Strategic Planning and Implementation for Ganuc

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1.1 Introduction

Ganuc is a small limited company that started doing business in late 2008 but due to the harsh economical situation did not see the growth they expected in 2009. This is basically because the company started operating based on a business plan written on 2007 where they had signs of, if not a growing scenario, at least a stable situation in Europe and even though they had considered a negative scenario as part of the possible outcomes the real situation surpassed any consideration they had foreseen.

The company is currently operating in the United Kingdom with an office in London where everything is managed however the face to face programs can be delivered in the UK, Europe as well as some countries in Asia like Kazakhstan and India. By the end of 2008 the industry started to see signs of organizations trimming the amount of money they would spend on training and that was a practice that became even more common during year 2009 where the economical situation was worse and the levels of uncertainty very high.

Ganuc is playing in the training and development industry. This is an industry that is over supplied according to Key Note report 2008 and therefore extremely competitive where most of the players had to offer more value for money by delivering better training programs with more prepared personnel if they were willing to survive in a very defiant 2009.

1.2 Situational Analysis

Opportunities and threats

Ganuc sees a window of opportunities in countries where there is little current competitor's presence however the local companies could be a threat since they have operated in those markets longer and therefore have a reputation that Ganuc would have to start working on. Delivering more on-line programs rather than the face to face ones is another opportunity but there are countries that may not have the proper broadband infrastructure to offer good quality. Some of the threats that Ganuc may face is the lack of investment to expand as competitors might do and offer more on-line services in the short term.

OPPORTUNITES

THREATS

Expansion into emerging economies

Current local competitors

Delivery of on-line programs

Broadband infrastructure may not be available

Extension of current portfolio

Lack of resources from potential investors/banks

Market Operations

Ganuc wants to help corporations that are doing business in international markets. Those companies that would have their employees taking international assignments and hence need to help them be aware of the cultural differences and the challenges they will face when performing in the new market, with a contrasting workforce.

Size of the companies to help

Advantages

Disadvantages

Small/Medium

More flexible and easier to deal with

Not aware of the benefits of the multicultural training

Large

Steady need of multicultural training

Red tape/Long vendor qualification processes.

When dealing with small or medium companies, Ganuc can take advantage of the size because if the service provided was good, then most of the members of that small company may be aware of the reputation that Ganuc is building and the position it holds in the market but if the service is delivered to a large corporation, then the chances that most of the employees know that a services by Ganuc was delivered are really reduced. Selling the services to a large corporation may look very attractive but it is important to consider the time it may take to be approved as a vendor and all the paper work needed to make that happen whereas with a small company, the selling process will not take that long in most of the cases no paperwork is required but a simple invoice and a contract.

1.3 Market Competencies of Ganuc

Ganuc has developed key competencies since the time it started operating. One of those competencies is the ability to adapt to the external environment. As explained before, Ganuc expected a completely different economical situation however they experienced a very tough year 2009. Another competency, the company has developed is the quality to see other barriers that would eventually prevail them from achieving their goals. Now when it comes to planning, people at Ganuc, are more aware of the various scenarios they may experience and write down strategies accordingly.

Ganuc is operating because it is necessary to spread the communication tools in the corporate world so that people can communicate with each other more effectively in the international arena. In a parallel path, these tools help people in companies develop their competencies by improving their communication skills in multicultural environments where there is a constant need to see the possible gap between the sender and receiver and how effectively the message can be dispersed. At Ganuc, the shareholders want to see a positive ROI. Their investment should be attractive enough so that they can keep their money in the company for long term. The customers want pertinent information in the programs at a competitive price with a certain level of flexibility. The employees are looking for stability, room for growth and the chance to interact with people from various backgrounds.

One of the distinctive competences that Ganuc wants to work on, is the constant need to update training material and serve niche markets and in order to do that, every time a program is delivered, there is an evaluation from from the participant and from the trainer where they point out the changes they suggest can be done and the future markets where their business may operate. Another distinctive competence is the hiring policy which states the need to hire or contract trainers who at least had lived in three different countries for a period no less than one year in each of them. The branding position that Ganuc has today is very weak, it is due to the short time the company has operated in a very competitive and saturated market with competitors that have been in the international arena working with different corporations for many years however as part of the vision, Ganuc knows that all the team has to work strategically to start escalating positions in the top of mind of the clients and end users.

1.4 Dominant Culture and Delivery Promise of the brand

There are many opportunities to create a culture within Ganuc. The fact that this is a very new company gives the stakeholders the chance to plan, implement and correct. The brand tries to deliver a prompt service that will lead to other sales. It is a flexible service that can be delivered in many location and that is something very convenient for clients.

The price to pay changes according to the number of participants and the location where the training or consulting service will be performed. The trainers will be well prepared and have the experience that will allow them to have fluent programs with satisfied customers. The material that is used in the training programs has to comply with the requirements of the trainers and the participants.

The invoicing has to be accurate and handed in on time. The payment of salaries and benefits to the employees has to be done on time and respecting the current legislation. It is hard to find a disparity at this stage because the company is just starting a cycle that later on can be revised and changed if necessary but that today, has to mature in the learning curve.

