

• Critically analyze the extent to which an organization’s current organizational structure supports its mission, goals,objectives, and strategic priorities. (9.1.1)
• Propose appropriate changes to an organization’s structure, systems, and/or processes. (9.1.2)
• Recommend roles and responsibilities needed for strategic or competitive advantage, including changes to those that exist. (9.1.3)
• Explain how and why a proposed structure is likely to mitigate identified risks. (9.1.4)
• Complete a benefit/cost analysis of a proposed structural change. (9.1.5)

0
14 Evaluate how human capital serves as a source of competitive advantage. (9.2)

• Identify the unique human capital challenges organizations wishing to compete internationally must be prepared to manage and overcome. (9.2.1)
• Evaluate the capacity of a specific organization to recruit and manage the talent it will need to operate internationally. (9.2.2)
• Evaluate the extent to which an organization is likely to be able to leverage its human resources for competitive advantage. (9.2.3)
• Evaluate an organization’s current and/or potential capacity to use virtual teams to achieve its goals in international markets. (9.2.4)

0
15 Apply the principles of employment law for ethical practices and risk mitigation. (9.3)

• Identify and analyze employment contracts and the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. (9.3.1)
• Explain the possible implications of common employment-related issues for managers and their organizations. (9.3.2)
• Identify relevant employment laws and explain the associated principles and best practices for supervisors and employees. (9.3.3)
• Identify and analyze the legal grounds for employee termination. (9.3.4)
• Recommend appropriate responses to specific employment-related issues that may have legal implications. (9.3.5)

0
16 Apply relevant microeconomics principles to support strategic decisions for the organization. (10.1)

• Analyze costs and revenues for varying levels of production. (10.1.1)
• Determine optimal level of production by equating marginal costs to marginal revenues. (10.1.2)
• Distinguish between three different industry structures: competitive, oligopoly and monopoly – to enable financial decisions. (10.1.3)

0
17 Analyze financial statements to evaluate and optimize organizational performance. (10.2)

• Determine the impact of transactions carried out by an organization on the Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cashflows. (10.2.1)
• Evaluate organizational performance, prospects and financial risk by analysis of financial statements using tools such as financial ratios. (10.2.2)
• Make recommendations to improve organizational performance based on the analysis of the financial statements. (10.2.3)
• Evaluate financial reports and practices for compliance with ethical principles and regulatory requirements. (10.2.4)

0
18 Determine optimal financial decisions in pursuit of an organization’s goals. (10.3)

• Apply capital budgeting techniques based on time value of money to select capital projects. (10.3.1)
• Evaluate how effectively capital expenditures support organizational strategy. (10.3.2)
• Develop a budget and forecasts for capital expenditures to support organizational strategy initiatives. (10.3.3)

0
19 Make strategic managerial decisions for obtaining capital required for achieving organizational goals. (10.4)

• Evaluate long-term capital structure to support organizational strategy. (10.4.1)
• Assess sources of funds and future liabilities to develop a strategy for financial risk mitigation. (10.4.2)

0
20 Develop operating forecasts and budgets and apply managerial accounting techniques to support strategic decisions. (10.5)

• Develop budget and forecasts for strategic initiatives (market entry, production, operations, org. design). (10.5.1)
• Develop market revenue forecasts for strategic initiatives (incl. total market, target market and market share), justifying market forecast assumptions. (10.5.2)
• Apply cost-volume-profit analysis. (10.5.3)
• Allocate costs of shared resources to different products and implement activity based pricing. (10.5.4)

0
21 Recommend strategic plan for the use of technology to meet the strategic goals of organization. (11.1)

• Evaluate the current use of technology to meet strategic goals of organization. (11.1.1)
• Assess the strategic organizational impact of relevant technologies. (11.1.2)
• Recommend necessary technology to support competitive position. (11.1.3)
• Assess the budget to support the technology plan. (11.1.4)

0
22 Assess market risk and opportunity. (12.1)

• Evaluate a value proposition for a product/service and identify similarities and differences from competitive offerings. (12.1.1)
• Develop and/or recommend appropriate market research tools to gauge market potential of a particular product/service. (12.1.2)
• Prepare demand estimates for potential, available and target markets for a specific product/service. (12.1.3)
• Complete a risk analysis of a new product/service and develop strategies to mitigate the potential risks. (12.1.4)
• Evaluate macro-economic and industry-wide forecasts of a select product/service and identify areas of potential risks and opportunities. (12.1.5)

