Assessment Brief: You are a new consultant working for International Management Consultancy (IMC, a fictional consultancy firm). You are required to complete ONE consultancy project out of a choice of three employer scenarios [See the link to the Employer videos on Moodle] which must be completed by the assignment deadline.
With reference to your chosen employer scenario, produce a 3000-3500 word report which will be assessed on the following areas: Maximum marks available
1. An analysis of the company's strategic position 30
2. A set of recommendations to address the issues identified 15
3. An evidence-informed implementation strategy 254.
A reflection on key learning from the module 10 Organisation/academic writing 10 Referencing 10 Total Out of 100 Pass mark is 40%
You are required to follow the IMC consultancy report structure below. IMC Report Structure Your report should be 3,500 words.(+/-10% and not including references)
Section 1: An analysis of the company's strategic position Provide an overview of the company you have chosen.
1.Identify and apply 2 appropriatetools and techniques to analyse
A)The internal environment of the company
B)The external environment of the company
2.This analysis of the company's strategic position should include: a)Leadership and communication
b)The company culture including its ethical and value base c)The company's position in the sector
d)A critical evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the tools and techniques you have used
e)The client needs
3.Following your analysis on the company’s strategic position, identify the main issues that you could advise the company to address.
NOTE: This section refers to Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and is worth 30 marks Section
2: Recommendations to the organisation 1.Based on your analysis in Section 1, propose 3 recommendations for the company. 2.Ensure that each recommendation is clear, has appropriate detail, is justified and is feasible in this context.
3.Recommendations should refer to the leadership and communications strategy of the company, taking account of internal and external stakeholders.
NOTE: This section refers to Learning Outcomes 1,3 and 4 and is worth 15 marks
4Section 3: Implementation of Recommendations
1.Based on Section 2, explain how the company would implement the recommendations put forward to support the changes in its strategic direction.
2.This section will include analysis of the following: a)Leadership styles -this must include reference to different leadership styles supported by theories, models and/or evidence. b)Communicating the vision to the key stakeholders c)Leadership strategy and the impact on organisational direction
3.This section considers the actions that should be taken by the company in order to achieve the recommendations that you have described above. NOTE: This section refers to Learning Outcomes 3 and 4 and is worth 25 marks Section
4: Critical Reflection All students, particularly at postgraduate level, need to reflect critically on the learning experience. Select and use a model (e.g. Gibbs reflective cycle) to reflect your learning experience on the CMI module (i.e. workshops, learning journeys, etc.) Consider the following question:
INDIVIDUAL REPORT: BENDIGO SYSTEM
Understanding the strategic position is very much crucial for the company and for this various tools and techniques have been used. This assignment will discuss the strategic position for the Bendigo Company, and also it will discuss the various issues and recommendation regarding the company's business operation. Not only that various ways of implementing the recommendation will also be discussed. I the last portion a self-reflection will be placed considering the Gibbs reflective model.
Bendigo is an innovative start-up that provides support to the patients suffering from dementia, old age problems through the integration of technological help such as reminders for memory loss patients or monitoring health conditions of old people in the comfort of the home. The idea is to return these people to their healthy life without the constant bothering presence of a caretaker for help or monitoring. The liberties of the people are often disturbed this way. The company intends to solve it by integrated technological help by building an interactive system personalised for the customer.
External analysis: PESTLE
The external environment of the company can be efficiently assessed through PESTLE analysis.
Political: The political implication of the services provided by the company is slim. But the integration of the technological systems and software warrants keen scrutiny. The government has laid down privacy laws, tech laws and data laws for all of the companies to follow. Hence, any changes in the health laws, tech laws or privacy laws will affect the company adversely.
Economic: As technology like the company is integrating is expensive; hence the economic impact cannot be overlooked. There are huge investments to be made and hence are also prone to the various economic factors like inflation, employment rate, depression etc. In 2018 the UK generated 1.4% lower GDP since 2012 which is not a good sign for the company (Wearden, 2019). So, the people have the potential and money to buy this technology for their lifestyle development, but due to the Brexit, it directly hampers the country's economy an also the customer buying power.
