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Implementation and challenges of commercial student led consultancy projects at level H Background information I have been advising final year students.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementation and challenges of commercial student led consultancy projects at level H Background information I have been advising final year students."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementation and challenges of commercial student led consultancy projects at level H Background information I have been advising final year students engaged in Consultancy Projects since BABS,BATS,BALM, and BARM and BAHM since I wanted to ensure that our graduates had the requisite business and commercial skills that would make them stand out and enhance their careers. The Consultancy Project pre dates and mirrors ‘Fusion’ in that it straddles education, research and professional practice.

2 Implementation and challenges of commercial student led consultancy projects at level H In a recent article in the Sunday Times about graduate employment the value of courses with a vocational focus was highlighted ‘Companies want more than just academic qualifications. The key attributes they identify as important and in short supply are communication skills, an ability to work in a team and an understanding of business, often gained through work experience’ There is no doubt that the sandwich year helps to prepare finalists for the Consultancy Project at level H

3 Key benefits of Consultancy Project Improves employment prospects Improves ability to become a senior manager Retail alumni – 10 Chief Execs/M.D’s, and 26 Directors plus numerous Heads of Marketing, Heads of Buying, etc. Develops leadership and team working skills Improves consultancy skills Enhances presentation skills Builds personal networks

4 Implementation and challenges of commercial student led consultancy projects at level H Make sure you have selected the companies, and the key contact well before the start of the autumn term. It is preferable to target alumni as they are familiar with BU and may well have engaged in a consultancy project themselves so understand the nature of the challenges faced by the finalists. Wherever possible select a well known company who has the resources to support the intervention and may well hire graduates later in the year

5 Critical success factors Selecting the right companies at the outset, preferably blue chip/well known companies Guiding the clients on the strategic nature of the projects Compatibility of the personalities involved in each team and ability to handle conflict Focus on the client’s needs Awareness of underlying problems Regular contact with external and internal client Expect and demand outstanding interventions As a tutor deal with any problems and resolve them quickly and effectively

6 Critical success factors Determination, creativity, teamwork, research skills, quantitative/qualitative analysis Awareness of constraints Establishing of priorities Awareness of the client’s intentions Honesty in specifying what can be delivered Encourage groups to select a strong team leader

7 Essential reading Levi, D - Group Dynamics for teams 2 nd edition, Sage publications Wickham, P.A – Management Consulting, FT publishing

8 Characteristics of successful teams Hackman’s 5 factors for successful teams Clear direction and goals to focus efforts Good leadership to manage internal/external relations Projects should be complex and challenging requiring the integrated efforts of team members Necessary resources to perform tasks. Client/tutor Supportive environment. Organizations must allocate sufficient power and authority to allow team members to make and implement decisions

9 Characteristics of successful teams Levi and Slem(1995) 4 factors for team success Evaluation and rewards: teams need fair and objective criteria for evaluation Social relations: teams need social skills so they can resolve internal conflicts and function smoothly Projects should be complex and challenging requiring the integrated efforts of team members Task characteristics: teams need clear direction and goals, tasks that are appropriate for teamwork, and work that is challenging and important Leadership: leaders need to facilitate team interactions and provide assistance when problems occur

10 Common features of successful teams Teams have clear goals that provide direction and motivation Team leaders structure tasks and facilitate group processes Their organizations provide supportive contexts for the teams to grow Teams are held mutually accountable for the success of their teams and rewarded for their efforts

11 Motivation and social loafing The potential of teamwork is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts However, working together can cause a decrease in motivation due to social loafing, which is the reduction of individual contributions when people work in groups The ‘sucker effect’ (Johnson & Johnson, 1997) is when good performers slack off in teams because they do not want others to take advantage of them When work teams are given challenging tasks, when they are rewarded for group success yet have identifiable individual performance indicators, and when there is commitment to the team, social loafing does not occur

12 Motivation and social loafing A balance of individual and team based rewards is necessary to encourage both a commitment to the team and an incentive for individual performance. (Thompson, 2004) The more people value membership in the group, the more motivated they are to perform. Cohesive groups are less likely to experience social loafing (Karau & Williams, 1997) Highly cohesive groups have more commitment to their tasks and perform better (Wech, Mossholder, Steel, & Bennett, 1998)

13 Cooperation and Competition When individuals or teams in an organization compete against each other, changes occur that prevent the team from being successful (Tjosvold, 1995) A successful team has members who work together to reach a common goal. When team members compete against one another, individual goals can conflict with the team goal. Team members then distrust one another because they are uncertain of one another’s motives. Over time, internal competition reduces communication within the team.

14 Cooperation and Competition Groups that work cooperatively have less tension, fewer conflicts, and fewer verbal confrontations (Tjosvold, 1995) Team members sometimes go along with the team leader’s solution to avoid disagreements and conflict. This can lead to poor decisions and the formation of sub groups. Team members should speak up in meetings and communicate their real feelings to avoid future fragmentation.

15 Consultancy Projects Feedback Finalist feedback ‘I feel that the Consultancy Project has and will prove to be the most worthwhile and important piece of work that I have undertaken this year. I believe that it is the commercial experience that this project provides which sets the Bournemouth retail degree apart from others’

16 Consultancy Projects Feedback Finalist feedback ‘Overall the Consultancy Project has played an invaluable part in my development this year and I believe that the experience will stand me in good stead to leave University and move into an excellent graduate position.’

17 Consultancy Projects Feedback Finalist feedback ‘Effectively the Consultancy Project is what separates the Retail Management degree at Bournemouth from other degrees and is highly respected amongst employers’

18 Consultancy Project Group report50% Group presentation50%

19 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 B & Q What should the B & Q customer proposition be within the marketplace for the Shelving and Storage category to improve both its sales and margin contribution? Team to consider market position, market size, trends, customer decision tree, B & Q versus competitors for range, space, merchandising layouts/displays, attributes/characteristics, merchandising flow.

20 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 Argos Argos wants to increase its share of the university/college spend. Given the multi channel capabilities of Argos, what recommendations would you suggest to increase our share of this segment? Plan a multi channel campaign to drive sales and market share for the start of term, 2012

21 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 Philips How can Philips optimise the market for LED technology products for the general public, the public sector and small and medium enterprises?

22 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 Poole Town Centre A retail strategy for Poole : optimisation of key retail centres in Poole- Dolphin Shopping Centre, the Quay, the High Street, and the new Central Regeneration Area.

23 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 Tesco Tesco has a vast amount of Petrol Filling Stations, each with small footage shops yet large customer footfall. Do we make the most of the range and layout of these sites and what can we improve. In scope : improve product ranges, retail section store layout, space given to product types, outdoor range, design and marketing.

24 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 Waitrose How could CRM (customer relationship management) be used to drive personalisation within Waitrose stores?

25 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 West Quay The impact of multi channel shopping and mobile communications on prime Shopping Malls and an exploration of the opportunities it generates. For example, ‘in centre’ collection facilities, ordering on Amazon, etc.

26 Consultancy Projects 2011/12 WHSmith Identify what a WHSmith store in the Departures Lounge of an international airport within the UK could look like in 5 years time including, but not limited to: What products are sold, how products are merchandised and promoted, what services are offered, how customers are served, and how new technologies might improve both the customer experience and the efficiency of the business. You should aim to isolate and expand upon the changes and innovations that will make the biggest difference to the success of the business in 2016, explaining clearly how these can be implemented and what their benefits will be.

27 Question time I am happy to answer any questions


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