We helped the Sony Europe Executive Committee to re-structure its business from a country-based structure to a business line-structure by helping them to agree clear objectives and understand the implications of structural changes. A central part of this process involved helping design and run workshops for senior managers in order to test the rationale, structure, and strategy involved in making the change, and to agree implementation priorities. Kiddy then led a pan-European organisation re-design project.
Product innovation and design are Sony’s traditional differentiators but were under significant threat; consolidation of the trade in Europe had led to challenging conditions. A new President of Sony Electronics Europe, appointed in mid-2002, quickly moved to begin changing the business’ structure and consensus-driven culture. In addition, ‘Europeanisation’ was being driven by the need to seek expertise and cost synergies where possible.
Kiddy worked with Sony first by helping design and run a series of events for the top 20 managers in Europe. These events aimed to help the managers gain a common understanding of exactly what they were trying to achieve, why they were trying to achieve it, and what the implications of those changes would be.
We then helped to design and run senior management workshops for the next 80 managers to test the rationale and strategies proposed by top management and to identify the implementation priorities.
Finally, Kiddy & Partners led a pan-European project on organisation and role clarity; the project focused on helping the managers to anticipate and resolve structural inconsistencies, boundary conflicts, duplication, and identify areas where improved communication was needed.
Our work helped Sony Europe to improve their governance processes and to clarify the roles and responsibilities of each part of the organisation, such as European advertising function relative to category (e.g. Hi Fi, TV, DVD), and business and marketing groups. Consequently, there was less duplication of sales, marketing and supply chain roles and activities, and top management were more aligned around the fewer change initiatives which were more easily implemented, better planned, and easier to ‘buy into’.
Overall, we were active in forcing difficult issues back to the leadership and the project teams for them to resolve, and helped to implement a process of fundamental change that Sony had determined would deliver its target business results.
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