Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fast change at Weyerhaeuser, contd.

Like most large organizations, Weyerhaeuser wasn't known for making major change happen quickly. In order for the iLevel brand to become visible to customers, the executive team knew that major behavioral change, as well as structural change, would be required. And it wanted an integrated execution plan that was sharply focused and rapidly implemented. 

This led to the development of a series of 90-day action plans created by the 300 transition leaders who were organized into 20 teams of 15 leaders each from throughout the US. These transition agents met "virtually," each Tuesday, for one hour. Their findings were summarized and delivered to the iLevel executive team the next day. The executive leadership team reviewed the results, discussed how to resolve the issues and barriers that were raised, then communicated their decisions back to the transition teams before the next cycle of meetings.

The first 90-day plan listed 178 items reflecting the seven execution gaps mentioned earlier that needed to be changed for the iLevel brand to be deployed successfully. The leadership team met weekly during the execution phase to measure progress against the action list and to resolve key barriers raised by the transition teams. The latter were running their own series of parallel weekly meetings. Leaders had to make fast decisions and then send this information back to the transition agents in time for the following weeks' meetings. They continued this practice, renewing the plan every 90 days all through 2006 until over 275 actions were completed. These actions included associate training, information system changes, product packaging, customer communication, metric and target development, sales incentive plans, and many more - all needed to implement the new strategy.

In addition, the executive and transition leaders were asked to answer the following three questions:

What existing behaviors should I continue doing because they clearly support the new strategy?

What new behaviors must I now start doing?

What existing behaviors must I now stop doing?

To be continued tomorrow.

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