Teams and Organizational Structure: Denise Morrison

Introduction

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Organizational leadership is the determining factor when it comes to the success of an organization. In most cases, the leader is expected to come up with the strategic plan meant to take the company forward and ensure growth in every sector. The importance of leadership has in particular developed interest in the recent past as both employees and consumers are critical of the way the company is operated. For example, companies are expected to take their corporate social responsibility seriously or risk losing its market share. Consequently, leadership plays a major role in the management of employees and ensuring retention of the top talent in the organization. The leadership style adopted by the top management in an organization determines the relationship the organization has with its employees, which determines the motivational levels of the employees. Campbell Soup is a company operating in a highly competitive market, where employees and customer are of essence to its growth. For this reason, the leader has to forge a good organizational culture, communicate the vision to the employees, create working teams and engage in problem-solving and the management of conflicts in a manner that does not harm the organization.

Teams

The Executive Team

When Denise Morrison took the helm of the Campbell Soup organization, the famous American company was in a state of crisis due to changes in American dining habits. While building her executive team, Morrison offered a strong, articulate transformational vision that was necessary to shift the focus of the . Morrison herself acknowledged, Its a 145-year-old company, so changing a culture is difficult (Marcus, 2014, par. 4). Rather than viewing the canned soup as a commodity, as was traditionally the case throughout company history, Morrison called upon team members to instead focus on the nutritional and emotional value of food. The fact that she initially acknowledged the challenge that lies before her might be one of the many reasons she has proven to be so successful thus far in her ventures.

Americans are becoming more concerned about the nutritional content of their food. Now as a company were talking more about whats in our food and how its made, noted Morrison, And we have a philosophy that our brand should be something were proud to serve at our own tables (Hurst, 2017, par.3). Although technical qualifications are important when establishing a leadership team and a strategic position, it is equally vital that the CEO set a general tone for the company regarding where it is headed and what consumer needs it is serving.

Organizational Structure

Morrison was unafraid to challenge the business model of the organization that had worked for so many years but was no longer serving the companys needs. However, she did not do so out of her own need to exercise dominance; she strove to inspire courage in others in what had become a very stagnant organization: The first thing I did was, add the value of courage to our core values. Moreover, in doing so, I encouraged people to take bolder moves and bigger risks with the aim of better serving the consumer (Marcus, 2014, par. 4).

A critical leadership action undertaken by Morrison was a focus on fresh, versus reconstituted ingredients. Under her leadership, the company has removed artificial ingredients and colors from their products as well as disclosed on its which products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (Hurst, 2017, par. 11). While most food companies have resisted transparency until compelled by the law, Campbell willingly launched a special component of its website for consumers to find out more information about nutritional data and sourcing of ingredients (Hurst 2017). Morrison launched a new ethical initiative called Healthy Communities to collaborate with underserved communities to support food pantries and school gardens; Campbell Soup has also acquired some smaller companies that either grows fresh produce or make freshly made organic and natural foods (Hurst 2017).

Morrisons transformational leadership approach was thus a two-pronged initiative. First, she ensured that the company was focused on the consumer and the consumers needs, including consumer ethical preoccupations. The consumer is our boss, is Morrisons philosophy, which means focusing on the needs of Millennials and building a new consumer base addressing current preoccupations (Marcus, 2014, par. 6). However, Morrison supported this vision with structural forms where risks and thinking outside of the box was rewarded. She encouraged cross-pollination of ideas. Cross functional teams were created and an open, innovative mindset is encouraged with partners and customers. The leadership team was trained in effective decision making (Marcus, 2014, par. 6). Organizational changes and strategic and visionary changes were linked.

Denise Morrison thus stands as an example of a CEO who is capable of truly transforming a company. Campbell was mired in old ways of thinking that had worked in the past but no longer served it in the present. It also had not taken a close look at what consumers wanted from the food they put on their tables in recent years. Denise Morrison did not just change the profile of the target consumer; however, her leadership also changed the way in which Campbell Soup did business. Focusing on the consumer and the employees allowed the company to satisfy the needs of two most important assets in the firm. Transformational leadership ensures the leader motivates and coaches the employees on most of the things they are doing in the organization. Morrison was involved in different aspects, which helped her enhance organizational citizenship behavior among the employees. Her prowess in employee engagement is paramount to the success of the firm in retaining the top talent.

