- Select a C Suite leader to profile. Pick someone who is visible in the public eye. The CEO of a public American company can be a good choice. Part of your research will be to read press and news reports on this person so it is a good idea to check on their public visibility before finalizing your selection. CNBC.com, YouTube, Fortune.com and WSJ.com are all good sources for interviews and videos on business leaders.
- Identify a major strategic marketing decision the company made while that person was in their C- Suite role. Common strategic marketing decisions are launching a new product, acquiring a business/entering a new market, rebranding a product, launching a major marketing campaign. Example: Elon Musk CEO of Tesla oversees the decision to launch a self driving car.
For the project you will conduct research on the executive, the company and the business decision and use your findings to write a report in which you:
- Describe the leadership background and leadership style of the executive (what is their leadership experience, what style of leadership do they demonstrate, what are previous successes/failures)
- Analyze the strategic business situation relevant to this decision: What forces were driving the company to take this action? What problems do you think they were trying to solve with this decision? Use data as much as possible.
- Take the role of a member of the Board of Directors for the company and identify three risks that the company should address in making a commitment to this course of action (e.g. risk that culture of acquisition will not fit into company, risk that leader is repeating a decision from the past that did not turn out well, etc).
Submissions will be evaluated on several criteria:
- Thoroughness: Are all topics addressed completely and with rigor?
- Supporting data and research: Is there evidence of research and data to support the key points? Are there at least 2 references to specific examples of this leader in action (interview quotes, video quotes, etc)
- Are there references to relevant course concepts? Try to link some course concepts to your observations to support your interpretations.
- Synthesis: Are research findings, data and course concepts used to create a clear point of view?
- Professional document and presentation: Is the document clear, and concise with minimal errors of grammar and vocabulary ?Is the document easy to follow and persuasive?