‘Shopz for Us’ is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), with a turnover in excess of AUS$1bn and profit in excess of $200m. It operates in the retail industry and has a large number of geographically dispersed retail stores across Australia. The organisation is a men’s and women’s clothing retailer which sells its own branded labels as well as being a distributor for other brands.
The company’s head office is based in Sydney with a total manpower strength of 6500 employees out of which 500 are employed in Sydney. The rest are based in stores across the country. In 2016, a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was appointed to succeed the current CEO who had been with the organisation for over twenty years. During his tenure, the business had grown exponentially and had a strong reputation for quality stores, service and product far superior to that of its competitors. ‘Shopz for Us’ had also delivered financial returns to shareholders in excess of the market average.
The incoming CEO had identified a number of specific strategic growth initiatives such as introduction of designer labels, an online store, franchise partnerships, but both he and the Chief People Officer (CPO) in a risk assessment viewed the internal organisation as a potential inhibitor of future growth.
They had identified siloed functional behaviours and a leadership team that were determined not to be fully engaged and had historically been encouraged to compete rather than collaborate in the way in which they operated.
They also highlighted some of the operational strengths the organisation had which included a ‘can do attitude’ and a strong ‘attention to detail’. To be successful in the future required enhanced internal relationships, a greater level of constructive behaviour and transformational leadership.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is responsible for all of the stores and the 6,000 casual andbpermanent staff that work in them. In a recent employee engagement survey engagement levelsbwere shown to be 61%, in contrast to 69% in 2014. Staff turnover in the stores was also at itsbhighest level ever of 28%. While the organisation produced strong financial results, these arevunlikely to continue unless some significant initiatives are put in place to improve staff engagement.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) has recently joined the organisation having been appointed to revamp the organisation’s brand proposition that had been severely impacted by adverse media about sexual harassment in stores and poor buying choices by his predecessor. Marketing and operations do not operate in harmony and the CEO has been that the Chief operating Officer(COO) and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) are aligned and work in collaboration across the operational side of the business. The upcoming roadshow will be the first time the majority of staff have met the CMO.
The Chief People Officer (CPO) is to roll out a new performance management system at the roadshow. For the first time, performance is to be linked to reward. The leadership of the organisation see this as a critical part of driving employee engagement through a targeted reward system.
You are each to assume one of the roles of CEO, COO, CPO, and CMO in an annual roadshow where, as the senior leaders of ‘Shopz for Us’, you are to present the strategy of ‘Shopz for Us’ for the forthcoming year ensuring that you address the key organisational issues.
Your leadership speech should include:
- A clear articulation of the role you are taking.
- A brief overview of the key strategic issues that as a leader, you are responsible for.
- An explanation of the initiatives you intend to drive for the forthcoming year.
- A compelling and engaging style, with clear language delivered in an inspirational way that is uplifting for the audience.