Business theorists have observed that companies go through identifiable life stages, just as individuals do. The life cycle theory also applies to products, product lines, and entire industries. Although experts’ opinions vary on how many stages there are in a company’s life, it is generally accepted that the stages are startup, growth, maturity, decline, and death, although it is possible for a company to renew or revive itself and not die. A corporation can extend their life cycle by identifying any of the indications of a change in their life cycle. Once it has been identified, a corporation should take action on making the most appropriate structural and strategy adjustments that may be needed to either maintain or improve on the performance. (Wheelen, 2015)
My designated company is at success stage, which is commonly called maturity stage. The success stage represents an organizational form where formalization and control through bureaucracy are the norms. a common problem in this stage is what American businesses have long referred to as “red tape”, a condition of wading through layers of organizational structure to get anything accomplished. Job descriptions, policies and procedures, and hierarchical reporting relationships have become much more formal. Such organizations have passed survival test, growing to a point that they may seek to protect what they have gained instead of targeting new territory. The top management team focuses on planning and strategy, leaving daily operations to middle managers. (Draft & Weick 1984)
Implementation is the system-wide action taken by firm members aimed at accomplishing formulated strategies. Implementation is important to firm performance because strategies do not add value unless properly implemented. (Hahn 2010)
Without effective implementation, strategic planning is a futile exercise.
In knowledge-intensive markets, such as those for pharmaceuticals and medical technology, the most important, value-creating parts of strategy implementation rely on the discretionary acts of motivated, committed individuals. There are a few questions that must be considered before the implementation process. These questions may include:
1. Who are the people who will carry out the strategic plan and provide the right skills and competencies to support the plan?
2. What must be done to align the company’s operations in the new intended direction?
3. How is everyone going to work together to do what is needed?
A good mix of strategy and culture is vital to a company’s success when implementing new strategies for a company.
If they conflict, research shows that failure rates are high. Strategies that conflict with strong cultures is likely to experience resistance. A company’s culture is its identity. It states who they are and what they do. “Because an organizations culture can exert a powerful influence on the behavior of all employees, it can strongly affect a company’s ability to shift its strategic direction. A problem for a strong culture is that a change in mission, objectives, strategies, or policies is not likely to be successful if it is in opposition to the accepted culture of a company.” (Hunger and Wheelen. 2008).
However, in the case of a weak culture, strategic changes may be welcome, even if they change the current culture. This was the case when Maytag purchased Admiral, formerly known as Magic Chef. Admiral employees, out of respect for Maytag’s success and leadership in quality, gladly accepted a new culture, based on a strategy they anticipated would develop success for their future.
“An optimal culture is one that best supports the mission and strategy of the company of which it is a part. This means that, like structure and staffing, corporate culture should support the strategy. Unless the strategy is in complete agreement with the culture, any significant change in strategy should be followed by a modification on the organization’s culture.” (Hunger and Wheelen. 2008).
Therefore, the strategy must fit with culture to be successful for a company. However, to succeed in a competitive market, companies must develop strategies that align a company with success. Properly formulated and implemented strategies result in success within an industry. A company’s culture does not drive this success. It definitely can play a significant role in the ultimate achievement of desired results and the effort, timing, and implementation of strategies. Culture does not provide a “roadmap” for a company’s planning for success. It is a considerable factor in the planning implementation, but a company’s ability to reach its goals is a result of the direction provided through strategy. In evaluating the effects of culture on new strategies, management should follow a process of evaluation based on the strategy-culture compatibility assessment. (Zone, 1970)
Six Sigma is a management methodology, which allows companies to use data to eliminate defects in any process. For a process to have achieved Six Sigma, a process must not produce a defect – that is anything outside of customer specifications. Six Sigma works through the use of two sub methodologies; DMAIC which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control and is used for existing processes, and DMADV which is used for new processes and stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify. The basic idea behind Six Sigma is practiced through the cycle. When a company is aiming for Six Sigma certification, these five simple steps will be repeated over and over again throughout the process. These five steps are applied to individual processes within a company until they achieve Six Sigma status (Harris, 2013).
Implementing Six Sigma within a business offers a number of benefits. However, there are six key advantages that this methodology will offer any company:
1. Improvement Customer Loyalty
2. Time Management
3. Reduced Cycle Time
4. Employee Motivation
5. Strategic Planning
6. Supply Chain Management
Daft, & Weick. (1984, April). Toward a Model of Organizations as Interpretation Systems … Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/
Hahn, W., & Powers, T. L. (2010). Strategic plan quality, implementation capability, and firm performance. Academy of Strategic Management Journal,9(1),63-81.Retrieved from
Harris, A. (2013, October 30). 6 unexpected ways Six Sigma can benefit your company. Retrieved from https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/lean-six-sigma-business-performance/articles/6-ways-six-sigma-can-benefit-your-company
Wheelen &Hunger. (2015). Strategic Management and Business Policy: Globalization, Innovation, and Sustainability (14th Edition) (9780133126143): Thomas L. Wheelen, J. David Hunger, Alan N. Hoffman, Chuck Bamford: Books. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Strategic-Management-Business-Policy-Sustainablility/dp/0133126145
Hunger, & W. (2008). Strategic Management and Business Policy: Globalization, Innovation, and Sustainability (14th Edition) (9780133126143): Thomas L. Wheelen, J. David Hunger, Alan N. Hoffman, Chuck Bamford: Books. Retrieved 2018, from https://www.amazon.com/Strategic-Management-Business-Policy-Sustainablility/dp/0133126145
Zone, K. (1970, January 01). The Importance of the Strategy and Culture Mix. Retrieved from http://kurtgrashaw.blogspot.com/2009/07/importance-of-strategy-and-culture-mix.html