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Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Peter M. Senge, Hal Hamilton, Kania John. The Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership (referred as “Describe Collaboration” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Leadership & Managing People. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Social responsibility, Sustainability.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment






Case Description of Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership Case Study


The systemic challenges we face are beyond the reach of existing institutions and their hierarchical authority structures. Problems like climate change, destruction of ecosystems, growing scarcity of water, youth unemployment, and embedded poverty and inequity require unprecedented collaboration between organizations, sectors-and even countries. As a result, the authors argue, we have never needed System Leaders more. They describe how system leaders share three core capabilities: they are profoundly committed to the health of the whole, which nurtures similar commitment in others; they build relationships based on deep listening, so that networks of trust and collaboration begin to flourish; and they are so convinced that something can be done that they don't wait for a fully developed plan, freeing others to step ahead and learn by doing. Providing examples including Nike and Unilever, they describe how the strategic use of the right tool at the right time-with a spirit of openness-can create collective success.


Case Authors : Peter M. Senge, Hal Hamilton, Kania John

Topic : Leadership & Managing People

Related Areas : Social responsibility, Sustainability




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10005660) -10005660 - -
Year 1 3445829 -6559831 3445829 0.9434 3250782
Year 2 3966083 -2593748 7411912 0.89 3529800
Year 3 3968933 1375185 11380845 0.8396 3332393
Year 4 3226983 4602168 14607828 0.7921 2556073
TOTAL 14607828 12669047




The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2663387

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting


What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.




Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting


There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Profitability Index
2. Payback Period
3. Net Present Value
4. Internal Rate of Return

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Describe Collaboration have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.
2. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Describe Collaboration shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.






Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Leadership & Managing People Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Describe Collaboration often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Describe Collaboration needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.



Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10005660) -10005660 - -
Year 1 3445829 -6559831 3445829 0.8696 2996373
Year 2 3966083 -2593748 7411912 0.7561 2998929
Year 3 3968933 1375185 11380845 0.6575 2609638
Year 4 3226983 4602168 14607828 0.5718 1845038
TOTAL 10449977


The Net NPV after 4 years is 444317

(10449977 - 10005660 )








Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%


If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10005660) -10005660 - -
Year 1 3445829 -6559831 3445829 0.8333 2871524
Year 2 3966083 -2593748 7411912 0.6944 2754224
Year 3 3968933 1375185 11380845 0.5787 2296836
Year 4 3226983 4602168 14607828 0.4823 1556223
TOTAL 9478807


The Net NPV after 4 years is -526853

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9478807 - 10005660 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Describe Collaboration to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.





Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Describe Collaboration has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Describe Collaboration can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Describe Collaboration, then the stock price of the Describe Collaboration should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Describe Collaboration should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.






Negotiation Strategy of Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership

References & Further Readings

Peter M. Senge, Hal Hamilton, Kania John (2018), "Co-Creating the Future: The Dawn of System Leadership Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.

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