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Reflection – Videos clips of different CEO’s – Sowjanya Kodidala

by on October 17, 2007

In the previous class we had an opportunity to view various video clips. In the video clips, CEO’s of different companies explained their experiences on treating critical issues in their organizations. I really liked the way these CEO’s presented the cases. The CEO’s gave a good overview of the scenarios. It was good to see that they started explaining about their company first and later explained the issue they faced. After explaining the issue, they explained the solution they implemented and also made a point to let us know if the solution worked or how it did not and if there could be the other solutions for it.

In many cases we viewed, I like the following case; a consultant goes to a company to give a 2 day strategic plan and was made the CEO of the company. On his first day, He notices that the company is split internally, where sales force team thinks they are the only important people in the company. They also behaved as though the corporate people did not exist. So the company had internal as well as external enemies. For the following case we suggested that the CEO should do the following – 1. Try to put sales force people in corporate people positions and place corporate people position into sales force position. If the CEO could try this for a week, the people might get a view of the others work. 2. Try to arrange public informal gatherings where different teams get a chance to interact with each other. 3. The CEO should wait and watch the company for 3 to 6 months before trying to implement any solution in the company. So that he would have a better understanding of the company personal and teams.

The CEO of the company asked the employees for 30 days and also assured that if any of the team people can leave the company after 30 days if they do not like what is done in the next 30 days. He also made a point to the sales force that without corporate people, the sales force team cannot move forward to achieve the goals. He explained by using an example of car racing where the corporate people were like oil and the sales force team the car, making them understand each teams importance. Also he encouraged the corporate people to hang up the phone if any sales force people were rude. In this way he could gain confidence in both the teams. Here he showed that the both teams are equally important to the organization. After 30 days, this solution did work well and then the CEO asked for 30 more days. This way he could solve the problems of the organization.

By the flowing case we can understand that the following factors are very important –
1. Communication – Communication is one of the key factors. The CEO could use example of the car racing which made the sales force people to understand better. As mentioned in the book heart of change, communicating to the audience very clearly and in their language is very important. He being the new CEO and also it was his first day in the company; many people would not be in a position to listen to him. But the way he communicated, got everyone’s attention. Like for example – when Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer gives a talk during the company meetings, he tried to get every employees attention and makes sure he is heard by everyone present.

2. Act Quickly – I really think acting quickly is a good way to approach the company issues. At the same time I feel it is important for the CEO to do home work which needs time. Here in this case, The CEO came to oeganization to give a strategic plan, S In this case, The CEO came to the company as a consultant to give a 2 day strategic plan, so he might have done his research on the company earlier. As mentioned in the book Heart of change, home work and earlier preparation plays an important role in situations like this. The CEO should understand the audience and should be prepared to face any kind of questions and be able to explain the audience in a way they can understand.

3. Ask for time and delivering the goals – As Kevin mentioned, this approach is a very effective way of handling things and also it is good to show the deliverables to the audience. Sometimes it might add urgency to complete things in given time.

4. Solve major issues – It is always a better approach to solve major issues of the company initially. This might help the company not to slow down their growth drastically. If we start solving small issues and by the time we reach to the major issues it might be too late to handle the situation. And the time that takes to solve the major issue would cost a lot at a later stage.

5. Constant reporting – Constant reporting helps employees to know what the CEO’s deliverables are. In many cases the CEO would not report about his tasks and employees wouldn’t be aware of what CEO tasks and deliverables are. The CEO should be reporting on a regular basis which helps him to understand his goals.

Case 2 – CEO communicating with his expert engineer
The other case I liked, the CEO explained about the situation where an engineer who was very valuable to the company was being rude to other employees in the company. The engineer’s behavior could not be accepted by rest of the employees and that caused an issue in the organization. To solve this issue, many of us in the class gave different opinions like sending the engineer to the counseling, isolating him from the other employees, videotape his behavior and showing him the tape. The CEO came up with one of the solution where the engineer was allowed to work from home for 3 days in a week and also sent the engineer to counseling for 2 hours per week. Finally it did not work so he was substituted by other employees whose skills matched with his skills.

In the following case the engineer agreed for counseling so there was a scope for improvement but in many cases people like this would not be happy to go for counseling, especially experts would never be willing to change their attitude. It is also very important to have very good communication skills to handle delicate issues. In this case, the CEO was very good and he could convince the engineer to work from home and go for counseling. If there was miscommunication, the employee would have immediately left the company. But finally it did not work. As I see it would not work in most of the cases because a company is a group of people. The organization can never be run by a single person. He might be very important asset to the company but not the only asset the company holds. I really think team work is one of the major factors for the company to run and grow.

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