A riddle/fictional case for discussion, fun and learning
Last post dealt with personal Strategy – this case strongly relates to it!
Dale, the CEO of CompAdvantage told Claudio that he is his chosen candidate for Senior VP of Global Marketing and Sales. Fritz, the current SVP of Global M&S, is retiring in three months, and all the ‘C’ level executives of CompAdvantage are meeting in two months to recommend the board of directors of Fritz’ replacement. Fritz shows considerable appreciation for Claudio, but has also expressed reservations from Claudio referring all the achievements of his division to himself. Claudio suspects that Fritz is going to recommend Martha for the job. Martha has won a lot of credit lately due to her success in entering the Eastern Europe market in the last three years, which reduces Martha’s failure in advocating the long legal fight with its biggest competitor PeachSales, which ended in total disaster and huge cost.
Claudio has been the VP of Marketing and Sales of Latin America in the last five years. Latin America is still the most profitable market of CompAdvantage, but two other large markets are steadily growing: Eastern Europe, led by Martha, and North America led by Abraham. Both Martha and Avraham are Claudio’s rivals for the desired position. An interesting point is that Abraham had mentored Martha for three years as his deputy. However, Abraham is now over 62 years old, so he is less likely to get the job – unless he is considered as a compromise between Claudio and Martha. The possibility of a compromise is a threat that Claudio is trying to prevent. But, how can he reduce the probability of this option to happen?
Claudio has put a list of all the senior VPs that would participate in the crucial meeting. He noted those that he is pretty sure would back his candidacy, including Brad, now the SVP of Global Logistic whom Claudio closely supported when he has been in charge of Latin America’s operations. Linda, the SVP of Global Design Development would probably back him as well, as her relationships with Martha are not good and she has openly criticized Martha as a reckless manager. On the other hand, Henry, the SVP of all subsidiaries of CompAdvantage would surely support Martha. Anyway, there are still six additional SVPs that Claudio is not certain about their preferences.
“Question is,” thought Claudio, “what can I do now to strengthen my position? And what can I do to reduce the impact of the opposing arguments against me?”
Within the huge organization of CompAdvantage it is well known that Claudio is a tyrant. All his managers are in constant fear of him being unsatisfied with their achievements. Some of the other VPs appreciate this style of managing, assuming it is the effective way to motivate the lower level managers to work harder. Others claim that such a style limits the subordinate managers’ to take their own initiatives and develop their managerial skills.
Fact is: Claudio has led his vast region very successfully and this success is significantly expressed in the global financial state of CompAdvantage.
Question 1: If you were a senior vice-president, striving for the future success of CompAdvantage, what should be a decisive criterion in preferring one of the three candidates?
Question 2: What could Claudio do in the short term to improve his chance?