On the heels of your successful strategic assessment, John Mackay is back …
Having read – and used – your last assessment of his organization, he has returned for some additional work.
He loved the opportunities that you explored in your strategic assessment and now would like you to create a business plan to operationalize those initiatives that you feel are the best alternatives to carry Whole Foods forward for the next 5-10 years in what you both know is an incredibly competitive landscape.
So his request to you is the following …
Starting with at least one of the opportunities you noted in your first report – and possibly combining several of those opportunities –
Begin by briefly recapping the strategic opportunity, how it/they might move Whole Foods forward, and the threats that must be managed in the pursuit of that opportunity.
Next, your assignment is to build a Strategic Business Plan that will actually take those opportunities and make them a reality. To do that, you will need to create the following for the ‘new’ Whole Foods.
Write a new vision and mission for the organization so that the new direction/opportunities are incorporated
Define the space that the company will be competing in.
Identify the industry space and the key characteristics that the newly evolved entity must be aware of and manage.
Identify the key external environmental factors to be managed.
Identify the key stakeholders whose concerns must be balanced.
Note who each stakeholder is, their primary concerns, and how the company must work toward managing that concern.
Using that foundation – identify the grand strategy (growth, stability, retrenchment) that the new opportunity will fulfill and then the business-level or positioning strategy.
The business-level strategy can be selected for either the organization as a complete entity or by strategic-business unit (with one division using low-cost leadership and another using differentiation).
Provide sufficient support for the strategy choice – detailing the fit of this strategy with the overall corporate-level objective.
Based on the strategic choices, select and build the appropriate organization structure to execute the strategy.
Note specifically the level of centralization/decentralization, the type of departmentalization, and the resource allocation priorities that is necessary to support and execute the strategy – and why these choices were made.
Having created the new strategy and supporting structure, note how you believe that Mackay and the rest of the top management team at Whole Foods should lead the organization forward under this new approach.
Identify the top three areas of focus with respect to leadership of the strategy that should take precedence and why.
Based on this plan, and knowing that the competition will not sit idly by – identify and briefly explain the likely response from competitors when this plan is enacted.
Identify at least three competitors and note what their response is likely to be and why.
Finally, given this entire assessment – and knowing the level of risk involved in embarking on such an ambitions strategic quest, Mackay has asked you to estimate the chances of this strategy’s success. Therefore, to conclude and included in your strategic plan, estimate the chances of this new strategy’s success and explain why you believe that is.
As before, you know that Mackay is a busy executive, and one that will be even busier as he tries to implement the new plan, so your goal again is to produce a clear, concise, but comprehensive business plan – one that focuses on addressing the questions as completely as possible … so that he can get busy executing the plan.
You will have to conduct additional research in order to not only propose a sound business plan, but support your proposal and conclusions.