0
23 Analyze marketing information. (12.2)

• Estimate current and future demand for select products/services. (12.2.1)
• Prepare and defend a marketing research plan for the organization. (12.2.2)

0
24 Prepare marketing plan for a new product/service. (12.3)

• Obtain data and information for all sections of the marketing plan. (12.3.1)
• Develop goals and targets to evaluate strategic marketing priorities. (12.3.2)
• Develop situation analysis for a particular product/service or organization. (12.3.3)
• Develop consumer analysis for a particular product/service or organization. (12.3.4)
• Design and recommend an ethical marketing strategy for a particular product/service or organization. (12.3.5)
• Develop financial data and projections for the proposed marketing strategy. (12.3.6)
• Design and recommend an implementation plan for the marketing strategy. (12.3.7)
• Design and recommend evaluation and control system for the proposed marketing strategy. (12.3.8)

0
25 Identify and analyze new opportunities. (13.1)

• Evaluate the external and internal environment of an organization and identify new opportunities for the organization. (13.1.1)
• Evaluate an organization’s readiness for change. (13.1.2)
• Articulate opportunities and analyze their impact on organizational operations. (13.1.3)

0
26 Create and implement new initiative or enterprise. (13.2)

• Establish parameters for development of new ideas in the organization. (13.2.1)
• Design and communicate implementation plan for the new initiative or enterprise.(13.2.2)
• Create a change plan including key milestones, contingencies, metrics, and a budget for a specific organization and change. (13.2.3)

0
27 Create and manage new enterprise. (13.3)

• Prepare business plan for innovative idea/product/service. (13.3.1)
• Evaluate and recommend options for financing the idea. (13.3.2)
• Evaluate and recommend options for legal forms of business. (13.3.3)
• Communicate the value proposition to potential investors. (13.3.4)

0

Write your reflection summary here.

Project 5

Instructions: Review each item below and determine your current level of proficiency and the importance the item has for your career success. Use a scale of 1 to 7 (where 1 is low, and 7 is high). See Part 1, Item 1 below for an example, and then overwrite the sample ratings with your own ratings for this item. The gap for each item will be automatically calculated.

Interpreting Your Results: In the example, the gap is -5. The large negative number indicates an item where current proficiency is low and career importance is high—so, this might be an item to address. A gap represented by a large positive number (e.g., 5) indicates that current proficiency is relatively high and career importance is relatively low. In this event, you would not want to pick the item as one to address.

Write Reflection Summary: Use the text box at the bottom of the page to write a reflection of 400 to 500 words describing the gaps you will work to reduce, why you selected them, and the activities you will pursue to develop your selected competencies. Choose at least one from Part 1: Leadership and at least one from Part 2: Strategic Decision Making.

Week 11 Week 11
Using a scale of 1 to 7, where 1 is low and 7 is high, indicate your current level of proficiency with each of the following. Using the same scale, select the number that best represents how important each item is for your career success. Gap
Part 1: Personal Leadership Assessment, Goal-Setting, and Implementation
Communicating
1 Organize a document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment. (1.1)

• Present material in clear and/or logical order appropriate to task. (1.1.1)
• Articulate thesis and purpose clearly. (1.1.2)
• Support thesis and purpose fully. (1.1.3)
• Transition smoothly and develop connections from point to point. (1.1.4)
• Create coherent progress from introduction through conclusion. (1.1.5)
• Complete assignment in accordance with instructions. (1.1.6)

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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. (1.2)

• Create meaningful topic sentence for each paragraph or point. (1.2.1)
• Develop each paragraph’s single topic to the appropriate depth. (1.2.2)
• Supply relevant and original supporting detail. (1.2.3)

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3 Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas. (1.3)

• Use a variety of credible sources to support, extend, and inform an original thesis or idea, integrating source material smoothly. (1.3.1)
• Summarize, paraphrase, and quote accurately. (1.3.2)
• Cite sources properly. (1.3.3)

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4 Tailor communications to the audience. (1.4)

• Identify target audience. (1.4.1)
• Explain unfamiliar terms and material. (1.4.2)
• Employ precise, appropriate language. (1.4.3)
• Use audience-appropriate, consistent tone. (1.4.4)
• Avoid language which indicates bias against individuals/groups their affiliations, orientations and beliefs. (1.4.5)

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5 Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience. (1.5)

• Demonstrate variation in sentence structure. (1.5.1)
• Express ideas clearly and concisely. (1.5.2)
• Eliminate sentence-level errors such as run-ons/comma splices and sentence fragments. (1.5.3)

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Critical Thinkg and Analysis 0
6 Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration. (2.1)

• Summarize the issue or problem, using supporting …

Project 1 Resources

Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership is concerned with managing a company’s resources, including its strategy-making process, to create and sustain competitive advantage. An increased interest in strategic leadership reflects the need to understand how executives respond to rapid technological and social change and increasing international competition to lead their companies and outperform competition.

