Chapter 5Architect

What Do We Need to Do to Get There?

When ownership of the global auto manufacturer, Volvo Cars, was transferred from Ford to Geely, the new Executive Management Team faced many challenges. The company’s market share was declining, sales volume was low, quality was decreasing, and the brand was considered by many to be stuck somewhere in the middle between the premium and mass markets. Internally, the organization lacked direction and confidence. Any path forward had to include large-scale change.

In the Aspire stage of Volvo’s journey, the Executive Management Team looked to the intersection of opportunity, capability, and passion and honed in on an overarching change vision of becoming the most progressive luxury car brand in the world. The future was rolled back to include medium-term aspirations such as having a top-tier premium auto brand perception, increasing volumes from less than 400,000 vehicles to more than 800,000 vehicles globally, and reaching top quartile car industry profitability.

On the health side, the OHI and related analytics revealed the company was overall in the third quartile of organizational health. Despite its challenges, the Executive Management Team chose to see the opportunities. As the CEO put it, “We’re not healthy—but at least we are not dead!” Drawing on predictive analytics, senior leaders chose to pursue the “market shaper” recipe. Priority management practices included dramatically increasing customer focus, role clarity, ...

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