Social: The social impact is enormous for the technology being used by the company. The old person suffers a lot from memory loss, space orientation, falling down etc. In the UK according to 2018 report, there were 18% people of the total population are in the age of 65 and over (Hayter, 2019). So the company have a more significant opportunity to build their market quickly. These problems could be solved by integrating the technology for a better standard of life so that the aged people could live freely and independently. The society would also become self-sufficient and reduce the number of old age homes keeping them with their families.
Technological: According to the report the UK government attract near about £2.3bn in technological development (BBC, 2019). The Company makes use of some cutting edge technologies for providing the services to the customers. Hence, the technological advancements of the industry will have a profound impact on the operation of the company. The interaction of the human element and the technological element also poses a risk of data loss and data proliferation. So, new technology to be used must be efficient and effective to control such problems and also the governmental support can be achieved.
Legal: In UK various legislation hampering the business continuously. Increasing VAT 17% to 20% directly impact the cost of the product and also the high labour rate hampering the small business in the UK. The Company brings together technology and people. Hence there always risk of privacy infringement and data infringement. So, there are always legal conditions which bind the company with the responsibilities of the data produced and handled by the company for the operation of such technology. The legalities of the authenticity of the products and services produced by the company are also legal liability.
Environmental: There is little Juno environmental effect for the operation of such technologies by integrating it with human life. But, the operation and storage of the data generated through the technologies will have negative environmental impacts. The company would need vast spaces and hardware which may pollute the earth if not taken care of the process of production.
Strength: The primary strength of the company is technology. It is an innovative solution to the problems faced by the people of old age or people with memory loss, space orientation problems or needs merely monitoring round the clock. All of these can be tackled by the use of the technology offered by the company (Beta.companieshouse, 2019). The company is also solely concentrated on the four-member who are providing valuable inputs regarding the practicality of the products, and the changes or developments are being made accordingly which increases the market acceptability of the products very much.
Weakness: The Company is a relatively new company which has not expanded much. So, the cost of production is becoming a problem which can be reduced by mass producing them. It requires a lot of capital. The company is also much more prone to financial problems and losses.
Opportunities: The Company operates in such a sector which has little competition which proves useful for the company growth. There are not many companies providing such an innovative solution to the problems of aged people or memory patients. Hence, the company has an immense opportunity to grab the untapped potential of the market and make a name for themselves (Beta.companieshouse, 2019). There is a huge opportunity for the company to expand in Australia, Norway, Germany and other countries due to the technological advancement commenced by the company.
Threats: The Company has a probability of various threats too. The company faces stiff competition to keep the prices low at the same time providing innovative solutions. The company also needs to emerge in the market so that any other company may not produce similar products and sabotage the opportunity for Bendigo.
Leadership and Communication: The Company follows a flat system of leadership which consists of four leaders each with a specialization contributing to the various factors needed to run the company (Lacerenza and Salas, 2017). As the company provides technical assistance to patients of old age or memory loss, hence, one of the directors specialises in technology, one of them specialises in healthcare, one of them is responsible for the administrative side of the company, and the other is responsible for the legal liabilities of the company. All the decisions of the company are made by deliberation and consensus of the four directors of the company. Each of the directors is responsible for handling the problems of their significant department. This flat leadership styles avoided the employees to take part in the company’s decision making and development process directly.
Company Culture and Ethics: The Company is still in its fees of infancy, and there are not many employees. So, the company culture is highly conducive to the growth of the individuals as all of the decisions and performances are taken through a consensus of each of them. The company of jobs all the ethics and ethical practices and have taken necessary measures in its initial stages of operation. The culture of the company is diverse, and everyone has a prominent role to play without the intervention of the other (Enciso et al., 2017). But, any suggestion provided by others is well received, and the prospect is scrutinised by all of the members of the company.
Position in the Sector: The Company is a relatively new company in this sector but has garnered a lot of interest from world overcome countries like Germany, Norway and a few more. Though the company could be treated as a new entrant in the sector but has created a niche of its own through the innovative products and services provided by the company (Beta.companieshouse, 2019), because of the active correction of the problems faced by other companies in this sector and their limitations, the Bendigo is fast becoming popular in the market. It can be considered a leader in that respect of innovation which marries technology and people for an effective solution to everyday needs.
