Endast 194 av 1.000 storbolag har en jämställd ledningsgrupp!

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete on March 2nd, 2020 by admin

Inte ens vart femte av Sveriges storbolag har en jämställd ledningsgrupp. Det visar en kartläggning av de 1.000 största företagen i Sverige, som Di har gjort.

”Det här håller inte”, säger jämställdhetsminister Åsa Lindhagen.
Med bara dagar kvar till internationella kvinnodagen är det uppenbart att det fortfarande är långt kvar till jämställdhet i det svenska näringslivet. Under vintern 2019/2020 har Di kartlagt ledningsgrupperna i Sveriges 1.000 största företag sett till omsättning. Kartläggningen visar att bara 194 bolag har en jämställd ledningsgrupp, om man definierar det som att den består av minst 40 procent kvinnor respektive män.

Det är en siffra som upprör jämställdhetsminister Åsa Lindhagen.

”Det visar ju svart på vitt hur lång väg vi har kvar till ett jämställt näringsliv och att bolagen måste skärpa sig”, säger hon.

710 ledningsgrupper domineras av män, att jämföra med 38 kvinnodominerade. 123 av 1.000 bolag har en kvinna som vd.

Åsa Lindhagen anser att alla bolag måste jobba aktivt med jämställdhetsfrågan.

”Jämställdhet gynnar företagen och samhället i stort och vi vet att det går att göra skillnad. Ställer ägarna krav och man jobbar aktivt med jämställdhet ger det resultat, det finns det gott om goda exempel på. Vi kan inte acceptera att inte alla bolag gör det”, säger hon.

Hur ser du på kvotering som ett verktyg för att snabba på utvecklingen?
”Det är inte ett verktyg man ska plocka fram dag ett. Men om man år efter år ser att utvecklingen går så här långsamt tycker jag att man ska vara öppen för att överväga kvotering. Bara att diskutera frågan kan ge positiva konsekvenser”, säger Åsa Lindhagen.

Arbetsgivarorganisationen Svenskt Näringsliv föredrar att fokusera på den långsiktiga trenden snarare än nuläget.

Carina Lindfelt, ansvarig för arbetsmarknadsfrågor på Svenskt Näringsliv.Foto:

”Det här ger ju en nulägesbild men det har under en lång tid funnits en tydlig trend med ökande andel kvinnor i ledningsgrupper. Det är naturligtvis positivt”, säger Carina Lindfelt, ansvarig för arbetsmarknadsfrågor på Svenskt Näringsliv.

Så Svenskt Näringsliv ser inga problem med att mindre än vart femte bolag har en jämställd ledning?
”Utifrån perspektivet att trenden är så tydlig och inte verkar avmattas ser jag positivt på att det går i rätt riktning. Kompetensbristen är våra medlemsföretags viktigaste fråga och eftersom kvinnor är i majoritet på högre utbildningar driver det på utvecklingen mot fler kvinnor på ledande positioner”, säger Carina Lindfelt.

Teknikkonsulten Sweco SWEC B +2,2% är ett av bolagen som kvalar in på 50/50-listan. Det är också ett av totalt 62 bolag med både jämställd styrelse och ledning. Förutom en kvinna som vd har bolaget dessutom tre affärsområdeschefer som är kvinnor.

”Anledningen att vi har lyckats är att vi alltid utgår från talang och faktabaserad prestation. Bedömer man utifrån fakta och inte sig själv och sina egna erfarenheter har alla samma möjligheter”, kommenterar vd Åsa Bergman bolagets framgång med att lyfta kvinnor till toppositioner.

Hon kallar jämställdhet affärskritiskt och starkt förknippad med bolagets lönsamhet och tillväxt. Att identifiera könsbalans som viktigt för affären gör att Sweco kan prioritera det ena eller andra könet när obalanserade grupper ska rekrytera.

”Det finns alltid talangfulla tjejer, man måste bara välja dem. Eftersom jämställdhet är affärskritiskt kan jag säga till chefen för en obalanserad grupp att du behöver kvinnor, fokusera på det”, säger Åsa Bergman.

Vad betyder det för era omkring 5 000 kvinnliga medarbetare att ni har en jämställd ledning?
”Hur ledningen ser ut sänder naturligtvis signaler till hela organisationen. På Sweco kan alla kvinnor se att det enda som står i vägen mellan dem och rollen som koncernchef är deras egen vilja och prestationer. Det gäller ju inte alla bolag i Sverige”, säger Åsa Bergman.
Källa: DI.se, 2 mars 2020
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Anställda saknar förtroende för ledningens förändringsarbete

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on February 27th, 2020 by admin

Få anställda i stora nordiska finansbolag känner tillit och förtroende till sin ledning i förändringsfrågorna – det visar en ny undersökning från konsultjätten Accenture.

Konsultjätten Accenture har i undersökningen “Nordic Transformation Readiness Study” undersökt hur anställda och chefer på företag inom bank, finans och försäkring arbetar med förändring. Det är första gången undersökningen genomförs i Norden med företag inom bank, finans och försäkring.

Resultatet visar att de nordiska företagen inom bank, finans och försäkring har relativt få anställda som är frustrerade eller otrygga över sin roll i förändringsarbetet, i en internationell jämförelse. De anställda upplever även att organisationerna har tillräckligt med personal för att driva förändringsarbetet framåt.

– Först och främst vill jag säga att alla de nordiska företagen vi analyserat är “on track” med sin förändringsresa. Däremot har de inte kommit lika långt i processen som önskvärt och har ännu inte riktigt fått utväxling för sitt arbete. Vi konstaterar att de har en del kvar att göra för att uppnå de bästa resultaten, säger Linda Håkansson, ansvarig för finansiella tjänster på Accenture.

De nordiska svagheterna identifieras till att få anställda känner tillit och förtroende till sin ledning i förändringsfrågorna. De anställda finner även att cheferna på avdelningarna inte gör tillräckligt för att stödja förändringsarbetet.

– Vårt resultat visar att medarbetare i Norden är redo för att skapa förändring och har alla förutsättningar som behövs. Däremot är det ledningen som här behöver ta kommando över processen vilket inte upplevs av de anställda i nuläget.

På internationell nivå är resultaten de omvända. Där känner fler medarbetare oro och frustration över sin roll i företagets förändringsresa. De upplever också i större utsträckning att företagen är underbemannade för processen.

– Internationellt är resultaten de motsatta. Där är det istället ledningen som driver på för förändring och de anställda som känner sig dåligt utrustade för processen. När vi jämför de nordiska resultaten med de globala konstaterar vi att internationella bolag har kommit längre i förändringsresan än deras nordiska konkurrenter.

