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STRAMGT 110Q: Making Sense of Strategy

Get the strategy right, and the chance for success is great. Nowhere is this more evident than in today's world of major challenges. Strategy is at the heart of problem solving and achieving objectives, yet few people can define strategy, much less understand how to conceptualize, design, and execute effective strategies that yield the best outcomes.This course will meet once a week to focus on interesting and engaging case studies, each of which illustrates a key ingredient of strategy. Some are well-known historical events, while others are less obvious, but all have a strategic lesson to share. They are quite diverse, from the planning of a high-risk rescue in the Colorado Rockies, to a product crisis in a Fortune 50 company, to a little-known failed military mission of WWII, to a commercial airline disaster. The ability to think through challenging and varied scenarios is both instructive and mind-stretching. There will be some pre-reading on each case study and there may be a field trip for students to put their lessons into practice. The course is designed to be highly interactive; all to enable students to unravel the mystery and power of strategic thinking. Students will also have the opportunity to select and analyze a case reflecting interests of their own. This course can help students not only prepare for a career in a range of fields, but also as they meet the challenges of their current coursework. Problem-solving skills are central in every walk of life; this seminar can help students build a stronger foundation for sound decision-making.
Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

STRAMGT 210: Managerial Skills

In the Managerial Skills Labs we examine several common managerial challenges faced by executives. Together with Faculty, students explore these topics using four case examples, each asking students to evaluate a series of situations, develop alternatives for their resolution, and ultimately recommend and implement a course of action from the point of view of the company's owner/manager. We have selected small to midsized businesses as the context for these discussions in order to highlight the impact that key decisions and their implementation can have on the broader organization. Class preparation should include not only analysis and conclusions, but also specific recommendations on implementation. Students should come to class prepared to role play important conversations between management and other key individuals.
Units: 1 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 258: MSx: Strategic Management

This course deals with the overall general management of the business enterprise. Extensive case studies of a variety of companies of differing size, industry, and current conditions provide the basis for the comprehensive analysis and establishment of a strategic management approach for the organization. Frameworks are presented for strategy identification and evaluation; assessing industry attractiveness; evaluating the firm's capabilities, resources, and position; determining the optimal horizontal and vertical scope of the firm; entering into strategic alliances and joint ventures; and formulating and implementing strategy in multi-business organizations.
Units: 3 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 259: MSx: Generative Leadership

There are three major sections to this course - Design Thinking, The Improvisational Mindset, and High Performance Communication. || Design Thinking || Outcome: Participants learn to employ User Centered Design as promoted by the Stanford d.school. They become adept at Empathizing with the end user, practicing focused Need Finding, Defining the Problem, Ideating, Rapidly Prototyping and Adapting to Feedback. || Experiences: Participants learn the Design Thinking process through a hands-on, collaborative design challenge, like redesigning the Briefcase for a specific user. || The Improvisational Mindset || Outcome: The participants increase their ability to respond flexibly to novel situations and to generate innovative solutions on a collaborative, creative team. The mindset is cultivated by practicing 5 key principles. Say "Yes, and". Treat Mistakes as Gifts. Inspire your Partner. Dare to be Obvious. Notice the World. || Experiences: The key principles are taught through a series of immersive theater exercises derived from Johnstone, Spolin, and Ryan. Valuable readings include IMPROV WISDOM, by Patricia Madson and journal articles on improv and brainstorming. || High Performance Communication || Outcome: The final segment of the class is a chance to apply the principles of User Centered Design and the Improvisational Mindset to design and deliver messages that go beyond just transmitting information - they get results. Participants successfully use a version of the Design Thinking process to rapidly develop content that is tuned to the audience's needs, and that they can deliver in a way that is agile and responsive to real time feedback. || Experiences: Generative Leadership culminates in a group presentation designed to influence key stakeholders. To be successful, participants will have to draw on all sections of the course. AS WE SPEAK is our text.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 308: Entrepreneurship from Diverse Perspectives

