Posts Tagged ‘Tesco’

Changing the guard

posted by Scott McKenzie

What a week in UK Boardrooms.

It really has been the changing of the guard. We have seen changes at the top of BAT, HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group.

We also saw the end of an era at Tesco with Sir Terry Leahy stepping down after 14 years. Sir Terry’s achievements are remarkable and there is no doubt that he will be a tough act to follow.

His replacement Philip Clarke is well-placed however. He is a Tesco-lifer. He understands the UK and International businesses. He is well-respected.

Mr Clarke will be fully aware of the challenges seen recently at other retailers (most notably Asda) when new CEOs have stepped into the role.

He will  be keen to avoid any uncertaintly or ambiguity about his approach. He will want to avoid any damaging mis-steps. He will want to show that he is  up to the job.

A big challenge for him will be to establish his own way of doing things. He will want to create some early momentum and to send a clear signal to his key constituencies (shareholders, customers, competitors, employees, etc) that he really means business.

He will want to establish  a fast-paced agenda which demonstrates that Sir Terry will not be missed. And for that he will need the active support of his Board and his broader leadership team.

And they will have their own agendas and their own ambitions.

Clearly Mr Clarke will need to use his considerable influence and power to manage those relationships. 

In our experience he will also need to work with those colleagues to create a shared vision. What will be their rallying call?

Of course, it starts with Mr Clarke himself. Why should people believe in him? What is his story?

It will only be when he has set out a genuinely compelling narrative for the future of the organisation, and built an emotional connection with his key stakeholders that we will see his agenda gain speed. 

For it is through those connections that he will get the discretionary effort he needs to surpass the achievements of his successor.

We wish him well.

P.S. – You should check out our friend and client Henri’s article on how leaders can effectively communicate strategy… Unfortunately you can only access this if you’re lucky enough to have access via Melcrum to The Hub.