Linda Håkansson tror att skillnaden dels beror på kulturella skillnader inom ledarskap. Andra faktorer som spelar in är företagens storlek och benägenhet till förändring.

– I Norden har vi en ledningskultur som önskar konsensus vilket stärker medarbetarnas roll i arbetet men i viss mån försvagar ledarskapet. Internationellt är det vanliga med toppstyrda organisationer och där behöver de istället arbeta med att förankra medarbetare i processerna.

Ser ni några skillnader mellan olika roller på samma företag?
– Det vi ser är de som arbetar på utvecklingssidan bättre förstår företagets hela förändringsprocess och känner sig delaktiga. Rådgivare, eller de som arbetar med slutkunden, är de som ser lägst resultat kring förändringsresan.

Vilken är er rekommendation till ledningar som vill driva förändring?– Det handlar om att förstå sina anställda, sitt företag och tydligt kommunicera vägen framåt. När du som ledare tror att kommunicerat tillräckligt behöver du ofta upprepa budskapen och målsättningen så att det verkligen går in. Det handlar om att skapa en delaktig “vi-känsla” som får dina anställda att nå sin fulla potential.

– Det är väldigt farligt att tro att du som ledning är färdig med förändring. Oavsett vilka andra problem eller utmaningar du som ledning har måste din närvaro vara tydlig och framåtdrivande. En öppen organisation som tillåter personalen att jobba mot tydliga mål.

—————————————————

Undersökningen gjordes under våren 2019 och innefattar anonyma svar från sex nordiska storbolag inom bank, finans och försäkring. 

– Syftet är att du som företag ska ha rätt information när du fattar strategiska beslut. Genom att kartlägga företagens förmåga och beteende inom förändring så att företagen bättre kan förstå hur de ska leda sin utveckling framåt, säger Linda Håkansson, ansvarig för finansiella tjänster på Accenture. 

Undersökningen görs via det Accenture-utvecklade analysverktyget Transformation GPS och kompletteras med djupintervjuer med personer i ledande roller. Sammantaget har Accenture fått svar från över 1 miljon anställda som enligt Accenture tydligt visar var företagen befinner sig i sin förändringsresa. 

 

Källa: Realtid.se, 27 februari 2020
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How to beat the transformation odds

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on February 26th, 2020 by admin

Three out of four transformations fall short!

Transformational change is still hard, according to a new survey. But a focus on communicating, leading by example, engaging employees, and continuously improving can triple the odds of success.

After years of McKinsey research on organizational transformations,  the results from our latest McKinsey Global Survey on the topic confirm a long-standing trend: few executives say their companies’ transformations succeed.  Today, just 26 percent of respondents say the transformations they’re most familiar with have been very or completely successful at both improving performance and equipping the organization to sustain improvements over time. In our 2012 survey, 20 percent of executives said the same.

But some companies have beaten the odds. We asked respondents whether their organizations follow 24 specific actions that support five stages of a transformation.  At organizations that took a rigorous, action-oriented approach and completed their transformations (that is, all of their initiatives have been fully implemented), executives report a 79 percent success rate—three times the average for all transformations. According to the results, no single action explains the difference; in fact, the more actions an organization takes, the more likely its transformation is to succeed. Still, the results suggest that some transformation practices correlate much more closely than others with success. These practices include communicating effectively, leading actively, empowering employees, and creating an environment of continuous improvement so organizations can keep their performance from stagnating (or even regressing) once a transformation’s goals are met.  By implementing continuous-improvement activities that enable the organization to look regularly for new and better ways to work, respondents’ organizations double their chance of successfully sustaining improvements after the transformation.

The power of action—and communication
To test which transformation practices correlate most with success, we asked executives about 24 specific actions that support a transformation’s five stages (see sidebar, “The 24 actions of transformation”). Indeed, the results indicate that when organizations follow a rigorous approach and pursue all of these actions during a transformation, the overall success rate more than doubles from the average (26 percent), to 58 percent. Among only completed transformations, respondents report a success rate of 79 percent—about triple the average success rate for all transformations.

While the results show that success links closely to a greater overall number of actions, they also indicate that not all 24 actions are created equal. Communication, specifically, contributes the most to a transformation’s success. At companies where senior managers communicate openly and across the organization about the transformation’s progress, respondents are 8.0 times as likely to report a successful transformation as those who say this communication doesn’t happen. Good communication has an even greater effect at enterprise-wide transformations, where company-wide change efforts are 12.4 times more likely to be successful when senior managers communicate continually.

It also helps when leaders develop a clear change story that they share across the organization. This type of communication is not common practice, though. When asked what they would do differently if the transformation happened again, nearly half of respondents (and the largest share) wish their organizations had spent more time communicating a change story.

Lead, don´t manage
According to respondents, leadership matters as much during a transformation as it does in the company’s day-to-day work. It can’t be delegated to a project-management office or central team—the presence (or not) of which has no clear bearing on a transformation’s success—while executives carry on with business as usual. Indeed, when senior leaders role model the behavior changes they’re asking employees to make (by spending time on the factory floor or in the call center, where work is done), transformations are 5.3 times more likely to be successful. Success is twice as likely when senior leaders and the leaders of initiatives spend more than half of their time on the transformation. In practice, though, only 43 percent of these leaders say they invested that much working time in the transformation’s initiatives.

But even if they’re involved, senior leaders face some potential pitfalls. First is the perception gap between them and everyone else in the organization. Eighty-six percent of leaders say they role modeled the desired behavior changes when transformation initiatives were being implemented, yet only half of all employees who were part of the transformation (but didn’t play an active role) say the same. Overall, senior leaders are also 2.5 times as likely as other employees to rate their companies’ transformations a success.

A second pitfall, in addition to outsize optimism, is overplanning. Few initiative leaders—only 22 percent—say they would spend more time planning the transformation if they could do it over again. Instead, these respondents most often say they would spend more time communicating a change story (49 percent) and aligning their top team (47 percent).

Choose the right people and empower them

An involved team of senior leaders is only half the battle. Executives report that for transformations to truly succeed, companies must think about the role that employees play as well as their people needs across the organization. If the transformation happened again, the largest share of executives say they would move faster to keep people resistant to changes out of leadership or influencer roles.

According to respondents, it’s important to define clear roles so employees at all levels are prepared to meet the post-transformation goals—a factor that makes companies 3.8 times more likely to succeed . Also key to an effective people strategy is allocating enough employees and the right ones—that is, the high performers and active supporters—to work on the transformation. One effective way to hold these people accountable, according to the results, is using transformation-related metrics. Executives who say their initiatives’ leaders were held accountable for their transformation work in annual evaluations are 3.9 times more likely than others to report a successful transformation.

