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The article I chose is titled “How BMW successfully practices sustainable leadership principles”, and is nested in many of the concepts covered during the period of this course. The main premise focuses on how the BMW Corporation was able to build and incorporate a resilient leadership model that helped shape how the company most recently survived the economic downturn that started in 2008.

The authors have developed a model called “honeybee” leadership that spreads 23 key principles built into a 4-tier pyramid. The base of the pyramid is comprised of 14 foundation practices; the second tier contains 6 higher-level practices that are a result of any combination of the foundational practices being applied; the third tier has 3 performance outcomes.

When the company works toward problem solving, any outcome can be arrived at by applying the principles in combinations that help focus efforts and priorities of work. In the context of this article, focusing on these key principles allowed the company to post record profits in 2010 (the highest it has seen since the company was founded in 1916), while 2 main competitors-GM and Chrysler-fell into bankruptcy due to unsustainable business practices. To start, BMW only builds cars that have been ordered.

This allows the company to flex its work force based on demand, and ultimately allowed the company to create 300 work-time patterns that offered flexibility for the workers as they saw fit. Additionally, as the world economy soured, the company was forced to cut overhead costs and reduce staffing but did so in a creative way; they offered early retirement packages, did not renew contracts with temporary workers and did not backfill vacant position positions.

However, the company values its highly-skilled workforce, and in order to keep those individuals employed, they forged a collaboration with the German government that allowed the company to shift workers to a 4-day work week which BMW paid, while the German government paid 80% of wages for the 5th day, thus resulting in workers only losing 20% of 1 days pay. To focus on long-term planning, the company appointed a relatively young board of management team with the idea that they will grow and develop over time and forge a strong team that will carry relevant experience forward.

BMW also invests heavily on employee training, and continued to do so through the recession. This in turn feeds the company succession plan, as the key motive is to develop young individuals who will eventually be promoted from within and trained in the key areas BMW feels necessary. Other concepts include many items from a total rewards strategy- benefits, paid sick and maternity time, annual bonuses, holiday bonuses, and even a profit-sharing plan.

The company also relies heavily on self-managing teams, empowers each of its employees to make decisions that affect design, and encourages collaboration across departments. There is no point to argue here, as the proof of all the concepts taught in the course is practically in the company. They have established and built a culture that motivates employees to want to be a part of the company, as well as proving that a practical application of a total rewards program centered on managing their greatest asset-people-will foster success

Week 3 MKTG525 Video Analysis

Choose an existing product or service (not the same as your Course Project ), and write a one-page summary that answers the following three questions.
Which market segments (groups) are being targeted and what customer needs and common customer characteristics do they focus on?
Of the segments being targeted, which groups do you believe offers the most capacity for growth and profit, and why? (If there is only one segment currently targeted – suggest a new one for the company)
Describe the competition the product or service is (or would) facing in these most valuable segments?