Executive Education

Maximum Impact: Understanding and Implementing Strategy

Global Telecommunications Firm

Situation

While the company had rolled out its growth strategy to all employees, senior executives realized that mid-level managers were not able to absorb and adapt the strategy into day-to-day responsibilities and activities. They were unsuccessful at working together beyond their immediate teams and ineffective at internal negotiations. Smith worked with the firm to develop an educational program that gave key employees a real understanding of company strategy and, most importantly, the knowledge and skills to implement strategy with confidence.

Solution

We designed a custom program that included the core educational components necessary for senior managers to develop a world-class approach for implementing strategy. The program consisted of five modules:

  • An initial four-day session at Smith that covered the firm’s growth strategy, systems thinking, marketing strategy and branding, game theory, service quality, leadership and teamwork, and negotiation, all linked to the firm’s unique situation.
  • A session at University of Toyota in California to study the “lean thinking” approach to management and operations, accompanied by Smith faculty to assist in translating the concepts to the corporation.
  • A virtual session to practice tools for successful teaming across geography and to introduce the business simulation used in the capstone session.
  • A capstone session at Smith included a four-day interactive business simulation. Teams competed against one another in a global market, building their firm, raising money from venture capitalists, and marketing to a global customer base. The simulation drew upon key content areas of the other sessions while building intra-company networks and appreciation of peers.

Results

Participants reported a significant increase in their understanding of the new organizational strategy and an increased capacity to implement that strategy, which would impact business unit results and organizational profitability. The reported ROI on this program was higher than any the firm had witnessed in any previous program. The internal networking was so successful that the participants held a “Maximum Impact” reunion several months after the course concluded.

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