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Higher Ambition Leadership

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Kari Lawry

on 16 May 2016

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Transcript of Higher Ambition Leadership

"Our core values are a huge part of why we work here and a selling feature when we recruit. Many companies talk about having core values, we act upon them. Its real for us and something that makes Con-way special
We are in a 'truth recession'
Investing in leaders at all levels
Qualitative & Quantitative
Higher Ambition Leadership
Strategic Fitness Process: The "Fishbowl"
Community Service &
The Con-way Foundation
Define a strategy that articulates "how" we will achieve our true north as an Enterprise
Linking strategy to execution and driving accountability.
Engage key employees in an organizational conversation about Con-ways strategic direction and barriers to achieving it
Surveyed and Interviewed:
15 Freight leaders
12 Menlo leaders
10 CES leaders
9 Truckload leaders
8 ELT &
Survey asking about 1) Business Unit/Function, and 2) Enterprise
Strengths & barriers to becoming a High Commitment/High Performance Company
Recommendations for change
Follow up 60 - 90 minute interviews
Thorough analysis of survey & interview data
Worked with HALI Instructors to identify key themes at BU & Enterprise level
What is High Commitment/High Performance Company?
One that defines, develops and drives:
Performance Alignment ("fit" of our organization - structure, processes, people and culture - with our goals/strategy)
Engagement Alignment (the trust in and commitment of our people and other stakeholders)
The capacity for Learning, Change & Continuous Improvement across the enterprise
What we have with lean is unique, it inherently builds trust that a lot of companies don't get. Not a lot of people get how unique, positive and rare it is. There is not enough visibility from an enterprise approach, we have to think broader and collectively share our decisions and solutions to maximize this benefit."
(Shared by about 1/2 the leaders spoken to, concern that we don't have one set of core values and more commonalities between business units)

"Our core values are solid but there is a feeling that they could apply to any company. They are not intentional and not standard. There is a feeling that we put our core values out there as 'suggestions' and allow the business units to do it or not to do it and even when we do it, there are not standards. Whey do we allow different core values? if gives employees the feeling that if I win as a business unit but the other business units don't that is okay. Customers interact with all three business units and get different views of what we value and live by...it weakens us in the marketplace.

1. Interviewee perceptions reported by the HALI team are to be treated as fact; this is their reality.
2. Problems/opportunities are a GREAT opportunity for continuous improvement.
The quotes shared today will primarily reflect YOUR business unit, but are representative of similar feelings/quotes from all business units and across the enterprise.
4. Challenging the validity of the findings is respectfully off limits.
5. No identifying questions will be asked or answered. This was a confidential process to speak truth to power.
6. No open lap tops, iPads, phones or technology during the session.
7. There will be no hand outs or documents, please take good notes.
8. The expectation is that our leaders will both listen and respond to the candid feedback & keep the organization informed about changes planned and progress made on a continuous basis.
9. The HALI team conducted a systemic diagnosis of the themes and will offer recommendations to leadership to assist with next steps.
In order to ensure a rich and honest discussion, our HALI team was seated together to discuss what we learned, as opposed to making a formal presentation. The ELT was seated separately where they were instructed to listen, take notes and ask questions only for clarification purposes.
" "Why am I proud of Con-way? 1) our core values, our core values are built into our DNA, we can never lose this!"
"With the implementation of the foundation, we can do more - and employees are excited that there is not a structure to allow us to show our pride in the company we work for, and that the company has a social conscience to the communities we serve."
"The Con-way foundation is a huge step twoards high trust and commitment with communities. What would really fuel the foundation is if our key leaders were relaly engaged in driving a community of service. To see our leaders walking the talk.
"Fundamentally we need to decide our enterprise strategy. It must be purposeful, once that is complete it's all about effective communication, brand to market, revive enthusiasm of the team, passion and energy behind it.
"We want high performance with a purpose. We have a ways to go on the purpose piece. its not noticed as a big gap because the values and the culture pieces are so strong.
"Our business unit strategy and our developmental process is really good. It only makes it down to the director level and its very limited at the facility manager level and there is almost no buy in at the driver and hourly employee levels.
"Our leaders are leading 1 - 2 levels down. We've been talking about it for years and nothing ever seems to be done about it. We're cannibalizing our future by not investing in front-line talent.
"People should be afraid to become a manager from a supervisor position as we offer almost no support for those resources. Talent development? Not even a real topic of conversation. What we di is a shot in the dark.
"TDR? We talk about it, have an annual meeting...but we don't really do anything. We are weak from a bench standpoint. We need to trust and empower the people and understand who the emerging leaders are.
"We are at a standstill until we can get leadership to believe in the strategy and to learn to really move it forward through performance. We have a lot of people in the wrong positions. Even at the executive level
"We don't address poor performers fast enough. We don't pull mid performers up consistently. Most importantly, we aren't pulling in great people to back fill for open positions. Adequate performance is okay at Con-way.
"If anyone is in a leadership role andy are not failing miserably, then we leave them there - average is good and less than average is average...the devil we know is better than the devil we don't. We are better than that and should hold ourselves to a higher standard. We should demand nothing less than the best out of people, especially our leaders
"In a time of adversity, our Business Unit leaders are not collaborating strong enough and someone should dictate collaboration in a stronger way."
"There is mistrust between the Business Unit and the Enterprise. There is no buy in to enterprise initiatives. For example, with the roll out of the lean strategy - I was trying in my department but you could see other leaders were not into it and caused issues, even made fun of it. I almost quit the company."
"There is frustration in balancing enterprise value versus business unit value. It is my perception that some leaders at the business unit focus more on the interest of their area than that of the overall organization
"How do we create a message that captures people's hearts and minds that spurs action? We communicate a ton...but it doesn't seem to all tie together into a general purpose.
"We have invested millions in assets and technology but won't invest thousands in front-line employee training...this sends a terrible message to the employee base.
"We are too busy to mentor. No formal training is in place for managers..
"Continued training of leers is lacking. We have no leadership development stategy across the enterprise. ALPHA is the best we have so how do we leverage that? Full potential is only realized by stretching the boundaries and we don't do that outside of ALPHA. We don't do that for managers or associates. We don't demand more from our poeple. Alpha is generating great internal leaders, but is that enough?
"Leadership acts one way when our business unit president is around and the old way when he isn't. Only 3 VPs are walking the talk
"We have broken the trust covenant. Employees thing we've taken and taken and haven't given anything back."
"We need to reinvest in our company at a higher priority versus just focusing on maximizing profits above all else...its seems like it's just profit, profit, profit. We come across as caring more about profits than our people. One take back after another...from drivers who are the ones that can afford it the least."
What about you?
1. List top three messages you heard?

2. Silent “Action Step Brainstorm”
Each leader thinks about the top 3 - 4 highest impact actions that would leverage the strengths and address the barriers in the feedback.
Leaders take turns sharing action items
Include quick wins as well as long term actions
Include steps for communication and follow up

ELT Visibility

"I've been on this campus for 10 years and I have only seen 3 senior leaders formally address our group here. How do we know what the company is doing if we never hear from our leaders?"
"Its one thing for our leaders to say "do as I say" but another entirely for them to set the example by being visible and engaged in the day to day of the business. We are hungry to hear from our senior leaders."
"Some of the senior leaders do a good job with reaching out to people and having those touchpoints. Everyone - no matter what business unit you are in - knows who those leaders are because you hear the stories about how they care. People want to work for people who care."
What we heard across the enterprise:
Full transcript