According to the case study, Navistar is on a brink of bankruptcy as it failed to sell its truck and engine products due to the failed emission strategy. The failed emission strategy may have risen from quality issues inside the company, which will have ripple effects such as loss of market share and product recall. But the root cause of the problem is found to be the communication gap between the management and its employees. Accordingly, employees’ concerns are not heard, leaving most employees demotivated. As a result, the quality of the company’s products suffers.
The CEOs vision is to bring back Navistar back into being profitable once again. For the same reason, its new CEO endorsed the D2D or ‘Drive to deliver’ plan, which is designed to make a turnaround and save Navistar from its previous predicament. Accordingly, the plan will focus on these four priorities: introduce new products in a short period of time; improve quality; cut production costs and push for improved sales. In order to achieve these goals, the major strategy is to establish an efficient way of communication between management and employees. The new CEO hopes that if these strategies are successfully implemented, the company would be able to get back on its feet and reverse its previous losses.
CEO’s Sense of Urgency
A sense of urgency is the ability to identify things that require immediate attention and doing it as quickly as possible. According to John Kotter, a Harvard professor on leadership and change, organizations and individuals often fail because of complacency. Complacency, however, can be addressed by a true sense of urgency. For Kotter, an individual that exhibits true urgency is someone who is placing emphasis on the critical issue and is driven by the urgency to succeed. In the case of Navistar, identifying the critical issue and addressing it urgently qualifies its CEO as having exhibited a sense of urgency. The CEOs prompt action plan to counter the company’s failed strategy showed that he understands the critical position of the company and the value of working quickly to get the company back on its tracks. The first priority of the D2D campaign, for instance, is proof of the CEOs sense of urgency as he place emphasis in the importance of ‘time’ in launching new products.
Teamwork and Coalition
In order to implement their D2D plan, both the CEO and the COO of Navistar coordinated with the company’s communication team to help convey their D2D plans and strategies towards bottom line employees. While acquiring the help of the communication team was crucial in conveying the D2D plans towards the employees of the organization, the CEO and COO would have done better if they also enlist the help of managers and supervisors in order to see to it that these plans are executed properly. For instance, it was not mentioned in the case study if the CEO and COO conducted a meeting with their managers and supervisors. Granting that they have not done so, putting aside key employees such as managers and supervisors in the company’s D2D plans could lead to undesirable results. Scholars emphasize the importance of teamwork in achieving organizational success and one of the attribute of a successful teamwork and collaboration is interdependence, which is the realization that the organization could not succeed unless the members within the organization succeeds (Tarricone & Luca, 2002). For the same reason, the CEO and COO could have done better by meeting with all the members of their organization if they wish to make a change in the way the organization operates.
Role of Communication in the Organization’s Strategy
In order to initiate the necessary changes as stipulated in the company’s ‘Drive to Deliver’ or D2D plan, one of the major strategy is to bridge the communication gap between management and the bottom line employees. As indicated in the case study, the key components in the execution of the D2D plan is based on internal communication strategies such as clarifying the company’s goals; creating direct channels of communication between employees and managers; and passing information directly from executives to employees. Various types of communication were also used by the company in order to relay its message to the members of the organization. Keeping a transparent and visible dashboard or graphic, for instance, keeps the employees of the organization posted about the accomplishments versus the target. The establishment of direct communication channels such as conducting a no-holds-barred Q&A session encourages employee participation, making them more engaged in the production process. These are all communication strategies can facilitate the fast and efficient communication between employees and management. The rationale behind this decision is to identify manufacturing issues such as quality and efficiency problems right where it starts and to correct these problems quickly. By addressing the issue at the bottom, future recalls would be avoided thereby saving the company from unnecessary expenses and losses.
Kotter, J. (2008). It All Starts with a Sense of Urgency: Laying the Groundwork for Change. Retrieved June 2015, from http://www.exed.hbs.edu/: http://www.exed.hbs.edu/assets/Documents/sense-urgency.pdf
Public Relations Society of America. (2014). Drive to Deliver: Building Employee Support for Navistar's Turnaround Strategy .
Tarricone, P., & Luca, J. (2002). Successful teamwork: A case study. Retrieved June 2015, from http://www.unice.fr/: http://www.unice.fr/crookall-cours/teams/docs/team%20Successful%20teamwork.pdf