Prepare for continuous improvement

Once initiatives are fully implemented, the change effort does not end; almost 40 percent of respondents say they wish they had spent more time thinking about how their organizations would continue to improve. Several specific practices that help companies connect strategy to daily work, deliver value more efficiently to customers, enable people to contribute to their best ability, and discover new ways of working all link to an organization’s long-term health—and can keep companies from backsliding on performance gains and support continuous improvements after transformation.

For example, in organizations where people understand how their individual work supports the company’s broader vision, executives are 5.5 times likelier than others to say the transformation has been successful . To achieve long-term success, that link must also be reinforced with a company-wide commitment to identifying opportunities for improvement—a practice that more than quadruples the likelihood of success. Likewise, executives report a much higher rate of success when their companies have a systematic process for developing people’s capabilities and for identifying, sharing, and improving upon best practices.

Of the eight continuous-improvement actions we asked about, one was an outlier: only one-third of executives say teams of employees begin their days discussing the previous day’s results and the current day’s work, compared with strong majorities of executives who agree that their organizations take each of the other actions. But respondents whose organizations had implemented daily discussions were twice as likely as others to report success.

Looking ahead

Focus on people, not the project. Transformations are about the people in the organization as much as they’re about the initiatives. The long-term sustainability of a transformation requires companies to engage enthusiastic high-potential employees, equip them with skills, and hold them accountable for—as well as celebrate—their contributions to the effort. Companies should, in our experience, take the same steps toward developing people throughout the organization. To build broad ownership, leaders should encourage all employees to experiment with new ideas: starting small, taking risks, and adapting quickly in their work. Doing so can create far-reaching and positive support for change, which is essential to a transformation’s success.

Communicate continually. When embarking on a transformation, executives should not underestimate the power of communication and role modeling. The results suggest that continually telling an engaging, tailored story about the changes that are under way—and being transparent about the transformation’s implications—has substantially more impact on an effort’s outcome than more programmatic elements, such as performance management or capability building. But the communication doesn’t end once the change story has been told. Leaders must continually highlight progress and success to make sure the transformation is top of mind across the organization—and to reduce the gap between what employees believe is happening and what they see.

Take more action. Transformation is hard work, and the changes made during the transformation process must be sustained for the organization to keep improving. There is no silver bullet—and while some factors have more impact than others on a transformation’s outcome, the real magic happens when these actions are pursued together. Overall, the survey indicates that the more actions an organization took to support each of the five stages of transformation, the more successful it was at improving performance and sustaining long-term health.

 

Source: McKinsey.com
About the authors: The contributors to the development and analysis of this survey include David Jacquemont, a principal in McKinsey’s Paris office; Dana Maor, a principal in the Tel Aviv office; and Angelika Reich, an associate principal in the Zurich office.

Link

Läs mer om förtroendet för ledningen avseende förändringsarbete inom nordiska finansbolag (27 februari 2020):

 

Organizations do not change. People change!

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on October 28th, 2019 by admin

Addressing an organization’s mindset has a tangible business impact and is the key that opens the door to successfully transforming an organization.

Albert Einstein once famously remarked, “Today’s problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.”
Consider the example of a Latin American consumer goods manufacturer under pressure to change its performance after not having performed well for several quarters. Due to urgency, the chief transformation officer went off to set more stretched targets and created a weekly governance to review performance initiatives with more rigor.

Yes, people worked hard. Yes, at first some KPIs improved, but all of this drained more energy than the results it was delivering. It soon became clear that the people would not last a marathon at the speed of a sprint; they had started to become disengaged.
Like in this organization, most enterprise transformations focus on changing business metrics and, at best, employee behaviors—and not the thinking what created the need for a transformation in the first place. And, not surprisingly, 70% of them fail. Companies with failed transformation programs identify employee resistance or management behavior as the major barrier (72%) to success.

To avoid that statistic, this manufacturer for the first time shifted the focus on the people. What was driving their behavior? What made their eyes shine? What would truly engage them in a transformation? Looking for these answers, the top team discovered that up until then, people were gaining praise for doing new things even if they were not delivering their promised results. They thought that short-term results were more important than satisfying the consumer. And when the time came to choose, they felt that their individual goals were bigger than the company’s. All this was limiting them from participating wholeheartedly in the transformation underway.

In fact, these mindsets, as we call them, needed to be flipped to make things work. Through a set of targeted initiatives, these mindsets were shaken. The people came to realize that satisfying the consumer is what will bring the short-term results. There is no success for the individual if the company is not doing well. And they started to be recognized for executing with discipline focusing on our full potential to deliver challenging goals. Sharing the story of why the transformation was necessary and addressing these mindsets engaged the employees with a whole new level of energy, and only few months later the organization was able to deliver its first quarter back on track and continue the trend.

Companies that take the time to identify and shift deep-seated mindsets were 4x more likely to rate their change programs as “successful,” according to the McKinsey Quarterly Transformational Change Survey, 2010. In fact, mindset shifts are linked to the highest impact behaviors a person wants to change.

Unless you first identify the mindsets, both limiting and enabling your people, your transformation initiatives may be wasting resources, time and energy. Another company, a telco, found that managers spent the majority of performance reviews explaining the complex rating process vs giving feedback. So, the telco simplified the process and rating system, increased frequency of conversations, and provided training on delivering feedback. However, it’s important to keep in mind that “from” mindsets aren’t necessarily bad; many rational, competent and well-meaning people could and do operate in this way.

In the case of the telco, leaders cancelled reviews and/or spent most time on small talk. Why? Leaders actually avoided difficult conversations and focused the feedback on process because they were afraid that criticism and difficult conversations would damage their relationships. Once this mindset transformed into “honesty (with respect) is the essence of building strong relationships,” leaders started to engage in regular, honest and courageous feedback conversations, and focus their feedback on performance.
Addressing the organization’s mindset has a tangible business impact and is the key that opens the door to successfully transforming an organization. In our next articles, we explore how to uncover those mindsets and how to turn them around.
The authors wish to thank Natasha Bergeron for the practical insights she provided for this post.

Source: McKinsey.com, October 2019
Authors: Anita Baggio, Eleftheria Digentiki and Rahul Varma
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For a successful transformation, start by sprinting

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on August 27th, 2019 by admin

No, don’t hurry through important steps. Rather, create a straightforward plan and implement it in short bursts—followed by pauses to reflect on effectiveness.

When done well, an organizational redesign fosters improved strategic focus, higher growth, better decision-making and more accountability.

