Some of the questions on my integrated strategic analysis quiz for me typically revolve around modeling. The student then has to model a particular event and then describe what that model looks like in real world conditions. The challenge with this type of question is that sometimes the student is not really able to “model” anything, they just have an idea of what could happen and then describe that in detail in their essay. It’s really up to the reader to let the student take a risk and describe something in great detail, but at the same time, we have to watch for the vagueness of the model description.
When I give a student an Integrated Strategic Analysis Quiz, I also give them an Introduction to Concepts. Once again, the question is “how do I take my integrated strategic analysis quiz for me?” Once again, the sky is the limit with this question. Some of the possibilities are just to model, modify, or enhance on the model already given or the concept being discussed.
In the end, the best scenario for answering this type of question is to bring everything together and to have the student actually model a scenario that they believe would be most beneficial to a future strategic management effort. I use a scenario that I think most managers will find interesting and plausible. In this case, I have a competing strategy against another manager in a similar market. As part of their overall strategy, they must know how their competitors are using their resources and how this affects their overall bottom line. By presenting information on how they use the market, this information provides managers with a strategic model to aspire to.
Then I ask them to answer some open-ended questions that get at the core strategic concepts they have learned throughout the semester. Typically, I start with an easy question: “What is your biggest challenge?” Most managers will immediately tell me what their biggest challenge is. So my question is, “What are you doing about it?” The more directed the questions are, the more likely a student is to grasp the concepts that underlie their strategy. Answering the question can take my integrated strategic analysis quiz for me because it allows me to drill down into the operational details.
Some managers will tell me that their biggest challenge is learning how to increase corporate value. This is usually related to improving productivity. However, it is also tied to reducing costs. Other managers might say that their biggest challenges lie in integrating people, processes, technology and structure. Again, there are a great deal of data available on all of these topics and I often come away with new ideas just by asking the right questions.
Asking questions that get at the core modeling concepts help me to discover hidden truths. For example, one of the questions I often ask people taking my integrated strategic analysis quiz for me is, “If X were a market segment, what products or services would you select as your customer’s representative?” This gets inside information about how people think about market segments.
In addition, by using multiple models, I am able to obtain a more accurate estimate of the cost savings I can realize by implementing X. The more models I use, the more I am able to substantiate the costs and benefits of my actions. In this way, the information I am gathering becomes very meaningful.