Colin Edward Egan has worked closely with senior executives of global corporations as Principal Consultant of Nexus Knowledge in relation to the executive education and management development components of their major organizational transformation programmes. In all cases he was also closely involved in the processes of design, delivery and faculty management relating to the successful implementation of initiatives and interventions such as courses, workshops and seminars.
Throughout the 1990s and into the ‘noughties’ Colin was engaged by Royal Philips International on an array of projects with senior leadership and functional departments in Business Units worldwide and across all Product Divisions. These were in support of the company’s ‘Centurion’ transformation initiative, one of the most ambitious corporate renewal programmes ever undertaken. He continued to work with the company for many years thereafter, latterly in partnership with Lapia International b.v., a company led by a former Philips executive.
Between 1994-2002 Colin was co-founder and Joint Academic Director of the IBM Marketing University alongside Professor David Shipley of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. The initiative was designed to meet the ‘Advanced Certificate in Marketing’ curriculum of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and had an academic roadmap which enabled participants to progress towards taking the CIM’s Professional Diploma in Marketing and, for selected individuals, to complete a Masters Degree in Marketing from Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK.
In the late 1990s and into the noughties Colin worked with executives of Castrol, the global lubricants brand, in developing a customer-centric organization in its international consumer and B2B businesses. This included the creation of a ‘Fast-track High Potentials’ programme to rapidly create marketing competencies (including brand management and trade marketing) in the ASPAC region which had the highest growth rate of all the company’s global market arenas. Castrol was acquired by BP in 2002.
In an interview with the Financial Times BP indicated that it was acquiring Castrol for its world-renowned marketing capabilities and not just its brand portfolio. The company’s CEO, Sir John (now Lord) Browne, had made a very public statement in his widely-reported ‘town-hall’ speech to employees in Chicago that he was personally committed to transforming BP into a customer-focused, market-driven organization:
In a global marketplace branding is crucially important in attracting customers and business. It is not just a matter of a few gasoline stations or the logo on poll signs. It is about the identity of the company, and the values which underpin everything that you do and every relationship that you have.
Following Castrol’s acquisition, Colin worked with BP Group Marketing as Principal Consultant, Academic Director and Faculty Manager in the creation of the BP Sales and Marketing Academy, a global initiative designed to give marketing the same level of recognition and ‘professionalism’ as that enjoyed by other functions in the organization, for example, finance. The framework adopted in the design and delivery of the academy was exactly the same as that already successfully deployed with IBM, a logical decision given that the organizational development objectives were similar and independent of specific country operations or business sectors. The BP marketing professionalisation programme was delivered worldwide until 2006.
Irrespective of the client, in all the projects undertaken each programme was designed to align marketing and global strategic management principles within a ‘real-life’ corporate context. Despite the variety of industries and markets which these companies participate in, the ‘organizational design’ and management development objectives were the same:
- To standardise strategic management processes and frameworks and to create a professional ‘language’ across multiple divisions and geographies. This was achieved using methodologies and models which provided a common approach to market analysis but which still accommodated the great diversity of the product/market segments in which the companies and their business units participated;
- To professionalise the marketing function and/or to develop a market-focused organizational capability in the companies profiled;
- In all cases, to facilitate a cultural shift within these organizations towards a much sharper external focus, a factor universally deemed essential for success in the contemporary business environment;
- In sum: the initiatives focused on managing cultural change to create an organization-wide capability in addition to developing the individual competencies of programme participants.
With major projects such as those described above and along with other, smaller-scale cases undertaken and successfully completed, the modus operandi has been to work with only one company per sector. This approach allows a close partnership/relationship with the client, crafting the ability to work on a wide range of strategic and operational projects with absolute confidentiality and trust.
There were a number of key organizational development themes in the initiatives profiled above:
- Strategic management and inspired leadership
- Growth and profitability via strategic clarity and operational excellence
- Inter-personal skills and management qualities
- Culture and organizations
- Creativity and innovation
- Working in teams and employee engagement
- Talent management
- Aligning theory and practice
In addition to this, a combination of interactive discussions of general management principles and the application of these to clients’ business situations using proven methodologies enabled participants in the various initiatives to construct their own personal development journals and management action plans.
In complementary skills development modules we provided participants with the frameworks, tools and processes required for them to develop into highly effective managers, leaders and team players, combining management and leadership principles with awareness of market, commercial and operational business drivers.
For insights into the practical framework and planning processes used in the IBM and BP case scenarios described above and for a detailed discussion of the issues associated with the successful implementation of global business strategies we recommend the following two Volumes from the BiteSized Fortress Europe Series (please click on the Strategic Management Think Tank tab of the Main Menu for details):
Colin Edward Egan (2018), A Practical Framework for Global Business Strategy Success.
Rugby: Strategic Management Think Tank.
Colin Edward Egan (2018), Implementing Global Business Strategy.
Rugby: Strategic Management Think Tank.
For post-MBA, DBA and management doctoral students seeking a robust discussion of the academic debates relating to theories of international business, strategy, competition, finance, organizational behaviour and strategic management we recommend the ‘Parent Book’ of the Outside Fortress Europe collection:
Colin Edward Egan (2018), Outside Fortress Europe: Strategies for the Global Market.
Rugby: Strategic Management Think Tank.
To read an extract from BiteSized Volume Four, A Practical Framework for Global Business Strategy Success, which provides background to and further details of the IBM, BP and Castrol organizational development case scenarios described above, please click/tap the ‘Global Business Strategy’ icon to the left.
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All content © Colin Edward Egan, 2019