Organizational Vision and Organizational Structure

The current CEO of Campbell Soup Company Denise Morrison adopted two specific interventions to restructure the firms business processes. According to her, the company was performing dismally despite having a history of 140 years of providing its services in more than 60 markets. Therefore, it was essential that strategic interventions that focused on innovation and delivery of services that exceed the expectations of the customers were adopted in the company (Klassen, 2012). To do this, she selected the most-potential employees in the firm and engaged them in intensive research that aimed at identifying the actual and potential needs of the target customers. Disciplined creativity was fostered in the firms production process, which resulted in new products that did not only focus on boomers but also the millennials. Employees were also introduced to a new mindset where they were made to believe that they only work for their customers and not anyone else in the firm. Consequently, these efforts resulted in the birth of a new Campbell Soup Company that was focused on creativity, innovation, and service to customers.

Morison was aware that millennials had developed much awareness on the need to eat healthy foods. However, she wanted the employees to understand the customer more and in the process create products based on the recommendations of the customers. The impact of the move is increased market share brought by the increased demands for the companys products. She was able to communicate her vision of innovation to the employees effectively and encouraged them to take up more risks in their attempt to satisfy or meet the expectations of the customer.

Leadership Actions Used by Denise Morrison to Structure Campbell Soup

Denise Morrison embraced the use of different leadership actions and approaches to create the above structure in her company. Firstly, she focused on encouraging teamwork in the identification of the actual and perceived needs of the consumers that were to be met by the firm. The most-potential employees were selected to participate in the study to identify these consumer needs and formulate strategic interventions that could be adopted in the firm to ensure excellence in service provision. Morrison also embraced the use of open communication to get her ideas done in the firm. She communicated the companys intended actions and the expected outcomes to the employees and the behaviors that were expected of them. She also fostered the creation of an effective organizational culture that could facilitate the success of the new changes in the organization (Bio, 2014). By this, she strengthened the need for excellent service to the customers and equipped the employees with the behaviors that were needed for the realization of the set goals. Therefore, through these leadership actions, Morrison introduced the discipline of creativity and provision of excellent services to the customers in her company.

Examples of Best Practices for Leaders in Team Development

Achieving the best performance in a team depends highly on the practices embraced by the leaders. One of the ways of achieving it in a team is the establishment of an environment that fosters open communication between the team members. The members of a team should share their ideas freely. They should express themselves to the management without fear of intimidation. Through it, they are motivated to explore creative ways of getting teamwork activities done in the right way. The second approach is through the development of an effective working environment that supports the needs of the team members. Policies, as well as practices that support the teams in an organization, should be adopted. Objectives to be met should be stated and communicated to the team members for them to have some sense of ownership to the formulated interventions. When these actions are done, team members are motivated to achieve their set objectives and invent new ways of doing their tasks.

Strategic Planning Methods used by Denise Morrison

One of the planning methods used by Morrison to align teams with organizational vision is training. She focuses on providing training to the employees on a regular basis to ensure that they remain updated on the fundamental knowledge and skills that drive excellence in the company. She also establishes an environment where open communication between her, the management, and the employees is promoted. Morrison understands that not all the employees are ready to adopt the new organizational changes. Therefore, open systems of communication should be developed and promoted in the workplace for them to express their opinions, concerns, or ideas concerning how the new changes should be adopted. Finally, she sets objectives that are in alignment with those of the employees and their expectations too. This increases the relevance of the desired change agents in the company, hence, easy adoption and realization of the desired objectives of the program. Therefore, Morrison is highly effective in aligning the objectives of the teams and the mission of her organization.

Structuring Organizational Culture

Morison structured the organizational culture using her personal, positional and political power. Based on her position, she was able to influence the business model of the company by making sure the customer is placed first in everything done by the company. Her initial analysis had revealed a weakness in the company in the way customer service was provided. She responded by using her position to organize training programs to enhance the customer service skills of the employees.