However, a McKinsey survey revealed that only 30 percent of organizational redesigns are successful in terms of achieving overall objectives and improved performance. That means a daunting 70 percent of transformations fail.

Why? In the design phase, meddling by too many cooks often obscures the vision of a future operating model. Accommodating multiple opinions means the design becomes fragmented and vulnerable to individual pain points. Resources can get tied up in tasks that don’t add real value, unnecessarily prolonging the process.

More than 80 percent of executives have gone through an organizational redesign at their current company. They know that a transformation is a marathon. But to get to the finish line, it pays to do implementation sprints. That means taking a simpler, iterative approach; learning as you go; and correcting course more frequently. Under this approach, concept development and implementation are linked, running in parallel.

One high-end retailer, for example, faced difficulties with its siloed culture when redesigning its operating model and online assortment strategy. A series of focused two-week meetings, led by cross-functional teams, helped to foster a common view of what needed to change. The quick implementation of changes led to an impressive increase in its online assortment from 30 percent to more than 70 percent in just three months.

There are six things to keep in mind when going through a transformation:
1. Be bold: Set a clear and ambitious target that will help you substantially transform your organization and let it guide your future operating model.
2. Slim it down: Create a simplified first version of your envisioned end-state that will still deliver a significant amount of impact in the first phase of implementation.
3. Prioritize change initiatives: Don’t kick off all new initiatives at once. Instead, be clear about how the initiatives will be sequenced and how they relate to one another.
4. Conduct implementation sprints: Kick off the implementation in short design-test-apply cycles.
5. Adapt and hone when needed: React to requirements that emerge during the transformation and course-correct whenever needed.
6. Keep your eye on the ball: Stay focused on the actual end product: a truly transformed organization, not a perfectly designed plan. Embrace constant reality checks and adapt the plan accordingly. This helps to concentrate resources on those areas that contribute the most value.

Change is not easy, and the odds are hardly in any transformation’s favor. But tackling the root of the problem by simplifying the design and using a pragmatic approach—through implementation sprints—will boost the likelihood of success.

While we all aim for perfection, we should not do so when designing a new operating model. Sometimes complex concepts, which theoretically are superior to simpler plans, don’t get implemented. Instead, they can draw attention and energy away from more fundamental changes and delay the entire transformation.

Source: McKinsey.com, August 2019
By: Patrick Guggenberger, advises leading global companies in the consumer industry and other sectors on how to optimize organizational design and operating models to improve performance and culture, and boost organizational agility-
Patrick Simon, dvises consumer-packaged-goods, apparel, and fashion companies around the world, with a focus on organizational transformation and harmonizing a company’s operating model with its strategy and the market’s requirements
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Making a culture transformation stick with symbolic actions

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on August 15th, 2019 by admin

Elephant in the room: making a culture transformation stick with symbolic actions

Leaders are familiar with the challenge of making a cultural transformation. To signal changing expectations, execute carefully considered symbolic actions.

Why did a leading global agriculture player order small rubber elephants adorned with the company’s logo for its meeting rooms? Far from being mere props, these elephants were symbols to facilitate desired behavior shifts in employees.

The organization was undergoing a cultural transformation to become a higher-performing, more innovative company. Leadership realized that to achieve this goal, employees needed to become more open and comfortable having the candid conversations required to move ideas forward—they needed to be able to put the elephant on the table. To encourage this change, leadership sought a way to signal the beginning of the transformation and role model the new behaviors.

Leaders across industries are familiar with the challenge of making—and sustaining—a cultural transformation. To signal that cultural expectations are changing, leadership should execute one or two carefully considered symbolic actions.

Make expectations clear through role modeling
“Beyond Performance 2.0” discusses the importance of senior leaders employing symbolic actions—highly visible acts or decisions that indicate change in the organization—to demonstrate their commitment to the transformation. Symbolic actions can augment critical, but often less visible, day-to-day behavior shifts among leaders, addressing a common frustration: “I’m doing things differently but no one is noticing.”

Our research shows that transformations are 5.3 times more likely to succeed when leaders model the behavior they want employees to adopt. We also found that nearly 50 percent of employees cite the CEO’s visible engagement and commitment to transformation as the most effective action for engaging frontline employees.

Symbolic actions are most successful when employees connect the dots between the act and the broader change message, facilitating both a mindset and behavioral shift. For example, employees at the agriculture company were initially confused when they discovered the rubber elephants. But their confusion subsided when they saw leaders pick them up and put them on the table as they raised difficult topics others might have felt uncomfortable surfacing. The practice was eventually adopted by other employees when they too needed to call out the elephant in the room.

Develop a portfolio of symbolic actions
Leaders can identify the right symbolic actions for their organization and evolve their approaches by undertaking three key activities:

1. Define the purpose of and audience for potential symbolic actions.
Leaders should identify what specific changes they want to facilitate and which group should be part of the symbolic action. Being clear on what is being symbolized and for what purpose will focus energy on the ideas that will have the greatest impact.

2. Brainstorm symbolic actions.
Go for quantity over quality when generating ideas. Use external examples for inspiration and adopt design-thinking tactics, such as empathy mapping, to better understand the audience. Categorizing the ideas according to design dimensions such as who will execute the action and the frequency of the action (one-time, periodic or ongoing) helps the group iterate.

3. Review and prioritize ideas.
Evaluate the list as a team and identify options that you feel will be the most effective, shifting the focus to quality over quantity. Prioritized actions should be consistent with broader transformation messaging and should be designed to appeal to the different sources of meaning that motivate and inspire employees, such as doing good for society, supporting their working team, or enabling personal gain.

The behavior change and the broader culture change transformation catalyzed by the elephant on the table ultimately paid off for the agriculture company. Its employees now have more open, candid conversations, enabling improved performance and health of the organization. The company climbed to the top decile of organizational health in McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index database—an achievement that our analysis indicates correlates with clear improvements in financial performance. For shareholders, there is nothing symbolic about those returns.

For more on leading successful large-scale change programs, see our book, “Beyond Performance 2.0.”

Source: McKinsey.com, July 2019
Authors: By Jessica Cohen, Matt Schrimper and Emily Taylor
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Kopiera sporteliten: Fem framgångsprinciper bakom vinnarteam

Posted in Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on June 3rd, 2019 by admin

Den som vill skapa ett framgångsteam gör klokt i att inspireras av eliten inom idrotten. Här är ingredienserna för att knåda fram ett vinnarlag – oavsett sport eller näringslivsgren.  Framgångsrika idrottsklubbar har en lagprestanda som många företag trånar efter. I sin nya bok ”Vinnande ledarskap” identifierar forskarkollegorna Margareta Oudhuis och Stefan Tengblad de principer som ligger bakom medaljerna. 

