Enhance student outcomes with AI-driven strategic planning for meaningful growth

Empower real-world learning experiences with advanced AI technology to elevate student success and strengthen university and business collaboration – Capstone Strategic Planning Course

Engage your students in a transformative learning experience by integrating AI software into your Capstone Strategic Planning Course. This innovative approach bridges the gap between the business community, students, and the university, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship. Students will have the unique opportunity to apply advanced AI technology while collaborating with local businesses, regularly interacting with executive teams to develop and refine company strategies. This hands-on experience goes beyond theoretical case studies, providing students with real-world accountability and exposure. Local businesses benefit from actionable strategy work that can be immediately implemented, strengthening their ties with the university. As a professor, leveraging AI technology enhances your students’ learning and growth, preparing them for success in an era of rapid technological advancement.

Real-World Application and Accountability

Hands-on strategy work with real businesses enhances student learning and readiness for leadership.

Enhanced Student-Company-University Collaboration

Strengthens ties with local businesses, providing actionable strategies and fostering partnerships.

Skill Development in Advanced Technologies

Prepares students for technological advancements with practical AI experience and strategic thinking beyond ChatGPT.

Student Personal and Leadership Growth

Integrates personal planning and leadership development, promoting holistic growth and strong connections.

Innovative and Engaging Curriculum

Motivates students with dynamic, tech-enhanced learning, leading to better outcomes and satisfaction.

Below is a class schedule for a capstone strategic planning course incorporating video learning and engagement with companies.  The course is based on a group learning platform where student groups of four to six work with a specific company for the duration of the semester.  The student groups will leverage AI software to interview company leaders on the company’s culture, current state, and future direction.  This information is synthesized into a strategic plan (using the Strategy Whiteboard framework).  The student groups focus on one element within the Strategy Whiteboard, building on the input from the company leaders and finalizing it over the semester.

While the students will work with company executives to build their strategy throughout the semester, they will also have access to an AI personal planning platform that uses a similar framework to construct their life plan – Personal Whiteboard.  Further, they will meet weekly with their group teams on one personal/leadership growth topic.

Course Objective

The objective of this Capstone Strategic Planning Course is to equip MBA students with practical experience in strategic planning by collaborating with real-world businesses. The class leverages advanced AI technology to conduct in-depth strategy interviews with company leaders to analyze the company’s culture, current state, and future direction, and develop a comprehensive strategic plan using the Strategy Whiteboard framework. Throughout the course, students will build deeper connections with their group members through a collaborative learning and growth platform that mirrors the company strategic planning framework. This course aims to enhance students’ strategic thinking, improve their ability to apply AI in business contexts, and foster meaningful connections between the university and local businesses. By the end of the course, students will have worked with company leaders to develop actionable strategies that can be immediately implemented by the participating companies, preparing them for leadership roles in their careers.

Course Materials

  • Blendification software (Company Focus and Employee/Personal Focus)
  • “The Blendification System” book
  • Supplemental case studies if desired by the professor

Course Deliverables and Assessment

  • Final strategic plan presentation to class and company executives (all groups)
  • Periodic group Milestone Presentations – two
  • Individual student Strategic Plan Executive Summaries – using cases/large-cap companies 

Pre-work and Preparation

  • Identify companies with whom the students will be working
  • Establish expectations with company executive team related to meetings with students (weekly)
  • Confirm company executives will participate in AI-facilitated strategy interview within the first week of class
  • Create student groups and assign/introduce them to their company
  • Work with Blendification on software set up for the students and company access to strategy interviews

Week 1 - Introduction and Course Overview

The first week is an introduction to the class.  Here are some general topics:

  • Part 1: Introductions
  • Part 2: Course Objectives | Course Outline | Evaluation & Grading
  • Part 3: Team & Company Selection
  • Part 4: Team Operating Norms

There is specific information in each accordion below (Company Focus and Personal Focus).

Overview: The students use the Strategy Whiteboard framework as an outline for creating the company’s strategic plan.  Each week is supported by a “block” on the Strategy Whiteboard. The company leaders will participate in an AI-facilitated strategy interview that will take around 60 to 90 minutes.  The AI synthesizes the interviews and creates an AI strategic plan or Strategy Whiteboard.  The students work with the company to finalize each block on the Strategy Whiteboard over the semester.  The students will be introduced to the company in the first week of classes and then meet with the company leaders weekly for the term.  The first topical meeting, Culture, does not begin until week 3 or 4.  The first two weeks allow the company leaders to complete their strategy interviews (Strategy 360s) and synthesize the interviews into their initial draft plan. 

