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The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the critical thinking skills necessary to make a leadership challenge decision. You will act as a team leader presenting to the Board of Directors of Easy Wheels a decision flow chart of the potential move to Asia.  Through the use of a case scenario, you will demonstrate the critical thinking skills needed to present an argument for today’s business leader to face the challenge of doing global business.

Outcomes: 

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  • Identify the leadership challenge facing leaders doing global business.
  • Identify effective and ineffective leadership responses to the challenges.
  • Apply a critical thinking mapping chart tool to breakdown the considerations needed to make a strategic decision.
  • Develop critical thinking
  • Develop communication skills

Read the Following Case Scenario

Dwight Rickenbacker and Omar Shariff were two American Army Veterans who wanted to make a difference for their fellow wounded veterans.  They decided that they wanted to make semi-customized wheel chairs.  After researching the idea, the two vets agreed that they were going to do something unique with the wheelchairs.  Dwight and Omar make the wheelchairs with 3-D printing and they were going to make them with easily replaceable parts so repairs could be done by someone with basic mechanical skills.  They also agreed that they would only hire veterans as employees. 

Dwight and Omar started their business, Easy Wheels four years ago in Birmingham, Alabama.  Since then, the business has grown exponentially.  Last year gross sales were over $4 million, and was projected that the business will reach $5.5 million by the end of 2017. 

A significant part of Easy Wheels success has been through Internet sales. The company website is geared to the American market.  So far, the company has not gone global despite requests for the products from around the world.  Most of those people buying from the Internet site are from Asia especially Tokyo. The average cost of a non-motorized chair is $69.00, half of the cost of a simple product found at Walmart. The battery-operated models average between $600 and $700, almost a quarter of the traditionally produced models.  Prices for parts for the chairs are varied but the most expensive part is the battery for the mobile units, which is priced at one-fifteenth the price of an average battery. The company can customize colors, add oxygen container carriers and other features that improve the wheelchair-bound person’s life for minimal cost because their computer program allows the chair to be designed to each person’s specifications before manufacturing.  

In recent months, Rickenbacker and Shariff have been overwhelmed with requests to partner with businesses overseas to produce and sell the goods. They have also seen many requests from individuals who wish to buy the product directly from the Easy Wheels’ website especially from people in Tokyo. They think it is time to go global. After consultation with a good friend who runs a successful business selling motor scooters in Japan, the partners are leaning toward physical expansion in Tokyo. However, they are not certain whether to manufacture and sell in Japan or ramp up their Internet presence and set up a shipping and warehouse location in or outside the city. The decision is strategic and as leaders of the company they want to be sure that they each a decision that will not compromise the existing operation and income. While the partners know they have the money to expand, the question is how. 

Instructions:

Your team has been tasked by Rickenbacker and Shariff to develop a recommendation as to whether the company should expand physically or via the Internet to Tokyo.  To do this, Rickenbacker and Shariff want your team to address three major concerns:

  • The business environment in regards to the four business trends of a global economy: emerging markets, aging population, technology change, and declining resources as discussed by Dominic Barton in the video Dominic Barton McKinsey Video.  Rickenbacker and Shariff want to know the implications these factors have for the company’s future roll out plans, especially in terms of the best locations for potential markets, customers and competitors.
  • Rickenbacker and Shariff  have also said they want to see recommendations about the leadership challenges that await the company in the global marketplace and what can be done specifically to proactively set up the company to ensure success for the initial roll out and in years to come.
  • Rickenbacker and Shariff  would like the recommendations to include specific ideas for blending the business need for fiscal sustainability with the challenges to set up a company with strong leadership.

You, as team leader, will present your conclusions using the teams work to Rickenbacker and Shariff at next Board Meeting.  To present to the Board, you as the team leader will create a power point presentation that is based upon the collaboration work done in class (your team) using the Six Hats Decision Making Tool. You are now using the collaboration work as a jumping off point in creating a final presentation to the board. This means use the ideas discussed in class along with your own ideas to make the final presentation.

Include in the Presentation:

  • Create a slide which Introduces the business environment and future trends of doing business in a global economy, and the leadership challenges these changes incur.
  • Create a slide that Illustrates, with the case study facts and class material, the reasons for expanding to Tokyo as opposed to other potential growth markets as explained the McKinsey video from week one (e.g. consider cultural differences, age, growth markets, technology etc.).
  • Create a slide showing a PESTLE. Research Tokyo as a place to do business and create a PESTLE tool. Here is a review of the tool in case it has been awhile since you have been required to prepare one. PESTLE Analysis Explained
  • Create a slide which shows discussion of conclusions drawn from the PESTLE as to what would be required to lead a successful manufacturing business in Tokyo. Consider ideas about partnership, negotiations, skilled and unskilled labor force, government involvement, cultural differences etc.
  • Create a slide that examines the leadership issues surrounding the expansion of the Internet sales with warehouse presence only. What does that mean for the US managers? Consider the virtual environment and AI influence.
  • Create a slide discussing the advantages of leading an expansion to manufacture in Tokyo.
  • Create a slide discussing the disadvantages of leading an expansion to manufacture in Tokyo.
  • Create a slide discussing the advantages of expanding the Internet sale focus to Tokyo.
  • Create a slide  discussing the disadvantages of expanding Internet sales focus to Tokyo. 
  • Create a slide clearly stating the recommendation and why it is the best for the company using the information outlined from your support above. This means you must describe the logic as to how the decision was concluded by you and the team.
  • Create a slide with a Title page.
  • Create a slide with a Reference List.

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Use the following links to learn how to create a PowerPoint.

How to Create a PowerPoint 

Step #1

Preparation for Writing the Slides and Notes

Before you begin writing the paper, you will read the following requirements that will help you meet all requirements.

  • Read the grading rubric for the assignment.  Use the grading rubric while writing the paper to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.
  • Third person writing is required.  Third person means that there are no words such as “I, me, my, we, or us” (first person writing), nor is there use of “you or your” (second person writing).  If uncertain how to write in the third person, view this link:  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/first-second-and-third-person.
  • Contractions are not used in business writing, so you are expected NOT to use contractions in writing this assignment.
  • You are expected to paraphrase and NOT use direct quotes.
  • You are expected to paraphrase, which can be learned by reviewing this link:   https://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/QPA_paraphrase2.html.
  • You may not use books as source material
  • All in-text citations should provide the page number or paragraph number.

STEP #2 

How to Set Up the PowerPoint 

  • The PowerPoint cannot exceed 20 slides that includes the title page and reference page.
  • The presentation should be professional in appearance.
  • Provide notes for every slide of the entire PowerPoint presentation.
  • Be sure to use in-text citations in the slides and notes themselves, and a reference list in the PowerPoint presentation.
  • Slides should flow in terms of organized ideas and presentation should follow the mapping chart.

Step #3

Review the PowerPoint

  • Read the PowerPoint to ensure all required elements are present.
  • Use the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.
  • Proofread the paper for spelling and grammatical issues, and third person writing.
  • Read the paper aloud as a first measure;
  • Use the spell and grammar check in Word as a second measure;
  • Have someone who has excellent English skills to proof the paper;