Strengths and Weaknesses:
The strength of PESTLE lies in the fact that the process is straightforward and easy and straightforward which provides an overall view of the business environment. The weakness is that though it provides an overview, it does not provide the details which must be considered before making any strategic decisions for the company. The varying factors and variability of the components are not included in it which affects the company comprehensively which makes the decision making slightly irrelevant to the applicability of its analysis. The advantage of SWOT is that it considers subjective variables for analysis of the company and strategy formulation (Sarsby, 2016). It can act as a source of information but must be taken as a guiding principle only. The weaknesses, however, are that the analysis sometimes simplifies the circumstances. Although this method analyses the four aspects but has no direction as to how the inspection should be done. It also is very subjective as it does not consider the varying factors of the market and businesses
The main issues faced by the company are the integration of technology into the human way of life at a minimum cost. The price of technology being used is vast and thus is detrimental to the marketability of the product. The company has also not expanded and still is in its stage of infancy. The company would also require use funds to produce the services for mass consumption so as to reduce the cost of the technology significantly. The company is a relatively new company which has not expanded much. So, the cost of production is becoming a problem which can be reduced by mass producing them. It requires a lot of capital. The company is also much more prone to financial problems and losses. The company faces stiff competition to keep the prices low at the same time providing innovative solutions. The company also needs to emerge in the market so that any other company may not produce similar products and sabotage the opportunity for Bendigo. The people are also reluctant to use technology in their everyday life although being surrounded by it all the time. They are afraid of the implications if the technology which is entirely baseless and may lead to a significant reduction in the market acceptability of the products in the future.
Mass Production: The intention of the company is to provide the same services and advantages offered by the use of technology to the people in need. But, the price must be kept at a minimum. The people generally have a conception that the integration of technology beyond a point is expensive which is also valid to some extent. But this fear of technology price can be reduced through mass production. Mass producing the equipment and amenities would reduce the cost significantly which can alternatively reduce the market price of the products and facilitate customers into buying it. The price effectiveness can also be shown to the customers through the long term gains on using the technologies although the initial investment is significant (Beta.companieshouse, 2019). This could interest the customers. Significant incentives and discounts could also act as an effective strategy. The justification of this recommendation could be found in the fact that the company intends to operate commercially. The viability of the company is thus highly dependent on the sales of the products which can be significantly enhanced by the costing strategy of the products. The survival of a small start-up like Bendigo is also bent on the feasibility of the products and their potential market attractiveness.
Demonstration: The people have an inherent fear of technology. The fear basically corresponds to the integration of technology in life. The people fear that the technology would break down any time and would cause severe damage to life and property. This is baseless as we are all surrounded by technology all the time and although those have been accepted by the ordinary people, they are fearful of integrating certain technologies in certain aspects of their lives. This fear could be tackled by the company through a demonstration of the effectiveness of the technology. They could hold live sessions, interactions and product launch with Q/A to answer the concerns of the customers effectively. The marketability of the product also increases through demonstration and will increase the exposure of the product to the people who are sceptical about the technology. Some people are also fearful of the data collected leaking which can also be plugged through an independent storage system and sufficient safeguards to protect the data generated and erasing them immediately after use and analysis. The company must also take responsibility for the products and their problems.
Marketing: The product offered by the company is an innovation in itself but has several multipurpose implications in general use by the customers. Some people are aware of technological advancements while others are just not. Thus, the common masses could be educated in need of such innovative solutions which could complement the human efforts and reduce the dependency of the patients or people in need on human assistance so that they can operate much more independently on their own. This can be achieved through aggressive marketing strategies by the company. There are various traditional methods of advertising which can be effectively used to increase the popularity of the products and get the products to every corner of the market. There are specific unconventional methods of advertising too which can be used by the company to popularise the products such as Twitter, Facebook etc. through URL click, website optimisation. The company can also visit old age homes and hospitals to increase the knowledge of the products as well. They could rope in the hospitals and other necessary institutions to give the patients the option to try out the products free of cost and then buy them if happy.
The recommendations given in this project can be implemented by the company by taking relevant strategies and methods by the company. They can implement various methods to benefit the company.
Implementation of the Recommendations
The recommendations given in this project can be implemented by the company by taking relevant strategies and methods by the company. They can implement various methods to benefit the company (Yahaya et al., 2016).
Leadership Styles: There are various kinds of leadership styles in the industry such as authoritative style, democratic leadership style and transformational leadership style.