There are three important responsibilities for strategic leadership in an organization: (1) monitoring the external environment to identify threats and opportunities, (2) formulating strategy, and (3) implementing the strategy for the future prosperity of the organization. (Narayanan, Zane, & Kemerer, 2011; Porter, 1980).

The following guidelines are based on research and practitioner insights (Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Kotter, 1996; Nanus, 1992; Narayanan, Zane, & Kemerer, 2011; Wall & Wall, 1995; Worley, Hitchin, & Ross, 1996):

· Determine long-term objectives and priorities.

· Learn what clients and customers need and want.

· Learn about the products and activities of competitors.

· Assess current strengths and weaknesses.

· Identify core competencies.

· Evaluate the need for a major change in strategy.

· Identify promising strategies.

· Evaluate the likely outcomes of a strategy.

· Involve other executives in selecting a strategy.

These guidelines focus on understanding the environment that determines need for strategic change, the performance determinants, and ways leaders can influence these performance determinants (Cannella & Monroe, 1997). “The theory and research on leadership has long recognized that effective leaders empower others to participate in the process of interpreting events, solving problems, and making decisions” (Argyris, 1964; Likert, 1967).

Events and industry trends are often not well defined. They pose multiple alternatives and choices. Successful strategic leadership, therefore, requires ability to manage ambivalence and to give an organization a sense of direction. Leaders create a clear and compelling vision of where the organization

should go, and energize people by eloquently communicating this vision to make it a part of the organization culture (Wesley & Mintzberg, 1989).

References

Argyris, C. (1964). Integrating the individual and the organization. New York: John Wiley.

Bennis, W. G., & Nanus, B. (1985). Leaders: The strategies for taking charge. New York: Harper & Row.

Jeffree Daily, Digital Strategist for Pyle Force

· Session 1: Deep Roots: Theories and Research Still Apply

· Notes on perspectives in leadership theory and research

Perspectives in Leadership Theory and Research

It can be useful to classify leadership theories according to the type of variables that are relevant for understanding leadership effectiveness. These variables include the following:

· characteristics of leaders

· characteristics of followers

· characteristics of the situation

Most leadership theories emphasize one category more than the others as the primary basis for explaining effective leadership. Over the past half-century, leader characteristics have been given the greatest emphasis.

Leadership theories are often classified into the following five approaches:

· trait approach—Emphasizes attributes of leaders such as personality, motives, values, and skills.

· behavior approach—Examines how managers cope with demands, constraints, and role conflicts in their jobs.

· power-influence approach—Examines influence processes between leaders and other people. It takes a leader-centered perspective with an implicit assumption that causality is unidirectional (leaders act and followers react).

· situational approach—Emphasizes the importance of contextual factors that influence leadership processes. Major situational variables include the characteristics of followers, the nature of the work performed by the leader’s unit, the type of organization, and the nature of the external environment.

· integrative approach—Includes two or more types of leadership variables in the same study.

Another way to classify leadership theories is in terms of the “levels of conceptualization,” or the type of constructs used to describe leaders and their influence on others. Leadership can be described as the following:

· an intra-individual process

· a dyadic process

· a group process

· an organizational process

The levels can be viewed as a hierarchy, as depicted in the figure below:

Leadership Levels of Conceptualization

The important variables in play at different levels of conceptualization for leadership are shown in the table below:

Variables at Different Levels of Conceptualization for Leadership

Intra-Individual theories

Dyadic theories

Group-level theories

Organizational-level theories

· How leader traits and values influence leadership behavior

· How leader skills are related to leader behavior

· How leaders make decisions

· How leaders manage their time

· How leaders are influenced by role expectations and constraints

· How leaders react to feedback and learn from experience

· How leaders can use self-development techniques

· How a leader influences subordinate motivation and task commitment

· How a leader facilitates the work of a subordinate

· How a leader interprets information about a subordinate

· How a leader develops a subordinate’s skills and confidence

· How a leader influences subordinate loyalty and trust

· How a leader uses influence tactics with a subordinate, peer, or boss

· How a leader and a subordinate influence each other

· How a leader develops a cooperative exchange relationship with a subordinate

· How different leader-member relations affect each other and team performance

· How leadership is shared in the group or team

· How leaders organize and coordinate the activities of team members

· How leaders influence cooperation and resolve disagreements in the team or unit

