INSTRUCTIONS: strategic plan and recommendations
In lieu of the current discussion questions at the end of the “Issue for Debate” on page 326 regarding Google and Alphabet, Inc. students will develop a strategic plan with recommendations for future implementation.
For this assignment, students will walk through the strategic management process. The strategic management process enables organizations to achieve objectives through three stages: strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and strategy evaluation.
Your strategic plan/recommendations should aim to innovate. Throughout the development of your strategic plan consider your organization’s responsibility in the greater social good from a Christian perspective and how your plan address ethics, social responsibility and sustainability. Imagine you need to present your initial pitch for your Strategic Initiative Plan to Alphabet Inc.
Develop a 3-4 page paper that outlines your strategic plan and recommendations. In your presentation, address the following: Identify the type of Strategic Plan that you will be creating. Provide the vision, mission, and values of the organization. Complete a SWOT analysis and Porter’s Five Forces analysis. What is your competitive advantage? Moving forward what specific recommendations would you suggest for Alphabet, Inc. to implement? Is Alphabet trying to build an ambidextrous organization? Should it be doing so? If yes, what actions can it take to build an ambidextrous firm? How would you evaluate those actions? Provide 3-5 sources in your paper in addition to your textbook. Proper APA format is required for this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines.
In the fall of 2015, Google unveiled a new organizational structure. Google created a
holding company, Alphabet Inc., which offers overall oversight for the disparate collection
of businesses the firm owns. The parent company is run by firm founders Larry Page and
Sergey Brin and its Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat. Alphabet is using a hybrid SBUdivisional
structure with the main SBU, Google, housing several core businesses, including
its search business, YouTube, Android, and the Chrome operating systems. The businesses
in the Google SBU accounted for nearly 90 percent of Alphabet’s $90 billion of revenue in
- Other divisions in the structure include Nest, a smart-home project division; Verily,
a group working on health care and disease prevention; and GV, the firm’s venture capital
arm. The structure also includes an incubator SBU, X, which houses the firm’s secretive
“moonshot” projects, including Project Loon, a venture to offer Internet service in the
developing world with high-altitude balloons; Project Titan, a drone delivery service; and
ventures that are not yet publicly known. The hope is that once projects advance inside
X and can stand on their own, they can be moved and become their own divisions, an action
that took place with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project in 2016.
Larry Page, Alphabet’s CEO, says he looked to Warren Buffett’s Berskshire Hathaway
as a model for running a large, complex organization. His goal is to allow the different units
the freedom to focus on their particular areas. Mr. Page wrote in his blog, “Fundamentally,
we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that
aren’t very related.” The new structure also allows the firm to more effectively control costs
in the independent units, resulting in more constrained budgets in these units.
But the transition has not been entirely smooth. From outside, the firm has faced
criticism that the new structure simply reinforced the view that it is investing in businesses
far from Google’s core markets and into markets for which Alphabet’s core competencies
are not well suited. As Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research, stated: “just because
they break out the data doesn’t mean they’ll stop making investments in things that are so
far removed from the core business.” With the Google businesses losing $3.6 billion in
2016, this criticism is unlikely to wane. The firm has also experienced leadership challenges.
In the past, the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, its chairman, Eric Schmidt, and
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichal, provided strong leadership to hold it all together. In building
all of the operating units, Alphabet needs to develop management talent to run them.
This appears to be a work in progress, at best, with one division CEO called “divisive and
impulsive” while another has been labeled “mercurial.” The structure also makes it harder
to coordinate activities across the different business units. For example, while Google was
working to develop its home unit Alexa, Alphabet’s smart-home division, Nest, had signaled
its intention to work with Amazon to link its smart-home products with Amazon’s Echo.
This raised the potential of Alphabet divisions competing with each other.