Back in early 2013, when I moved into my current role of leading the global Integrated Business Planning (IBP)/ S&OP program for Mondelez, I came into the job from a Business Unit operations leadership role.
As any of you operational folks will relate to, getting “stuff” done “now” is what keeps the lights on, but moving into a global job takes some adjusting because in our case, my focus shifted from decision making to decision influencing. A frustrating shift if you aren’t ready for the change.
In my first 90 days, as I learned the ropes of the IBP program and how to navigate the waters of the global job, I quickly realized that implementing a standard IBP program across the globe was going to require a shift in how I approach problem solving and decision making. I realized that implementing such a program started with basically making a team of high performing, type A executives understand that the way that they are running their business can be improved. Now picture this…you have a team of senior executives who are in their positions because they have been successful and they are leaders in their field, being told by someone they don’t know, that they can do better… That’s the first meeting!
It takes time for executives to embrace the need for change and the scope of that change. It requires them to reflect, ask questions and understand the change. They then need to cascade their support down through the organization, repeatedly.
Successful IBP implementation only occurs when the General Manager of the business believes that they own the process and explicitly states it. It requires for their management team to also embrace this ownership and finally the employee population needs to see the leadership living the values of IBP, so that they begin acting in new, improved ways. This change doesn’t occur overnight and requires an approach of repetitive follow-up and re-education. It requires a clear communication strategy. It requires a change management approach. It requires patience.
I’ll be sharing more on my journey in implementing IBP at IBF’s upcoming Business Planning & Forecasting: Best Practices Conference in Orlando, Oct 26-29, 2014. Plus, I will be also sharing views at the Leadership Forum taking place on Oct 27. Hopefully, we’ll see you there.
Head of Global Integrated Business Planning