Task Two

2.1 Vision and Mission

Vision Statements

To become a leading multicultural and language training provider in Europe, America and Asia with a strong brand recognition in order help people develop their competencies to the extend that they would achieve better results when exposed to various situations.

Mission Statements

To deliver updated, innovative and fun training programs (face to face and on-line) that would enable people to think, communicate and act more effectively in markets where the need of our service will make a difference in the way tasks are performed and goals achieved.

Assessment of the validity of the mission and values of Ganuc.

Stakeholders:

Shareholders

Employees

Customers

Mission clarity

Very clear

Rather clear

Not clear

Mission extent

No

Yes

Yes

Values clarity

Not clear

Clear enough

Very clear

Values extent

No

Yes

Yes

Objectives clarity

Rather clear

Rather clear

Rather clear

Objectives extent

Yes

Yes

Yes

The mission is very clear for the shareholders, they understand that there has to be commitment from Ganuc to pay their dividends however in the mission the word shareholders or a sinonym is not there. As for the employees the mission should be clearer, they probably do not have it their minds because the mission it only visible from the website and the ones that end up looking at it are the customers that do not access the page with the company's mission nut mainly the services that Ganuc offers.

Regarding the values as for the shareholders, they are not clear at all. They are not informed about the values that the company stands for and they have not been communicated through the mission either. The employees are the ones that practice the values on an everyday base and know whether there are deviations or not to the mission statement and how the services are delivered and stakeholders treated therefore the mission is also communicating the values to the employees. As for the customers, the mission considers them and it is very clear the importance of the role they have for Ganuc.

As for the objectives they are not that clearly expressed to the shareholders however the mission considers them at all times if they are because Ganuc knows how key they are not only for current projects but for future ones. The shareholders need to know that in order to deliver the programs, Ganuc would need investment for the online training as well as for the training facilities that they may need to give the service in new markets. Regarding the clarity and the employees, the objectives are not very clear for certain positions since the mission focuses so much on the delivering part of the services provided which is very clear but there are other areas that would need to be addressed and will certainly have to incorporate the employees that today may feel left behind. The employees are the ones that will be selling, creating content and doing many different activities and that has to be clear to everyone. For the customers is not very clear the tangible benefits they will get and that is because of the nature of the business since it is consulting and training services. Ganug knows that the customers are the ones that will be getting the benefits and this is clearly expressed in the mission.

Review of the Organizational Direction

The following is a table that shows the position that different stakeholders have regarding the behaviour, communication and symbolism within the company's mission and values that would give information of the possible reasons behind.

Stakeholders:

Shareholders

Employees

Customers

Behaviour

Strong

Weak

Strong

Communication

Weak

Strong

Strong

Symbolism

Weak

Weak

Strong

The shareholders show a strong behaviour in the mission and values. It is because of them (money wise) that the company is running. It is them who believed that the vision can be reached by using the proper strategies, respecting and following the company's values and mission and when it does not happen, it can be up to the shareholders to call manager's and employees' attention to rectify the path.

Regarding the communication, I believe that the shareholders have a weak position because by reading the mission, other stakeholders would not know how important they are and the weight they have for making decisions and sharing previous experiences that could lead to a better performance. I think that is key because they may have possible solutions to different issues so employees or managers would not have to look outside to find valuable resources to come with solutions when there are already inside the company.

In terms of symbolism, the shareholders are there with a weak place because it is not visible the impact that they have towards planning, changing and achieving goals. Whereas the shareholders hold a strong position regarding behaviour, the employees have a weak one. The reason for that may be that the mission focuses on some employees like the trainers who are just part of the team but by no means the whole company. When it comes to communication, the employees have their voices heard and it is clear that they have impact on the services that are provided by Ganuc however there is not a clear separation between the multiple tasks that have to be done on the daily operations. The symbolism in the mission regarding the employees is weak probably because again, the people in the company do a lot of shores that are not clear to the external stakeholder. There is not a way to link the employee, expect for the trainer, to a symbol.

The customers have a strong behaviour within the reason. They are the ones who give their money and ensure the long term life of the company. The communication in terms of the customers is strong as well. The messages go from the company to the customer through advertising for example but also the other way around through evaluations of the services. There is a constant flow that keeps both parties busy and analyzing outcomes that tend to lead to improvement.

Regarding symbolism, the customers show a strong presence. Many strategies are designed taking into account the icons that can bring new clients and also help to keep the current ones. It is because of the use of those symbols that Ganuc understands what this stakeholder is willing to take and how he/she is going to do it.

Task Three

3.1 Generic Strategy

Ganuc stands in a neutral ethical position since there are not many companies or people who know about them so far, however the company has the will to move from the current position into a positive one by working on its reputation that is because Ganuc has realized that by giving a very complete and good service, clients have recommended them to new ones. That, at the same time, has given Ganuc a trace of where to focus the marketing efforts so now they are investing more on current clients since it has become less expensive than recruiting new clients all the time.

