In Normandy, last spring, a three-day session, organized by the Con erence Board (1), took its participants on the main scene o the landing o 1944, bridges on the Orne to the cli s o the English channel, passing through ports built in sea at Arromanches (the "mulberries"). "Students" A dozen American leaders, working mainly in multinational companies.
Their concerns are aried: "How to adjust when circumstances change but that the purpose o the company remains the same", "how push crews to resist in a longer than expected crisis situation" or "how to continue to think in the long term when the emergency is threatening." All are suspended throughout history to replay their eyes. At each step, trainers, Cole c. Kingseed, passionate o D - day, and Richard e. Thomas (2), detail the qualities demonstrated Allied military leaders, their ability to make decisions quickly, to get out o the usual.
December 1943. Upon his appointment, Eisenhower will beha e as a true "leader." It ensures that its sta is both composed o American and English, irst originality. In addition to this intercultural close guard, would constantly gi e his sta the means to be autonomous and decision-making. Because, "I the plans are essential be ore the battle, a ter, they are only good to be thrown out the window," said.
Adaptability and autonomy
On the side o allies, the goal is simple: "landing on the beaches o Normandy 150,000 soldiers, said Cole c. Kingseed, and take the German de ences, which know nor when or where the allies arri e." The Allied organization chart It is all the lexibility to ensure adaptability and autonomy o the teams, while opposite Hitler control e erything.
On the night o 5-6 June, major John Howard landed by glider with its parachute on "pegasus Bridge". May 2, 1944, he recei ed his roadmap: "Take the bridges on the Orne and canal Bénou ille-Ran ille, hold them until the arri al o the 7th parachute battalion." I the bridges are destroyed, establish a passage as soon as possible. "Always simple. His commando is di ided into six teams ersatile. Each has its mission and knows that the rest o the team: "to the metre close", says Cole C. Kingseed. 0 H 15 min, this is the landing. In ten minutes, bridges are secure and the position is mastered. The mission has been met to the letter. A single counterexample, at the German de ence "hillman battery", particularly resist the attack o the Su olk Regiment. There, trainers analyse the ways to change the plans, or to seek relie ("is whether to admit de eat.") Momentarily. ). The lesson o these three days Success is possible or two essential conditions: that the strategy is clear, and prepared and autonomous teams.
Remains to eri y whether the rule is applicable in business. "It is." Completely, replied Michel Zarka, associated with the O ice o strategy Mercer Delta Consulting. Take the case o a hypermarket. It must be a leader on its trading area: strategists re erence products. The teams, they must build the range, set the margins and to de elop the commercial animation. "The parallel is particularly speaking in di icult situations, as shown in the reco ery o Léon de Bruxelles ("Les Echos" rom 29 March). Michel Morin took the Chair o the Executi e Board in March 2002. Its strategy Straighten all o 37 restaurants. Managerial ailure is complete: "I rely on proximity, listening, participation in decisions and real accountability." In a ormal meeting, I explained to the teams that they had only 100 days to re erse the trend. "Re iew: today teaches is in acquisition period.
Another lesson o the day J.: the true leader is known to be there where would not expected it. As when Eisenhower arri es in Normandy despite ad erse weather conditions, thus increasing the e ect o surprise to the enemy. AXA in the relie o the insurance company Nippon Dantai, acquired end 1999 situation di icult ("Les Echos" on June 15, 2005), conducted the same strategic ailure. "We ound in a pyramid commercial structure o commercial 6,000.". The Japan is ery hierarchical, with almost eudal organizational modes. Actually, we ed this organization, seeking to work with a simple strategy. "Both o ensi e generate new business and de ensi e keep our clients while making the most cost-e ecti e port olio", explains Philippe Donnet, Director General o the Japan. AXA broke with the system o guaranteed in estment o ered to customers to replace it with new more appropriate ormulas.
This is not e erything. "On day J, the other ailure has been to put teams in condition to ind the radically inno ati e idea, that o the construction o sea ports, in the ace o Arromanches", said Michel Zarka. Renault released the Logan or when Auchan in its supermarkets began selling in bulk some dry grocery stores, such as rice, the rupture is identical. It was enough to think about.
Jean-Baptiste Labrusse, Director o human resources in rance o the Lilly pharmaceutical group, yet expressed a reser ation on the transposition o the rules o the military command to the company. "The army has need to use his soldiers." "In business, we need to de elop our employees", he said. Army and company actually don't work the same way. Except in times o crisis.