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Macdonald Strategy

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concerns back to senior leaders so that the change plan can be adjusted as needed. If your organization has a change council, ask to be part of it. If it doesn’t, offer to help organize one. For change leaders, there is no replacement for direct feedback as to how communications, plans, and new projects are being perceived in the field. 8. Help other employees cope with change. Even if you’re excited about change, not everyone will be. Some team members might feel confused, angry, frustrated, or exploited. To make the transition easier for them, first, be on the lookout for signals that someone needs help coping: absenteeism, depressed or despondent behavior, or attacks on team members. You might intervene one-on-one, or help steer a bickering session into a change session. You can also help others cope through active listening. Try to act as a sounding board, and help the other person reduce emotionality and increase rational discussion. 9. Encourage communication among your peers. Remember, the sum of the parts is always greater than individual contribution levels added together. So, regularly ask yourself how you can help build a better organization by diffusing confusion, expediting the flow of information, or reaching out to others. Communication between peers and through management helps make your job easier in a number of ways. It uncovers what is valuable to the business and what is not, it minimizes the amount of time required to achieve goals, and it maximizes productivity. 10. Believe in the change and speak up. This isn’t so much about self-help as it is making positive ideas a reality! As change begins, start talking about how great it will be. And if change is not yet happening, talk about past accomplishments to capture the emotions, excitement, and energy your team needs to forge ahead. Whether you are a junior employee or the CEO, show your enthusiasm for the project. Change comes from the heart, not from corporate messaging. A sense of possibility for the future of the company is contagious! If you see that a change is needed but you aren’t the leader, don’t just sit back and be told what to do—be proactive! When you show your commitment in creative ways, you’ll be asked to run the show sooner than you think. LE
Christina Tangora Schlachter, Ph.D., and Terry Hildebrandt are coauthors of Leading Business Change For Dummies (Wiley). Christina is founder of She Leads. Terry is CEO of Terry Hildebrandt and Associates. For more information, visit


ACTION: Be a more proactive leader.

ating the Big Mac secret sauce, perfecting the frozen French fry and inventing the Chicken McNugget, along with developing manufacturing patents that drive productivity improvements. Seek to achieve the triple win. Kroc established relationships with McDonald’s suppliers on a simple handshake built on trust, loyalty, and fairness. Many find it hard to believe that even today McDonald’s most strategic suppliers still operate on a handshake! Francesca DeBiase, McDonald’s VP of strategic sourcing, Worldwide Supply Chain Management, says the rationale by Kate Vitasek and Karl Manrodt for handshake deals is just as powerful today: “Many of our strategic suppliers CDONALD’S HAS A SECRET SAUCE. And it is not what you think. It’s have worked with us for decades. They know we base our partnerships on mutabout how McDonald’s keeps their ual trust, respect, and financial success.” three key stakeholders—the company, restaurant owner/ operators, and their How has McDonald’s sustained this culture for 60 years? The world’s most suppliers—in balance with a Systems successful business relationships have First mindset based on trust, loyalty, several things in common: everyone and fairness to ensure no stakeholder involved in the enterprise collaborates wins at the expense of others. through innovations and sharing value Kroc famously said, “None of us is to produce the long-term win-win. Or as good as all of us.” He knew that he in the case of the McDonald’s threecouldn’t implement his vision alone. legged stool, the win-win-win. His philosophy led to the McDonald’s System, based on the belief that everyone These successful relationships follow five principles: 1) Focus on outcomes in the System should win. Kroc often referred to not transactions; 2) Focus on the what, not the how; McDonald’s Corporation, the 3) Agree on clearly defined owner/operators of the restauand measurable outcomes; rants, and suppliers working 4) Optimize pricing model together to build his vision as the three-legged stool. He incentives; and 5) Governance stressed that each leg needed structure should provide to do well for the group to insight, not merely oversight. prosper. If one leg did not These rules create competigrow in capabilities and proftive advantage and are a key itability, it weakened the to how companies work stool. Kroc wanted everyone involved together to inspire innovation, create value, with the business to thrive. and reward success. Vested Outsourcing Kroc turned his vision into an estab- means creating outsourcing relationlished ecosystem based on trust, loyalty, ships where companies and their supand fairness that motivates suppliers to pliers become Vested in each other’s invest in McDonald’s business. His success. Partners strive to drive beneSystem is credited for revolutionizing fits for the company outsourcing and the restaurant business and helping its supplier or service provider partMcDonald’s rack up corporate leaderners. From the start, Ray Kroc used an ship awards including a No. 5 ‘Most outsource model for operations. He creatRespected Company’ ranking from ed alliances with restaurant owners/ operators and suppliers that operated with Barron’s in 2011. Businessweek recently included McDonald's in its list of the 20 long-term thinking based on trust and Best Companies for Leadership. transparency. He and McDonald’s For suppliers and restaurant owner/ engaged suppliers who were entrepreoperators, being in the System means not neurs, who invested in the McDonald’s being afraid of investing heavily in the System. He worked with them to develMcDonald’s System to create a compet- op products and processes that served itive advantage—in key business driowner/operators and brought profit and vers such as cleanliness, quality, value, growth to the supplier’s bottom line. LE assured supply, safety, and being better, Kate Vitasek ( is faculty in the University of not just bigger. It also means everyone Tennessee’s Center for Executive Education. Karl Manrodt ( is a professor at Georgia —even suppliers—are highly motivatSouthern University. They are co-authors of The Vested Way. ed to bring innovation to McDonald’s. In fact, suppliers are credited with cre- ACTION: Seek the triple win in your business.



McDonald’s Secret


O c t o b e r

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