Walden WMBA6990 Discussion 1

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Walden WMBA6990 Discussion 1 Case Analysis With Discussion-What Are the Core Skills

1: Case Analysis With Discussion: What Are the Core Skills, Competencies, and
Capabilities of Trader Joe’s?

(2009, p. 63) calls on leaders at all levels of an organization to “view the
organization as a living system, directing the flows of energies [passions and
skills] within that body of people and transforming their collective energy
[relationships and shared values] and effort into the products and services
brought to the marketplace [to meet the organization’s Soulful Purpose].”

As such, it
is critical to analyze what skills, competencies, and capabilities an
organization actually has, and how these energies can best be tapped to ward
off external threats, seize on opportunities, and navigate into new “blue oceans”
of value creation. Indeed, all strategic (or not strategic!) action, and all
value creation by an organization, is done through the application of skills
(what individual people can do [think in terms of active verbs]), competencies
(what groups of individuals can do[think organization functions]), and
capabilities (what supporting plant, machinery, software, and
systems/processes, etc.) can do.

Indeed, in
the iterative, feedback and feed-forward five-question strategy playbook
framework, one of the central questions is, which capabilities must be in place
(to win)? (What skills, competencies and capabilities do you need now, and in
the future?) It is to this central question that we turn to this week’s case

To prepare
for this Discussion:

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.

and review the Value chain of activities template.

and review all relevant readings from the MBA Capstone Program Bibliography.

information in the case study, and other basic industry research data you can
find in the Walden Library (Hoover’s database would be a good place to start,
as would Business Source Complete). Remember, you will have to search for
information on the most relevant Trader Joe’s competitors, as well as Trader
Joe’s to be able to make an appropriate relative ranking of resources.

By Day 3

Post a
polished skills, competencies, and capabilities analysis that responds to each
of the prompts below:

Use your
best judgment, based on the information in the case and your research, and rate
Trader Joe’s current profile of skills, competencies, and capabilities, as
identified in the detailed value chain in the case supplemental document. Fill
your rating in the table and explain your rating. Use the following scale to
rate and state any assumptions you make:

If the
skill, competency, or capability is “World Class” (clearly best in industry and
could be benchmark for other industries), rate the item a 10.

If the skill,
competency, or capability is “Industry Best” (clearly number 1 or 2 in the
industry), rate the item an 8.

If the
skill, competency, or capability is “Industry Average,” rate the item a 5.

If the
skill, competency, or capability “Needs Improvement,” rate the item a 3.

If the
skill, competency, or capability is a “Critical Deficiency,” rate the item a 1.

What is
your average rating (which assumes that all the skills, competencies, and
capabilities in the value chain were equally important)? Does this average tell
you anything? What?

What three
skills, competencies, or capabilities, across all categories, do you think are
strategically the most important in the industry? Why?

Based on
your responses above, does Trader Joe’s have the capabilities in place to win?
To continue to win? Why?

What should
Trader Joe’s do right now to leverage its competitive strengths and mitigate or
improve upon competitive weaknesses?

Be sure to
integrate concepts and quotes from this week’s readings. To obtain an exemplary
assessment, you must also integrate at least one resource from the Walden MBA
Program Capstone Bibliography as well.

Guidance: Your original post, due by Day 3, will contain two elements:

summary response to questions 2–5 above (4 single-spaced paragraphs) that will
be the body of the Discussion text area

completed version of the Trader Joe’s supplemental table, which you should
attach to your response (make sure to rename the file and append your last name
first initial to the file name)

Refer to
the Week 3 Discussion 1 rubric for grading elements and criteria. Your
Instructor will use the rubric to assess your work.

Read a
selection of your colleagues’ posts.

By Day 5

Respond to
two or more of your peers in one or more of the following ways:

Comment on
what you learned from your colleague’s analysis that is new to you.

constructive ideas for how your colleague might extend or improve his or her
summary analysis.

your observations about your peers’ comments based on your synthesis of several
of the original posts, explaining how those posts better inform what your peer

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