What’s required for real cross-functional partnership across a 30,000 person organization?

When marketing, sales, services, and engineering speak the same language and share a single playbook, aligned action is possible. Communication then becomes the backbone to staying aligned, especially in uncertain environments.

Situation

Trium served a 25-member cross-functional Executive Board charged with setting and driving the strategy for the company’s multi-billion dollar Technology Services business. The company’s customer landscape in Services changed frequently, making the alignment of day-to-day decision-making challenging. In addition, there was unclear support for product and corporate priorities within the Services teams. Fear of missing opportunities led to reactive decision-making, often in a silo-ed, uncoordinated manner.

Challenge

The client hired Trium to clarify and align the Services organization behind a 3-5 year vision and strategy to prioritize the investment areas for the coming fiscal year and to ensure aligned execution of priorities across diverse locations. Trium assessed that confronting such uncertain environments required having a clear view on how to serve customers in carefully selected future market scenarios. Framing and building-out the scenarios required significant iteration and buy-in, but in the end would build clarity and alignment, shorten response time and guide investment and resource prioritization decisions.

Resolution

Trium helped the client develop strategic plans for each of four critical market scenarios that accounted for the most important business uncertainties. Through interviews and a series of facilitated workshops, a globally and functionally diverse group of leaders articulated the following for each scenario: customer needs and requirements; client’s winning strategies; implications for go-to-market models and partner/competitor positioning; requirements for portfolio of offerings; and investments and innovations. They further named market signals that would indicate one scenario was emerging over another.

The highly collaborative process helped to build shared language for describing the Services strategy which, in turn, made large-scale alignment around a single playbook possible for the first time. Together, leaders created priorities and thoughtfully placed bets based on shared beliefs about near-term dominant customer needs. Importantly, this work created a foundation for ongoing strategic dialogues that would keep strategy execution clear, aligned and relevant as market dynamics evolved.

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