Teamwork at the top

Posted in Aktuellt, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap on juli 29th, 2021 by admin

Creating an effective top team starts with behavioral improvement and teamwork in leadership.

The popular business press on both sides of the Atlantic is infatuated with chief executive officers who have drunk from the Holy Grail of heroic leadership. To be sure, a single person can make a difference at times, but even such heroic CEOs as General Electric’s Jack Welch emphasize the power of team leadership in action. As Welch himself said, “We’ve developed an incredibly talented team of people running our major businesses, and, perhaps more important, there’s a healthy sense of collegiality, mutual trust, and respect for performance that pervades this organization.”

Increasingly, the top team is essential to the success of the enterprise. Indeed, Welch is celebrated not only for increasing GE’s revenues nearly sevenfold in his 20-year tenure but also for building one of the world’s strongest executive talent portfolios, which has provided new leadership for many Fortune 500 companies besides GE.

So despite the obsessions of the business press, senior executives, shareholders, and boards of directors question the myth of heroic leadership. Merely bringing in a new CEO to reshape an organization will tend to show mixed results. In reality, long-term success depends on the whole leadership team, for it has a broader and deeper reach into the organization than the CEO does, and its performance has a multiplier effect: a poorly performing team breeds competing agendas and turf politics; a high-performing one, organizational coherence and focus.

Often, however, the leadership team is at best a collection of strong individuals who sometimes work at cross-purposes. What does it take for senior managers to gel as a team? Our work with more than a score of top teams, involving upward of 500 executives in diverse private- and public-sector organizations, suggests a straightforward process for enhancing their performance.

The most effective teams, focusing initially on working together, get early results in their efforts to deal with important business issues and then reflect together on the manner in which they did so, thus discovering how to function as a team. Formal team-building retreats are rare; behavioral interventions and facilitated workshops, though sometimes helpful, are not central to the effort of team building. Top teams address business performance issues directly but behavioral issues only indirectly and after the event.

A second myth of leadership, as pervasive as the myth of the heroic CEO, is the idea that seasoned managers slotted into an organizational chart can easily function as a team. In reality, top teams face many problems: finding the right people, matching the available skills to the job, and learning to work together without taking the time to craft roles. Teams don’t magically coalesce overnight. Their members have to be close in the professional rather than personal sense; they can thrive in an atmosphere of conflict if it is managed to increase creative output and to catalyze change. Becoming a top-performing top team must be one of the team’s goals.

To meet that goal, teams have to master three dimensions of performance. First, they require a common direction: a shared understanding of goals and values. Second, skills of interaction are crucial if the team is to go beyond individual expertise to solve complex problems and, equally, if it is to withstand the scrutiny of the rest of the organization, for people usually take their cues from the top. Finally, top teams must always be able to renew themselves—to expand their capabilities in response to change.

One reason for the difficulty of improving a team’s performance is that interaction, direction, and renewal are interdependent—teams need to go forward simultaneously on all three fronts to make real progress. It isn’t surprising, for instance, that top teams interact poorly when they don’t have a common direction. By contrast, enhanced performance in one dimension not only reinforces the improvement in others but also provides for the genuine personal development that builds success.

Suppose, for example, the team believes that it must build trust among its members. It rarely helps to have self-conscious discussions or “sharing” exercises about keeping or breaching trust, an approach that may actually be quite destructive. But by working together to sharpen the sense of strategic direction—and in this way experiencing successful interactions—the team can indirectly, but often dramatically, improve its effectiveness and thus the feeling of trust among its members. In effect, the team exploits its strong reasoning abilities to build trust.

Identifying real problems

Tolstoy wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same can be said of underperforming teams. Nonetheless, there are typical warning signs in each of the three dimensions of team performance.

Confused direction

Many CEOs assume that they and their top teams share a common understanding of corporate goals and values. Formal descriptions of roles, expected conduct, and corporate strategies and plans all reinforce this assumption, but several realities undermine it.

Lack of alignment. Executives may nod their heads when the CEO propounds a vision, but the team often lacks a shared view of how to implement it. At one well-known energy company, the five executives of a top team were asked to list the company’s 10 highest priorities. Alarmingly, they listed a total of 23 priorities; only 2 appeared on every executive’s list and only 7 on the lists of more than three members; indeed 13 of the 23 priorities appeared on only one list. In other cases, the team doesn’t agree about how performance should be assessed, who the company’s top performers are, or how to motivate the organization to achieve its stated objectives.

Lack of deep understanding. In some cases, the top team agrees on plans, but subsequent actions are inconsistent with its decisions. This problem reflects the tendency of top teams to focus on making decisions without examining the assumptions, the criteria, and the rationales behind them.

Lack of strategic focus. Top teams without a common direction spend more time on business as usual and on “fire fighting” than on seeking out and doing the work only they can do—work that is important to the organization and gives the team as a whole an opportunity to add value. A focused team concentrates on developing talent within the organization and on driving major growth initiatives; an unfocused team second-guesses line-management decisions, reruns analyses, and immerses itself in detail. Half of the executives we interviewed believed that they failed to add value in much of their work.

Ineffective interaction

Many management teams pay lip service to the importance of interaction but foster a working style that inhibits candid communication and collaboration.

Poor dialogue. Although the members of a team may spend much time talking to one another, they can often fail to communicate, by withholding vital information, suppressing critical opinions, or accepting questionable strategies out of fear of retaliation. These games lead not only to frustration but also to hidden agendas—problems that may stem from mistrust if individual team members don’t know one another or organizational units have a history of conflict. According to 65 percent of the respondents in our top-team database, trust was a real issue for their teams.

Dysfunctional behavior. Often the most serious result of poor dialogue is an inability to capitalize on diverse viewpoints and backgrounds, thus reducing the team’s ability to work creatively and adapt to changes in the market. And like any group of people, top teams can fall into destructive practices—for instance, the public humiliation of team members. Such behavior understandably creates fear and defensiveness and can intensify problems by isolating and scapegoating individual team members. Because the top team’s conduct is mimicked lower down in the organization, this kind of behavior can come to pervade it.

An inability to renew

Although many top teams recognize the importance of organizational renewal, few of them institute processes that revitalize effort and commitment. Three problems can make it hard for members of a team to step back and honestly assess their own performance. These problems often have their origin in the team members’ experience as middle managers. Most executives have climbed functional silos and are accustomed to defending their organizational turf. It is often difficult for such people to make the leap to broad strategic issues that have a bottom-line impact. Frequently, executives also can’t adapt their leadership style to life at the top, where interactions tend to be shorter, more frequent, less prepared, and aimed at a wider and more diverse audience.

Personal dissatisfaction. Many team members, despite their apparently successful careers and enviable positions, have become frustrated or insufficiently challenged by their work. A quarter of our respondents said that their jobs didn’t stretch them. Collectively and individually, team members ignore new sources of insight, information, and experience that could push them out of their comfort zone. The teams we have observed engaging in destructive politics usually discourage their members from assuming new roles or taking risks. As a result, these executives ultimately become bored, and their performance declines; hence, the typical CEO complaint that once-solid team members no longer energize others or adapt to changing needs.