Each week, a series of videos can be used to assist the students in their dialogue with the company and advance their understanding of strategy concepts.  The class time is used as a dynamic experience where the students share their conversations with their company leaders to learn from each other.  Professors supplement the class time with various concepts and learning objectives.

Below is the reading (from “The Blendification System” book) and the video for the first week of class (each week has a series of videos).  It is not mandatory to do both.  The information is similar, giving the students an option for how they would like to prepare.

Class preparation:

The Blendification Book reading:  Chapter 1 – Strategy Progression

The Offshoot Group is the student group.  The groups will review a short video each week and discuss the topic.  The topics are focused on personal growth, connecting life and work leveraging the Strategy Whiteboard and Personal Whiteboard. Below is the Offshoot Group topic for the week, followed by Personal Whiteboard information.  The Personal Whiteboard is optional, so it is titled “Discretionary.”  However, completing the Personal Whiteboard enables the student to build a life plan that mirrors the company’s strategic plan.

Offshoot Groups Topic: Introduction & Potential

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 2 - Strategic Analysis

This week provides an overview of Strategic Analysis.  The company leaders should be completing their strategy interviews (Strategy 360s) using the software.  Once completed, the students will leverage AI to generate the company’s Strategy Whiteboard from the interviews.  This output will serve as the platform for dialogue between the company leaders and the students and class exercises.  The students will do a presentation on the initial AI-generated Strategy Whiteboard in the next class.

Preparation

“The Blendification System book” reading: Chapter 2 – System Leadership and The Blendification System

Video Support:

Offshoot Groups Topic: Earned Success and Motivation

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 3 - Milestone Presentation 1 - AI Generated Company Strategy Whiteboard

During this week, the students present the first draft Strategy Whiteboard generated from the Strategy 360s.  

Week 4 - Culture

Culture sets the direction for the organization’s strategy. In this block, we highlight the importance of intentionally designing, building, and fostering culture.

Week 5 - External

External factors are items that will impact the organization in the future and are outside the company’s control. This section is similar to Opportunities and Threats related to the SWOT.

Week 6 - Internal

The Internal evaluation assesses the company’s strengths and weaknesses related to the External impacts.  This is similar to the Strengths and Weaknesses of the SWOT.

Offshoot Groups Topic: Shadow Focus

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 7 - Foundation

The Foundation block begins setting direction in three sections: Foundational Strategy, Unifying Objective, and Core Competency Statement.

Preparation

“The Blendification System” book reading:  Chapter 6 – Foundation

Video Support:

Offshoot Groups Topic: Behavioral Headwaters

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 8 - Milestone Presentation - Strategic Analysis

The students present their revised Strategic Analysis section – Culture, External, Internal, and Foundation

Week 9 - Strategic Focus & Outcomes

This week emphasizes the need to create clear focus throughout the organization and support it with specific, measurable outcomes.

Offshoot Groups Topic: Focus Anchors

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 10 - Customer

The Customer Focus Lens informs the strategy for the organization.

Preparation

“The Blendification System” book reading:  Chapter 8 – Customer & Market

Video Support:

Offshoot Groups Topic: Spark of Greatness

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 11 - Product

Given the direction from the Customer focus lens, the Product strategic focus and outcomes are synched to ensure the organization’s product fits with its market and the internal teams are aligned.

Preparation

“The Blendification System” book reading: Chapter 9 – Product

Video Support:

Offshoot Groups Topic: Outcome Focus

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 12 - Operations

Operations represents two areas: manufacturing/production and operational support (corporate support).  These items are addressed with clear focus and outcomes to align with the Customer and Product focus lenses.

Preparation

“The Blendification System” book reading: Chapter 10 – Operations

Video Support:

Offshoot Groups Topic: Obstacle Focus

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 13 - People

Finally, the People focus lens integrates the company’s human capital external stakeholders, culture, customers, product, and operations.

Preparation

“The Blendification System” book reading: Chapter 11 – People

Video Support:

Offshoot Groups Topic: Trust Focus

Discretionary Personal Growth – Personal Whiteboard

Week 14 - Strategic Execution

The previous efforts led to a unified strategic direction ready to be implemented. The last section is Strategic Execution, supported by a seamless process cascaded throughout the organization.

Week 15 - Final Strategic Plan Presentation

Final student presentation to all students and company representatives.  It is encouraged to have as many people from the company join as possible.

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