the “power” of a CEO letter
We Cannot Stop Evolving and Growing
Often it is what follows, the follow up actions to meetings, trainings, conventions etc. that enhances and provides the maximum contribution to the learning that comes with the event.
What follows, it is a summary sent by a leading organization CEO to all of management team partecipants after an annual convention. Let’s feel the energy and push that should have come to partecipants, through this reading.
After reviewing what was presented during the various sessions of an annual company convention and re-assessing the conclusions of the Workshops, the CEO felt the need to summarize few very clear messages he wanted the entire organization would receive. And he wrote a message to all of the convention partecipants.
it is extremely important to go back to what we committed to do a year ago, review what progress we made and analyze the reasons behind any gap between promise and delivery. In business you get what you measure and the simple fact of assessing our performance versus our targets helps us stay oriented.
Taking the risk of Innovation:
the future will not be a simple extension of the past. Innovation is one of the means we have to make sure we stay competitive. This is not simply related to products: we need to continue challenge ourselves and innovate our strategies, our organization, our systems, our infrastructure. Innovation always comes with a certain dose of risk. Taking calculated risks and learning from the few mistakes made is part of our Managerial responsibility. We need to create an environment where individual talent and ability to innovate are not hindered or blocked by the fear of making mistakes.
Even though everyone recognizes that growth may also come from mergers and acquisitions, what makes it sustainable in the long run is our ability to grow in the marketplace through strong brands and loyal consumers. We need to make sure the entire organization aligns itself with the objective of organic growth.
The ultimate proof we did our job well comes from the marketplace.
Every time a consumer buys one of our brands we add value to the enterprise. All our efforts, both the ones we conduct in our offices or manage through our organization in the field, must have the consumer experience as the target.
Brands and Consumers:
Brands are, together with our People, the most valuable asset we have. Good organic growth is an indicator of a brand’s health.
We all should keep in mind that the power of a brand lies in what resides in hearts and minds of Consumers. This is why we will continue to invest heavily in developing the power of our brands making sure we make good use of all the available tools to reach existing and new consumers around the world.
While we can reach Consumers directly through advertising, we would not be able to reach them with our products without what Customers do with and for us. Customers (all of them) represent a fundamental ring in our value chain exactly as we do in theirs. Loyal, motivated Customers are so important that we decided to give them some space in our Company Convention and make sure they know we are always ready to listen, improve our performance and strengthen our partnership with them.
The Delivery Gap:
The objective of our Workshops was to understand if there is a gap between what we promise through our brands and what we deliver to the marketplace. We all accept the principle that every part
(function) of the Organization contributes in its own way to making the experience of purchasing, and/or consuming one of our products, possible.
This means that every function in the Organization has a role in developing part of the promise we make and is accountable for its part in the delivery process.
The Workshops concluded that, in fact, every functional area has a good level of understanding relative to the way it contributes to delivering value to the Consumer, identified some delivery gaps and came up with ideas relative to closing the gap and establishing metrics that may keep track of performance in that direction.
I expect this to become matter to work on in your functional reviews as well as being incorporated in the next Strategic Planning exercise.
Among the outcome of the Workshops, I would like to pick some priorities, which are valid across all of functional areas and business units, and ask to focus efforts and resources behind them:
- 1. Capabilities
a. Project management
b. Talent management and training
- 2. Practices
a. Cross functional team-working
b. Knowledge sharing
- 3. Behaviors
a. Alignment of objectives
b. Pragmatic risk-taking and pro-activity
c. Constructive and reactive attitude to feedback
- 4. Metrics
a. Brand health indicators
b. Few indicators, not fragmented, consumer and customer related
Finally, what has been achieved comes from our unique combination of Brands and People. Let’s not forget that we have an obligation to continually improve the quality of our people in order to increase the value of our business.
“We cannot stop evolving and growing”.