Strategic Decision Making Approaches at Organizational Level

1. The Assignment

The scenario

You as head of estates and your Real Estate Team at Company X have been charged by the CEO to strategically align the company’s global real estate portfolio with the renewed focus on the corporate commitment to save, protect, and restore the natural environment by better managing the resources consumed in the company’s property based operations while navigating in a post-pandemic environment.

Your CEO, with the backing of her corporate Board and investors, wants to take aggressive steps to ensure that the company no longer contributes to the problem. In a recent meeting, she said:

“The heart of the matter is that turning our company green will need a completely different way of thinking than was required in the past. The problem we’re facing means we can’t look backward. There is often a short-sightedness when we are tackling long-term challenges. But looking forward means doing things that haven’t been done before, and that makes them inherently risky. This challenge is worth the risk.”

In its latest World Energy Outlook, released in November 2019, the International Energy Agency projected that annual global emissions would rise by 5 percent by 2030 (to nearly 35 gigatons of carbon dioxide), which is far above the level needed to avert catastrophic climate change. This is unacceptable.

The Board wants to develop a proactive strategy that identifies the aspects of the company’s global real estate portfolio, which contribute to climate change and prepare a strategy to mitigate and replace them. As the world begins a new normal following the global pandemic, there may be opportunities to incorporate greater environmental stewardship practices that permit corporations to continue operation with smaller carbon footprints.

Given the abrupt 2020 pandemic impact on the business, the resumption of full operations allows a unique opportunity to avoid a return to the status quo. The new property strategy will help the business recovery in 2021/22 and accelerate the clean energy transition, boost resilience to climate changes and other impacts and in long-term support sustainable growth including creation of new jobs and a much better future.

The brief

Given the enormity of the project and level of risk, the Board has requested the presentation of a report on how the strategy to meet the above will be formulated and implemented. It also requires an evidence-based assessment of the potential benefits a corporate property strategy (CPS) could bring to the organisation. What is required at this initial stage, is some assurance that the process for delivering the project’s aim has been thoroughly thought through and can be delivered at a reasonable cost.

The task

  1. Provide a detailed “road map” of how the strategy will be formulated and implemented. You should have regard to:
    1. The likely stakeholders (internal and external) and how to get their buy-in?
    1. What information you require and how to obtain it?
    1. How to assess the current property portfolio? What data/information will be required? How will this property specific data/information be obtained and used?
  2. What are the risks and how will these be managed?
  3. Discuss and apply theoretical concepts and modelling. If helpful, feel free to provide an example to illustrate your approach.
  4. Identify realistic evidence based benefits a CPS could bring to the company.
  5. Identify realistic costs of implementation of the CPS.

Output

  1. A 15-minute PowerPoint presentation (maximum 15 slides), recorded using Panopto (detailed instructions will be provided towards the end of the semester). Assume that you are giving the presentation directly to the Board. There is no need to submit the actual report or the PowerPoint file. Hence, ensure that all your slides’ content is clearly visible on your recorded video. It is essential that your image is captured delivering the presentation.
  2. An Executive Summary of the report. There is no word limit but the summary must fit on to one side of A4 using Arial 10pt. The Executive Summary is a “stand alone” document that contains the main points of the report and justifies potential benefits and recommendations. It is not a glorified introduction to the report or plan of your presentation.
  3. A full UWE Harvard reference list. That shows a direct link to the relevant PowerPoint slide.

Notes

  • The scenario uses the term company X. You must use a real company as the basis of your presentation. Your selected company must produce an English version of its Annual Report.
  • Although the submission of a written report is not required, the assignment requires the same level of work as that needed to produce a roughly 4,000-word report.
  • Reasonable assumptions should be made.
  • Any potential benefits, costs and recommendations should be fully considered, logical and justified.
  • A holistic approach that incorporates the rationale for holding accommodation, its efficient and effective use, and the need to reduce the consumption of natural resources is required.
  • Please note an unfortunate non-UWE technical issue that prevents you from uploading your presentation will be considered a Non-Submission.  Accordingly, a mark will not be awarded. Submit all well ahead of the deadline.

2. Presentation – Work guidance and formative assessments

The brief states that the presentation is to the Board of a major corporation.  According it requires a professional delivery.  The presentation should follow a logical structure, ensuring each point is made in a clear and concise manner.  Do not rush the presentation and make sure you can be heard clearly.  Although this is an on-line presentation, it is important to make eye contact with the camera.

Presentation structure

  • Introduction – Short and concise.  Who commissioned the work and why?  What is being considered?
  • Main body of the presentation – Address the issues in a logical sequence, starting with what is the company’s CPS and what potential benefits could be gained?  Ensure that theoretical concepts and models are applied. Demonstrate a level of critical thinking.  Think about Chris’ seven “W”s, covered in his first session.  Reference the work either verbally or on the slide.
  • Conclusion – A logical short summary where all recommendations have been justified.

Executive summary

  • Is a “stand alone” document.  The reader should be able to understand the report’s salient points, logical benefits and justified recommendations.
  • Should not be a glorified introduction or contain a simple list of bullet points.
  • Imagine, a Board member missed the presentation and needs a short brief to decide if they should give you a go-ahead for the strategy implementation.

Reference list

  • Submit a full reference list for the presentation and executive summary.
  • References that have been incorporated into the presentation or executive summary should be included.  A wider, general bibliography is not required.
  • The reference list should meet the UWE Harvard standard.  Each reference must be linked to the relevant slide.
  • Attach the reference list to the executive summary.

In order to build your convince and minimise the risk of technical issues negatively impacting on the presentation, you should take advantage of the opportunity to submit formative work.  Having submitted formative work, the teaching staff will be able to provide feedforward advice and guidance on where improvements could be made.  It also reduces the likelihood of technical issues having a negative impact on the summative assessment, which is marked.

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