Insularity. Top teams rarely pay enough attention to information from outside their companies or industries—information that, digested quickly, could influence key strategic and organizational decisions. In addition, top teams seldom make the time to reflect on the information they do receive and to assess its future impact. Lacking structured processes to receive and reflect upon information from external sources, most teams don’t find the time to generate a real strategic focus.

Deficient individual skills. Most companies give the members of their top teams little mentoring or coaching about how to effect change. Unlike middle managers, who frequently get broad training and coaching, senior managers usually work without a safety net and, frequently, without a second chance. Among the executives we surveyed, 80 percent believed that they had the necessary skills to fulfill their role, but only 30 percent believed that all of their colleagues did.

Becoming a top team

How can a company set about improving the performance of its top team? Our research points to some useful strategies for promoting effective action, reflection, and cohesion.

How it works

Many behavioral team-improvement efforts fail because they don’t speak to the needs of top managers: programmed exercises, for instance, seem artificial. Our work with top teams suggests four ways to build their performance by replicating the way senior executives actually work together.

1. Address a number of initiatives concurrently. The top team must focus on the most pressing issues—work that only it can do. Achieving tangible outcomes in a variety of management challenges is essential. The activities most likely to foster team action and reflection include framing strategy, managing performance, managing stakeholders, and reviewing top talent. The team really needs to do these things whether or not its members are attempting to improve their own performance as a team. The action element of the cycle improves the direction of the organization and its ability to renew itself, while reflection makes it possible for teams to discover ways of improving their interaction.

2. Channel the team’s discontent. Only 20 percent of the executives we surveyed thought their team was a high-performing one. Successful teams invite external challenges, focus on competitive threats, and judge themselves by best practice, since comparisons with industry leaders or key competitors raise the quality of debate by putting facts on the table.

3. Minimize outside intrusions. It is hard for a team to execute an improvement process by itself; some form of facilitation is usually required. Consultants or coaches should observe top teams at work rather than lead meetings or presentations. They should never try to direct the team’s work. Finally, they should ensure that real work dominates the improvement process. Teams must discover what is effective for them. Merely telling a team the solution to its problems reinforces the poor quality of its alignment and interaction.

4. Encourage inquiry and reflection. More than 80 percent of the executives we surveyed said that they didn’t set aside enough time for analyzing the root causes of problems. These executives believe that instead of developing rules of thumb slowly and subconsciously, they should use their business experience to draw lessons. Most senior business executives took a decade or more to develop their business judgment, but with the tenure of CEOs becoming shorter as investors’ expectations rise, most top teams just cannot wait years to improve their performance. Facilitating team cycles of action and reflection—accelerating the pace of change and making the process of discovery explicit—can have a significant effect in as quickly as three months.

What it looks like

On the face of it, a top team going through the performance improvement process resembles any other top team at work. As usual, CEOs and senior executives address a number of strands of business, but they focus on major strategic issues and work together as colleagues rather than delegate tasks to staffers, consultants, or individual team members. At a minimum, the entire top team should spend one day each month together, without staffers, doing real work as a team. Subgroups of two or three members should work together a couple of times a week on every issue the team is addressing and should probably spend some time with a facilitator as well.

Teams rarely manage to improve their performance wholly outside their active working environment, so short-term workshops, no matter how attractive the setting or how heart-felt and candid the members’ exchanges may be, aren’t likely to change their mode of working. Structured self-discovery and reflection must be combined with decision making and action in the real world; the constant interplay among these elements over time is what creates lasting change.

Why it works

Teamwork is a pragmatic enterprise that grows from tangible achievements. The action-reflection cycle—supported by improved direction, interaction, and renewal—complements the work style of most senior teams. First, this approach pushes them to address their own performance just as directly and forcefully as they would address other business performance issues. By doing real work on important problems and applying business judgment to reflect on that work, top teams jump-start their performance and satisfy their need for visible progress.

Second, taking an oblique approach to sensitive performance issues allows top teams to address their behavior after the event, without personal confrontations. Team members discover that alternative points of view are valid, that the CEO doesn’t have all the ideas the company needs for success, and that the team can be both challenging and supportive at the same time. This paradoxical combination—the indirect assessment of team behavior through direct work on critical issues—allows top teams to manage their own performance. Before investing time and resources in programs to build the top team, leaders should ensure that such efforts deal with its real work.

Teams must assess their own performance regularly and honestly. Every senior team should also dedicate several working sessions a year to issues—such as technology, changing demographics, political and environmental pressures, and emerging themes from management literature—that have little bearing on the next quarter but could reshape the enterprise and the team itself during the next five years. Teams should also explore unexpected successes and interesting failures inside and outside their organizations. They ought to travel, both physically and intellectually, outside their own regions and industries to companies that have tackled challenges similar to their own.

In doing all this, teams should pay attention to the consistency of their leadership, the quality of their interaction, and their opportunities for renewal. They must also build into their work processes ample time to reflect on the deeper causes of problems, on the areas where they can add the most value as a team, and on the quality of their past decisions. It is the process of discovering the best way for the members of the team to work together that ensures the absorption of basic behavioral lessons.

The prize for building effective top teams is clear: they develop better strategies, perform more consistently, and increase the confidence of stakeholders. They get positive results—and make the work itself a more positive experience both for the team’s members and for the people they lead.



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 februari 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.


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.


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


Utmaningen handlar om nya krav från kunderna

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Customer care / Kundvård, Fact Based Management on januari 3rd, 2019 by admin

Tiffani Bova är i Sverige för att lansera sin senaste bok ”Growth IQ: The Ten Paths To Growth”.
Utmaningen med den nya tekniken handlar inte alls om teknik – utan om att omdefiniera sin affär och hålla jämna steg med kundernas förväntningar.
Det menar tidigare Gartneranalytikern och molnstrategen Tiffani Bova.

Digitaliseringen rymmer så många möjligheter att det är svårt att veta var man ska börja. För Tiffani Bova – Innovation Evangelist på världens största mjukvaruföretag inom kundvård – är svaret enkelt:

– Utmaningen i dag handlar inte alls om teknik, utan om kundernas förväntningar och krav. De har förändrats mycket snabbare än de flesta företag inser och det är människorna som är den disruptiva, eller omstörtande, kraften i den tekniktransformation som vi nu genomgår, säger hon.

Ordet disruption finns egentligen inte på svenska, men används desto flitigare för att beteckna den svindlande omstöpning av hela branscher som vi ser. Kreativ förstörelse, menar Tiffani Bova, som jobbade som analytiker vid Gartner Group i tio år innan hon kom till Salesforce. Nu är hon i Sverige för att lansera sin senaste bok ”Growth IQ: The Ten Paths To Growth”.