1. Rätt miljö 
Klubbar som når långt har bland annat en publikdragande arena, toppmoderna träningsanläggningar och viktig kringexpertis som fysioterapeuter, idrottsläkare, dietister och sjukgymnaster. Det vill säga allt som krävs för att maximera spelarnas förutsättningar.  

”Miljön ska underlätta för idrottarna att fokusera på kärnverksamheten och de sportsliga prestationerna. Motsvarande tänkesätt kan man utgå från när man utformar arbetsplatser”, säger Margareta Oudhuis, professor i arbetsvetenskap vid Högskolan i Borås. 

2. Skickligt lagbygge
Balans mellan individ och kollektiv är grundläggande i topplagen. Å ena sidan ska varje spelare tänja sin egen roll och maxförmåga. Å andra sidan måste det finnas en kollektiv ansvarskultur, där alla gemensamt jobbar för att laget ska vinna. 

Var och en måste också känna sig uppskattad och bekräftad, konstaterar Margareta Oudhuis och tar före detta förbundskaptenen för landslaget i ishockey, Conny Evensson, som exempel. 

”När han klev in i omklädningsrummet efter en match gick han inte fram till stjärnan i laget som ändå blev omklappad av alla, utan till den spelare som ingen ser. Det gjorde han medvetet för att lyfta dem som inte får lika stor uppmärksamhet.”

3. Robust spelfilosofi
Spelfilosofin är lagets ryggrad som klargör hur målet ska nås. Den är också en form av värderingsmässig ledstång att hålla sig i. 

”När spelfilosofin sitter i ryggmärgen frigörs energi till kreativitet. Framgångsrika lag lyckas också ständigt förbättra den”, säger Margareta Oudhuis. 

Om lagets filosofi och värderingar inte respekteras ska tränaren markera, säger hon vidare. En uppmärksammad händelse var när Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Olof Mellberg och Christian ”Chippen” Wilhelmsson trotsade lagets riktlinjer och gick ut på krogen. Krogbesöket ledde till att de skickades hem från landslagssamlingen i Göteborg 2006. 

”Det fungerar inte om lagets värderingar bara gäller vissa spelare. Alla – även stjärnorna – måste respektera dem. En spelare berättade att laget fick ett större förtroende för förbundskaptenen Lars Lagerbäck efter beslutet.”

4. Orubblig vinnaranda
För att ta sig till medaljerna gäller det att ha en välkomnande och öppen miljö i laget. Nya, skickliga spelare ska inte ses som ett hot, säger Margareta Oudhuis. 

”Kommer det in en riktig bra spelare ska laget tänka, ‘vad kul nu blir vi ännu bättre’. Om det uppstår osund konkurrens är det nödvändigt att stävja den. Det gäller även inom arbetslivet.”

Den tidigare tränaren för herrlandslaget i handboll, Bengt ”Bengan” Johansson, var en mästare på att mejsla fram rätt laganda bland spelarna, konstaterar hon. 

”Han lyckades bland annat få en väldigt duktig spelare att sitta på bänken och vara lycklig när laget vann. I stället för att känna sig utanför, stöttade han genom att vara glad och lyfta dem som spelade.”

5. Fullt fokus ger flyt
Fokusbubblan är avgörande för att kamma hem medaljerna. Inget lag har segrat med spelare som är disträ eller riktar koncentrationen mot annat än det som händer på planen. Det kan vara värt att påminna sig om på företagen, där just fokus snarare har blivit en bristvara på många håll, anser Margareta Oudhuis.

Ritualerna före match är ofta viktiga. Legendariska förbundskaptenen Tommy Svensson hittade en numera berömd metod för att få laget i vinnarstämning inför åttondelsfinalen mot Saudiarabien i VM 1994, där Sverige tog brons.

Han läste dikten ‘I rörelse’ av Karin Boye. Det fick spelarna att bli berörda och känna att ‘vi klarar detta’ – och så gick de ut på planen och vann matchen.”

Källa: DI.se, 3 juni 2019
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Five moves to make during a digital transformation

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Digitalisering / Internet, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete on May 20th, 2019 by admin

Surveyed executives confirm that digital transformations rarely achieve success. But in those that do lie the structural elements that may help organizations overcome the odds.

Despite the abundance of digital and analytics transformations underway across the business landscape, few companies are achieving the results envisioned. Our latest McKinsey Global Survey on the topic confirms that the rate of success is alarmingly low.1 About eight in ten respondents say their organizations have begun digital transformations in recent years, but just 14 percent say their efforts have made and sustained performance improvements.2 What’s more, only 3 percent report complete success at sustaining their change. (Explore the survey results in our data visualization, “An interactive look at digital transformations.”)

That companies find difficulty turning in successful digital transformations is not surprising, since we know from previous research that digital transformations are harder than more traditional ones to get right. But a look at the structure of digital and analytics transformations points to five key moves at particular stages of a transformation that set successful change efforts apart. These actions suggest ways that other organizations can plan and execute digital transformations successfully.

For starters, respondents who report the greatest levels of success in pursuing digital transformations say their organizations ruthlessly focus on a handful of digital themes tied to performance outcomes. In defining their transformations’ scope, these successful organizations boldly establish enterprise-wide efforts and build new businesses. They also create an adaptive design that allows the transformation strategy and resource allocation to adjust over time. In addition, they adopt agile execution practices and mind-sets by encouraging risk taking and collaboration across parts of the organization. Moreover, in successful efforts, leadership and accountability are crystal clear for each portion of the transformation.

Ruthlessly focus on a clear set of objectives

When considering a response to digital disruptions, organizations face many critical choices. Should they transform their existing business model or build a new one? Should they drive down costs or focus on customer engagement? Which areas of the business will require more investment in digital initiatives, and which will need to defund their own initiatives to free up resources for the ones that perform well or reflect higher-priority objectives? Getting leaders to agree upon the best way forward can be challenging, but the survey results suggest a need for consensus.Would you like to learn more about McKinsey Digital?Visit our Digital Organization page

With successful digital transformations, respondents say their organizations keep efforts focused on a few digital themes—that is, the high-level objectives for the transformation, such as driving innovation, improving productivity, or reshaping an end-to-end customer journey—that are tied to business outcomes, rather than pursuing many different agendas (Exhibit 1). At successful organizations, accountability for those objectives also spans the organization. These respondents are 3.7 times more likely than others to report a shared sense of accountability for meeting their transformations’ objectives. They also say their organizations have been clear about the financial effects of their initiatives; for example, they estimate impact based on the company’s current business momentum and models of near- and long-term scenarios.

