You are currently working as an associate reporting to the Senior Lead Consultant for Management Consultants. The Senior Lead Consultant has been contacted by Paula Stiles, head of Human Resources for Wonder Products. Wonder Products currently produces and distributes organic food products to major retailers such as Whole Foods that in turn are sold to the public. Wonder Products has decided to start producing and distributing a line of all-natural energy bars with its existing contracted clients. Paula explained that she has been working to complete the initial phase of the planning process for a new division within the company that will be called the Energy Bars Division.
As Wonder Products launches the Energy Bars Division to design, develop and deliver energy bars, the company will need to bring in a Senior Manager to manage and lead this division and will be responsible for bringing the division together to operate as a well-oiled machine. The desire is that the new Senior Director for the Energy Bars Division have both management and leadership traits and will be open to innovative ways to create products that contain all-natural products that help maintain steady blood sugar levels. These products will not only be popular among the traditional Wonder Products customer base, but also will be the face of the organization when marketing company products.
The Senior Lead Consultant has asked you to help conduct a candidate search for the position of Senior Director for the Energy Bars Division.
Partnering with Number One Management Consultants, Paula will be vetting three potential candidates who will be expected to jump in and begin the development of management plans that will be used to establish the new division. The transcripts from the interviews of the three potential candidates have been given to the Management Consultants team who will help Paula. The new Senior Director will be a Manager of the 21st Century who will be able to instill the culture, value and traditions of Wonder Products into the employees hired as managers and employees.
In the beginning, the Senior Director will be the face of Wonder Productsâ€ marketing brand. In addition, the new Senior Director will need to be able to motivate not only the employee base of these new products but also motivate a new customer base for Wonder Products on the â€˜differenceâ€ Wonder Products will bring to the Energy Bars industry. Currently, the Energy Bars industry consists of many well-established companies, and a strong entry will be key to grab market share. Innovative and well-made products, good marketing, and a clear strategy will be critical to a strong entry, so bringing in a strong director will be key.
Candidate Summary of Transcripts
Nancy has spent the past 20 years working for Star Lite Foods, a mid-sized vegetarian food company currently operating out of Arizona, which recently was bought by a large health food company looking to expand to Energy Bars. For the past three years Nancy has served as the Vice President of the New Product Design and Marketing Department where, according to her statements in the interview, she oversaw a team of workers who made decisions about what products to pursue and the amount of marketing each product should receive. Nancy admitted that she likes to delegate because she feels her team of workers need the freedom to make choices. Nancy boasted that the team was instrumental in helping Star Lite gain a double-figure increase in market share. Before being named as a vice president for Star Lite, Nancy worked for 10 years as a Regional Manager in Idaho responsible for sourcing vegetables from regional farms. During her run as a Regional Manager she was responsible for making visits farms to help develop a whole farm business plan. This type of business plan provides a 30,000-foot perspective to helps family farm businesses develop a vision and mission to keep the operations on course. She credited her success in that role to her ability to get local farmers to work together to develop cooperative opportunities between farms. Instead of farmers working independently, they had the benefit of group decision making. A program was implements called, Community Communications created by Nancy to keep farmers apprised of the latest news in farming and to encourage the building of relationships. Nancy utilized the assistance of her staff to set up a blog, a website for members of the farming community with the latest up-to-date sources of information for farming learning initiatives, activities and strategic goals and plans. The latest initiative was to implement social media channels for news and information. The previous seven years with the company were spent climbing the corporate ladder starting with the company in the production line at the Michigan plant where the company got its start. During her interview Nancy suggested that Wonder Products should consider getting into the Energy Bars industry with less focus on sustainability and green initiatives as it can be a difficult industry for new entrants. Nancy proposed focusing on making quality products that can be sourced from local vendors. She stated that once established, the company could initiate a move to being more environmentally and attentive to the well-being of consumers. Nancy proudly stated that she likes to surround herself with good people whose behavior is better than hers. In her cover letter, Nancy stated that she is an experienced executive with a successful track record.
Dane Evers started Evers Vegetarian Foods 12 years ago that currently has $400M in annual sales. In a recent acquisition, Wonder Products agreed to purchase Evers Vegetarian Foods. As part of the settlement, Dane was promised a senior position with Wonder Products. The agreement also made accommodations for several of the key managers and employees to work for Wonder Products as Dane expressed his gratitude and respect for these employees who were highly skilled, educated and experienced employees. In the interview, Dane shared that he encourages these staff members to get involved in both major and minor discussions stating that he like to think of the business as a family. Everyone calls each other by their first names and Dane indicated that everyone is willing to roll up their sleeves to meet deadlines. Dane admitted that while he depends on the people that comprise Evers Vegetarian Foods, that he likes to be immersed in the business and always wants to stay informed as to what is happening with every department. He laughed and indicated that likes to know the facts so that the most rational decisions can be made. He also shared that he has limited experience with Marketing but believes that he believes that since he has been leading Evers Vegetarian Foods through its growth that he could easily manage Wonder Products into a new venture. Dane feels confident he is the best candidate and is a front runner for the position.
Joe Johnson has been working for Wonder Products as the Deputy Executive Director of the Southern Division for the last year mainly focused on helping the Flavorful Soybean Spreads branch become more environmentally and human friendly. Joe holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Baltimore. Before coming to Wonder Products, Joe was the production manager at the San Diego faculty for 12 years. He was highly regarded within the employee ranks as a fair manager who is interested in increasing the confidence in abilities and commitment of his employees. During the interview Joe stated that his direct reports frequently comment that Joe is willing to commit the time to focus on the task while taking the time to listen and offer advice to his workers. At one point in the interview, Joe commented that he believes in engaging workers by encouraging them to develop skills to progress to the next level. When employees reach the next level, he sees himself as a manager who focuses more on the employee than the tasks by supporting these workers to ensure work continues to be done at the required level. For some of the workers, Joe indicated that he empowers workers to take the ball and run with it. Joe admitted he does not have any marketing experience to help be the face of the new product, but has a strong desire to work on those skills and believes he has the managerial and leadership skills to guide the team to success. Joe stated in his cover letter that although he has limited experience, he believes he would be a good fit for the new position because he is committed to Wonder Products employees who lives its core values and has a firm understanding of the companyâ€s vision and mission. He has a strong desire to see the company become a leader in energy bars and he believes his degree in chemical engineering and his desire to be a leader at Wonder Products makes him the best candidate for the position.
You have been asked to review the three candidates and make a recommendation for the Senior Manager position. The new Senior Manager will have a lot of responsibility in managing and leading.
You will evaluate each of the three candidates considering each candidateâ€s full body of experience and how their experience aligns with Paulaâ€s expectations for the new position as well as how each candidate will lead within the context of Wonder Products desire to create all-natural products.
Use the following headings and instructions to complete the project:
- Write an Introduction paragraph. The Introduction paragraph is the first paragraph of the paper and will be used to describe to the reader the intent of the paper explaining the main points covered in the paper. This intent should be understood prior to reading the remainder of the paper so the reader knows exactly what is being covered in the paper.
- Consider writing the introduction last to ensure that all of the main points are covered.
Management and Leadership Skills/Style
- Identify and discuss the management skills that each candidate possesses.
- Identify and discuss the leadership skills that each candidate possesses.
- Identify and discuss the leadership style of each candidate.
- Recommend one candidate that Number One Management Consultants should recommend to Paula Stiles at Wonder Products and explain why this candidate is the best choice.
- Explain why the other two candidates were not selected.
- Create a concluding paragraph. The Conclusion tells a reader the main topics covered in the paper.
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