Nya krav från kunder
AI, molntjänster, Internet of Things… det är lätt att tro att utmaningen handlar om själva tekniken. Det gör den inte, menar Tiffani Bova, utan om att kunderna nu blivit så bekväma med digital teknik att de kräver helt nya saker av företagen.

– Medarbetare och processer behöver förändras, annars kommer vi aldrig att utnyttja potentialen som den nya tekniken rymmer fullt ut. Många är skeptiska inför vad den nya tekniken kan göra, vilket är synd. Tekniken låter oss utföra allt det vi vill att den ska göra, från AI och maskininlärning till säkrare prognoser… Men förändring är bland det tuffaste för många, säger Tiffani Bova.”

Ny digital teknik används ofta till att automatisera och digitalisera befintliga processer. Det ser Tiffani Bova som slöseri med potential, om det är så att processerna i sig borde bytas ut för att spegla en ny tids affärsmodell. Men var ska ett företag börja?

– Reimagine, återskapa eller snarare nyskapa din affär och det sätt på vilket du tillför värde till människor. Skrota alla silos och se till att alla inom företaget har tillgång till all data om kunden. Låt försäljning flytta ihop med kundservice som ett sätt fördjupa kundrelationen och sälja mer.

Hur går det till att nyskapa?

– Det beror helt på kontexten – kunderna och marknaden. Men benchmarka dig inte mot konkurrenterna. Prata istället med kunderna och fråga vad de vill ha.

Men, vet kunderna verkligen vad den nya tekniken kan möjliggöra?

– Nej, men de vet hur de vill att en optimal köpupplevelse ska se ut – och vad de inte vill ha. Sen är det upp till dig att använda tekniken för att leverera den. Och skräddarsy en köpresa som verkligen går hem hos dem. Kanske ser den helt annorlunda ut än innan digitaliseringen. Men om du håller fast vid en leverans som bottnar i att ni sitter fast i system och tänkande som går decennier tillbaka i tiden, då kommer du inte att lyckas.”

Behov av fler säljare
Många hävdar att AI hotar jobben. Rätt använd blir effekten den rakt motsatta, menar Tiffani Bova.

– Vad gäller säljare märker vi på Salesforce hur användningen av AI faktiskt leder till ett ökat behov av fler säljare, inte färre. Ju smartare ett företag blir, desto mer potential finns det att faktiskt sälja mer.

För att styrka vikten av kundupplevelsen citerar hon fakta från Salesforces studier:

”80 procent av dagens kunder är beredda att byta leverantör och två av tre är beredda att betala mer för en bättre köpupplevelse. 51 procent av gångerna möts inte kundernas krav vid köpet.”

Hur skiljer sig kundens upplevelse av ett varumärke, eller ett företag, i dag jämfört med tiden innan digitaliseringen?

– Det handlar om två helt olika saker och har inget med varandra att göra. Förväntningarna är så mycket högre i dag. Även hos en äldre generation, som i dag är helt med på smartphonetåget.

Ny teknik och nytt kundtänk kräver ibland nya kompetenser. Hur ska företagen se till att medarbetarna har rätt kunskap?

– Lista de kompetenser som ni behöver i framtiden och låt medarbetarna veta vilka de är. Identifiera människors styrkor och vad de vill jobba med i framtiden. Dina kunder kommer att vara ungefär lika nöjda som dina medarbetare är. Ditt företag kommer inte att vara mer innovativt än vad dina medarbetare är.

Fortbildning – en del av kulturen
Det är ingen slump, menar Tiffani Bova, att Salesforce utsetts till ett av världens mest uppskattade företag att jobba för och samtidigt en av de mest innovativa.

– Vi pushar för ständig fortbildning, det är en del av kulturen.

Till sist, varför är CRM mer aktuellt än någonsin?

– Därför att kunderna kräver så mycket mer i dag, vilket ställer större krav på kundrelationshantering.

Detta är Salesforce
Salesforce är världsledande inom customer relationship management, CRM, tack vare en plattform som utnyttjar den senaste teknologin inom molntjänster, sociala medier, mobil kommunikation, sakernas internet (IoT) och artificiell intelligens (AI). Med den kan företag av alla storlekar i alla branscher kommunicera med sina kunder på ett helt nytt sätt.

Salesforce rankas som nummer ett på Forbes lista över världens bästa arbetsgivare.

Tidningen har också åtta år i rad utsett Salesforce till ett av världens mest innovativa företag.

Källa:, 3 januari 2019

Företagskulturens betydelse för lönsamheten

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap on mars 2nd, 2016 by admin

Sex steg till en lönsam företagskultur

En stor del av ett företags lönsamhet går att härleda till företagskulturen, skriver Talent Management-experten Sofie König.

Ju längre in i kunskapsekonomin vi kommer, desto viktigare blir väl fungerande och presterande medarbetare som företagets främsta konkurrensmedel. De flesta företagsledare håller med i teorin men fokuserar ofta i praktiken mest på att utveckla strategier och produkter.

När det kommer till kritan så är det är alltid medarbetarna som gör den stora skillnaden. Och skillnaden består av handlingar och beteenden som formar företagets kultur. Kulturen får sin näring av att alla medarbetare på företaget aktivt bidrar till företagets utveckling. Kulturer, liksom människor, är föränderliga och behöver ständigt utvecklas och vårdas för att fortsätta vara starka.

images (8)Det som särskiljer de framgångsrika företagskulturerna, det vill säga de företag som präglas av motiverade och högpresterande medarbetare och nöjda och lojala kunder, starka varumärken och god lönsamhet är tydlighet. Tydlighet kring varför företaget finns, vilka värderingar som råder och vart företaget är på väg. De ser visionen och kulturarbetet som en tillgång och en ständigt pågående arbetsprocess för att fortsätta vara framgångsrika. Där lägger de sitt fokus.

En stor del av ett företags lönsamhet går att härleda till just företagskulturen. Harvard professorn Jim Heskett har funnit att så mycket som hälften av skillnaden i rörelseresultat mellan företag i samma bransch kan hänföras till effektiva kulturer. Varför det?

Engagerade och motiverade medarbetare är mer benägna att stanna kvar i en organisation vars kultur och värderingar ligger i linje med medarbetarens egna värderingar. Detta leder till färre externrekryteringar och fler internrekryteringar, vilket i sin tur resulterar i lägre lönekostnader för talanger, lägre rekryteringskostnader och lägre utbildningskostnader. Det i sin tur leder också till högre produktivitet, färre förlorade affärer och högre omsättning per anställd.

En högre anställningskontinuitet i sin tur leder till bättre kundrelationer som bidrar till ökad kundlojalitet och lägre kostnader för marknadsföring.

Det finns några indikatorer för företagsledningen att ha koll på för att säkerställa att företagskulturen är värdeskapande:
– Personalomsättning bland företagets högpresterare
– Nöjda kunder
– Rekommendationer
– Åtgärder kring innovation/ständiga förbättringar
– Ökad eller minskar produktivitet
Om något av detta börjar försämras är det hög tid att se över värderingar och beteenden i syfte att utveckla företagskulturen, så att den bättre stödjer företagets affärmål och därmed bidrar positivt till lönsamheten. Hur säkerställer ni kontinuerlig utveckling av er företagskultur?

