Phil Hauck's TEC Blog

Friday, March 12, 2010

Packers Leaders Discuss Strategy Process

Current Packer CEO Mark Murphy got introduced to goals and planning when he was a cornerback for the Washington Redskins.
“Joe Gibbs came in as our coach, and all of a sudden we had strategic goals for every function, metrics updated on a weekly basis, and they were posted everywhere. We had them for the entire team, for each team segment, and for the operating departments. The goals and metrics were on the walls for everyone to see.
“They showed where we wanted to be, and where we were at that moment. It all worked. I soon found out that we were all better as a result, and we were focused on the right stuff, and ultimately the same stuff. I think this approach is why Joe has been so successful not only as an NFL coach, but as a NASCAR owner.”

He made these remarks at a recent St. Norbert College Breakfast & Strategy presentation.

He came to the Packers after stints running the athletic programs at Colgate and Northwestern universities. “I knew when I came here that I, as the CEO, set the tone ... and for the Packers, especially, planning and accomplishing had to be a given. Betsy had already created a great culture that embraced strategic planning, which made my job easier.” Betsy is Betsy Mitchell, the Packers’ VP of Organizational/Staff Development.
“As a small market team, we’re especially vulnerable. We have to be very professional as an organization, making sure we uncover every profitable revenue stream we can. We have to innovate. We have to be focused on business development. We have to be good at extending our current initiatives.”
Today, the Packers have clearly stated and posted Values, Mission and Vision ... and five core objectives from which everyone takes direction. They’ve also defined what they call their True North, although it’s somewhat general at continually striving “for championships while being guided by our values in all endeavors with constant attention to protecting, enhancing, and maximizing the Green Bay Packers’ assets.”
“If you get the entire organization focused on a few goals, it makes getting to success easier. Day-to-day, week-to-week metrics give guidance. It helps get buy-in from employees, which is everything.
“We operate like any good business. We have a corporate board and an executive committee which oversee and approve what we’re doing, and with them we worry about out long-term viability.”

Mitchell is the driver of the planning process. “Earlier, we had departmental planning, but not full integration. Then, two years ago, we took two days of our top 14 people ... and figured out what we had to get to as an organization. That discussion took us to our True North definition, as well as the Core Values, Strategies and Initiatives to get there. We set our current five objectives, and post them all over the building.
“Everyone is linked by job, objective and purpose to one or more of the five. We do the Plan/Do/Check/React constantly.”
“We have forced people to have discussions about the broad objectives ... and the specific organizational initiatives. Then, we dissolved into teams and discuss how the team can contribute to each ... and then by individual.
“This year we’ve tied individual incentives to achieving the broad initiatives with emphasis on cooperation between functions.
“It’s key that Mark as CEO continually talks about them. What’s important is to keep them front and center.”

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