This seminar showcases the diversity of entrepreneurs and the range of entrepreneurial paths they pursue. Thirty-five entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, primarily woman and under-represented minorities, will share their personal and professional journeys, and how each embodies the entrepreneurial mindset. Case studies, readings and videos, will complement in-class discussions with the speakers in exploring the entire entrepreneurial process from finding an idea and forming and building a team, to being an inclusive leader, raising money, assembling a board, and overcoming setbacks and challenges. The class teaches the entrepreneurial mindset, and how everyone can be entrepreneurial in their lives. Teams will work on creating an idea for a company during the quarter.
Units: 3 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 335: Entrepreneurial Approaches to Education Reform

In this course, students will investigate opportunities and challenges of entrepreneurial ventures trying to make a positive impact in public education. The course requires a basic level of understanding of the U.S. K-12 public school system. The first session will analyze the structure of the public education as an industry, with a special emphasis on understanding the achievement gap. Subsequent sessions will explore challenges in increasing efficacy, ensuring financial sustainability, and scaling for entrepreneurs who have sought to change student outcomes, solve pain points, and innovate. The course will feature a variety of ventures (including schools, education technology, training, and supplemental services) and organizational models (for-profit, not-for-profit, and benefit corporation). This course is suitable for students aspiring to be entrepreneurs, leaders in entrepreneurial organizations, leaders in educational organizations, Board members, donors or investors. (Note: this is not a "how-to" course on starting an entrepreneurial venture.)
Units: 3 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
Instructors: ; Lee, G. (PI); Love, L. (GP)

STRAMGT 353: Entrepreneurship: Formation of New Ventures

This course is offered for students who at some time may want to undertake an entrepreneurial career by pursuing opportunities leading to partial or full ownership and control of a business. The course deals with case situations from the point of view of the entrepreneur/manager rather than the passive investor. Many cases involve visitors, since the premise is that opportunity and action have large idiosyncratic components. Students must assess opportunity and action in light of the perceived capabilities of the individuals and the nature of the environments they face. The course is integrative and will allow students to apply many facets of their business school education. Each section will have a specific focus.
Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 355: Managing Growing Enterprises

This course is offered for students who, in the near term, aspire to the management and full or partial ownership of a new or newly-acquired business. The seminar, which is limited to 45 students, has a strong implementation focus, and deals in some depth with certain selected, generic entrepreneurial issues, viewed from the perspective of the owner/manager. Broad utilization is made of case materials, background readings, visiting experts, and role playing. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on the application of analytical tools to administrative practice.
Units: 3 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 356: The Startup Garage: Design

Startup Garage is an intensive hands-on, project-based course, in which students will apply the concepts of design thinking, engineering, finance, business and organizational skills to design and test new business concepts that address real world needs . Our aspiration is to help teams identify an unmet customer need, design new products or services that meet that need, and develop business models to support the creation and launch of startup products or services. Even those teams that do not successfully launch a venture, or individuals who decide not to move forward, will learn critical, cutting-edge techniques about starting and launching a venture. Collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams will identify and work with users, domain experts, and industry participants to identify and deeply understand customer needs, then proceed to design products or services and a business model to address those needs. Each team will conceive, design, build, and field-test critical aspects of both the product or service and the business model. This course is offered by the Graduate School of Business. It integrates methods from human-centered design, lean startup, and business model planning. The course focuses on developing entrepreneurial skills (using short lectures and in-class exercises) and then applying these skills to specific problems faced by those users identified by the teams. Teams will get out of the building and interact directly with users and advisers to develop a deep understanding of the challenges they face and to field test their proposed services, products, and business models.
Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Student Option LTR/PF

STRAMGT 364: Health Information Technology and Strategy

Health Information technology was intended to help reduce cost and improve the quality of health care services. To date, this is little evidence that this goal has been achieved. This course is designed to explore economic frameworks that can help us to understand how health IT can achieve it's intended goals. These frameworks build from general business and economic models used successfully in other industries. The course will utilize both business cases and lecture to prepare students to propose potential novel applications of health information technology solutions. Each student will have a team-based final project.
Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Student Option LTR/PF