· How leaders influence collective efficacy and optimism for the team or unit

· How leaders influence collective learning and innovation in the team or unit

· How leaders influence collective identification of members with the team or unit

· How unit leaders obtain resources and support from the organization and other units

· How top executives influence members at other levels

· How leaders are selected at each level (and implications of the process for the firm)

· How leaders influence organizational culture

· How leaders influence the efficiency and the cost of internal operations

· How leaders influence human relations and human capital in the organization

· How leaders make decisions about competitive strategy and external initiatives

· How conflicts among leaders are resolved in an organization

· How leaders influence innovation and major change in an organization

Source: Adapted from Yukl, G. (2013). Leadership in organizations. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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

Resilience

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable individuals, organizations, and countries at all levels of development are to disasters.

Experience of adversity and unforeseen situations are common to individuals, organizations and societies at large. In coping with forces beyond the control of an organization, resilience is an essential for continuity and sustainable growth. The McKinsey management and consulting group’s study of the 2008 economic crisis noted that some companies were hurt but recovered more quickly than others. “By 2009, the earnings of the resilient companies had risen 10 percent, while that of the nonresilients had gone down almost 15 percent (Sneader & Singhal, 2020).

This note looks at resilience with a view to understand the factors that foster or hinder resilience.

The questions resilience seeks to answer: Why do some organizations experiencing operational and financial stress succumb while others prove resilient and even thrive? What are the key attributes that contribute to resiliency?

The search for competitive advantage is relentless following a crisis. Strategic leadership requires an understanding of how the resilience operates at different levels and their linkages to effectively cope with changes.

What Is Resilience?

Resilience, as defined by Hamel and Välikangas, “refers to a capacity for continuous reconstruction. It requires innovation with respect to those organizational values, processes, and behaviors that systematically favor perpetuation over innovation” (2003).

The concept of resilience has been examined from various perspectives. Ecologists such as Holling (1973) and Perrings (2001) have defined it as the capacity to absorb stress and shocks. Tinch (1998) notes characteristics such as stability, persistence, resistance, nonvulnerability, and stochastic return time.

An integral part of resilience is a business continuity plan (BCP) that identifies major risks of business interruption, plans to mitigate or reduce the impact of the identified risks, and tests the plan to ensure its effectiveness. Business continuity equals revenue continuity (Ruettgers, 2003).

Knowing what to secure, assessing risks, and developing business recovery policies is central to business continuity.

The challenge for individuals, organizations, and societies is to build their capacity to absorb or recover from change without draining resources. As part of the larger social fabric, organizational resilience is understood in the context of the communities and the society they operate in.

Why Resilience Matters

Organizations that fail to adjust to their changing environment soon lose their relevance as they go out of business or get acquired. While new entrants, takeovers, and bankruptcies are part of sustaining competitiveness, they cannot address the resilience problem. First, there are organizations that are not open to takeovers, such as privately owned companies, national service organizations such as the Red Cross, and government agencies. Lack of resilience would lead to their inability to serve their objectives. Failure of organizations means their intellectual capital disintegrates and may take years to recover. Nonadaptive organizations lead to gross underuse of society’s resources. The reason to care about institutional resilience is that it improves its capacity for continual renewal.

Events such as the financial crisis of 2008, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in August 2005, the tsunami earthquake in the Indian Ocean in December 2004, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011, terror attacks of September 2001, and the Chernobyl reactor failure in Ukraine in 1986 highlight the world’s vulnerability to disasters. The devastating effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic have affected countries across the globe. In planning for the future, we must expect that all disasters are possible, assume the worst, plan for the impact, and lay the foundation for speedy recovery.

Upheavals profoundly change management practices. The Great Depression irrevocably transformed management theory which had until then relied on mechanical input-output measurements, giving rise to the human relations movement. The global financial crisis of 2008-10 led companies to shift from permanent employment. This eventually prompted individuals to take on multiple jobs, now referred to as the “gig” economy.