Sofie König har en magisterexamen i ekonomi och har arbetat med marknadsföring inom många stora företag, som SAS, Kanal 5 och Telia. Hon är en av grundarna till eWork och har mångårig erfarenhet i frågor som rör marknadspositionering, företagskultur, arbetsgivarvarumärke och målstyrning från framför allt snabbväxande och innovativa tillväxtbolag inom branscher som online marknadsföring, retail, Business Intelligence och konsultbranschen. I dag arbetar Sofie med Talent Management på Stardust Consulting.

6 användbara steg till att utveckla en mer lönsam företagskultur:
1. Få en engagerande och motiverande vision på plats.
2. Gör en kulturanalys för att veta var vi står just nu. Vilka värderingar, beteenden och attityder råder i er organisation
3. Identifiera och ta fram själva värdegrunden.
4. Omsätt värdeorden som tagits fram i arbetet med värdegrunden till konkreta beteenden
5. Införliva värdegrunden i företagets olika processer och aktiviteter
6. Följ upp!

Källa:, 2 mars 2016
Läs mer om Sofie König här
Hur följer ni de indikatorer som beskrivs ovan? Läs mer om hur 3S kan stödja ert arbete med att utveckla en värdedrivande organisation via Fact Based Management här.

Fact Based Management!

Posted in Aktuellt, Fact Based Management, Försäljning / Sales on juni 3rd, 2015 by admin


For more reading about Facts about customers, market and competitors …

The four global forces breaking all the trends

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Fact Based Management, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering, Technology on maj 21st, 2015 by admin

The world economy’s operating system is being rewritten. In this exclusive excerpt from the new book No Ordinary Disruption, its authors explain the trends reshaping the world and why leaders must adjust to a new reality.

GT 2In the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, one new force changed everything. Today our world is undergoing an even more dramatic transition due to the confluence of four fundamental disruptive forces—any of which would rank among the greatest changes the global economy has ever seen. Compared with the Industrial Revolution, we estimate that this change is happening ten times faster and at 300 times the scale, or roughly 3,000 times the impact. Although we all know that these disruptions are happening, most of us fail to comprehend their full magnitude and the second- and third-order effects that will result. Much as waves can amplify one another, these trends are gaining strength, magnitude, and influence as they interact with, coincide with, and feed upon one another. Together, these four fundamental disruptive trends are producing monumental change.

1. Beyond Shanghai: The age of urbanization
The first trend is the shifting of the locus of economic activity and dynamism to emerging markets like China and to cities within those markets. These emerging markets are going through simultaneous industrial and urban revolutions, shifting the center of the world economy east and south at a speed never before witnessed. As recently as 2000, 95 percent of the Fortune Global 500—the world’s largest international companies including Airbus, IBM, Nestlé, Shell, and The Coca-Cola Company, to name a few—were headquartered in developed economies. By 2025, when China will be home to more large companies than either the United States or Europe, we expect nearly half of the world’s large companies—defined as those with revenue of $1 billion or more—to be headquartered in emerging markets. “Over the years, people in our headquarters, in Frankfurt, started complaining to me, ‘We don’t see you much around here anymore,’” said Josef Ackermann, the former chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank. “Well, there was a reason why: growth has moved elsewhere—to Asia, Latin America, the Middle East.”

Perhaps equally important, the locus of economic activity is shifting within these markets. The global urbanGT 3 population has been rising by an average of 65 million people annually during the past three decades, the equivalent of adding seven Chicagos a year, every year. Nearly half of global GDP growth between 2010 and 2025 will come from 440 cities in emerging markets—95 percent of them small- and medium-size cities that many Western executives may not even have heard of and couldn’t point to on a map.1 Yes, Mumbai, Dubai, and Shanghai are familiar. But what about Hsinchu, in northern Taiwan? Brazil’s Santa Catarina state, halfway between São Paulo and the Uruguayan border? Or Tianjin, a city that lies around 120 kilometers southeast of Beijing? In 2010, we estimated that the GDP of Tianjin was around $130 billion, making it around the same size as Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. By 2025, we estimate that the GDP of Tianjin will be around $625 billion—approximately that of all of Sweden.

2. The tip of the iceberg: Accelerating technological change
The second disruptive force is the acceleration in the scope, scale, and economic impact of technology. Technology—from the printing press to the steam engine and the Internet—has always been a great force in overturning the status quo. The difference today is the sheer ubiquity of technology in our lives and the speed of change. It took more than 50 years after the telephone was invented until half of American homes had one. It took radio 38 years to attract 50 million listeners. But Facebook attracted 6 million users in its first year and that number multiplied 100 times over the next five years. China’s mobile text- and voice-messaging service WeChat has 300 million users, more than the entire adult population of the United States. Accelerated adoption invites accelerated innovation. In 2009, two years after the iPhone’s launch, developers had created around 150,000 applications. By 2014, that number had hit 1.2 million, and users had downloaded more than 75 billion total apps, more than ten for every person on the planet. As fast as innovation has multiplied and spread in recent years, it is poised to change and grow at an exponential speed beyond the power of human intuition to anticipate.

Processing power and connectivity are only part of the story. Their impact is multiplied by the concomitant data revolution, which places unprecedented amounts of information in the hands of consumers and businesses alike, and the proliferation of technology-enabled business models, from online retail platforms like Alibaba to car-hailing apps like Uber. Thanks to these mutually amplifying forces, more and more people will enjoy a golden age of gadgetry, of instant communication, and of apparently boundless information. Technology offers the promise of economic progress for billions in emerging economies at a speed that would have been unimaginable without the mobile Internet. Twenty years ago, less than 3 percent of the world’s population had a mobile phone; now two-thirds of the world’s population has one, and one-third of all humans are able to communicate on the Internet.2 Technology allows businesses such as WhatsApp to start and gain scale with stunning speed while using little capital. Entrepreneurs and start-ups now frequently enjoy advantages over large, established businesses. The furious pace of technological adoption and innovation is shortening the life cycle of companies and forcing executives to make decisions and commit resources much more quickly.

3. Getting old isn’t what it used to be: Responding to the challenges of an aging world
The human population is getting older. Fertility is falling, and the world’s population is graying dramatically. While aging has been evident in developed economies for some time—Japan and Russia have seen their populations decline over the past few years—the demographic deficit is now spreading to China and soon will reach Latin America. For the first time in human history, aging could mean that the planet’s population will plateau in most of the world. Thirty years ago, only a small share of the global population lived in the few countries with fertility rates substantially below those needed to replace each generation—2.1 children per woman. But by 2013, about 60 percent of the world’s population lived in countries with fertility rates below the replacement rate. This is a sea change. The European Commission expects that by 2060, Germany’s population will shrink by one-fifth, and the number of people of working age will fall from 54 million in 2010 to 36 million in 2060, a level that is forecast to be less than France’s. China’s labor force peaked in 2012, due to income-driven demographic trends. In Thailand, the fertility rate has fallen from 5 in the 1970s to 1.4 today. A smaller workforce will place a greater onus on productivity for driving growth and may cause us to rethink the economy’s potential. Caring for large numbers of elderly people will put severe pressure on government finances.