3.2 Strategic Implementation

There are two paths the company can follow in order to maintain its strategic fit. The first one would be to continue with a strategy that would give it a steady growth. The second one would be to keep on doing marketing research with the key stakeholders and see way to improve and create an accelerated pace to grow.

If the company decides to follow the first option then it is a matter of consolidating the processes and focus on relationship more than in tasks. It would be important to point out that the best approach could be to attract more conservative stakeholders who do not like very high risks or constant chances like shareholders that have been investing in the same industry for years; employees that have been working in the same position doing the same shores for long time; customers that are not willing to try new products or services; suppliers that do not expect special demands; and lenders that want to keep safe credit schemes with collaterals.

For the second option, the main objective is to improve the relationship there is between Ganuc and the stakeholders in order to get information that would allow employees elaborate strategies for the near future that may bring higher risks but also a higher ROI at a faster pace. That of course would bring benefits to the stakeholders, the shareholders would get their money back in shorter period of time; the employees would have the chance to grow within the company; the customers will see constant improvements in the services; suppliers will receive more orders; lenders will become more interested in the training and development industry; competitors will be more aware of the changes in the services and ways to deliver them.

The company is aware of the impact that the main stakeholders have today and may have in the future therefore it is important to hear what they have to say regarding the mission, the objectives and the values because when Ganuc started operations, there was little information about the affect the stakeholders would have and who the main ones were going to be. Today, it is possible to identify the relevance of each stakeholder and work on strategies to get better results by approaching the shareholder if money is needed to begin a project; the employee if developing new methodology to deliver the programs would create a differentiator; the customer if Ganuc needs to determine what does and does not work.

The idea is also to be aware of the comments that other stakeholders have because it is not only about the main stakeholders but all the ones that directly or indirectly have an impact on the results and changes that are happening in a flexible and new company.

As for the shareholders, I recommend that they be included in the vision and mission expressing the role they play or the role the company expects them to play. I believe that the role of the shareholder has to do with providing funds to maintain the current operations along with the sharing the expertise they bring from other industries so as to make it a more valuable. It is important to consider that the shareholders will help build the company's reputation as well since those they have been in business for more years in other industries where customers, employees, suppliers, lenders and other stakeholders already have information about them.

Regarding the employees, I suggest that they play a more active role within the company because they are the ones that are facing customers and the ones that get the feedback from them. They can propose changes that could help achieve better results. The changes would need to be aligned to the current mission and should be help develop a positive reputation.

In terms of the customers, I propose that they be asked more often about their expectations, their levels of satisfaction and perceptions of the company because that would help identify the weaknesses of the company and probably a way to improve the external image that it is sending not only to this particular stakeholder but also to others.

The competitors are stakeholders that have to be followed all the time, they are key players that can give us information about trends, prices, new methodology and much more than can be used by Ganuc. They are also the point of reference to see if whatever our customers say is far or close to reality.

The government is a stakeholder that can have a great impact on the operations for example if there is a change in legislation like an increase in taxes (Value Added Tax), that could affect the company because it would probably need to increase the price to reduce the impact on its cost. On the other hand if they encouraged the customers to buy more training services by giving them tax incentives, then, that would definitively help Ganuc.

The community as a stakeholder is key because it has the voice that will be heard for good or bad. If the community sees Ganuc as positive entity, then the word of mouth will be spread but there is also the risk that the community sees Ganuc as an institution without quality in its services, well that of course would create animadversion from potential clients and eventually the reduction in sales.

The managers have to be the stakeholders that motivate employees, follow the strategies, commit to the company and get full satisfaction when doing their job. The managers would be an important link between on one side the shareholders and employees and the other side the directors and customers.

The suppliers are very important stakeholders because they are the ones providing the raw material that Ganuc will use to deliver its services hence knowing that there is quality, commitment and good reputation in the supplier, there are high probabilities that the company will keep on using them and that will create a long term and strong relationship.

3.3 Recommendations

The stakeholders will be the ones identifying imbalances. The brand will be always subject to review. The shareholders will be willing to see a higher ROI and if they see deviations that are affecting their privileges, they will be the ones letting the managers know about those and suggest actions to take.

The managers will be responsible to detect possible problems with the brand promise. If that happens, it would be wise to talk to other stakeholders and express the concern, propose measures to correct the deviation and also hear to comment and opinions that they may have.

The employees have to be aware all the time of the changes they see in managers and customers. They are in the middle and as a link, responsible for the communication between the users and the ones that are setting strategies.

The customers have to express their satisfaction when the service is according to their expectations and dissatisfaction if something has gone wrong. They are the key and objective stakeholders that would be like a thermometer to identify our strengths and weaknesses and also the ones that would give us ideas of how to correct certain problems.

The suppliers will let us know if what we are requesting is not longer in use or if they are getting the payments late.

Other stakeholders should always be listened to as well because that is how we would know that something is not working as planned.

Hopefully in the near future, we would have more feedback from the stakeholders of what has worked and what has to be changed if there is this desire to work towards achieving the vision.

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