Old habits die hard
MAERSK TANKERS CASE
The commercial project graveyard
An important aspect of the Taking Lead strategy has to do with working with data in a much more structured manner. “In this industry, experience has a lot to say. And while experience is a good thing, it’s very difficult to discuss in an objective way”, Lene says.
Closing the value gap
Christian has been the Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Tankers since 2014. He has been part of the Maersk Group for 18 years, and joined Maersk Tankers in 2007. He is a die hard James Bond fan and claims to watch at least one of his hero’s adventures every week. Oh, and we promised not to mention that he played the flute for four years.
“To begin with, I was not very concerned with managing the transformation, I must admit. I was extremely busy with developing solutions as part of the Taking Lead strategy. But then Lene asked, ‘hey how do you plan on actually making it happen’? I could hear her, but I must admit I couldn’t feel it at first. Luckily, Lene insisted, which made us take a step back and start focusing on getting the rest of the organisation on board,” says Christian
Getting the core story right
Before joining Maersk Tankers in 2013, Lene was Senior Director of HR in Maersk Drilling for 12 years. Just like Christian, she played the flute, but is less secretive about it, and she has been the coach of a soccer team for seven years without knowing much about the sport – at least by her own account.
Getting the team on board
An important part of the Value Realisation method is to focus on handing over the strategic initiative to the organisation, getting them involved. This requires that the benefit case is translated into concrete contributions from the receiving organisation, which they understand and believe they are able to deliver. “We have invested a lot in involving the next level. Instead of educating everyone, we have trained the segment leads and prepared them to drive change in their teams. It’s much more credible and efficient that way”, Lene believes, “and the change competencies stay in the organisation”.
For Christian, Lene and the team at Maersk Tankers, the next phase includes doing more of the same. In a world that is often defined by short-term goals, tenacity is key when you want things to change on a deeper level. Even though people might be sceptical, or perhaps impatient about the outcome, Lene and Christian agree that you have to be stubborn and keep your eyes on the goal. In that sense, they have become each other’s greatest allies. Christian concludes, “I have learnt that things take time, and if you want to drive change, you have to mean it. Really mean it. Old habits die hard, and change is not the flavour of the month”.
“I see it as my role to look at the capability of the organization – the requirements for Christian and his team to succeed – in this case, related to delivering on the Taking Lead strategy. I had a pretty clear vision of how Christian’s organisation needed to work differently, what kind of culture we wanted, what processes and performance management structure we had to put in place, but I realised early on that we didn’t have the needed change management capability to actually do it,” says Lene
Value realisation at a glance
Value Realisation is a simple, but disciplined approach that applies well-known concepts, deep understanding of the business, unbeatable enthusiasm and the ability to support the receiving organisation in driving its own transformation. It’s about having a relentless focus on the benefits you want to realise, it’s about enabling leaders to become change ambassadors and it’s about gaining a deep understanding of the reality of those affected by the change process.
A Value Realisation project typically involves five phases. The first two phases, Set Direction and Develop Solutions, are a part of most strategy processes, and so is the last: Implementation. What is often greatly underestimated are phases 3 and 4 in the Value Realisation approach: Hand-over to the Receiving Organisation and Implement in the Receiving Organisation. This involves engaging the leadership in the receiving organisation early, and it entails a strong involvement of the receiving organisation(s) in translating the benefits from the benefit case to their reality. This is perhaps the most important element in making the strategic initiative a success, as these are the people who need to do something differently every day.