The product development department was another area where the CEO sought to create a change in the culture. As outlined, Morison was aware of the challenge of changing the culture of the organization based on the number of years the company had been in operation. Her positional power gave her the ability to develop a research team made up of the best employees. The aim was to forge a culture oriented to the needs of the customers. Her experience in leadership regarding positional power also played a significant role in developing organizational culture (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013). Her predecessors had failed in engaging employees in decision-making, and only the executive was involved in making decisions involving the employees. Morison made changes by adopting an open communication process in the organization where employees could air their views in regards to any decisions made by the company. Transparency and involvement of the employees not only changed the culture of constant turnovers but also ensured the company attracted talented employees in different capacities. Employee retention is essential as it saves time and resources that would have been used in hiring new employees and ensuring they are up to speed with what is happening in the company.

Strategic Planning Methods Morrison Could Have Used

Besides the strategic initiatives that Morrison used, other approached could have assisted in the transformation of the company. The first strategic planning initiative is ensuring promotion from within. Employees are always attracted to companies where they have a chance for career development. Promoting employees internally instead of seeking new employees enhances the capacity of the company to retain the best employees. The second strategy could involve the creation of a collaborative culture where employees are consulted whenever a decision is to be made in regards to their departments. Consulting employees ensures inclusivity and the sense of belonging among employees. Provision of regular feedback to employees on the progress they are making is also important as it enhances job satisfaction and hence retention.

In most cases, transformational leaders focus on the well-being of the employees too in their attempt to make changes in the organization. Having a satisfied workforce is an ideal path towards success in areas such as customer service. The CEO should have ensured the employees have a strong work-life balance, enjoy a flexible schedule, and not subjected to any oppression or abuse at work.

Problem Solving

Self-assessment

Based on the self-assessment criteria set in the previous sections, I would say I have attained enough skills in problem-solving and enhanced by analytical ability. I can identify existing, and potential problems or issues then proceed to obtain information on the problem. I can also evaluate the relevant information on the problem objectively to identify the cause of the problem. Similarly, I have developed competencies in providing recommendations and evaluating all the alternative course of action and selecting the most important. These skills are paramount for a leader to mitigate the within the company.

Leaders Assessment

Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup, always thinks strategically, (Marcus, 2014). One of the ways Morrison exhibits problem-solving skills is by actively changing the organizational culture of a company that is almost 150 years old. The organizational culture had been stagnant and traditional when Morrison took the helm (Marcus, 2014). Morrison needed to retain the positive elements of the company, building on its past successes, while also ushering the company into a new era. Specific tools and strategies Morrison used to transform the organizational culture included reassessing and redefining the core values of the company. In particular, Morrison wanted to introduce the concept of courage into the Campbell company values (Marcus, 2014). Courage implies being more willing to take risks, and to be more creative in terms of marketing strategy. Another problem-solving tactic Morrison used when introducing radical changes to the Campbell organizational culture was to accelerate the pace of decision-making by shifting away from alignment-based methods towards more decisive methods that empower key leaders in the organization. Furthermore, Morrison altered the Campbell approach to human resources management, focusing on different performance measures. Finally, Morrison introduced improved transparency in product labeling, shifting to investments in fresh food. Each of Morrisons problem-solving techniques helped to transform Campbells Each of Morrisons methods has paid off for the company, leading to its stock value doubling (Hurst, 2017).

Tools

I would use each of Morrisons problem-solving techniques. Morrison understood that the Campbells Soup brand needed revamping and conscientiously set out to make meaningful changes to the actual product rather than to superficially re-brand the label. Moreover, the changes Morrison introduced to the product line also helped to diversify the Campbell portfolio to include produce producers and even farms (Hurst, 2017). Morrison also helped rebrand Campbells for the next generation of consumers increasingly concerned about health, ethics, and environmental sustainability. It is important to make strategic changes to a brand, taking into account consumer trends. As Marcus (2014) points out, the reason why Morrison has been successful is that of a laser focus on consumers, to keep up with the generational changes and learning the needs of a new market, (p. 1). Solving the problems inherent in generational trends means paying close attention, listening to feedback, and being willing to take risks.