4. Trade, people, finance, and data: Greater global connections
The final disruptive force is the degree to which the world is much more connected through trade and through movements in capital, people, and information (data and communication)—what we call “flows.” Trade and finance have long been part of the globalization story but, in recent decades, there’s been a significant shift. Instead of a series of lines connecting major trading hubs in Europe and North America, the global trading system has expanded into a complex, intricate, sprawling web. Asia is becoming the world’s largest trading region. “South–south” flows between emerging markets have doubled their share of global trade over the past decade. The volume of trade between China and Africa rose from $9 billion in 2000 to $211 billion in 2012. Global capital flows expanded 25 times between 1980 and 2007. More than one billion people crossed borders in 2009, over five times the number in 1980. These three types of connections all paused during the global recession of 2008 and have recovered only slowly since. But the links forged by technology have marched on uninterrupted and with increasing speed, ushering in a dynamic new phase of globalization, creating unmatched opportunities, and fomenting unexpected volatility.

Resetting intuition
These four disruptions gathered pace, grew in scale, and started collectively to have a material impact on the world economy around the turn of the 21st century. Today, they are disrupting long-established patterns in virtually every market and every sector of the world economy—indeed, in every aspect of our lives. Everywhere we look, they are GT 1causing trends to break down, to break up, or simply to break. The fact that all four are happening at the same time means that our world is changing radically from the one in which many of us grew up, prospered, and formed the intuitions that are so vital to our decision making.

This can play havoc with forecasts and pro forma plans that were made simply by extrapolating recent experience into the near and distant future. Many of the assumptions, tendencies, and habits that had long proved so reliable have suddenly lost much of their resonance. We’ve never had more data and advice at our fingertips—literally. The iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy contains far more information and processing power than the original supercomputer. Yet we work in a world in which even, perhaps especially, professional forecasters are routinely caught unawares. That’s partly because intuition still underpins much of our decision making.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. Globalization benefited the well established and well connected, opening up new markets with relative ease. Labor markets functioned quite reliably. Resource prices fell. But that’s not how things are working now—and it’s not how they are likely to work in the future. If we look at the world through a rearview mirror and make decisions on the basis of the intuition built on our experience, we could well be wrong. In the new world, executives, policy makers, and individuals all need to scrutinize their intuitions from first principles and boldly reset them if necessary. This is especially true for organizations that have enjoyed great success.

While it is full of opportunities, this era is deeply unsettling. And there is a great deal of work to be done. We need to realize that much of what we think we know about how the world works is wrong; to get a handle on the disruptive forces transforming the global economy; to identify the long-standing trends that are breaking; to develop the courage and foresight to clear the intellectual decks and prepare to respond. These lessons apply as much to policy makers as to business executives, and the process of resetting your internal navigation system can’t begin soon enough.

There is an urgent imperative to adjust to these new realities. Yet, for all the ingenuity, inventiveness, and imagination of the human race, we tend to be slow to adapt to change. There is a powerful human tendency to want the future to look much like the recent past. On these shoals, huge corporate vessels have repeatedly foundered. Revisiting our assumptions about the world we live in—and doing nothing—will leave many of us highly vulnerable. Gaining a clear-eyed perspective on how to negotiate the changing landscape will help us prepare to succeed.

Source:, April 2015
By: Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel
About the authors: Richard Dobbs is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a director in McKinsey’s London office, James Manyika is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a director in the San Francisco office, and Jonathan Woetzel is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute and a director in the Shanghai office.

Hur levererar man i linje med ägarnas förväntningar?

Posted in Aktuellt, Board work / Styrelsearbete, Executive Coaching, Executive Team / Ledningsgruppsarbete, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on maj 12th, 2015 by admin

I arbetet med styrelser och ledningsgrupper blir det allt mer uppenbart hur viktigt det är att både styrelsen och den operativa ledningen (VDn med sin ledningsgrupp) har en samsyn vad gäller bolagets kort- och långsiktiga målsättningar, strategi för framgång, marknadsförutsättningar samt kund- och marknadsförutsättningar.

150310 (4)   PS svJust samsynen mellan styrelse och operativ ledning är av avgörande betydelse. Men också samsynen (”alignment”) inom styrelsen (t.ex. ordförande vs. övriga ledamöter) och ledningsgruppen (t.ex. VD vs. övriga ledningsgruppsmedlemmar).
Sverige ligger idag långt framme i arbetet med att utveckla styrelsearbetet. En avgörande faktor är att styrelser i mycket hög grad genomför årliga styrelseutvärderingar. Baserat på resultatet tas beslut om hur styrelsens arbete kan effektiviseras ytterligare. Baserat på konkreta fokusområden och väl definierade mål följs sedan utvecklingen upp på årlig basis.

Hur fungerar det då i svenska ledningsgrupper? Jag kan konstatera att det är ganska klent ställt med faktabaserade utvecklingsinsatser. Väldigt få ledningsgrupper arbetar med regelbundna (årliga) kartläggningar av sitt arbete och mycket av arbetet sker följaktligen mycket traditionellt och slentrianmässigt. Och det trots den ökande betydelsen av ledningsgruppens effektivitet.

Känner du igen dig? Har du en känsla av att ni skulle kunna få ut mer kraft och engagemang i ledningsgruppens arbete? Eller vill du veta mer om hur du kan utveckla din ledningsgrupp eller styrelse och hur en styrelse- eller ledningsgruppsutvärdering går till?

Tveka inte att kontakta mig för ett förutsättningslöst möte.

Hard facts about sales!

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Fact Based Management, Försäljning / Sales on mars 29th, 2015 by admin


The dawn of marketing’s new golden age

Posted in Aktuellt, Customer care / Kundvård, Fact Based Management, Försäljning / Sales on mars 4th, 2015 by admin

Science has permeated marketing for decades. Fans of the television drama Mad Men saw a fictionalized encounter when an IBM System/360 mainframe computer physically displaced the creative department of a late-1960s advertising agency. In reality, though, the 1960s through the early 1990s witnessed a happy marriage of advertising and technology as marketers mastered both the medium of television and the science of Nielsen ratings. These years gave birth to iconic advertising messages in categories ranging from sparkling beverages (“I’d like to buy the world a Coke”) to credit cards (“American Express. Don’t leave home without it”) to air travel (“British Airways: the world’s favourite airline”).

Until recently, marketers could be forgiven for looking back wistfully at this golden age as new forces reshaped their world into something completely different. These new trends include a massive proliferation of television and online channels, the transformation of the home PC into a retail channel, the unrelenting rise of mobile social media and gaming, and—with all these trends—a constant battle for the consumer’s attention.

mafö 3The resulting expansion of platforms has propelled consistent growth in marketing expenditures, which now total as much as $1 trillion globally. The efficacy of this spending is under deep scrutiny. For example, in a survey of CEOs, close to three out of four agreed with the following statement: marketers “are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate.”

