Due to a significant change to an international manufacturing agreement,
the global head of supply chain for a Fortune 100 clothing retailer needed
to transform the ability of the company to source product from a global
network of external vendors and to dramatically change the ability of
regional "hubs" to manage their own multi-national vendor relationships.
Given the turbulence of the environment, he knew that the capacity of
the hubs had to be substantially and rapidly increased. He hired Headwaters
to assess the ability of and prepare hub managers and their executive
teams to lead the imminent change.
Strategies and Approaches
Headwaters worked closely with the global leadership team to design and
implement a two-phase process. Phase I involved interviewing the general
managers and key personnel of six manufacturing hubs around the world
(Hong Kong, Istanbul, Miami, New Delhi, Seoul and Singapore) to gather
data related to the hubs’ history of implementation success, individual
readiness for transformative change, and cultural sensitivities that
might be significant between hubs, their vendors and global headquarters.
We also conducted LeadingChange briefings for the executive teams at
each site to establish common language for focusing organizational energy
toward corporate goals and mission. In Phase II, we served as coaches
for the six hub executive teams to build their capacity to assess risk
and implement strategic change through effective leadership and management.
By using the RealChange process, and by serving as an objective go-between,
Headwaters was able to assess real concerns and issues at the hub level
that headquarters executives probably would not have been able to discern.
Following RealChange preparation and coaching, each of the hubs was able
to absorb change directives driven by global headquarters with a minimum
of internal disruption and all hubs saw improvements in both efficiency
and capacity building.