Conflict Management

Conflict resolution is a daily process in a work environment and can affect the progress of the leader, the team as well as the whole organization either positively or negatively. As a potential leader, I have developed competencies in leadership throughout the course. The first skill I have learned in conflict management is the art of respecting differences and maintaining a bond even when there is bad blood. The second skill I have developed is that of ability o establish a dialogue and negotiate while focusing the warring parties on staying focused on a positive outcome. As a leader, one has to use his or her analytical skills to understand the cause of the conflict and appreciate the need to raise difficult issues without being aggressive or hostile in any way. I now appreciate the need to develop a positive relationship in times of conflict as a way of ensuring an amicable solution to the problem.

Assessment of the Leader

Morrison understood the importance of changing organizational culture. As a leader, Morrison set an example for revamping the values of the company from the top down. Morrison exemplifies a collaborative conflict management style, in which the leader seeks a win-win outcome that engenders trust and builds a firm foundation for the organizations future (5 Conflict Management Styles at a Glance, 2017). When Morrison set about making important transformations to the organizational culture, she recognized the importance of empowering employees to make crucial decisions, focusing on employee contributions, creativity, and accountability (Marcus, 2014). The new organizational culture at Campbells represents emerging literature revealing the importance of creativity for fostering bold decision making, which facilitates growth (Marcus, 2014). Conflicts are resolved decisively yet collaboratively within Morrisons new framework at Campbell. Her approach involves getting all the facts to a conflict before she can have a meeting with both parties to arbitrate the problem.

Denise Morrison exemplifies strong decision-making, leadership, and conflict resolution. The main techniques Morrison uses at Campbells include focusing on consumer trends when guiding major decisions like acquisitions and branding, facilitating an organizational culture based on collaboration and creativity, and resolving conflicts via creative and collaborative means. I would emulate her approach of seeking a win-win situation for all parties involved in a conflict. She uses her influence and power to mitigate conflicts among employees ensuring both parties are satisfied with the outcomes. I would also emulate her strategy of following up on the conflict to ensure that all parties involved can work. One thing I have learned from Morrison is how she investigates a problem to minimize the prospect of making the wrong decisions. For example, a conflict between employees is taken seriously, and she gathers all information before mitigating the conflict. She also takes the seriously ethical conduct of the employees conflicts among employees.

Conclusion

Organizational leadership is an important venture when it comes to the success of the organization. The CEOs decisions in a company determine the path taken by all the employees. It is, therefore, important for the leader to possess effective leadership skills to take the company forward. Transformational leadership as showcased by Morrison requires a collaborative nature of doing things where the leader consults with the employees when making decisions involving them. Such a leader also fosters an open communication strategy from top to bottom while also keeping in touch with the employees. Employee retention, which is important as it saves money and time, can only be achieved through ensuring job satisfaction of the employees. The leader must also develop a culture that is in line with the vision of the company. Communicating the vision to the employees requires the leader to change the culture and train employees to fill the gaps established during the problem-solving phase.

 

 

References

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https://www.fastcompany.com/3068634/how-denise-morrison-took-processed-food-icon-campbells-on-a-fresh-food-bu

Marcus, B. (2014). Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison stirs the pot to . Forbes. Retrieved

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2014/04/25/campbell-soup-ceo-denise-morrison-stirs-the-pot-to-create-cultural-change/#3cb3cfa2170d

Bio, F. (2014). Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison Stirs The Pot to Create Cultural Change. Forbes. Retrieved from www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2014/04/25/campbell-soup-ceo-denise-morrison-stirs-the-pot-to-create-cultural-change/#7681d77c170d

Klassen, A. (2012). How CEO Denise Morrison is Getting Campbell to Think Outside the Can. Advertising Age. Retrieved from adage.com/article/news/morrison-campbell/237563/

5 Conflict Management Styles at a Glance, (2017). Retrieved http://sourcesofinsight.com/conflict-management-styles-at-a-glance/

Hurst, A. (2017). How Denise Morrison took processed food icon Campbells on a fresh food buying spree. Fast Company. March 2, 2017. Retrieved https://www.fastcompany.com/3068634/how-denise-morrison-took-processed-food-icon-campbells-on-a-fresh-food-bu

Marcus, B. (2014). Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison Stirs The Pot To Create Cultural Change. Forbes. 25 April 2014. Retrieved https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2014/04/25/campbell-soup-ceo-denise-morrison-stirs-the-pot-to-create-cultural-change/#13ef7aba170d