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1 - What were Seagram's biggest business challenges and why have they

chosen the value initiative to help?

The market’s which Seagram was operating were maturing and the profits were
going down because of that maturity, or because of reasons such as government
interventions to some markets. (such as increasing tax rates) The performance of the
company was far from the expectations. The necessity for the change was obvious
and as a result, Seagram began a major reengineering effort. The first goal was
being the best managed company in the market. But the goal was not only to
manage company’s business processes more effectively; it was also reducing costs
and identifying the future opportunities. But at that point, the recent “culture” of the
company was a barrier for the reengineering process and the culture of the company
had to be changed in order to complete the change process successfully. Seagram
would have to unlearn it’s old culture which was based on risk aversion, hierarchy
and limited communication. And company had to learn how to be more innovative,
cooperative, communicative and costumer focused. In order to realize that change
properly, the management held a lot of meetings and came up with six values, which
were going to be a link between the old culture and new culture: Consumer and
customer focus, Respect, Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation, Quality, By living these
values. With those values the scope of the change was going to be clearer. And with
those values employees were going to know the values that they are going to commit
and the roadmap for the vision was going to be clearer.

2 - How well has Seagram instituted this change process to date?

Their way of introducing those values to the company is so appropriate. Firstly, they
try a new technique and hold personal commutation meetings: a personalized
communication cascade. Each manager met with his or her direct reports to discuss
the values and what it meant to live with them. Secondly, the took feedback from the
senior executives. And the last step for introducing the values was training, which
was a training program for equipping the top 1,200 managers.

There were still some confusions about those values and about the new culture
despite the good introduction of the values. For example, at the end of training
sessions employees come up with some recommendations, but there is no follow up
mechanism for those good ideas. On the other hand, while starting the change, it
was announced that who live with the values were going to be rewarded. But, how
will they recognize the employees who are living with the values? What will the
reward be? Will the employees who don’t live with the values be punished? The
answers for that questions are not clear and there are mor questions to be answered.

So that, the company is doing well since, but it’s not completed yet and it has a way
to go for completing the change process successfully.