A multinational semiconductor company had a declining cash-cow chip manufacturing business. Some senior leaders wanted to boldly shift to new products and enter new markets, but overall the company was proving unable to change.
A diverse group of 40 participants representing Engineering, Sales, Business Transformation, Finance, Shared Services and HR were convened to tackle the question of transformation. The company’s senior leaders had decided the question beforehand, but after the agenda-setting exercise, many in the group argued that this was the wrong question. The real question, they proposed, was: How do we become relevant again?
The CEO, who was new to the company, green-lighted the new question, which galvanized the team and spurred them into action. Once the group took ownership of the question, they took ownership of the challenge. Instead of only discussing product strategy, the group had a wider and richer conversation on transforming the company brand, roadblocks within their internal culture, and who their core customers were (and who they weren’t).
The team produced a robust set of recommendations on driving strategic innovation and building great products, defining an aggressive and unified go-to-market strategy, and significantly enhancing internal effectiveness and workforce motivation. Execution followed quickly. A few years later, the company experienced an enormous turnaround in profitability and market capitalization that they attributed directly to having applied the Formula.
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