Exhibit 1

Be bold when setting the scope

We know from previous research that digital strategies should be bold in magnitude and scope,3and the survey results show that this also holds true for digital transformations. The successful digital and analytics transformations are about 1.5 times more likely than others to be enterprise-wide in scale (Exhibit 2). This result aligns with earlier research, which found that companies making digital moves often use new digital technologies at scale to capture the full benefits from their technology investments.4 Respondents at successful organizations are also 1.4 times more likely than others to report the creation of new digital businesses during their transformations.

Exhibit 2

Create an adaptive design

The fast pace at which digital drives change explains why so many companies are launching digital transformations and why the transformations themselves must be flexible. Defining a multiyear transformation’s investment requirements and performance targets up front—and not revisiting them as the transformation progresses—has perhaps never been a sound approach. But digital transformations require monthly, if not weekly, adjustments. We see this adaptability ingrained in the design of successful transformations: respondents reporting success are almost three times more likely than others to say their efforts involve at least monthly adjustments to their strategic plans, based on business leaders’ input on the state of the transformation (Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3

Along with the need for adaptable transformation targets, flexible talent allocation is a differentiator in a transformation’s success. Respondents at successful organizations are more than twice as likely as others to strongly agree that their allocation of talent to digital initiatives has been dynamic during their transformations. Finally, a larger share of respondents reporting success say their organizations have reallocated their operating expenditures to fund the transformation. Earmarking resources for initiatives that span organizational silos can help ensure that a transformation is properly funded and that initiatives aren’t partially funded by one part of the organization only to be deprioritized by another.

Adopt agile execution approaches and mind-sets

Just as the transformation’s design must be adaptable, so must the execution of its initiatives. Successful digital and analytics transformations are likelier than others to employ more agile ways of working, such as encouraging risk taking, innovation, and collaboration across parts of the business, during a transformation.5 Agility’s importance to transformation success is clear when we look at the agile characteristics of companies’ organizational culture. Respondents at successful organizations are more than twice as likely as their peers elsewhere to strongly agree that employees are rewarded for taking risks of an appropriate level and 2.6 times likelier to say their organizations reward employees for generating new ideas (Exhibit 4). Additionally, these respondents are three times likelier to say employees collaborate effectively across business units, functions, and reporting lines. These findings align with previous research on successful digital cultures, which found that being risk averse and too siloed often prevents incumbents from realizing business impact from their digital activities.

Exhibit 4

Of course, organizations can rely on employees to be innovative, take appropriate risks, and work collaboratively only if they have the right digital talent. Talent is another aspect in which successful digital and analytics transformations differ notably from the rest. A larger share of success-group respondents than their peers strongly agree that their organizations are focused on attracting and developing highly talented individuals. They are 1.8 times likelier than others to say their organizations have hired new employees with strong digital and analytics capabilities during their transformations. What’s more, these respondents report that an average of 53 percent of employees have been trained in new digital and analytics capabilities since their transformations began—1.7 times greater than the share of employees reported at other organizations.

Make leadership and accountability crystal clear

Who owns the digital and analytics transformation is often a hotly contested question, since the initiatives that organizations pursue will affect how company resources are prioritized and might even change the entire direction of the organization. A look at responses describing leadership roles shows significant differences between the success group and others in how certain roles lead the transformation’s strategy and its execution. Respondents reporting successful transformations are likelier than others to say their leaders—from the board and CEO down to the leaders of specific initiatives—engage materially in the efforts (Exhibit 5). For example, leaders at these organizations are more likely to communicate their transformations’ progress regularly to the markets. There also is greater clarity at successful organizations about who is responsible for which portion of the transformation, whether it’s the ownership of a specific initiative or a particular stage in the process.

Exhibit 5

Clarity about ownership is critical, since responsibility often shifts among different groups as the digital transformation progresses, and the handoffs must be well-defined. The survey results show how successful companies manage ownership over time during their digital and analytics transformations (Exhibit 6). For setting strategy and measuring impact, the largest shares of respondents from successful organizations say responsibility lies with the corporate strategy function, which has visibility across the entire business and broader ecosystem. By contrast, respondents at all other organizations are more likely than the success-group respondents to say individual business units or functions are responsible for these steps. Meanwhile, respondents from successful organizations say business units most often oversee the actual execution of initiatives—that is, building and refining them.

Exhibit 6

Looking ahead

While most respondents say their organizations have not fully sustained the improvements made during transformations, lessons can be learned from the approaches of the organizations that did succeed. The results from those efforts point to moves companies can make to keep their transformations on a path toward success:

  • Raise the bar on leadership alignment and commitment. The broader scope of successful transformations further underscores the importance of having buy-in and alignment across the full organization to keep efforts coordinated and prioritized. Lack of leadership alignment around objectives often leads to many subscale and misaligned initiatives. One way to encourage commitment to a transformation’s initiatives is to show leaders, using pilots and proof-of-concept exercises, that the strategy will work, followed by investment in a single cross-cutting initiative. Building these proof points can galvanize support for the change effort. The same is true of increasing leaders’ digital fluency. These steps help make leaders comfortable with dedicating operating and capital expenditures at an enterprise level, which shows executive commitment and reduces the risk of wasting resources on incomplete initiatives.
  • Build in flexibility with clearly defined handoffs. Not only are successful transformations more likely than others to span large parts of the organization, but the ownership of each transformation will evolve over time as it moves from ideation through execution. The results suggest that there must be a clear plan for how these shifts in accountability will occur. Handoffs and overlap are notorious friction points that are critical to manage and define. Leaders should gather the pertinent groups across the business and provide a clear plan for each transition, to avoid duplication, misalignment, and dropped balls.
  • Enforce survival of the fittest among digital initiatives. Like ownership, funding for initiatives requires clarity: there should be clear criteria for reallocation of resources, whether operating or capital expenditures, based on performance. All digital initiatives should be expected to meet their targets to continue to receive funding. When initiatives fail to do so, organizations should defund them without delay to free up capital for new ones and quickly move on to the next approach. Seeking out M&A and partnership opportunities to quickly build out missing capabilities for new initiatives has been shown to be an important differentiator for success,6  and this seems likely to continue to hold true as the pace of digital transformations continues to increase.

About the author(s)

The survey content and analysis were developed by Jonathan Deakin, a partner in McKinsey’s London office; Laura LaBerge, a senior expert in the Stamford office; and Barbara O’Beirne, an associate partner in the Dublin office.

They wish to thank Jacques Bughin, Tanguy Catlin, Oisin O’Sullivan, and Soyoko Umeno for their contributions to this work.

