FC Company Integrated Business Planning (IBP) journey – Part 3

02 May 2019


By Liam Harrington and Anne Marie Kilkenny, Associates at Oliver Wight

If you read the last blog you’ll know that we hit a bit of a delay while the Integrated Business Planning design teams were finalised. There were some last minute changes and swaps but now we’re into it! There has been good communication to the organisation about the programme, simply and clearly explaining the why, the what and the how - in particular the link to the strategy (the Playbook in FC language). 

32 people have been selected to be on the four main design teams, one each for Product and Portfolio; Demand; Supply Chain and Integrated Reconciliation. It has also been agreed to set up a work stream focused on managing change. They will focus on ensuring effective communication throughout the programme and support the design teams in thinking through how to implement change and new ways of working. When the time comes they will also support the teams in putting together cascade education approach and content.

The program lead is Dirk Corbijn. Dirk will also be the IBP process lead. Sara van den Berg, the CEO, is the champion and has already demonstrated the seriousness with which she takes this role, not least in resolving the debates about resourcing the design teams. Sometimes autocracy comes in useful!

All of the design team members have now been through IBP education. It struck me how different educations sessions are when people are coming for a ‘look’ - an initial assessment as to whether this process may be of help - compared to design team sessions when people are coming to learn and then almost immediately apply the learning in their organisation. There were lots of questions! Many of the questions were for us. There were really good challenges and great debates from people who genuinely want to do a good job.  It was notable that some of the challenges were not really for us or even about IBP. This is not uncommon. Very often the issue raised is not the real issue and relates to an underlying frustration, lack of trust and of course fear of the unknown. Many people welcome change but most fear it in case it somehow threatens the security of their position in the organisation. As always, the case each person in the FC team is at a different point on the change loop. Dirk found this challenging, he needed to understand that it’s ok for him not to know all the answers right now!

Etienne, the VP of HR for Consumer was quite shocked at some of the myths and old paradigms that were still visible despite a significant communication effort over the last year related to the introduction of the FC Playbook. ‘I guess it’s true that you have to tell people something 7 times 7 different ways’ he said.

Many of the questions relate to how we manage the transition from current practices to a Class A environment. There was agreement that a longer-term focus, moving away from being fixated on the budget is the right thing to do. ‘IBP means we will finally make the strategy happen’ but how to manage in between when we don’t have the new ways of working in place?  This is indeed a challenge for the FC leadership. They have some key decisions to make about what will stop as well as being open about where some parallel processes may be temporarily required. Some of the finance folks are apprehensive about this, but are very motivated by the goal of removing the budget process. They volunteered to do some ‘homework’ before the design workshops.

Stefanie (VP Marketing, HORECA), Helen (VP Supply Chain, HORECA tag) and Nadia (VP Marketing Industrial) have all experienced IBP operating at a good level in previous companies. They were a bit frustrated at times with the pace – they just want to get on with it. At the same time their colleagues felt that they were trying to rush them, they needed to understand! This is part of the challenge of change – getting everyone on board, maintaining sufficient momentum but without leaving anyone behind.

It is interesting when a few have seen it before and know what they want to see but don't realize that everyone needs to make their own personal journey through change. 

One of the great things about these educations sessions was witnessing some terrific light bulb moments. Some great ideas were generated through some of the biggest debates – we’re looking forward to getting further into these in the design workshops!

So, so far so good and tracking around our “normal range” of experiences. Things will hot up though when we get into the design proper and people need to give their time and show up to make change happen and give their time and not back off.

Exciting times ahead.

Click here to read part four


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