And the latest of these upheavals, COVID-19, will have a lasting impact on organizations and leadership styles. Supply chains will be relooked; companies will restructure as more work is done from home. As we become more digitally connected and more physically disconnected, trust may become more important and more fragile. Organizations have to step up to address such issues.

The degree of psychological and economic losses that individuals, organizations, and societies suffer depends upon their resilience. Resilience goes beyond survival; it is the ability to bounce back and even become stronger in spite of the threats to survival. Preventive and predictive actions may reduce our vulnerability. However, it is our ability to reduce loss through resilience that determines how well and how fast we return to normalcy.

Carver (1998) describes potential outcomes of adverse events as succumbing, surviving with impairment, recovery (resilience) and thriving. “A shared passion to be successful is a crucial ingredient in creating resilient enterprises” (Sheffi, p. 15).

To understand the role of strategic leadership in ensuring that organizations bounce back with speed in the face of adverse events, let us examine how resilience is developed.

Putting Resilience to Work

The environmental changes in recent years have created a keen interest in both management scholars and practitioners to understand how individuals and organizations cope with these changes. Psychiatrists have explored the factors that enable individuals perform well under stress and to recoil from setbacks. For business leaders, therefore, the focus is on both the individual and the organizational resilience.

According to Larry Mallak (1998), there are seven resilience principles that organization leaders can put in place to ensure a resilient organization.

1. Perceive experiences constructively.

2. Perform positive adaptive behaviors.

3. Ensure adequate external resources.

4. Expand decision-making boundaries.

5. Practice bricolage.

6. Develop tolerance for uncertainty.

7. Build virtual role systems.

Why do many organizations succumb when adversity strikes them? Dalziell and McManus (2004) point out that the traditional approach was to make systems less vulnerable to hazards. However, system resilience can be increased by increasing the speed of the system to re-bounce from adverse events. The failure lies in their inability to execute (Charan & Colvin, 1999).

Individual Resilience

The indivisible element in coping with change is the individual. The reaction of the individual—

as a subordinate or a leader—determines how the organization would react to its changing internal and external demands. Dalziell and McManus (2004) say that a key in system resilience is the ability of the system to respond and recover from an event, but as they note, “recover to what?” is also important.

 Charles Carver (1998) cites four potential consequences when adversity strikes.

· first, the downward slide in which the individual succumbs,

· second, where the individual survives but with capabilities weakened,

· third, when the individual bounces back to the original level, and

· fourth, where the individual surpasses previous levels of functioning.

Resilient individuals carve out coping strategies that may be either positive (resilient or thriving) or negative (surviving with impairment or succumbing). Resilience in individuals comprises of developing self-efficacy that consists of confidence in one’s own ability to perform and its execution in the face of adversity (Mallak, 1998). They develop an innate ability to move forward and succeed.

According to Bandura (1989), individuals effect changes in themselves and their situations through their own efforts, including controlling thought processes, motivation, and actions. Through empirical tests, Bandura shows that persons make “causal contribution to their own motivation and action” within a system of what he calls “reciprocal causation (Bandura, 1989).

Individual self-efficacy beliefs affect thought patterns that Bandura terms “self-aiding or self-hindering” (1989). According to this social cognitive theory, much human behavior is regulated by cognized goals and self-appraisal of capabilities. As Bandura (1989) states, “The stronger their perceived self-efficacy, the higher the goals people set for themselves and the firmer their commitment to them.” While short-term help is important for recovery, Bandura states the key to building personal resilience is to avoid dependency and therefore loss of control.

As organizations face unprecedented changes, they face a growing “boundarylessness” of their organizations. Baruch (2004) notes that DeFillippi and Arthur (1994) argue that “a major consequence of boundaryless organizations is the emergence of boundaryless careers.” As careers become multidirectional, individual resilience in a turbulent environment demands that they retain a sense of their personal security through continuity of their jobs. The blurring of boundaries has demolished static career systems—”they have become more diverse and less controlled by employers” according to Baruch (2004), who notes that managing individual careers requires qualities that differ considerably from those in the past.

Baruch (2001) suggests that although the idea of employability is beneficial, it is impractical for organizations to use it as a substitute for loyalty and trust-based relationships. The multidirectional career model suggested by Baruch (2004) takes into account the full scale of what he calls “landscapes” in which the individual “can climb the mountain, opt for another mountain, take some hills instead, or wander along the plains” as a way of illustrating options. The focus of most scholarly work on individual resilience is on self-efficacy and self-navigation.

