EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Erik Peterson, general manager of Biometra, is in charge of the new product launch and that no further delays occur. On his first months in Biometra he faced serious problems: management disengaged and communication problems. He now has an opportunity: A change on the company organization and a visit he will receive of the top management. He now must ask that Jenkins gets involved in the decision making, set a milestone and increase communication with his managers and his team. It’s time for him to lead.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: All the problems Peterson faces are due to disengaged management and communication problems:
A) Disengaged management and unstable structure: Managers and Biometra team are not committed to the success. They feel undervalued and responsibilities and goals are not clear.
B) Communication problems: He is not able to see the big picture and put everyone together for a common goal, provably because of his lack of experience.
I will support these statements with examples of the problems that appear in the case. All of them are clearly related to the stated problems:
• To retain Miczed, Peterson offers her a premium over the competitor’s package. SciMat HR reduces the offer questioning his authority and fostering disengagement.
• KOLs perceived instability thus they were not willing to try the new devices before its launch. Peterson makes them a proposal, which is accepted by KOL. Hardy, who doesn’t see the big picture and is disengaged, doesn’t sign the agreement. Peterson equivocates with the KOL increasing the discomfort hurting the new product launch.
• Green and Cantor take active roles in KOL negotiating activities. He doesn’t face the communication problems he has with them loosing control on a problem that clearly affects the launch.
• Initially he is said to report to Jenkins. When he joins Biometra he is assigned to Hardy, without launch experience and unable to provide him with guidance. Nobody formally communicates him the new reporting structure, which is clearly ambiguous.
• Confrontations between Andrews and Jones; Andrews and Mickzed; Wescott and Burns. Peterson is unable to make them work for a common goal.
• Fails to communicate the damages that Scimat decisions will cause on the product launch: Delay on the acquisition of the laser machine and change of supplier of the key composite. This fosters confrontation and disengagement in his team.
ANALYSIS: Alternatives must be analyzed considering Peterson goal: avoid delays on the product launch. He has the opportunity to discuss the solutions in the visit of top management. Also, the change on SciMat structure can also be an opportunity for him.
• Clarify the communication lines and draw a new reporting scheme.
Alternative 1: Accept the scheme that may be proposed by the management on their visit (to Hardy, Knight or Harper).
Pros: Avoid confrontation with Hardy
Cons: Lack of communication with general management may persist. If Hardy is assigned, Peterson will not be able to make that the management works for the same goal. If Jenkins does not have constant feedback the failure responsibility will be for Peterson, even though some problems are out of his control.
Alternative 2: Ask for a direct report to Jenkins
Pros: Jenkins will help get involved. Avoid that other executives take decisions affecting the launch (if they do, it will lie outside his responsibility).
Cons: Eventual confrontation with Hardy, Knight or Harper
• Constant communication with his team…