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JWI 540: Strategy

Assignment 2

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. This document
is subject to change based on the needs of the class.

JWI 540 – Assignment 2 (1214) Page 1 of 6

Assignment 2: How to Win: Strategic Options Assessment and Recommendation

Due Week 8, Sunday, midnight of your time zone (Weight: 25%)

Introduction

“Strategy means making clear-cut choices about how to compete. You cannot be everything to

everybody, no matter what the size of your business or how deep its pockets.”

– Jack Welch –

Congratulations! In your first executive brief, you generated some great insights about the playing field and

competitors and how your own organization stacks up. Now you will transition from looking back to looking

ahead. You will develop your “How to Win” strategy that will feature your game-winning move!

Your CEO has clarified that you need to think expansively and recommend a move that is transformative rather

than incremental. To help with this, you have decided to consider each of the seven common winning moves

outlined in the Week 6 Lecture Notes and pick one of them as your preferred game-winning move.

You know that your game-winning move will be a decisive choice for the company. But in choosing this move

(as is the case with any strategic initiative), the company will risk money and resources. If your move is the right

one, you will grow sales and profits and beat your competitors. If your move is the wrong one, you risk

disappointing your investors and letting your competitors gain competitive advantage. Given the importance of

this decision, you will evaluate each of the seven common winning moves and then do a deep dive into the

attractiveness, feasibility and risks of your chosen strategy.

Your CEO is expecting your second executive brief in Week 8 to summarize your analysis of the strategy you

believe offers the most potential and your recommendation for the game-winning move that you will be

presenting in Week 10.

Instructions for Assignment 2

Your objective is to create a game-winning move, not just evaluate other people’s moves. For this assignment,

do NOT recommend a move that is identical or very similar to a real-life move made by your company. For

example, don’t recommend that Tesla/Apple/Google/Uber/etc. invest in self-driving car technology or

recommend that CVS acquire Aetna as those are all in the public domain. Instead, recommend a move that is

novel and innovative for your company.

JWI 540: Strategy

Assignment 2

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. This document
is subject to change based on the needs of the class.

JWI 540 – Assignment 2 (1214) Page 2 of 6

Craft your second executive brief to include the following:

1. An opening paragraph summarizing the purpose and content of the brief.

2. Rank Order Your Three Top Moves: Review the applicability and attractiveness of each of the 7

common winning moves (from the Week 6 Lecture Notes) for your organization and your competitive

situation in your chosen playing field. List your top three most attractive moves in order from most

attractive to least attractive.

3. Detail your Recommended Move: For your most attractive move, provide details about what you

would recommend as a part this move. For example, if you chose acquisition, who might you buy? If

you chose geographic expansion, where would you expand? If you chose discontinuous innovation,

what would the innovation be? Explain why you think it will generate financially attractive growth (which

includes both incremental revenue growth and commensurate incremental profit growth).

4. Alignment of the Move to Organizational Strength and Weakness. How does this move address

your key strength/weakness identified in your playing field assessment from Assignment 1?

5. Required Investments. Most strategic initiatives require an investment of resources and money. What

are some significant investments that would be necessary to implement this move? Note, we are not

looking for dollar figures; instead, we are looking for the key categories of investments such as hiring

people, investing in new capabilities, building new manufacturing plants, etc.

6. Risks and Risk Mitigation. Most game-changing moves are bold initiatives and have risks that need to

be considered. What are the most significant risks and what is your recommended risk-mitigation plan?

7. Competitive Response: How do you think the competition will react to your move?

8. Concluding statement. Conclude with a brief a summary of your game-winning move and conclusions

on the above topics. Consider how the move effectively balances investments and risks. How will the

move position your company against the competition?

9. References: Include in-text citations for all data, assertions, and facts, and a corresponding reference

list. Appendices are allowable if additional supplemental information is needed for the brief.

JWI 540: Strategy

Assignment 2

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. This document
is subject to change based on the needs of the class.

JWI 540 – Assignment 2 (1214) Page 3 of 6

Formatting and Submission Requirements

• The executive brief submission should be 2 to 3 pages (not including the cover page or

appendixes/references page).

• Typed, single-spaced, professional font (size 10 – 12) with one-inch margins on all sides.

• Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, your name, professor’s name, and the course

title and date.

• Include a references page at the end documenting sources and citations used. You must cite three or

more current sources.

• Use headings to identify main topics and subtopics.

• You are welcome to include charts, tables, and graphs in-text or in an appendix.

• Develop and support your research with facts and in-text citations, appendixes, and references.

JWI 540: Strategy

Assignment 2

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. This document
is subject to change based on the needs of the class.

JWI 540 – Assignment 2 (1214) Page 4 of 6

RUBRIC: Assignment 2

Criteria Unsatisfactory Low Pass Pass High Pass Honors

1. Describe and
rank three the
top potential
game winning
moves and
recommend a
preferred
game-winning
move.

Weight: 30%

Does not provide
any ranking and/or
unsatisfactorily
describes a
recommended
move and how it
might generate
financially
attractive growth
for the company.

Does not include a
move ranking
and/or is missing a
ranked option.

Partially describes
recommended
move.

A basic explanation
for how the move
might generate
financially attractive
growth for the
company is
provided; however,
the move lacks
sufficient detail that
impacts two of the
three areas: clarity,
feasibility, or logic.

The 3 moves are
ranked and
satisfactorily
described.

Recommended
move is identified
and how it will
generate financially
attractive growth is
satisfactorily
explained;
however, there is a
lack of detail in one
of the three areas:
clarity, feasibility or
logic.

The 3 moves are
well described and
clearly ranked.

