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Mba/520 Gene One Benchmarking Rubric

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Task A: Problem/Opportunity Statement

Instructions for Task A: In the Response row, write out the problem/opportunity statements for the scenario for each of the team members.

Response to Task A:

1 ) Don Ruiz needs to transform GeneOne’s freewheeling culture into a formal environment that can support growth and innovation.

2) Don Ruiz needs to develop talent in his organization, including himself, while supporting growth.

3) The dramatic changes announced at GeneOne are creating conflict tat need to be resolved in a timely and meaningful manner.

Generic BenchmarkingвЂ"The purpose of generic benchmarking is to identify potential solutions to the problem statements defined in Task A. You will do this by looking at how companies in other industries have dealt with similar issues.

Topic A: CHANGING A CULTURE

• Home Depot вЂ" When Robert Nardelli arrived at Home Depot, he inherited a successful company doing over 50 billion dollars in annual sales. What no one saw under the covers was a company with severe operational and financial control problems that not only threatened future growth but the current successes Home Depot had come to enjoy. What made Robert’s job particularly difficult was the existing culture established by the founders, whom he replaced, and Home Depot’s lack of a crisis to motivate the employees to change. Robert created a blueprint of change that included employee tasks forces, an executive training program, an extensive communication plan, and disciplined talent reviews. All of these changes were focused on strengthening the decision-making authority of the store mangers, and holding the staff, both at the store and company level, accountable for their actions. The three critical keys to Robert’s success were the training and communications programs that empowered his staff, the repetition of the message, and the departmental analysis that clearly identified weak areas. There were weekly phone calls with all of the executives and a weekly broadcast to every store and all of its employees. While there were some discarded initiatives and some failures along the way, in his first two years at the helm of Home Depot change had already begun to take hold. But everyone knew they were only at the beginning of the journey (Charan, 2006).

Don Ruiz can learn a lot from Robert Nardelli’s experience at the Home Depot. As GeneOne is attempting the same type of fundamental change in the way employees run the business, there is relevance between the two situations. In both cases the employees, both senior management and lower level employees, are not prepared for the change. In both cases the employees did not feel the external pressures, as both GeneOne and Home Depot were experiencing success. Both companies also did not have the training and knowledgebase in place to achieve the level of performance the change required.

Don Ruiz should begin by creating a team of believers in the change to lead the way. This team should begin a process of evaluating each department and their willingness to change. The executive team should address each department’s issues individually. There should be an extensive training program instituted to support the staff in their new roles, responsibilities and required knowledge needed for going public. Finally, GeneOne needs to develop a comprehensive communication plan to ensure everyone is aware of the changes made in the organization and the successes.

Response to Topic A:

Topic B: CEO DEVELOPMENT

• State Employees Credit Union вЂ" Imagine an organization that has trained over 24 top executives in their field. That is exactly what State Employees Credit Union has done. Besides replacing several of their own CEOs, they have trained and provided top executive to other companies more than 24 times over the past decade. State Employees Credit Union is successful because of their corporate philosophy on how to develop staff. They have developed a flat organizational structure that gives leadership roles and decision-making authority to a broad spectrum of employees. Each of those employees is encouraged to break the rules and be inventive in their problem solving without the fear of having their jobs at risk. State Employees Credit Union goes so far as to not have any formal building plans for new branches and allows the newly appointed manager to improve on past designs. This has created a culture of ingenuity and risk taking that has served State Employees Credit Union well. The ultimate benefit is that it gives the executives of the company a chance to see first hand how each of their employees can perform. It allows them to easily identify talent and nourish it without having to promote people before they take risks and make significant decisions. Another benefit is the training it provides the senior management of the company. The CEO is constantly being trained about what is really happening on the ground by the junior staff. This keeps the CEO close to his customers and exposes him to trends and innovation without expensive research (Edmonson, 1999).

This structure provides benefits to any organization that is going to require innovation, rapid growth and new leaders. GeneOne is going to need all three of these things as they make the move to become public. The company is going to change rapidly, the amount of research is going to expand tenfold and the number of departments is going to grow. It will be impossible for Don Ruiz to be as close to the business as he is today. This strategy of empowering employees could keep him close to the business and allow him to quickly develop talent at the same time.

After the employee training has been completed and the company begins to grow, Don Ruiz should begin to implement this management approach. This can be accomplished in multiple ways including a team-oriented approach to new projects. Cross-functional teams, that manage themselves, can be created for each new research project. This will allow each department to be represented on a team and have a chance at managing. New ideas will quickly come to the executive’s attention and management talent can easily be identified.

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