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The Strategy in the Environment

Social and Political Environment of Business

A clear understanding of the environment of the firm, especially of the political economic milieu, the relationship between government, business and society, and trends in national strategy within the context of international political economy trends, is an imperative for the strategically-minded general manager. This unit is designed to help managers identify a broad range of stake-holders in the environment of the firm with a view of enhancing the capacity for managing relationships with these stake-holders.

Always the central theme is that the cost and management accounting function exists within a business primarily to facilitate the development and implementation of the business strategy. The principal aim is to provide participants with knowledge and understanding of their costs and revenue, and how to manage them to create sustainable competitive advantage.


The increasing activity of regional and world economic groupings has introduced international dimensions into competition among businesses. The sessions on globalisation will provide insight into ways of formulating strategies to manage emerging global challenges and opportunities.

Economic Analysis
Chief executives face a rising tendency for economic considerations to dominate business decisions. CEO's are therefore under constant pressure to determine the implications of economic developments for their operations and manage the exposure of their companies accordingly. The course will focus on analysis of economic risks, with emphasis on policies for coping with shocks from economic fluctuations.

Business Strategy
The business strategy session using the case study approach emphasises the unique leadership role (often referred to as the helicopter view) of the chief executive as the strategist, with practical examples of situations where the strategy process is either planned and directed or contingent and emergent. Concepts and tools will be presented for industry analysis and for configuring the firm's resources to achieve a unique position and sustainable competitive advantage.

For the sake of breadth and versatility, generic strategy adaptations to specific settings will be explored alongside the functional integration and other organisational implications of strategy formation. Overall, the CEO will be exposed to a combination of rational and insightful approaches to creating some sense of the future (vision) and for generating competitive advantage to superior firm performance with greater levels of confidence into the long term.

Strategic issues in running the Firm

Marketing Strategy

One of the major tasks of the enterprise is to analyse a firm's situation and to develop solutions for the problems, opportunities and threats confronting marketing decision makers. Through the case analysis, participants will develop the analytic and thinking skills necessary to make good decisions in real world marketing situations.

At the end of the sessions the CEO will have the ability to assess the costs and benefits of various marketing strategies

Financial Strategy
The finance sessions are designed to help chief executives understand the key value drivers in their organisations and assess the impact of these on overall value creation.

In addition, they will come to a better understanding of the challenges of, and how best to value their companies given the peculiarities of the Nigerian environment.

Sessions will cover the following:
  • Strategic financial analysis to uncover key value drivers and the impact of these on the overall value of the company
  • Value of a company or division
  • Corporate restructuring and managing financial distress

Human Resources Strategy
Research has shown that human resource management can be a powerful tool to enhance competitiveness when policies and practices are logically driven by a firm's strategy and by the key environmental factors that the firm faces. This course should help participants appreciate how
Companies can implement human resource policies which complement and reinforce their strategy. Strategy should influence who we select, what we appraise, the criteria for compensation, what skills are required, etc. On the other hand, the people we have, their skills, potentials, may limit our strategic options.

Operations Management
The programme will focus on the formulation of a comprehensive operating strategy that develops a competitive advantage for an organisation. Ways to optimize the operations value chain, leading to the management of resources for higher productivity, will also be discussed.

Business Ethics - achieving organisational integrity
Organisational integrity refers to a condition in which an organisation's managers and employees focus their energies on the attainment of the organisation's common goals, rather than on pursuing private agendas. This course will help CEO's reflect on the ways in which they can foster corporate integrity in their companies.

Leading the Firm to Achieve Results

Corporate Governance
One of the major tasks of the Chief Executive is to ensure that the Board of Directors is effective in the directing role which it plays in the management of the business.

In the sessions on corporate governance, participants will discuss some options for achieving the proper balance between management and the board, and for making sure that they both give the best value to the stake-holders of the business.

This course identifies leadership as a key success factor for chief executives whose enterprises must face the many challenges of a constantly changing business environment. Through case studies and a general discussion, participants analyze the roles and responsibilities of CEO's as well as the skills and competencies that they need for securing sustainable competitive advantage as globalization and other trends portend an increasingly exciting future for business. The final session encourages participants to apply the results of their study to the situation in their own enterprises.

Evaluating Business Performance
A primary concern of any company's Board and its Management is the management of stake-holder value. Most often successfully managing it depends on knowing what to manage.
It is also important to know how to measure and communicate it. Some of these measures range from the financial cash flow-based measures to the non-financial measures like the Balanced Scorecard. This course presents some of these measures as well as the techniques to apply them depending on the firms operating environment and circumstance.

Shaping the future

Change Management  
Change is certain to occur in all organisations, yet people and organisations tend to resist change. The consequence is that firms become unable to compete. This course examines the motives for resisting change and what approaches can be used to probatively manage change.

Information Systems
This unit addresses the management issues arising from the use of computing equipment and emphasizes ways in which existing and new technologies can be deployed to support the information needs of managers. The IT unit also includes an overview of leading information technology developments.

Oral Presentation Skills
Making oral presentations is an important part of an executive's work. Participants in this module are coached by a professional communicator to improve their oral skills and their ability to prepare and deliver persuasive presentations.