Recommended
move has well-
articulated
specificity to
provide a clear
understanding of
how the move will
generate financially
attractive growth
for the company.

The move is
reasonably clear,
logical and feasible

The 3 moves are
exceptionally well
described.

Recommended
move is innovative
and presented in a
clear and
unambiguous way.

Excellent rationale
for how the move
will generate
financially attractive
growth for the
company.

The move is clear
logical and feasible

2. Explain the
alignment of
recommended
move to a core
company
strength and
weakness and
identify
necessary
Investments

Weight: 20%

Does not include or
unsatisfactorily
explains how the
move relates to the
company’s strength
and weakness or
does not identify
significant
investments that
will be required.

Partially explains
how the move
relates to the
company’s strength
and weakness.

May include a
basic description of
investment but
lacks more than
one important
investment
category.

Satisfactorily
explains how the
move relates to the
company’s strength
and weakness.

Provides
satisfactory
description of some
of the significant
investments that
will be required but
may be missing at
least one important
investment
category.

Clearly and
concisely explains
how the move
relates to the
company’s strength
and weakness.

Demonstrates
sound logic and
reasoning
regarding most of
the significant
investments that
will be required.

Clearly and
concisely explains
how the move
relates to the
company’s strength
and weakness.

Demonstrates
excellent logic,
reasoning and
foresight about the
most significant
investments that
will be required.

JWI 540: Strategy

Assignment 2

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. This document
is subject to change based on the needs of the class.

JWI 540 – Assignment 2 (1214) Page 5 of 6

Criteria Unsatisfactory Low Pass Pass High Pass Honors

3. Identify risks
and anticipated
competitive
response

Weight: 20%

Does not include,
or unsatisfactorily
demonstrates
anticipation of the
most significant
risks of the move

or

Does not include
risk mitigation
plans for the
identified move.

Unsatisfactorily
anticipates
competitive
response.

Explains at least
one risk associated
with the move but
these risks may be
lacking in detail or
logic.

Risk mitigation
plans may not be
complete, logical,
or aligned with the
risks. .

Competitive
response
predictions partially
address the likely
outcomes but are
overly vague.

Clearly explains at
least two risks of the
move.

Provides logical risk
mitigation plans for
at least one of the
identified risks.

Competitive
response predictions
are reasonable and
include an
acceptable amount
of detail.

Clearly and logically
explains most of the
significant risks of
the move.

Provides cogent
and novel risk
mitigation plans for
most of the
identified risks.

Competitive
response
predictions
demonstrate sound
logic and are clearly
explained.

Clearly and
logically explains
the most
significant risks of
the move.

Provides cogent
and novel risk-
mitigation plans to
address each
identified risk.

Competitive
response
predictions
demonstrate
exemplary logic
and reasoning and
are clearly
explained.

4. Provide an
effective and
persuasive
conclusion that
is “fit for use”
for a CEO.

Weight: 15%

Conclusion is
missing or presents
an unsatisfactory
summary of the
move, risks, and
investments.

Conclusion
partially
summarizes the
move and partially
addresses other
factors of risks and
investments.

Conclusion is a
satisfactory synopsis
of the key elements
of the move and
satisfactorily asserts
the recommended
move while
simultaneously
providing some
perspective on risks
and/or investments.

Conclusion
presents a
complete and
succinct synopsis of
the move and
persuasively
asserts the
recommended
move while
simultaneously
providing a
reasonable, fair and
balanced position
on investments and
risks.

Conclusion is
extremely well
crafted and
provides a clear
and succinct
synopsis of the
move.

Persuasively
asserts the
recommended
move while
providing a
reasonable fair and
balanced position
on investments and
risks.

Excised from the
brief, the
conclusion could
effectively be used
as the elevator
pitch for the move.

JWI 540: Strategy

Assignment 2

© Strayer University. All Rights Reserved. This document contains Strayer University confidential and proprietary information and may not be
copied, further distributed, or otherwise disclosed, in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission of Strayer University. This document
is subject to change based on the needs of the class.

JWI 540 – Assignment 2 (1214) Page 6 of 6

Criteria Unsatisfactory Low Pass Pass High Pass Honors

5. Present
information
professionally
within the
three-page
limit, and
support
recommend-
ation,
assertions, and
facts with in-
text citations,
appendixes,
and references.

Weight: 15%

Brief is missing
significant content
or is generally
unprofessional in
appearance due to
multiple
grammatical and
mechanical usage
or spelling errors.

Most
recommendations,
assertions, and
facts are not
supported with in-
text citations or
references.

Brief is partially
well-written and
professional in
appearance.

Has several
grammatical and
mechanical usage
or spelling errors
that make parts of
the text difficult for
the reader to
understand.

Some
recommendations,
assertions, and
facts are supported
with in-text citations
and references.

Brief is well-written
and generally
professional in
appearance.

Conforms to page-
limit and formatting
requirements

There may be a
few grammatical
and mechanical
usage errors, but
they do not have a
major impact on
the flow.

Most of the
recommendations,
assertions, and
facts are supported
with in-text
citations and
references.

Brief is succinct
and well-written
and professional in
appearance.

Conforms to page-
limit and formatting
requirements

Grammatical and
mechanical usage
errors, if any, are
minor and have no
impact on the flow.

The majority of
recommendations,
assertions, and
facts are supported
with in-text citations
and references.

Brief is succinct
and exceptionally
well-written and
professional in
appearance.

Conforms to page-
limit and formatting
requirements

There are no
grammatical and
mechanical usage
errors.

All
recommendations,
assertions, and
facts are
exemplarily
supported with in-
text citations and
references.

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