Strategic Management MGMT-42100
Extra credit assignment
“Strategic Initiative Proposal”
For up to 3 extra credit points, write a three page proposal to the CEO and board of directors of
the firm you have been tracking over the course of the semester. Take the role of a senior
management consultant who has been hired to craft a new strategic initiative for the firm.
Your proposal must be to the point, easy to understand, powerful, and very insightful. Your firm
has been paid a significant amount for your services, you cannot tell your client things they
already know, nor propose risky or irresponsible actions. You will focus your advice on a single
strategic initiative you think the firm should implement and will back it with a strong and
convincing analysis.
To do this, you need to understand the company, its customers, its competitive environment, its
corporate culture, its strengths, its weaknesses, and marry all this coherently to an emerging
opportunity, market trend or looming threat – one that is not obvious to competitors or to your
client. Your proposal could include (but is not limited to) the following:
 Entering a new geographic market
 Entering a new product category
 Creating a new product or market category
 Acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, partnerships
 Buying, creating, or testing new distribution channels
 Buying, creating, or testing new supply chains
 Strengthening operations through outsourcing, process reengineering, changing the
organizational structure
 Forward or backward integration, diversification
 Initiatives to change or enhance corporate culture
Use business-appropriate language and structure. Senior managers will not read more than two
or three pages. They will read swiftly, trying to quickly grasp the main points in order to decide
whether it makes sense to continue. Those three pages are your opportunity to gain their
attention and interest; keep in mind that they are intelligent people who will quickly see through
inflated claims, weak reasoning, or incomplete research.
Formatting & submission
The proposal must be double-spaced, with 1 inch margins and 12-point type. Proposals are
limited to 3 pages of text; you may use appendices for tables, graphs, and other supporting
documentation.
Strategic Management MGMT-42100
The proposal must be submitted via Sakai as a Microsoft Word document by May 12
th at midnight.
No late submissions will be accepted.
Evaluation
I will grade your proposal based on the answers to the following questions:
 Does the student demonstrate a good understanding of the firm and its industry?
 Does the student provide a strong recommendation that reflects a deep understanding
of the core concepts of strategic management?
 Does the student support her recommendation with a strong rationale, appropriate
evidence, and convincing data analysis?
 Is the memo well written? Is it well structured? Is it easy to understand? Free of
grammatical and spelling mistakes?
 If I were the CEO, would I follow this advice? Has the case been made for the proposal?
 Is the proposal unique? Does it add value? Does it propose something management has
already considered or is very obvious?
Assignment rules
 You may refer to any material you like, including your own firm analyses, with the
following exception:
o You may not review the firm analyses on your company submitted by students
from other sections.
 You may discuss your proposal and gather input from other people, with the following
exception:
o You may not discuss your proposal with students from other sections who are
analyzing the same firm.
 You may not recycle, reuse, copy or base your proposal on one made by someone else
(an analyst for example).
 Your proposal must be original, created and written entirely by yourself.
 If you break any of these rules, you will receive zero points for the assignment AND your
final grade will be dropped by a full letter.
Strategic Management MGMT-42100
Some tips and suggestions include:
– Re-draft – Write the memo several times.
– Structure the memo – Start with an outline; determine which ideas you want to get
across, and in which order. Nest minor ideas under higher-level ones; play around with
idea order and magnitude until you converge on a coherent “story” or analysis. The classic
story arc or “problem setting-analysis-conclusion” sequence are good underlying
structures to consider. Start strong (pique your readers’ interest) and finish strong (make
sure readers remember your main points and decide to take action). Make sure each
paragraph has a central idea and that all sentences build on it.
– Write succinctly – Avoid words and jargon you don’t fully understand. Mix short and
medium-size sentences. Do not use passive voice. Do not repeat yourself. Don’t ramble.
– Use figures and tables smartly – You can use figures, graphs, tables, and other supporting
elements. Refer to them in the text and add them in the appendix (describe them well
and make them easy to find). Build your graphs carefully to get your main points across
and provide the kind of data a reader will likely search for to corroborate your claims.