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Create ongoing manager

dialogue soon after


MIDDLE MANAGER EARLY INVOLVEMENT
setting a high-level CSR
strategy. Ford’s Sustainability Planning Process

■ While most organizations 1. High-Level


involve junior staff only at 2. Middle Manager
Sustainability 3. Operational Planning
the operational planning Dialogue Loop
Strategic Planning
phase, Ford consults with
middle managers early in Prioritize CSR opportunities Create ongoing dialogue Roll out CSR strategy into
the process, as soon as it and set high-level strategic with junior managers to align operations.
has a high-level strategic direction with senior operations to strategy and
objective. management. refine plans.

■ Ford creates ongoing


Ford’s CO2 Footprint
dialogue with middle
Reduction Timeline
managers through several Senior management refines Educate middle managers
conversations designed 2007 objectives/plans resources on CSR strategy at the
to help managers with Near Term— for roll out stage. senior level.
Begin migration
implementation and adjust
to advanced
the strategy as needed.
technology
2011 Middle Manager
■ The role of the CSR Dialogue Loop
team at Ford is that of a Mid Term—Full
conversation broker and implementation of
known technology
communication enabler. Share manager feedback Ask questions to surface
on resource needs/ manager resource
suggestions with senior constraints.
leadership.
2020
Long Term—
Continue leverage of
hybrid technologies Role of Communications/CSR Team
and deployment of
alternative energy
■ Do the legwork for senior management: Educate middle managers on
sources relevance of CSR strategy to business unit.
■ Proactively engage middle managers: Ask questions to identify their key
2040
resource and people constraints.
■ Broker support: Facilitate further conversations between middle managers and
From the COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® key support groups in the company.
of the SALES, MARKETING, AND
COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE
■ Share feedback with senior management: Feed upwards key information about
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aspects of strategy to refine.
© 2011 The Corporate Executive Board Company.
All Rights Reserved. CEC9803411SYN Source: Ford Motor Company; Communications Executive Council research.

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Start with those parts of
the business CSR strategy
SUCCESSFUL DIALOGUE LOOP CREATION
will have greatest near-
term impact. Ford’s Dialogue Prioritization Framework
CO2 Footprint Example

■ For example, in its CO2


footprint reduction
objective, Ford first reaches
out to middle managers
in Product Development.
Product
Vehicle design is the first Tips for Successful Dialogue
Development
thing to change to reduce

Magnitude of Impact
CO2 emissions in the long run. Capture execution challenges
Sustainable within the organization, from
Materials the bottom-up
■ After assessing the full
impact and resource
Broker introductions among
constraints in Product business peers to support
Manufacturing
Development, Ford’s CSR managers with further resources
team can move on to
Sustainable Materials and set
in motion the same dialogue Dealers Share frontline feedback at the
loop with middle managers senior level to continually refine
existing CSR strategies
there.
Timeline of Implementation/Roll-Out
■ This makes the task more
manageable for Ford’s small
CSR team.

Dialogue Defined
■ Two-way, ongoing exchange of ideas and information to engage frontline employees in problem-solving about
how to achieve business growth (or cost efficiencies) in a more sustainable way.
■ Who: Communications/CSR Managers & business partners deep into the organization who have to execute CSR
strategies into theirs business unit’s (BU) operations. These are usually line managers, who are close enough
to the voice of frontline staff and also understand core objectives of their business unit.

From the COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL®


Source: Ford Motor Company; Communications Executive Council research.
of the SALES, MARKETING, AND
COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE
www.cec.executiveboard.com

© 2011 The Corporate Executive Board Company.


All Rights Reserved. CEC9803411SYN

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Focus dialogue on
showing relevance to
MIDDLE MANAGER DIALOGUE FRAMING
frontline objectives.
Middle Manager Conversation Guide
Illustrative
■ While most Communications
and CSR teams are
well-versed in having Sample Questions to Ask
conversations with senior ■ What do you need to deliver on as a department/business unit
management about CSR this year?
strategies, dialogue with
middle managers is different ■ What are your personal KPIs?
in kind.
■ How do you think (CSR objective) will help/hurt your department/
■ Ford keeps middle manager BU objectives? Your personal KPIs?
dialogue informal to encourage Checklist of Areas to Review
candid feedback around real with Middle Managers ■ What are the most time-consuming activities of your job?
challenges they will face.
Establish Linkage Between Core Business ■ Which of your activities would be most affected
■ Ford’s CSR team actively Unit Objectives and CSR Strategy by (CSR objective)?
listens and asks simple but
specific questions to gather Understand Operational Challenges ■ What kinds of resources will you need to get started on executing
a list of operational barriers on the Job (CSR objective) in your department/business unit?
at the frontline.
Identify Resource Constraints ■ How much time will you need?
■ The CSR team can then
■ What do you estimate the dollar cost to be?
share that feedback with Identify Key Decision-Makers in the Business
senior leaders, either
■ Will you need to retrain staff ? If so, which roles?
to revisit strategies as Broker Introductions and Further
necessary, or broker further Conversations with Key Support Groups
■ Who else will need to be involved in order for you to make
conversations for middle in the Company
progress in executing (CSR objective)?
managers with key support
groups in the company.
■ How do you anticipate them reacting? Would any support from
us (e.g., information, communication) help gain their cooperation?

■ Would you be interested in speaking with others in the company


who are involved in (CSR objective)?

From the COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE COUNCIL® ■


of the SALES, MARKETING, AND
Source: Ford Motor Company; Communications Executive Council research. How often and in what setting would you want to meet with those
COMMUNICATIONS PRACTICE groups?
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© 2011 The Corporate Executive Board Company.


All Rights Reserved. CEC9803411SYN

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