STRAMGT 371: Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation

This course focuses on the strategic management of technology-based innovation in the firm. The purpose is to provide students with concepts, frameworks, and experiences that are useful for taking part in the management of innovation processes in both startups and large technology-focused organizations. The course examines how leaders can manage fast-changing technological innovations effectively. Specific topics include: assessing the innovative capabilities of the firm, managing the technical function in a company, navigating the interfaces between functional groups in the development function in the firm, understanding and managing technical entrepreneurs, building technology-based distinctive competencies and competitive advantages, technological leadership versus followership in competitive strategy, institutionalizing innovation, attracting and keeping entrepreneurs.
Units: 4 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 381: Leading Strategic Change in the Health Care Industry

In this seminar we will study the structure and dynamics of the U.S. health care industry, especially in the face of ongoing regulatory change, and ways it intersects with the global health care industry. The seminar's aim is to develop participants' ability to create strategically informed action plans that are imaginative, inspiring and workable in this highly dynamic environment. The seminar's pedagogy involves informed debate to evaluate and hone well-researched views by the participants and instructors, as well as the writing and presentation of position papers by small groups of seminar participants on the key dynamics of the industry.In the course of the seminar discussions, we aim to deepen our understanding of strategic dynamics and transformational change at the societal, industry and organizational levels of analysis. After developing a complete picture of the structure of the health care industry and the strategic relationships among the key players ("the strategic landscape"), the seminar will focus on how health care reform and other external forces will affect the strategic opportunities and challenges of four types of players in the strategic landscape: (1) incumbents; (2) entrepreneurial startups; (3) cross-boundary disruptors; and (4) international health care providers. World-class leaders in health care will be brought in to supplement our understanding of each one of these players. Student teams will be formed to focus on one of the four types of players. Each team will prepare a research paper focused on determining how their type of player can take advantage of the regulatory, technological, social, cultural and demographic changes, and who will be the likely winners and why.
Units: 3 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 503: Spontaneous Management

In this class, you will learn techniques for improving your spontaneity, creativity, presence, and collaboration skills, all of which contribute to your becoming a more effective and inspirational leader. This class is based on the techniques that improv actors use on stage when they make up scenes, songs, or even entire plays on the spot. Improv teaches you to do many things at once: be completely present, think on your feet, quickly get in sync with others, read the room, and be agile at using what the situation presents you. As a leader in business, you will benefit from this same skill set. Whether you are presenting to your board, brainstorming & designing with colleagues, or mentoring new talent - learning some building blocks of improv will give you valuable new tools for interacting effectively with others. The course will cover topics such as storytelling, effective brainstorming, understanding and using status, creative collaboration, and risk taking.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Pass/Fail

STRAMGT 510: Conversations in Management

This case-based course is offered for students who want to refine their ability to manage challenging professional conversations. The class, which is limited to 32 students, will focus on the preparation for and execution of role-played dialogue as well as on postmortem analysis. Most of the respondent roles will be external to one's company, and some will be front line or mid-level people with limited educational credentials. Broad utilization will be made of background readings plus visiting case protagonists and experts. There will be nine class sessions, each of one hour and forty-five minutes.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 511: Protecting Ideas

Today, the assets of many businesses are largely intangible, such as brands, data, software and trade secrets. More and more we live in an economy based on intangibles and much of business involves creating, exploiting and managing those intangible assets. Intellectual property rights (patents, trade secrets, copyright, trademarks design rights and so on) and data rights are a set of legal rights and assets that establish ownership of and protect tangible and intangible assets from copying and other acts-for example copying of software or counterfeiting of designer handbags. Equally, intellectual property in the hands of third parties may pose a risk to a business developing a new product or brand. Most businesses start with an idea. It is critical to understand when and under what circumstances ideas, creative works and technology can be protected from third party use by intellectual property, and what limits apply to that protection. It is equally critical to recognize what must be done to secure ownership. In this course you will learn about IP rights-what they are, what they do, their limitations and how they are useful from a strategic perspective-well beyond the typical idea of a patent being nothing more than an invitation to a messy and expensive lawsuit. We will also discuss the all-too-common mistakes that can frustrate these objectives. To put these issues into a business setting, we will be joined by experienced business executives and investors in markets ranging from biosciences to software to sound engineering. The format of this course will be lecture, first by the teaching faculty and then by the guest speakers, with engaged, real-time Q&A for both. Guest speakers will share their experiences in the area of IP investment, management, deployment, strategy and risk. This course is designed for business students, not law students. It is the objective of this course to help business students to think critically about when and how to invest in intellectual property protection, to recognize its limits, and to avoid the common mistakes that can frustrate such investments and undermine the value of the company. Although we will have to introduce you to legal concepts, the focus of the course is on putting these concepts into a business setting and explaining how IP may be used strategically-enabling you to be part of the conversation with legal and intellectual property experts and to consider how IP can support management of the assets and strategy of a business or other enterprise. No prior knowledge or experience with intellectual property is needed.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 512: The Yin and Yang of Family Business Transitions

