Agilent Case Study

SITUATION

General Managers are considered Agilent’s “core DNA.” The company needed their GMs to manage a cross functional team of people and effectively address specific needs in their chosen markets. Agilent also wanted their GMs to create clear statements of strategic intent, build organizational capability and achieve positive results.

CHALLENGES

Agilent GMs are responsible for leveraging shared sales and support functions. They have full profit and loss accountability for a business segment or division. GMs recognize that their leadership shapes Agilent’s culture in the eyes of customers and employees and, most important, that results drive Agilent’s long-term shareholder value.

STRATEGY

Agilent GMs participated in a series of programs designed by TRI Corporation titled, “A Leadership Framework for Creating Shareholder Value.” These programs helped the General Managers set strategy and direction, build organizational capability and deliver results. TRI Corp.’s simulation programs consisted of discussions and assignments that focused on:

  • Expectations of an Agilent GM
  • Building Organizational Capability
  • Creating Shareholder Value
  • Reflection and Coaching
  • Globalization in Asian Markets
  • Operational Finance
  • Operations Review and Risk Assessment
  • Managing Innovation

KEY LEARNINGS

  • Teamwork and organizational capability (the right people in the right jobs) have a direct effect on business results.
  • Make the tough decisions and make them early.
  • Have a clear strategic intent, align to decision making and metrics and stay on course.
  • GM focus and execution must be on the few critical levers that drive profit and results.
  • GMs need to be passionate about the business and constantly push assumptions of what is possible.
  • GMs must have an “outside-in” view, stay in touch with customers and suppliers and closely understand the competitive landscape.
  • Price has power, and cash is power.

RESULTS

  • Agilent GMs have clarity on role expectations.
  • They increased their skills in driving growth, profitability and adhering to the Agilent operating model.
  • GMs have a deeper understanding of their leadership role in building organizational capability.
  • Their newly learned perspectives on Asia can be successfully applied to other business strategies and models.
  • A profit improvement proposal will be implemented, tracked and measured.
  • GMs have gained a network of peers who share and understand similar challenges.