Case Study 4

Business strategy development for a large company


The challenge

The North American division of a $10 billion European automotive components manufacturer was experiencing both increased competition and a softening of sales. The new general manager needed to get his group focused on a clear strategy and working to achieve aggressive revenue and profit goals from corporate. I was asked to help an international group quickly develop a winning business strategy and plan by working with the general manager to lead the group in its strategic planning and design sessions.


What I did

I designed and facilitated a three-day strategic summit that enabled the members to work together on strategy for the first time, and to develop working relationships. Planning team members were from England, Israel, France, Mexico, Ireland, and the U.S. During the summit, the group began with a thorough review of their current situation and the performance challenges confronting them. I guided the team in identifying key strategic themes, developing future scenarios, and framing a series of strategic alternatives including potential return and risks. Through brainstorming and discussion sessions, they aligned priorities and agreed upon a strategic roadmap to address the market threats and opportunities and improve operational effectiveness. 


Results

The team agreed on five important organizational and strategic initiatives. These included product line pruning, revised business practices, new management communications tools, and improvements to supplier relationships. Once implemented, the changes delivered significant savings and created a stronger organizational focus on delivering the right products and value to very demanding customers. The organization achieved its aggressive performance goals as required. The general manager felt confident in the strategy and that each participant fully understood the strategy and his/her role in achieving it. He was also pleased how the group had forged a productive and collaborative working relationship in a very short time.