This seminar provides students with practical solutions to some of the challenges faced in family business transitions.Family businesses are by far the dominant form of commerce world-wide, albeit the majority are small "mom and pop shops." Some research shows that large businesses, whatever the form of ownership, have an average lifespan of around forty years, while small businesses (at least in Japan and Europe) average around twelve years. So, if businesses in general do not survive, then it is a wonder that any family business can survive from one generation to another, let alone two, three, four or more.There are three essential requirements to succeed in a family business transition. First, it may seem obvious that the business must succeed, but it is less obvious what advantages a family business has over its non-family-owned counterparts. Second, the ownership structure must effectively maintain family cohesion and support the business. Finally, family members need to organize in thoughtful ways to work effectively with one another.The beauty of a family business is that it can be more profitable than companies with non-family ownership. Two fundamentals, at least, provide this advantage - a strong value system and a long-term economic perspective. The operative word above, however, is "can"; it is by no means a foregone conclusion that a family business will be more successful. Families must thoughtfully develop their advantages, while at the same time avoiding the pitfalls that are inherent in any family business.Accordingly, this course is offered for students whose families own a family business or who are interested in the special challenges faced by family businesses. International students are encouraged to register as different cultural perspectives to family business will enrich the experience for everyone. Particular focus will be given to the transitions from one generation to another and the lessons learned that can be applied during the entire life of the business.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Pass/Fail

STRAMGT 516: Fundamentals of Effective Selling

This course looks at the entire selling process of prospecting, qualification, discovery, customization, objection handling, relationship building, and closing. Our primary objective is to offer a hands-on, skills-based class in which students work together in groups to practice the fundamentals of effective selling. Over the six sessions of this compressed course, we will focus on the following aspects of effective selling: creating a value-based prospecting script; meeting objections with curiosity (rather than argument); using advanced questioning to qualify prospects and understand the problems, impacts, ideals and benefits of potential customers; creating customized presentations that map your solution to your customer's needs; using interaction to promote customer engagement; accelerating the process of building trust and developing relationships; and overcoming the limiting beliefs associated with closing deals and obtaining commitments from customers. By the end of the course, you will not only have more confidence, but also a sales toolkit that you will be able to customize and deploy when you encounter selling situations in the future. The course is appropriate for anyone who wants to understand and become more proficient with the skills required in different selling situations. Our experience suggests that students who have a particular selling context in mind - such as a new product to sell - will benefit from this course, but this is not required. If you want to feel more confident in both traditional and non-traditional selling situations - like pitching to an investor or selling yourself in a job interview - this course will be helpful.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 543: Entrepreneurial Acquisition

For aspiring entrepreneurs who don't have a burning idea or desire to start a company from scratch, acquiring a small business can provide a direct route to running and growing a business. This class will explore entrepreneurial acquisition (EA). As the course covers topics such as what makes a good industry, raising capital, how to source deals, dealing with investors, due diligence, and negotiation, the course is also applicable to those interested in private equity, venture capital, start-ups, and general management. The class relies heavily on the case method, and each class includes guests (often the case protagonists) who bring practical and current experience to the classroom. The two group projects are intended to be highly practical, simulating real-world situations.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 547: Riding The Next Wave in Developing Economies

