Cases of Impact: Direction and Collaboration in Management

  • A division of a global U.S.-based automotive manufacturer forms a global management team connecting all locations in order to ramp up strategic performance. Through quarterly meetings in different locations members bring in segment challenge analyses plus suggestions for strategy and initiatives, all prepared in distributed segment teams. In focused debate, strategy suggestion are corroborated und advanced by mutual feedforward and advice, thus welding the team together. The division becomes number one in the corporation in terms of profitability.
  • Five national businesses of a U.S. automotive manufacturer in major East Asian countries join in a process of mutual learning and development of their strategies. By comparing differences and similarities the individual strategies become more distinct. Based on mutual respect for local solutions, the potential for coordinated market activities and shared resources becomes visible. The emerging team defines responsibilities for cross-location processes. At the same time, methodologies are streamlined and standards practices are adopted. A larger region management process is being created, building cooperation around shared missions and ways of working, leading to coordinated innovation and enhancing top-line and bottom-line results of all members.
  • A business line of a diversified education provider is facing declining markets for several independently operating units. The heads of the business together walk through the steps of building new business segments and service offerings. With a growing frequency of meetings, activities become coordinated and a common strategy governance process is formed, including peer-reviewing of strategies and realization approaches. Tangible synergies in terms of costs and business development are leveraged.
  • A retail bank reorients top-team meetings towards a consistent result perspective, submitting suggestions for business improvement as prepared by small teams of the participants. The culture of communication and sharing changes with the process, forming a shared understanding of the future business and allowing for overlapping of responsibilities for processes and results. New commitment of the whole team to ambitious results is created.
  • Deploying  systemic employee feedback and discussing data in a solution-focused, shared process, a savings bank sets its course towards a repositioning as a sales-driven organization The leadership team agrees on direction, the management levels buy into the new tasks.
  • The leadership team of an airline caterer collects feedback on strategy and management style. The team together evaluates data and explores causes of the situation. Based on the congruence of perspectives forming in this process, the team engages with high energy in designing new business concepts for sharpened market segments and self-coordinates the realization. Plans to increase profitability and expand the business are implemented.
  • A companywide survey of a large professional service provider shows significant weaknesses in the management process of one department. Task force teams specify the data for the business unit and develop hypotheses about the causal organizational mechanisms. The management team, together with the task forces, validates the hypotheses and then agrees on measures to overcome the weaknesses. Measures to improve leadership and business processes, based on the acceptance by leadership and co-workers, are implemented with success.
  • A high-performance institution of performing art sees itself blocked by conflict-prone working relations and unaddressed issues of artistic self-conception. With a process involving most of the members, a structured dialogue begins on different interests in direction and differences of communication styles. Clarifications are worked out and members join together on a path towards new solutions. The dialogue between individuals and roles is revitalized and leadership functions regain the power of orientation and action. Steps towards a joint artistic development have been made.
  • After merging of a newly acquired biotech company, with a newly formed business, a corporation of "big pharma" must build a culturally unified business unit. The newly assembled management team develops an identity by accepting this common task. The management team conducts an employee survey about the differences of behaviour and the bottlenecks in the business processes. Based on these perceptions, the team sets a focus on the business challenge, plans for shared success as a unit and defines a governance process to track success. Two crucial product launch projects reap tremendous success and develop market leadership.