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Kraftig ökning av chefers psykiska ohälsa

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 7th, 2019 by admin
Foto: IBL

De senaste fem åren har chefers ohälsa ökat kraftigt, visar ny sjukstatistik. Även antalet långtidssjukskrivningar har stigit brant. 

Pressen på landets chefer ökar. Allt fler mår dåligt psykiskt. Det visar företagshälsan Previas nya stora statistiksammanställning över sjukfrånvaron hos 12.300 chefer på drygt 400 Previa-anslutna företag över hela landet.

Mellan 2014 och 2018 ökade chefskårens sjukfrånvaro – korttids- och långtidssjukskrivningar sammanlagt – med 50 procent. Och just psykisk ohälsa orsakade 2018 fem gånger fler sjukskrivningar bland chefer än under 2014.

Lennart Sohlberg, analytiker och hälsoekonom hos Previa, konstaterar att chefer över tid har sjukskrivit sig betydligt mindre än övrig personal.

– Men nu håller det på att förändras, genom den här trenden med ökad psykisk ohälsa inom chefsledet.

Pernilla Rönnlund, organisationskonsult hos Previa, understryker att arbetsplatserna över lag måste bli mer hållbara.

– I dag är det högt tempo och hög stressnivå, många möten och ständiga förändringar. Det blir för lite tid över för återhämtning, reflektion och kreativitet.

Många linjechefer gör sitt yttersta för att se och respektera medarbetarnas arbetsmiljöutmaningar, och tar ett stort ansvar för att komma till rätta med deras problem, konstaterar hon.

– Samtidigt sitter de själva med en enorm stress och press på sig. De flesta biter ihop, men lider av en brist på stöd från högre chefer. Allt fler har i dag sina chefer i andra länder, och de företagsledningarna förstår inte alltid hur svenska arbetsledningar förväntas fungera.

Särskilt de yngre cheferna med småbarn hemma riskerar att bli sjuka. De måste jonglera såväl ett stressigt familjeliv som en alltmer gränslös chefsroll med vidhäftande mer eller mindre uttalade krav på arbete och tillgänglighet kvällar och helger, vab och egen sjukdom.  

Många linje- och mellanchefer längtar efter att ledningsgruppen skulle vara mer synlig och tillgänglig för dem:

– Särskilt de yngre vill att deras egna chefer ska vara synliga och coachande, de är vana att bli sedda och vill få diskutera och ifrågasätta.

En sådan nära och förtroendefull dialog mellan chefsleden är en förutsättning för att upprepad korttidsfrånvaro bland cheferna ska kunna fångas upp, innan den riskerar att leda till utbrändhet eller annan sjukdom, och en långtidssjukskrivning. 

De företag som mår bäst och går bäst är som regel de som i tid förmår att fånga upp och stävja för mycket övertid på kvällar och helger. 

Och alla arbetsgivare är – enligt lag – tvungna att säkerställa en sund arbetsbelastning och god arbetsmiljö. Trots det talar företagsledningar nästan uteslutande om affärsstrategier, verksamhetsplaner och resultat, påpekar Pernilla Rönnlund.

Ledningsgruppers kompetens kring hur man kan arbeta proaktivt kring den sociala och organisatoriska arbetsmiljön är fortfarande låg. De bör tänka på att om man inte tar in arbetsmiljön också i ekvationen så kommer det att påverka årsredovisningen sista rad negativt. 

– En trygg, tydlig och enad medlemsgrupp ger trygga mellanchefer. Trygga mellanchefer ger trygga motiverade medarbetare.

Men ser ledningen inte signalerna kör folk in i väggen. Och det kostar i slutänden företaget pengar. 

Previa ser en ökad efterfrågan på analys, stöd och kompetensutveckling inom arbetsmiljö, ledarskap, hälsa och rehabilitering. 

– Och det är viktigt att det finns möjliga ersättare, om chefen behöver ta en time out, säger Pernilla Rönnlund. 

Tips för att motverka psykisk ohälsa bland chefer:

  • Bygg nätverk som ger chefer möjlighet att bolla idéer och söka stöd. 
  • Ta fram fler mentorprogram.
  • Minska personalgruppernas storlek. 
  • Avlasta cheferna administrativa arbetsuppgifter så långt som möjligt.
  • Se till att ha en tydlig ersättare vid chefens frånvaro. 
  • Gör kontinuerlig uppföljning av arbetsmiljön och stressfaktorer på  arbetsplatsen. 
  • Nära och aktivt stöd från HR-ledningen.

Källa: DN.se, 7 februari 2019
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Seeing your way to better strategy

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on December 6th, 2018 by admin

Viewing strategy choices through four lenses—financial performance, markets, competitive advantage, and operating model—can help companies debias their strategic dialogues and make big, bold changes.

When executives gather in the strategy-planning room, they’re aiming to identify and prioritize the big, bold choices that will shape the future of the company. Many times, however, their choices get watered down and waylaid.

Companies that hold no conviction about priorities too often spread resources evenly across multiple projects rather than targeting a few projects with the potential to win big. Those companies seeking to escape slowing growth in their core businesses sabotage themselves by chasing new markets without critically evaluating if or how they can win.

To avoid this fate, companies should examine their strategic choices through four critical, interdependent lenses—the company’s financial performance, market opportunities, competitive advantage, and operating model (exhibit).

Executives tend to overemphasize the first two—viewing choices strictly in the context of financial and market opportunities—because those lenses represent critical inputs into the business case. But knowing what it will take to meet or beat financial expectations and which markets are profitable won’t do much good if the company doesn’t have the assets or capabilities required to win in those markets. Nor will it do much good if the company lacks the people, processes, and organizational structure to implement the proposed strategy successfully.

By viewing strategy choices through all four lenses, executives can identify and prioritize the big moves that will lead companies to new markets and growth opportunities, or the steps they can take to consolidate the core. When combined, the lenses provide a clear, balanced, holistic view of not just the opportunities in play but also what it will take to capture them. This kind of objective strategy diligence can improve conversations in the strategy room—and, ultimately, kick corporate performance into a higher gear.1

The financial lens
Most companies necessarily initiate their strategy processes with a look at their financial performance. The financial lens can help them incorporate an outside view into these discussions and develop an objective baseline for assessing the feasibility of long-term targets.

A company can use standard valuation methods to estimate what performance levels it must achieve in the long term to justify today’s value. If the company performs at these expectations, shareholder returns would roughly equal the cost of equity, compensating investors for their opportunity cost of capital.2 This, however, is not value creation—it’s simply the lowest threshold by which leaders can say their strategy was successful.