Today, innovative ventures in developing economies are providing compelling new products and services to a growing middle-class as well as to the lower part of the economic pyramid. These offerings provide consumers ways to better their lives and companies to grow their businesses. As older industries around the world are being disrupted, and entrepreneurial ecosystems in developing economies are evolving, entrepreneurs and investors now have reference points and "basecamps" to explore unique opportunities. These newly formed networks that include universities, incubators, accelerator programs, angel investor organizations and small venture capital firms are still lacking in breadth and depth, despite their attempts to follow the lead of Silicon Valley. Consequently, investors and founders face distinct and more numerous challenges that they would not encounter in Silicon Valley, such as small local markets, lack of scale-up funding, uncertain exit opportunities, inadequate talent pools and complex legal and political environments.Yet these developing economies are growing and becoming more connected. We are witnessing new technology-based products in these locations allowing problems to be solved at a scale never seen before. AI and machine learning, blockchain, smart sensors, IoT devices, natural language interfaces and AR and VR are just a few of the technologies not only being developed in Silicon Valley, but all over the world. Of course, smartphones, with their multi-faceted sensors, are now becoming ubiquitous. These trends present opportunities such as: replicating business models proven elsewhere; leapfrogging legacy technologies; targeting the base of the pyramid; and starting venture capital firms. Despite this fertile ground for new endeavors, success not only requires an exceptional product/market fit but great execution to start and scale a venture in problematic and sometimes adverse environments.This case-driven course is designed to help students identify new opportunities in developing economies around the world and across industries and to expose them to the challenges they will face. It is targeted at students who are thinking about creating, joining or investing in new ventures in developing economies.The cases and guests will reveal entrepreneurial challenges through the eyes of founders and investors who have seized these opportunities at different stages of the venture: ideation, launch and scaling. This course is designed to showcase innovative companies in high growth industries such as consumer internet, financial services, health care and education. It will feature the latest trends and opportunities in Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. By taking this course, you will be better equipped to observe, explain and participate in developing economy ecosystems and the opportunities and challenges they present.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Student Option LTR/PF

STRAMGT 573: Moore's Law and the Convergence of Computing and Communications; Strategic Thinking in Action

This six-session (2-unit) Bass seminar focuses on strategic leadership and builds on core strategic leadership coursework in the MBA program. The course uses the seminar format with expectations of extensive contributions from all students to the discussion in each session. Through seminar discussions, we aim to deepen our understanding of strategic dynamics and transformational change at the industry and organizational levels of analysis in dynamic environments. The seminar's aim is to improve participants¿ ability to develop strategically informed action plans that are imaginative, inspiring and workable. The seminar¿s conceptual frameworks include traditional tools of strategic and competitive analysis from the core MBA course on strategic leadership, conceptual frameworks developed by the instructors that help understand the role of strategy-making in the evolution and transformation of organizations and industries, and theoretical frameworks that help understand the interplays between technology strategy and corporate strategy. Three of the six session will feature discussions with senior executives from key industry players. The seminar's pedagogy involves informed debate including with the guest executives to evaluate and hone well-researched views by the participants as well as the writing and presentation of position papers by small groups of seminar participants concerning the seminar¿s analytical topics.In this fall's seminar we will examine the evolution of the global semiconductor industry in light of the ongoing impact of Moore's Law and the convergence of computing and wireless communications industries, and how it has been and will be affected by strategic actions of entrepreneurial startups, incumbent corporations, and governments in multiple geographies.Several interrelated topics will be discussed as they impact three key industry segments of the global semiconductor industry that are the focus of the seminar.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded

STRAMGT 574: Strategic Thinking in Action - In Business and Beyond (II)

This six-session Bass seminar is about strategic leadership driving the transformation of the advanced automotive industry. It will build on what students have learned in their MBA core strategic leadership course but will also provide additional conceptual frameworks developed by the instructors to help examine the major seminar topics. The seminar¿s pedagogy involves informed debate to evaluate and hone well-researched views by the participants. Consequently, there will be an expectation of extensive contributions from all students to the discussion in all of the sessions. Small groups of seminar participants will also be expected to write and present position papers concerning the seminar¿s analytical topics. The industry scope of the seminar is twofold: First, it is about autonomous, electric, and shared vehicles. And second, it is about the manufacturer and supplier incumbents as well as the tech industry and startup new-entrants. In the course of the seminar discussions, we aim to deepen our understanding of strategic dynamics and transformational change at the societal, industry and organizational levels of our analysis.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
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