It is true that one thing that is constant is change; change sometimes defines progress and success and other times portends failure, either way, a new order is always on the horizon. The business world has experienced many changes over time on the fronts of paradigm, philosophy, roles and conventions. The business world has been through the highs and lows, the drought and abundance; business organizations globally from SMEs to MNCs; from the third world to the developed world have had their fair share of the economic gloom and bloom; some have lived through the storm while others have drowned. The commonality between the latter and former is the process of change; how it came about, its impact and its aftermath.
There is a causal relationship between changes in the external business environment of an organization is changes internally within an organization; since external changes are out of the organization’s jurisdiction, it exerts far-reaching implications which could mean disruption or sustenance; a problem or an opportunity for the internal business environment of an organization. The difference between life and death for an organization is the nature of its strategic plan; an organization will either have a proactive or reactive strategic plan. Ceteris paribus, the survival of an organization when the forces of change hit, is determined by its ability to preempt change, prepare for its trajectory and manage its impact. A “reactive or fire brigade” orientation certainly spells doom for an organization(Robbins, et al., 2012).
Beyond survival, an organization will thrive depending on the point on the broad spectrum of proactive strategic planning it is; preempting, preparing and managing the forces of change both positive and negativecall for a degree of internal change which is defined and instigated (sequel to) by innovative and flexible systems, well-integrated processes, robust human capital,and critical evaluation of core business functions as well as sound implementation mechanismsas part of an organization-wide strategy for sustainability and competitiveness(Mindtools, n.d). Kraft Foods is one of such organizations that has taken a proactive approach to its strategic planning, it has taken conscious efforts to remain competitive in a rapidly-changing market place; in the light of this, Kraft Food has redefined the roles of accountants to become key human capital known as “Planning Analysts” who are the custodian of the future rather than historians. We explore further, the tactics, processes, structures and strategic tools Kraft Foods deploys toward its proactive strategic planning and quest to remain dominant in a highly competitive market(Ackoff, 1981).
Category Teams at Kraft Foods
Definition of Cross-functional Teams
Category teams at Kraft Foods are defined by their cross functional nature; The most simple definition of cross-functional teams (or CFTs) is groups that are made up of people from different functional areas within a company—marketing, engineering, sales, and human resources, for example. These teams take many forms, but they are most often set up as working groups that are designed to make decisions at a lower level than is customary in a given company. They can be either a company's primary form of organizational structure, or they can exist in addition to the company's main hierarchical structure; the former is the case with Kraft Foods(Inc, 2015).As a proactive organization with very clear and coherent goals to remain competitive and achieve sustainable growth, Kraft Foods took a novel approach to its management of its internal business environment which identified and reviewed critical processes in its operations, and organizational structure.
Decentralization Vs Centralization: The Suitability of Cross-functional Teams
An organization shouldn’t get its corporate core too far from its marketplace, businesses and of course, its customers otherwise it could slow down growth and