Strategic Thinking and Change

Course Number: OCL 7200 
Course Name: Strategic Thinking and Change (Online)
Course Description:    For a leader to make truly strategic decisions, they must integrate both the concepts of strategic leadership and strategic thinking. According to Olson and Simerson (2015), leaders often think of strategy as one item on a long list of tasks they must attend to. Developing strategic plans is important, but long-term value creation does not and cannot end there. Instead, strategy is a frame of mind. And it is becoming all the more important in our era of technological and social disruptions. These changes in the status quo create massive opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and advancement. Strategic leaders recognize opportunities daily, and develop ways to achieve strategic buy-in among line managers and employees. By assimilating strategy into the everyday, leaders have the potential to vastly improve organization-wide outcomes. Effective leaders understand that, as circumstances evolve, so do the roles of executives and upper management. Applying strategic thought to dynamic environments requires an understanding of how to drive strategy by utilizing skills that are appropriate to the moment.
Prerequisites:    BUSADMIN 7330 - Organizational Change Leadership: Theory and Practice
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Organizational Change Leadership

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Apply principles of strategic planning and change management to formulate and enact effective organizational change.
  • Respond confidently to changes in organizational opportunities and threats through a better understanding of market intelligence, strategic vision, and critical thinking. 
  • Understand common pitfalls and barriers associated with strategic change.
  • Synthesize clear and concise strategic plans.
  • Understand the role of leadership and emotional intelligence in enacting change.
  • Develop the proper communication and thinking skills required for strategic leadership.
  • Apply and analyze stakeholder input collection strategies needed to synthesize and implement a shared strategic vision.

Unit Descriptions 

Unit 1: The Heart of Change
Overview

In order to understand how to develop and enact strategic plans, we first have to know how to institute lasting organizational change. The first unit of this class provides a primer to John Kotter and Dan Cohen’s internationally recognized 8-step change model as first presented in their bestselling book, Leading Change. This course uses the follow up book, The Heart of Change, which according to the authors, “delves deeper into the subject of change to get to the heart of how change actually happens.” Although this course will largely focus on how to enact strategic organizational change, having a base of information on change management is critical. The 8-Step process towards lasting organizational change is an excellent framework with which to start the course.

Unit 2: Strategic Leadership
Overview

Unit 2 includes an assessment of the leadership styles, communication skills, and thinking skills that a strategic leader needs to develop in order to be successful. From this baseline of personal leadership traits, we are able to then transition into Wootton and Horne’s 9-Step (9S) approach to strategic leadership in subsequent units. However, before beginning the 9S Approach to strategic leadership, we must explore some basics of what business strategy entails and the forces that affect organizational strategic positioning.


Unit 3: Strategic Thinking and Leadership
Overview

For a leader to make truly strategic decisions, they must integrate both the concepts of strategic leadership and strategic thinking. According to Olson and Simerson (2015), leaders often think of strategy as one item on a long list of tasks they must attend to. Developing strategic plans is important, but long-term value creation does not and cannot end there. Instead, strategy is a frame of mind. And it is becoming all the more important in our era of technological and social disruptions. These changes in the status quo create massive opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and advancement. Strategic leaders recognize opportunities daily, and develop ways to achieve strategic buy-in among line managers and employees. By assimilating strategy into the everyday, leaders have the potential to vastly improve organization-wide outcomes. Effective leaders understand that, as circumstances evolve, so do the roles of executives and upper management. Applying strategic thought to dynamic environments requires an understanding of how to drive strategy by utilizing skills that are appropriate to the moment.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Possible Points
Discussions and Responses (13 @ 20 pts. each) 260 points
Unit 1 Case Study 75 points
Lesson 9 Research Paper 50 points
Lesson 13 Group Project 55 points
Lesson 14 Reflection Paper 60 points
Lesson 15 Case Study Analysis Paper 100 points
Total: 600 points

Grading Scale
A 540 - 600 points
B 480 - 539 points
C 420 - 479 points
D 360 - 419 points
F 0 - 359 points

 

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