Chief marketing officers (CMOs), it appears, don’t disagree: in another recent survey, just over one-third said they had quantitatively proved the impact of their marketing outlays.
Paradoxically, though, CEOs are looking to their CMOs more than ever, because they need top-line growth and view marketing as a critical lever to help them achieve it. Can marketers deliver amid ongoing performance pressures?

In this article, we’ll explain why we think the answer is yes—and why we are, in fact, on the cusp of a new golden age for marketing. At the core of the new era are five elements that are simultaneously familiar and fast changing. The first two are the science and substance of marketing. Leading marketers are using research and analytics to shed light on who buys what, and why; who influences buyers; and when, in the consumer decision journey, marketing efforts are likely to yield the greatest return. That understanding, in turn, is making it possible for marketers to identify more effectively the functional benefits that customers need, the experiences they want, and the innovations they will value.

But this isn’t just another missive on the power of big data. Organizational simplicity is fueling speed, and story is pulling things together while inspiring both the customer and the organization. Happily, the story just seems to get better as creative minds express themselves through digital means, and it then echoes and expands through social media and user-generated content. As you’ll see, the emerging new rules for marketing extend well beyond data and analysis, crucial though those are, and even transcend the marketing organization itself.

Advances in data, modeling, and automated analysis are creating ever more refined ways of targeting and measuring the returns on marketing investments, while generating powerful new clues about why consumers behave as they do. Long gone is spending guided mostly by intuition and focus groups. Instead, organizations are seeking greater precision by measuring and managing the consumer decision points where well-timed outlays can make the biggest difference.

Big data is a term that’s often used to describe this transition. But it’s not just big data; it’s also big research. A major consumer company investigating the decision journey for its products recently undertook a consumer study, collected through online surveys, on a massive scale and at a speed that would have been unimaginable in the days of mall-intercept interviews. The project, which involved more than 10,000 surveys over the course of a month, uncovered material differences between how the company and consumers were thinking about the category, while also explaining what drives choice at each stage of the journey. These insights are now being used to change brand strategy, product-portfolio design, and marketing campaigns. The potential impact runs into billions of dollars in additional revenue.

While much recent marketing science has played out in the measurement and targeting of advertising and promotion expenditures, many consumer companies are increasing their focus on in-store behavior: how promotions, traffic flows, and physical engagement with products affect sales. Capturing and analyzing data on such issues has become more feasible in recent years thanks to low-cost sensors that can be embedded in products, as well as the ability to capture and analyze huge amounts of unstructured data from store videos—and even to track shoppers’ eye movements.

The impact goes beyond marketing and product teams. Marketing science is boosting the precision of real-time operating decisions. At a major hospitality company, marketing analysts are able tomafö 1 get a read on the performance of a particular property or category over a weekend and then drill down on individual customer segments to assess how to make improvements. If the data show that a profitable segment of weekend travelers are shortening their stays, the company can create special offers (such as late checkouts or room upgrades) to encourage repeat business.

Or consider how one industrial-products company revamped its highly fragmented portfolio of more than 500 SKUs sold to customers in a diverse set of industries. Prices varied widely even for the same products, without any clear reasons as to why, hindering efforts to manage margins. An analytical tool that could scan 1.3 million transactions helped the company redraw customer segments, identify products with opportunities for pricing flexibility, and recommend new prices. Ultimately, it reset about 100,000 price points.

More scientific marketing means that CMOs and other senior leaders need enhanced analytical skills to exploit data possibilities more fully and stay ahead of the whirl of developments. One CEO we know believes it’s time to create a position—marketing technology officer (MTO)—that’s rooted both in technology and domain knowledge. Knowing what can be automated, when judgment is required, and where to seek and place new technical talent are becoming increasingly central to effective marketing leadership. That is intensifying the war for specialized talent as traditional marketing powerhouses bid against high-tech companies for needed skills.

As more advanced marketing science and analytics take hold, they are making it increasingly natural for marketing to go beyond messaging and to shape the substance of the business, particularly the experiences of customers, the delivery of functional benefits, and the drive to develop new products and services. Armed with information about customers and a company’s relationships with them, the CMO is well-positioned to help differentiate its products, services, and experiences.

That’s good, because digital innovation, transparency, and customer-centricity have raised expectations across the board. In automobiles, as sensor technologies proliferate and onboard computing power increases, consumers are now starting to expect that collision-avoidance and digitally-enabled safety systems will become part of manufacturers’ offerings. (Luxury carmakers already are making sophisticated safety options part of their marketing story.) In retail, brands like H&M, Topshop, Uniqlo, and Zara have harnessed the consumer’s desire to have it all by bringing mass-market prices to the colors, fabrics, and designs of high fashion. Simultaneously, Amazon and other digital players are pressuring brick-and-mortar retailers, which are responding both by retooling their supply chains to enable faster restocking and one-day delivery and by creating new advertising messages around the in-store pickup of online orders.

Marketers are well placed to help their organizations meet the rising bar by, for example, making the case for customer-care initiatives and for consistency in the customer experience. A better one became the heart of a marketing campaign at European energy supplier Essent, a subsidiary of RWE. To ensure that the company delivered on the promise, the CEO named the chief of marketing to lead the initiative. Among the successes: making customer onboarding less cumbersome by cutting process steps from seven to two. Marketing also took the lead in efforts to create new products that customers wanted. The CMO led a cross-functional team of sales, IT, and product development to produce Essent’s smart, Internet-connected E-thermostat, for instance. Some of its functionality was cocreated with customers.

Similarly, marketing has taken a leadership role in designing and setting standards for Daimler’s highly digital customer-experience brand, “Mercedes me.” The digital platform provides customers with automated appointment booking, personalized financing, a chance to cocreate ideas, access to maintenance data from sensor-enabled automobile diagnostics, and even quick access to Daimler’s car-sharing and taxi services—for use on business trips, for example. (See “Marketing the Mercedes way” for more on the role of marketing at the company.)

These efforts and many more like them are extending marketing into the guts of the business, and most would not have been possible just a few years ago. The power of today’s digital tools and the scientific approaches they make possible are not only enabling a more substantial role for marketing but also giving it opportunities for real-time impact.

Even as marketing reaches new heights with technology-enabled measurement, the importance of the story hasn’t diminished. But ways to tell it are morphing continually as the stuff of storytelling encompasses richer digital interactions, and mobile devices become more powerful communications tools. In this world, creativity is in greater demand than ever.

Google’s “Dear Sophie” advertisement is an example of the modern art form. It tells the story of a father writing to his daughter as she grows up, with the narrative demonstrating how Google search, Gmail, and YouTube can be new channels of human connectivity.

