Gunnebo at a Crossroads
Following the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 Gunnebo underwent a change in ownership, being acquired by two private equity firms who delisted the company from the Stockholm Stock Exchange. This new ownership brought with it a heightened emphasis on articulating a more precise and detailed strategy for executing Gunnebo’s value creation plan.
Several questions needed to be addressed:
- Is the current organizational structure apt to resist the challenges and take on the new opportunities emerging in the future?
- Where and how should Gunnebo’s various business units operate?
- Does each business unit have a clear vision and business strategy?
- How do we engage and empower the leadership teams of each of the group’s business units in formulating and executing the strategy?
- How do we successfully implement the changes required to instill a new customer-focused and entrepreneurial culture?
In the past, Gunnebo had developed high-level strategic priorities; however, these were not translated into an action plan. Additionally, a consistent and coherent reporting structure for these strategic priorities was absent, making it impossible to track progress efficiently. The company decided it was time to embark into the Strategy in Action program to explore opportunities for enhancing its strategic capabilities.
Defining Gunnebo’s Road to Success
The company’s CEO, leadership team, and senior executives gained full access to all three components of the Strategy in Action program, namely the SiA Platform, dedicated workshops, and ad-hoc support and consulting. This included configuring the SiA platform to allow each business unit to develop its strategic plan and financial projections, curating the gathering and analysis of internal and external data to create insights for the strategic plans, and guiding the process of identifying core challenges for each business unit along with related initiatives and investments.
SiA’s style makes the organization think differently, it makes me think differently, making me aware of what’s around me, making me aware when sometimes I’m closing things down because I have a preconceived idea of how something should work, how something should pan out, but of course it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way and that is what really excites me about working with SiA.
With the SiA program, Gunnebo successfully:
- Reorganized its business units
- Formulated strategic plans for each unit
- Crafted an overarching corporate plan that entailed the divestment of non-core assets
This initiative resulted in several swift victories, both in terms of revenue generation and cost reduction, effectively moving into the execution stage.
During the execution phase, the SiA team utilized the SiA Platform to structure the reporting on strategic priorities, ensuring a seamless flow of information from the front line to the board.
The model cascaded priorities into initiatives and actions, complete with associated timelines and owners. Each initiative was accompanied by a set of KPIs and financial objectives. The SiA platform efficiently captured the entire process, consolidating financial data into meaningful summary graphs and dashboards used to inform the board.
Across the programme, the SiA Platform empowered Gunnebo to move quickly with their strategy development, reducing redundancies. Prior to SiA, strategic development was manual, unstructured and time consuming. SiA helped Gunnebo reduce complexities of strategy development and brought all strategic efforts in one place with the platform.
The SiA Platform also helped Gunnebo envision the trends, financial impacts of strategic decisions, long-term goals and outlined a roadmap of achieving the strategic goals, while staying attuned to Gunnebo’s vision and mission.
SiA Workshops and Coaching sessions challenged the assumptions held by the teams and nudged them to dig deeper into the strategic challenges. The sessions provided critical and guidance and support to teams to break down business complexities and push boundaries and test different hypotheses. It helped teams evolve their strategic thinking processes and develop a growth mindset.
Overall, the SiA Programme aligned over 50 executives across three continents in strategic development, ensuring that the teams are thoroughly trained and are engaged in the strategic process. It helped them understand their role in the development, enablement, and implementation of the overall strategic goals.
Effectively utilizing all the components of the Programme – the SiA Platform and SiA Workshops and Coaching – teams at Gunnebo were informed, aligned, and engaged. They were well equipped to execute the strategic plan that they helped formulate.
Unleashing Gunnebo’s Potential
SiA had a lasting effect on the company’s strategic capabilities.
- It provided a flexible framework that helped refresh and build new strategies without losing time.
- It helped leadership teams organize and communicate strategic priorities and initiatives.
- It ensured that teams were engaged with clear roles and objectives.
It encouraged a mindset shift around strategy and strategic processes, enabling teams to challenge assumptions and swiftly correct course if necessary.
As Willdig compellingly put it, “Strategy isn’t something that you do once and put in the cupboard and never look at again. Strategy should be a living document.”
Gunnebo’s growth journey had just started.