June 15,2021 Change Management

Navigating Change Like A Boss

Navigating Change Like A Boss

Navigating Change Like A Boss

Navigating Change Like A Boss

All companies change. Some are bad at it and some are great. Our team voted on the Top 5 companies changing like a boss.

Our Top 5:

5. Ooredoo

The state of Qatar is the world’s richest economy, per capita. In 2005, its state-owned telecom company Qtel, embarked on an ambitious acquisition spree; by 2012, Qtel owned 17 telecom operators in the world and had become the world’s fastest growing telecom operator by revenue.

In 2012, however, Qtel began to shift its strategy away from growth through acquisition towards growth through integration. They then decided to pull all their diverse telecom brands into one mega-brand, Ooredoo. This would give them the opportunity to focus on what they actually wanted their international telecom company to deliver – transformational change in the telecom sector.

The change management teams set out to identify what they wanted their brand to stand for. They defined a series of unique branding propositions that would, ultimately, give them standout recognition. They wanted to offer the world greater freedom of communication and choice and, in particular, they wanted to be seen as helping rural communities and women gain a voice.

In February 2013 the new global brand Ooredoo was launched from a standing start in a matter of weeks in Qatar, with the iconic footballer Lionel Messi introduced by Sheik Abdullah as the global brand ambassador. It was a stunning success, gaining market share within weeks. With a customer base of more than 95 million people in 17 countries, Ooredoo rapidly became a leading international brand.

4.  Microsoft

Microsoft was running into serious internal problems with its organizational structure. It wasn’t until the new CEO Satya Nadella took charge and started to undertake some major restructuring for this massive company.

Even after the phenomenal and long-lived success of Windows and Office products, Microsoft was struggling to keep up with other companies — specifically, with Google becoming dominant in the search and software market and Apple owning the phone market.

The tech giant was stagnant and rife with internal wars between major departments that often viewed each other more as competitors than partners within the same company. As a result, innovation was being thwarted by a toxic environment that kept the company increasingly dependent on Windows and Office. While both products are very successful, the stagnation put the company in a dangerous “comfort” zone.

After being named CEO in February 2014, Satya Nadella undertook a major restructuring of the tech giant to eliminate its destructive internal competition. Microsoft products and platforms would no longer exist as separate groups. Instead, all employees would start focusing on a limited set of common goals  and bringing them all together.

3. Lego

Lego’s reinvention has seen its story hailed as the greatest turnaround in corporate history. From 1932 until 1998, Lego had never posted a loss. By 2003, it was an entirely different story. Sales were down by 30% year-on-year and the brand was $800 million in debt. What didn’t help their situation was that Lego hadn’t added anything of value to its portfolio for a decade.

So, what happened between Lego’s CEO, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, admitting that the brand is running out of cash and he wouldn’t survive, and when it overtook Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand in 2015?

Much like Netflix, Lego eventually realised that its lifespan of physical products wasn’t going to have an infinite interest. After a period of expansion, this beloved toy company was near bankruptcy in 2004. With this realistic yet disastrous outcome on the horizon, Lego decided it was time to start restructuring.

To begin, the business implemented digital transformation. Instead of putting their sole focus on physical toy products, Lego is increasingly concentrating on bridging the physical and virtual augmented reality (AR) experiences.

Now, Lego’s revival has gone down in history. A book has been devoted to the subject – Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation – while the likes of Google, Adidas and Sony all refer to it.

By finding new sources of revenue, LEGO has managed to transform its brand and keep up with the requirements of its target audience today.

2. British Airways

In 1981, British Airways appointed a new chairperson, John King. Early on, it was noticed that the company was extremely inefficient and a lot of valuable resources were being wasted.

To help the organization become more profitable, the chairperson decided to restructure the entire business. He decided that the most efficient way to do this was through a change management plan.

The organization soon began to reduce its workforce. However, before this was completed, the chairman – through his change management leadership – provided the business with reasons for restructuring British Airways to help prepare them for the upcoming change.

His plan saw him axe 22,000 jobs – including half of the board – replace older planes with modern jets and eliminated unprofitable routes. One of his successors, Martin Broughton, paid tribute to King for the role he played in the transformation.

So, through leadership and communication, he managed to direct the business through an incredibly difficult time and turned British Airways into a profitable business.

1. Netflix

In 1997, the gargantuan media-services provider Netflix was born. Previously, the model offered customers monthly subscriptions to have movies posted to their door. This meant they avoided the late fees which traditional movie rental business imposed upon customers.

From the beginning, Netflix proved to be a disruptive organization. This has likely resulted in its capability to transform and adapt to the digital world. Streaming began in 2007 for the business and meant subscribers no longer needed to wait for DVDs to come through the mail.

Netflix successfully implemented change management to meet the needs of the consumers that would begin to watch content online. At one stage, it was at a crossroads, when its long-term sustainability was dependent on how it managed the change to a digital future.


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