Professional Essays Writer Henkel: Building a Winning Culture

Robert L. Simons, Natalie Kindred

Finance & Accounting

This case illustrates a CEO-led organizational transformation driven by stretch goals, performance measurement , and accountability. When Kasper Rorsted became CEO of Henkel, a Germany-based producer of personal care, laundry, and adhesives products, in 2008, he was determined to transform a corporate culture of “good enough” into one singularly focused on winning in a competitive marketplace. Historically, Henkel was a comfortable, stable place to work. Many employees never received negative performance feedback. Seeking to overturn a pervasive attitude of complacency, Rorsted implemented a multi-step change initiative aimed at building a “winning culture.” First, in November 2008, he announced a set of ambitious financial targets for 2012. As financial turmoil roiled the global economy, he reaffirmed his commitment to these targets, sending a clear signal to Henkel employees and external stakeholders that excuses were no longer acceptable. Rorsted next introduced a new set of five company values-replacing the previous list of 10 values, which few employees could recite by memory-the first of which emphasized a focus on customers. He also instituted a new, simplified performance management system, which rated managers’ performance and advancement potential on a four-point scale. The system also included a forced ranking requirement, mandating that a defined percentage of employees (in each business unit and company-wide) be ranked as top, strong, moderate, or low performers. These ratings significantly impacted managers’ bonus compensation. In late 2011-the time in which the case takes place-Henkel is well on its way to achieving its 2012 targets. Having shed nearly half its top management team, along with numerous product sites and brands, Henkel appears to be a leaner, more competitive, “winning” organization.

Change management, Collaboration, Executive compensation, Financial analysis, Organizational culture, Performance measurement, Personnel policies, Social responsibility, Strategy execution, Work-life balance

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Professional Essays Writer Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES

Mihir A. Desai, Doug Schillinger

Finance & Accounting

With electricity generating businesses around the world, AES Corp. is seeking a methodology for calculating the cost of capital for its various businesses and potential projects. In the past, AES used the same cost of capital for all of its capital budgeting, but the company’s international expansion has raised questions about this approach and whether a single cost of capital adequately accounts for the different risks AES faces in its diverse businesses and diverse environments. The company recently suffered heavy losses from currency devaluations in South America and regulatory changes in other countries. The director of the corporate planning group is developing a methodology for taking account of different country and project risks, and the case allows students to use this methodology to calculate the cost of capital for 15 different projects around the world. Students must consider how a global firm can account for differing risks in evaluating its international operations and in investing abroad. To obtain executable spreadsheets (courseware), please contact our customer service department at custserv@hbsp.harvard.edu.

Costs, Emerging markets, Financial analysis, Globalization, Operations management, Risk management