To create value, companies must deliver returns above and beyond the cost of capital, or they must deliver returns that exceed those of peers. Thus, executives should also use benchmarks to figure out how the company must perform to move well beyond that threshold—delivering top-quintile returns to shareholders, for instance. An objective look at peers’ performance will help companies develop a meaningful three- to five-year plan for how to earn excess returns. Companies can learn a lot from this benchmarking exercise: perhaps high returns in the past were the result of a run-up in multiples in the market and, hence, expectations, but not actual performance.

To anchor those perspectives in current company performance and market position, it is critical for teams to develop a market-momentum case (MMC). Using external market data and peer-performance benchmarks, the MMC gives the company a holistic view of how financial performance will be affected if the company follows its current trajectory relative to market growth, cost evolution, and pricing dynamics without taking any countervailing actions. The end result is an objective baseline for performance that allows executives to conduct an unbiased assessment of how to prioritize new initiatives (and big moves) without counting on them in the base plan.

By assessing implied performance, aspirations for performance, and the MMC, strategy and finance professionals can arm themselves with the information required to start meaningful, objective discussions on value creation: How does the company need to perform to achieve superior returns, and how would the company perform if it remained in steady state?

The market lens
Most companies are seeing slow growth in core businesses and wishing they were in higher-growth, higher-margin businesses. In some cases, the slowing core business may even be under attack. For instance, a low-cost entrant might destroy incumbents’ economic profit in a certain segment, as happened in markets as diverse as those for aluminum wheels and children’s electronic toys. In today’s fast-moving business environments, many companies start from a baseline of deteriorating profit, not slightly increasing earnings. This creates urgency to make big moves into new markets or to block attackers.

The market lens provides a means by which companies can identify pockets of growth within existing segments and beyond, and assess them against strategic options. The critical factor here is granularity; executives should quantify and validate shifts in profit pools in relevant markets given trends that are visible now. One consumer-apparel company, for instance, examined absolute dollar growth in the product markets it operated in. It assessed growth by channel and by region. The differences were striking. In some geographies, demand was expected to continue to grow mostly in brick-and-mortar stores for at least five years, with a significant price premium for high-end products. In other geographies, online channels were capturing profits much more rapidly than expected. Using the market lens, the strategy team recognized the need to allocate resources in product development and marketing for high-end products in brick-and-mortar stores in certain regions, as well as more localized, lower-cost production in others. By running the analysis in this granular way, it could capture better profit in all regions, leading to above-average growth.

Additionally, strategy and finance leaders should always examine adjacent markets, which may be not only attractive segments for growth but also breeding grounds for potential future competitors. Many times, the adjacencies are obvious, as in online retailers’ continued push into industrial distribution for small and medium-size businesses, or technology companies’ moves into software-as-a-service businesses. Other times, they are not as obvious—for instance, raw-materials companies selling consumer goods.

After conducting the requisite analyses of markets, strategy teams should be able to address two key questions: In which market segments will we be able to grow profitably over time? What additional attractive markets should be considered?

The competitive-advantage lens
Most companies face a critical strategic choice in the planning room: Are we better off consolidating the core, where growth is slower, or can we realistically enter new high-growth, high-profit markets and win? But given time pressures, innate biases, and other factors, executives typically fall short in their consideration of assets, capabilities, and the investments required to compete more effectively against rivals. As a result, companies end up chasing unattainable growth and underinvesting relative to what it would take to win.

The competitive-advantage lens can help executives identify whether the company has what it will take to win in current markets and those going forward, or whether a big change is required to capture value. An honest assessment of current capabilities should inform how the company chooses to play in its markets, as well as partnerships or acquisitions that may be necessary.

In the wake of new realities such as digitization and the fact that many industries are reaching the limits of consolidation, the competitive-advantage lens is more important than ever. Take as an example the notion of building a digital platform, a goal shared by many executives these days: What competitive advantage will the platform provide? What sort of market share does it need to capture to be considered a “winner” and not just “average”? Is an ecosystem of third-party players required for the digital platform to succeed, or can this be done organically—and will we be able to do it quickly enough to become the preferred platform for our customers?

The analyses and insights here are typically based more on firsthand “case load” expertise than on industry databases or reports. Interviews with sales teams and postmortems on deals that went awry can be very insightful, as can customer and supplier surveys. There is a lot at stake in gaining these perspectives. The apparel company mentioned earlier discovered that competitors still owned brick-and-mortar stores in certain markets in which the apparel company worked only through online partners. The competitors’ sales representatives in these markets had special training and a structured sales approach that allowed them to collect information on customer preferences—for instance, the shapes, colors, and sizes customers wanted to see in the next season’s designs. This gave competitors a leg up in product development that the apparel company no longer had. The essential competitive advantage in these high-growth markets was real-time customer insights fed back into a rapid product-development cycle. The apparel company learned, therefore, that it had to continue to invest in brick-and-mortar stores to recapture this advantage, even in markets driven by online sales.

The operating-model lens
Companies routinely take for granted the impact of their operating models on their strategy choices. They maintain the status quo rather than asking whether they have the people, processes, technologies, and other critical components required to make big moves. The operating-model lens, then, is essential for understanding whether the company is set up for future success. Indeed, a company’s approach to resource allocation, talent management, organizational design, and performance management can either reinforce or defeat strategic objectives. Consider the following talent- and performance-management-related examples.

A pharmaceutical company estimated that more than one-third of its cash flow would come from Asia within five to seven years. That outcome never materialized, however: senior management had stationed fewer than 10 percent of the company’s sales representatives in Asia—all of whom were focused on maintaining current sales and profit, not on expanding sales according to the strategic plan. An analysis of the growth opportunity at stake (in dollars) versus the number of full-time employees allocated to the regions over the past five years revealed the degree of underinvestment. Senior management decided to hire heavily in Asia.

Rather than prescribe performance metrics from the top down—ordering, for instance, that no one can have more than a 1 percent increase in cost in the next fiscal year—a retail company picks two or three “growth cells” each year that get twice the relative marketing budget (among other investments) compared with other areas of the business. As a result, strategy discussions are now focused solely on which cells should be designated for accelerated growth, rather than minutiae about the budget.

Companies need to look at more than just financial opportunities when embarking on a new strategy or implementing a transformation program. They need to follow a due-diligence process for strategy, in the same way they would dispassionately and holistically vet critical mergers and acquisitions. Such a process can counter innate biases that lead to indecision or incremental rather than bold moves. The four interrelated lenses we’ve described provide a road map for ensuring that a strategy plan is supported by the right investments and change in operating model.

Source: McKinsey.com, December 2018
By: Kevin Laczkowski, Werner Rehm, and Blair Warner
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