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Case Analysis: James Houghton and Signature Theatre

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Lafley, Martin, and Riel (2013) suggest that strategic thinking does not need to be overly complex, and that a simple framework in which one rigorously answers five questions can be a strong starting point for developing a Strategy Playbook. As importantly, they suggest that this “five-question strategy playbook” is relevant for all kinds of organizations.

Here are the five questions:

What is your winning aspiration? (What to you stand for and believe deeply in?)
Where will you play? (Who will you serve, and who will either help or compete against you?)
How will you win? (How will you create unique value?)
Which capabilities must be in place (to win)? (What skills, competencies, and capabilities do you need now and in the future?)
What management systems are required? (Do you have a supporting culture, structure, systems, and appropriate measures to implement a strategy?)
This assignment, you will use this framework as a starting point for analyzing case study examples, and for building your own Strategy Playbook. Additionally, you will create a “strategy map” of the Signature Theatre.

To prepare for this assignment:

Review all required readings, including the Weekly Briefing, which provides additional guidance on how to complete the Assignment.
Review this week’s case study. You can, and should, scan it multiple times.
Identify and review all relevant readings from the Capstone Program Bibliography.
***responds to each of the three prompts below:

How would you explain the success of James Houghton and the Signature Theatre using the “five-question strategy playbook” and Wolfe’s “living organization” as your frames of reference? Be specific.

Then, review the Joseph (2009) article on implementing a balanced scorecard (a way to measure one’s strategy playbook). Recall that you read this article in a prior MBA course. Pay particular attention to pages 119–123.
Using the strategy map illustrated on p. 122 as a guide, create a similar strategy map for the Signature Theatre (circa 2014). Attach your map to your original writing.
Based on your strategy map and earlier response, what should Houghton do in the future? Why? How?
NOTE: This is the most important element of your response and requires an analytic, rather than descriptive response.
**General Guidance: Original writing only and no plagiarism.

Required reading/References:

Wolfe, N. (2011). The living organization: Transforming business to create extraordinary results. Irvine, CA: Quantum Leaders Publishing.
Chapter 9, “Where the Magic Hides” (pp. 81–93)
Chapter 11, “Putting It All Together”
Joseph, G. (2009). Mapping, measurement and alignment of strategy using the balanced scorecard: The Tata Steel case. Accounting Education, 18(2), 117–130.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
This case study illustrates the use of the balanced scorecard by using a real-life situation and information gathered from the firm’s internal accounting processes. Special attention is given to the strategy map and measurement aspects of the balanced scorecard.

Lafley, A. G., Martin, R., & Riel, J. (2013). A playbook for strategy: The five essential questions at the heart of any winning strategy. Rotman Management, 4–9.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
The authors provide a concise yet robust framework for developing and evaluating competitive strategies.

Lencioni, P. (2012). The advantage: Org health trumps all else. Leadership Excellence, 18–19.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
The author argues that organizations that are healthy (and smart) are in a position to out-perform organizations that are technically sound (smart) but that lack a cohesive sense of purpose and internal trust.

Verschoor, C. C. (2003). Eight ethical traits of a healthy organization. Strategic Finance, 85(3), 20–22.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
The author reviews eight core elements of ethics-based traits that healthy organizations exhibit, according to the Institute for Business, Technology and Ethics.

Callanan, L., Wei-Skillern, J., & Onayemi, P. (2014). James Houghton and Signature Theatre (Haas School of Business Case No. B5798). Retrieved from https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/pl/28623611/28636589/4d4822a1aab5ad1390b3b25ab1d140d8
From the case writers:

“The case describes the history of Signature Theatre, started by James Houghton 23 years ago. Signature Theatre is an example of a successful organization with a powerful mission and vision, and one that has stuck to its mission throughout the years.” (Callanan, Wei-Skillern, & Onayemi, 2014)

Hammond, J. S. (2002). Learning by the case method [Teaching note]. Retrieved from https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/pl/28623611/28644115/df2b22f265e81222beea5ec556158ada
In this essay, Hammond discusses what the case method is, how to learn from it, and how to get the most out of the process of studying, discussing, and analyzing case studies.

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