1. The authoritative style of leadership relies on the prowess of a single individual for their strategies and decisions. It can be inefficient as a single can overlook minuscule details while making a decision which can adversely affect the company (Anderson and Sun, 2017). They objectify the completion of a task as the main recipe for success and develop a direct supervision on the employees.
2. The democratic style of leadership distributes the decision-making ability among the various employees promoting social equality. The opinion and perspective of the embers give a better view of the actuality of the decisions (Khan et al., 2015). This method has been known to increase productivity by the participation of the employees who take a vested interest in the success of the company.
3. The transformational style of leadership in which the main emphasis is given to work to change irrespective of the follower's perception. This method of leadership innovates and encourages the employees and instils a sense of excitement and purpose.
There are many theories regarding the leadership, but the situational theory could be the best one for the Bendigo Company. According to this theory, leadership styles change according to the situation considering various variables (Thompson and Glasø, 2015). This will help the leader of the company to manage the authority more frequently.
Communicating the vision: It very important to create an innovative and unique product. But, it should also be kept in mind that the message the product conveys to the consumers, stakeholders and others must also be well communicated. The vision of the company must not only focus on the product but should have a specific and unified ideology involved for the company to establish a strong foothold without the product also (Ross and Goldberg, 2017). A unified representation of the product must be given to the external as well as the internal components of the company like stakeholders, consumers and employees alike.
Leadership Strategy: As the company continues to grow into a fully functional organisation, it needs to change the flat system of leadership it is adopting now. The flat system might work to present an innovative product to the consumers but would not be sufficient in company expansion and market share. The company needs to adopt the democratic style of leadership as it involves the employees in the decision-making process which increases productivity and profitability of the company. It is essential for the survival of the company in the market. The objective of the company is to integrate the technology in everyday lives of people in need of assistance which can be revolutionised through strategical decisions taken from multiple perspectives which this style of leadership imparts (Bearden et al., 2017). The execution of the tasks and targets of the company would also become more personalised due to the involvement of the employees, and they would be much more motivated to bring a change and make the core idea of the company a success
Gibb's Reflective cycle could be a useful tool to contemplate the effectiveness of the recommendations. Gibb's Reflective cycle states that people have a natural tendency to learn better from their own personal experiences (Potter, 2015).
Fig 1: Gibbs reflective cycle
Source: (Potter, 2015)
Thus, they need to ask critical questions to themselves to make sense of the circumstance at work and gain specific satisfactory answers to formulate an efficient strategically decision or satisfaction. It consists of five steps- description, feelings, analysis, evaluation, conclusion and action.
Description: This step involves the information gathering of the situation. This project has helped me to gain knowledge about the advancing technologies and their application in problem-solving. I have interviewed the directors of the company Bendigo to gain insightful knowledge about the company and the problems faced by aged and memory loss patients.
Feeling: The description of how an individual felt before and after the described incident is included in this section. I was completely unaware of these problems and was awestruck by the impact it has on their individual lives. I felt sympathetic to their problems and was genuinely happy with the solution provided by the company.
Evaluation: A critical knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the circumstance is necessary to emanate a company from the root idea (Husebø et al., 2015). I followed a rigorous Q/A session with the directors of the company to find out about the various benefits of the technology and the problems faced by patients. I could easily deduce the need for an efficient support system for them.
Analysis: A rigorous analysis of the interview answers has enhanced my analytical skills which would be helpful in future career prospects. My research skills have also improved a lot due to the searching for various data and facts. This could help me to grow into the professional I want to be.
Conclusions: I have grown as a person from experiencing the problems of other people. It has helped me to gain a personal perspective of the need to continually work to improve the way of life
Action: I have undertaken an effective action plan to solve the problems. I have to gain an explicit knowledge of my strengths and weaknesses to better operate as a professional. This helps me to better communicate and delegate the tasks to people in my professional career.
From the above analysis, it can be said that for understanding proper strategic position external and internal analysis is must need to commence. In this assignment, the PESTLE and SWOT analysis have been done to provide a clear outline of the internal and external situation. Beside this leadership analysis and communication have also been described. Few issues have been identified, and recommendations have been explored. The proper way of implementing the recommendation has also been described in this assignment.