(For more on how Google seeks to connect, see “How Google breaks through.”) P&G’s “Pick Them Back Up” spot for the Sochi Olympics (part of the ongoing “Thank You, Mom” campaign) is another moving story. It dramatizes the moms who were there for their kids throughout the years of hard training, who picked them up when they fell, and who deserve celebration as the unsung heroines. It’s hard to watch these commercials and not tear up, at least a little.

mafö 2Chanel’s recent launch of the new No. 5 perfume offers a good window on how stories are evolving beyond traditional video. Over a decade after their first collaboration, creative chief Karl Lagerfeld has again partnered with film director Baz Luhrmann to produce a short film on a woman whose lifestyle embodies the brand. Their latest effort—“The one that I want”—stars model Gisele Bündchen and features the perfume, along with clothing and other Chanel products. Beyond the film itself, a series of YouTube videos extend the campaign with shorts on the making of the film, interviews with Luhrmann on both projects, behind-the-scenes footage from Chanel’s studio, and more.

All of this is designed to amplify the lifestyle message of the fragrance’s launch in a way that traditional TV or print couldn’t accomplish.

New media also dictate that marketers relinquish control of the story as digital interactions with customers become more frequent. Customers want to interact with stories and modify them on social media. Following the kinds of story rules that once made board members and CEOs comfortable is no longer feasible. Social-media programs are consuming a larger share of many marketing budgets. A number of major consumer companies are using interaction centers to monitor and participate in social-media conversations as they develop, sometimes including the promotion of discussions on corporate social-media channels.

Agency-management issues also are an important piece of the puzzle. Talent scarcity, evolving digital storytelling, and perceived institutional rigidities have opened new debates about the best ways to access creativity. Some companies, like Chanel, are enhancing their control over the story with supplemental digital content. Other global marketing leaders are bringing in-house more of their story muscle, particularly when it involves lighter message content for social media. Agencies are responding. Many are acquiring more digital talent and working to break down silos to overcome perceptions that they are actually geared to bigger productions and may lack the digital and story skills to handle new content in an agile, integrated way. All this is very much in flux, suggesting that leaders who aren’t asking fundamental questions about the roles of (and fit between) agencies and internal marketing teams stand the risk of being left behind.

In a digital economy, marketing is no longer a “batch” process but a continuous one. Consumer preferences change with stunning velocity, as do the dynamics of markets and product life cycles. This culture of urgency means that marketers need a new agility, plus the management skills and organizational clout to bring other functions together at a higher clock speed.

How speed is achieved, of course, will vary by company and industry. A number of CMOs we know are setting the terms of how functional units should collaborate and spelling out what the entire organization needs to know to get new products to market at a stepped-up pace. In these cases, marketing becomes the glue across the organization, providing oversight and coordination.

To speed up its digital tempo, Nestlé’s marketing organization launched digital-acceleration teams. These specialists train business units and functions in the skills needed to be effective in digital marketing and social communications. Nestlé’s country units have adopted the approach, as well, allowing them to adapt the digital training to local market conditions, while adhering to core, company-wide standards.

At Google, lead times for new products are continually shrinking. Internal teams are attuned to putting products in front of consumers and then, in real time, to bringing back insights in a cycle of testing, learning, and iterating. Marketers are central to this process: they work to develop close relationships with product-development teams in order to inject their knowledge of user needs into how products are developed. That helps create a vision of the product from the user’s eyes, and one that engineering teams are eager to create. Achieving that shared vision between product developers and marketers is a key element of speed in formulating new products and features. The time-to-market benefits of better information and more fluid collaboration extend to a wide range of companies, sectors, and business functions. Consider, for example, how data and collaboration are increasing the speed and agility of B2B sales teams. (For more, see “Do you really understand how your business customers buy?”)

Complexity is the enemy of speed, which is a big reason why a number of leading marketers are reforming their organizations. Too often, expanding geographic footprints, product proliferation, and new arrays of channels and digital specialties have led to complex hierarchies, silos, communication gaps, and redundancies. But these can be tamed.

mafö 4For example, one telecommunications company realized that a cumbersome organizational structure was getting in the way of delivering the top-notch customer service that the CEO had designated as a strategic priority. He created a unit combining existing call centers and a newly formed social-media customer-care group. The leader of the unit reports directly to him. Proximity to the top of the company allows the new team to collaborate more smoothly across the organization, while signaling the importance of the customer experience.

Many consumer marketers are using technology to reduce complexity. They are embracing internal social-media platforms to encourage the generation and sharing of ideas, which helps speed up problem solving across the organization. Daimler, meanwhile, reorganized its marketing and sales departments around the idea of the “best customer experience.” It created a new customer-experience function bundling several headquarters functions into one that maps the entire customer journey, with the goal of locking in a consistent brand experience throughout the world.

Simplifying working relationships with advertising and other media agencies is another goal for many marketing organizations. Trade-offs abound: specialist agencies have expertise in new digital-content formats and delivery channels, but they aren’t always full-service shops. Larger agencies offer more services, but the strengths of many still lie in traditional media. Marketers building teams of employees with strong skills in digital content and delivery are bringing more activities in-house, but bulking up can create complexity and slow things down. And of course, simplicity can’t come at the expense of great creative output.

In our work with global marketers, including many leading-edge practitioners, we are seeing significant progress in each of these five dimensions. As you think about the implications of science, substance, story, speed, and simplicity for your organization, we suggest that you ask yourself five questions:
1.Are we taking advantage of the science of data and research to uncover new insights, or are we working off yesterday’s facts, assertions, and heuristics?
2.Do we fully exploit the power of marketing to enhance the substance—that is, the products, services, and experiences—we offer our customers, or are we just selling hard with a “me-too” mind-set?
3.Do we have a clear brand story that echoes through cyberspace, or do we feel that we aren’t quite capturing hearts and minds?
4.Have we created simplifiers within our organization, or have complex matrices become a logjam?
5.Are we faster or slower to market than our competition?

Although this may seem like a lot to handle, the rapid changes and fast-breaking opportunities facing marketers in the 21st century suggest to us that the best ones will have good answers to all of these questions. In our opinion, those that do will not only enjoy above-market growth, they will define the next golden age of marketing.

Source:, March 2015
By:Jonathan Gordon and Jesko Perrey
About the authors:Jonathan Gordon is a principal in McKinsey’s New York office, and Jesko Perrey is a director in the Düsseldorf office.

How to drive change successfully

Posted in Aktuellt, Fact Based Management, Leadership / Ledarskap, Strategy implementation / Strategiimplementering on november 2nd, 2014 by admin

Build a change platform, not a change program

It’s not you, it’s your company. Management Innovation eXchange founders Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini believe that continuous improvement requires the creation of change platforms, rather than change programs ordained and implemented from the top.