For a strategic leader, development of individual resilience is a first step to developing organizational resilience.

Organizational Resilience

The model of a resilient organization is based on interaction between the individual and the environment. Dalziell and McManus (2004) use the term resilience to describe “the overarching goal of a system to continue to function to the fullest possible extent in the face of stress to achieve its purpose, where resilience is a function of both the vulnerability of the system and its adaptive capacity.” They point to the “need to focus not only on the vulnerability of our systems to failure, but also on our ability to manage and minimize the impact of any failures (Dalziell & McManus, 2004).

The resiliency audit model for organizations developed by Hind et al. (1996) suggests that a critical dimension of the interaction between the individual and organization is the “psychological contract” based on a reciprocal relationship of individual’s commitment and trust in exchange of the organization providing job satisfaction, job security and promotion prospects (Hind et al., 1996). Resilient organizations score high on the factors in resiliency audit and ensure that the risk of violating the “psychological contract” in periods of change is minimized. They do this through helping individuals regularly assess their skills and interests and support their life-long learning and career development to ensure their employability in times of downturns.

Peter Senge (2005) explains that rapid changes require organizations to be flexible and adaptable to stay competitive. The five disciplines that Senge identifies converging to innovate learning organizations are:

1. systems thinking

2. personal mastery

3. mental models

4. building shared vision

5. team learning

Resilient organizations encourage and nurture a shift of mind, according to Senge, “from seeing parts to seeing wholes, from seeing people as mere reactors to becoming active participants in creating the future” (Senge, 2005).

Bricolage

Bricolage is the creation of solutions from whatever happens to be available. In times of rapid change, formal organizational roles systems often collapse but need not result in failure if the individuals retain the whole picture in their minds and assume whatever role is vacated. Faced with unforeseen situations, according to Weick (1993), leaders know they don’t understand what is happening because they have never had to confront such an event. “Extreme confidence and extreme caution both destroy what organizations most need in changing times, namely, curiosity, openness, and complex sensing” (Weick, 1993).

When formal organizational structure is inadequate to meet with changes or it collapses, the individual and social interactions developed in the organizations have to come in play to counteract vulnerability.

Weick (1993) suggested a structure of organizational resilience by analyzing the Mann Gulch fire in 1949, made famous in Norman Maclean’s Young Men and Fire, which resulted in the death of 13 men. He identified bricolage, virtual role systems, the attitude of wisdom, and respectful interaction as factors in organizational resilience.

The concepts of psychological contract, the learning organization, resiliency audit, and distributive leadership cut across all organizations, large or small, and situations brought about by change, gradual or sudden, and even in organizations where attention to routine working is critical to their safety and survival.

Societal Resilience

“Societal” resilience is our adaptive response to unforeseen events and takes place at the level of the individuals, private and public organizations, families, local communities and the county, state and federal governments. Rose (2004) shows economic resilience to disasters can be seen as dimensions of resilience. He also proposes a “general equilibrium model” for analyzing the behavior of individuals, businesses, and markets.

The measurement of resilience and its audit are important, Rose says, because they “enable us to evaluate strategy for reducing economic losses” from external changes (2004). Inclusion of resilience in policy-making helps react to adversity and reduce losses.

Reich (2006) provides a psychological perspective and incorporation of three principles of resilience in disaster planning: control, coherence, and connectedness. Disaster responses should focus on reducing uncertainty through extensive communications and understanding to generate cognitive clarity. Providing structure and coherence in interactions helps people understand how the events in their lives are going to be impacted. Reich notes: “The individual’s need for social connectedness is probably never greater than in times of disaster” (2006). The value of an integrative model, according to Reich, “is that it provides a conceptual framework for understanding human resilience” (2006).

A resilient community is based on resilient individuals. The resilience at individual, organizational, and societal levels are interwoven, and any model of resilience should reflect this interconnectedness. See Appendix.

Metrics for Evaluating Resilience

In light of events that show the vulnerability of countries throughout the world to disasters, metrics are needed to measure and benchmark the resilience of organizations.

The 2019 FM Global Resilience Index Annual Report by Pentland Analytics provides ranked scores for 130 countries by combining the 12 core drivers of resilience (FM Global, 2019):

Factors

Economic

Risk Quality

Supply Chain

Drivers

Productivity

Exposure to Natural Hazards

Control of Corruption

Political Risk

Natural Hazard Risk Quality

Quality of Infrastructure

Oil Intensity

Fire Risk Quality

Corporate Governance

Urbanization Rate

Inherent Cyber Risk

Supply Chain Visibility

The structure of the index enables business executives to identify the sources of strength and vulnerability in a country’s resilience.

