Fall Semester – 2010
MAN 385.24 - Unique #04700
John N. Doggett
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 to 12:30 pm
Mondays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm or by appointment Phone
This course is for students who want to explore the challenges of running and growing an entrepreneurial company or a division of an established firm. We start by looking at the most basic question. Can the firm grow; should the firm grow? Since growth is a choice, we will also look at the trade-offs between aggressive growth and what venture capitalists call "life style" businesses. We will also look at the importance of identifying opportunities for new product development and responding to competitive threats.
We will then look at how managers can learn how to identify and respond to strategic inflection points that shape the growth potential of all firms. This is a critical first step before one can decide what growth model makes the most sense for a firm.
We will focus on the key things that managers must do to determine:
What is the right type of growth?
How much growth their firms can manage and
What their competitors will do in response.
Since growth is not a given, we will also look at the challenges that threaten the viability of firms that have escaped the launch pad and those that have been in existence for some time. A crucial part of our analysis will be to better understand how managers can anticipate and respond to the reaction of competitors to their growth strategies.
No course on entrepreneurial growth would be complete without asking the "was it all worth it?" question. While many think that owing a firm that is experiencing hyper-growth is a dream come true, the reality is that such explosive growth is like jumping out of an airplane with your hair on fire without a parachute. That is not for everyone. This course will continually ask students to look at the personal challenges of being the owner/manager of a growing, entrepreneurial firm.
Many of the cases in this course look at the challenge of growth from a non-US perspective. This is to help you understand the explosion in entrepreneurship that is happening outside of the US. Leadership and this Course
Each student must participate in a group project during the semester. The goal of these projects will be to help real entrepreneurs manage the growth of their firms. Groups of students will work with venture capital firms, the Austin Technology Incubator and local Chambers of Commerce to identify entrepreneurial firms facing major growth challenges. Each team will then help these firms develop strategies to grow.
Project firms can be in Austin, or anyplace on the planet. The requirements are that the firm must have a serious growth challenge that they want the team to address, they are willing to provide the team with complete financial visibility to the issues that you are working on and they will take your recommendations seriously. Each project team must submit a project proposal to Professor Doggett for approval.
These projects will help you develop your leadership skills in a number of ways. First, you will learn how to “manage” groups of peers where each student cannot be the group leader. Second, you will learn to manage the client relationship with CEOs and other senior company officials to maximize the value that your team provides their firm. Finally, by observing and reflecting on the dynamics of your team and your client company, you will develop a deeper understanding of what entrepreneurial leadership requires. Materials
Case Packet: You must purchase your case packet from www.hbsp.edu
Books: Purchase on-line or at a bookstore. They are not in the...
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