A division of a multinational automotive components supplier with profit and loss responsibility needed to significantly reduce its ratio of R&D to sales in order to maintain its dominant position in the market. After introducing a new structure and a focused product development process, the next step was to appreciably augment management strengths in the R&D section.
In order to be able to decide what measures were required, a management audit was first conducted in the form of a development center for executives involved in the development process. The goal: a systematic improvement in management strengths in this field. The development program needed to this end was then devised on the back of the management audit findings.
- Designing three different management audit processes for R&D senior executives, executives and middle management
- Conducting the audit using purpose-designed development centers with over 120 participants across the three management tiers
- Identifying the executives' individual strengths and weaknesses
- Establishing the collective strengths and weaknesses as well as pinpointing environmental factors within the organization promoting or impeding management strengths
- Presenting to the directors of the relevant business unit and issuing clear recommendations for actions as regards collective development and change themes
- Reporting the insights to participants in the management audit to promote acceptance of and commitment to the necessary changes going forward
The results of the development center held as part of the audit led to key functions being reassigned and to individual persons being posted to suitable positions. Moreover, the thrust of future recruitment and development strategies were brought into line with mission-critical competencies. On balance, obstacles to performance were identified in the leadership environment. The overarching goal of ensuring a rise in the development budget that is lower than that in sales in order to reduce the ratio of R&D to sales was addressed in clear recommendations for management action and these are currently being implemented.