BSI explores organizational resilience best practices by tracking how confident business leaders

feel in the ability of their organizations to adapt to change. The BSI Organizational Resilience Benchmark tool focuses on 16 elements in building and developing organizational resilience, and its website allows a user to create a “spider diagram” for an organization (BSI, 2020):

Leadership

People

Process

Product

Leadership

Culture

Governance and Accountability

Horizon Scanning

Vision and Purpose

Reputational Risk

Community Engagement

Business Continuity

Innovation

Financial Management

Awareness Training and Testing

Supplier Management

Resource Management

Alignment

Information and Knowledge

Adaptive Capacity

Organizational resilience results help to review how an organization’s strengths and vulnerabilities in leadership, people, processes, and product categories based on the 16 key elements compare against other organizations.

References

Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. 
American Psychologist
44(9), 1175–1184.

Circular Economy

The ramifications of COVID-19 will go beyond the short-term worldwide health and financial effects. Aside from a need for a more coordinated response from governments and corporation, the coronavirus has exposed the fragile state of the world economy.

“The ‘coronacrisis’ has demonstrated the fragility and unsustainability of our current model of economic growth” (Dixson-Declève et al., 2020). Without economic change, future worldwide crises are likely to trigger similar upheaval.

Economists worldwide are pointing to an old idea – the circular economy – as an alternative. The circular economy is “an idea where we move away from the old linear way of consumption – produce, use, discard – and towards … an economy where what we use is produced with the purpose of being reused, recycled, or repurposed” (Lyche, 2020). The conceptual framework has been with us for over 40 years but was seen as an expensive move and hard to justify when the current framework was viable. 

But as entire nations went into lockdown, sustainability of resources got a closer look, and the role of strategic leadership in developing and implementing policies to minimize waste and use of our resources becomes critical. 

Life Cycle Thinking Framework

Built-in obsolescence of a product is often incorporated by companies at the design stage to render it obsolete or nonfunctional after a certain period to stimulate consumer demand.  

The practice of continuously replacing, rather than repairing, products creates more waste, uses more resources, and is being increasingly challenged by the customers. The issue of forced obsolescence goes beyond ecological consideration of waste disposal and resource intensity. Software companies stop supporting older technologies to force users to purchase new products.   

That said, the dominant forces behind product obsolescence are technology and innovation. The pace of innovation, which was shown years ago by Kondratieff in his “long waves” theory (1935), has been accelerating giving rise to rapid product obsolescence (e.g., 5¼ inch floppies to 3½ inch floppies to CDs to DVDs to solid state memory storages):  

Kondratieff’s Long Waves

Source:  Rursus (2009).

Whether obsolescence is planned or driven by technology changes, an evaluation of a product’s entire life cycle needs to be part of enterprise strategy of cradle-to grave evaluation (Rainey, 2006, pp. 507–551) that includes upstream supply network management and manufacturing, and downstream aspects of product sale, use, and end-of-life considerations. 

Sonntag (2000) points out that the sustainability focus in the past has been on limiting the ecological impact of production on a per unit of activity. This approach has been used in the life cycle assessment that provides a framework for measuring the environmental footprint of a product (Finnveden et al., 2009). 

However, with faster product cycles and competition, this generates newer products and faster product obsolescence, and we find competition promotes an overall increase in consumption. So, despite a decreasing ecological impact per unit, when viewed in totality, we see greater ecological impact due to an overall increase in consumption driven by faster product cycles driven by competition. This impact is exacerbated with standards of living rising around the world and the increasing demand for consumer goods.

The importance of full recycling recovery of products has accelerated. In fact, this trend is evident as regulations seek to make companies responsible for “cradle to grave” products. In the UK, embedded planned obsolescence in products is a breach of customer rights, enforced by the Office of Fair Trading.

The Conceptual Framework

The circular economy model synthesizes several major schools of thought.  

The environmental movement that began roughly in the 1960s brought about reform legislation in several countries, but the idea of sustainable growth was highlighted in an economic light by a Club of Rome report, “The Limits to Growth.” The lead author of that report, Donella Meadows, cowrote a 1992 book, Beyond the Limits 

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