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Aligning Complex Relationships

 

Challenge:

One division of a Fortune 500 conglomerate had 20 subsidiaries located around the globe, some of which were newly acquired. Its chief executive was concerned that too many differences existed between HQ and individual companies on matters of standards, practices and communications. While he wanted the group to work cohesively, he wanted to avoid imposing a 'one size fits all' approach.

 

Actions

The CEO initially requested us to undertake culture audits of each subsidiary company, believing that to be the source of differences. However, we felt that undertaking individual culture audits would not provide sufficient return on their investment given their particular circumstances. Instead, we agreed to examine the interface between each company and the division's headquarters.

We generated a picture of the interface based on our analysis of the results from a specially designed questionnaire, interviews and 360 survey feedback for each company president. We then designed and facilitated a workshop for 60 senior managers from all 20 companies and HQ in which findings were shared and multiple inter-unit groups were tasked to collaboratively tackle emerging issues and generate solutions.

Results

Managers generated a range of creative solutions in strengthening their relationships, closing information gaps, and adjusting policies and procedures. All parties benefited, and the relationships between HQ and the companies improved markedly without the subsidiaries losing those parts of their cultures that they needed for success.

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OHMC helps organizations align organizational capacity to achieve strategic goals. We review how well the strategic direction is converted into operational plans and actions and, if needed, facilitate the introduction of improvements. [Learn More]