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Case Analysis With Discussion: James Houghton and Signature Theatre
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Case Analysis With Discussion: James Houghton and Signature Theatre

Lafley, Martin, and Riel (2013) suggest that strategic thinking does not need to be overly complex, and that a simple framework in which one rigorously answers five questions can be a strong starting point for developing a Strategy Playbook. As importantly, they suggest that this "five-question strategy playbook" is relevant for all kinds of organizations.

Here are the five questions:

  1. What is your winning aspiration? (What to you stand for and believe deeply in?)
  2. Where will you play? (Who will you serve, and who will either help or compete against you?)
  3. How will you win? (How will you create unique value?)
  4. Which capabilities must be in place (to win)? (What skills, competencies, and capabilities do you need now and in the future?)
  5. What management systems are required? (Do you have a supporting culture, structure, systems, and appropriate measures to implement a strategy?)

This week, and during the remainder of the course, you will use this framework as a starting point for analyzing case study examples, and for building your own Strategy Playbook. Additionally, this week you will create a "strategy map" of the Signature Theatre, which you will use as a template for creating such a map for your Strategy Playbook later in the course.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review all required readings, including the Weekly Briefing, which provides additional guidance on how to complete the Assignment.
  • Review this week's case study. You can, and should, scan it multiple times.
  • Identify and review all relevant readings from the Capstone Program Bibliography.

By Day 3, post a polished analysis that responds to each of the three prompts below:

  1. How would you explain the success of James Houghton and the Signature Theatre using the "five-question strategy playbook" and Wolfe's "living organization" as your frames of reference? Be specific.

    Then, review the Joseph (2009) article on implementing a balanced scorecard (a way to measure one's strategy playbook). Recall that you read this article in a prior MBA course. Pay particular attention to pages 119–123.
  2. Using the strategy map illustrated on p. 122 as a guide, create a similar strategy map for the Signature Theatre (circa 2014). Attach your map to your original post in the Discussion board.
  3. Based on your strategy map and earlier response, what should Houghton do in the future? Why? How?

    NOTE: This is the most important element of your response and requires an analytic, rather than descriptive response.

Be sure to integrate concepts and quotes from this week's readings. To obtain an exemplary assessment, you must also integrate at least one resource from the Walden MBA Program Capstone Bibliography as well.

Your overall response should be approximately the equivalent of 1 single-spaced page total, and your strategy map should be in the form of a diagram.

General Guidance: Your original post, due by Day 3, will typically be approximately 1 single-spaced page in length (cut and pasted into the Discussion) as a general expectation/estimate. Refer to the Week 2 Discussion 1 rubric for grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use the rubric to assess your work.

To complete your Discussion, click on Discussions on the course navigation menu, and then click on the Week 2 Forum to begin.

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Case Analysis With Discussion: James Houghton and Signature Theatre
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Case Analysis With Discussion: James Houghton and Signature Theatre Lafley, Martin, and Riel (2013) suggest that strategic thinking does not need to be overly complex, and that a simple framework in which one rigorously answers five questions can be a strong starting point for developing a Strategy Playbook. As importantly, they suggest that this "five-question strategy playbook" is relevant for all kinds of organizations. Here are the five questions: What is your winning aspiration? (What to you stand for and believe deeply in?) Where will you play? (Who will you serve, and who will either help or compete against you?) How will you win? (How will you create unique value?) Which capabilities must be in place (to win)? (What skills, competencies, and capabilities do you need now and in the future?) What management systems are ...
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