Transformational-change initiatives have a dismal track record. In 1996, Harvard Business School professor John Kotter claimed that nearly 70 percent of large-scale change programs didn’t meet their goals and virtually every survey since has shown similar results. Why is change so confounding? We don’t think the issue lies with an understanding of its building blocks—Kotter’s classic eight-step change-management model is still a helpful guide. The problem lies in beliefs about who is responsible for launching change and how change is implemented.

change 2The reality is that today’s organizations were simply never designed to change proactively and deeply—they were built for discipline and efficiency, enforced through hierarchy and routinization. As a result, there’s a mismatch between the pace of change in the external environment and the fastest possible pace of change at most organizations. If it were otherwise, we wouldn’t see so many incumbents struggling to intercept the future.

In most organizations, change is regarded as an episodic interruption of the status quo, something initiated and managed from the top. The power to initiate strategic change is concentrated there, and every change program must be endorsed, scripted, and piloted before launch. Transformational change, when it does happen, is typically belated and convulsive—and often commences only after a “regime change.” What’s needed is a real-time, socially constructed approach to change, so that the leader’s job isn’t to design a change program but to build a change platform—one that allows anyone to initiate change, recruit confederates, suggest solutions, and launch experiments.

The problem with change management

Three intertwined assumptions limit the efficacy of the traditional model of change:
Change starts at the top. This mind-set implies that executives have the sole right to initiate deep change and are best placed to judge when it is necessary. Truth is, executives are often the last to know. They are insulated from reality by layers of managers who are often reluctant to sound an alarm. By the time an issue is big enough and unavoidable enough to attract the scarce attention of the CEO, the organization is already playing defense. That’s why most change programs are, in fact, catch-up programs. Moreover, risk-averse executives are seldom willing to launch a company-wide change program that ventures beyond the safe precincts of best practice. The result: change programs that are too little, too late.

Change is rolled out. When change is imposed from above, with both ends and means prescribed, it’s rarely embraced. Traditional change programs fail to harness the discretionary creativity and energy of employees and often generate cynicism and resistance. Senior executives talk about the need to get buy-in, but genuine buy-in is the product of involvement, not slick packaging and communication. To be embraced, a change effort must be socially constructed in a process that gives everyone the right to set priorities, diagnose barriers, and generate options. Despite assertions to the contrary, people aren’t against change—they are against royal edicts. The alternative: change that’s rolled up, not rolled out.

Change is engineered. The phrase “change management” implies that deep change can be managed, like a large-scale construction project or an IT overhaul. But if change is truly transformational—if it breaks new ground—it can’t be predetermined. Think for a moment about how our lives have been changed by the social web—Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and all the rest. No single individual or entity invented the social web. It emerged, in all its weird and wonderful variety, because the Internet is a powerful platform for making connections and because thousands of entrepreneurs were free to develop new business models to harness that power. When change programs are engineered, the solution space is limited by what people at the top can imagine. A change platform, by contrast, gives everyone the right to suggest strategic alternatives. The advantage: options that are diverse, radical, and nuanced.

Reimagining the model for change
Management literature is rich with case studies of bottom-up, spontaneous change and of product and business innovation sparked by the efforts of frontline activists.3
Inspiring as such stories are, however, few of these efforts effect systemic change across an entire organization. Internal activism and small wins don’t easily scale. Neither do they address the core management systems, processes, and cultural norms that dictate how large organizations run.

The challenge is to tackle deep change for tough systemic issues in a way that avoids the pitfalls of traditional change programs. Put another way: how do you create platforms for sustained company-wide conversations that can amplify weak signals and support the complex problem solving needed to address core management challenges?

We believe that three shifts in approach are necessary:
From top-down to activist-out. Transformational change conventionally starts at the top because companies haven’t enabled it to start anywhere else. To make deep change proactive and pervasive, the responsibility for initiating change needs to be syndicated across the organization. For instance, it was a small group of trainee clinicians, young leaders, and improvement facilitators in Britain’s National Health Service who developed and ran NHS Change Day 2013—the biggest improvement effort in the history of the NHS. Internal activists, multiplying their impact through social media, spawned a grassroots movement of 189,000 people who pledged to take concrete action to improve healthcare outcomes. When Change Day was repeated this year, the number of pledges exceeded 800,000. Change Day has enabled everyone to be a change leader and improved the care of patients.

From sold to invited. Transformational change cannot be sustained without genuine commitment on the part of those who will be most affected. This commitment is best achieved by bidding out the¨Change 1 change program’s “how” to everyone in the organization. Consider the approach that fast-growing medical-device company Nuvasive took to reengineer its supply chain. Instead of appointing a task force of senior leaders, the CEO invited the entire company to “hack” the customer-fulfillment process. Associates from around the organization, supported by a small coordination team and volunteer coaches, eagerly contributed to a process that generated a common view of the problem (from the front line up), a set of shared aspirations for world-class performance, and a portfolio of new initiatives to achieve it.

From managed to organic. Psychologist Kurt Lewin’s seminal “unfreeze-change-freeze” model still guides how most leaders think about change. But in a world that’s relentlessly evolving, anything that is frozen soon becomes irrelevant. What we need instead is constant experimentation—with new operating models, business models, and management models. Not freeze and refreeze, but “permanent slush.” This approach means placing less emphasis on building a powerful project-management office and more on building self-organizing communities that identify, experiment, and eventually scale new initiatives. At Cemex, the global cement and building-materials company with revenue of $15 billion in 2013, self-defined communities generate and implement thousands of change initiatives each year. For example, the ReadyMix Network, which brings together specialists from more than 50 counties, was instrumental in developing the company’s first global brands and related value-added services, which now account for a third of Cemex’s total revenue. The lesson? Change comes naturally when individuals have a platform that allows them to identify shared interests and to brainstorm solutions.

Change platforms take advantage of social technologies that make large-scale collaboration easy and effective. But they are qualitatively different from the idea wikis and social networks commonly used today. The difference isn’t primarily about specific features; rather, it’s in the encouragement individuals are given to use the platform to drive deep change. Specifically, effective change platforms:
•encourage individuals to tackle significant organizational challenges; that is, those that are typically considered beyond an employee’s “pay grade” or sphere of influence
•foster honest and forthright discussion of root causes and, in the process, develop a shared view of the thorniest barriers
•elicit dozens (if not hundreds) of potential solutions rather than seeking to coalesce prematurely around a single approach; the goal is first to diverge, then to converge
•focus on generating a portfolio of experiments that can be conducted locally to help prove or disprove the components of a more general solution, as opposed to developing a single grand design
•encourage individuals to take personal responsibility for initiating the change they want to see and give them the resources and tools necessary to spur their thinking and imaginations

Guiding a process of socially constructed change is neither quick nor easy—but it is possible and effective. The biggest obstacles to creating robust change platforms aren’t technical. The challenge lies in shifting the role of the executive from change agent in chief to change enabler in chief. This means devoting leadership attention to the creation of an environment where deep, proactive change can happen anywhere—and at any time—and inspiring the entire organization to swarm the most pressing issues.

Source:, October 2014
By: Gary hamel and Michele Zanini
About the authors: Gary Hamel is Visiting Professor of Strategic and International Management at the London Business School. He cofounded the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX) with Michele Zanini, who serves as its managing director.