Stone Finch Inc Case Analysis

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CASE ANALYSIS #2: "Stone Finch, Inc.: Young Division, Old Division" (HBS) The January 22, 2010 Harvard article entitled, “Stone Finch, Inc.: Young Division, Old Division” describes the obstacles that Jim Billings, president and CEO of Stone Finch, Inc. is currently facing. The current status of the company was examined in detail and a number of problems were discovered. This paper is based on the information provided and is divided into two sections. The first section discusses the challenges, root causes and sources of misalignment currently confronting Stone Finch, Inc. The second section offers suggestions that would allow Jim Billings and Stone Finch, Inc. to address the difficulties they currently face. Challenges, Root Causes and Sources of Misalignment Over time as organizations evolve from smaller, simpler entities into larger, more complex entities, structural inaction can lead to sizeable problems. In these shifting environments, as in the one confronting Stone Finch, Inc., this misalignment creates significant difficulties. The myriad of growing issues began with a dramatic shift in the strategic direction under which the company operated for many years. Stone Finch, Inc.’s past success was powered by superior product standards and service levels through little innovation. The formation of the Subsidiary Divisions in 2004 created shortcomings in the company’s configuration as it evolved into a much more complex organization than the one run previously by the Stone Family. This shift by Billing’s to increased innovation and the addition of the Subsidiary Division is causing significant challenges. The increased focus on innovation is causing an extreme segregation within Stone Finch, Inc. and Billing’s lack of acti... ... middle of paper ... Billing’s role as CEO is the biggest key to changing Stone Finch, Inc. A new context combined with a changed structure and a changed culture will require a different leader than Billing’s has been. A vital step in building this visionary company is not only action, but also a shift in perspective. Billing’s needs to change his perspective from being a “falcon” to being a “leader.” Jim Billings’ needs to acknowledge there are problems with the company. An unchanged Billings’ will reinforce nothing and will in fact be an obstacle to the improvements needed. A changed organizational structure and a changed Billings’ as a dynamic and effective leader of the changed Stone Finch, Inc. will develop a vision that captures Stone Finch, Inc.’s past while guiding it into the future; away from the successful past, the current chaos, and on to an even more successful future.

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