Session Outline

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A Master Class in Strategic Thinking for Senior Managers and Executives
with Dr. David Lei

Date: March 21, 2019
Session Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location Information:
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza
2712 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77098
Session Description
This session will give audience participants a clear look at how to think about crafting a strategy that builds a distinctive competitive advantage. The first part of the session looks at the four essential ingredients of strategy: clear mission and vision, choice of competitive strategy, economic basis of profit, and critical success factors. We then apply these ingredients to sharpen our understanding of 1) customers' needs, 2) competitors' moves, 3) attaining strategic alignment, 4) innovating for the future, and 5) preparing for disruption. A variety of individual and group exercises will encourage participants to actively use these frameworks in a way where they can actually apply their ideas in their workplaces too.

Dr. David Lei is Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has taught classes on competitive strategy, strategic alliances, innovation, managing in high-technology industries and organization design to a variety of participants across different MBA programs and executive education seminars.

Dr. Lei is the author or co-author of over forty articles on strategy and organizational issues that have been published in major academic and practitioner journals, where his most recent research has examined how firms respond to new technological and competitive developments in high-technology industries. He is also the co-author of Strategic Management: Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage (West Publishing). He has consulted with a wide variety of different companies in the high technology and financial services industries over the past fifteen years, including Caltex, Corning, DSC Communications, Fidelity Investments, IBM, Lennox International, Microsoft, The Sabre Group, Texas Instruments and Verizon Communications. Dr. Lei has received numerous teaching and research awards at SMU. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in business from Columbia University.

Time Allocation - Topics
20% How well do we understand our customers, existing and future?
  • Customer need for superior offering
  • Customer need for lower priced offering
  • Customer need for risk reduction

20% Who is the competition?

  • Who is better than us?
  • Who is faster than us?
  • Who is lower-cost than us?
  • Who is smarter than us?

20% What will be our competitive strategy?

  • Cost leadership
  • Superior quality
  • Fast response
  • Repeat business
20% What is the best way to grow the business?

20% What are some game-changers that could disrupt us?

Guide to Participant Selection
1 indicates primary target audience.
2 indicates a good fit if the level of material is appropriate.
3 indicates (in the opinion of the institute and the faculty) very limited applicability.
Senior Executive
(Pres, Exec & Sr VP)
(VP & Gen'l Mgr)
Senior Managers
(Div & Reg. Mgrs)
Middle Managers
& Superintendents
Problem Identification, Problem Definition, Analysis, Organizing Information, Evaluation of Alternative Solutions
Coordination, Decision-Making, Direction
Creativeness, Initiative, Adaptability, Flexibility

Introductory    Intermediate    Advanced
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