Magazine article Management Today

MCA Management Awards 2007: Best Small Firm

Magazine article Management Today

MCA Management Awards 2007: Best Small Firm

Article excerpt

Winner: Quest Worldwide with Unilever

Unilever is one of the world's largest companies, with 150 million customers in 150 countries. But when Patrick Cescau became group CEO in 2005, it was clear Unilever was not a healthy animal. A slimming-down exercise had already removed pounds 4bn in costs and reduced 1,600 brands to 400, yet growth had stalled and market share in some key sectors was falling.

But the organisation's federal set-up made introducing change across Unilever almost impossible. Take the Indonesia leadership team: running a pounds 600m business with 5,000 employees and managing dozens of brands across a bewildering portfolio of categories, it reported into a complex matrix of regions, categories and functions. Complexity had led to ambiguity, duplication and wasted effort.

In a four-week global survey of stakeholders, Quest found no common approach or terminology. Much disconnected work went into separate planning processes and numerous reports. The consulting firm proposed a 'Strategy Into Action' programme to rally staff around one process and terminology, one timetable, one mission and plan per leadership team, with one set of leadership standards and 'must-win battles' for each one.

Quest ran a workshop for the Unilever executive board to help it write a one-page plan. Each member then took their own leadership teams through a workshop process in which they devised their own 'Strategy Into Action' plan. Each plan was brought back to the executive to be critiqued. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.